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Erik

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 109 reviews
  • 109 ratings
  • 245 titles in library
  • 68 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Red Country

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (929)
    Performance
    (841)
    Story
    (837)

    They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

    Kristina says: "Freakin' Awesome!"
    "He's back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In writing this review, I'm assuming that 99% of the readers will have read the first books (The Blade Itself, etc.) with Logan Nine Fingers as one of the main characters. Suffice to say, it was great having him back. Even better was the return of Steven Pacey as narrator. The Abercrombie-Pacey alliance makes for an exceptional experience.

    This book is a great follow on to the early stories, but can stand alone on if the reader has no background of the characters. Indeed, many characters are new. Although not as epic in scale as the first three books, the story has a simple entertaining plot that moves along nicely. Be warned, however, that this book tends to the darker side, as do most of the books in this series. Joe Abercrombie’s characters are neither good nor evil, which can make for some interesting sub-plots.

    Overall, highly recommended, but you should start with the first 3 books in the series to get the best appreciation of this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (747)
    Performance
    (694)
    Story
    (699)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "The dark version of Enders Game"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was a bit hesitant to try this book; a new author and, unfortunately, reviews that were perhaps too good.

    I needn't have worried. Pierce Brown crafted a well paced story that kept my attention. As my review headline states, I couldn't help but keep comparing the work to Enders Game. This is unfair, as they are definitely different works, but the basic premise of young adults being trained for conflict is the same.

    One interesting aspect of this novel is the more in depth concepts of various leadership styles. It also refers to the Roman Empire frequently, which this future society borrows from in various aspects of it's social structure.

    Of course, there are a few annoying facets. One I commonly encounter with the "Young Adult" genre, is the amazing abilities, abilities normally requiring a lifetime to master, these teens have. I do overlook this, but it does jump out at me from time to time.

    If you liked Enders Game, Hunger Games, or other militarist sci-fi/fantasy, then this will be worth a credit. Even if this isn't your normal genre, you should give it a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jhereg: Vlad Taltos, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Steven Brust
    • Narrated By Bernard Setaro Clark
    Overall
    (510)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (467)

    Vlad Taltos, a mobster and assassin in the magical metropolis of Adrilankha, is given the largest contract of his career, but the job is even more complicated than he expects.

    D says: "Dragons, Assassins, and Intrigue"
    "Solid Swords and Sorcery, even if a bit cheesy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was bit slow to get started, and even a bit to cheesy at the beginning. It did, however, start to move along a bit faster and it slowly drew me in and entertained me on a long drive.

    Although it reminded me of a Dungeons and Dragons saga, there were some novel concepts in the story, but I felt they we a bit undeveloped. Perhaps those parts were sacrificed to editing.

    If you like the Fantasy genre, you should be pleased with this book. It's nothing earth shattering, but it is entertaining enough to warrant a recommendation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Penn Jillette
    • Narrated By Penn Jillette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1609)
    Performance
    (1453)
    Story
    (1454)

    From the larger, louder half of the world-famous magic duo Penn & Teller comes a scathingly funny reinterpretation of The Ten Commandments. They are The Penn Commandments, and they reveal one outrageous and opinionated atheist’s experience in the world.

    Paul says: "More memoir than theology"
    ""God, No - An apt title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    God no, please don't make me listen to this anymore.

    I finally found an audio book I just couldn't finish. I really did try, but couldn't do it. Maybe I'm to blame, having never heard of Penn Jillette before. I should have done more research first.

    I purchased this book thinking it would be an interesting discourse on issues surrounding religion and atheism. Having investigated the works of Richard Dawkins, I was excited when, during the prologue, Mr. Jillette referred to Dawkins work. Unfortunately, this is as deep as this book went in it's discussion of religion and atheism.

    So, what is this work? From what I could tell, it was a vehicle to tell outrageous stories about Mr. Jillette's outrageous life experiences. Profanation and uncomfortable situations were used to express atheism. It all started to become clear when the author described how he was a regular on the Howard Stern program. Even then, I kept trying to move through the work.

    In the end, I couldn't take anymore of Mr. Jillette describing yet another "amazing" story he was part of. Having this playing in my car was like having an overbearing blowhard join me for my commute.

    Save your money and get a book written by someone who can put together a cohesive argument.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stainless Steel Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (935)
    Performance
    (725)
    Story
    (724)

    DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds.

    SFF11C says: "Awesome"
    "Dated but still entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book a bit too predictable in it's story line. Maybe it's because I'm looking at it from the perspective of 2014 and when it was written some of the concepts presented would have been revolutionary.

    The narrator really assisted this book. With the story just keeping my attention, the narrator managed to bring the characters out so that I was more engaged, thereby making a very long drive more pleasant.

