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Tamara

Member Since 2007

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 176 ratings
  • 257 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
1

  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (3662)
    Performance
    (3201)
    Story
    (3238)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Thin plot, but gripping nonetheless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The start of this book was really slow. So slow, I almost gave up on it. But I'm really glad I didn't as it was ultimately a can't-put-it-down listen. I had to laugh at some of the more outrageous plot elements, but it was kind of like a James Bond film in that it's a good idea to just suspect your disbelief at the ridiculous. It wasn't a question of whether the good guys would win or not, but who would get the last shot (and which "red shirts" would bite the dust). It was exciting and fun and features the trademark strong female characters that are prominent in Stephenson's writing. Recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1962)
    Performance
    (1780)
    Story
    (1779)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Fun and entertaining, good story line"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes when a book is fun, you're happy to suspend disbelief for a while because you're enjoying the ride. This is my rule for the older class of James Bond movies. Sure, he's jumped from a plane, skied down a mountain, and then flipped onto a motorcycle and speeds away. Why not? A few reviews have complained about bits and pieces being hard to believe, but they have apparently missed the fun romp of this book.

    We have a very smart female lead (Myfanwy Thomas) saving England from evil foreign agents. Myfanwy is extremely smart and a talented bureaucrat, inside an organization that exists to stop fantastical threats. She also posses amazing powers, even surprising herself.

    This is an entertaining mystery as Myfanwy figures out who she is! Great way to introduce us to this new world as Myfanwy discovers it herself.

    This is a great set-up for a follow-on series of books, but it will be hard for the author to top this!

    A few minor complaints... Now and then Myfanwy seems a little less like an adult woman and a bit more like an overgrown teenager. The "past" Myfanwy seems to break character towards the end of the book. As with any fantasy book, the "rules" of the fantasy world are a bit sketchy.

    I will definitely read more book from this author. Also, the narration hooked me immediately. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11417)
    Performance
    (8285)
    Story
    (8292)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "Boring and predictable. Waste of a credit."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This doesn't compare to the Peter Grant books. Boring story line. Highly predictable. Lacking suspense.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4808)
    Performance
    (4444)
    Story
    (4455)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Like reading a book for English class"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are pros and cons about this book.

    The writing is quite nice, evoking strong imagery throughout. My main complaint is that was tough to listen to the mid-part of the book, which essentially focused on the *abuse* of a child. I almost gave up on the book, but things turned around just in time.

    Mostly I'm left feeling that I just don't get it. There's not much of a story here. If it's taken as straight fantasy, then it's not the least interesting in terms of developing an interesting world. It it's an allegory, it's too complicated for my simple mind. Truly, many a master's thesis will be written about this book. If I could just fully understand the cats, I'd be happy.

    The book is read by the author himself. The reading was well done except that the author sounds exactly like Liam Neeson. That drove me a little nuts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Terminal World

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (668)
    Performance
    (420)
    Story
    (425)

    Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different---and rigidly enforced---level of technology. Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue.

    DAVID says: "This ain't your fathers Alastair Reynolds"
    "Strong beginning but never comes together"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When the story first started, I was really enjoying it. But it kept adding on layers and new characters without resolving anything. It felt to me like a long story that ultimately went nowhere. Many reviewers have said this is not the author's best work, and I must concur.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (17321)
    Performance
    (15672)
    Story
    (15796)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Good book, even for adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I finally went ahead and read this book because a 40-something man recommended it. Overall, I really enjoyed it and sped through the last half. My only complaint as an adult is the love scenes were annoying, but I can see that they might appeal to teenage girls. Without any spoilers, I'll just say that the very end was a little bit of a let down. It's almost as if the author was rushed to pull everything together, but there was a bit too much self sacrifice and not enough cool powers put to work. Oh well. Otherwise, the book was great, and I've add the sequel to my wish list.

