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Mike

Full time Dad, Husband, Computer Geek, and Epic Fantasy Book Listener. Not necessarily in that order.

Member Since 2010

102
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4262)
    Performance
    (3876)
    Story
    (3919)

    Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

    Mike Koch says: "End of one of my favorite fantasy series ever."
    "Please, read the book before you review it..."
    Overall
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    Story

    I love Robert Jordon and Brandon Sanderson too. But how can people be giving the audio book reviews, when it's 45.5 hours long and it's been out around 10 hours?

    Please.. Read it first then review it.

    76 of 104 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2499)
    Performance
    (2398)
    Story
    (2397)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "Book 2 answers so much, then leaves you with more!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am beginning to have a love/hate relationship with this series.

    The love comes from how most of Brandon's book ties together in subtle ways. He has a cosmere designed, where The Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, and many other of his books are all in the same universe. If your interested, you can search for a web site called the 17th shard to learn more about that.

    The hate comes from the waiting. By chapter 8, I had learned so much of the mysterious Spren, Shadspere (The spooky realm that Shallan visited at the end of book 1), the Radiants, the Void Bringers... I was just giddy with the answers to how things worked. By the end of the book, I now have different questions, and it will be another year of agonizing wait, at least, before book 3 comes out. But none of this really has anything to do with the review.

    In Book 1, I loved Kaladin, liked Dalinar, and was a little annoyed at Shallan. She seemed whiny to me. The book featured flashbacks from Kaladin's childhood, and how he got to where the book started.

    This book, I loved Shallan, liked Dalinar, and was annoyed with Kaladin. He was, again, whiny. This book features flashbacks of Shallan, and her back story, which was hinted to in book 1, was amazing. I loved her as a child. She was a rock to her family, and while the tragedy that set her journey in motion is blanked in her mind (she is lying to herself, and has blocked out the memories), it is unfortunately predictable. But I didn't mind that at all.

    Dalinar's character was not as amazing in this book, but I think Brandon didn't want him to outshine Shallan. He take a step back from the front lines and takes a more political role in the book.

    Kaladin.... Well, I just didn't understand. At the end of book one, he said the first ideals of the lost radiance and became infused with enormous power. They are spelled out in the first book: "Life before Death, Strength before Weakness, Journey before Destination".

    Life before death - The Radiant seeks to defend life, always. He never kills unnecessarily, and never risks his own life for frivolous reasons. Living is harder than dying. The Radiant's duty is to live.

    Strength before weakness - All men are weak at some time in their lives. The Radiant protects those who are weak, and uses his strength for others. Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.

    Journey before destination - There are always several ways to achieve a goal. Failure is preferable to winning through unjust means. Protecting ten innocents is not worth killing one. In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished.

    He spends half of book 2 'conflicted', knowing that a member of nobility is going to be assassinated and ponders on whether or not it is right. Syl begs him to not let it happen, and Kal see's that she's starting to lose herself and forget things. He know's it's his conflict that's causing it. But even that doesn't help him make up his mind. Not in his character at all. Watching Kaladin fully explore his powers (especially where he's trying to learn how to run up and down walls) were a very fun part of the book and helped distract from the conflict.

    With that being said, a very solid book. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you haven't read Warbreaker before this, read it, because there's a tie in that is fantastic.

    While not a perfect book, it deserved to be #1 on the NYT best seller list it's first week. I am a Sanderson fan for life, and once you get into how his books tie together you will be too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • House of Chains: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.

    Mike says: "New Narrator ruins experience."
    "New Narrator ruins experience."
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    Malazan Book of the Fallen is one of the most complex Epic Fantasy series every written. I listened to book one, and book two, then book 3. When I listened to book three, everything clicked. I went back and listened to the series again from the beginning, and this vast world is amazing. Gods walking among men, warrens, magic.. I could go on and on.. Ralph Lister was amazing. And now we have Michael Page... Who I've never heard narrate before... And to be blunt, all his voices are the same voice, with different variances of 'grate' to it. And I couldn't concentrate on the book. I couldn't connect to the characters. I was sad to look on Brilliance Audio's website to see the rest of the 10 book series will be released over the next 3 years, and they all have this new narrator. I've never reviewed a book where I focused on the narration before, but wow. This world is too rich to go from someone who narrates a character like Fiddler with a very fast, witty voice... Then have the have the same character turn into a gruffy sounding soldier who just grunts.

    I'm just... Disappointed.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Rise of Empire: Riyria Revelations, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2996)
    Performance
    (2725)
    Story
    (2740)

    Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

    Julieann says: "Super!!"
    "I would give this series 6 stars if I could"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Rise of Empire again? Why?

    Yes, without question. There is lots of foreshadowing in the series, and it's obvious the author had the story planned out from the beginning. To me, a good book has a great story, but a great book has great characters.. And you can't help but care about the characters in this book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Rise of Empire?

    There's no one moment, but I will say that it's very satisfying to have hunches about the main characters, Royce and Hadrian, and find out that your hunches are right. The author gives very little away about their background, and just gives nuggets as you go. Enjoy this, it's one of the best elements of the book.


    What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

    I owe him an apology. I bashed him on his performance in his performance on against all things ending, and I didn't realize he was narrating this series till after I bought the first book. He is BRILLIANT. His voices are fantastic, and I'm now a huge fan.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Consequences.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (4689)
    Performance
    (4348)
    Story
    (4348)

    After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long.

    Ethan M. says: "Thwarts Every Expectation - In a Good Way"
    "Harry is the most believable character in Fantasy"
    Overall
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    Where does Cold Days rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Cold Days is one of my new Favorites, and easily trumps Dead Beat as my new favorite.. I feel like Harry Dresden is someone I know, someone I understand. Wrestling with inner demons (and outer demons), you just can't help but feel for the guy. You've heard the Spider Man motto "With great power relies great responsibility", but Spidey has NOTHING on Harry Dresden. And with no disrespect to Mr. Glover, James Marsters IS the voice of Harry.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cold Days?

