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gary

Tecumseh, MI, United States | Member Since 2007

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 332 ratings
  • 725 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • Last Argument of Kings: The First Law: Book Three

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (3102)
    Performance
    (2313)
    Story
    (2324)

    The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it’s going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm and there’s only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend and his oldest enemy. It’s time for the Bloody-Nine to come home. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no-one is safe and no-one can be trusted.

    Lore says: "You have be realistic about these things."
    "Ends Poorly"
    Overall

    The story falls apart about half-way through the book. The themes break into loose echos of the original plots and subplots, the characters become unfamiliar, and the ending is thoroughly unsatisfying.

    If you just finished book 2, stop now; there's nothing for you here.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Fire Upon the Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Vernor Vinge
    • Narrated By Peter Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (385)
    Story
    (393)

    A Fire Upon the Deep is the big, breakout book that fulfills the promise of Vinge's career to date: a gripping tale of galactic war told on a cosmic scale. Thousands of years hence, many races inhabit a universe where a mind's potential is determined by its location in space, from superintelligent entities in the Transcend, to the limited minds of the Unthinking Depths, where only simple creatures and technology can function.

    Noah says: "What a wild, wacky, awesome book!"
    "Good ideas here, but not enough to carry the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the space opera side of this story, but not the medieval side. I found myself dreading when the story would come back to the Tine world thread. Many novel thoughts within this story, but not enough to carry it for me. I give one more star to the ideas than I would otherwise to the story proper.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More space opera and less Tine story line. And to be honest, not a lot of excitement in the journey. I wanted to like this story more, but just couldn't. Still, the ideas and the narrator took me to the end, which is further than they would have without Peter Larkin.


    Any additional comments?

    I had never listened to Peter Larkin before, but will wholeheartedly do so again. He was great. Had this story been by a narrator I thought less of, I probably would have given up about halfway through...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • March Upcountry: Prince Roger Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By David Weber, John Ringo
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (1455)
    Performance
    (788)
    Story
    (790)

    Roger Ramius Sergei Chiang MacClintock was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of Man. So it wasn't surprising that he became spoiled, self-centered, and petulant. After all, what else did he have to do with his life?

    Euryleia says: "Lots of fun!"
    "By Satan... I don't like this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from David Weber and John Ringo and/or Stefan Rudnicki?

    No. I don't like the Satanist undertones of this book and will not only not continue with this series, but will not longer listen to anything by either author.


    Would you ever listen to anything by David Weber and John Ringo again?

    No. I don't like the Satanist overtones of this book and will not only not continue with this series, but will not longer listen to anything by either author. Again.


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

    Stefan did an excellent job, at least the 30% of the book I made it through before giving up due to the Satanist undertones.


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

    Anger at the Satanist undertones. Disappointment that I wasted my money on a book I cannot in good conscience listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    Very disappointed.

    0 of 0 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
    (641)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (604)

    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.

    Amazon Customer says: "Marvelous Marvin"
    "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...

    1 of 1 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
    (84)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    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.

    SciFi Kindle says: "Earthier, narrower, more feminine than AR's work"
    "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.

    1 of 1 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
    (3572)
    Performance
    (3090)
    Story
    (3094)

    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
    (2293)
    Performance
    (1700)
    Story
    (1712)

    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
    (4098)
    Performance
    (3037)
    Story
    (3063)

    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
    (7982)
    Performance
    (7559)
    Story
    (7584)

    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
    (4959)
    Performance
    (3458)
    Story
    (3492)

    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.

    Justin says: "Kinda boring, mostly tedious, and frustrating"
    "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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1081)
    Performance
    (1015)
    Story
    (1013)

    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

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