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Robert Shane Ellis

Alhambra, California

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 63 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Star Wars: Red Harvest

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Joe Schreiber
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (334)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (231)

    The era of the Old Republic is a dark and dangerous time, as Jedi Knights valiantly battle the Sith Lords and their ruthless armies. But the Sith have disturbing plans - and none more so than the fulfillment of Darth Scabrous’s fanatical dream, which is about to become nightmarish reality. Unlike those other Jedi sidelined to the Agricultural Corps - young Jedi whose abilities have not proved up to snuff - Hestizo Trace possesses one extraordinary Force talent: a gift with plants....

    Thomas says: "Below Average for a Star Wars book"
    "Star Wars: Zombies! The Prequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's exciting zombie fiction and it's Star Wars!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the plant and the main girl. I hadn't encountered a talking plant since Bushroot in "Darkwing Duck," although I guess he was a duck-plant hybrid. The plant was cute and refreshing, and so was his voice.


    What does John Glover bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The plant voice for one thing is something I think I couldn't have gotten from just reading it myself. Also John Glover's natural reading voice seems to have some kind of horror feeling to it, it just really fits with the subject matter. His voices and the sound effects really bring life to the terrifying daily happenings at the ancient Sith Academy as well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sometimes, the dead come back...with light sabers.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a great improvement over "Death Troopers" in terms of quality of writing, but I get the feeling that Joe Schreiber too often allows turns of the story to take place just because he's writing a horror story. I think he needs to learn to allow the story to take him where it wants to go. By the end of this book it is obvious that the girl and her once would-be killer have gotten on to the point where we want them to become lovers--and the characters seem to want it as well. Schreiber just kind of throws it all away to try and give you one last shock, but by this point another horrific moment doesn't really work anymore because the story was already over and it wasn't where the story was pulling naturally. It reminds me of a Bram Stoker book I read in high school called "The Jewel of Seven Stars." Bram threw in a horrific ending just because it was suppose to be a scary story, and then realized his mistake and later released an alternate happy ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Declare

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (105)

    As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, a coded message draws Professor Andrew Hale back into Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Elements from his past are gathering in Beirut, including ex-British counterespionage chief and Soviet mole Kim Philby, and a beautiful former Spanish Civil War soldier-turned-intelligence operative.

    art says: "Oh Fish. Art Thou Constant???"
    "Not the best, not the worst..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really. It's a bit tiresome, touches again on a lot of regular Powers themes...immortality, a shared self, strangely intricate methods for combatting magical creatures, playing cards. It's new in that he jumps around time periods and gives a lot of backstory for the three main characters, but it's sometimes very difficult to tell what time period you're in.


    Would you recommend Declare to your friends? Why or why not?

    This is nearly the same as the above question... No I wouldn't. As a spy novel goes, it's not as cool as say a James Bond tale...and although he gets into some backstory for the characters this time, he doesn't get us inside their heads. That's what he needs to do. We need to feel their anxiety and joy, see their thought processes. Maybe he should try a novel in the first person.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He's as good as ever.


    Did Declare inspire you to do anything?

    With some major editing it seems like it might make a good movie or mini-series. I think the way the angels are represented in the book is a bit difficult to picture but having seen "Noah" I suppose he was thinking something like that (which reminded me of those spirits or whatever they were at the beginning of "The Ocarina of Time").


    Any additional comments?

    Hale's reactivation in the beginning, Elena and Hale's early time together ("Do you want to see a monkey?"), and Elena's brainwashing were all great portions. Some things just seem too contrived (arbitrarily confusedly contrived) in Powers' books. The beats for rendering themselves invisible and the doctored bullets for killing angels were mainly what bothered me on that front this time around.I haven't read all of his books yet but so far I think the only must read is "On Stranger Tides." That one is brilliant. But even in there he nearly falls completely into that contrived trap with the blood/iron magical method of defeating the enemy at the end. I think that would have been fine if he hadn't insisted on making it more complicated by charging the blood magnetically or whatever it was with the compass needle. He's got to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid). I don't remember exactly how he over-thought that but if he had made it so they just had to slice open an arm, bleed on the sword and then cut the bastard that would have flowed and been acceptable. Once it starts getting overly convoluted the reader loses faith in the story, he's lucky he only put that in the very end of "On Stranger Tides."If we look at "The Secret of Monkey Island," all Guybrush Threepwood had to do was spray the ghosts with root beer. For some reason that was easily to believe, I think because it was simple! And that game was based on "On Stranger Tides." Ron Gilbert I think noticed the problem and compensated for it (he made it simple), it was just too convoluted with Powers' MacGuffin solution.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pirate Latitudes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1462)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (581)

    The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate there's a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease - or by dagger. For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.

