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Phillip

Virginia Beach, VA, United States | Member Since 2009

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 18 ratings
  • 479 titles in library
  • 87 purchased in 2014
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  • The Burning Bridge: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By John Keating
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (464)

    Will, a promising Ranger apprentice, will need every ounce of his courage to thwart the evil lord Morgarath. With the help of his Battleschool friend, Horace, he pursues a desperate plan to save the Kingdom of Araluen.

    Emily says: "Sequel even better than the FIrst Installment"
    "Implausible plot and characters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Flanagan and/or John Keating?

    Maybe.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Father and I were Ranchers.


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

    Excellent accent and narrative style that captures the emotions and intensity of the plot.


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

    Rewrite burning bridge scene and change who is sent to carry the message.


    Any additional comments?

    Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1, is 5 Stars and compelling even if the ending is a little weak.
    Book 2 has implausible character behavior. It's as if Flanagan wanted a boy ranger and princess to be captured but didn't think out the plot sequence especially at the crucial turning points.
    A apprentice knight of proven courage fails to take the risk crossing a bridge.. A ranger skilled in wood's lore, tries to relight a fire from scratch rather than just grabbing a burning brand.

    The characters behavior is inconsistent with that of book 1.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Terms of Enlistment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (930)
    Performance
    (860)
    Story
    (860)

    The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

    DAVE says: "Solid military sci-fi."
    "Great Characters; good plot."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author does a flip-flop between the 1st and 2nd book. In the first the main character has no sympathy for the semi-criminal leeches in the projects from which he hails. Like many who leave their ghetto crime ridden neighborhoods, he is looking for a way out. He succeeds and uses imagination and breaking convention to make opportunities for himself.

    In the second, he becomes sympathetic to murders who unaccountably got and used military grade weaponry to kill his team mates in the first book. How they got this equipment, the author never explores. It would have make a good plot and setting development, but somehow people who can't buy meat, food, or clothing can get their hands on high power machine guns. Even the belt-feed tripod mounted WW-II 50 calibre machine guns are not readily available today. Yet somehow, the hoods have no just 1 but several such weapons. The hereo's company can beat the tar out of other professional soldiers but can't beat civilians. The super-advanced tracking and target recognition equipment is somehow inadequate on the home turf where the government no doubt has had years to plant stealth monitoring equipment. So, the first book has plot holes. But it's a fun light read. The second book characterization holes make it less so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lines of Departure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (585)
    Story
    (582)

    Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the solar system.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "MUCH BETTER than the first book"
    "Cliched setting & plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A Closed minded & incompetent military is so overused as to be unimaginative but also unrealistic. The U.S. military officers I've known were skilled, thoughtful, and good leaders. Marko Kloos would have done better to look to the failures of history when setting his plot. Political deadlock (recent history and pre-civil war) and reduced military spending (post WW-I and post Bush I era) would make a better setting. The appointment of an ambitious Defense Secretary who distorts forecasts to meet political directions could have been the last piece of the puzzle.

    The solution to the Alien invasion was also far fetched (or at least poorly handled). Remote guidance of a projectile across light years of space would be a DIFFICULT shot. The original moon launch found a challenging indeed. While guidance systems continually improve, range limits increase not disappear. Solving this problem could have made the ending interesting and less simplistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon's Path: Dagger and Coin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (966)
    Performance
    (868)
    Story
    (874)

    Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.

    Kristin says: "Epic Fantasy and Something Else"
    "Epic Fantasy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike Tolkien, the author writes only the style of Tom Clancy were narrative breaks across the actions of disparate groups. Unlike Tolkien or Clancy, the story line is clearly held together by a clear plot line or narrative thread. It's more like Dune, multiple parties doing totally unrelated things that eventually are effect the total story line. OK in print, no fun in audio where you can't go back to pick up the story line. In reality based epics such are WW-II or the invasion of Rome by the Visigoths, the reader (or listener) has an intuitive understanding of the events, geography, and people. Tolkien was a master in that he achieved this intuitive grasp of the story and worldscape

    A disparate story line is appropriate in historical fiction. But with fantasy, the author must exert greater literary skill to link the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fireblood: Whispers from Mirrowen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeff Wheeler
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (209)

    In a world beset by plagues, Tyrus of Kenatos has made it his life’s work to end the devastation. Yet when he first ventures into the Scourgelands to uncover the secret of the plagues’ origin, he barely makes it out alive after being ambushed by a mysterious, unseen enemy. Tyrus knows the plagues will rise again - more powerful than ever before - and he is determined to complete his mission. To aid in his new quest, he summons his nephew Annon and his niece Hettie - both of whom possess an innate magic called the fireblood - and a pack of unlikely allies.

