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T

Berkeley, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 128 ratings
  • 292 titles in library
  • 33 purchased in 2014
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  • The Beast Master

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Andre Norton
    • Narrated By Richard J. Brewer
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    Left homeless by the war that reduced Terra to a radioactive cinder, Hosteen Storm - Navaho commando and master of beasts - is drawn to the planet Arzor, to kill a man he has never met. On that dangerous frontier world, aliens and human colonists share the land in an uneasy truce. But something is upsetting the balance, and Storm is caught in the middle. He had thought the war was over - but was it?

    Pete says: "So much better than the movie"
    "It's Like Bitter Sunflower Seed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like sci-fi fantasy with Native American Indian folklore mixed with the bigoted white man gone wrong, then this is probably your kind of story. After leaving Earth, the Beast Master (BM), our hero, escapes torrential rains on an alien planet, an Earthly variety. Hiking with sorted problem company among the semi industrial-agrarian society, (you know the type), they like to keep him traversing the torrents, including blizzards of those spacious snow-covered mountains. So, this is about a lot of tromping in the wet and cold and it gets a little too soggy for me. False hope does arise every now and then with a trip to the fantasy forest for our health. It is nice to know that tidbit exists but you know those aliens will keep interrupting it with an unjustified war. We know the alien kind on this planet, there is not much meat to pick off their character. Even so, tough as it is, that single fact probably makes it easier for us to pick them apart. Unfortunately weakly developed alien species are like that. While there are plenty of other creatures, all types, especially humans, including those with an assortment of head problems, they are just like those in a mini soap opera. That is what it is. It is based upon an off-world human migration with its growing problems about what it would actually be like to live on a new world. Yet, that act alone doesn't develop into much brain material for this reader either. There could have been more about those extra terrestrials, who were secretly living among them until they were needed to make war, to destroy or be destroyed. Duh! You know those kinds of aliens, the enemy? The author’s lines of logic are too predictable. We knew that from the beginning. So why am I going on about it? In this case, it’s to find out why there was an obvious attempt to act as a crafty story teller where just one act would have saved his tale. That's what would have made all this critical typing pointless and frivolous from the beginning.

    The point is, if I thought I going to get my money’s worth, then this story is more like an extremely bitter sunflower seed. You know the seed. It's that one that takes fifty more good ones to rid your mouth of its acrid taste. Caveat! This is that one.

    May the force be weird on you too.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Ice: Harry Bosch, Book 2

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (60)

    Narcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with his head in several pieces and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.Years ago, Harry Bosch learned the first rule of the good cop: don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Now, Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with one dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that winds from Hollywood Boulevard's drug bazaar to the dusty back alleys south of the border and into the center of a complex and lethal game - one in which Harry is the next and likeliest victim.

    Aliza says: "Well-paced and engaging"
    "Defective Data"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book seems to be a duplicate of Book #2 but with a different cover..Also it seems to contain an incomplete amount of data to be a completed Book #2. For some reason unknown to me, I couldn't return it for another selection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    Overall
    (6407)
    Performance
    (5979)
    Story
    (6003)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Poor Read for so many reason, this is one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the Si-Fi genre and I like to write for myself. I love reading and I love it when someone reads to me. What I don't like is when it sounds all wrong and it takes a few chapters to understand why. It's like running over many speed bumps in my mind when the road appears to be straight. In this book, the pages read and sound like a journal of the story instead of the story itself. So the author and narrator have a hurdle to climb. In comparison, when the characters tell the story it's called action. On the other hand, when the narrator tells the story, its boring. It's like getting the story told to you second hand. Wait a minute! it is telling the story second hand. Here's a clue: Action verbs should be action verbs, not renditions of what happened in other verbs. So for that reason alone, I had to put this read aside. I never made it past Chapter 3.
    Sorry if you like your stories read to you this way. I don't.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Forever War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Joe Haldeman
    • Narrated By George Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1324)
    Performance
    (757)
    Story
    (769)

    William Mandella is a soldier in Earth's elite brigade. As the war against the Taurans sends him from galaxy to galaxy, he learns to use protective body shells and sophisticated weapons. He adapts to the cultures and terrains of distant outposts. But with each month in space, years are passing on Earth. Where will he call home when (and if) the Forever War ends?

    John says: "A classic."
    "Not Worth The Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Entirely too much time spent on building dramatic points and once there is one it's too dammed weak to be remember why I was listening for it. Every story has a point of view. I couldn't' agree less with this one. If there is a better one after 3 and a half hours, then great. I got tired of waiting for it to come. And the narrator is a good reader but he sounded disinterested in the one he was reading. Good luck if you're looking for the action. I gave up.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Policeman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (480)
    Story
    (483)

    What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job - but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging.

