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Steven Wee

Sacramento

ratings
242
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Uglies: Uglies, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Scott Westerfeld
    • Narrated By Carine Montbertrand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (802)
    Performance
    (552)
    Story
    (559)

    Tally Youngblood is quickly approaching her 16th birthday and the mandatory pretty-making surgery that accompanies it. But Tally isn't sure if she wants to be a placidly happy Pretty. When a top secret organization threatens her with remaining Ugly forever, she reluctantly spies on the rebels who have refused the surgery. They think it changes more than just looks and are working on a cure. But they need someone to become Pretty to test it out.

    Cather says: "Unexpectedly enjoyable"
    "A Great Story concept"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the story, although I never felt as though Tally was quite the heroine she is made out to be. She was pushed around and coercerced into doing everything, whereas I would have liked to see her be more assertive, brave and adventurous on her own. I do like the concepts the book implies about our society and where we are heading, both environmentally and with plastic surgery being used more frequently for purely cosmetic reasons. The story was well written and a great listen no matter what I say or complain about though, and I enjoyed the whole series and was never tempted to stop due to lags in the plot line.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9259)
    Performance
    (6776)
    Story
    (6819)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Tim says: "True Blood PG13"
    "Great Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The 4 races in the world, humans, vampires, demons and witches have a delicate balance. The magical races only survive by staying hidden from the humans, and the covenant is the agreement between the races that keeps and enforces that rule. When a Vampire (Mathew deClaremont) and witch (Dianna Bishop) meet while searching for the magical tome rumored to be the original grimoire by the witches, the book that explained where the demons come from by the demons, and the book that could explain and give the power to destroy vampires by the vampires; all the races strive to keep them apart and prevent the budding relationship between them, as well as trying to force Dianna into getting the book and opening the secrets for them.

    There are aspects of the story that seem a little of a let down to me -no werewolves- and the heroine seems to be a bit too helpless for being a very powerful witch, but those aspects are not enough to detract from the story line. There are also some issues that come up with interactions between races and for the races supposedly having to stay separate to avoid calling notice, it seems the only ones really effected by this rule are the hero and heroine. It is still a powerful story, and has a lot to offer. I am curious how much historical research Deborah Harkness has done, I am fascinated by how she depicts historical events and people and also the legends and lore she brings up with the races. Everything seems to fit my limited knowledge, but I prefer to enjoy the story than try to pick apart anything that deviates from actual events, but it does cross my mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • When Darkness Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (217)

    A great working of Wild Magic and High Magic strikes at the heart of the Demon Queen's plots, but the human city, the Golden City of the Bells, falls farther under her sway with each day that passes. And without the City's High Magicians, the Wild Magicians, the Elven Army, and all their allies will surely fall before the onslaught of the Demon Queen's malignant warriors. But not all hope is lost. The Light's young mages, tempered by war, grow ever more powerful.

    Dan McGee says: "Good Enough!"
    "Rich and Exciting read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this whole series, well thought out and consistent magic system, different races all have their own customs and histories. There are some things that bothered me, but not enough to really take away from the story line, the relative power and magics of the good and evil races seemed unbalanced. As underpowered as the good races seemed to be, it seems as if the evil races could have easily overrun the good races, and the people that could have balanced that feeling did not seem to have relevant roles in order to actually prevent that from happening; but it all works out ok somehow any way. There are way too many evil minion races that seem way overpowered to also have such great numbers to not have just overrun the good forces they came up against, and yet somehow even though they seem to constantly overwhelm; they are not as devastating as they should have been for the numbers and relative power they did have. The dragon was not as powerful as I would have hoped -I liked how the bond and magic worked for the dragon and its bonded mage- but I would have expected it to be fierce and dangerous even when it did lose its ability to use magic. The dragon should have dominated the lessor creatures it came up against easily, it should have taken bigger and tougher foes to keep it occupied and effectively neutralize it during battles.

    All the things that bothered me were very minor compared to the richness of the story and the great character development, so this is still a definite must read for any one that likes fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Light a Candle: The Obsidian Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (408)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (263)

    To his own surprise, young Kellen, once the disappointing son of the great Mage who leads the City’s Mage Council, has become a powerful Knight-Mage. Valued for his bravery and his skills as both wizard and warrior, Kellen joins the Elves' war councils. Yet he cannot convince the City of his birth that it is in terrible danger. Kellen’s sister Idalia, a Wild Mage with great healing ability, has pledged her heart to Jermayan, a proud Elven warrior.

