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Katya A

new york


  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Very funny"
    "A stay-up-all-night-reading kind of book"

    This is my first book by John Scalzi, but definitely not the last. His sharp anad slightly sarcastic humor, effortless wit and narrative flow remind me a lot of "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The characters are interesting, multi-dimensional and over the top, while still believable and very much likable. The way the story weaves through the fantastic elements and the mundane elements is thrilling.

    Separate tip of the hat to Wil Wheaton, an excellent narrator. His characters are very distinct, his technique is flawless and Joshua the Alien sounds like a true hipster, which, i guess is expected for a gelatinous life form.

    I would recommend this book, you will enjoy it!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Columbus Day: Expeditionary Force, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Craig Alanson
    • Narrated By R.C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

    Gary Glenn says: "Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted"
    "Between Old Man's War and Agent to the Stars"

    1. A 20-something year old, all-American grunt, with a sense of duty and Army Pride - check.
    2. A super-intelligent Deus ex Machina AI with a very human sense of humor and wise-ass snarkiness - check.
    3. Spaceships, railguns and nukes - f** ye, check
    4. End-of-the-world stakes - check

    This a very fun listen, well written and entertaining in a simples way possible. If your looking for serious cerebral SciFi this is not for you, if your looking for fun lighthearted action-filled space opera you'll love it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Koban, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen W. Bennett
    • Narrated By Patrick Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    We colonized 700 planets. Humankind enjoyed the benefits of expansion room and the end of wars. We even disbanded our military. Then the Krall found us. The Krall have used thousands of years of combat to select the genes of the strongest and fastest warriors. They are a species determined to dominate the entire galaxy, through destruction and annihilation of every opponent.

    Koban is an uninhabited high-gravity planet with impossibly fast savage animals, which employ organic superconducting nerves. This deadly world is where the Krall tested humans for war capability.

    Nate says: "Good Story, dreadful narration."
    "OK premise, mediocre novel, terrible narration"

    You don’t see many negative reviews on Audible site because they are removed if you return the book. That is the only explanation I can think of when I see the ratings for this book. The concept of the novel is interesting but the prose is dull, infuriatingly repetitive and feels like it was written by an ambitious high school student that is taking on more than he can chew.

    Premise was interesting, but the novel really needs a good editor. If nothing else, at least to remove every other instance of the word "however" that the author uses a lot.
    The dialogue is laughable, childish and repetitive and often used as a blatant attempt at info-dumping. The action scenes were frustrating. There was no urgency and in the middle of it the author would focus on small, unrelated or insignificant details that completely threw me off the story.

    Holy cow, where do I begin.... :-/ This was just awful! I refuse to believe that person that narrated this book is a professional voice-over artist. He is often monotone and the syntax is unbearable. The voices of characters and their accents were not consistent. Female characters were truly awful. Some words mispronounced and pauses in odd places made already slow pace of the book completely unbearable. As for chuckling and sobbing, I wish the narrator didn’t trouble himself, but if you must recreate the sounds, at least skip their description.

    Gender reversal stuff:
    Stephen Bennett was born in 1942, so a female-driven society is probably more scary and alien to him than super aggressive Krall along with (maybe) sentient animals of the Koban. All of the female leaders are shown to be incompetent, selfish or conservatively inclined when the human race cannot afford it.The casual anti-male attitude in even some of the 'heroines' is as bad as the worst stories of the 1950's and before. A woman in authority casually reaches down and grabs a subordinate's crotch. Of course, women quickly recognise undeniable superiority of male leader and assume roles of pretty much secretaries/cooks/personal assistants to masculine heroes on their masculine quest of war games with the Krall race. Just in case this point is not obvious enough to a reader, a woman gets her whole team killed because she freaked over a snake and another dies because she wore heels while evacuating from the ship.

    Way too long. I am a fan of world building, but this got tedious for me. Characters are flat and unrelatable. I do not recommend this book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Intern's Handbook: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Shane Kuhn
    • Narrated By Pete Simonelli
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern. Interns are invisible. That’s the secret behind HR, Inc., the elite “placement agency” that doubles as a network of assassins for hire who take down high-profile targets that wouldn’t be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it.

    Sandi says: "Reads like a movie script"
    "Not bad but not all that original"

    Orphans are trained from childhood to be assassins, what a fresh concept. The main character, a veteran killer, pines for normal childhood he never had, resents his father figure that trained him to be an assassin and makes a fatal but very predictable mistake of falling for someone he knows he shouldn't.

