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Pendleton, South Carolina, United States | Member Since 2011

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 349 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3169)
    Performance
    (2800)
    Story
    (2799)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "A Knockout from the duo of Scalzi + Wheaton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wil Wheaton and John Scalzi were made for each other. No, not that way, you twisted people, but artistically.

    I am a fan of Mr. Scalzi's works, with the occasional misgiving over the frequency of profanity; I would not hand a Scalzi work to a child, but a teenager I would have less issues. He has excellent pacing, his stories gleefully dance down a plotline with the sporadic hard twists and turns, and humor abounds even while a serious story is laid down.

    I have now heard three of Scalzi's works narrated by Mr. Wheaton, and his voice fits the tone of the books like that oft mentioned glove. So perfect is the match between authorial voice and narrated voice, I find myself hearing Wheaton's delivery even while reading Scalzi's Whatever blog. Scary, eh?

    I've listened to this one twice now. I think I'll have a third helping.

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Split Infinity: Apprentice Adept Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Piers Anthony
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (780)
    Performance
    (484)
    Story
    (490)

    On the technological, decadent world of Proton, someone was trying to destroy Stile, serf and master Gamesman. His only escape lay in Phaze, a world totally ruled by magic. Soon he learned that his alternate self had already been murdered, and that he was next. On Proton, his fate depended on winning the great Games. On Phaze, he must master magic to survive. And if he used any magic at all, his friends were determined to kill him at once!

    Jerry says: "Favorite Piers Anthony Series"
    "Good story, but shows its age"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Split Infinity was released in 1980. While the core story remains a classic hero's journey of discovery and rise to power, the carrier novel for the story does show its more than thirty years.

    Some of the dialog is heavily stilted for the ears of someone who is used to modern fantasy from authors who built upon frameworks like these. There are times it's difficult to really empathize with the story, and there are more than a few moments where I was booted right out of suspension of disbelief. If this were a modern story, just released today, I'd have to call it an amateur work from a raw author.

    This book was NOT released today, however. And despite its faults, artifacts of its age and not the author's skill, it is still a good story and an solid piece to drown out the monotony of one's workday. I would note here that the entire Apprentice Adept series is almost perfectly sized for one per (extended) workday; handy, that.

    Traber Burns did an excellent job of breathing life into the moments that threatened to fall flat, with a sort of steady voice that allowed me to paint a mental image of Stile in a way that reading them so many years ago did not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Storm: Destroyermen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2415)
    Performance
    (1610)
    Story
    (1609)

    Pressed into service when World War II breaks out in the Pacific, the USS Walker---a Great-War vintage "four-stacker" destroyer---finds itself in full retreat from pursuit by Japanese battleships. Its captain, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Patrick Reddy, knows that he and his crew are in dire straits. In desperation, he heads Walker into a squall, hoping it will give them cover---and emerges somewhere else.

    Lore says: "It just never grabbed me."
    "Fantastic introduction to a new world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Taylor Anderson nailed this first book. From the first moment, the crew of the USS Walker come alive. They are their own people, with concerns and beliefs and feelings separate from one another, rather than just being background details and storyhelpers.

    The details and language of setting are excellent, and the explanations for terms a modern reader might not understand are skillfully inserted without being obvious.

    William Dufris took these real, living characters and made them pop. Without needing tags I can tell who is speaking, through everything from accent to pacing.

    I bought this off a jacket description that grabbed my attention, and now I'm busily plowing into the rest of the series. Fantastic fodder for walks or runs or doing mindless work around the house.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elantris

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4615)
    Performance
    (3074)
    Story
    (3120)

    Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is "outstanding." Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

    Lore says: "What if your body could never heal?"
    "Excellently done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elantris is not my first Sanderson work. I started with Mistborn, after hearing him on the weekly podcast Writing Excuses. Elantris came up frequently, including mentioning it's avalanche ending and it's raw length for a breakout novel.

    As I am going back to school, I don't have time to read long novels that require me to really -think- about what's going on, much to my dismay. With this in mind, and wanting to read Elantris (because I enjoyed Mistborn) I picked up the audiobook.

    Jack Garrett did an excellent job of reading the text. After the first part was finished, I had a solid enough idea of how each character sounded, and the voices were consistent enough through the rest of the text that I didn't need any of the "he said, she said" to understand who was speaking. His pacing was good, allowing me to even skate through some of what would have been the more boring bits of narration without my attention wandering away. Mr. Garrett, four stars for your excellent job.

    The novel was quite a good story, especially in the context of a first book published by an author. As mentioned above, there are improvements that could have been made, polishes applied, but as a first sold work it's quite good. There were elements in the book where things seemed to drag on, and there were times that Sarene came across as a bit cliched. The ending, infamous for it's avalanche quality of resolution upon resolution, was smoothed by the audio narration, but I can imagine it being much more difficult in text.

    All in all, a solid book, an excellent read, and something I have not in the slightest regretted purchasing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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