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gary

Tecumseh, MI, United States | Member Since 2007

ratings
326
REVIEWS
33
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
33

  • Absolution Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (508)

    The Inhibitors were designed to eliminate any life-form reaching a certain level of intelligence - and they've targeted humanity. War veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees have fled into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety---or draw down its darkest enemy.

    wendy says: "better than absolution gap"
    "The Epic Space Opera Peters Out"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As much as I like Reynolds, I can't give him a stellar review for Absolution Gap. It's as if he just gave up on the storyline and starting writing minor drama to fill the pages. The ending was horrible, especially having come to think so highly on the Revelation Space opera. All of the sudden, nothing characters pop up that do nothing for the story, and then go away (thankfully) as fast as they arrive, and almost all of the major players I had come to appreciate are killed off in the beginning to be replaced with paper-thin characters that even by the end I can't find myself either liking or hating. If I had to describe Absolution Gap in a word, it would be "blah."

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Outcast: Star Force, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson, David VanDyke
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (274)

    Star Force is called to arms again! Outcast is a new beginning, the first book in a new spin-off series. Many peaceful years have passed since the Macro Wars ended. Most of those who fought against the heartless machines have aged - but not the ingenious artificial construct known as Marvin. His insatiable curiosity is as strong as ever, and he’s brought home fresh perils to humanity’s doorstep.

    rich says: "Captain Marvin Takes Command"
    "A Chip Off The Old Block..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Outcast to be better than the print version?

    Of course. It has Mark Boyett...


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

    Why are we making a movie about the 10th book? Why didn't we start with Book 1?


    Any additional comments?

    This is a good continuation in the Star Force universe. Cody Riggs is a chip of the old man's block and, go figure, just like him. But the story is new, and so are the romances, mixed in with a little of the familiar, and just like that, the Star Force saga continues. I hope for many books to come. So pull up a beer and some constructive nanites and take a ride through another Ring...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Steel Breeze: Poseidon's Children, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By Adjoa Andoh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Chiku Akinya, great granddaughter of the legendary space explorer Eunice and heir to the family empire, is just one among millions on a long one way journey towards a planet they hope to call their new home. For Chiku, the journey is a personal one, undertaken to ensure that the Akinya family achieves its destiny among the stars. The passengers travel in huge self-contained artificial worlds - holoships - putting their faith in a physics they barely understand.

    Banyan says: "Biased Reynolds fan"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about On the Steel Breeze?

    It is hard for me to write this review, being a HUGE fan of Alastair Reynolds and having read everything from him to-date... But... This story is simply unremarkable. Very thin plot, little action, the reveal is very anticlimactic and simply disappointing. Twenty-three hours of listening to Ms. Andoh was painful, at times quite literally.


    What could Alastair Reynolds have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The first book in this series was fine. Maybe not great, but good. The story arc that flowed from the first book was tired and contrived with no real arrow of finality. Certainly NOT worthy of being in the same book rack as all of the other Alastair Reynolds books.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Adjoa Andoh’s performances?

    I will not listen to another reading by Ms. Andoh. Her screeching voice in character and her thick accents made this listen very unpleasant. I turned the EQ of my radio to flat and still her high-pitched voice screeched at times and made me cringe. Her accents are so heavy it's difficult to understand her with some characters, which was also annoying because you find yourself constantly having to analyze the sounds to decipher the words. I've listened to performances I didn't like, but I was into loathing on this one. I found the heavy African and Chinese accents especially annoying, which are most of the main characters in the book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Meh.


    Any additional comments?

    Disappointed on so many levels with this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3303)
    Performance
    (2845)
    Story
    (2849)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "Not My Favorite Scalzi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Agent to the Stars? What did you like least?

    The story was interesting, but not overly stimulating. I admit I was an instant Scalzi fan fro his first book, but this has been my least favorite so far. Okay, but just okay.


    Would you ever listen to anything by John Scalzi again?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to admit that I almost did not buy this book based on the narrator. I did not like Wil Wheaton's reading of Ready Player One and vowed to not listen to him again, but this was Scalzi so I gave him another shot, and was pleasantly surprised. This book is a sophomoric writing by Scalzi, not great but not bad either. The story effect towards the end was a little annoying (no spoiler), but also somewhat novel, so I'd give it a C+ for originality. I wanted to love this book, but it just did not happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ghost Brigades

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2097)
    Performance
    (1513)
    Story
    (1526)

    The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

    wendy says: "Great story"
    "Interesting continuation in the CDF World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the continuation of the universe of the Colonial Defense Forces, even though the most interesting person in the first series does not make an appearance (although he's back in book 3).