    Eva Gannon says: "Perhaps An Early Work?"
    "Enjoyable, & brash but nothing to get crazy about."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If someone was looking for a pirate book I'd send them this way...but Tim Powers' "On Stranger Tides" feels more piratey and is just plain a way better book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The relationships between Captain Hunter and the various women were always exciting. The least interesting aspect of the story...hmm...I think the epilogue kind of ruined the story, showed us that their lives weren't going anywhere interesting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The long ship battle was probably the most intense part, had me glued to my headphones.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I'm not sure. I heard Steven Spielberg is making it, if he leaves out the epilogue it might be awesome. He could ramp up the sea monster and cannibal parts I suppose.


    Any additional comments?

    I welcomed the sea monster parts but they didn't really go anywhere. It seemed like after the ship battle he tried to make the book longer by hitting all the typical pirate adventure things you might expect but didn't do much with them unfortunately. Because the kraken story line didn't go anywhere it feels out of place but it made for a good joke during Hunter's trial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Outbound Flight

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (131)

    The Clone Wars have yet to erupt when Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth petitions the Senate for support of a singularly ambitious undertaking. Six Jedi Masters and 12 Jedi Knights, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, and 50,000 men, women, and children, will embark on a mission to contact intelligent life and colonize undiscovered worlds. But the mission is secretly being orchestrated by an unlikely ally: the evil Sith Lord Darth Sidious.

    Preston says: "Great story, enlightening for fans.HATE ABRIDGED"
    "Abridged, and with a poor Thrawn voice."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Star Wars?

    The idea was appealing.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Probably the setting out on the mission paired with the wonder of what they might find.


    What three words best describe Jonathan Davis’s voice?

    Bad Thrawn voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When you find out the bad aliens are using live shields.


    Any additional comments?

    If they sub in Marc Thompson's voice for all the Thrawn lines, and add-in the parts that were abridged...maybe they'll start to have something here. The time spent on the actual mission is very short, and the quickness with which the main character learns Thrawn's language is unbelievable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sirens of Titan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (221)

    The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course, there's a catch to the invitation....

    Darwin8u says: "I was a victim of a series of accidents..."
    "Winston Niles Rumfoord is Dr. Manhattan."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Sirens of Titan? What did you like least?

    The beginning was great. The middle sucked. The end nearly saved it but it wasn't enough.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The reveal of what that final message was, taken to the ends of the universe, was a pleasant surprise.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the above-mentioned one .


    Did The Sirens of Titan inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    There was a lack of imagination in most of the book (after the excellent beginning). With his near omnipotence, his shifting between space and time, and his removed attitude, Winston Niles Rumfoord is definitely whom Alan Moore based Dr. Manhattan on.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Last Call

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    Scott Crane abandoned his career as a professional poker player 20 years ago and hasn’t returned to Las Vegas, or held a hand of cards, in 10 years. But troubling nightmares about a strange poker game he once attended on a houseboat on Lake Mead are drawing him back to the magical city. For the mythic game he believed he won did not end that night in 1969—and the price of his winnings was his soul. Now, a pot far more strange and perilous than he ever could imagine depends on the turning of a card.

    donna says: "Deal me in"
    "Another Exciting Tim Powers Magical Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Last Call rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Bronson Pinchot has to be the best reader I've encountered yet. The story was very exciting but like with the prior Tim Powers books I've read, the narrative seems to not know how to end.


    What other book might you compare Last Call to and why?

    It does share common themes with Tim Powers' other novels. It's got to do with inhabiting another's body just like how Lord Byron and Michael were sharing each other's in "The Stress of her Regard." And there's a whole magical system setup for communicating with certain magical creatures like in "On Stranger Tides."


    What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's got a great way of making each character's attitude and reactions seem totally natural. I think he should start using sound effects though (like for gunfire).


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed a bit.


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the characters don't get fleshed out enough and are added in around halfway through the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By James Luceno
    • Narrated By Daniel Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1535)
    Performance
    (1439)
    Story
    (1437)

    Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. Darth Sidious: Plagueis’s chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor. as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.

    Mike Naka says: "couldn't stop listening"
    "Palpatine Goes to Meetings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from James Luceno and/or Daniel Davis?

    I really liked "The Rise of Darth Vader," so yes I would try another from James Luceno. It might have been better in book form. I'm not so sure about Daniel Davis, his reading voice was good.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Once the events start to intercede with those of "The Phantom Menace." it feels like our story's events are just playing catch up.


    What aspect of Daniel Davis’s performance would you have changed?

    Many of his politicians' voices sounded exactly like his Palpatine voice. It was right-on, but once he used it for other characters it ruined the effect. The young Palpatine voice was really good and his voice for Plagueis was inspired. Once Plagueis is gravely wounded, the change that occurs to his voice was spectacular. Dooku's voice didn't sound like Christopher Lee, and it sounded as if Davis didn't even try with Valorum. Maul's voice was superb. A big no-no was using Palpatine's regular voice for when he was communicating with others as Darth Sidious. He should have used the slimy hateful voice we know from the movies. They would have been able to recognize him as Palpatine if he had kept it the same.