    Amazon Customer says: "There was trepidation ..."
    "Interesting, Addictive, Not Your Average Doomsayer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay! Taking this audio book into the bathroom is not such a good idea. Your not going to finish the book and someone else is violently banging on the door, threatening you because, they are trying desperately to use the facilities too. Problem is, you've got 6 more hours on an 8 hour book and you don't want to turn it off except for the insistent banging on door. But it's worth it. I'm listening to it and all it's all dark humor with a pretty good gumshoe story too. It's definitely going to be one of those books among my revisits library.for later. Five Stars including the hokey narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sagan Diary

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Stephanie Wolfe, John Scalzi
    Overall
    (746)
    Performance
    (644)
    Story
    (651)

    Jane Sagan: Soldier. Killer. Lover. Dreamer. In John Scalzi's best-selling Old Man's War series of science-fiction novels, we see this warrior woman as the other characters see her - silent and strong, from the outside. But now The Sagan Diary shows us Sagan from another point of view: her own, as she prepares to leave military life and join her new husband and adopted daughter on a colony world.

    Robert says: "Nothing like Scalzi's old man's war."
    "Stories should tell themselves"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like stories that reveal what they about. Unfortunately this story was an author telling me about the story written in a diary. The result is there is no build of characters, no growth and no action. Instead, it sounds like I'm listening to a character's stream of thoughts about some other characters, how they were and the results of their contacts. Not good enough to see the story as if I were there. You can't make me believe in something unless there is a good reason to believe. This kind of story telling might be good for psychologists but not good for people who like action in their Sfi-Fi entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3779)
    Performance
    (3518)
    Story
    (3516)

    Dark fantasy goes hardboiled in Book II of the hard-hitting Grimnoir Chronicles by the New York Times best-selling creator of Monster Hunter International. The Grimnoir Society’s mission is to protect people with magic, and they’ve done so—successfully and in secret—since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s, but when a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir.

    Paulette says: "Spellbound is Pure Magic"
    "Spellbound"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Normally I am not a great fan of the walking dead or demonic ogres. They're not generally my cup of tea. I like hard science connected to my Sfi-Fi stories even if is has a littel Hard Magic. There should be a plausible connction to science. The series has that and adds a little bit of "who done it" with flashes from a Mike Hammer novel with maybe a little Joe Friday saying, "Just the facts madame, just the facts." Here, you have a Heavy dude Jake Sullivan with his Grimnoir buddies throwing, punching shooting and tripping up the bad guys with guns blimps and magic. In a word, ACTION! I like that. And he uses a special gun made by the gun maker, Mr. Brownie himself. The Grimnoir Chronicles Series brake all the rules I have against fantasy mixing wiht my Sci-Fi. Oh yes. It is a Sfi-Fi fantasy per se but it is also all the other stuff, aliens, mystery, bad cop-good cop and fighting women. Lots of good looking fighting women, especially Faye and Whisper, which works well in for my tastes. It's a little heavy on the Mike Hammer thing such as you can hear in the voice-narrator, Bronson Pinchot in our hero Jake Sullivan. It is a reminder of how much I still love a Bogart character in my stories. OH! Those evil creatures, dead and alive are there but with a plausible explanation. Aliens caused their existence and who really knows what a good alien is going to look like when they do decide to appear to us someday. And before I go to far, I'm not giving anything away for free, This is a page turner or in my case, I can't turn it off to MP3 Player. Since, I drive a big rig for a living this story makes a usually miserable, mundane and boring daily drive pass by in a flash. And it's that what a ggod story is suppose to do, suspend your disbelief and keep you spellbound to it? All I can say to the author, Larry Correia, is you've got me hooked now hurry up and get Book III out for sale. However, you should make sure Bronson Pinchot has a first copy, and tell him to read it out loud. I'm listening to him intently. Thank you for a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23266)
    Performance
    (9888)
    Story
    (9959)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Where Are The Oscars For This Audio Book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To literally say that I could not put the book down is incorrect because it's an audio book. The fact is, I could not put this story down. As a professional driver, (I drive 500 miles total every other night), I often listen to readings that I would like to read but cannot otherwise. A benefit to the long drive for me is the time I have to listen and, how a relatively long drive becomes an even shorter one by my shear interest in hearing a good story. As an avid story listener anyway, this one turns a 5 hour drive into a magical 30 minute jaunt. Puff! Gone! The drive is over. In fact, I missed my exit twice, and once more while going back.

    Because it would be unkind to tell anyone who doesn't know who done it in a "Who Done It," I won't do it here either. However, I will say that immediately after I finished the second book, I read had to it three more times just for the pleasure of hearing a good mystery. As such, I still haven't seen the movies, neither the English version or the Swedish one. Since it is a good story, I'll wait to take my best friend who is now pleasantly engaged in her first reading of the Vanger Klan. Nonetheless, I will say that Steig Larsson has done an artistically fine and excellent job in the craft of telling several stories within one novel. He then ties it all together giving his readers a sound and satisfying ending. That's what I like. An ending that makes sense to me. In a way this tale like those tales told by Scheherezade and the Arabian Nights.

    Lastly, Simon Vane's narration gives the whole novel that feeling of drama and credibility by his mastering ways in variations to the English language. Well told. Well done. I can't wait to see if Hollywood and the Swedish film industry can live up to the virtues the story as did Blackstone Audio and Audible.com. For sure, the audible book should receive also some Oscars on its own merit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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