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Mathias

I love to read. I also love to write. I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.

United States

79
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 143 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
14

  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35037)
    Performance
    (26098)
    Story
    (26468)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Definately Should Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Hunger Games in three words, what would they be?

    Very good story


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It has to be Katniss as she is the highlight of the story and everything is seen from her point of view.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Katniss and Peeta join together in their suicide pact at the end of the Hunger Games.


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

    Surprisingly, yes. I felt very deeply connected to Katniss' emotions during the entire story. This is saying a lot as usually, for me, first person naratives are incredibly boring.


    Any additional comments?

    Ok, while the plot is not entirely original and incorporates elements of a lot of previous stories such as Battle Royale, Lord of the Flies and even The Running Man, the way the story was told and the overall plot was refressing. The author does a wonderful job keeping the reader on an emotional roller coaster from from start to finish.The prose is a little simplistic, often too much at times. And it can be a little monotonous. But it only detracts slightly from the story.

    One of the better novels I have read in a long time. Not 5 stars, but definately good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Desert Spear

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (1919)
    Performance
    (1447)
    Story
    (1454)

    The world remains under siege by demonkind stalking the land when the sun goes down. But a new hero has risen from the desert. Claiming to be the mythical Deliverer, Ahmann Jardir now rides alongside the allied desert tribes of Krasia. Jardir and his fellows are on an epic quest to vanquish the demons plaguing the world and bring humanity back from the brink of extinction.

    John says: "Worth My Credit"
    "Good story, but too many characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Desert Spear is a good follow-up to The Warded Man, but it isn't of the same caliber. It is a good story, but it drifts away from the story of Arlen, The Warded Man, and focuses too much on other characters. And too many, if you ask me.

    This is a come fault I find with much that exists in the genre of Fantasy. The story flows, but what made the first book hum along is missing. Leesha, and Rojer and more front and center and the book rewinds and takes us back into the life of Jardir (who is the main character of this tale).

    Everything eventually starts to catch up later on, but it takes a while. The story makes sense, but it doesn't flow well with the first story of the series until later on in the book.

    It's worth a read, and a quality story. But, if you like The Warded Man, and The Warded Man in particular, this story has a different focus, so be ready for that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12270)
    Performance
    (9918)
    Story
    (10030)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Takes a while ... and wanders ... but great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Name of the Wind takes a while to get going. And the beginning of the book has little, if anything, to do with what happens in this first installment of the series. It also tends to wander, or should I say meander through the life of Kvothe as he recalls it for posterity.

    Normally those things combined kill a story, but The Name of the Wind recovers just at the right times as it seems to head off into somewhere where you don't want to follow and brings you back in.

    Of course, being told from the perspective of Kvothe in the future also takes away any sense of fear you might have that any number of bad things which happen to him might mean his demise. So you never really sense that Kvothe is in any real danger.

    But, despite all this, the story is better than good. It's great. Warts and all. You read the story to learn how Kvothe came to be an innkeeper, instead of a man who was once feared. That's what keeps you going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3494)
    Performance
    (1884)
    Story
    (1897)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "Great Prose But Disjointed Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Paolo Bacigalupi's The Alchemist. The story was vibrant and tight. But The Windup Girl was not so much so. The magnificent prose is still there. But the story seems to wander. Everything fits together, but the story is just ... eh.

    There seemed like there were so many substories going on, but nothing that was really a main story arc to grab hold of me and keep it together. I found my mind wandering a lot and then having to rewind when I realized that I hadn't been paying attention for 5 minutes.

    Not bad. Not great. Just average. Unique, but average.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Prism

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Brent Weeks
    • Narrated By Cristofer Jean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (981)
    Performance
    (760)
    Story
    (769)

    Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

    Chad says: "Dude . . ."
    "A Good Story Arc w/ Common Flaws For Epic Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know what it was about The Black Prism, but for me it really didn't have the umph I look for in a story. Plus, I thought the narration was quite subpar. Was it me or did it seem like Gavin had a surfer dude accent that seemed almost just too unbelievable?

    Anyway, I thought that the story, itself, as a whole, had some interesting elements and the magic system was certainly out of the ordinary. I hedge at calling it "unique" because I seem that recall reading stories in the past were light affected the type of magic that was able to be used.

    I was almost ready to give up on the story when the author committed, what I feel, is one of the biggest no-no's in storytelling. That is, without giving to much away, learning that one character is not who he seems to be even though we have been inside his head for so much of the story to that point.

    But I do think the overall story arc of the story is good. It's just the execution that throws me off from what is going on. This is another one of those stories where you have a bunch of POV characters and, by the end of the first book some are just getting fleshed out enough to make them somewhat interesting and make you care about them. Others are just flat though.

