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Jaime

Bibliophile

Member Since 2010

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 47 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • Torchwood: Ghost Train

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By James Goss
    • Narrated By Kai Owen
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    Kai Owen reads this exclusive audio adventure.It’s not easy being Rhys Williams. You’re married to the sexiest woman in Torchwood. She saves the world for a living, you move lorries round in a timely fashion.Suddenly, you’ve got a mystery of your own. Oh, it starts off being about missing fridges. But it leads to a midnight train pulling into an abandoned platform at Cardiff Station. What is the mysterious cargo that Rhys is unloading from the train? Where’s it going? And what can be behind it?

    Jessica says: "Very entertaining!"
    "Excellent"
    Overall

    First off, Kai Owen is absolutely spectacular. As a character, he really doesn't get enough credit. It is a pleasure to get a story from his perspective and in his voice. Honestly, at times I wasn't sure if I was listening to an audiobook or the TV show. Incredibly well written and superbly narrated. Highly recommended for all Torchwood fans - though some familiarity with the characters and basic premise of the show is necessary, as not a lot of time is spent explaining things.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Broken Sword

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Poul Anderson
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    Thor has broken the sword Tyrfing so that it cannot strike at the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree that binds together earth, heaven, and hell. But now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade Bölverk the ice-giant to make Tyrfing whole again. But Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who has taken his place in the world of men.

    Corey says: "Wow"
    "If you liked Beowulf..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started listening to this book and had to double check that it was, in fact, of modern composure (modern in this case being some sixty years or so, but still, more modern than 800 AD). It has the same sweep and feel of an ancient Epic, written and sung by bards, and in fact makes good use of alliteration and various techniques so that the prose feels more like poetry at times, an effect that is subtly highlighted by the talented performer. I rewound several times to relisten to descriptive swathes because the language and performance was so beautiful that I got lost in them. (And on the way to my car. I was so engrossed that I climbed two extra flights in the parking ramp and then couldn't figure out where my vehicle was. Oops...)

    But fear not, you who have not read the ancient epics! Though I have my own opinion of classics (favorable, read as many as you can, they really aren't that daunting), I know others find the prospect of an Epic a bit overwhelming. Don't. Really, don't. Things are easy to keep track of as long as you realize that troll = bad, elf = protagonist, humans = scapegoats, and gods = avoid at all costs if you hope to live a peaceful life. Not that peace is much to be had, because the bad mix it up with the protagonists, get the scapegoats involved, and the only hope of success comes with calling on the ones you hope to avoid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Torturer: The Book of the New Sun, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gene Wolfe
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (740)
    Performance
    (446)
    Story
    (450)

    The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume in the four-volume epic, the tale of a young Severian, an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession - showing mercy towards his victim.

    Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" is one of speculative fiction's most-honored series. In a 1998 poll, Locus Magazine rated the series behind only "The Lord of the Rings" and The Hobbit as the greatest fantasy work of all time.

    Darwin8u says: "Original, Difficult and Well-Crafted."
    "Why should I bother with the rest?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written in the passive voice, read in the passive voice, the writer never lets the reader forget the premise that this book is a narrative supposedly written by the main character years after the events being described. He apologizes for various side-tracks, and describes future events that "the reader is already no doubt aware of" - which, of course, the reader hasn't the slightest clue about. This robs the book of the power to make the reader gasp and fear for the life of the main character, as, of course, he has clearly survived. Additionally, into this admittedly otherwise-rich world building, clear references to technology and history that seems to hint that this world is merely a decayed and fallen earth are constant jarring-notes. I couldn't lose myself in the fantasy, because this tentative probing at both science-fiction and steam-punk constantly intruded, without having the decency to become either.

    Yes, there are curiosities, loose ends, that I would like to see wrapped up. Who is Vodalus? What makes him so bloody important? Who is Dorcas, and where did she come from? What the heck is so important about Sevarian's being a torturer - since for all the importance the author gives it, the main character could have been a member of any guild that did work found distasteful by others. Will I waste more credits on the rest of the tetralogy to find out?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Scott Westerfeld
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1167)
    Performance
    (903)
    Story
    (906)

    It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

    Ryan says: "entertaining"
    "Bought it for the Narrator, then Bought the Rest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I resisted buying any of the Leviathan books for years. Steampunk always seemed just too kitschy for my tastes. Then I saw that one of my all-time favourite narrators, Alan Cumming, had voiced the audiobook. I thought, 'okay, well, one can't hurt.' Ha. I forked over the cash for additional credits because I didn't have the patience to wait for a month to listen to the next two books in the series.

