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Steve (Walnut Creek, CA, USA)

Walnut Creek, CA United States | Member Since 2007

  • 12 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 242 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014

  • Live Free or Die: Troy Rising, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the solar system, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. But the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, were peaceful traders and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

    Amazon Customer says: "Republican Physicists in Space!!!"
    "OK. Not as good as the Prince Roger series"

    This story line has some interesting and unique ideas to it. I don't think it's as compelling as the Prince Roger series, and I also think the narration for Roger series was exceptional, while I think this is just OK. Far better for various Southern (US) accents than other parts of the US and the rest of the world.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Really entertaining, well narrated"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ready Player One to be better than the print version?

    Don't know.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    In chapter 1 - the reference to "dogs and cats, living together; mass hysteria" from Ghostbusters was my first indication the book would have some good humor.

    Which character – as performed by Wil Wheaton – was your favorite?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, though reality gets in the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Paul Davies
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). But after a half century of scanning the skies, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence---eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life.

    Gary says: "I love the topic and I love this book"
    "Pretty Good"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. It brought up some interesting points.

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Theories of what forms life could take after it evolves intelligence

    What three words best describe George K. Wilson???s performance?

    Adequate, not exceptional.

    Could you see The Eerie Silence being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not at all. Maybe a discovery channel program.

    Any additional comments?

    A decent read. Lots of interesting thinking in the book, however some of the conclusions seem to be limited - not possible to make with the amount of evidence we have.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hot Gate: Troy Rising, Book Three

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The fight to free the Earth from alien domination began in Live Free or Die, and continued in Citadel. Now Tyler Vernon and his troops aboard the gigantic battle station Troy face a desperate battle with the forces of galactic tyranny. And the very survival of the Earth and its people is not all that is at stake. The galaxy itself must choose to live free or die - and if the tyrants win this battle, darkness will fall across the galaxy for millennia to come.

    John M says: "Huh?"
    "Not terrible, but not as good as previous books"

    I've liked this series enough. This book is a low point - too much time spent on the South American psychology, not enough on the larger relationships with other species. The combat scenes are well-done, and those parts of the book that don't deal with the South Americans are fine.

    I might like to see some exploration of the origin of the gates at some point.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dreadnaught: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The first book of best-selling sci-fi author Jack Campbell’s new series Beyond the Frontier returns to find Captain John “Black Jack" Geary, the hero of the Lost Fleet series, awoken from cryogenic sleep to take command of the fleet. Geary’s legendary exploits have earned him the adoration of the people—and the enmity of politicians convinced that a living hero can be a very inconvenient thing.

    Jean says: "A welcome new series"
    "The same but different"

    I enjoyed this book. I'd read some negative reviews but wanted to know what happened next. The internal politics was similar in construct to previous books (and I have liked it, so no change there). The Enigma race and the investigations of it were slow, and clearly will go into another book or few, and the addition (spoiler alert) ........... of an additional sentient species throws a bit of a curve at you, and that's a good thing.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Vortex

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Vortex tells the story of Turk Findley, the protagonist introduced in Axis, who is transported 10,000 years into the future by the mysterious entities called “the Hypotheticals”. In this future, humanity exists on a chain of planets connected by Hypothetical gateways; but Earth itself is a dying world, effectively quarantined. Turk and his young friend, Isaac Dvali, are taken up by a community of fanatics who use them to enable a passage to the dying Earth, where they believe a prophecy of human/Hypothetical contact will be fulfilled.

    Ron says: "well-written, well-narrated, but..."
    "A decent closure"

    This review contains spoilers (plot details):

    I really liked Spin, and I was more drawn in to it than most books I've read. Axis wasn't all that great to me. I figured I had to get Vortex to figure out what it was all about.

    It's a well-done story with typical Wilsonian bouncing from time and character to time and character. He goes farther out than I'd expected, to the eventual breakdown of subatomic particles in the very distant future.

    I liked the characters and ideas, and generally enjoyed it. Narration is the same as for the previous 2 books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Greg Mortenson
    • Narrated By Atossa Leoni
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From the author of the number-one national best seller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian and the schools he has established. In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson recounts his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders.

    Cathleen says: "Better than Three Cups of Tea"
    "A good book"

    I enjoyed this book roughly as much as Three Cups of Tea.

    The narration is entirely different, but in contrast to some reviewers, I didn't mind it at all.

    People such as those in this book are a credit to our species - it's too bad they're not more common.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blind Lake

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder

    Robert Charles Wilson, says The New York Times, "writes superior science fiction thrillers." His Darwinia won Canada's Aurora Award; his most recent novel, The Chronoliths, won the prestigious John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Now he tells a gripping tale of alien contact and human love in a mysterious but hopeful universe.

    J. Rhoderick says: "Amazing concept, thrilling story"
    "Mediocre - not as good as Spin"

    I read Spin and Axis, and then A Bridge of Years.

    Blind Lake isn't terrible, but it follows a similar formula - a big unknown happens which isn't understood by a population, people react, things slowly escalate, then a (in my opinion) somewhat under-satisfying conclusion is reached.

    If you haven't read Spin yet, try it instead. I thought it was quite brilliant and I'm eagerly awaiting Vortex, the 3rd book of that series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Cry of Freedom: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By James McPherson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis

    James M. McPherson, professor emeritus of U.S. history at Princeton, is one of the foremost scholars of the Civil War. In this informative and meticulously researched masterpiece, he clarifies the differing ways of life and philosophy that led to this shattering conflict. Abraham Lincoln wondered whether "in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government". And Jefferson Davis felt "forced to take up arms" to guarantee states' rights.

    Brian says: "Incredible audio book"
    "Engaging, Interesting"

    I really enjoyed this book. As a kid, growing up in California, you get the impression that the primary cause of the war was whether or not slavery would be permitted in the South.

    In college, as I developed a healthy cynicism, I concluded that it was essentially about whether or not states would be allowed to secede, and that slavery didn't have much to do with it.

    In truth, it was a key issue. The war wouldn't have happened without it, nor would it have happened without Southern pride, or a decay over time in Southern influence due to the addition of more free states than slave states, and population growth in the North being more rapid, resulting in more representatives in Congress.

    I didn't know any of this pre-war detail: attempts to make a slave zone around the Carribean, lots of effort toward make Kansas a slave state, etc.

    The author frequently lists things said by both sides regarding an issue, then states whether or not there is enough objective evidence to support either claim. Like most political issues, there's truth and deception to both sides.

    Narrator is fine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "Unexpectedly brilliant"

    A friend recommended this book months ago. Its description didn't particularly excite me, so I didn't download it for quite some time. Finally, in a mood for some fiction, I got it.

    It's a very good book, and the narration is absolutely brilliant. The woman's voice is very good with kid's voices, accents, etc.

    I haven't read the physical version, but I'd wager that it's better to listen to it than read it.

    As a flippant aside: the co-worker who recommended it and I discussed it over lunch. We've decided that an Ender/Nell showdown would make for great reading!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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