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Stephen

Saint Louis, Virgin Islands (U.S.) | Member Since 2009

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 301 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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  • Codex

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (104)

    About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons.

    Diane says: "Mind Games"
    "Underwhelming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really, no. By the end of book I was more annoyed than anything.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Lev Grossman again?

    The Magicians and The Magician King are both enjoyable and I'm interested in the continuation of that series.


    What three words best describe Jeff Harding’s voice?

    Not a fan.He does female voices well but he has an odd way of finishing sentences that started to grate on me after awhile.


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

    No. There is not enough here to justify a sequel.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed The Magicians and The Magician King so I figured I would check out this one. It's got an interesting premise and, given the tone of the other two books, I expected something similar with this. I was disappointed. I'd almost say the synopsis is misleading. The game, while taking up a good portion of the narrative, isn't all that important to the plot. By the end, the game is really superfluous to the overall story arc. And there are a few tense moments where you're expecting something to happen and nothing actually does. He builds a lot of moments that should have some kind of thrilling ending but they never materialize. The two man characters sneaking around in the dark, tension builds and then... nothing. They walk away with nothing at all happening. Once or twice that's okay but he does that in just about every instance. The other shoe that's waiting to drop does not only never drop, it doesn't even exist. No more is this apparent than in the ending. It's completely anti-climatic. All the energy put in to the game story arc has no bearing on the conclusion, the codex itself is nothing what you expect and it all boils down to family politics. If you're thinking of getting this book for some sort of supernatural thriller, don't waste your time. It's not a supernatural thriller and it's certainly not fantasy. Not in any sense. At best it's an uninspired novel of the garden variety fiction novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cassandra Project

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt, Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Brian Holsopple
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (140)

    Early in his career, Jerry Culpepper could never have been accused of being idealistic. Doing public relations—even for politicians—was strictly business...until he was hired as NASA’s public affairs director and discovered a client he could believe in. Proud of the agency’s history and sure of its destiny, he was thrilled to be a part of its future—a bright era of far-reaching space exploration.

    Matthew says: "A lunar winner!"
    "A let down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Cassandra Project? What did you like least?

    The premise of the book was interesting. The thing I like least was the execution. The ending was very underwhelming.


    If you’ve listened to books by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick before, how does this one compare?

    I read a lot of older Jack McDevitt but this is my first audio book of his. I've never read any of Resnick's work (or listened). I would consider this one not McDevitt's best work. It had an interesting story but there were several times during the story where I was wishing they would just spit it out. It dragged on for what seemed like forever, just to get to a lackluster conclusion.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Brian Holsopple?

    James Marsters. He's probably my favorite narrator.


    Was The Cassandra Project worth the listening time?

    I'd have to say no. I might end up returning this one. I'd added it to my wish list a long time ago and kept passing it over in favor of other things until I recently made the commitment to clear out all the stuff that's accumulated there. Now I wish I'd kept passing it over. It's an entirely forgettable read and the authors took the easy way out.


    Any additional comments?

    This could have been a much more interesting book but instead you're left with a very long build-up and very little satisfaction at the end. And the narrator, Brian Holsopple, made everyone sound like a grandfather or grandmother. Everyone in the book sounded 65 or above. I thought the book was filled with octogenarians. Granted, there were a decent amount of old people that had small roles in the story, but old should not be the default for everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4169)
    Performance
    (3966)
    Story
    (3947)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Worth the wait"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    Butcher tells a great story. This is a bit of a throw back to earlier Dresden novels where it has the feel of when he was still doing wizard detective work. And the narration by James Marsters is, as always, excellent.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Butcher has created a great world that is filled with intelligent and believable characters. You want the books to keep going just so you can find out what's around the next corner.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Atrocity Archives: A Laundry Files Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Charles Stross
    • Narrated By Gideon Emery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (594)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (475)

    Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

    Ethan M. says: "A great techno-spy-Lovecraftian-horror-comedy"
    "Confusing, Disappointing, and Misleading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Atrocity Archives? What did you like least?

    The long, incredibly technical explanations for the phenomena and science utilized in the book. The author sometimes goes on for what seems like two to three paragraphs about things that make no sense and little or no effort is made to explain or include the reader in to the physics of this universe. Late in a series I could forgive this, but as the opener, it's a poor choice. Also, the book is written in present tense, which I find an unusual narrative choice. I got used to it, but it was a little jarring at first.


    Would you recommend The Atrocity Archives to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably not, for reasons mentioned above. The "magic" in this book is incredibly hard to make sense of and the author either designed it that way or assumed readers would already know what he was talking about.


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

    I did enjoy the narrator. Especially when handling the love interest's Scottish accents.


    Any additional comments?

    I normally don't use a credit on a book less than 10 hours and I thought I was in the clear on this one. However, the book wrapped up at just over 8 hours and what follows is a nearly 2 hour preview of the next book. I felt a little bit cheated.

