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Louis T. Heberlein

Davis, CA USA | Member Since 2007

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 259 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Mark Frost
    • Narrated By Nick Chamian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (140)

    Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

    Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school...and followed by men driving black sedans.

    Bruce says: "For Younger Readers"
    "Harry Potter, Middle Earth, & The Bourne Identity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The Paladin Prophecy begins a lot like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, with a slightly older Harry Potter named Will West. Will, who has no real friends, loses his parents and ends up in a special school for gifted children where he makes his first real friends. While there he learns more about and develops his special skills, finds enemies among the students, and discovers an evil conspiracy at the school.

    But the story adds a deeper mythology that sounds a lot like J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion. It is difficult to say too much here without giving too much away, but the key is that the conflict Will West is experiencing is part of a much longer, older battle. Sort of like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, Will West is playing a critical role in a long-lived battle at a critical juncture.

    And then at the end the author adds some aspects of The Bourne Identity. They barely touch on this towards the end, but I suspect it will play a larger role in the next novel.

    If you enjoyed the Harry Potter novels, I recommend this book. The story moves quickly and is easy to follow (I suspect a movie is in the works), the characters are enjoyable, the storyline is interesting, and Nick Chamian delivers an excellent performance.

    This novel is self-contained; I felt satisfied at the end. But the title does call this "Book 1", so there are a number of plot lines that are left dangling to be picked up in Book 2, which, sadly, at the time of this writing is not out yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kenobi: Star Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By John Jackson Miller
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (496)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (477)

    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"
    "Star Wars version of Pale Rider"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Kenobi rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I place it among the top 10%


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was different than a typical Star Wars book. It is a small and intimate story without a great evil power or epic space battles. I enjoyed the change.


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

    Jonathan Davis did an excellent job making each character sound distinct and bringing them to life. The audio version (as the Star Wars versions do) also had background audio -- when someone pours a drink, you hear a drink being poured, but it didn't overpower Jonathan Davis' performance.When voicing Obi-Wan, Jonathan Davis sounded exactly like Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan. I have a hard time believing he wasn't brought in to do some of the voice acting. If it really was Jonathan Davis, he did an incredible job.


    Any additional comments?

    I haven't read (or listened to) a Star Wars book in a long time, but this one sounded interesting. One reviewer described it like the 1985 Clint Eastwood movie "Pale Rider", and I agree. It was essentially a Western and not a typical Star Wars science fiction book. No space travel or big starship battles. It wasn't "the future of the universe turns on these events" kind of story.

    Instead it was a rather small, intimate story set on Tatooine right after Obi-Wan Kenobi (now going by Ben Kenobi) drops off the baby Luke Skywalker with his aunt & uncle. Ben Kenobi tries to settle into a hermit's life near a small settlement, trying not to draw attention to himself or reveal himself as a Jedi Knight (which would draw the Empire's attention to him and Luke). But of course there are attacks by Tusken Raiders, bad guys to deal with, the harsh conditions of Tatooine itself, and a little romantic tension thrown in.

    Caring for people and righting wrongs while remaining as aloof and as anonymous as possible are Ben's challenges. It was a nice change of pace for a Star Wars story.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5524)
    Performance
    (5253)
    Story
    (5261)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Robinson Crusoe on Mars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mark Watney, the lead character, who manages to laugh at adversity and his own stupidity and celebrate with enthusiasm with each accomplishment. And he needs a lot of accomplishments just to survive.


    What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    If you want to experience the power of audio books, this is a great one to start with. Bray seemed to capture the character of Watney perfectly. Bray is a voice actor, not just a narrator. He brings the characters to life. If I read the text to myself, the story would not be nearly as interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    Weir adds just the right amount of technical material and calculations to make the story thoroughly believable while not slowing down the story. The author clearly did some homework before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). While this is "science fiction" there is never a moment that made me think that this couldn't happen in my lifetime.

    (BTW, I also enjoyed the 1964 movie "Robinson Crusoe on Mars", but this book had much more depth and was much more believable.)

    If you enjoy books about space, space travel, or science fiction (especially when it isn't too speculative), I would recommend this book. I also recommend that you try the sample audio as it provides a good introduction to the story and gives you a flavor of the rest of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (2689)
    Performance
    (2542)
    Story
    (2547)

    World War Z: The Complete Edition is a new recording of Max Brooks’ best-selling novel, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, featuring 21 additional Hollywood A-list actors and sci-fi fan favorites performing stories not included in the original edition. New narrators include Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, Spiderman star Alfred Molina, The Walking Dead creator Frank Darabont, rapper Common, Firefly star Nathan Fillion, Shaun of the Dead’s Simon Pegg, and members of the casts of Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes and more!

    Kim Venatries says: "A Good Story with an All Star Cast but ABRIDGED"
    "The Good War, with Zombies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) again? Why?

    Yes.

    The book begins at the end; that is, you know humanity survives after a devastating plague. And of course you know the author/interviewer and each person he interviews survives since he interviews them after the war. So the book doesn't get its tension by hiding significant outcomes from the reader until the end, and this makes listening to it again enjoyable.

    The book is also written in bite-sized, relatively self-contained interviews, so you can literally drop into a chapter and enjoy that chapter all by itself.


    What other book might you compare World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition) to and why?

    From what I've read, the style of the book is patterned after the Pulitzer Prize winning book "The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two" by Studs Terkel. (unfortunately, this is not available on audible.com)

    It is also somewhat similar to "The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z" (which is available on Audible). That book uses a diary format to describe one person's view of the unfolding zombie plague.


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

    This is another ideal book for an audio version. The large cast should be called "voice actors" and not "narrators". They bring the book to life. Each character is given his or her own voice, full of accent, rhythm, and emotion that makes the book feel eerily real.

    I could see this audio version augmented with photographs (faked of course), and it would play like a Ken Burns miniseries on PBS.


    Any additional comments?

    I just re-downloaded part 1 of the book. This new version has restored several minutes of the first part with Kwang Jingshu's interview. These minutes cover the time right before the doctor meets patient zero, and now it makes more sense to me.

    I am not necessarily a big zombie fan, but I am enjoying this book very much. One day we may face another devastating plague like the Black Death, and the zombie is essentially a stand-in for this future plague. The interviews in this book lets you put yourself in the shoes of lots of different people in very challenging situations and wonder, "What would I do?" Would you kill your own child to protect him or her from a fate worse than death? Would you panic and lose control? Could you make the politically difficult decision to purposely sacrifice large portions of your population to ensure that humanity isn't completely wiped out?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Starship Troopers

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2406)
    Performance
    (1220)
    Story
    (1242)

    Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

    Michael says: "Well Aged Heinlein"
    "Great book, bad audio version"
    Overall

    Starship Troopers has always been one of my favorite books, and I've read it a number of times. This is far far different than the movie that came out. The story follows the young and privileged high school graduate Juan Rico who, almost on a whim, joins the military. When you are at peace joining the military seems more like an adventure, but then war breaks out. We follow Juan growing from a boy and into a man over the course of the war.

    The book is full of social ideas which some find appalling. Personally I didn't have any problems with them, but if your politics tends to lean way to the left, you may have issues.

    Several years ago I bought the audio CDs for about $60, but I never got past ripping the first CD because the reading was so bad -- monotone, slow, bad rhythm. I bought the audible version thinking (1) it might be better, and (2) at least I didn't need to spend the time ripping multiple CDs.

    Bad decision. It is still the same bad version. I can recommend the book. I cannot recommend the audio version. Hopefully Audible.com will commission a new audio version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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