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    William Dufris is now easily one of my top five favorite performers / narrators. His inflection, cadence, and ability to infuse humor into the telling is a true performance and a joy to listen to.


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

    No, not like in the first book in this series...


    Any additional comments?

    All-in-all a fun and interesting continuation into the same universe of book one. Worth the listen. The book seemed to end a little short, nothing really missing, just wished there had been more of it. Look forward to moving onto the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Old Man's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3765)
    Performance
    (2724)
    Story
    (2746)

    John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First, he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce - and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight, to defend Earth and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

    Michael says: "As good as Heinlein"
    "This is a great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    Excellent performance.


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

    The first chapter was extremely powerful. After I had to pause and could only think wow. Both the first and last chapter were touching.


    Any additional comments?

    Easily one of my new top favorites. Great listen and Mr. Dufris is also now on my top list, too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6655)
    Performance
    (6328)
    Story
    (6345)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "A giant in his field..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Words of Radiance in three words, what would they be?

    This is a great series, slightly delayed as Brandon finished the Wheel of Time series for Robert Jordan and us, and well worth the wait.


    What does Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    MK and KR are also giants in their narration. Consummate professionals and always a pleasure to hear either (and both).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4724)
    Performance
    (3242)
    Story
    (3277)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    AudioAddict says: "A hero with a sexy voice!"
    "Painful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Sophomoric writing, coupled with a mediocre narrator makes for a slow and painful listen. I won't be going forward in this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dead Sun: Star Force, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (935)
    Performance
    (881)
    Story
    (878)

    Kyle Riggs sits uneasily upon Earth’s throne. He’s liberated his homeworld from a tyrant, only to replace him. In The Dead Sun, the ninth book of the Star Force Series, the Great War between life and the machines reaches its final chapter. Both sides have new technology and expanded industrial bases. Star Force and the machines attempt to exterminate one another in a final, glorious conflict. Along the way, Riggs finally learns who his real friends and enemies are. The Dead Sun is a military science fiction novel by best-selling author B. V. Larson.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Riggs finally finds some peace"
    "So Concludes the Star Force Saga..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Have you listened to any of Mark Boyett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Mark Boyett was a great narrator. A professional in his art.


    Any additional comments?

    I must admit I've never much cared for first-person narration, however I make a huge exception to the Star Force series -- in the end, Mark Boyett (i.e., his voice) was Colonel Kyle Riggs.

    Mr. Larson did a great job keeping the story fresh and the progression interesting throughout the series.

    As a space opera, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride that saved humanity. I was never bored or agitated at this series, as I have been with others, and I finished each read enthusiastically and quickly.

    I will be continuing on with any other series Mr. Larson and Mr. Boyett present, and I look forward to another ride.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Gripping Hand

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (628)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (558)

    Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award-winning authors of such best sellers as Footfall and The Legacy of Heorot, return us to the Mote, and to the universe of Kevin Renner and Horace Bury, of Rod Blaine and Sally Fowler. There, 25 years have passed since humanity quarantined the mysterious aliens known as Moties within the confines of their own solar system. They have spent a quarter century analyzing and agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens mankind has ever encountered - a race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function: Master, Mediator, Engineer, Warrior.

    James says: "The sequel matches the first book"
    "Ah...yeah."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven and/or L. J. Ganser?

    Yes. It would be nice to have a story to finish this one.


    Any additional comments?

    Story was unsatisfying. I enjoy the Mote universe, but this was nothing near as good as the first book. This was mostly a story of narration, the characters monologging about what was happening instead of actual events occurring. Ending was unsatisfying, little plot, and almost no intrigue.

    I did enjoy Ganser's reading, however; this was my first book with this narrator and I look forward to hearing him again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Station: Star Force, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1475)
    Performance
    (1361)
    Story
    (1362)

    In Battle Station, Kyle Riggs faces new challenges, new alien fleets, and learns the secrets behind the war he has been fighting for years. In the fifth book of the Star Force Series, the Eden system is in humanity's grasp, but can they keep it? Star Force is weak after a long war, and many yearn to go home. Knowing the machines will return with a new armada eventually, Riggs seeks a more permanent solution. Along the way, worlds are won and lost, millions perish, and great truths are revealed.

    William says: "Non-stop Sci-Fi Action"
    "Classic BV Larson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Battle Station?

    I enjoyed the continuation of what has become an interesting story with an interesting protagonist. If you liked the first four Star Force books, you won't be disappointed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot twist that comes in Book 5.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Boyett – was your favorite?

    Riggs, of course, but Marvin runs a close second.


    Any additional comments?

    I will be continuing onto the next books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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