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M. Pannenberg

Fan of the Amazon

Fremont, CA | Member Since 2009

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 272 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
1

  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5532)
    Performance
    (5096)
    Story
    (5092)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    AudioAddict says: "And I didn't think I liked fantasies..."
    "Very entertaining fantasy that draws you in."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found myself buying the entire series halfway through the 1st book and putting the other works in that universe on my wishlist. As of writing this review, I've almost finished the 3rd volume of Revelations and am still thoroughly enjoying it!

    The entire cast is interesting and all characters have their own believable motivations. The story does not rely on typical fantasy staples to be interesting. Yes, there are dwarves (well, really there's one dwarf) and elves and magic, but they never feel like gimmicks.

    The only thing I found a bit odd, was the suspense curve during the 3rd book. There is a definitive climax in the story and then the book just goes on, building up for another story line, that was previously merely hinted at. Repeated and ominous as those hints might have been. This creates a bit of a lull, until the party gets going again.

    Overall, I would recommend this series to anyone who has enjoyed Eddings or Brooks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (921)
    Performance
    (686)
    Story
    (688)

    "I'm Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player in a interstellar chess match to save humanity. Seventeen years old. Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don't know my tale: I'm going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope."

    David says: "A fun listen, and some new information, but..."
    "First Scalzi book I regret buying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A new story.


    What was most disappointing about John Scalzi’s story?

    Having listened to Lost Colony, I know the story already and now that I'm 4 hours into Zoe's Tale (almost half-way), I haven't heard anything new. Even the dialogues are familiar.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The universe is good and the characters interesting. Would love to read more but really need new content


    Any additional comments?

    I am having a hard time not viewing this book as a cheap cash-in. Together with the very audible-subscriber-unfriendly episode releases of the B-Team, it seems the author has moved on from producing very entertaining novels - and I've enjoyed them all - to finding the best dollar/effort ratio. Too bad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dreadnaught: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3124)
    Performance
    (2531)
    Story
    (2539)

    The first book of best-selling sci-fi author Jack Campbell’s new series Beyond the Frontier returns to find Captain John “Black Jack" Geary, the hero of the Lost Fleet series, awoken from cryogenic sleep to take command of the fleet. Geary’s legendary exploits have earned him the adoration of the people—and the enmity of politicians convinced that a living hero can be a very inconvenient thing.

    Jean says: "A welcome new series"
    "I see no reason for the hype"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Dreadnaught better?

    The story is week, and the characters one-dimensional and trite. The first contact situation is confusing and not very engaging.


    What could Jack Campbell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I think I'm not mr. Campbell's target audience. This book might interest enthusiasts of militaristic scifi, but I feel the characters are shallow and petty, which is in stark contrast to the overdone theme of honor and duty. The syndics are vilified in a manner reminiscent of the depiction of mid-20th century Hollywood Germans or modern day Islamists, without exploring the cultural differences or going into reasons for the previous war.
    The aliens are mysterious without being interesting. The entire story could have been told against a backdrop of the age of sail and the discovery of the new world.
    Tedious and repetitive internal monologues stating the obvious.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Did what could be done.


    What character would you cut from Dreadnaught?

    The captain of Dauntless


    Any additional comments?

    In a way Destroyermen is a very similar story, but it managed to engage me on a much deeper level. I actually like the characters!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Swarm: Star Force, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3806)
    Performance
    (3487)
    Story
    (3495)

    Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.

    Lamonica Johnson says: "If Micheal Bay Wrote a Sci-Fi Novel..."
    "Unbelievable characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    In my opinion, this is easy listening SciFi. Entertaining if you don't want to invest too much effort.


    Would you ever listen to anything by B. V. Larson again?

    Not sure.


    Any additional comments?

    The main character is a computer science major, but his conversations with the machine is just aggravatingly illogical. Also, he takes charge of the whole army of super soldiers, without any military training or background, continues to lose most of his men because he's being an idiot and then doesn't even seem to feel responsible. I profoundly disliked the main character. Lost his family in the first chapter, but that doesn't really seem to faze him much only a few pages on.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1905)
    Performance
    (841)
    Story
    (845)

    An explosive new science fiction series by New York Times best-selling author Kevin J. Anderson, Hidden Empire is the first volume in The Saga of the Seven Suns, modeled after the Star Wars and X-Files universes. Anderson has become the foremost science fiction writer of the century, bringing to life vivid characters and worlds that delight his fans across the galaxy.

    A User says: "Great Listen"
    "Not suitable for SciFi connoisseurs"
    Overall

    I am now on book 6 and nearing the end of this saga. It's not terrible and I am curious about the ending. However, there are some major flaws that prevent me from recommending this series to anyone who enjoys serious SciFi. First and foremost: The characters are caricatures. Their actions are completely over the top and their motives simply not believable. Spoiler Alert:
    **** A character confesses to killing an innocent space pilot, which in turn sparks off a conflict leading to all-out war. He is sentenced to death only to be yanked back from the airlock at the last second: "Haha, just joking! Thanks for owning up to destroying thousands of lives. You're a right ol' chap and more than welcome to date my daughter..." ****
    Err, say what now? The depiction of robots, "Elemental beings", etc. are equally laughable

    You can undoubtedly find some enjoyment in listening to this story, but don't expect a great space opera or literary master piece. I wouldn't buy it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9251)
    Performance
    (3457)
    Story
    (3539)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Paul says: "In love with books again"
    "Nothing special"
    Overall

    After being riveted by the other Langdon novels, I was looking forward to listening to this new tale. Unfortunately, the story is predictable and the underlying conspiracy all but meaningless. The most annoying thing about the book, is its prattle about this pseudo science of Noetics. It will change the world... sure, by ignoring the laws of thermodynamics. Repetition is overused and the protagonists come across a bit 'slow' sometimes, only to jump to a remarkable conclusion the next moment.
    I found myself siding with the 'bad guy' (who himself was a major disappointment in the end), just to see if anything interesting might happen, were his plans to come to full fruition.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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