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Brian

Enthusiast

Member Since 2011

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 47 ratings
  • 179 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
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  • Shift Omnibus Edition: Shift 1-3, Silo Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1720)
    Performance
    (1566)
    Story
    (1579)

    In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, a simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity's broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall - and the ability to forget it ever happened.

    Tango says: "Your ears are in for a real treat"
    "Very good story. Narration takes getting used to."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the narration. However, I should warn potential readers that the narrator takes some getting used to. Tim Gerard Reynolds is a talented narrator, but he is also English. This book takes place in Atlanta, Georgia. Some of the characters have southern American accents. The narrator made the choice to actually do the accents. I think I would have preferred if he had just stuck with his normal accent.

    That's all. Once you get used to the accent (and I think it gets less pronounced as the book progresses) you'll be fine.

    As far as the story goes, it took a little while to get going, and sometimes the main character's inability to understand what's going on around him is kind of frustrating, but once it gets going, it's quite good. I'm really looking forward to reading or listening to Dust.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abhorsen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Garth Nix
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (928)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (539)

    Before she went to join Sam and Mogget downstairs, Lirael paused for a moment to look at herself in the tall silver mirror that hung on the wall of her room. The image that faced her bore little resemblance to the Second Assistant Librarian of the Clayr. She saw a warlike and grim young woman, dark hair bound back with a silver cord rather than hanging free to disguise her face. She no longer wore her librarian's waistcoat, and she had a long Nehima at her side rather than a library-issue dagger.

    Ethan M. says: "A great conclusion to a wonderful series"
    "Great Story and Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After the third book, Sabriel, I wasn't too quick to pick this one up. I liked that one well enough, but it felt incomplete, like the book ended just as the story was starting. So when I finally did pick this one up, I was pleasantly surprised that it picked up almost exactly where that one left off. They really should have been one book. But whatever, this was a well written and beautifully read book, and anyone who liked the earlier entries won't be disappointed with this one.

    And if you were disappointed by Sabriel, give this one a shot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition), The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3431)
    Performance
    (3207)
    Story
    (3223)

    Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....

    Ryan says: "It's about time!"
    "Great performance. Decent story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had heard that if you're going to read any of the Star Wars books, this is the trilogy to read. So I gave it a shot. I have to say that the production of the audiobook was amazing. There was music and sound effects. The narrator did an excellent job of mimicking the voices of the original movie actors. So I have no complaints there.

    As for the story itself, I think it just felt like if I had read it when I was 12, I would have loved it. As it was, it didn't really do anything for me. I've always liked Star Wars, and I thought I would really like this, but I didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Gwynne
    • Narrated By John Keating
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (213)

    In this epic fantasy debut (perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin), John Gwynne takes listeners to The Banished Lands - a broken world with a violent past. Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin's rule - to protect and serve. But that day will come all too soon. And the price he pays will be in blood.

    Brian L. Manley says: "Wonderful"
    "Boring story and lackluster narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really tried with this one. I'd heard great things. But I just couldn't get all the way through it. The story was a very straightforward cookie-cutter fantasy. I really felt like I knew a lot of what was going to happen from the outset. But I also didn't care about any of the characters.

    I listened to this and attempted to read the kindle version at the same time. I found that the book was a bit better when I read it than when I listened. The narration was just so flat that it was hard to stay focused. There were characters with similar names (especially when spoken). This was enough of a problem that even halfway through the book (which admittedly is about where I stopped) I would still have to stop and try to figure out who was who.

    Eventually I got to the point where I had like 14 hours left and I just couldn't imagine spending that much time listening to a book that I don't really like. So I stopped.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor of Thorns: A Broken Empire Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (351)
    Story
    (351)

    Jorg would be emperor. It is a position not to be gained by the sword but rather by vote. And never in living memory has anyone secured a majority of the vote, leaving the Broken Empire long without a leader. Jorg has plans to change that - one way or the other. He’s uncovered even more of the lost technology of the land, and he won’t hesitate to use it. But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced - a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King. The boy who would rule all may have finally met his match....

    Just Marvel Me says: "Entire Adoration"
    "So good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This entire series is just an amazing blend of fantasy and sci-fi. I can't remember another book that melds the genres together so seamlessly and in a way that feels effortless to the reader.

    The writing is quite excellent, the pacing is quick, and the plot is interesting and hard to predict. I can't recommend these enough.

    Also, for what it's worth, I've seen these books described as dark and grim and grimdark. Sure there's some violence and some sadness, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. Plus, I laughed out loud quite a few times as well. These books don't deserve such a reputation for darkness.

