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Jared

scirocco

BELLINGHAM, WA, United States | Member Since 2005

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 230 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Engines of God

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (180)

    Humans call them Monument-Makers. An unknown race, they left stunning alien statues scattered on distant planets throughout the galaxy, encoded with strange inscriptions that defy translation. Searching for clues about the Monument-Makers, teams of 23rd century linguists, historians, engineers and archaeologists have been excavating the enigmatic alien ruins on a number of planets, uncovering strange, massive false cities made of solid rock. But their time is running out.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Conceptually intriguing, but uneven writing style"
    "Thumbs down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No plot; nothing happens. One-dimensional, unsympathetic characters. Everything that might've been a surprise is telegraphed ahead of time. NO answers are provided, just wild speculations… but that isn't TOO surprising, as that's how the characters do all their own thinking, despite the fact they're supposed to be scientists. What little tension exists is drawn out so long that it wouldn't hold a rolled-up newspaper together. The only aliens that show up onscreen are a rampaging horde of stupid critters that seem added only because someone said there should be action in the book SOMEWHERE.

    It's too late for ME to get this time back, but YOU still have time! Shields up! Warp speed! RUN!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3497)
    Performance
    (3057)
    Story
    (3091)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "The Most Interesting Girl in the World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    She doesn't always get kidnapped by terrorists… but when she does, nearly every male on Planet Stephenson wants to do anything and everything to help her. All other males want to rape and murder her. It doesn't matter how tangentially Zula knows these men: they all want to adopt, kiss, kidnap, aid, romance, go to war, or swim across oceans for her. She's like YT (from Snow Crash) on 20 years of author steroids.

    All without her doing much to earn it except be Zula.

    And that's about all I took away from this book.

    That, and I wish a game like T'Rain existed. Oh, wait… it does. It's called EVE.

    Generally, there are the standards we've come to expect from Stephenson: the wry humor; the eloquent and hip dialog, the characters who won't take crap from anybody. But the story is so random that I had a hard time believing it could ever happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3383)
    Performance
    (1785)
    Story
    (1794)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "Fine vision, desultory writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Paolo had an interesting idea (his personal introduction helps), and ran with it, but the book came across as an exercise in world building or futurism rather than a novel. The plot is difficult to see and weak when glimpsed. The characters are interesting, but so isolated from each other that even when they're interacting, they feel like castaways. Paolo also has some favorite(?) words that keep resurfacing over and over again, to the point of inducing groans. Action is sparse.

    Jonathan Davis does his usual great job, but compared to his other performances, this one is kind of flat, but I don't blame him for this: I'm sure he did the best with what he was given.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Garden of Iden: A Novel of the Company, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Kage Baker
    • Narrated By Janan Raouf
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (76)

    The first novel of Kage Baker’s critically acclaimed, much-loved series, the Company, introduces us to a world where the future of commerce is the past. In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus, Inc. One of these is Mendoza, the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden.

    Ethan M. says: "Very different SF, both in performance and tone"
    "Much promise, no delivery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I expected a lot from this book when the immortal time travelers were described—statted out, if you will—but there was no delivery. The characters spent the whole book hiding in a house instead of doing cool immortal time traveler stuff. The performance was good, except for a few too-quiet and too-loud moments, and the dialog is funny; the performer is really good at expressing emotion. Baker is good at switching between modernized badinage and old-timey thys and thous.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Titus Groan: Volume 1 of the Gormenghast Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mervyn Peake
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (144)

    Enter the fantastical world of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. Novelist C.S. Lewis called Peake's books "actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience."

    Benjamin L. Alpers says: "Count Me Among the Peake Fans"
    "Excellent Narrator, Sub-par Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is more poem than plot. The performance is flawless, though Audible seems confused about whether it's Simon Vance (who can do no wrong, in my opinion) or Robert Whitfield. If you want someone to paint you pictures with words and aren't too worried about a solid story, go for it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mote in God's Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3755)
    Performance
    (2213)
    Story
    (2240)

    The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".

    J. Rhoderick says: "A great read!"
    "Boring; bad pacing"
    Overall

    The climax of the novel is about in the middle: the rest of it reads like a downward spiral of loose ends. The romance between the two semi-protagonists is hackneyed and stilted. The alien secret is boring. Niven forgets, as he so often does, simple but crucial bits of reality that poke holes in his flimsy plot.

    Give it a pass.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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