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Chris

ratings
133
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
30

  • Insurgent: Divergent, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (14805)
    Performance
    (13225)
    Story
    (13331)

    One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

    Lore says: "Decent but not as interesting as Divergent"
    "Not as good as Divergent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My recommendation: re-read the last chapters of Divergent before listening to Insurgent. I didn't, so I spent the first part of this book wondering who was who and what was going on. Insurgent expects listeners to have all the events and everyone's names fresh in mind. That did not happen with me. I don't need a complete recap, but it would have been nice to be reminded which one was the brother and which was the love interest. Those little hints to help jog the memory just aren't there.

    I enjoyed Divergent, but I realized a big part of my enjoyment was the school/training aspect and learning about the world. Insurgent focuses on the war between the factions, my least favorite part of book 1. I liked learning more about Amenity and Candor, but I was expecting to discover what's beyond the wall, and that's saved for book 3.

    Insurgent is a middle book in a series. You have to read it to find out what comes next, but nothing really happens. Hopefully the next book will be more interesting.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Honor's Knight: Paradox Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Rachel Bach
    • Narrated By Emily Durante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (67)

    Devi Morris has a lot of problems, and not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either. After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she'd determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi's not actually looking for it this time, trouble keeps finding her. She sees ghostly creatures no one else can, the inexplicable black stain on her hands keeps getting bigger, and she can't seem to stop getting into compromising situations with a man she's supposed to hate.

    Chris says: "So disappointed"
    "So disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the first book in this series, but this one does not compare. It's just boring. In the first one, there were so many interesting characters to meet and mysteries to explore. This book has none of that. There's not enough plot to fill one book, yet it ends in the middle of the story to make you get the next one. Just sad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fortune's Pawn: Paradox Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Rachel Bach
    • Narrated By Emily Durante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (103)

    Devi Morris isn't your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It's a combination that's going to get her killed one day - but not just yet. That is, until she gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn't misnamed; it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she's found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her plan.

    Connor says: "Liked Part of the Book, But Not All"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book reads just like good Firefly fanfiction. It's about a group of people on a derelict spaceship with mysterious backstories. The main character is fabulous, a space mercenary who loves her guns and armor. And there's a sexy bartender.

    The reader is also great. She does the main character with a mild southern accent that emphasizes her origin from a backwater planet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jane and the Stillroom Maid: Being the Fifth Jane Austen Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Stephanie Barron
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    Jane Austen is enjoying August, 1806, among Derbyshire's craggy peaks, sparkling streams, and cavernous gorges. That is, until she discovers the corpse of a young gentleman whose blond curls and delicate features suggest the face of an angel.

    susan says: "Will the real Jane Austen please stand up?"
    "Not the best in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With the conceit of retelling Jane Austen's diaries, the author walks a line between telling an interesting mystery and being historically accurate. The book seems overly concerned with historical accuracy to the determent of the story. I haven't listened to earlier books in the series, but this installment spends very little time on the character of Jane or her family. Jane is there to follow the plot, which is told to the listener in large infodumps and results in very flat characters. Sections detailing the historical background of minor side characters and footnotes on changes to architecture over time do nothing to add excitement. I found this book boring and do not recommend it. I do recommend the 12th book in the series, Jane and the 12 Days of Christmas. Many of the issues in this book have been corrected by that title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Warbreaker

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    Overall
    (3867)
    Performance
    (2946)
    Story
    (2969)

    An author whose previous, wildly successful novels have earned him a reputation as fantasy's master of magic, Brandon Sanderson continues to dazzle audiences with this tale of princesses and gods. In this extraordinary world, those who attain glory return as gods. And those who can master the essence known as breath can perform the most wondrous miracles - or unleash the most devastating havoc.

    Robert says: "What's Your god like?"
    "Great book, great reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although you can read this book on Sanderson's website, why do that when there's a great audio version?

    Some listeners may prefer Michael Kramer's reading of Sanderson's works, but James Yaegashi does a great job with this one. I found his voice and intonation similar to Wil Wheaton's reading of Ready Player One. A few errors weren't edited out, but they were not frequent enough to ruin my enjoyment. In fact, Yaegashi really got into the reading, and his characters were nice and varied.

    This book was similar in feeling to Elantris, with a pretty straight forward (for Sanderson) plot and a young-adult feeling to the story. Its 24 hour length is enough to get to know the world, characters, and new magic system really well. The worst thing about the book is the title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thicker Than Water: A Felix Castor Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mike Carey
    • Narrated By Damian Lynch
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (265)

    Old ghosts of different kinds come back to haunt Felix, in the fourth gripping Felix Castor novel. Names and faces he thought he'd left behind in Liverpool resurface in London, bringing Castor far more trouble than he'd anticipated. Childhood memories, family traumas, sins old and new, and a council estate that was meant to be a modern utopia until it turned into something like hell...these are just some of the sticks life uses to beat Felix Castor with as things go from bad to worse for London's favourite freelance exorcist.

    Robin says: "Why did they change the narrator with book 4?"
    "The new narrator is better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am also a Michael Kramer fan and thoroughly enjoyed his readings of the first 3 Felix Castor books, but I have to say, I prefer Damian Lynch's performance. His involvement with books 4 and 5 make them the best so far.

    The Felix Castor books take place in London primarily, and Damian Lynch can do all of the various nuanced English accents. While I love Michael Kramer's readings (especially Way of Kings), I always felt he gave Felix a too upper-crust accent. While Felix did go to Oxford, he's from Liverpool and is slumming it in his current position.