    Can I recommend this book? Yes, but don't expect too much. It will entertain you, and maybe even give you a laugh as you contemplate how things have changed since this was written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Self-Reliance

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 31 mins)
    • By Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • Narrated By Kurt Andersen, Joyce Bean
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (98)

    Redefining the classic essay, this modern edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s most famous work, Self-Reliance, includes self-reflections from both historical and contemporary luminaries. With quotes from the likes of Henry Ford and Helen Keller to modern-day thought leaders like Jesse Dylan, Steve Pressfield, and Milton Glaser, we're reminded of the relevance of Emerson’s powerful words today. Emerson’s words are timeless. Persuasive and convincing, he challenges readers to define their own sense of accomplishment and asks them to measure themselves....

    Glenn E. Mitchell II says: "Narcissism Without Bound"
    "Food for thought"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although a short work, many areas were repeated with only slight variations. That being said, there are some good topics to reflect upon. Not all ideas presented will agree with you, and I personally rejected some of the philosophies discussed.

    A handy reference to keep in your library. Use the bookmark function to flag areas to revisit in the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2320)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1648)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Theresa says: "Amazing story, well written & well read"
    "Exceptionally well researched and presented"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why couldn't history have been presented this well in school?

    Although written half a century ago, this book stands the test of time well. Masterfully narrated by Mr. Prebble, you almost feel like you are there watching.

    Drawing upon numerous diary entries, the entirety of the adventure is presented. Many historical works focus on the leader of the expedition, but this book gives most crew their rightful place in history.

    The incredible bad luck and trials these men overcame is simply amazing. I'm pretty sure 99 percent of today's modern society in the west would give up and die if challenged with these conditions. One area that was missed in the book was a discussion on the effects of the meager and limited diet these men survived on for two years. How was scurvy prevented, wight loss, etc.

    If you want a real-life story that reads like fiction, then get this book and be prepared to be astounded.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4896)
    Performance
    (4358)
    Story
    (4375)

    Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old Ones' invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.

    Jason says: "Exciting story, well told, with a great villain"
    "A Macho Sandwich with Double Cheesiness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The "Monster Hunter" series is something that your sane voice is telling you to hate, but the sheer ridiculousness of the story coupled with the over-the-top machismo and cheesiness somehow overrides that voice. In the end, you find yourself thoroughly enjoying the ride and groaning as required.

    This book is like a comic book sans art work. What is fun is how the author has liberally pulled upon other references (think H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, etc.) and brought them along for the ride. The second book in the series, it did a good job of continuing the story from the first book. Although this book could stand on it's own, you'll be much better situated if you start with book one.

    In summary. if you have a good sense of humour and can tolerate ridiculous situations and dialogue, you will enjoy this book. If this isn't your cup of tea, then avoid this series. I'm just crazy enough to have found it very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Official Movie Novelization

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Alex Irvine
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (186)

    A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "retelling of a classic tale"
    "Better than Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's always a treat to have your expectations exceeded. I approach this book with some trepidation knowing this was book written to support a Hollywood movie. It was on sale however, and judged the risk to be low. I'm glad I took that risk.

    In many ways the book is better than the movie. Books can describe characters internal thoughts and emotions; an area movies fail at. Of course, being a book created purely for entertainment, it is not a work of classic literature, but the well paced story line combined with a good performance by the narrator should give any listener an entertaining experience.

    Give this one a try. You will likely be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (1005)
    Performance
    (857)
    Story
    (861)

    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"
    "Very appealing for the YA audience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was very enjoyable story that kept me entertained, had some unique concepts embedded, yet went too far in demonizing adults and in the idea of body parts retaining a "soul". These later two points detracted from the story somewhat, leading me to drop my rating from 4 stars to 3.

    The concept - unwanted teenagers are eligible to be used for body parts under the authority of uncaring and unfeeling adults. This part overlooks paternal instincts and makes victims of teenagers; hence the large appeal to the YA audience this book holds.

    This being said, the concepts were unique, the writing good, and the narration complemented the story. The result was a very acceptable listen that I can recommend to those with a good imagination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1130)
    Performance
    (1048)
    Story
    (1041)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Darwin8u says: "Grief, terror, love, longing"
    "A powerful and dark message"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This work should be consulted by everyone before considering war as a means to an end. On completion, there should be self reflection and that important question "is this what we want to subject our citizens to".

    An interesting collection of stories, I was never really certain if all of them were real or not, bu,t as the author points out, they are all real on some level. The net effect is an stunning and dark portrayal of conflict post WWII.

    This book takes it's place among other great stories, such as All Quiet on the Western Front, and, on reflection, it's interesting to note how war has changed over the past 100 years. If the brutality described in this book is true, then I would have to say that modern war has taken a turn for the worse, if that is even possible. Having recently read "Generation Kill", it certainly seems that this trend of brutality continues.

    Read this book. Struggle through it if you must. As a citizen of a democracy, whether British, American, Canadian, etc., it is your responsibility to be educated as to the impact of war before routinely accepting the political and media hype surrounding key issues of conflict. If only for that, this is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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