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Ruben

ratings
20
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9906)
    Performance
    (8977)
    Story
    (9053)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "This Boring Book Never Gets Going"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There is nothing that could save this book. It was just so uninteresting. It starts off with a contrived plot device of memory loss to keep the suspense. It includes long passages of descriptions of art and literature and locales that may be interesting in another context but not in the context of a supposed mystery book. The author resorts to other gimmicks to keep the "suspense" going (which I won't spoil in case you want to waste a credit on this one). To say that the characters are one dimensional would be charitable. I made myself finish this book, and doing so took me over a month I was so uninterested in getting back to listening.


    Has Inferno turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. It has turned me off of books by this author.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Paul Michael?

    Yes. He is a good narrator and did the best he could with really poor material.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope Dan Brown can figure out how to write again. Some of his other books were decent, but this just didn't rise to the level of decent fiction.

    0 of 0 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
    (8961)
    Performance
    (3193)
    Story
    (3271)

    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.

    Frank says: "Not his best"
    "Boring, pretentious, and tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing can save this weak attempt at historical fiction.


    What could Dan Brown have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He could have made it half as long.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Lost Symbol?

    The first third and the last third of the book could be shortened tremendously.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fifth Assassin

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (653)
    Performance
    (548)
    Story
    (548)

    From John Wilkes Booth to Lee Harvey Oswald, there have been more than two dozen assassination attempts on the President of the United States. Four have been successful. But now, Beecher White - the hero of the number one New York Times best seller The Inner Circle - discovers a killer in Washington, D.C. who's meticulously re-creating the crimes of these four men. Historians have branded them as four lone wolves. But what if they were wrong?

    Janice says: "I had to stop listening a little bit into the book"
    "Disjointed Story Melodramatically Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The plot and writing of it could have been less disjointed and more cohesive. The narration could have been less melodramatic. Additionally, the historical connections could have been more succinctly and clearly presented toward the beginning of the novel to provide a better framework for the storyline.


    What was most disappointing about Brad Meltzer’s story?

    The story jumped around too much without sufficient connection or explanation.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Normally, I like Scott Brick, but in this book, he over-dramatized the characters from the beginning. Maybe it was the writing, but compared to his other great narrations (Robert Littel's "The Company" for example), Brick's narration of this book falls flat. It is like he's reading every sentence as if it were the climax of the story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Fifth Assassin?

    I don't know that I would cut the scenes so much as rearrange them for better continuity. There are a lot of flashbacks.


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Coup d'Etat: Dewey Andreas, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Ben Coes
    • Narrated By David de Vries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (955)
    Performance
    (835)
    Story
    (825)

    When a fragile peace breaks down and promptly devolves into a rapidly escalating shooting war between Pakistan and India, the U.S. must intervene. With only hours remaining before the conflict reaches a deadly point of no return, the White House must find a way to shut it down immediately or risk the likelihood of a new global war. A radical cleric has become the democratically elected president of Pakistan and uses a brutal incident in the Kashmir region as an opportunity to ignite war with India. The highly lethal conventional war spins out of control when Pakistan initiates a nuclear attack.

    Susan says: "Dewey Andreas Saves the Day ... Again!"
    "Excellent narrator and compelling story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Coup d'Etat the most enjoyable?

    The story is thought provoking while a bit implausible. If you like the genre, this is definitely a quality book worth spending time with.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Coup d'Etat?

    The final "shoot-out" ... I won't say more as to ruin the story.


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

    The narrator handled the multiple accents and characters perfectly. Not melodramatic and not monotone. In fact, I was worried that a different author for the second book in the series would ruin things, but the opposite is true. David de Vries puts Peter Herman to shame. I will be looking for more books narrated by David de Vries.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Parts of this book are just not plausible, but in some ways it's like science fiction. You suspend your belief a bit and go with it. On the other hand, some of it is just plausible enough to make you worry about nuclear weapons in the hands of Pakistan.

    The writing reads well, and while not perfect, the story pulls you in with enough unpredictability to keep the suspense and interest until the very end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruins: Pathfinder, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1436)
    Performance
    (1275)
    Story
    (1296)

    When Rigg and his friends crossed the Wall between the only world they knew and a world they could not imagine, he hoped he was leading them to safety. But the dangers in this new wallfold are more difficult to see. Rigg, Umbo, and Param know that they cannot trust the expendable, Vadesh - a machine shaped like a human, created to deceive - but they are no longer certain that they can even trust one another. But they will have little choice. Because although Rigg can decipher the paths of the past, he can’t yet see the horror that lies ahead: A destructive force with deadly intentions is hurtling toward Garden.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Story Stretching 101"
    "Not OSC's best; mostly engaging with a weak ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ruins to be better than the print version?

