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Ben

Sci-fi/Fantasy fan with a library-worth of reading behind him

United States | Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • An Interview with Richard Dawkins (Unabridged)

    • ORIGINAL (16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By David Freeman
    Overall
    (1273)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (388)

    An interview with Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. He is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. Dawkins was born in Nairobi of British parents and was educated at Oxford.

    Alfred says: "Let me think deeper about religions"
    "An interesting, brief summary of Dawkins' theology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've already heard a lot of Dawkins' talks and look forward to listening to a few of his more famous books. It was intriguing to hear things from a British rather than American perspective, and even when you've heard the topics before, Dawkins is always a powerful speaker and worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5926)
    Performance
    (5182)
    Story
    (5183)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Konstantin says: "Suprizingly entertaining"
    "A fun read...with some drawbacks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pros:
    It's a good story. It's good writing. It can be corny and even stupid, but obviously (looking at my scores), I genuinely enjoyed it. And when it comes down to it, that's what really matters. I wanted to keep listening, I ran through it in two or three days.

    Cons:
    The narrator sucks at doing women's voices. He can do two tones: angry, and meek. And they all sound too similar to some of the less-masculine males, like Trip.
    The author/protagonist is a gun nut. If you aren't it can get boring and sorta freaky hearing him describing guns forever and as better than porn, etc. (not exaggerating either)
    The author is also a right-wing libertarian who hates the government and it is a constant throughout the book. He also worships the South.
    Also, for me at least, when I found out that the protagonist was basically just the author, except in better shape and fighting monsters, a lot of scenes just came off as some sort of odd ego-stroking fantasy.
    Now for my biggest pet peeve which showed up consistently for the second half of the book: the "professional" monster hunters are ridiculously bad at fighting (master) vampires. The shoot them endlessly, despite shooting (with non-extreme guns) having absolutely no effect and it being utterly apparent (in the description we get). It drove me nuts after a while. Even for the newbies who hadn't fought them before which gave them an excuse, after a while they had been fighting them, and they should be figuring this s--t out. They repeatedly talk about how important staking is, yet they only stake ONE vampire. What? And they constantly unload heavy weaponry, putting the vampires down for a few seconds, and then just stop and watch them heal. RUN UP AND STAKE IT OR CUT ITS HEAD OFF D=
    Anyway, lotsa minor issues, and a few rather major ones, but for a first book I was very impressed. If like monsters, action, explosions, and some laughs, put down the credit and grab it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Princeps' Fury: Codex Alera, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2379)
    Performance
    (1467)
    Story
    (1485)

    Tavi of Calderon, now recognized as Princeps Gaius Octavian and heir to the crown, has achieved a fragile alliance with Alera's oldest foes, the savage Canim. But when Tavi and his legions guide the Canim safely to their lands, his worst fears are realized. The dreaded Vord - the enemy of Aleran and Cane alike - have spent the last three years laying waste to the Canim homeland. And when the Alerans are cut off from their ships, they find themselves with no choice but to fight shoulder to shoulder if they are to survive.

    Christopher says: "Great Book. Fantastic Narrator. Engrossing Series."
    "Epic stuff indeed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A vast improvement over the already excellent other books in this series. What can I say other than that most of my minor gripes with the previous books were gone in this one. And when I say most, I mean all except those accursed trumpets hahaha.

    All in all, a great listen that I highly recommend. At the end of it I was very glad that I had an extra credit ready for the last book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Academ's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (2820)
    Performance
    (1796)
    Story
    (1809)

    For 1,000 years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the Furies - elementals of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Metal. But now, the unity of the Alerians hangs in precarious balance.

    Eric says: "Wonderful series"
    "A great follow-up (and possibly improvement)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Furies of Calderon was a great first book. Academ's Fury proves that Butcher can follow with an even stronger one. I listened to it about 2 weeks ago followed by the next few books so they have blended together somewhat, but looking back at the plot of this book I remember it as truly great. There's a dash of Harry Potter with the school section, an assume plot tie-in the prior book that came completely unexpected but was clever and felt _correct_ after it came up, and Tavi's character remains feeling true and perfectly created and developed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cursor's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2612)
    Performance
    (1643)
    Story
    (1648)

    The power-hungry High Lord of Kalare has launched a rebellion against the aging First Lord, Gaius Sextus, who with the loyal forces of Alera must fight beside the unlikeliest of allies - the equally contentious High Lord of Aquitaine. Meanwhile, young Tavi of Calderon joins a newly formed legion under an assumed name even as the ruthless Kalare unites with the Canim, bestial enemies of the realm whose vast numbers spell certain doom for Alera.

