Because I read so much for my work, it has been years since I did a lot of personal reading. So when I discovered audio books, my love affair with the written word was revitalized.
I should note however that there are some pretty extensive changes in the Science Fiction/Fantasy landscape since my transition from avide reader to power listener. Here are just a few:
1. There are many more women writers creating great work.
2. The work that many of these artist are creating isn't strictly Science Fiction/Fantasy. Rather it is a blend of SciFi/Fantasy with Romance.
And here is where the problem begins to develop, romance storys and scifi storys have a different cadence to them. An estimate of the content ratio is 75% SciFi and 25% Romance. So you have 3 or 4 scenes in the romance area. But the power and intensity in the romance scenes is out of proportion with the writing in the rest of the story.
Yes, I know I am rambling on but here is my point.
Richelle's Succubus Blues is one of just a few novels where the Romance elements are neatly integrated into the story so that I wouldn't call it anything other than a Fantasy novel. Where many of today's female authors seem to be writing Romance novels designed to entice women and young girls into the SciFi/Fantasy realm, Richelle has written a smart, funny, and provocative Fantasy novel from a womens perspective.
So when I finished this book. I smiled.
Just plane good? Faith Hunters writing kept me captured and Jane Yellowrock and Beast hearded me straight to book 2. Finally a female heroine with her priorities in order.
I have never been a fan of period based fantasy or science fiction. I find that my knowledge of the period stops me from dispelling disbelief in what I read. So it is harder to relate to the characters. However Larry Correia has done a masterful job of interweaving Jake Sullivan and the rest of the US Grimnoir Society into the fictional fabric of American history.
And without digging to deep into the characters too much, I think that Oke' Faye is one of the most memorable characters ever.
And then there is Bronson Pinchot. What little I know of his work was a mid level character actor. After listening to Hard Magic, this saddens me. His performance in this book is unnerving. It is that good. It was as if he lived each character. Combine the performance level with the detailed level of development provided in the Larry Correia's writing and you have a winning combination.
I want more.
Imagine waking up in someone else s body and being told that you have no value other than the function you can perform for the US Government, the state. This job opportunity will give you a chance to travel through space and live an extended life. And should you succeed and return, we will give you your freedom. Wink! Wink!
While most of us don't face this exact challenge, the repercussions of meeting the challenge are all to familiar. Don't do the job and face starvation. Don't do the job and face eviction, Do the job and hope you receive your reward. But is there another option other than doing the job or not doing the job.
In this galactic tale Jaybee Corbell gets to see more than any human alive because he stood up for himself. He got to stand up for humanity because he stood up for himself. He gets to do this because he seems to constantly evaluate his position and knows when to make a move.
I really enjoyed this story. Larry Niven made Jaybee Corbell interesting and someone that most people can relate to. Then Tom Weiner gave an outstanding performance giving him life. Tom's voice was a little rough for some of the female voices but there was enough distinction between them that that you can listen to the cadence of the voice and know which character was speaking.
Overall this is a great listen! Check it out!
Unfortunately, I saw "True Blood" Season 1 before I ever thought to listen to this book. So I was a fan of the concept right from the very start. Yet there is enough variation between the television series and the books to set them apart and make them unique in their appeal.
-The TV series is an ensemble account that centers around a telepathic barmaid and how the outing of vampires to main stream society effects her life; her friends; and her home town, Bon Temps.
-The book is a first person account of the same telepathic barmaid's, Sookie Stackhouse, immersion into vampire society after the Japanese invention of synthetic blood makes it possible for them to exist without feeding on humans.
-Both stories are centered around the murder mystery of women in Bon Temps.
The difference between the story being a 4 or 5 star story and the 3 stars I gave it, centers around Sookie's whinny temper flairs. At the beginning of the story Sookie is a virgin and hence she is learning to deal with a lot of new things. But the idea that these century old beings put up with it in a subservient manner is a little ridiculous and very distracting. This element has greater weight in the book because it is told through Sookie's eyes.
All-in-all this book is an excellent listen.
The first book I read in this series was "The Prefect." It was a tough listen in the beginning. Not because it wasn't any good. Quite the opposite, the problem was that I had grown accustomed to performing some other task at the same time that I was listening. I simply could not do that with this series.
Like "The Prefect", "Revelation Space" provides and expensive series of character sketches and plot movements that are so detailed that you have to pay attention. Alastair Reynolds rewards you for that attention, with a well crafted trip through time and space where you slowly learn all of the players and don't truly understand all of their motivations until a climatic explosion at the end.
John Lee's narration complemented the story. But there was a problem which I believe is actually a hold over from the writing of the book. The books are an ensemble of characters all moving towards some event or mystery. So unlike (for example) Charlene Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels where there is a central character whose point of view you follow, there are multiple characters whose point of view you follow when they are the central character. This happens sometimes within the same chapter. In a book the change can be noted by some kind of break. When you are just listening, if you don't notice the shift in voice (and yes the shifts are there in content and speech patterns) you tend to get confused and misinterpret what is happening.
This is a great book if you want to think and have something that actually grabs your attention. If you are just looking for action through Science Fiction, you won't make it through the first five chapters.
I got this book based on some obvious miconceptions I had about the Grimm Fairy taies. I thought they were dark stories with well thought out lessons that were intended to teach children how to survive and how to act. The pop culture references of shows like Grimm, books like Moon Called by Patrica Briggs where they speak of the Fey (creature that I thaought were characters pulled from the Grimm Fairy Tales), and others lead me to beleive in something much more dark and neferious that what I found.
I believe in fact there were many lessons there but as so often happens they are written for a time that is so far of from the way we live today that the stories have lost their relavence.
I also expect I was gonna have to visualize monsters of all sorts. All the monsters in these tales wear human masks and are influenced by jelousy, hate, and selfishness. The tales paint in black and white and with lots of repetition. Both of which are great characteristics for teaching children but they repeat the same themes so often that they become motonous in there voice and you loose interest.
All in all the stories are outdated and somewhat weak by todays standards. If you are looking for research I would recommend them but there is on other reason or listen to these tales.
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