    Alan Cumming, as always, puts in an incredible performance. His natural Scots brogue gives life to Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy serving on the Darwinist air beast Leviathan, pride of the British Air Service. Just as easily, however, Mr Cumming switches to a German accent for the other main narrator, Alek, the Austro-Hungarian prince-in-exile. I'm not in a position to call it flawless (lacking the necessary ear for the language), but I certainly found it entirely believable. He even manages (in later books) to pull off a passable American accent, without going too far overboard, as is the wont of most Brits. But I digress. It is Mr Cumming's amazing vocal talents that truly bring this series to life. So much so that I couldn't imagine reading to books myself, not without his voice to waft me along in the telling. It is a rare narrator that can do that; I can't think of another one with that sort of compelling performance.

    Now, I DID say that I avoided the books on principle due to the genre, right? Yes, I will likely get hate mail for saying this, but steampunk, to me, always seemed to be trying too hard - 'what can I make even more complicated by tossing in a few gears?' Mr Westerfeld, I am pleased to say, mostly skirts all that, instead devising two amazing forms of 'technology' - Darwinist (which is to say, biological) and clanker (technological) - and then goes on to examine the natural divisions and strange unifications of these technologies, and applies geopolitical and historical understanding of the WWI era to the examination. It's not a book about the _technology_ (though it features prominently enough that some might be excused for thinking so), it's a book about history and humanity, seen through a radically different lens. If Mr Westerfeld should ever decide to write another book (or series!) set in this same world, my name will be at the top of the waiting list. I only regret that I waited so long to read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Demon in the Freezer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (127)

    "This book will give you nightmares," cautions The New York Times. Richard Preston takes us inside the ongoing war against bioterrorism, investigating the anthrax attacks of October 2001 and the potential for a future bio-attack using smallpox or, worse yet, a new superpox virus resistant to all vaccines. "As exciting as the best thrillers, yet scarier by far, for Preston's pages deal with clear, present and very real dangers," says Publishers Weekly.

    John S. Atherton says: "Pretty interesting listening in a horrific way"
    "Terrifying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Really, terrifying is the only word for it. Super-bugs resurrected from the past, weaponized, and potentially in the hands of anybody?
    Other than that chill-factor, it's a spectacular read, interesting and informative, with enough of a mystery to keep one interested. As a medical professional, the description of the diseases were fascinating, though perhaps a bit grotesque. Definitely one that I'll be re-reading!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Ryan Holiday
    • Narrated By Ryan Holiday
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (245)

    "You’ve seen it all before. A malicious online rumor costs a company millions. A political sideshow derails the national news cycle and destroys a candidate. Some product or celebrity zooms from total obscurity to viral sensation. What you don’t know is that someone is responsible for all this. Usually, someone like me. I’m a media manipulator. In a world where blogs control and distort the news, my job is to control blogs—as much as any one person can."

    Book Mogul says: "Trust me, it's worth the listen, and I'm not lying"
    "Makes you look at media in a whole different light"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit, I suspected that there was someone out there manipulating things, changing perceptions. What I hadn't realized was that that someone had a name, and that it occurs so pervasively. What little trust I had in media has been jaded, and any blind trust I had in the internet is gone for good. This book is a real eye-opener to the truths behind the curtain, so to speak. I'll definitely be looking at the news I get with a different eye: who benefits, how, and how did this story make it to the front page in the first place? I emerge from the book a cannier, hopefully wiser, and definitely changed reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Train Your Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (233)

    Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III may be the son of the brave leader of the mighty Viking tribe the Hairy Hooligans, but he certainly doesn’t feel very heroic. When Hiccup and the other boys his age are challenged to pick baby dragons from the dragon nursery, Hiccup actually manages to catch a small one. But now how will he train his stubborn new pet?

    Susan says: "Not the same as the movie"
    "Cute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing like the movie, but then, you will have gotten that from all of the other reviews. Nevertheless, very cute and a good way to entertain the kiddies in the car - not necessarily in public, as the directions for how to train one's dragon is to "shout really loudly." Needless to say, some kids may take the directions a bit too literally.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gate Thief: Mithermages, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Rankin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2008)
    Performance
    (1825)
    Story
    (1831)

    Here on Earth, Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of 13 centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him - and they can’t control him; he is far too powerful. On Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless - he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he must still somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North, for when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took responsibility for the Great Gates.

