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Kenneth

Ken Magerman Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction fan. Teacher, rockstar, medival gourmet, dungeon master, expert on secret Targaryens.

Kalamazoo, MI, United States

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 33 ratings
  • 175 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (3368)
    Performance
    (2511)
    Story
    (2519)

    Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons, the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone his elite forces. In the heat-ravaged south, the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta.

    David says: "This is heaven"
    "The new voice in dark fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Before They Are Hanged again? Why?

    I would. This was a book i had previously read but bought for my brother for Christmas. I got the audio books so that i could refresh myself with the series and discuss. Mr. Pacey's reading is nothing short of exceptional. Several well done voices with excellent emotion and inflection. His Glotka in particular really brings the character to life. Overall the series is a really interesting take on the traditional fantasy in the vein of George RR Martin. This second book focuses on Glotka's quest for truth against forein forces, a heroic journey, a military campaign against barbaric forces, and political intrigue in the capital of the Union. Lots of action and mysteries revealed all with Ambercrombie's trademark wit and visceral telling of grey stories and human characters. Highly recommended for any fans of the genre. Also recommended for fans of war and intrigue. Like Martin, this is fantasy for people who don't read fantasy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Glotka surrounded on all sides by enemies within and without searching for answers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust: Silo Saga, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1105)
    Performance
    (1008)
    Story
    (1018)

    Wool introduced the silo and its inhabitants. Shift told the story of their making. Dust will chronicle their undoing. Welcome to the underground.

    Tango says: "Meanders, then races to a satisfying conclusion"
    "Such an interesting idea. Great series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Dust rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Fairly high. The narration was very good. The story was excellent and very fresh. The end of the world theme has been done to death but Howey really captured a post apocalypse world as well as threat that seems fresh and intriguing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dust?

    The ending. It really tied the action together with the mixture of desperation and hope that kept you rioted through out the series.


    Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just this series and it's quite good.


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

    I think they are making a film of this series. I hope it lives up.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Woundhealer's Story: The First Book of Lost Swords

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Cynthia Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Returning to the milieu of his Swords trilogy, Saberhagen offers a new scenario. The gods have withdrawn from the human world and the 12 Swords of Power they had forged are now scattered, lost and hidden. The weapons are still coveted, though, by men like Baron Amintor, who has lost one kingdom and now sees them as the means to another. No scruples stop him from stealing the sword Woundhealer from the White Temple, where its powers were offered to cure all pilgrims.

    Michael says: "Choose Your Sword, And Step Forward Into Destiny!"
    "I really enjoyed the original series. A step back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was alright, yet definitely lacked the magic of the first series. I think part of the was a huge drop off in talent of the narrator.


    If you’ve listened to books by Fred Saberhagen before, how does this one compare?

    I did not enjoy it as much. The familiar characters were back and that was interesting as well as some new characters mainly the progeny of the originals. The focus on an individual sword was interesting, i suppose i was expecting more the history of the sword which i thought could have been more intriguing.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The original narrator from the trilogy was FAR superior.


    Was Woundhealer's Story worth the listening time?

    It was alright...although it did make me question rather i will buy any of the others in the series. Probably not if they feature the female narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    Its too bad. I really loved the originals but felt this was a step back in both performance and story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Book of Swords

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (88)

    Mark and Ben travel deep into the Blue Temple's hidden horde of treasures in an attempt to recover gold and Swords for Sir Andrew. Gods, demons and human traitors have other plans for the Swords and for the adventurers. When playing the game of the gods no one's survival is secure, even a god's.

    Karen says: "A little disappointed"
    "Again a very fun world, more scattered"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Second Book of Swords to be better than the print version?

    I only read as an audio book, Although i think the simple style lends itself well to that format.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The villains were my favorite part of this story.


    Which character – as performed by Derek Perkins – was your favorite?

    Again all the voice acting was quite well done. Subtle but unique differences between characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this book much like the first was a great story. Modern fantasy has a tendancy to get very complex with hundreds of strange names and places. I found the story to be more like the myths of Greek mythology. I was a bit disappointed in the ending of this one. It fleshed along this great story for the characters then felt like Saberhagen ran out of room and had to quickly tie everything up in 3 chapters. The ending felt very rushed and left me wanting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The First Book of Swords

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (214)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (189)

    For a game, the gods have given the world 12 Swords of Power so that they might be amused as the nations battle for their possession. But Vulcan the Smith has had his own little joke: the Swords can kill the gods themselves. What started out as Divine Jest has become all too serious as the gods fight to recover the Swords, and mortals discover that the mantle of power is more delicious and more terrible than anything they could have imagined.

    Natalie Ryan says: "Stands the test of time"
    "I really enjoyable fresh take fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The First Book of Swords the most enjoyable?

    It wasn't an overly complex story but a good one. The idea of Roman/Greek gods was very interesting and even more compelling once i heard about the prequel series. The idea of the swords them self is very cool and reminiscent of the old Greek myths which i loved.


    What other book might you compare The First Book of Swords to and why?

    I feel like it had a very classic feel. Drawing more from ancient myths then Tolkien or other fantasy godfathers.