    Yes. The multiple narrators of this quality increase the enjoyment of the work.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was weak and unsatisfying. I think this reflects an overall superficiality in some parts of the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    OSC's nack for capturing key emotions remains in tact. A few scenes really grabbed me, but compared with Speaker for the Dead or even a few of the Ender Series, this is weak.


    Any additional comments?

    When compared with, for example, the depth of thought and development that occurred in the Ender Series sequels, this book is superficial. It's almost like he outlined the series with some great ideas, but for some reason (probably the press of having to publish), he can't develop the details to the extent he did in earlier series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Option: Mitch Rapp Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Vince Flynn
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2137)
    Performance
    (1767)
    Story
    (1752)

    CIA counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp falls prey to government forces with an agenda of their own after Dr. Irene Kennedy is named the successor to dying CIA Director Thomas Stansfield—a choice that enrages many inside the world’s most powerful intelligence agency. Her detractors will resort to extreme measures to prevent her from taking the reins—which makes Rapp an expendable asset. But Mitch Rapp is no one’s pawn, and he will stop at nothing to find out who has set him up.

    William says: "A great novel nearly ruined by the reader."
    "Very Poor Narrator, but the Story was Decent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I wish the motives of the


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nick Sullivan?

    Anyone else. He has a really amateurish style and is quite stilted at times.


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

    Maybe


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Shadows in Flight

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card, Scott Brick, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1553)
    Performance
    (1399)
    Story
    (1411)

    At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children--the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten - a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

    Brittani says: "Great Build Up, and then Just Ends"
    "Half of a Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Orson Scott Card and/or the narrators?

    Yes


    What was most disappointing about Orson Scott Card’s story?

    It was too short. The story ending is weak, as if it was rushed to meet deadlines or make money.


    Any additional comments?

    Card should have waited until he had a completed story to publish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Outlaws

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (485)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (302)

    Charlie Castillo's secret unit has been disbanded - but that doesn't mean he's out of business. As experience has painfully shown him, there are many things the intelligence community can't do, won't do, or doesn't do well, and he has the men and assets to help set things straight.

    Mondobelly says: "Disappointing re-write of character history"
    "Good Narrator, but Juvenile, Poorly Written Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The complaints about the narrator are unfounded. He does a good to great job with a story and writing that are both really poor in comparison to the author's other works. The characters in this series are even more cartoon-like than the author's other books, but this installment is probably the worst. Ever since Charlie had a child from a one night stand with classmate's fiance, and then fell in love with the Russian defector, things seem to have gone on to be just plain silly. There is a ton of re-hashing the previous plots, and I can't count how many times the characters make obscene gestures at one another. If you keep your plot and writing expectations low, the narration of this book is good enough to provide a pleasant listen.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22065)
    Performance
    (13488)
    Story
    (13627)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Captivating Science Fiction"
    Overall

    I was extremely skeptical of this book going into it. A sci-fi book about a child ... but the author constructs a fictional universe that is just plausible enough to draw you in. Then, he paints vivid pictures while providing a compelling and engrossing plot. The story is key here, and it differs from the books that follow in as they tend to focus more on ideas. But nonetheless, you cannot help but get drawn into the author's world and then thirst for more chapters of this interesting and thought-provoking tale.

    The publisher uses multiple narrators. At first, I found this disconcerting, but ultimately, the different voices add to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mayday

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille, Thomas Block
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (861)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (346)

    Twelve miles above the Pacific Ocean, a missile strikes a jumbo passenger jet and leaves the flight crew either crippled or dead. This is the story of how three survivors must achieve the impossible and land the plane. Master storyteller Nelson DeMille and veteran pilot Thomas Block collaborated on Mayday, the most terrifyingly realistic air disaster thriller of all time. Also available abridged.

    Douglas says: "Great adventure! Hard to put down."
    "Narrator stinks, but the story holds interest"
    Overall

    I liked the story, but the narration ruined the book for me. The premise of the story--high altitude de-pressurization--seems plausible. The story develops at a good pace. The "bad guys" are a bit of a cliche and their characterization is formulaic. Ultimately, with regard to the story, the good outweighs the bad. Unfortunately, same cannot be said of the narration. The narrator was extremely stiff and stilted. He raises monotone to an art form. If the narration had not been so bad, I would have given this book a 4, but instead--because of the narrator--this book gets a 2.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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