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MADELINE

United States | Member Since 2010

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 259 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The Short Victorious War: Honor Harrington, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1237)
    Performance
    (886)
    Story
    (889)

    The rulers of the People's Republic of Haven are in trouble and revolt is brewing, so it's high time for a short victorious war. But Honor Harrington is going to give them a war that's neither short nor victorious.

    Jean says: "A Short Victorious War"
    "An increasingly interesting series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    For my


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I was a little worried that the series would start to become repetitive (Honor faces huge odds, Honor's ship barely survives, Honor becomes an interplanetary hero), and perhaps by the time I hit book 11 it will be, but this book is significantly different. It spends a lot of time on other characters, Honor works as just one part of a team, and there is some interesting political intrigue (however, it is not _all_ political intrigue, like Weber's Armageddon Reef series)


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    I like her; whilst some of her accents are a bit questionable sometimes, but she has a lot of characters she needs to differentiate between. The whole


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nope. Enjoyable, exciting, interesting. Not great literature, but very good writing and dialog for a sci-fi series. Characters, if not fully 3D, are at least 2.5 dimensional (some sympathetic enemies, though there are a couple of caricatures)


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Weber does a good job writing about a (near) zero-sexism culture without completely ignoring sexism (like the Lost Fleet series) but also without being blazingly obvious and preachy about it.

    The previous book, which addressed the issue directly by pitting Honor against two different patriarchies (one openly misogynistic, the other less so, but still very chauvinistic), did it in an interesting manner; this book doesn't specifically address the issue, although it does reveal the fact that sexual assault still exists in Honor's world.

    It's an issue that I think Weber handles well, and is not one usually addressed in action/sci-fi.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ark Royal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (393)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (374)

    Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

    C. Hartmann says: "TWO (!!) audiobooks this year get SIX stars"
    "So very, very dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The writing is so dry that it's like... fiction jerky. And not good jerky either, but the stuff that's been sitting at the back of the shelf with a broken freshness seal since twenty-aught-six.

    Several commenters have compared this book to modern Battlestar Galactica, and that's one of the reasons I gave it a go. For all of its problems, I really like BSG, and I was hoping that this was in the same spirit. Unfortunately, it doesn't come close. Since others might base their decision on this, here are some contrasts.

    First, I loved the atmosphere in BSG - it is one of suspenseful, eerie isolation. Ark Royal, on the other hand, feels like bog standard military sci-fi. You almost feel like you're watching the most unremarkable British WWII film ever made.

    Both stories have women in various roles (civilian and military), but BSG has reasonably well-rounded female characters whilst AR just has stereotypical caricatures.

    Finally, in Ark Royal, the officers have utter contempt for reporters, politicians, scientists, and the citizenry. In BSG, there was some of that dynamic, but it was used to introduce genuine conflict and story development. In AR it's just "nudge-nudge wink-wink look at those clueless civilians aren't we superior."

    On the plus side, it has some really (unintentionally) amusingly written sex scenes, and it's also fulfilled my quota of bourgeois sentimentality for the year, so there's that.

    Two stars because I actually listened to the whole thing.

    P.S. Don't get me started on the repetition - I don't know how many times I heard slight variations of "He was almost old enough to be her father," "He really wanted a drink right now," or "Humans would do , but would the aliens react similarly?"

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Treachery In Death: In Death, Book 32

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1957)
    Performance
    (1237)
    Story
    (1233)

    In a New York City fifty years in the future, Detective Eve Dallas tracks down those who break the law - including the ones sworn to uphold it. Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a brutal, senseless crime - an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. And for the first time, Peabody is primary detective on the case, which means she has to get used to a new level of authority and responsibility. Good thing she learned the ropes from a master like Eve. But after rounding up the perps, Peabody stumbles upon a much trickier situation.

    Jean says: "Treachery in Death"
    "Mediocre police procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was most disappointing about J. D. Robb’s story?

    Whilst billed as being set fifty years in the future, there is nothing remotely futuristic about it, save for the token use of the word "droid".
    Also, most of the characters are pretty 2-D, the plot is pretty predictable, and a lot of the dialog is trite.


    Did Susan Ericksen do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I thought her performance for the main character was well done, but all the other voices were caricaturistic and way overboard. A lot more subtlety could be used.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not all of the dialog was bad, and it was mildly entertaining at times. That is all.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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