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Bob Nelson

Member Since 2008

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 269 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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3

  • Starship: Mutiny

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mike Resnick
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Mike Resnick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (480)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (160)

    The date is 1966 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now, and the Republic, created by the human race - but not yet dominated by it - finds itself in an all-out war. They stand against the Teroni Federation, an alliance of races that resent Man's growing military and economic power. The main battles are taking place in the Spiral Arm and toward the Core. But far out on the Rim, the Theodore Roosevelt is one of three ships charged with protecting the Phoenix Cluster.

    Lars says: "Good Fun"
    "Trite and predictable..."
    Overall

    I finished the book. Ouf!
    Resnick writes decent prose, so the story moves along pretty well. Good thing, too! 'Cause if it ever slowed, the reader would notice that the plot is trite and predictable; the characters are stereotyped and predictable; that there really is no reason for this book. Not recommended at all.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7753)
    Performance
    (5352)
    Story
    (5390)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Robert says: "It doesn't get any better than this!"
    "I can't believe I ate it all!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brandon Sanderson is a skilled writer. Good plot. Coherent fantasy world. Characters well developed -- I should hope so, in forty hours!

    But... this is one of those grandiose "vast armies clash" books, where the heroes slay their adversaries by thousands... anonymous foot-soldiers of no more significance than dust. Each of those dead was a person. Each could have had a story. By the end of the forty hours, I was sick of the slaughter. So were some of the characters of the book, but Sanderson arrived at their distress through them, not through the dead.

    So if you like "noble" heroes who commit mass slaughter on their way to saving the universe -- that will happen in Book Three -- then "The Way of Kings" will please you. It IS well crafted.

    Personally, I'd prefer a sequel to Lois McMaster Bujold's "Sharing Knife" series. Credible characters doing a bit of good in their world, but not saving the universe.

    "The Way of Kings" has two readers, a woman and a man. Both are quite good... but it was a bit shocking for them to pronounce characters' names differently.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • All Clear

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1420)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (921)

    Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

    Brashear Robert Keith says: "joint review for Blackout and All Clear"
    "Heros!"
    Overall

    Connie Willis is a conceited author. In the Old English sense of "conceit" -- a clever construction. Willis's conceit is to write about "historians" -- time-travelers from the 2060s who go back in time to observe "ordinary people". Her Doomsday Book, about a village during the Black Plague, was one of the most riveting evocations of human emotion I have ever read.
    This time, Willis's "historians" are covering World War II in England.Their observations of ordinary people are of course an excuse for Willis to dress a fascinating parade of characters, dozens of them, all bound up in the everyday heroism of enduring a war: the evacuation at Dunkirk, the children's' evacuation from London, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the V1s and V2s, ...
    Of course, the "historians" get caught up in the movement, and do heroic things themselves. Which should be impossible, because "the theory of time" forbids any time-traveler's meddling with the past. So... is there something wrong with time itself? Willis's characters must battle the Germans while they battle against the fabric of time itself!
    These two books are in fact a single work, so you must read them in order. But DO read them! They are excellent!
    ... and then we must wait another ten years for Willis's next work... :-((((

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1784)
    Performance
    (1081)
    Story
    (1082)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Paul says: "A Masterwork - across two parts."
    "The BEST SF writer alive!"
    Overall

    Connie Willis is a conceited author. In the Old English sense of "conceited" -- a clever construction. Willis's conceit is to write about "historians" -- time-travelers from the 2060s who go back in time to observe "ordinary people". Her Doomsday Book, about a village during the Black Plague, was one of the most riveting evocations of human emotion I have ever read.
    This time, Willis's "historians" are covering World War II in England.Their observations of ordinary people are of course an excuse for Willis to dress a fascinating parade of characters, dozens of them, all bound up in the everyday heroism of enduring a war: the evacuation at Dunkirk, the children's' evacuation from London, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the V1s and V2s, ...
    Of course, the "historians" get caught up in the movement, and do heroic things themselves. Which should be impossible, because "the theory of time" forbids any time-traveler's meddling with the past. So... is there something wrong with time itself? Willis's characters must battle the Germans while they battle against the fabric of time itself!
    These two books are in fact a single work, so you must read them in order. But DO read them! They are excellent!
    ... and then we must wait another ten years for Willis's next work... :-((((

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3444)
    Performance
    (3011)
    Story
    (3008)

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling."
    "Re-boot"
    Overall

    In his intro, John Scalzi describes this book as a "re-boot" of H Beam Piper's marvelous classic, "Little Fuzzy". Like a lot of old SF, Piper's book shows its age just about every time it mentions something technological. That may bother some, so Scalzi wrote this modernized version. It will please both those who, like myself, like a good story and are not at all bothered by the anachronisms in "Little Fuzzy"... and by fans of modern, fast-paced smack-down dialog.
    Piper's original is also present -- I haven't listened yet. I'm rarely happu listening to a book I've already read...
    I wonder if Scalzi's version will age as well as Piper's...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Invasion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Julian Stockwin
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Napoleon’s forces are poised to invade Britain, and Commander Thomas Kydd’s ship is at the forefront of the fleet defending the English coast. His honour restored after temporary disgrace in the Channel Islands, and reunited with his ship Teazer, Kydd seizes the chance to fight for his country. Then Kydd is abruptly withdrawn from the fleet and sent back to Dover on a secret mission to guard a mysterious American inventor.