    Which character – as performed by Derek Perkins – was your favorite?

    I thought the narration was quite good in general. Variety in characters without being over the top.


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

    The big climax near the end.


    Any additional comments?

    A really enjoyable start to a series. I have since read the others and felt things dropped off a bit...but this novel was a great introduction to an interesting world.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2869)
    Performance
    (2704)
    Story
    (2718)

    Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....

    Ryan says: "It's about time!"
    "A great continuation of a beloved tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition) in three words, what would they be?

    Nostalgia, expansion, performance


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    General Thrawn. He was the new addition to the movies of my youth and he definitely had the same wonderful sense of villainy as Vader and the Emperor. A cold calculating villain who's goals of order gave him a fantastic greyness that lent depth to the story.


    Which character – as performed by Marc Thompson – was your favorite?

    He was fantastic in his imitations of all the characters. I have seldom seen a more complete and amazing voice acting job and I have listened to many.


    Any additional comments?

    I went in with an open mind and I wasn't disappointed. I have heard by many if you are going to read any expanded universe this is the series to do. You also couldnt have ask for a better performance then this one on the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1740)
    Performance
    (1600)
    Story
    (1615)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "A great and fresh take on the Post Apocolyptic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Wool the most enjoyable?

    The story was fresh and interesting. The characters had human emotion depth and flavor. The mystery aspect went along at a great pace and kept you invested right through the end.


    What other book might you compare Wool to and why?

    I can't think of one. In spite of all the post apocolyptic stories on the market this one really seemed to resonate with a freshness.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    That would be a spoiler. In general though the strength and Struggle of Julia's character.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this series. i immeadiately fired through the other 2 books. Of the 2 narrators this was the one I liked the least....but she wasn't bad. Just not as good as the gentleman who did the final 2 books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11348)
    Performance
    (10578)
    Story
    (10586)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "When you glorify the past, the future dries up."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

    I think Cline did a great job of incorporating all the "Nerd cookies" I just think it got to the point where he leaned on it so much that it took away from a chance to write something new of his own. This part was tailor made for Wil Wheaton and he did wonderful with it.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ernest Cline? Why or why not?

    Maybe. I definitely wouldn’t say I was blown away by this book. I enjoyed it. it was fun. It just often felt that for Scifi he was so caught up in the tropes and proving his nerd street cred that he sold what could have been an interesting and fresh Science Fiction world short to squeeze in a few more pop culture references. I just think he could have toned it back a bit and told me more about the world he created and the people in it.


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

    I have not but this one was well done


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

    Yes it was a fairly simple story. This was not James Joyce or anything.


    Any additional comments?

    For my main issue I had plenty of fun listening to the book and found it a worth while experience. Maybe the bad taste I had was because I saw such awesome potential in the concept that i feel fell a bit short.

    1 of 2 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
    (1126)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (912)

    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.

    Lee says: "Big fan of Brent Weeks but..."
    "The narrator is killing this for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Black Prism? What did you like least?

    The story is interesting. The concept of the color related magic is something unique and cool. The world itself is an interesting fantasy construction and Weeks is great at the twist ending.


    What other book might you compare The Black Prism to and why?

    I would say it is more Robert Jordan style fantasy then George RR Martin. So far his other series The Night Angel Trilogy drew me in more. Although I think one of the issues i am having getting hooked is the AWFUL Narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He is killing this for me. He bounces around between various charactures of voices that have much more of a modern feel then a fantasy one. (California Surfer wizard, Forrest Gump, mockery of an effeminate man) He also uses a lot of broken phrasing that makes it seem like he didn’t even read the book before trying to perform it in one take. His standard narration voice has a mocking quality almost like he is making fun of the material while reading it. I twittered Brent Weeks and he said he had nothing to do with the narration choice but that he did weigh in for book 2. Anyone would be an improvement.


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

    Yes I think it would work in film. Although A Night Angel Film would be better. (More dark fast past action)


    Any additional comments?

    Don't make the mistake i did and buy the audiobook. Just buy a paperback or kindle version. I wish i had my $30 back soley because of the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Best Served Cold

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1271)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (897)

    It's springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll, and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests, and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.

    Lore says: "Solid, but not as good as the First Law trilogy."
    "In my opinion the best of Ambercrombie's work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A lost art in the fantasy genre a complete tale in one novel. This story takes place in the same world as the First law series but it is a stand alone tale of revenge. New characters mix with smaller characters from the original series in a expanded role in a very interesting narrative that tells of the lands of Styria. Ambercrombie has a great gift for character development and crafting of high paced action. He is a tier below Martin, and Tolken in the fantasy genre...but I personally would call him my third favorite to read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really enjoy what was done with infamous mercenary Captain Nicimo Cosca. His rougish devil may care additude was a nice charge of pace for the gritty determained Monza.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Carlottis house of pleasure. Cool action scene with lots going on.


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    They changed narrators for just this book and The Heroes. I won't say i was disappointed by the reading. it was fine. It was however inferior to Steven Pacey performance which was exceptional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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