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Robert Shane Ellis

Santa Monica, California

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 60 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By James Luceno
    • Narrated By Daniel Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12520)
    Performance
    (11491)
    Story
    (11469)

    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.

    kalei says: "See Episodes I-III in a whole new light!!!"
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Anubis Gates

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (1018)
    Story
    (1018)

    When Brendan Doyle is flown from America to London to give a lecture on Samuel Taylor Coleridge, little does he expect that he will soon be traveling through time and meeting the poet himself. But Brendan could do without being stranded penniless in the teeming, thieving London of 1810.

    Doug D. Eigsti says: "Yesterday… All My Troubles Seemed So Far Away"
    "A Fun Romp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great, but wish the narrator had impersonated Byron's voice from "The Stress of Her Regard."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Man in the High Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Philip K. Dick
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4600)
    Performance
    (4225)
    Story
    (4235)

    It's America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some 20 years earlier the United States lost a war - and is now occupied jointly by Nazi Germany and Japan.

    Michael G Kurilla says: "Alternative history"
    "Interesting World But Scarcely A Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters mostly discuss objects and a book. There really is nothing that actually happens until near the end. I'll have to watch the show to see if they expanded upon the conversely well-crafted universe. I wish there had been more of a traditional narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vision of the Future: Star Wars (The Hand of Thrawn): Book II

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3218)
    Performance
    (2988)
    Story
    (2979)

    The Empire's master plan is under way. The New Republic is on the verge of civil war and the rumor that the legendary Admiral Thrawn has returned from the dead is rallying the Imperial forces. Now Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and their allies face the challenge of their lives. They must infiltrate a hidden fortress filled with Imperial fanatics, rendezvous with a double-dealing Imperial commander, and journey into enemy territory to learn the identity of those responsible for an act of unthinkable genocide. But most important of all is the truth about Thrawn.

    Koa B. Beam says: "A great little end to the Zahn Thrawn stories"
    "A Good Character Should Have Bought the Farm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Spoiler alert! Major Tierce is an incredible new villain. Alas, having had two trilogies where the major baddie dies in a row (Vader then Thrawn) ...we need something else to happen.

    Other than Tierce, pretty much no one else important died in this duology (at least 4/5/6 had Yoda and Obi-wan kick the bucket--and Han Solo frozen in carbonite).

    They should have killed off Mara, Booster, Karrde, Corran Horn, or Iblis. If they cinematize this two-parter that's all they really need to do. End the story of one of the good guys and we'll have a significant enough of a dip.

    I love how they tied it to the prequels using voices with the Aussie-type storm trooper clones in hiding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Specter of the Past: The Hand of Thrawn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3445)
    Performance
    (3197)
    Story
    (3195)

    The Empire stands at the brink of total collapse. But they have saved their most heinous plan for last. First a plot is hatched that could destroy the New Republic in a bloodbath of genocide and civil war. Then comes the shocking news that Grand Admiral Thrawn--the most cunning and ruthless warlord in history--has apparently returned from the dead to lead the Empire to a long-prophesied victory.

    Ezekiel says: "Zahn is simply the best."
    "Excellent Sequel to the Thrawn Trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Marc Thompson is THE "Star Wars" narrator. Let's hope we get unabridged audio versions of "Outbound Flight" and "Survivor's Quest" (if we're lucky, narrated by him as well). They should pick Thompson to voice Thrawn in "Star Wars: Rebels," he's taken the villain to new heights.

    Seriously though, no other man manages to sound like hundreds of different people throughout oodles of audiobook readings.

    It's a regular "Kagemusha" this time around and the new strategist is just as iconic as Thompson and Zahn made Thrawn in the first outing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kenobi: Star Wars Legends

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By John Jackson Miller
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3744)
    Performance
    (3495)
    Story
    (3491)

    Tatooine - a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders. A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.

    Troy says: ""The Rifleman"... with a Lightsaber"
    "Crazy Ben Kenobi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not quite as phenomenal as "The Rise of Darth Vader." It seems to take place before and during that gem of story. There should have been some physical romance for Obi-wan.

    Disney really needs to get Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen together again and make this book and the before-mentioned into an epic movie.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Declare

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (206)

    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
    (2264)
    Performance
    (1284)
    Story
    (1296)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Outbound Flight

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (1060)
    Performance
    (887)
    Story
    (880)

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Sirens of Titan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kurt Vonnegut
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1944)
    Performance
    (1611)
    Story
    (1615)

    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....

    Robert says: "Absolutely Outstanding"
    "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
    (360)
    Performance
    (305)
    Story
    (306)

    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.

    Cliff says: "Fans of American Gods will like this one"
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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