March to the Stars is the third in the Prince Roger series from David Weber and John Ringo. If you've read the first two in the series, you know what to expect - MilSF at its very best, with excellent reading by Stefan Rudnicki. If you haven't read the previous, start with March Upcountry by the same writers and readers. You won't be disappointed.
March to the Stars has Prince Roger and the Bronze Battalion, now with far fewer of its original members, but with the addition of many natives of the planet Marduk, in their final push to capture the only port on the planet so that Prince Roger can be returned to his loving family. The action is predictably fast and furious, but it's the ongoing interactions between Roger and the Bronze Barbarians that make this more than just another MilSF shoot'em-up.
This series is far better than it has any right to be, and continues to surprise and please. A perfect book to "read" while working out or riding the stationary bike. It holds your interest without being mind-numbing and will help you stick to the task.
On Basilisk Station is the first of the Honor Harrington books. Inspired by the Horatio Hornblower saga, these are the British Napoleonic Era Navy transposed to outer space and the Manticorian Kingdom (and eventually Empire). The stories and characters are new, but you can still very much feel the inspiration. In this first in the series, Weber writes much more tightly than in later books, and it's really a very enjoyable story. Or it would be, if the narrator could pronounce Manticorian. Now it wouldn't be a big deal,except that the word occurs in virtually every paragraph, and each and every time it is a knife thrust into the brain. There are other problems with the narration, including very odd characterizations and ridiculous accents, but I could forgive all that. But the mispronounced words are just inexcusable. It's a shame, since there are so many really fine narrators doing science fiction readings.
This 20th book in the story of Kate Shugak and Alaska is another winner, though much of the story is actually about Jim Chopin. The plot, straight out of Shakespeare, involves the feud between two villages in the Park, and the problems of young love in the midst of feud fueled by profound cultural and socio-economic differences.
This book ends with a rather controversial ending that I will not describe or comment on to avoid spoiling the book. Suffice it to say, it's a shocker.
But even knowing that, I am extremely glad to have read this book, and, as usual, Marguerite Gavin's superb narration adds to the enjoyment and understanding.
Spider and Jeanne Robinson's classic Stardance is a novel of discovery. It isn't "space opera", and isn't even "alien contact", though certainly it involves contact with aliens. It's much more about dance and zero-G, than about aliens. I first read this book in the 70's, and I wasn't sure how well it would have stood the test of time, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes it's a bit dated, but still a compelling story, well told and well narrated by Spider Robinson. Usually, authors should not pretend to be narrators, but stick to their writing, but Mr.Robinson does a superb job of narration. All in all, well worth the credit.
If you've been reading the Foreigner series, then you won't want to miss this book! The fighting is in and around Bren Cameron's country estate, as Bren must negotiate with Machigi to prevent a full out civil war. Again.
If this is your first contact with Cherryh's Foreigner series, stop! You really need to go back to the very beginning of the series. There is way too much that you've missed to start with this book.
Ilisidi and the young son, Cajeri. The dowager continues to be a powerful and unpredictable force, with an agenda of her own. And Cajeri is a continuing surprise.
Excellent narration, though a bit slow. But the Atevi voices feel right.
A great series. Highly recommended!!
Sharon Lee, co-author of more than a dozen Liaden Universe books, this time brings us something completely different -- a pure fantasy centered around the carousel and arcade at "Archer's Beach" on the Maine coast. Kate Archer, who was brought up by her dryad grandmother, has returned to Archer's Beach because her grandmother has disappeared and the Carousel needs to be run for the summer season, and much fun and danger ensues. The book is fun and well-written, with good characterization and good plotting. The story is made even better by the excellent reading of Elisabeth Rodgers whose Maine accent may not be "real", but feels right to this non-Mainer.
More stories in the Archer's Beach series are under contract with the publisher, so I sincerely hope they'll also get Audible editions, preferrably with the same narrator.
We Few is the fourth and apparent concluding volume in the Prince Roger series from David Weber and John Ringo, though there have been rumours of a new Prince Roger book. Like the previous books in the series, We Few is excellent MilSF and a rousing good story. As an audio book, it works extremely well, with fast pace and good dialog. Stefan Rudnicki does his usual superb reading of the book, making the Audible edition even more appealing.
If you haven't read the earlier books in the series, start with March Upcountry. But be prepared to be drawn into a world that is difficult to put down and that will have you finding reasons to listen longer than you usually do. If you're a runner or other distance athlete this is the perfect series to encourage extra miles.
This is an excellent and typically quirky Lawrence Block book. Keller, the protagonist, is a hit man, but to him it's just a job that he does because he can do it well. The book moves right along, and the reading by Robert Forster is excellent, adding to my enjoyment of the book. This is a perfect book to distract you from a long run. It's not great literature, but it is an excellent book by a master of his trade. Recommended.
Fiametta Beneforte, the young daughter of a magician/jeweler loses her father, and her home, to a vicious attack.This is the story of how she recovers and perserveres to discover her own magic, win her handsome husband, and defeat the evil men who killed her father. Good magic, likeable characters, despicable bad guys, and even a swayback white horse. All in all a delightful story, though without the depth of later Bujolds.
The reader, Jessica Almasy, is hardly my favourite reader, but in the end doesn't spoil the book for me. But a better reading would have pushed this up to 5 star overall.
This is a superb reading of one of the most compelling and well-written books of American literature. I wanted a book that would be good for a long trip, and it's certainly that. But I had no idea how much I would be drawn into the story of the Joads and of the destruction wrought by the disks of the combines. There are timely and cogent lessons here for us today, with entire states turned over to a mono-culture of corn. But forget the lessons, forget that it is literature, forget that you read it because you had to in school. Read this book because you can't put it down. Even when you know it all ends badly, you _care_.
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