    John Largo, the main character, is no Dexter - lurking in a plain view invisible monster that accepted himself for what he is. John is more of a Pinocchio - he just wants to be a real boy.

    Shane Kuhn has been a screenwriter, and it shows. He may be using this book as his "pitch" to movie-makers. The Intern's Handbook could be a TV movie - not quite good enough for the big screen, even considering Hollywood's love for remakes and unoriginal and predictable plots.

    As for narration, as much as I enjoy deep and raspy Simonelli's voice and his talent for book narration, it was a weird casting choice in my opinion - the protagonist is hardly 25, according to the book and every time he mentions it (on quite a few occasions) would really throw me off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Fold

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Star Trek: Q-Squared"
    "Great Sci-Fi Read"

    Recommended to all fans of 14. Great story, compelling, interesting, well-written. Love the Lovecraftian mythos he's created in "14" and continued with in this book.
    The Fold is not a sequel to 14 but takes place in the same universe (or multiverse, depending on how you look at it). Mr. Clines knows how to twist a story. He gives you clues about what is going on, but you miss them, for a while. Then you start to wonder. You think, "Did I miss something? I think I remember something, but I'm not sure." Then he continues into the realm of something else, he starts to bring in elements of horror, of creatures from another possibility. But it all feels so real, so logical, so possible.
    Looking forward to the third installment.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Theodore says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "A nearly flawless psychological thriller"

    I loved this book - great, multi-dimensional characters, character-driven plot, clever use of point of view, unreliable facts, presented by narrators and unexpected twists. A detective thriller, this novel is elevated in its commentary on the complex relationships that exist between men and women and children and their parents. An entertaining fiction, but there are unexpectedly astute observations on these pages.
    The main characters' voices are wonderfully vivid. The language is witty, figurative, and just plain fun.
    The ending was a complete surprise. It was so refreshing to see that the author is confident enough not to give the readers what they want, aware, or not. The ending was a perfect fit for the twists and turns of the rest of the book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The End is Nigh: The Apocalypse Triptych

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John Joseph Adams, Hugh Howey, Scott Sigler
    • Narrated By Mur Lafferty, Rajan Khanna, Kate Baker, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm. But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild. THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will tell their stories. Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. THE END IS NIGH focuses on life before the apocalypse. THE END IS NOW turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And THE END HAS COME focuses on life after the apocalypse.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "THE REIGNING KING OF ANTHOLOGY"
    "Mostly good, looking forward to the other 2"

    Some stories in this compilation are better than others, just like in any compilation.
    Some I really hope will carry over into a next compilation in the Apocalypse Triptych.

    My rating for individual stories:
    The Balm and the Wound by Robin Wasserman - ✪✪✪✪✪ - very enjoyable take on an 'End times' cult scam.
    Heaven is a Place on Planet X by Desirina Boskovich - ✪✪✪✪✪ - bitterly clever great short story.
    Break! Break! Break! by Charlie Jane Anders - ✪ - no recollection whatsoever.
    The Gods Will Not Be Chained by Ken Liu - ✪ - cyber-meh.
    Wedding Day by Jake Kerr - ✪✪ - as entertaining as watching someone's wedding video. I was hoping for the comet by the end of the story.
    Removal Order by Tananarive Due - ✪ - something to do with an epidemic, not particularly memorable story.
    System Reset by Tobias S. Buckell - ✪ - something to do with hackers, I think.
    This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces by Jamie Ford - ✪ - no recollection whatsoever.
    BRING HER TO ME by Ben H. Winters ✪✪✪✪✪ - i really hope for the continuation of this story
    In the Air by Hugh Howey ✪✪✪✪✪ - Silo Trilogy side story
    Goodnight Moon by Annie Bellet - ✪✪✪ - Astronauts facing certain death.
    Dancing with Death in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh - ✪✪✪✪ - very well done 'epidemic isolation victim' short story.
    Houses Without Air by Megan Arkenberg - ✪ - meh.
    The Fifth Day of Deer Camp by Scott Sigler - ✪✪ - protagonist chanced to be away from civilization during the alien attack. Ok, but predictable.
    Enjoy the Moment by Jack McDevitt
    Pretty Soon the Four Horsemen are Going to Come Riding Through by Nancy Kress
    Spores by Seanan McGuire - ✪✪✪✪ - predictable but well written
    She’s Got a Ticket to Ride by Jonathan Maberry - ✪✪✪✪✪ - great approach.
    Agent Unknown by David Wellington - ✪✪✪✪✪ - zombie genre for science nerds.
    Enlightenment by Matthew Mather - ✪✪✪✪✪ - absolutely horrifying and very believable story.
    Shooting the Apocalypse by Paolo Bacigalupi - ✪✪✪✪ - good take on a quite possible water crisis and already-existing revolting sensationalistic reporting.
    Love Perverts by Sarah Langan - ✪✪✪ - an apocalypse lottery.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....

