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Michael

Canberra, Australia

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 69 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • War Maid’s Choice: War God, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (343)

    In Wind Rider’s Oath, Bahzell became a wind rider - the first hradani wind rider in history. And, even if Bahzell is the War God’s champion, because the wind riders are the elite of the elite among the Sothoii, Bahzell’s ascension is as likely to stir resentment as respect. What’s more, Baron Tellian’s daughter, the heir to the realm, seems to be thinking that he is the only man - or hradani - for her. Now, War Maid’s Choice continues the story - and things really get complicated.

    Mike says: "Better and Better"
    "Great story dragged down by poor narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've really enjoyed the previous books in this series as ebooks, so I was looking forward to this continuation. Nick Sullivan's narrative style almost made me give up on it, though. His stop-start clipped enunciation sounds more like a movie trailer than someone reading a book aloud. After a time, I almost got used to his phrasing, but never quite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Northern Lights (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The award-winning His Dark Materials trilogy is a breathtaking epic adventure spanning a multitude of worlds. Northern Lights, the opening installment, sees Lyra and her shape-changing daemon embark on a dangerous quest.

    Michael says: "Hard to work out what's happening"
    "Hard to work out what's happening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The action jumps from place to place with little linking. I really had very little clue where anything went or why anyone was doing anything. Great performance, terrible scripting. Guess I'll have to get the actual book to find out what the deal is. I know this series is very popular. Maybe the writers assumed everyone listening would have read the books already?

    Don't bother with this if you don't know the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Stephen W. Hawking
    • Narrated By Michael York
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    Hawking takes us on a fascinating journey through the telescopic lens of modern physics to gain a new glimpse of the universe--the nature of black holes, the space-time continuum, and new information about the origin of the universe. He uses this scientific basis to come up with a "unified theory of everything" that the author claims will be "the ultimate triumph of human reason."

    D. ABIGT says: "Too simplistic for most people."
    "Excellent book and narration, though out of date"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was an excellent collection of lectures at the time it was written, but major new discoveries since then have changed the state of knowledge. Of specific importance, it was not known at that time that the universe's expansion is actually accelerating. This discovery of this unknown expansionary force (labelled "Dark Energy") has changed much of the cosmological landscape Hawking discusses in this book.

    It is still interesting as an historical viewpoint, but could be improved by having some recognition that it is out of date in the description or added as an afterword.

    The reading is truly excellent. A very lively and textured narration that really brings to life Hawking's personality.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Surgeon's Mate: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (104)

    Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are ordered home by dispatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government. But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attention of two privateers soon becomes menacing. The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is tense, and unexpected in its culmination. Meanwhile in Paris, Diana Villiers anxiously awaits Maturin's safe return.

    A User says: "Great Book Good Narrator"
    "Another excellent Aubrey/Maturin tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books never fail to amuse and excite the reader. Vance's narration is excellent, though I don't think he has as good a feel for the characters as Ric Jerrom.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: and Other Clinical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Oliver Sacks
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Oliver Sacks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (921)
    Performance
    (756)
    Story
    (760)

    Oliver Sacks' The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.

    Darwin8u says: "A Clinician's eYe, but a Poet's HEART"
    "Fascinating glimpse of the brain's failings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The details of the case histories presented are the gems in this book. I was slightly put off by the author's self-congratulatory tone describing his breakthroughs with individual patients, but that's a minor annoyance.

    Jonathon Davis's narration was excellent, hitting just the right whimsical curiosity and wonder while keeping a respectful tone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Oath of Gold: The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (721)
    Performance
    (511)
    Story
    (518)

    Paksenarrion, a simple sheepfarmer's daughter, yearns for a life of adventure and glory, such as was known to heroes in songs and story. At age seventeen she runs away from home to join a mercenary company and begins her epic life.

    William says: "Great Finish to a Great Trilogy"
    "Great end to a great trilogy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This third book in the trilogy brings all the threads together and completes the hero's journey. Jennifer Van Dyke's excellent narration keeps you immersed in the world. There's not much to say for those that have already started listening to this trilogy, but for anyone checking out all three before starting, have no fears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divided Allegiance: The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (759)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (544)

    Paksenarrion, once a sheepfarmer's daughter, now a veteran warrior, meets new challenges as she breaks up a robber gang, dispells an ancient evil possessing an elvish shrine and is accepted for training at an academy for knights. Clearly, a high destiny awaits her.

    Donna says: "Narrator is very bad."
    "Loving the flawed heroine!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are times when I find much of the SF/Fantasy genre writers spend too much time outfitting their heros with superpowers and fabulous items that make them almost unassailable. Paksenarrion is not such a character, and Elizabeth Moon is not such a writer. Nuance and subtlety, wrong-headedness and petty disputes, those all-too-human traits, abound in this series, right along with the grand struggle against evil. I would highly recommend buying this and the third book together. You'll want to dive right into the next one when you finish this!

    Perfect narration once again by Jennifer Van Dyck

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hunger for the Infinite: A Galactic Center Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (407)

    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"
    "Too much philosophising, not enough story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I certainly can appreciate a fair amount of philosophical introspection in a book, Benford leaps straight to it in this book, and never seems to let up. A half hour in, I felt no connection to any of the characters and no desire to keep listening. I've left it unfinished, and am unlikely to try another of Benford's books. If this book was given out free to draw readers into the series, it's completely failed to do that with me.

    I feel sorry for the narrator, shackled to such dry wittering.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Off Armageddon Reef: Safehold Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (1214)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (684)

    When Earth herself lay under siege by an enemy humankind could not defeat, mankind undertook one last throw of the dice: Operation Ark. Earth's final colonizing expedition was meant to build a new civilization, on a planet so distant even the Gbaba might never find it, and without the high-tech infrastructure whose emissions might betray its location.

    Alison says: "David Weber always good"
    "Preliminary gripe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm still in the early stages of this book, and there's one thing that's constantly irritating; the pronunciation of words.

    "Nimue" is pronounced NIM-way, not ni-MOO!
    There are others that leap out at me from time to time. Why don't readers spend some time checking the pronunciation of unfamiliar names and words?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sheepfarmer's Daughter: The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (1148)
    Performance
    (825)
    Story
    (833)

    Refusing to marry a pig farmer and joining the army, even if it means never seeing her family again, Paksenarrion begins an adventure that enables her to restore an overthrown ruler.

    Christopher says: "Intriguing start"
    "Grand high fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the style that brought me to the high fantasy genre. A fantasy world with depth and nuance, making subtle moral comments on the real world. I had previously not read any of Moon's work, though I have long intended to read the Planet Pirates series she co-authored with Anne McCaffrey. I was reminded of some of my favourite Mercedes Lackey novels while listening to this. Not in detail, but in overall feel. A great book, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

    Jennifer Van Dyck's narration is excellent, well paced and lively, with distinct character voices and emotion where needed. Really brings the book to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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