    John says: "JohnJye"
    "Almost like home..."
    Overall

    I'm a sucker for Hornblower wannabes, and this was particularly fun because it takes place in the English Channel, quite near to where I live in Calais, France.
    Good story, solid characters, salt wind and booming cannon!
    Recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Omega: Academy Series

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Oliver Wyman, Jack McDevitt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    A civilization-destroying omega cloud has switched direction, heading straight for a previously unexplored planetary system--and its alien society. And suddenly, a handful of brave humans must try to save an entire world--without revealing their existence.

    By Samantha a series FAN of the vampire earth books says: "Engrossing"
    "Dunno!"
    Overall

    I have a problem with McDevitt. I'm not sure whether I appreciate his work or not. His books loop back and forth through the same territory, both literally and figuratively. His future universe is tired. His characters' centuries-long lives are not easy to fill. Is McDevitt creating something profound, something worthy of our attention... or is he a skilled counterfeiter?
    His characters have depth; his stories are not an Nth rehashing of an old standard... but I have trouble caring...
    I don't know whether I recommend this or not...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • For Love of Mother-Not: A Pip & Flinx Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Alan Dean Foster
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (105)

    He was just a freckle-faced, red-headed kid with green eyes and a strangely campelling stare when Mather Mastiff first saw him an the auctioneer's block. One hundred credits and he was hers. For years the old woman was his only family. She loved him, fed him, taught him everything she knew - even let him keep the deadly flying snake he called Pip.Then Mother Mastiff mysteriously disappeared and Flinx took Pip to tail her kidnappers.

    Christopher says: "Best read in chronological order"
    "A flying, acid-spitting SNAKE??"
    Overall

    Actually, I think this is probably a "young adults" book. Who cares? Foster is a first-rate wordsmith, crafting a solid storyline and moving it right along. The characters are nice to know (for some) or great to hate (for others), but constantly credible... including Flinx the flying, acid-spitting snake. Yes.
    This is not great literature, but a pleasant pass-time. As such, recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Water Room: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (121)

    Best-selling author Christopher Fowler has won a widespread following for his senior citizen detectives Arthur Bryant and John May. Here a woman is found drowned in her basement - with nary a drop of water to explain the crime.

    Cholmondeley says: "Baby Boomers Rejoice: This is a book for our time."
    "Dotty old detectives to the rescue!"
    Overall

    I like eccentric English detectives, so this looked like it might be good. It is.
    Arthur Bryant is seventy-something and would like the world to have stopped somewhere in the 1950s, before the Empire disappeared and more importantly before electronics invaded every corner of his life. John May is a couple years younger and has more or less kept up with the world, and now makes a career of saving the catastrophic situations created by his genial but wigged-out friend and partner. Both are still on active police duty, as the prime movers in the Particular Crimes Unit, which takes on the odd cases that other police branches cannot fathom. These two are only the first of a battalion of savory characters that are the strength of the book. The plot is worthy of X-files, but who cares?
    Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Just Determination: JAG in Space, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (134)
    Story
    (138)

    Ensign Paul Sinclair has been assigned to the orbiting, military spacecraft, USS Michaelson, as its sole legal advisor. But when the ship's captain faces court-martial following the destruction of a civilian research vessel, Sinclair finds himself defending a doomed officer.

    carl801 says: "Leadership is leadership, regardless of setting..."
    "This is NOT Blackjack Geery!"
    Overall

    An introduction by John G. Hemry (the author's real name) tells us that the series's title (JAG is Space) is a pure rip-off of the TV series. In fact the central character is not JAG at all, but a brand new ensign joining his first billet, on a medium-sized "US Navy spaceship". Ensigns always get a primary mission and several secondary missions. Paul Sinclair gets stuck with "Legal Officer". Campbell/Hemry could just as easily have situated this book in today's Navy. The congruence is about 99%. The ship is nothing particular, with good officers and lesser ones. The captain is a careerist, but no more so than many in the armed services. Then "stuff happens", and Ensign Sinclair must make some tough choices.
    This is a book about the military... in which there is almost no action. It is not about war, it is about sailors and about one man's apprenticeship of duty.
    HIGHLY recommended.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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