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Daniel O. Buchholz

Computer Geek

Arlington, VA USA | Member Since 2004

68
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 45 reviews
  • 191 ratings
  • 724 titles in library
  • 40 purchased in 2014
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13

  • A Hunger for the Infinite: A Galactic Center Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (415)
    Story
    (415)

    A Hunger for the Infinite, which first appeared in Robert Silverberg's Far Horizons anthology, is a novella that takes place in the universe of "The Galactic Center Saga", detailing a galactic war between mechanical and biological life. Here, the pilots had made it to True Center in order to destroy something, anything, important to the Mechs, but Paris had something else on his mind. A story of the Mantis, and the decline of humans beginning in 3600 AD.

    Michale says: "Haunting"
    "Didn't click"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess sometimes you get what you paid for, and since I got this for free I can't complain too much.

    This novella and I just didn't click. Maybe I have gotten used to different styles of writing and different types of perspectives but much as I tried to I couldn't get involved in this book. Written in the more classic SF style and dealing with more of the strange (yeah, the main character was human, but far removed from present day humanity) I felt like I was tossed into the middle of something that I didn't have the background on.

    Overall not a complete waste of time, but the odds of me ever reading/listening to this again are asymptotic to zero...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Engines of God

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (276)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (193)

    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"
    "Great SF!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Solid and engaging SF. One of the things I respected about this book is that it shows the future as a messy place. Sure, they have FTL travel and communications but everything is not hunky-dory at home. Earth is a messed up place that seems only to be getting worse, science is still operating on a shoestring budget, the military/government is still stepping on peoples toes and the universe is a big scary place.

    Spanning 5 separate planets, this tale is good (generally what I have come to expect from Jack McDevitt). We have the stars but they are a fairly lonely place. Only one alive race has been found (the are technologically around the WWI level), another never got off their planet and died out and a third was engaged in a game of clue, placing structures near all three races (they left a statue near us an weirdly empty city on a moon of another race).

    The main characters are mostly archaeologists, who only seem to have exciting jobs in the stories that are written (like Indiana Jones) who are trying to put all the pieces together. There is action scenes scattered all around story as well as high tech action. I am really looking forward to the next book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5789)
    Performance
    (5395)
    Story
    (5393)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "What do you never want to be?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ah, redshirts. It seems to be a sign of a true SF geek to immediately get the reference, vs those would stare at you blankly if you referenced it. But what if you suddenly realized that you weren't the main character in the reality that you inhabit. Worse, you come to the suspicion that your part in the show may be to become just interesting enough to make the audiences feel some emotional loss when you died. And everyone around you is dying at a rate unheard of for any other ship in the fleet.

    Well, this is what happened to the main characters of this story. And after living through a dreaded away mission (except for their dramatically lost friend ironically) they finally figure out what is going on and even when their show is being written (though of course via divergent universes there is no reference to their show). After kidnapping a main character (one of the best ways to ensure that they don't die off-screen) they are off to the past to try and stop the writers from killing them and their compatriots.

    Overall a fun book, with entertaining characters and a sly wink to a bunch of in-jokes. It may not be a book I ever go back to re-read but it was an interesting story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Midst Toil and Tribulation: Safehold Series, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (597)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (542)

    After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting - egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis's declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos.

    Ryan says: "Narrator is HORRIBLE - Love this series"
    "A transition book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Treading water. When you get a series that has such breadth and scope such as the Safehold series (in particular when you are talking about a book that spans the entire world where the fastest objects are moving at around 20mph) you sometimes have a book where most of the story is spent getting things tidied up from the last book and preparing the ground for the next. Midst Toil and Tribulation is one of those rebuilding books.