    Phillip says: "Slow start, mediocre characters, + cliff hanger."
    "Slow start, mediocre characters, + cliff hanger."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It takes a good while for the story to get going. The author could have developed the characters more given the length of the story. That said, the author did create interesting settings and a good plot. The book would have benefited however from tightening up some of the overview descriptions and incorporating events from the characters' histories and memories. While wheeler is better than most at shifting between plot lines of the disparate groups and individuals, I'm tired of authors using a cliff hanger to get you to buy the next book. I'd rather buy a book in a series because I have come to like the characters and story line.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (4263)
    Performance
    (3184)
    Story
    (3195)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Steven says: "Steven Pacey is magnificient."
    "Uninspiring characters and grating settings."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A jaded view of people and the world set to fantasy. Perhaps, the author will pull a rose out of it in the end, he certainly spreads enough fertilizer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5858)
    Performance
    (5020)
    Story
    (5013)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Warning: Different Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The setting and plot deviate from the rest of the series. With the new narrator, Dresden seems like a completely different character. John Glover can not capture the emotions or attitudes of Harry Dresden. The story and Dresden do not resonate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5648)
    Performance
    (4343)
    Story
    (4337)

    When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation, unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

    A User says: "I wish it was about 20 hours longer"
    "Irrational & Not Credible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dresden in the earlier books uses simple spells to track individuals and find lost items. Yet in book 7, he fails to consider anyone applying the same trick to him. Rather than using his friends, the Alphas or the Knights, to protect the medical examiner. He keeps him near himself. Why doesn't he use his "Sight" more? Or keep his dog "Mouse" with him to sense traps or ambushes? It's as if he has begun to trust in luck. As a result, he is manipulated throughout.

    Throughout the book he is committed to giving the most dangerous magic book collection of all time to one of the worst baddies... Surely Murphy wouldn't approve. Why not consider an alternate solution? Finally, the incapacitation of the wardens so that Dresden must be the one to take on the Necromancer gang is a stretch. Fantasy is great. But it's better when the characters ring true.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Pigs

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Lindsey Davis
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (142)

    One fine day, A.D. 70, Sosia Camillina quite literally runs into Marcus Didius Falco on the steps of the Forum. It seems Sosia is on the run from a couple of street toughs, and after a quick and dirty rescue, P.I. Falco wants to know why.

    Matthew R. Fomby says: "Wonderful adventure..."
    "The best of the Falco stories."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Silver Pigs again? Why?

    Yes, Marcus Didius Falco comes across as a real person whom one would like and respect. The deception is unraveled in a practical yet piecemeal fashion.


    Any additional comments?

    Falco in the later books becomes more cynical (and less effective). The early books are the best.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Half Moon Investigations

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Eoin Colfer
    • Narrated By Sean Patrick Reilly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (243)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Fletcher Moon has never been like other kids. For one thing, he has had to suffer the humiliating nickname "Half Moon" because of his short stature. But the real reason Fletcher is different is that ever since he was a baby, he's had a nose for sniffing out mysteries. And let's just say, it's not a skill that has been appreciated by many people, including his own family.

    Jariyaporn Prasopsorn says: "Extremly Funny..."
    "Hillarious, Gripping story with awesome narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Half Moon Investigations the most enjoyable?

    The author knows the heart of kids. His style is exquisite. The plot turns interesting. The blind and intelligent stumbling investigation is true to life unlike most detective stories.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Half Moon Investigations?

    When Red and Half Moon fall off the balcony.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1159)
    Performance
    (879)
    Story
    (887)

    Will is an orphan and a ward of the castle. He hopes to someday become a great hero. But he is a small boy, and only the biggest and toughest are selected as warriors. He has other talents though, and they catch the attention of the mysterious Ranger Halt. Will soon masters stealth and accuracy with the bow.

    Deborah says: "YA?"
    "Great character development and plot. Weak climax."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, excellent story line and characters. Really captures the interaction of a boy and his mentor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ruins of Gorlan?

    When Horace rouses himself after a severe beating to protect his friend.


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

    John Keating makes the story come alive.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent Read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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