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wendy

Tell us about yourself!

NJ | Member Since 2004

ratings
101
REVIEWS
43
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
270

  • Hellcats: The Epic Story of World War II's Most Daring Submarine Raid

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Peter Sasgen
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    The incredible true story of nine Hellcat submarines assigned to penetrate the dense minefields protecting the sea of Japan. In 1945-with no knowledge of the development of the atomic bomb- American submarine commanders, desperate to avoid an invasion of the home islands, believed that if the Japanese merchant fleet was sunk, the enemy would be forced to surrender.

    Harry Boyle says: "A WWII story well worth learning about"
    "fascinating slice of WWII history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Hellcats rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Any Grover Gardener narrated audiobook is bound to be at the top of my list. This was a wonderful exploration of the early submarine force. It follows the first set of subs to use FM Sonar to map mines, and how they exploited this new capability to operate close to the Japanese coast at the close of WWII. The sailors are brought vividly to life - great listen!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Remembered Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (254)

    Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "A surprising and staisfying departure for Reynolds"
    "Fabulous ramble around the solar system."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Blue Remembered Earth again? Why?

    Yes. I was really drawn into the story and very engaged in what would happen next.

    Geoffrey and Sunday are scions of a wealthy and powerful family that has made its fortune in space mining, rockets, and so forth. Sunday lives in on the moon and Geoffrey in the family home in Africa, where he does research on elephants. They are pulled into what seems to be a treasure hunt laid for them by their recently deceased grandmother, who was an early space age pioneer. And what a treasure hunt! We get to see Mars, various parts of the moon, underwater cities, asteroid belt mining, and various other wonders. Reynolds really crafts a fabulous world for us to explore. The technology that the users interact with seems gracefully and seamlessly folded into the story - enough hints are dropped for us to figure out what is going on, but characters do not pause the narrative to say "and now i am using this piece of technology, which does XYZ, isn't it really cool" as can happen in some sci fi stories.

    I came into this story a bit disappointed that it would not take place in the Revelation Space universe, and that it occurs only about 200 years after our present time. Since I love Reynolds far future visions, like his glitter band in the Prefect, I wasn't sure that this story would be worth listening to. Surely there would be no glitter band or anything as wild here. I shouldn't have worried, the technology here was just a fabulous. In addition, Reynolds has made huge leaps in his characterization; the people here are better brought to life than in many of his previous worlds.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was a minor one, Soya. She was pretty cool.


    Any additional comments?

    Great listen!

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2029)
    Performance
    (856)
    Story
    (859)

    Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him.

    Randy says: "Terrific Trilogy"
    "LOVE it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1 the most enjoyable?

    Wow... what a world Stroud invented here. Vivedly brought to life, with an internally consistent set of rules of how


    What other book might you compare The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1 to and why?

    I started out thinking it would be sort of a Harry Potter style world. However, this was... different. Stylistically, and the whole philosophy of magic here - are very different from the Harry Potter. It's rather darker, and - different. Still very enjoyable, but don't expect Hogwarts v2.


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

    The ending was very moving. Keep listening, it really wraps up the story well.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Warrior's Apprentice: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1616)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (763)

    Miles Vorkosigan makes his debut in this frenetic coming-of-age tale. At age 17, Miles is allowed to take the entrance exams to the elite military academy; he passes the written but manages, through miscalculation in a moment of anger, to break both his legs on the obstacle course, washing out before he begins. His aged grandfather dies in his sleep shortly after, for which Miles blames himself.

    Readalot says: "What a great character!"
    "marvelous audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Warrior's Apprentice the most enjoyable?

    The storytelling and how Miles's universe is brought to life. I found myself sitting on the sofa after walking home from work while listening a few times, reluctant to stop. I laughed at a few points, especially when Gardner narrated some of Miles's thoughts and reactions to some events.



    Would you be willing to try another book from Lois McMaster Bujold? Why or why not?

    I listened to Shards of Honor first, which interested me in Bujold's Vorkosogian saga books. This book was just a good - lots of action, interesting characters, and very engaging.??????I listen to a lot of sci fi and


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I love how he voices characters internal thoughts. That was my favorite part of his narration.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghost Brigades

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2102)
    Performance
    (1518)
    Story
    (1532)

    The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

    wendy says: "Great story"
    "Great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a nice followup to Old Man's War. Scalzi again creates a great ride, that is deeply enjoyable and with great characters.

