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Rick

Perth, Australia | Member Since 2012

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 130 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Graceling

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Kristin Cashore
    • Narrated By Emma Powell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    In a world where people born with an exceptional skill, known as a Grace, are feared and exploited, Katsa carries the burden of a skill even she despises: the Grace of killing. She lives under the command of her Uncle Randa, King of the Middluns, and is expected to carry out his dirty work, punnishing and torturing anyone who displeases him. Breaking arms and cutting off fingers are her stock-in-trade.

    Moonglotexas says: "Absolutely Mesmerising!"
    "Super heroes in a fantasy setting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Graceling the most enjoyable?

    The reader has a voice that is easy to listen to, and I wouldnt be surprised if she is a voice actor, her characters are that good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Unusual premise - what would a fantasy world with super heroes look like? A bit like X-men in Lord of the Rings perhaps. You never fear for the protagonist in an out and out fight, she's unbeatable. But she is vulnerable in other ways, and her super power - her grace - is not as straight forward as you might think.

    While primarily a fantasy story, there is a romantic story in here, as well as a story of a woman who grows in the telling.


    Any additional comments?

    I found myself listening to the story in bed at night, not just in my car like I usually do with other audio books. Thats usually the sign of a book I'm really enjoying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (626)
    Story
    (619)

    Evil is most assuredly afoot - and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade... and a librarian. These are dark days indeed in Victoria’s England. Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences - the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling - will not allow its agents to investigate. Fearless and exceedingly lovely Eliza D. Braun, however, with her disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest...

    Suzanna says: "Great Steampunk - worth a listen"
    "Young Adult style steampunk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Action aplenty in this story, in fact the protagonists jump from one action scene to another. If you like action with a steampunk flavor then this is the book for you. Maybe. It was written in a way as if contemporary morals were current in Victorian England, which of course they weren't. But if you like your female heroes sexy and pushy, strange steampunk technology, bucketloads of action, and dastardly one dimensional villains, you'll like this book.


    Do you think Phoenix Rising needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    While I mostly enjoyed this book, I don't think I'm the target demographic the author was aimed for. I won't be buying any of the other books in this series. Probably not anyway.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Steam

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (232)

    To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

    Jacobus says: "It is like being bitten by a black ribbon vampire"
    "Steam takes a long time to raise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Raising Steam again? Why?

    The pace of this book was unusual, there were times where I wondered where it was going. However as the book progresses Mr Pratchett draws all the threads together and things begin to make sense. There's not a lot of action until closer to the end, and then there is action in spades.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the politics behind discworld, Vetinari, the dwarves, other factions as they struggle to deal with technological advancements. You need more knowledge of Discworld than this book gives you to appreciate this aspect of the story though. I would say definitely written for Discworld fans rather than someone new to Discworld.


    Any additional comments?

    Probably not Mr Pratchett's best book, but I'm glad I bought it and listened to it. If you're not a discworld fan, or know nothing of discworld, then this isn't the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Quantum Murder: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (462)

    Dr Edward Kitchener, a brilliant researcher into quantum cosmology, lies dead with his lungs spread out on either side of his open chest. Only a mercenary or professional killer could have breached the premier-grade security system - but why would a professional waste time in ritual slaughter? Greg Mandel, psi-boosted ex-private eye, is enticed out of retirement to launch an investigation into a past which - according to Kitchener’s theories - might never have happened.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Excellent sci-fi murder mystery"
    "Near Future Who-Dun-it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to A Quantum Murder again? Why?

    While there were a few minor issues for me, overall I liked this book and I think anyone who enjoyed the first one will like this one, and may even enjoy the slower pace. I like sci-fi and I like who-dun-it stories, and this was a good meld of both genres. It's more of a classic detective story than the first book as well. The characters had individual quirks, were easily distinguished from each other, so no getting them mixed up. There were links back to the first book - although things are explained so you don't actually have to have read/listened to the first book. I was quite sorry when it was over and it was good enough for me to want to listen to the next book in the series.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The reader is brilliant, the characters are brought to life with his vocalisations.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The story pace is slower than the first Greg Mandel book, but it suits the story. There are no wasted scenes (except the end - more on that below) and while some might figure out the villain ahead of time, I did not, which was great for me - I don't like working it out before the protagonist. There are a couple of actions scenes in the last half of the book, including a strange one at the end, which seemed to be thrown in to cater to a more action orientated audience. I didn't think it needed it to be honest, and there were at least two parts to it that made no sense to me and one of them had Greg acting unusually, acting against his nature and not in a good way. It seemed that while most of the book had a "British" detective style, the end scene was definitely "American" detective style (not intended as a slight, only as a style comparison).


    Any additional comments?

    The editing isn't great. There are pauses where there shouldn't be, so where you think there is going to be a scene change or new chapter turns out to be a continuation of the last scene, and at about the 1:16 mark in the second segment the reader asks incredulously what a "mains" (or "manes"?) is which obviously should have been edited out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Rupert Degas
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (316)

    I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

    William says: "Amazing. I want you to listen to this."
    "The Book of Amazing Similies and Metaphors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Name of the Wind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the better books I've listened to, I found myself smiling and at least once feeling sad for the hero.


