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  • Blowback: A Retrieval Artist Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Moon, shaken by the Anniversary Day tragedies, deals with devastation. The Earth Alliance believes another attack imminent, but no one knows where or when it will strike. Just like no one knows who ordered the attacks in the first place. The Moon’s chief security office, Noelle DeRicci, does her best to hold the United Domes government together. But Retrieval Artist Miles Flint, dissatisfied with the investigation into the Anniversary Day events, begins an investigation of his own.

    John says: "Ending Missing--Call a Retrieval Artist?"
    "Like th series? This wont fail u--don't start here"
    What did you like best about Blowback? What did you like least?

    [My headline is stupid because I couldn't fit it into 50 characters spelled out.]Returning characters are the best part. Although, Flint's character is rather inhibited by his concern for his daughter's safety.Still, it is a real-world constraint for his character. This particular novel fails to reach maximum entertainment because it has too many (albeit connected) story-lines in such a short space. I would have preferred the book better if it were longer and had more events / scenes / etc. like some of the earlier books.

    Would you recommend Blowback to your friends? Why or why not?

    Friends or anyone interested in tense plotting with interesting characters in a future (but not implausible) world should read / listen to this--Just not first. Read the earlier books to get hooked and drawn in.

    Have you listened to any of Jay Snyder’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Snyder reads this kind of book very well. I look forward to his earnest and intense reading.

    Did Blowback inspire you to do anything?

    I am re-reading the entire series in order again to get the feel of the epic continuity.

    Any additional comments?

    Although once the reader knows the ending, the suspense is gone, of course, nevertheless, I find that this series stands up very well to repeat listening. Nine books is a lot of credits, but if others are like me, they'll get value indeed for their credit(s) because these are books I come back to--in order or just grabbing a random episode that I want to hear again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Walk the Plank: The Human Division, Episode 2

    • UNABRIDGED (39 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris

    Wildcat colonies are illegal, unauthorized, and secret - so when an injured stranger shows up at the wildcat colony New Seattle, the colony leaders are understandably suspicious of who he is and what he represents. His story of how he’s come to their colony is shocking, surprising, and might have bigger consequences than anyone could have expected. Walk the Plank is a tale from John Scalzi's The Human Division, a series of self-contained but interrelated short stories.

    Brian says: "Bad style - at least for audio version"
    "The first episode is notably better."
    Would you try another book from John Scalzi and/or William Dufris?

    yes. Scalzi and Dufris have better stuff published. Dufris isn't the problem here.

    Would you ever listen to anything by John Scalzi again?

    Yes, but I'll try to be careful how I pick.

    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?


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

    This book although claiming to be part of a series did not have any of the characters from the first episode. It could be from a series, since it doesn't stand on its own like it claims to in the "flyleaf" of the purchase page. Its length is that of a "short-short", but it lacks both an ironic or unexpected twist that a good example of that style / genre should have. "Walk the Plank" lacks the wit and skill that one can see in nearly every short story by Saki, for example. I utterly disappointed in this 40 minutes lost of my life. Audible offered to take it back, but I paid money not a credit, so it's not even worth that effort. I plan to give episode 3 a try: it is projected to be longer so maybe Scalzi can put a story out there that at least shows as much respect for the audience as episode 1.

    Any additional comments?

    I was expecting better stuff because the first episode was really better and could have been followed up with something closer good if not actually excellent. The story has no closure. Sure, the audience knows what happened to a number of characters, but none of the questions for the colonists are answered. I am trying to avoid spoilers here, so I cannot be more specific.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Passage

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dr. Joanna Lander is a psychologist specializing in near-death experiences. She is about to get help from a new doctor with the power to give her the chance to get as close to death as anyone can.

    Aser says: "You Can't Get There From Here"
    "Entertaining 'what if' novel"
    Would you listen to Passage again? Why?

    I would listen again. Actually I find all of Ms Willis's books that I have read worth the re-reading. This is no exception. I found I cared about the characters and what they were learning and doing. I also found the narrator is a good match for the tone and content of the story.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the mix of plot tension with character development. Some readers / listeners may complain of "pseudoscience," but I think the point isn't "Gee this might be true," but rather the point is, "I can see these people doing these things in this situation," and I care about them.In another vein, I think this story compares very favorably with "The Brief History of the Dead" by Kevin Brockmeier. If you liked that book, I believe you would like "Passage." If you didn't like "Brief History...", you may like "Passage" nevertheless.

    Have you listened to any of Dina Pearlman???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to Clementine by Cherry Priest. I guess this compares favorably, because I didn't realize I had heard Dina Pearlman before until I looked at my library to see if she is there. Since I didn't remember her reading of Clementine, that says to me that she is unobtrusive enough as a reader that I wasn't distracted by her reading from the content of the story.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did laugh at places in "Passage." I didn't actually cry, but there are places in the story that would be suitable for a "bitter sweet" label.

    Any additional comments?

    Once again, just to say I have enjoyed each Connie Willis book that I have read or listened to. I find "To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last" to be one of the most perfect books I have ever read (or listened to).

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Enchantment

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan

    The moment Ivan stumbled upon a clearing in the dense Carpathian forest, his life was forever changed: atop a pedestal encircled by fallen leaves, the beautiful princess Katerina lay still as death. But beneath the foliage a malevolent presence stirred, sending the 10-year-old scrambling for the safety of Cousin Marek's farm. Now years later, Ivan is an American graduate students engaged to be married.

    Amazon Customer says: "Get the unabridged!"
    "Get the unabridged!"

    The narrator is great here, but the actual abridgement is clumbsy and confusing. Key events are referred to, but the event itself (e.g. the folk story of the man who couldn't marry because he was already married to another) is cut.

    I love this story, book and audiobook. This abridgement, however is a painful and detracting cutting. I believe a good abridgement could be made, but this is not it.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Enchantment

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan

    Nicole says: "Wonderful book, good narrator, bad abridgement"
    "wretched abridgement!"

    I love this novel--I've read it on paper in one sitting three different times. But this abridgement is a hatchet job, it almost makes me weep! Normally I don't buy abridged books, and this is one for which I never should have made an exception.

    I wish I had read the other reviews; I wish I had paid more attention to the word "abridged." But I was too excited to finally see this book available. Big mistake!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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