    Sure, some things happened. Fights occurred, progress was made, troops were moving across the world. But in the end you find yourself wanting, waiting for the next book because that is when the interesting stuff is going to happen. I appreciate the series and look forward to the next but this book just whets your appetite for the next book, leaving you unfulfilled and wanting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oath of Swords: War God, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (650)
    Story
    (657)

    Bahzell is no knight in shining armor, and besides he has too many problems of his own to be messing with anybody else's problems - let alone the War God's. Unfortunately, the War God has other ideas for him.

    breckoz says: "Almost Returned This One"
    "Great story that grabs you from the start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This may have been the only "pure" fantasy (vs urban fantasy) books I have read in a long while. I have read Weber's Reef series but that has a serious SF element. Not that I haven't read fantasy ever (100's of books disagree with that estimate) but it's not my primary genre.

    I gotta say that I liked this book. The story kept me interested the whole way through and I turned around and bought the next book in the series right after finishing this one.

    As to the story? It helps that it is an interesting world, populated by both the standard races (humans, dwarves, elves) as well as the unique (like our lead character and sidekick, who are hridani, a tall human like people with different ears). Bahzell is at his core a good guy, and therein lays the problem, as his tendency to do good gets him into deeper and deeper trouble. And then the Gods and Mages get involved....

    I very much look forward to reading the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Second Star: Star Svensdotter, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dana Stabenow
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    "When the Betelgeuse message was detected, it changed a lot of things on Earth. We began to look seriously outward, not with the heady optimism of the early days, but with deliberate calculation. We knew that Someone was out there, and that eventually, they’d be coming. If Earth didn’t occupy the High Frontier, it could be ours to lose."

    Lindsay Jeffers says: "Interesting Space Opera"
    "Classic SF"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Given that I grew up in the days when the Russians (or Soviets) were a driving force, this novel felt familiar. This is basically an alternate future book, where a message from space shows that Aliens are out there and motivates the world to head outwards to greet those aliens on a more equal footing.

    Star is basically a construction manager / captain of the still developing L5 community being put together by the Western alliance (US, Japan, Mexico, Canada) on a grand scale (miles long rotating habitat meant to house 1 million people? That's the definition of grand scale!). Of course, there are a lot of issues. The potential of a hostile takeover, construction delays, solar flares and, yes, aliens all make this book an entertaining read.

    Amazingly for a book written 2 decades ago, the book holds up fairly well (other than the geo-political aspects). I had to go back see when it was written and was quite surprised at the date.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (1137)
    Performance
    (1040)
    Story
    (1050)

    The authority of the Syndicate Worlds’ government is crumbling. Civil war and rebellion are breaking out in many star systems, despite the Syndic government’s brutal attempts to suppress disorder. Midway is one of those star systems, and leaders there must decide whether to remain loyal to the old order or fight for something new.

    Aser Tolentino says: "Enjoy OBSTLT (or Be Subject to Life Termination)"
    "More from the Lost Fleet world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great spinoff concept. Prior to this book the Syndicate, controlled by nefarious CEO's, were nothing more than relative stick figures. In this case we get to delve deeper into Syndicate society in the post-Geary age. The main characters were tangentially introduced in the main series, but now we have a chance to see the desperate fight of the leadership of Midway to separate themselves from the central control of the Syndicate.

    This is much more of a political novel than the Lost Fleet books. Yes, there is space combat as well as ground combat, but a lot of the book is devoted to the truly twisted political realm of the CEO's, where you cannot trust anyone. Even though they must work together to wring a small hole of safety for both themselves and the people of Midway, the sheer level of scheming is intense (where every move is never taken at face value and no one is what they seem to be). But the two leaders, Drakon and Iceni, seem to see the value of cooperation and realize that the system that they were born into needs to be changed (but realizing that it cannot be done overnight).

    A very solid book and I very much look forward to the next (with a cliffhanger like Jack dropped at the end of the book, it is a given that there needs to be another book).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A World Out of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (348)

    After more than two hundred years as a corpsicle, Jaybee Corbell awoke in someone else’s body and under threat of instant annihilation if he made a wrong move while they were training him for a one-way mission to the stars. But Corbell bided his time and made his own move. Once he was outbound, where the society that ruled Earth could not reach him, he headed his starship toward the galactic core.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "Do you know how people get old?"
    "Classic SF"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While a few of the concepts of the future world are a bit dated (though one could argue that as most of the story is from the perspective of a man who died in the 1970's) it overall is an interesting romp that covers an impressive scope of time (not just throwing us hundreds of years into the future, but millions!!!).