    Mary Bjornskov says: "Fun Listen!"
    "I enjoyed this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this whole series, well thought out and consistent magic system, different races all have their own customs and histories. There are some things that bothered me, but not enough to really take away from the story line, the relative power and magics of the good and evil races seemed unbalanced. As underpowered as the good races seemed to be, it seems as if the evil races could have easily overrun the good races, and the people that could have balanced that feeling did not seem to have relevant roles in order to actually prevent that from happening; but it all works out ok somehow any way. There are way too many evil minion races that seem way overpowered to also have such great numbers to not have just overrun the good forces they came up against, and yet somehow even though they seem to constantly overwhelm; they are not as devastating as they should have been for the numbers and relative power they did have. The dragon was not as powerful as I would have hoped -I liked how the bond and magic worked for the dragon and its bonded mage- but I would have expected it to be fierce and dangerous even when it did lose its ability to use magic. The dragon should have dominated the lessor creatures it came up against easily, it should have taken bigger and tougher foes to keep it occupied and effectively neutralize it during battles.

    All the things that bothered me were very minor compared to the richness of the story and the great character development, so this is still a definite must read for any one that likes fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Outstretched Shadow: The Obsidian Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (496)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (281)

    Kellen Tavadon, son of the Arch-Mage Lycaelon, thought he knew the way the world worked. His father, leading the wise and benevolent Council of Mages, protected and guided the citizens of the Golden City of the Bells. Young Mages in training---all men, for women were unfit to practice magic---memorized the intricate details of High Magic and aspired to seats on the council.

    Jarred says: "Fascinating World"
    "Great series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this whole series, well thought out and consistent magic system, different races all have their own customs and histories. There are some things that bothered me, but not enough to really take away from the story line, the relative power and magics of the good and evil races seemed unbalanced. As underpowered as the good races seemed to be, it seems as if the evil races could have easily overrun the good races, and the people that could have balanced that feeling did not seem to have relevant roles in order to actually prevent that from happening; but it all works out ok somehow any way. There are way too many evil minion races that seem way overpowered to also have such great numbers to not have just overrun the good forces they came up against, and yet somehow even though they seem to constantly overwhelm; they are not as devastating as they should have been for the numbers and relative power they did have. The dragon was not as powerful as I would have hoped -I liked how the bond and magic worked for the dragon and its bonded mage- but I would have expected it to be fierce and dangerous even when it did lose its ability to use magic. The dragon should have dominated the lessor creatures it came up against easily, it should have taken bigger and tougher foes to keep it occupied and effectively neutralize it during battles.

    All the things that bothered me were very minor compared to the richness of the story and the great character development, so this is still a definite must read for any one that likes fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plight of the Toothless Vampire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Steve Stillwell
    • Narrated By Reed McColm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Chester Watkins is not an ordinary person. He's a student of the old school with the tenacity of a bulldog. This cagey senior citizen funds himself plunged into an underground world where only the strong survive. Ravaged to death by a rogue vampire, this determined grandpa set out on a quest to apprehend his killer, and turn an immortal organization upside down. Unable to regenerate any teeth and looked upon with contempt by his enemies, his opposition makes the foolish mistake of underestimating his most powerful ability of all...his incredible mind.