    Like many reviews have already stated, the narrator does an excellent job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Existence

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (378)

    Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

    A. Massey says: "Big ideas, good science fiction, frustrating style"
    "Great start, but fizzled out by the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was excited when I started listening to the book. It was a fun story. Some reviewers have complained about the jumping around, but I thought that it was easy to follow. Alas, the individual stories never completely come together. In part, the plot is far too ambitious. In the last third of the book, a large number of new unnecessary concepts (humanoid AIs, multiple virtual copies of humans, etc.) start being hurtled at the reader but are never fully explored. On the other hand, many of the characters in the first part of the book are more or less totally abandoned. An entire plot line (Hacker Sander) dissolves into nothing just as it gets interesting. We see a lot of "character development" that never really goes anywhere at all. It's really a shame. With some tightening up, this could have been fantastic!

    The narration was just okay - many of the characters had identical voices and strange accents.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11034)
    Performance
    (10011)
    Story
    (10033)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "For a story that hangs together, look elsewhere!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like many reviewers have said. this book takes a left turn about 2/3's in. Not long before that point, most readers will have realized that there is absolutely no way this plot will ever come together neatly. Even venturing into an alternate universe is insufficient to bring it all together. Probably the biggest loose end for me was why this magical building is not being carefully studied by scientists 24/7. Especially because someone has seen fit to develop spare parts!!

    The narrator (Ray Porter) is really amazing and the only thing that made me stay with the book to the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Mote in God's Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3863)
    Performance
    (2307)
    Story
    (2336)

    The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".

    J. Rhoderick says: "A great read!"
    "Dated stereotypes, lack of character development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of my favorite science fiction is pretty dated, but I think the problem with this book is the stereotypes --- male (the bread winner) versus female (only interested in marriage and family), military (totally distrusting) versus scientist (totally distrusting), nobility (so worthy and responsible) versus not (jealous of/intimidated by the nobility), even engineers being Scottish (I kid you not!), etc. And some of the character motivations were really hard to understand (more below, but contains spoilers).

    It would be fun to explore the alien culture described in this book. I don't feel that it was well explained, and I think the story focused too much on one aspect which was not as well justified as I would have liked.

    The narration sometimes used accents and voices, but I still had a lot of trouble telling the characters apart. Part was the story itself, but I think some narrators do a better job of giving the characters more distinction.

    I considered stopping time and time again. I listened until the bitter end, but it really wasn't worth it.

    --- Spoilers Follow ---

    (Mild Spoiler) Early in the book, the single female character is rescued from a prison camp. She initially quite withdrawn but eventually recovers (we're not entirely sure why) and it's never referred to again that I can recall. It's not cited as motivation for later actions.

    (Big Spoiler) And don't even get me started on the way that everyone seems to implicitly trust the aliens. Argh. Why???

    (Small Spoiler) And how can non-intelligent aliens do more than the smartest humans? Makes no sense to me!

    (Ironic Spoiler) It's funny that the book was so sexist and yet simultaneously paid homage to birth control (though proper ladies don't resort to that, of course).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pushing Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1657)
    Story
    (1671)

    2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

    Jesse says: "Proof that a good story doesn't require a trilogy"
    "Great sci fi, but kind of depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really like Alastair Reynolds, but this is definitely not my favorite book of his. Mostly, the situation of the characters goes from bad to worse to worse again and to yet worse still. And the ending is, well... It's hard to say. Perhaps not completely depressing, but definitely not happy. In any case, this was a slog for me because I was depressed by listening to the book. At the same time, I didn't want to stop because there was so much to like about the setting and the mystery of the story. I think this would be good to listen to if you wanted to be in a sour mood!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Quantum Murder: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (531)
    Performance
    (472)
    Story
    (473)

    Dr Edward Kitchener, a brilliant researcher into quantum cosmology, lies dead with his lungs spread out on either side of his open chest. Only a mercenary or professional killer could have breached the premier-grade security system - but why would a professional waste time in ritual slaughter? Greg Mandel, psi-boosted ex-private eye, is enticed out of retirement to launch an investigation into a past which - according to Kitchener’s theories - might never have happened.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Excellent sci-fi murder mystery"
    "Little character development & predictable ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first Greg Mandel book was enjoyable. This second isn't nearly as interesting. As a mystery, it falls seriously short. It was obvious "who done it" early on, and then is was just a matter of plodding on through the book until the end. And the characters weren't nearly as interesting as in the first book. We didn't learn anything new about them at all. That's why for me it's only 3 stars.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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