If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be an battalion doctor on the war front in Iraq, this is the book for you. Jadick explains how he got there and what it was like. He is a man who goes above and beyond the call of duty, I would guess, in everything he does.
The narration was superb! I felt like Jadick was narrating his own story--kudos to Lloyd James for his narration skills.
I was not familiar with Joshilyn Jackson as an author or a narrator but I was pleasantly surprised. In the beginning, I was a bit confused as to who was narrating, the grandmother or granddaughter, but gradually, it became easier to distinguish between the two. The accents were perfect for the characters--I can't imagine anyone doing them better than this author herself.
I am not usually a fan of chick-lit, but this book was such darn fun and Mosie's expressions delighted me. All it in, this was a light-hearted, pleasant, and very enjoyable listen.
This is a difficult book for me to review. First, let me say that it was always engrossing but not in a demanding sort of way. That is, I could listen at a leisurely pace and did not feel I had to race to find out the outcome. It was certainly not a feel-good type of book by any stretch of the imagination.
The listening experience evoked many adjectives: sad, brutal, disturbing, puzzling, informative, and hopeful. I came to like the characters the longer I listened, and I became more and more interested in the Japanese cultural practices. However, I was very disturbed at the bullying which was a huge part of the story, both by Nao's schoolmates and the uncle's superior officers. The war atrocities described sickened me--the only saving grace was that the book was being read to me, and I could not linger very long on what was being described. The theme of suicide played a big role in this story, frighteningly so. Then, I became confused at the element of fantasy that was brought into the story--and the very strange way the author attempted to justify its relevance (Schrodinger's Cat!). I also was a bit put off by the easy way the ending was so easily turned around to make it hopeful and pleasant.
So, you can see I did not love many facets of the story. Yet, I am giving it a good rating and I hope I do not deter anyone from choosing to read it. This is a very unique, different sort of story that stretches the reader's imagination in very different ways, perhaps due to such different cultural issues.
I want to add that the author did a spectacular narration, which certainly added to the listening experience and to my high rating.
I previously read this book on my Kindle and was so excited to see it was out on audio. This is one of the most enjoyable reading/listening experiences ever. It is different from the more typical science fiction. It is actually science AND fiction, combined with lots of humor and suspense. For me, it has everything !
I was initially disturbed when I heard the narrator's voice and reading style. It did not seem to fit the Mark Watney I read about and knew. However, as the book progressed, I think Bray slid comfortably into the role and did a masterful job of capturing the personality of our hero. He certainly added to the listening pleasure.
This book contains lots of technical jargon and hard science, yet it was put into simple enough terms so that I could easily follow the gist of what was going on. I would think this story would appeal not only to sci-fi loving engineers but to anyone who enjoys contemporary, realistic science-based fiction which, unfortunately, can be difficult to find during this period of zombie and vampire mania. And did I mention the humor?
Very highly recommended!
I tortured myself through 2/3 of this book before I decided life is just to short to read such a boring, dull story. Half way through, I had to read the Wiki on the book, so I could know what was going on. Reading that, I realized it was even more ho-hum than I could have imagined. The characters were not well-developed and seemed very stereotypical. No one was any more likeable than anyone else. I didn't care what happened to them. The aliens were no better. No one had any sort of personality that shone through.
Yes, the narrator added to my dislike of the story. His pacing was awful and his accents not so good, either. Still, much of this could have been overlooked with an engrossing story.
I have believed, from childhood, that nothing could be more monumental and fascinating to the human race than our first contact with an alien species. Who could have known it could be so boring! Maybe I need to rearrange my thinking.
So, why are there so many fabulous reviews? I just can't figure that out. Perhaps because the book has a very catchy, memorable name? Perhaps Niven and Pournelle have a loyal following? Perhaps this IS truly a great story and I just missed the boat?
Lem does sci-fi the way I like it. You can tell he has explored the ins and outs of his subject matter, usually alien contact or the lack there of. I can not elaborate on the story as eloquently as others have, and I don't feel the need to repeat something that has been so well-described in previous reviews. This was a very enjoyable book with a lot of dimensions and much food for thought. The narrator was masterful. Solaris was an all around compelling listening experience for me, classic Lem. I feel so lucky to have discovered Lem in the last year!
This book entertained us for many hours on out recent vacation to the Pacific Northwest. I couldn't have picked a better book to listen to, as we headed on our way to Washington state from California. How fun to realize that the book we were listening to was centered around one of our destination areas. This was not preplanned but happened purely by serendipity.
The story captured our attention immediately. It was even more relevant to us as our son had rowed on a local California university crew team (not Berkeley). The book was exceptionally well-researched and got up close and personal, as well as telling the team story of an Olympic win which occurred against all odds.
And what a time in world history for it to have occurred! I have read many holocaust books in the recent past, but the part of this book, the description of Germany as Hitler was coming to rise and beginning to execute his pure evil, made me squirm in my seat. I was always glad when these parts were over. This was not a negative for me, just my own personal reaction.