    Steven Wee says: "Did not live up to the Potential for me"
    "Did not live up to the Potential for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After seeing the title, and reading the pop up from scrolling over the book, I thought I had to read this book. The story was ok, but there are just too many leaps of faith that seem too convenient. The back story on the main character is weak and s=does not explain why he is able to make quick judgements on others and make great and trustworthy friends quickly. There is nothing in the story to explain or show why he can be so forgiving and so understanding. There are also issues of minor characters being too conveniently and easily overcome, and the villains were inconsistent in how they felt with the bodies afterwards compared to how they dealt with bodies of previous victims. One of the lessor antagonists (deputy sheriff) is distant, distracted, and unconcerned during an interview with the media about crimes in his jurisdiction, how would he achieve his current position and how would he have a chance at all of being elected sheriff with his arrogant and unconcerned attitude without a backstory explaining why he can blow off the media and still have a career. I did enjoy the story, but I think the unjustified leaps of faith that always pay off are unjustified and unexplained, and it bothers me that the main character can make no mistakes. It makes the story seem too easy and convenient.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (15862)
    Performance
    (14353)
    Story
    (14457)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Loved this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was great, Veronica Roth has obviously spent a lot of time figuring out how the society is organized and how the different factions interact with each other. Tris was an interesting heroine, and I liked how she embraces her new faction and overcomes her small stature and puritan upbringing to earn her place with the Dauntless. She shows herself to be intelligent, resourceful and able to adapt in different situations; as well as showing leadership skills and loyalty to her friends and family. She shows her teenage girl side and weaknesses, and struggles to deal with them and keeping them hidden while earning acceptance. I could not wait for the second book to come out after I finished this book, and now I am waiting for the third book; this story definitely has me hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Specials: Uglies, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Scott Westerfeld
    • Narrated By Carine Montbertrand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (260)

    Tally never wanted to be Special, but some talents cannot be denied. Specials keep the Pretties happy and naive, keep the Uglies wishing to be Pretty and - most importantly - keep the Smokies powerless. But their latest mission is to end the New Smoke forever, and there is still a little part of Tally that is telling her to think for herself, that remembers a time when Tally lived happily among the Smokies. Maybe the Specials aren't really protecting anyone but themselves.

    Andrew says: "A Great Book"
    "Great Story Line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another gem from Scott Westerfield with Specials. Tally continues to be instrumental in change within her society. I still feel as though Tally is not quite the heroine she is made out to be in the story -she is pushed and forced into things throughout the book instead of being the fore-runner, and then she is given credit for being the instrument of change- although in this book she is more directly responsible for the decisions that cause all the excitement. I love what the book implies about where we are heading with our treatment of the planet, but this book is not as harsh about the overuse of cosmetic plastic surgery as the rest of the series but that follows the story line to the next reasonable conclusion. Its nice to see a different city and get a little more background on the interaction between cities too. It was a great listen and a great story and I continued to the next book also with excitement. Scott Westerfield has become a writer that I would definitely look for in my reading and listening future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pretties: Uglies, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Scott Westerfeld
    • Narrated By Carine Montbertrand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (497)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (317)

    Tally Youngblood never felt like the other Pretties - she almost didn't become one. But Tally isn't the only one who feels like she's missing a part of herself. After uncovering sinister clues about the Pretty surgery, she stumbles upon a possible cure for Pretty-mindedness and a possible escape from the city. But the cure could have deadly consequences.

    Martha says: "Split Decision"
    "Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series, it makes a lot of statements about our society and where we are heading environmentally and also with our fascination with everybody having to look beautiful to be accepted. There are times where I find myself starting to nitpick holes in the feasibility of the society structure, but the story is well written and the plot is fun and exciting enough for me to just put that down to my being old and looking for things to complain about. I do wish Tally was more assertive, and adventurous on her own instead of being dragged along for everything and then being given credit for being in the forefront. I did enjoy the book and I continued to read the entire series and I enjoyed all of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Tide: The Iron Tower Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Dennis L. McKiernan
    • Narrated By Cameron Beierle
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (55)

    Tuck Underbank is a Warrow -- think a hobbit with shoes and "large jewel-like eyes" -- living in the peaceful Boskydells. When an unnaturally cold winter strikes and the evil Modru threatens the world, he and a number of his fellow Thornwalkers go to the High King's aid. But a vast expanse of lightless blizzard called the Dimmendark (sounds bad, doesn't it?) is spreading over the land, and Tuck soon finds that the "dark tide" is going to swamp them all.

    Michael says: "A Tough Review Of A Carbon Copy..."
    "Attempt at a great epic?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have found the writing to be awkward and bulky. It sounds like the Dennis McKiernan was writing a great epic poem like the Iliad, or the Odessy, but without the poeticism those were originally written with. The writing just comes across as awkward and overly wordy, however the story is good so I did listen to the entire book. I am not sure if I will be in a hurry to listen to the rest of the trilogy however, there are other books I find much more pleasurable to listen to or read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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