    The narration is awesome. James Clamp is perfect for the story, and I would like to listen to more books of his.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King of Thorns

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (435)

    The follow-up to Mark Lawrence' s thrilling debut novel Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns continues the tale of antihero Jorg Ancrath. After wresting back control of his kingdom from those who murdered his family, Jorg sees the land erupt with hundreds of battles fought by lords and petty kings. More daunting still, he faces an enemy many times his own strength. Jorg may not be able to win this battle in a fair fight, but he wields a rage and cunning that just might even the odds.

    Stephen says: "Great sequel!"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Prince of Thorns a year ago, and I loved it. I only waiting this long to read King of Thorns because I didn't want to blow through the entire series in a week.

    The plot is tight and quite captivating. The prose is beautiful, which is something of a rarity in the genre. And the characters are fascinating. The growth of Jorg was something that I wasn't really expecting, but it was really interesting to follow.

    I would recommend the book and the series to anyone who likes fantasy or good writing. Anyone looking for a good series to tide them over between episodes of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire would definitely enjoy these.

    James Clamp's narration is excellent. I wouldn't change a thing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Red Country

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1180)
    Performance
    (1053)
    Story
    (1051)

    They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

    Kristina says: "Freakin' Awesome!"
    "My new favorite audiobook, ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Abercrombie's writing never disappoints, but it's as sharp as ever. The story is exciting, moving, dark, funny, and probably some other things as well. The narration is first-rate. Pacey brought the characters to life perfectly. I would strongly recommend this to any fan of Abercrombie, or fantasy, or books, or life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sabriel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Garth Nix
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    Overall
    (1496)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (855)

    Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won't stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world.

    TOY E. HICKS says: "Enraptured"
    "A great story performed beautifully"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't know what to expect from Sabriel. But I really enjoyed it. It does tend a little bit toward the YA genre. The protagonist is an 18 year old girl. But I'm a 37 year old man with daughters of my own, and I enjoyed it a great deal. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy.

    0 of 0 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
    (14962)
    Performance
    (13875)
    Story
    (13877)

    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"
    "Great story, and great performance by Wil Wheaton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the story of Wade Watts, a teenager in the future who spends most of his life inside the OASIS, a virtual world that started out as a video game, but has become an escape from reality for most of the people on earth. When the creator of the OASIS died, he left behind the ultimate game. The winner of the game would inherit his fortune and control of the OASIS itself. The game consists of finding 3 keys, which will unlock 3 gates. The first person to get through the third gate will find the "easter egg" and win the game, along with untold riches. The only clues anyone has to go on are the creator's love of all things from the 80's. Books, video games, movies, music, and even technology.

    I grew up in the 80's. So I experienced firsthand almost all of the things referenced in this book. I expected the references to get annoying, or at least to exist just to say "Hey, remember Dexy's Midnight Runners???" or something equally stupid. But it wasn't that way at all. Ok, so the references were a little over the top at times, but there were many more times when they made me laugh out loud, or they gave me a dopey sense of pride that I was able to solve a puzzle before the answer was given in the book.

    But the thing that makes or breaks this book isn't the references. It's the story. And I thought the story was wonderful. Even though most of the action is taking place in a virtual world, there is some very real life danger and drama. The characters become people you care about, even though you only know them as avatars.

    All in all, I loved it. It's not for everyone, but anyone who has ever been a gamer, or considered themselves a geek, or grew up in the 80's (or all 3) would find this right up their alley. I was discussing it with a friend of mine who also read it, and he said "It's great that you liked it so much, but it was written just for me." That's how it feels to read this book.

    All of that covers the book itself, but doesn't mention the performance of the narrator, Wil Wheaton. He was the perfect choice for this audiobook. You can tell he understands and loves the subject matter, and he just adds another layer of awesome on top of an already awesome story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10610)
    Performance
    (7833)
    Story
    (7878)

    For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

    D says: "A GREAT TRILOGY!!!"
    "Really fun listen/read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed listening to this in my car during my commute every day. The narration is excellent. Michael Kramer has a cool voice and does a good job of differentiating the characters. The story itself is a lot of fun and toward the end, I found myself sitting in the parking lot when I should have been heading in to work. The only complaint I have is that the writing became a little repetitive, and this may have only been because I was listening to it. There was a lot of "xyz said" and then "abc said", etc... It was a little bit distracting at times. Other than that, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone looking for a fun fantasy read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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