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Hector Lareau

Husband, father, writer, martial artist, and that's just the top four hats I wear!

Moline, IL United States | Member Since 2012

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 273 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2014
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  • Geekomancy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Michael R. Underwood
    • Narrated By Julia Farhat
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    Ree Reyes’s life was easier when all she had to worry about was scraping together tips from her gig as a barista and comic shop slave to pursue her ambitions as a screenwriter. When a scruffy-looking guy storms into the shop looking for a comic like his life depends on it, Ree writes it off as just another day in the land of the geeks. Until a gigantic “BOOM!” echoes from the alley a minute later, and Ree follows the rabbit hole down into her town’s magical flip-side.

    Tracey says: "Only geeks need apply!"
    "Great story destroyed by robotic performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Reading this book -- you know, with glasses and lights on and everything -- would be fantastic fun. Listening to it was agonizing. I would've preferred Steven Hawking's "voice" to Julia Farhat's. And I just hate to say harsh things about people who have worked so hard.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist was vividly drawn and had a hilariously fresh, alluringly feminine style. Underwood did a great job telling the story from a feminine perspective -- I didn't check to see that he was a dude until the book was over. Then I about fell in a heap from shock.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator was obsessed with uttering each sound for every word, as though she were an advanced yet non-natvie English speaker working diligently to cultivate a precise, academic California accent. It was much more a cue-card reading than a bring-it-to-life performance. She also sounded congested for much of the book. I'm sure she has much stronger performances ahead of her.


    Could you see Geekomancy being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    My pick for the star would be the amazingly attractive model who posed for the cover art. Zowie!! Heck, let's hope that's Julia Farhat.


    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Raising Steam: The Discworld Series, Book 40

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (720)

    The new Discworld novel, the 40th in the series, sees the Disc's first train come steaming into town. Change is afoot in Ankh-Morpork. Discworld's first steam engine has arrived, and once again Moist von Lipwig finds himself with a new and challenging job.

    David says: "So much more than funny"
    "Kind of a farewell tour"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen Briggs is a standout narrator, as Discworld listeners already know. He (along with Nigel Planer) is as much a part of the series as the characters, much like Jim Dale is for the Harry Potter books or James Marsters is for the Dresden Files. And Terry Pratchett is a singularly gifted writer: nimble with stories, pointed with social relevance, creative and vivid with his fantasy worlds.

    But there is a feel to this book that's similar to all the post-climax scenes in Star Wars movies or to all the post-climax moments in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies. This feels more about wrapping up relationships and bringing some kinds of closure to the Discworld than it does like an addition to the magnificent multi-volume romp that life in the Discworld has been so far. And that's perfectly understandable: Pratchett's career is winding to a close, and so, I guess, should the series. But there is an unaccustomed tinge of melancholy permeating the typically fine story that didn't feel right.

    It's always sad to say good-bye.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10642)
    Performance
    (9909)
    Story
    (9913)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Guilty pleasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There isn't a lot of substance here, but there is so much style you won't miss it. If you were alive enough during the '80s to watch movies and play video games, you will dig this self-indulgent romp. It is every bit as engaging as the best gaming you've done -- whether D&D or video or MMORPG -- and just about as valuable. But who cares when you're having this much fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Man in the Empty Suit

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sean Ferrell
    • Narrated By Mauro Hantman
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks 12-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be.

    Frederik says: "Up there with the best."
    "New take on paradox"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a vividly told and engaging story. Not since Robert Silverberg's mid-'70s Up the Line has time travel been so meticulously explored and the paradoxes so deftly treated. Avoiding spoilers is difficult, but the relationships among the characters are surprising almost every time, and the plot is twistier than one of those new compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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