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Eric

Haidari, Greece

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 85 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3140)
    Performance
    (1193)
    Story
    (1208)

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "Excellent post-cyberpunk tale."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Diamond Age is an exceptional book. In many ways it has the tropes of steampunk but set in a post cyber locale. As usual, Stephenson does an excellent job in weaving a rich, realistic tapestry of story-arcs that come together in a wonderful manner. I found myself looking to want to explore more and more of this wonderful world's hidden recesses: A sure sign that the world-building exercise has succeeded. The character of the Judge -set to the literary tone of the legendary Judge Dee and his tales of Confucian China - particularly caught me. I also found myself looking to learn more about the Neo-Victorians and their philosophy. As I said, world-building and odd elements come together in a wonderful manner. The overall story is entertaining while keeping an intellectual underpining that keeps it from going off on a purely cyber-opera manner. Good stuff. My only critique, one that I'd lay on Stephenson in general, is that the end game pacing and conclusion doesn't rank as highly as the beginning and pace of the book. His writing seems a bit winded towards the end. As if he's run out of steam (Ha!). Still, I lay this as a criticism only relatively to the rest of the novel: If you enjoy a good, fast-paced cyber tale full of ideas and richness of characters you can't go wrong with the Diamond age. Finally, a great big book: I like my audiobooks large so this will keep you company for a few car-rides at least. A great read/listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1263)
    Performance
    (1129)
    Story
    (1133)

    The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

    Adnan says: "An engrossing yet demanding high epic"
    "Epic Fantasy. Good but a shade eclectic."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Gardens of the Moon the most enjoyable?

    Full prose, depth of characters, huge ensemble, high politics and motivations, ambiguity in characterizations . These are all elements that are positive and welcome in this book. My only qualm is the sheer denseness of the material. I listen while driving and in all probability this has been the book I've had to go back a minute or two the most in my history as a listener. As other reviewers have pointed out, you *need* to concentrate.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Cropper. By far the most entertaining. He's a reader favourite on par with Tyrion Lannister in George R.R. Martin's epic.


    What about Ralph Lister’s performance did you like?

    Good accents, tries his best to differentiate which is extremely demanding. A difficult to transfer to audio book. There is a section half-way within the book where a character - a powerful demon named 'Pearl'- appears. Ralph Lister's approach there made the scene shine.


    Any additional comments?

    A large book, which is a positive trait in my personal fantasy listens. I suspect I use these books not unlike others find daytime TV entertaining. However be forewarned, this is the first of 10 books. The good news is that the series is complete. The bad news is that only the first one is available, so far, from audible.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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