This is a wonderful, uplifting, true story which should appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It was perfectly narrated which added greatly to make it an awesome listening experience.
I listened to Ender's Game way back, maybe as my first Audible book. Then I listened to it a second time somewhat later. Recently, I was preparing to go on a road trip and really felt Ender's Shadow was a good choice, particularly after reading the reviews. Well, we were rivited to our seats over may miles of driving the Pacific Northwest, and in the evenings, I kept thinking of Bean and his adventures, wanting to get back to the book as soon as I could.
I also feel that you should read Ender's Game first. As I listened to the "Shadow" book, things kept coming back to me that I had forgotten. It all fit together so nicely. You realize just how much "mindwork" Card puts into his stories (incredible) and how in depth he takes his characters. This book was very intense for its entirety. It was enjoyable all the way through with a very satisfying ending. I had tears of joy in my eyes at the close. If you loved Ender's Game, I predict you will love this one just as much. I heartily recommend it.
And--words from the author, at the end of the book, discuss the upcoming movie called Ender's Game. Turns out it is a combination of both of these books. Upon further research, I learned it will be released in a month or too. Really, just can't wait to see Ender and Bean on film. The second best thing after the awesome listening experience!
I was engrossed by this listen and finished it in two days. It brought various feelings up to the surface for me. Initially, when I saw this story in the newspapers, I believed Amanda was guilty. However, after listening to her self-narrated story, I do not believe she nor her boyfriend were guilty of the murder of her roommate, Meredith. I do wonder if she knows more than she was ever willing to tell and perhaps we will never know the answer to this this.
I felt unable to dredge up any sympathy for Amanda throughout her telling of her story. She did nothing to help her case. Actually, I believe she never took this entire event seriously until the outcome of her trial, when she received a very long sentence, much to her surprise.
Amanda refused to listen to anyone's advice consistently. Her aunt advised her to call the US embassy, to get an attorney (as her roommates did), she was advised by her attorneys not to discuss her case, but she knew better than anyone how to behave. Some of her behaviors included not shedding a tear when her roommate's body was found, being seen in an interrogation room making out with her boyfriend (of about 6 days), putting her bunny vibrator in her purse, being seen with a hickey while under scrutiny, being observed in an interrogation room doing gymnastic splits for a policeman, giving her family big smiles in the court room, wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt which read, "love is all you need" at her trial, and most egregious of all, making up a story of witnessing the murder and incriminating a totally innocent man of the murder.
Amanda spends a great part of her story making up excuses for all her childish behaviors. I don't think she has a clue about how her behaviors hurt her case and almost took away her freedom for the duration of her life. She takes no responsibility for her incredibly glib and naive actions. Additionally, I don't believe a word of her concern for the deceased roommate's family. Toward the end of her story, she voices all the right words but to me, they are not at all believable. I don't think Amanda is capable of empathy.
That said, I also think the Italian police's investigation of this crime was deplorable and I cannot believe what went on at the trial. Please let me never be arrested in Italy! However, if you think this could never happen in the good old US, please rent the dvd of The Central Park Five and then know that it could happen here, too. Our own criminal justice system can be very corrupt, too.
(Title of review learned from the book.)
I immediately knew I would be having a problem when I started this audiobook and heard the female narrator's male voices, particularly that of the main character. I never heard such a throaty, hearty voice and it brought to mind an aging, overweight, life-long smoker. However--this book seemed rather well-rated. (I must have stopped after reading the first few positive reviews.)
So, I charged on ahead, as I like mysteries and stories about military personnel, and the idea of group therapy is right up my alley. I felt I could overlook the poor narration. Not!
Firstly, I must make it known that I did not read the other four books in the series, so I was not in any way attached or fond of the characters. With the terrible narration, I found most of the characters very difficult to like. The main female character is an Episcopal priest, living in a rectory. She has the most obnoxious southern-belle accent. Rather than a woman of God, she comes across as a sex-starved hussy. And the male, well, I already mentioned how unattractive his voice was portrayed, almost to the point of making me feel physically ill.
But what about the mystery, you ask? I listened to seven hours before I could stand no more, and there was no mystery presented. Setting the stage, maybe--for 7 hours? Uh, uh.
None of these characters are well-developed or come across as the least bit interesting--not a one. And so, I leave this book a little bit smarter. I will be more careful reading the reviews in the future, and I will avoid any further books by this author and particularly this narrator.
The holocaust period certainly brought out the very worst in very many people. However, it also brought out the very best in others, Seren Tuval, in particular. What made this story so listenable and wonderful was Seren's personality. She exhibited such strength, such compassion, such intelligence, and such hope. There was never any question in her mind that she might not survive. There was never a moment that she felt sorry for herself. Her optimism and strength is something for us all to emulate or aspire toward.
The narrator is simply amazing and actually became Seren in my mind. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job of a narration. She nailed it perfectly.
This is a very intense story. Yet, you can come away from it with a good feeling. I am not sure how that can be, but it is true. Don't be afraid to read another holocaust story. This one is very special. For myself, I will remember this book for a long time. I am so glad I got to know Seren's story!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.