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Michael

phoenixdreams

Cedar Park, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 69 ratings
  • 196 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Kiln People

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (59)

    In a perilous future where disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every legal and illicit whim of their decadent masters, life is cheap. No one knows that better than Albert Morris, a brash investigator with a knack for trouble, who has sent his own duplicates into deadly peril more times than he cares to remember. But when Morris takes on a ring of bootleggers making illegal copies of a famous actress, he stumbles upon a secret so explosive it has incited open warfare on the streets of Dittotown.

    John says: "Had potential - Got carried away"
    "Interesting Premise, Disappointing Execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Kiln People better?

    Could have been quite a bit shorter without losing much of interest. The first quarter of the book sets up some interesting possibilities, but it starts losing steam and re-re-retreading the same ground. By the end, the only way to change things up is to go completely off the rails.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reading really through me off at first, though I eventually got used to it. Very little flow between sentences, which occasionally took me out of the story. There was very little vocal range beyond "gruff man", and occasionally "whiny man". To be fair, much of the running monologue would have been tough to pull off convincingly for 20+ hours.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Kiln People?

    Much of the metaphysically-focused climax should have been cut, and replaced with something that played more to the author's strengths and detective story tradition.


    Any additional comments?

    I had high hopes going into this book, and for three quarters through, I was able to say that, while it wasn't great, it wasn't bad either. Unfortunately, the last parts were particularly weak, and ended up souring what seemed to be at least somewhat interesting thought experiments from the beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Sean Williams
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    Overall
    (1318)
    Performance
    (994)
    Story
    (993)

    Tassaa Bareesh, a matriarch in the Hutt crime cartel, is holding an auction that’s drawing attention from across the galaxy. Representatives of both the Republic and the Sith Empire are present, along with a Jedi Padawan sent to investigate, a disenfranchised trooper drummed out of the Republic’s elite Blackstar Squad, and a mysterious Mandalorian with a private agenda.

    Karen says: "Unexpected and Enjoyable"
    "Great production, good intro to the Old Republic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's a fun adventure following several different archetypical Star Wars characters. People enjoying the Old Republic game.


    What other book might you compare Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance to and why?

    Nothing in particular jumps out, but it does seem well in the long tradition of a bunch of heroes and villains running around and shooting lasers.


    What does Marc Thompson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great performance, particularly for the wide number of voices and even species. The production values with the variety of sound effects actually added more depth than I would have expected. I wasn't crazy about his Satele Shan voice, but other than that, very impressive.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    While the book was enjoyable, I don't think I would really call it


    Any additional comments?

    Juggling the 7 or so main characters got a little distracting at times, but overall it kept things moving. While certain parts tended to get a little over-dramatic, it ended up feeling well within what I would expect from Star Wars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Charles Yu
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (67)

    Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business. Every day, people get into time machines and try to do the one thing they should never do: change the past. That’s where Charles Yu, time travel technician—part counselor, part gadget repair man—steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Best of Audible SFF, April 2011"
    "How to Whine About Daddy for 6 Hours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The title of this book seemed so promising, the real disappointment was that it had next to nothing to do with Science Fiction or time travel. Even the idea of using a time machine to explore memories could be interesting, but it seems to be spend almost entirely wallowing in self-pity.


    What could Charles Yu have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I wish this book had lived up to the concept and title and blurbs, or those had been more accurate to the actual content and feel of the book. There was a lot that could have been done with the premise, if only it hadn't been so fixated on family issues.


    Which character – as performed by James Yaegashi – was your favorite?

    The boss / spreadsheet program was actually pretty fun. So much of the book was inner monologue that the other characters got a bit washed out.


    What character would you cut from How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe?

    The main character's father and mother. Yes, they're the primary motivation of the book, but maybe without them there could actually be some time travel and science fiction going on.


    Any additional comments?

    I really wanted to like this one going in, but I was profoundly disappointed. Every time there's a hint of something interesting about the world going on, there's another ten minutes of inner monologue whining about his father and time and memory and regret and a zillion other things.I'm less tolerant than most of characters that dwell on their feelings, but I still couldn't see myself recommending this book under any circumstances.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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