    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
    (3479)
    Performance
    (1872)
    Story
    (1885)

    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."
    "I wanted to lik it more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I don't think so. To me, the book never seemed to really take off. I think I was expecting something bigger in scope than what I got, but instead I spent the whole novel inside the petty politics of one claustrophobic and drowning city with only hints of the bigger world outside. To be honest, I was bored most of the time. Individual characters showed hints of being truly interesting, but they got lost in the larger narrative.


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

    It can be summed up in one word: meh. As with the book as a whole, the ending hints at bigger things, but fails to deliver.


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

    I'm not sure if I have or not, but he did a good job.


    Did The Windup Girl inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to feel slightly annoyed at the friend who told me to get it because I would love it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2109)
    Performance
    (719)
    Story
    (726)

    Former naval doctor Peter Crane is summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to help diagnose a bizarre medical condition. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies far below on "Deep Storm", a stunningly advanced science-research facility built two miles beneath the surface on the ocean floor. The top-secret structure has been designed for one purpose: to excavate a recently discovered undersea site that may hold the answers to an ancient mystery.

    Tom says: "Must Read"
    "A letdown."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. At the end of the book I felt completely underwhelmed.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm currently downloading The Daedalus Incident. I have no idea why this is relevant to this review???


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Scott Brick?

    I wouldn't not listen to it, but I wouldn't seek out his books just to hear him.


    Do you think Deep Storm needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Based on how it finished, no. The book seemed completely pointless by the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revelation Space

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1562)
    Performance
    (1088)
    Story
    (1093)

    Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.

    Eoin says: "Defeated"
    "Good but flawed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Revelation Space? What did you like least?

    The book sets up some very interesting premises. I'm curious to see how it all wraps up.

    That said, the book moves painfully slow, at times. I wouldn't say any of it was superfluous, everything seemed to have a reason, but there was a lot of time spent with not much happening.

    And I agree with previous reviewers that the editing makes it a very hard listen. A lot of times I can multi-task when listening to an audiobook but not much with this one. Even walking to and from work could be a challenge as I had to pay close attention to scene changes or I'd miss them. There literally is no pause between segments.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The explanation for the state of the galaxy was an intriguing one and something I'd not heard before.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    More distinction between character voices. Everyone has almost the same accent. Couple that in with the lousy editing job and you've got a recipe for confusion. Normally I love John Lee's narration but this was not his best work.


    Do you think Revelation Space needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Pretty sure it has one.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Daylight War: The Demon Cycle, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (1315)
    Performance
    (1207)
    Story
    (1215)

    In this heart-stopping installment of the Demon Cycle, humanity continues to struggle against the demon plague - even as survivors hold out hope that the Deliverer will save them all. On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men, both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

    Joe says: "Can't Believe Audible Didn't Announce The Release."
    "Excellent Installment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Daylight War in three words, what would they be?

    Worth the wait.

    I've been eagerly anticipating this novel since I finished the Desert Spear. This kind of agony is why I try not to start a series until it's completed but sometimes that can't be helped.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How Brett is able to keep the story going. The series has a pretty big cast of characters and it can be difficult to keep all of them straight, but he's doing a good job.


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

    I haven't.


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

    The ending gave me an extreme reaction. I raged, but for good reasons. No spoilers, but when you get to the end, remind yourself that this is only book 3 of 5. And try not to count the days until you have #4 in hand.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely one of the more exciting and interesting fantasy series running.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9581)
    Performance
    (5255)
    Story
    (5330)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Enjoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    As an intro to sci-fi no. While it's got a lot of good elements, it moves a bit slowly. But if they were already familiar with the genre but hadn't yet come across this one, I would recommend it just because it's considered such a classic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Honestly, I wouldn't say I had a favorite character.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by the narrators?

    The main narrator, yes. The man who did the voice of Baron Harkonen, no.


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

    No, it's a bit dry for that.


    Any additional comments?

    The multiple narrators was not used to full effect in this audio version. I never could figure out any pattern of when they brought in the cast to do the voices and when they allowed the main narrator to read all parts. There were times when I thought it would have been better to bring in the full cast to better capture the mood but they didn't, and then in shorter exchanges between multiple characters, they do allow the rest of the cast. And the characterization differences between the main narrator and the cast are wildly different and can be a bit jarring at times. Especially when they switch back and forth in the same scene. I wish it had been more consistent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tricked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5724)
    Performance
    (5285)
    Story
    (5278)

    Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert. But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shape-shifters called skinwalkers.

    Nicholas says: "Hooked in an Instant"
    "Entertaining but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, if they were looking for something to hold them over until the next Dresden book.


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

    To my untrained ear he pulls off the accents rather well.


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

    Perhaps.


    Any additional comments?

    The Iron Druid Chronicles are a fairly decent series of books. They're light-hearted and the author doesn't take the subject matter too seriously. However, it's obvious that Oberon, Atticus' hound is morphing in to a Jar Jar Binks-type character. Mr. Hearne seems to have him say something every time he wants to go for a laugh and it starting to seem too convenient. There are just times when I wish for the depth of story and emotion that I get in the Dresden Files. Each time I've come up to the climax in the stories it's almost completely unexpected. I keep expecting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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