    Did Star Wars: Darth Plagueis inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, it made me really want to watch the prequels over again.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes it was very boring. Plagueis or Palpatine goes to some kind of a meeting and then my mind would wander. I'd give the story a 3-star rating but the Maul side story was interesting, although sparse, and the way it led up to Episode 1 was exciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces Collector's Trilogy (Dramatized)

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William C. Dietz
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    Kyle Katarn has joined the ranks of legendary Star Wars heroes such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. A timeless adventure of revenge and honor, the trilogy is set in a shimmering universe of sound that only digital technology can fully capture.

    Eric Z says: "Good story, but the quality of the recording is ok"
    "A little fun but it should be remade/rewritten."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Star Wars? What did you like least?

    Some of the voices and acting were enjoyable (a bit campy). The story wasn't all that great but I was surprised to get to hear about the outcome of those Jedi and Sith that were trapped in the thought bomb during the Bane trilogy. "Dark Forces" was the first big cross-media Star Wars event that began with a video game (followed by "Shadows of the Empire"). I think it should have stayed closer to the game and been a little darker in tone. The voices for characters that appear in the movies were awful.


    Would you be willing to try another book from William C. Dietz? Why or why not?

    Sure, the first section was pretty alright.


    What about the narrator’s performance did you like?

    Kyle and his best bud's voice at the academy were great. So was the annoying guy who was their silly classmate.


    Do you think Star Wars needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I think Dark Forces needs a remake. Maybe get Marc Thompson to do Thrawn in his little cameo and flesh out the story a little more in terms of the writing. Jerec is a well-envisioned bad guy but his lines and his slimy sexual voice weren't that catching. The last book needs to be updated to match the descriptions of the thought bomb area in the Bane books a little better.


    Any additional comments?

    Not a Star Wars must read but of the three parts the first was rather entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stress of Her Regard

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (92)

    When Michael Crawford discovers his bride brutally murdered in their wedding bed, he is forced to flee not only to prove his innocence but to avoid the deadly embrace of a vampire who has claimed him as her true bridegroom. Joining forces with Byron, Keats, and Shelley in a desperate journey that crisscrosses Europe, Crawford desperately seeks his freedom from this vengeful lover who haunts his dreams and will not rest until she destroys all that he cherishes.

    Dave says: "Terrifying - A New Benchmark for Vampires Stories"
    "Go on a Magical Adventure with the Romantic Poets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, by the end you want nothing more than to be able to pop in on Lord Byron and see what's happening.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Stress of Her Regard?

    When they're in the Alps shedding the attention of the Nephilim and time becomes altered and slowed down so that it's like they're swimming through the air, that was a very vivid picture.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think probably near the beginning when he first puts the ring on the statue, and the following dilemma that occurs. It was all very exciting. Other than that, Michael's repeated descriptions of the three moments in his life that haunt him. A broken boat, a burning building, a bloody bed.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did laugh a few times. When Michael has to bite off his pinky at one point the ensuing conversation with Byron was really hilarious.


    Any additional comments?

    Simon Vance did a great job on Lord Byron's voice but the other characters didn't really stand out. I thought the beginning scene with Shelley and him was a bit too fast a reveal of the magical elements. Also when the characters part ways and then are reunited later we aren't treated to their reactions of surprise or warm welcomes. I wonder if in the universe of this novel there are non-Nephilim vampires.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition): The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2766)
    Performance
    (2609)
    Story
    (2623)

    Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....

    Ryan says: "It's about time!"
    "Greatest Star Wars voice mimic ever?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) to be better than the print version?

    Yeah, I haven't read the print version but with Marc Thompson's acting this must be better. He gets every single character spot-on. Plus the voices he created for Thrawn and Pellaeon are instantly classic and unchangeable. I liked Thrawn so much because of Thompson's portrayal that I went ahead and got the "Outbound Flight" audio book after these. Unfortunately compared to Thompson's Thrawn voice, Jonathan Davis' attempt in "Outbound Flight" falls flat on its face. To be fair, Thompson's Thrawn trilogy was released after, so had Jonathan Davis heard Thompson's Thrawn voice before recording, perhaps he would have impersonated it expertly.


    Have you listened to any of Marc Thompson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I listened to all three of his renditions of the Thrawn trilogy and I'm listening to his "Escape to Witch Mountain" at the moment. He seems to be great all the time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well it's pretty long so no, but in a few sittings.


    Any additional comments?

    The first and second books in this trilogy are grand. The third is good too but the whole Luuke thing flies out from left field and just plain could have been done better. And just when you figure out what's happening the fight is already over, with some lack-luster fumbling intervention by Mara Jade. Most people would probably say that the Luuke idea was ridiculous, but I for one will say it could have gone over great if more attention was given to it rather than just rushing it out as an odd end to the series. An otherwise spotless 3-book masterpiece.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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