    Carolyn says: "Strawmen and Ad Hominems"
    "Fascinating and informative"

    A smart and entertaining criticism of the myth that Homo sapiens is monogamous by nature. While not a manifesto of free love by any standard, this book provides an comparative observation of sex in our primate relatives, different practices in different societies, and current beliefs, including masturbation, monogamy, polyandry and many others. The author contrasts his conclusions and observations of many other scientists, psychologists, sociologists, and evolutionists.

    The author's view challenges current beliefs and is very thought-provoking. Allyson Johnson's narration is, like always, beautiful and adds another vibrant dimension to a great read.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hex Appeal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Ilona Andrews, and others
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck, Marc Vietor, Gayle Hendrix, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?

    Shay H. says: "Good Format, Good Stories"
    "Grab bag of Urban Fantasy"

    I got this anthology because it promised 'nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors'. My dad writes fanfic pretty much on this level. Recycled ideas, recycled plots.

    RETRIBUTION CLAUSE by ILONA ANDREWS - 4 stars - post-tech world, pretty cool environment, interesting story.

    BIGFOOT ON CAMPUS by JIM BUTCHER - 3 stars - I'm not really a fan of Dresden Files, but the story was interesting enough.

    HOLLY'S BALM by RACHEL CAINE - 2.5 stars - love conquers all but is not an excuse for bad prose.

    SNOW JOB by CAROLE NELSON DOUGLAS - ? stars - a story so bland, i'm not even sure what it was about anymore.

    OUTSIDE THE BOX by P.N. ELROD - 3.5 stars - in a world where vampires are possible, it's only reasonable that there would be a somewhat bureaucratic agency that registers and processes newly risen bloodsuckers.

    HOW DO YOU FEEL by SIMON R. GREEN - 3.5 stars - ok story from a sorta-zombie POV

    THERE WILL BE DEMONS by LORI HANDELAND - 2 stars - Dhampirs, skinwalkers, fairies and fallen angels... I just didn't find it interesting.

    CHERRY KISSES by ERICA HAYES - 2 stars - self-absorbed magical con artist goes to hell to retrieve something. I think amulet, but it didn't really stick.

    THE ARCANE ART OF MISDIRECTION by CARRIE VAUGHN - 4 stars - a blackjack dealer in Vegas who spots a cheater. Pretty good start but kinda sours a little towards the end.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Practical Demonkeeping

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets.

    tryjen says: "Witty as Always"
    "Pretty Good though not Moore's best"

    I like Christopher Moore. He does not take his writing too seriously. His books have some interesting bits of Science Fiction or Fantasy and some laugh-out-loud moments, approachable and likable characters and the plot that balances well on the edge of silliness.

    The ending felt a little cowardly - all loose end swiped under the rug and happily-ever-afters all around. Which is our collective fault as a readers that demand all the sugary happily-ever-afters. Just look at the mountain of angry letters that GRR Martin receives after each of his books come out. But now i'm way of the subject here.

    Practical Demonkeeping is hilarious and inventive. Great plot with many twists. Strong,diverse characters make this a pare turner.

    The narrator is great.

    I would definitely recommend it for a fun summer listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "LOOK BOOBIES"
    "The astronaut I want to be"

    This book is both a celebration of man's ingenuity and our desire to survive no matter what the odds. And pure geekery.

    I don't know how scientifically accurate the book is, but to a layman like myself, the problems encountered seem believable, and the solutions very clever.
    Mark Watney (the protagonist) is the kind of hero i enjoy the most - not a superman with unrealistic capabilities, but a very approachable science geek, innovative, funny, brave, resourceful and very, very human.

    As a middle-age designer with back problems, my chances for astronaut career are pretty slim, but this book should be a required reading for middle-school children to inspire next generation of scientists, dreamers and space explorers.

    Loved the humor, the storytelling style and the overall storyline. This is a book I'll be recommending to friends and family.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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