    Benjamin says: "Flashes of Great, Ok, and Bad. Overall: Meh."
    "Looking Forward to More"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The team of Orson Scott Card and Stephan Rudnicki blasts another one out of the park with _The Gate Thief_. A richly layered world, an even richer background of history/myth/legend, and a tie-in with the real world that left my spine shivering. Card's ability to create realistic, believable characters is surpassed only by his ability to craft an exquisite story and world into which his characters can come to life and thrive. In this second installment into his Mithermages series, we learn more about the incredibly detailed mythos he has populated his story with: gate mages, man mages, demons, gods, and the one person who stands between them all: a sixteen year old boy who strives to be a good man, but faces the trials of any other adolescent kid, along with having to save two worlds AND deal with an overbearing family. Poor guy really can't catch a break. Let me also take a moment to say, I really like Danny's adherence to a moral code, despite the pressures of society, his own hormones, and several willing and attractive young women. Such strength is rarely found in fiction, and ought to be applauded.

    Also surprisingly, for me, one of the best parts of the book was the afterword, read by the author. He speaks of the difficulties inherent in crafting stories, especially stories with broad, sweeping arcs to them, and in speaking of his own troubles with this book (written and released late due to his need to extensively revise it), it gives amateur writers several key hints as to how to go about making the best novel possible. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to his next release.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dodger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (787)
    Performance
    (718)
    Story
    (712)

    A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl - not even if her fate impacts the most powerful people in England.

    Snoodely says: "Finally Revealed: Where Dickens Got His Ideas!"
    "Brilliant, as usual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With the writing of Terry Pratchett and the narration of Stephen Briggs, how can this audiobook be anything less than stellar? Not a Discworld novel, but those familiar with the world will spot old friends among the cast, among them a smell that nearly has its own sentience, a river that may or may not actually be _water_, and a copper that has more in his head than just muscle. It was fascinating to be let into this world of Victorian England, with such faithfuls among the protagonists as Queen Victoria, Charlie Dickens, and Sweeney Todd... I will admit, the book has struck up in me a desire to refamiliarize myself with Dickens' work, as so many of the names, characters, circumstances, and turns of phrase tugged at my memory. Pratchett's talent for satire is muted here, but nevertheless shines through in his homage to one of the greatest writers of them all. A truly brilliant book, and well worth the credit, or the cash if you haven't one to spare.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (544)
    Story
    (540)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "The Best of All Things Science Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Science fiction is one of those genres that can be good, bad, or horrible. This book rockets beyond all others into the realm of straight-up excellent, as thought-provoking as the original pioneers of the genre. _Unwind_ takes a premise - the conflict between proponents of pro-life and the proponents of pro-choice - and explodes it outwards into a possible future - and, in some narrow aspects, a probable one. It mixes in the issue of today's current desperate need for organ donors, the eternal debate on when life begins and what constitutes a soul, the meaning of life and death, and anything-but-philosophical pondering of what might drive someone to death... or to life. And all of this wrapped up in a story that had me by the throat and wouldn't let me put it down until the last words were spoken. As a story, it was excellent, gripping, with characters that I felt for, felt that I knew, and a plot that keeps the reader on her toes (preferably her own, and not someone else's). I do not normally cry over books, but this one had tears streaming down my face.

    One might be tempted to dismiss _Unwind_ as just another post-Apocalyptic teen drama. One would be wrong. One can read it that way, but all of the massive undergirdings of the story would be lost. _Unwind_ forces one to think, to consider and reconsider all old opinions. What would happen if...? What COULD happen if...? What happens when life becomes so sacred that it becomes common enough to trash on a whim? What if? What if? What then?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Confessions of a D-List Supervillain

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer, Talmadge Ragan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (572)
    Story
    (576)

    Exploding from the pages of Horror, Humor, and Heroes, Volume One - it’s the full length adventures of the one and only Mechani-Cal! So grab your battlesuit and prepare to get a little nasty.

    Ryan says: "Everyman villain tries to make good. Fun stuff!"
    "Laugh Out Loud Funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thoroughly enjoyable, I absolutely recommend this book. Well performed, well executed, and with a final twist that will blow your socks off. I do caution, it reads more like a short serial rather than a complete novel, with what feels like story climaxes sprinkled regularly throughout. I would love to see it as a graphic novel; I bet it would do well.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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