    Readalot says: "Great series"
    "Probably the best of the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Speaking as someone working on the fifth book, I still have a book and a half to go so one of them might top this (one can hope!), but I still feel strongly that this is probably the best of the series. Tavi's time as a soldier is by far the most interesting development of his character thus far, and seeing how he slots into the necessary role was a pleasure that had me re-listening to various parts multiple times. His interactions with his friends and Kitai remain joyful, clever, and hilarious in equal parts. As I've grown used to at this point, Amara dragged on my patience and my dislike for her increased, but all in all the arc for her and Bernard in this story was one of the stronger ones they get (probably because of the supporting characters along with them).

    I loved it, you'll love it, and if you haven't started the series yet and are for some odd reason on the page of the 3rd book, I honestly believe that the quality of this book makes a very good series great and is worth starting Codex Alera for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Captain's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2516)
    Performance
    (1564)
    Story
    (1567)

    In his acclaimed Codex Alera novels, best-selling author Jim Butcher has created a fascinating world in which the powerful forces of nature take physical form. For millennia, the people of Alera have used their unique bond with these elementals for protection. Now, as enemies become allies, and friends become bitter foes, a danger beyond reckoning looms. . . .

    Mysticalsister says: "The mind of Jim Butcher is a wonderful place."
    "If you're this far in the series, keep going"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As the title implies, Captain's Fury is definitely still worth your time and money/credit. The scope of Butcher's overarching plot-line continues to impress me, and the one thing that detracts from this book for me, is unfortunately a very a major thing: Amara. I thought she was a poorly constructed character for the first two books, began to be annoyed by her in the third and in this book I began to openly hate her and every moment spent following her and Bernard. I eventually began to dislike Bernard as well, because after being a full and interesting character in the first novel, he has begun to be a 2D character that is just Amara's shadow. In every single book, at least a few times, they repeat the exact same sex scenes, typically using the exact same descriptions, and they exchange the exact same lovey-dovey, boring words. Speaking as someone who has been listening to these books one after the other for the last 2 or 3 weeks, this repetition is very obvious and increasingly annoying. As I said before, every moment spent following this couple (roughly 20 or 25% of the book) aggravated me, and had me exclaiming disbelief at their stupidity (mostly Amara's as Bernard's character has become the pinnacle of boring, perfect efficiency).

    At this point in the series I hate Amara, dislike Bernard and Isana, but luckily am balanced by being completely be enraptured with following Tavi, Max, and Kitai. Possibly the greatest part of this book, though, is that for some reason it is the only one that seems to be missing the DANG TRUMPETS that play roughly every hour and a fifteen minutes in every book, I assume to announce the break between CD's or something.

    All in all, if you're this far in series: keep going! I'm a few hours into the fifth and enjoying it a lot more. So far the Amara/Bernard section has been pretty brief and the Tavi&co. one looks to be even better than the last (this constant improvement in the Tavi storyline keeps me coming back).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3650)
    Performance
    (2348)
    Story
    (2383)

    In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

    Eric says: "great fantasy series"
    "Butcher's experience makes for a strong new start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read many of the Dresden Files and despite enjoying them, I can happily say that Butcher writes this series very differently, as he should. His writing suits the genre, but I was very pleased to notice some particular differences. After the success of GRRMartin, too many books have taken up the standard of having four billion main characters- in Furies of Calderon, Butcher sticks to about five or six and they develop and show themselves evenly and truthfully throughout the book. This book is wonderful start to a series, and I am even coughing up the price for the second, unable to wait for my next credit--that should make the quality clear enough. Kate Reading did an outstanding job, though it did take me a while to get used to her voices for some of the characters (I still think she makes Tavi, the main character, sound a bit too much like a dumb oaf).

    I had only two complaints, and they are minor enough to again make clear the overall quality of this audiobook:

    1. The trumpets they play occasionally to separate sections grated on me! Completely unnecessary and seemed to be randomly situated.

    2. Butcher's Amara acted, reacted, and spoke like an adult about 90% of the book. The other 10% or so the author over-emphasized her weakness and uncertainty. She is 15. She comes off as someone in their mid-twenties (at least to me). Tavi, who is also 15, is much more believably written. I kept reminding myself that Amara was 15 whenever she was acting particularly adult, and it disrupted some scenes for me.

    Overall, if you like fantasy or want to try fantasy, get this audiobook. Overall, the narrator and author both deserve 4.5 out of 5, but I was a bit generous (and unable to give that score) because of how much this audiobook sucked me in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6001)
    Performance
    (5433)
    Story
    (5434)

    Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully - he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona....

    Hallie says: "Love this series!"
    "Each book manages to be better than the last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Hammered again? Why?

    Yes, I undoubtedly will in a few months. It was one of my first audiobooks, but certainly the best. The book itself is amazing, and the narrator does it full justice.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hammered?

    A toss-up between characters telling stories around a campfire and the inevitable climax.


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

    This book definitely made me laugh, and often. I quickly realized that I couldn't listen to it on headphones at work, because it distracted my coworkers when I cracked up every few minutes. It managed a few moments of pathos as well, though they didn't stick with me the way the humorous scenes did.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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