    It helps to have read Old Man's War, but you could pick this one up and start here. This story takes place a few years after the events in Old Man's War. Jane Sagan is a Lt in the Ghost Brigades and assigned to the Kite. She uncovers a plot against the Colonial Union, and that there is a traitor helping out the enemies plotting against the Union. Most of the story follows the rather unusual method they use to track down the traitor... Very well written, held my attention throughout.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Year's Top Short SF Novels

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Stephen Baxter, Geoffrey A. Landis, David Moles, and others
    • Narrated By Tom Dheere, Adam Epstein, Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Short novels may well be the perfect length for science-fiction stories. They are movie-length tales that resonate with moxie while fully exploring characters, new worlds, and ideas. The stories in this unabridged audio collection are the best-of-the-best short science-fiction novels published in 2010 by current and emerging masters of this form.

    wendy says: "fantastic"
    "fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great collection of stories here - I really enjoyed discovering new authors as well as enjoying some from ones I knew.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Absolution Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (508)

    The Inhibitors were designed to eliminate any life-form reaching a certain level of intelligence - and they've targeted humanity. War veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees have fled into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety---or draw down its darkest enemy.

    wendy says: "better than absolution gap"
    "better than absolution gap"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book- WAY better than Redemption Ark was, so I'm glad I finally broke down and listened to it. Where Redemption Ark drove me crazy with too much Skade & too much irrational conjoiner behavior, here we just have two intertwining rollicking adventures. not quite as strong as revelation space, but a pleasant surprise.

    We start off on the Pattern Juggler world where Redemption Ark ended, with Clavain and the refugees trying to set up a new temporary society. We skip from there to a lighthugger and then to Hele, which is a small world far away from mainstream society. A miracle occured there hundreds of years ago which led to a new religion. There is also a bridge, possibly built by aliens, and Reynolds usual odd ball characters. It's a good ride that pulls you in like many of his best stories.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Galactic North

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (275)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (190)

    Centuries from now, the basic right to expand human intelligence beyond its natural limits has become a war-worthy cause for the Demarchists and Conjoiners. Only vast lighthugger starships bind these squabbling colonies together, manned by the panicky and paranoid Ultras. And the hyperpigs just try to keep their heads down. The rich get richer. And everyone tries not to think about the worrying number of extinct alien civilizations turning up on the outer reaches of settled space...because who's to say that humanity won't be next?

    wendy says: "Great background for Revelation Space novels"
    "Great background for Revelation Space novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Galactic North the most enjoyable?

    I found the first stories (Great Wall of Mars, etc) to be the most enjoyable, because they present you with the events mentioned in passing in several of the Revelation Space stories. So it was nice to read how the events unfolded.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Galactic North?

    Other than the last story (which I found very weak & shallow, with the weakest characterizations), all of them had many memorable moments that will stick with you. Reynolds universe is a fascinating place - almost all of these stories visit places we've seen before in his novels, and they do lean on you having that background.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've got the background of the worlds Reynolds has invented, these are very enjoyable. If you don't, then you might be a bit lost as some of these can not stand fully on their own.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (230)

    Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe-science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system, where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.

    wendy says: "best Alex Benedict in a while"
    "best Alex Benedict in a while"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This has been my favorite Alex Benedict story since the earlier ones (Seeker, Polaris, etc). Devil's Eye and Echo were much less engaging, so it is great to see McDevitt back to form in this story. Really engaging, lots of ingest, and the characters are well drawn.


    What other book might you compare Firebird to and why?

    This one reminds me of the first Benedict book, A Talent For War


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (1674)
    Performance
    (1489)
    Story
    (1488)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Interesting debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Leviathan Wakes again? Why?

    It was a nice listen. I did like the world that the authors evoked (For those who don't know, James S.A. Corey is a pseudonym for 2 authors), and the characters were decent. I don't know that I really cared deeply about them at the end, but the action is so non stop that you get pulled along regardless.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character is the one who is seen the least amount - Julie


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

    Blockbuster deep space adventure!


    Any additional comments?

    I'll definitely download the sequel when it comes out - I hear it's planned for late spring 2012.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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