    I know, it's a trilogy, but I don't want to be wandering through an entire book wanting to actually care more about the characters and their plight that I am able to. And I know that authors like to give different perspectives on things, thus they throw in a bunch of POV characters, but I tend to like a little more mystery and intrigue and getting to see things through flawed eyes rather than jumping into the head of every character that seems to want to tell their side of the story.

    Sometimes these flaws can be overcome by the second book of the trilogy, and I am sure I will give the series another chance, again simply because I think the overall story arc is good from what has been presented so far.

    I'm not recommending that people don't read it, only saying that there is much to be desired and you have to be willing to accept that going in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prince of Thorns

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (504)
    Performance
    (465)
    Story
    (471)

    Author Mark Lawrence has won over audiences everywhere with Prince of Thorns, his exciting debut novel. Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs. But he’s determined to take back what’s rightfully his, so he returns to the castle a few years later - unaware of the dark and powerful magic that awaits.

    Alynd says: "Could not find anything to like about Jorg"
    "All Grit And Gore, Very Little Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mr. Lawrence can obviously write. The vividness of the battle scenes in Prince of Thorns proves that. They are good. But, the problem is that same talent to write is not translated into other parts of the book. Most importantly, character development and plot. This story is very shallow in those departments. It feels like a draft of a complete novel.

    For me, it was just lazy dark fantasy. A decent listen for sure, but not some elite (or even great) tale. It barely registered as average thanks to Mr. Lawrence's writing of the aforementioned battle scenes.

    But, I stand by my statement that the story itself is lazy. It tries to be grit and gore and no more. Prince Jorg is one dimensional and never developed into the sort of anti-hero that I could root for. The encounters that stand in his way seems like they are only partially serious.

    I suggest it if you like a nice, quick dark fantasy listen/read, but know going in that you are going to get a tale that is about blood and Prince Jorg's quest for vengeance with no meat to the bones.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Ambassador's Mission: Traitor Spy Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Trudi Canavan
    • Narrated By Richard Aspel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (254)

    Sonea, former street urchin, now a Black Magician, is horrified when her son, Lorkin, volunteers to assist Dannyl in his new role as Guild Ambassador to Sachaka, a land still ruled by cruel black magicians. When word comes that Lorkin has gone missing Sonea is desperate to find him, but if she leaves the city she will be exiled forever, and besides, her old friend Cery needs her help.

    breckoz says: "Been a While"
    "Very So-So, Ultimately Mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So, we're back and following the continuing adventures of Sonea in this follow-up to Canavan's Black Magician Trilogy. Got it. But the story seems to rely too much on the previous trilogy. Anyone picking this series up without having read it will probably feel lost about exactly why Sonea is feared as a Black Magician. The reader is simply, bluntly, told that she is feared and distrusted and then thrown right into this new tale.

    The story, as my title for this review states, is pretty much average. It feels, I am sad to say, like the author understood that she had to fill three (sizable) books for this trilogy and took to that task with eagerness. Unfortunately, the story tends to drag because of the vast amounts of stuff (for lack of a better word) included. It's one big pacing fiasco in my opinion.

    The problems really arise from the fact that out of all the POV characters we are treated to (Sonea, her son Lorkin, Ambassador Dannyl, or Cery) none of them have a truly compelling narrative and make a play for the story's lead protagonist. At the same time, this muddles the story's antagonist to the point where, when it ends, leaving us hanging for book two, you really are left wondering who (or what) was the overall force driving the story. There are sub plots galore, and they all seem to be possibly intertwined, but the antagonist is just simply ill-defined.

    I also felt like the story was simply flat from start to finish. There really did not seem to be a true rise in the action towards a climax of any significance. And once we were treated to what I guess was the climax, it was short and almost not even a real test for the character(s) involved.

    I had been prepared, going in, to read the entire trilogy. Now I am not so sure. I will have to let it sit and stew for a little while and ponder if the slowly developing plot is really something I am interested in moving forward.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Warded Man

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2604)
    Performance
    (1953)
    Story
    (1966)

    Peter V. Brett has won accolades from critics, fans and fellow authors alike for this riveting debut novel. The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors. But all is not lost, as some hold out hope that a savior will release humanity from the demons' terrifying reign.

    Meloney says: "Brilliant"
    "Refreshing Little Bit Of Unique Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked The Warded Man. All of the characters were believable and more fleshed out than you sometimes get in novels these days. The reader actually cares about Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer from a very early point in the story.

    The magic system of the world (the use of wards) is also sound and believable, which lends to the strength of the narrative. I’ve read some reviews by people knocking the magic system, but it is obvious that either 1) they did not read far enough into the story to fully understand it or 2) ignored pertinent descriptions as they were given.