    Corbell begins this tale as a corpsicle, frozen on the off chance getting revived in the future. And lucky for him he does... sorta. Waking up in a new body he finds he is merely fodder for the "State", his old body is ground up to extract his memories and tied into a body of a criminal who has been wiped. Slated to be a operator of a ramscoop ship, he eventually has his own ideas and ends up hijacking it and eventually returning to the Earth 3 million years after he left. Afterward he spends the rest of the book on the prowl for a special treatment that will make him young again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Furious: Kris Longknife, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (302)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (278)

    Having used unorthodox methods to save a world - and every sentient being on it - Lieutenant Commander Kris Longknife is wanted across the galaxy for crimes against humanity. For her own safety, she’s been assigned to a backwater planet where her Fast Patrol Squadron 127 enforces immigration control and smuggler interdiction. But Kris is a Longknife, and nothing can stop her from getting back to the center of things - not when all hell is breaking loose.

    Darry says: "Awesome Sci-fi series"
    "Almost a placeholder book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the style of SF that I grew up on. I guess that is why I have read the past 9 books, making this one a no-brainer.

    In a lot of ways this is perhaps the most boring of the series. No cataclismic fight against overwhelming odds and very little fleet action (even the ground fighting/espionage, another big factor for this series, was tame). Mainly just a bunch of hiding/escaping from pursuers, a break in, more fleeing and then a courtroom drama (set in the Japanese empire, which is entertaining). And oddly enough, more romance than we have seen in almost the entire series combined.

    Kris starts the story exiled, stuck on a planet far away, seperated from most of her friends (except Abbie). After yet another assaination attempt coupled with some key intel that needs to be resolved back in Wardhaven, she promptly escapes. Making things difficult for her is that her father and her grandfather have both sworn out warrants against her, and her other grandfather locks her out of her massive funds.

    Overall entertaining popcorn novel. The most frustrating part of the book was the end, which so horribly teases the next book I was kind of annoyed......

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (419)

    A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave. But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects. Before he can be buried, the killer wakes up. Hungry. Infected. Contagious. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang… but a bite.

    Mike Naka says: "pretty good zombie story"
    "Zombie Serial Killer, need I say more?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Still not sure how I missed finding Jonathan Maberry before but I am hooked. This book seems to keep up his Zombie theme, with more of the classic outbreak/beginning story. Providing one of the better back stories for how the infection came to be than most books, the book kept me glued until the end.

    When a mad-scientist doctor injects a death row serial killer with something other than what the government wants, untold horror is unleashed on a little county in Pennsylvania. Most of the story is told from the perspective of the reporter, Trout, and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Dez. Trout gets the full story from the prison doc, while Dez must slowly figure out the danger she is in bit by bit and only through trial and error is she able to learn how to fight correctly. It is a solid story that keeps you involved for the entire novel, as you try to figure out where the story will end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty Takes a Holiday: Kitty Norville, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Carrie Vaughn
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (794)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (482)

    After getting caught turning wolf on national television, Kitty retreats to a mountain cabin to recover and write her memoirs. But this is Kitty, so trouble is never far behind, and instead of Walden Pond, she gets Evil Dead.

    Helen says: "A great escape...Kitty takes a holiday!"
    "Still entertaining but lacking focus"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was kind of a slog to get through. I continue to enjoy reading stories involving Kitty, but this story seemed somewhat adrift and not anchored like the first two books. It also had the odd feel that there were basically two stories in this book that are combined. The mystery of who is harassing Kitty during her self-enforced isolation and the part where she deals with the aftereffects of the first story.

    Overall we get a better understanding of the world that Kitty lives in (with the expansion of new types of supernatural creatures and of magic) as well as better understanding of the two men who dominate her life, her lawyer, Ben, and her occasional hunter ally Cormic.

    I really do enjoy the tone (the voice) of Kitty, she remains an engaging character and I have hopes for the next book. It helps that in the end she is back where she belongs, behind the mic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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