    Damian Lynch's reading of Felix is just right, and he adds authenticity to all of the minor characters by giving each of them their own appropriate accent.

    Change is hard, but the change of narrators here is a good thing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Happy Hour in Hell: Bobby Dollar, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Tad Williams
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (210)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (195)

    I've been told to go to Hell more times than I can count. But this time I'm actually going. My name's Bobby Dollar, sometimes known as Doloriel, and of course, Hell isn't a great place for someone like me - I'm an angel. They don't like my kind down there, not even the slightly fallen variety. But they have my girlfriend, who happens to be a beautiful demon named Casimira, Countess of Cold Hands. Why does an angel have a demon girlfriend? Well, certainly not because it helps my career.

    A. Hogue says: "Mixed feelings"
    "Middle in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the first Bobby Dollar book, but this one took me a long time to get through. I enjoyed Bobby on Earth, but for this book he goes to Hell, and it's not nearly as much fun. It's the middle in the series, so pretty much a treadmill book. Lots of running around and going nowhere.

    The reader did a great job. There aren't a lot of different accents, but each of the characters is distinct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Archangel's Consort: Guild Hunter, Book #3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Nalini Singh
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (951)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (767)

    Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil. A vampire has attacked a girls' school---the assault one of sheer, vicious madness---and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood.

    Selin says: "Ended way too soon"
    "Disappointed. Not as good as earlier books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked the first two books in this series. The heroine was strong and made up her own mind. In this book she falls apart. When the alpha male tried to control her previously, she came up with intelligent ways to deal with him. Here they have the same boring argument over and over. The heroine seems to devolve into an insecure toddler who is constantly saying "no" for no reason. She has to do everything herself and cannot take help from anyone. This book has more minutes taken over by sex scenes than the first two, but that is instead of interesting plot or character development. If you liked the first two books, you'll probably listen to this one, Justine Eyre does an excellent reading. Just have low expectations. I was very excited but this book doesn't meet the series' standards.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2166)
    Performance
    (1963)
    Story
    (1968)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Wanted to like it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out well with an interesting premise and characters, but then takes a turn into cartoon land and never recovers.

    I liked the first 4 or so chapters of this book (you can read them on the website. Amnesia, special powers, boarding school, I love that stuff, but then the limitations of the book start showing, and soon they've taken over.

    The book is divided into present narrative and flashback diary entries. The flashbacks are large infodumps that have little to no bearing on the present events. It's obvious the author put a lot of thought into the backstory of each minor character, but by the time I'd heard the life history of the 4th office colleague, I couldn't remember or care who any of these people were. In spite of the numerous details, the vast majority of characters have negligible roles in the present-day action, so it was hard for them to hold my attention or for me to care any about their childhoods.

    With the frequent flashbacks, the novel is series of strung-together vignettes. This works well in some books, but in this one, the main character is mostly watching other people do things, so we don't learn what is interesting about her, and she can't hold the divergent stories together. There is a lot of time spent in worldsetting, but the characters and events in the world are not enough to hold the story.

    This all would be ok if the writing style held my interest. While the beginning is intelligently written and very polished, the further into the book, the more cartoon situations and juvenile bathroom humor appear. The increasing inappropriateness turned me off completely.I can see why this book would be classed as young adult. The juvenile humor and inappropriate and cartoonish ways the characters act, along with gratuitous violence and gore, seems very young.

    I really wanted to like this book and gave it chance after chance to impress me, but it failed on all accounts.

    Note on narration: The narrator has a strange speaking style where her intonation rises at the end of every phrase making it sound like a question. This was very strange and took a while to get used to, but by the end she either gets better or I got used to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jupiter Myth: Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lindsey Davis
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (60)

    Marcus was hoping for a relaxed visit to Britannia. But things turn serious at the scene of a murder. King Togidubnus has been stuffed down a bar-room well - leading to a diplomatic situation which Marcus must resolve.

    Abigail says: "My Favorite"
    "Only for those who have read all the previous."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the first book in the series. It was a PI-noir set in ancient Rome. But the next few books are not in audio and instead are abridged radio dramas. I tried one, but it was difficult to listen to, so I went on to try this book because its back to the audio form. Big mistake!

    The book tries to cover the events of the earlier books, but doesn't do a good job of it. I know all the characters, but they are still impossible to keep straight. Like the first book, this is primarily a mystery with some Roman infodumps here and there. While this worked when the main character was a penniless PI, it doesn't work now that his fortunes have risen and he's supposed to be respectable. The noir elements, which were the best part of book one, have been removed and replaced with nothing. The Roman gloss is particularly glaring in this book that takes place in Briton but without any of the knowledge or sympathy found in the Ruth Downie books.

    Skip this series. The Roman Medicus series and medieval Mistress of the Art of Death series are much better.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6770)
    Performance
    (6300)
    Story
    (6301)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first third of this book is a fun parody of Star Trek, but when it comes to the point when a plot is needed to continue, it falls apart. The "plot" is boring, the characters intentionally flat, and the many inconsistencies in the world building brushed off with "it's not supposed to make sense." What would have made a good short story is needlessly stretched, and the codas are strangely tacked-on moralizing platitudes. This book is the only thing I've read from John Scalzi, and I don't plan to read any more. As always, Wil Wheaton does a good job with the material even though most of his voices sound the same, but it doesn't compensate for the drudge of this book. Two stars for the fun parts in the beginning. If you do get it, stop listening there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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