    The corelings themselves are also very logically and consistently portrayed, even if they seem just a little too dimwitted at times.

    The downside of the story is that there is no real mystery as to how things will unfold come the end of the story. As a reader, you know where the story is headed by the half-way point (if not sooner). The only thing that is a slight mystery is exactly what steps will get the characters there.

    I think, as far as fantasy goes, The Warded Man is a very good read and worthy of a rating of 3.75 (rounded up to 4 for audible) out of five stars. It’s not quite elite fantasy, but hey, not everything can be. I say it is very much worth your time if you are into fantasy literature. As of right now, the sequels are definitely on my to read list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ironskin

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Tina Connolly
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin. When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a “delicate situation”—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

    Mathias says: "Light Fantasy With A Compelling Story"
    "Light Fantasy With A Compelling Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think that the story in Ironskin is told very well from a writing standpoint. The prose is very tight and conveys character and their emotions very well. Jane as the point of view character is able to portray the world around her well.

    However, while the story is well told, the story itself does suffer at times. It is a very slow developing tale, which is mostly about Jane and her relationship with Dorie and how the two struggle against one another until the end. Jane’s romantic interest in Edward seems borderline shallow, only stemming from the fact that he touched her and that she was starved for someone to make even the most innocuous of contact with her. Since she is fey-cursed, apparently not many people do that. That’s the way I felt anyway.

    I’ve seen this book billed as steampunkish in nature, but there really isn’t much of that element to the story. In fact, the steampunk elements were so far and few between, and so glossed over, that they seemed only put in place to make the claim that it could fit into that genre. The aspects of Fey technology was much more predominant.

    Towards the end is where those who enjoy a little action with their story will be most satisfied. Without saying too much, I’ll just say that the Fey actually start making an appearance (after a very long wait) and there are a couple good action scenes with Jane battling the Fey Queen.

    The story does fall off a cliff at the very end. But, with a 2013 sequel (surprise, surprise) that seems to be the norm for stories these days in an attempt to draw people into the next bit of the story. I would have preferred to have had a little more resolution at the end of Ironskin however.

    Overall, a very nice, light fantasy tale that doesn't cookie cutter a lot of what is out there.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1974)
    Performance
    (1792)
    Story
    (1791)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "A Respectably Light, Paranormal Sci-fi Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Rook? What did you like least?

    I think I liked best that the author did not give us the typical paranormal sci-fi fantasy story where vampires and werewolves command the bulk of the text. Yes, there are vampires. Yes, they are powerful. But they are only a sidebar to the real story being told about Myfanwy Thomas.


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

    I would not have drifted away from Myfanwy's POV randomly like the author did. I think her story was compelling enough to not require it. Also, some of the letters from Myfanwy to herself and designed to impart back story were just droning and seemed out of place if not wholly uncessary. The one concerning the dragon sticks out in my mind as the worst offender of this.Also, while a lot of the abilities the paranormal people had in this book were utterly believable, some of them were just too strange to accept. It made them seem too comical and hard to take seriously as characters who belonged in the story.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The way Susan Duerden ended almost all of the sentences that were not dialogue, with the slightly cadence change to her voice, made a lot of the reading sound like it was being done by Microsoft's Anna voice in a text to speach software. She didn't talk like this in dialogue portions of the narration. Don't ask me why.


    Any additional comments?

    Becasue you have to give round numbers of stars on audbile.com, I gave The Rook 3 out of 5 above, but really it is a 3.5 out of 5 star quality book. It's good but not great. It was definately a change of pace from what I have been reading a lot of lately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heir of Novron: Riyria Revelations, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3733)
    Performance
    (3431)
    Story
    (3452)

    On the holiday of Wintertide, the New Empire plans to burn the Witch of Melengar and force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.

    Ron says: "Spectacular fantasy series"
    "A fitting conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Heir of Novron the most enjoyable?

    The fact that the story continued on without any surprises or unbelievable twists that disrupted what had been previously told in the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Heir of Novron?

    The most memorable moments are when the heroes are facing off agains the gilarabryn while trying to recover the horn and the final battle duel for control of the human and elven realms


    Any additional comments?

    I think Heir of Novron is a fitting conclusion to one of the best fantasy trilogies I have read in a long time. Yes, I still think there were too many different characters used for POV. Yes, I don't think that the "twists" were well disguised and were very predictable. But the fact that it is just a good story over comes these faults.This story is very classical for the genre. I think will be liked by anyone who has a taste for epic high fantasy stories that are fun with lots of action and intrigue.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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