    Three:'
    1) Harry breaking down in front of Karen when she forces him to talk about his daughter
    2) Harry confronting shark face during the Psychic duel, and screams"I am Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden"
    3) Harry ranting about the magazine article he read about how women communicate on 6 different levels while men have just the one, and it must be some kind of superpower.


    What about James Marsters’s performance did you like?

    Lacuna. Oh my god, I want to break out laughing right now just thinking about her voice and her asking Harry why he wears clothes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book moved me. But Harry crying while admitting to Karen that he was afraid to see his daughter is probably on top. Also (trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible) the consequences of the winter lady and the summer lady at the end of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to this book twice, you will understand it much more deeply the second time. Everything happened for a reason.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruins: Pathfinder, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1227)
    Performance
    (1090)
    Story
    (1113)

    When Rigg and his friends crossed the Wall between the only world they knew and a world they could not imagine, he hoped he was leading them to safety. But the dangers in this new wallfold are more difficult to see. Rigg, Umbo, and Param know that they cannot trust the expendable, Vadesh - a machine shaped like a human, created to deceive - but they are no longer certain that they can even trust one another. But they will have little choice. Because although Rigg can decipher the paths of the past, he can’t yet see the horror that lies ahead: A destructive force with deadly intentions is hurtling toward Garden.

    James says: "Story Stretching 101"
    "This book is a tease!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ruins?

    The character development was not sidelined. The story was just as much about Rigg, Umbo, Param, Loaf, and Olivenko as it is about saving the world. And OSC never lets you forget that Rigg is 14. Or.. 16.. Depending on how you look at it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vadesh. I can't tell why without being a spoiler, but there's more to 'everybody lies to Vadesh' then meets the eye.


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

    This is right up there with everything Rundnicki does. It took a while for Kirby to grow on me, I did not like his performance in the Alvin Maker series, but he has gotten much better, and does a much better job as the whiny brat in this series as he did in Maker. And ESC's voice is so sweet, it deserves to be in every OSC book. I just wish they could have fit Scott Brick back. Since there was no Point of View from Ram Odin, I guess that's why he's not there.


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

    It did make me laugh out loud several times, especially the relationship between Umbo and Param. When Umbo tried to philosophize about peeing while skipping forward through time, it was so...Umbo...that I just couldn't help it.


    Any additional comments?

    While there's heavy sci-fi in this series, it is not very serious, and if that is something that you must have then you might not like it too much. But I seriously doubt any Orson Scott Card fan has that expectation. Now Mr. Card, get into gear and finish Ender, and finish Alvin Maker. I'm so mad at you for leaving Alvin Maker hanging for so long.. Two have made me cry and my life, the first was Fahrenheit 451 and the second was Bean's death in Shadow's in flight... You stand in good company.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roger Zelazny
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (1323)
    Performance
    (1194)
    Story
    (1209)

    Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

    Joe says: "Great begining of the series"
    "Great series! However, 1 credit a piece too much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Nine Princes in Amber in three words, what would they be?

    Family w/ Daddy Issues.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Corwin of course


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

    Not too hard, it's not very long.


    Any additional comments?

    There are 10 amber books. I read them all as a child, and am enjoying them again in audiobook format. I really loved the series. However, they are very short. 1 credit a piece is wrong. Amber was published as 'the great book of amber' in one large paperback. I'd rather pay 2 or 3 credits for that then 10 credits for the whole series. I got the first three, but sadly, I just cant see spending 10 credits on 10 books that are 7 or 8 hours long. Quality is there, but the value is not.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2265)
    Performance
    (2026)
    Story
    (2026)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Mark says: "LEO WAS RIGHT, PART II"
    "If you LOVED Daemon, you'll like this..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Kill Decision?

    Everything seemed feasible.... Very Hi-Tech, but not Science FICTION.


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

    I would have liked this to be a continuation of Freedom(tm) instead of a new story. There's still loose threads in that series.


    Any additional comments?

    Not as good as Daemon or Freedom, but definitely stands on it's own.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stonefather

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (223)

    When Runnel leaves his mountain valley to head for the great city of the water mages, he has no idea of his own magical talents. But he soon finds that without meaning to, he complicates and then endangers the lives of everyone he comes to know and care about. For when it comes to magic, there are rules and laws, and the untrained mage-to-be must be careful not to tap into deep forces and ancient enmities. Otherwise, other people might end up paying the price for his mistakes.

    Scott says: "Familiar and unique--a breath of fresh air"
    "Hungry for more of the mithermages"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Stonefather in three words, what would they be?

    For people who loved The Lost Gate, this will hold you off till he writes another.


    Any additional comments?

    Too Short!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Eon

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Greg Bear
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (141)

    Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge.

    Elle in the Great NorthWest says: "Enjoyable solid Si Fi-30 years old- still topical"
    "Great Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Eon the most enjoyable?

    Stefan Rudnicki. Enough said. And the fact there's a whole faction based on Ralph Nader... Naderites. LOL!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way the author used time and space, and avoided paradox. The technology and physics were really far out, but not so far that you felt 'no way, this is just some guy writing while tripping'.


    What about Stefan Rudnicki’s performance did you like?

    Stefan Rudnicki. Enough said.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book in hard copy when I was 15. When I saw Stefan was reading it, I had to pick it up, and was glad I did.... I usually listen to books while I work, however, you really need full attention with this one, because it's jam packed with time/space technology that if you miss the explanation of it it will hurt you in the long run.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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