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

    This is the first time I've listened to the reader, he does an amazing job and really adds to the quality of the experience.


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

    The Chronicles of a Future Killer


    Any additional comments?

    If you want to collect some impressive and vivid similes (and a few metaphors) this is the book to listen to. The author comes up with bucket loads in every paragraph.The story itself reminds me in some ways of Ender's Game or Trader Tales - an extraordinarily talented youngster trying to make his way in the world. In this book he doesn't have it all his own way, and in fact you cringe a few times because you know despite his talent he is still an impulsive young adolescent who will get himself into trouble - and adventure!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bitterblue: Seven Kingdoms Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kristin Cashore
    • Narrated By Emma Powell
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue and her country were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign and to forget every dark event that ever happened.

    Rick says: "Best of the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy"
    "Best of the Seven Kingdoms Trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Bitterblue?

    The plot


    Any additional comments?

    This is easily my favourite of the trilogy. The first was action and a love story, the second was a love story with a bit of action, but this - this is adventure, intrigue, mystery, a love story (lets face it, it wouldn't be Kristen Cashore without a love story), and includes the most realistic response by fictional characters to trauma that I have read. It also has the longest denouement of any book I've ever read, with the story going on long after the climax. Overall the voice acting of the reader was terrific also, adding greatly to the experience. If you liked either of the first two books, you'll love this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fire: Graceling, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Kristin Cashore
    • Narrated By Emma Powell
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    A must-read title for all fans of Patrick Rothfuss and Trudi Canavan, Fire is an exceptional fantasy novel. From the deft characterisation to the gripping story, the fast-paced action to the evocative prose, this is one of the strongest fantasy novels of the year. Set in a world of stunningly beautiful, exceptionally dangerous monsters, Fire is one of the most dangerous monsters of all - a human one. Marked out by her vivid red hair, she's more than attractive. Fire is mesmerising.

    Rick says: "Not as good as the first"
    "Not as good as the first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Set in a different location but same world as Graceling, there is only one character familiar to readers of the first book. The story has a broad romantic streak through it - if you enjoyed the relationship of the protagonists in Graceling you'll enjoy more of the same in Fire. It is still a fantasy novel though, and fantasy themes are fundamental to the story.


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

    Only if they liked Graceling, I didnt find the story as enjoyable as Graceling.


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

    Smooth voice, good pacing, good voice characterisations


    Any additional comments?

    This is a different story to Graceling, so fans of that book may be disappointed. Or like me, it may just grow on you if you give it a go.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Assassin's Quest: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    The gripping finale to Robin Hobb’s classic Farseer trilogy. Keystone. Gate. Crossroads. Catalyst. Fitz is about to discover the truth about the Fool's prophecy. Having been resurrected from his fatal tortures in Regal's dungeons, Fitz has once more foiled Regal's attempts to be rid of him. Now, back in his own body, and after months of rehabilitation, Fitz begins the painful and slow process of learning the ways of a man again.

    Emma says: "Could not stop listening"
    "Good characters, poor reveal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    yes, if he or she were a fan of fantasy


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

    I hate it when you know the plot twists before the protagonist. I was just thinking he must be an idiot if he can't see it.


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

    Distinct, appropriate voices.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I cared about the character, but I was annoyed his development was slow in parts, and that he always reacted emotionally. Considering what he'd been through you'd think he would have got a handle on his emotions and never seemed to develop. He was also thick, you can see plot twists coming a mile away, but the hero never seems to which had me yelling at my car stereo "you idiot!" more than once. But I did like the characters, I liked the overall story and I liked the world building.

    I think if this book had been written today it would be returned to the author for a rewrite. For example detailed supporting characters that you never see again. But in spite of all its flaws, I'm glad I listened to it and there was more to enjoy than to dislike.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Assassin’s Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (108)

    In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chilvary Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways.

    Emma says: "A fantastic listen"
    "A fun fantasy romp, but don't expect too much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Assassin’s Apprentice the most enjoyable?

    Good story, you care about the character


    Any additional comments?

    I did like the story overall, I liked and cared about the character and liked that he wasn't perfect and made mistakes on occasion. While its all very well to find out you're actually a prince (you find this out in the first paragraph, so its not a spoiler) its another to find that being a prince, and especially a bastard prince, is not all its cracked up to be. Everyone wants to use the hero for something, or dislikes him for reasons that have nothing to do with his own actions.

    The narrator's accent on some words jerked me out of the story on occasion. It's also written in the first person, which I don't usually like but as there is a lot of head stuff (both emotional, and magical/mind powers) happening I can see why it was chosen. The style is a bit dated, I think these days it would be edited so it was a tighter story and moved along a little quicker. As it is there are some slow parts that don't need to be slow and just drag the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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