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Kenton

Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.

Highland Park, IL, United States | Member Since 2007

124
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 271 ratings
  • 549 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
5

  • Century Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (446)

    Three hundred years from now, Earth has been rendered uninhabitable due to the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. Archaeologist Verity Auger specializes in the exploration of its surviving landscape. Now, her expertise is required for a far greater purpose. Something astonishing has been discovered at the far end of a wormhole: mid-twentieth-century Earth, preserved like a fly in amber.

    DAVID says: "One of John Lee's best performances"
    "WRONG narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good story. Alastair Reynolds can tell a good yarn, and in this one, he does really well.

    John Lee as narrator, though, just drives me up the wall. He's fantastic for fantasy - I LOVED him for Perdido Street Station, but I just can't get my head around him for sci-fi. Too proper, too tweed, too academic. Not enough Asimov, not enough tech, not enough laser.

    But then, I'm probably too American.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Peripheral

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (183)

    Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran's benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC's elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there's a job he's supposed to do - a job Flynne didn't know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her.

    Jeremy says: "Excellent Book!"
    "Utterly Impenetrable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know those books that use plain language to take you by the hand and lead you through a wonderfully engaging yarn that leaves you marveling at a beautifully imagined future?

    Yeah. This isn't one of those books.

    The style is so presumptive that unless you're from this future eCulture, you never, ever, ever, ever, ever understand what the hell he's on about.

    Some like writing with a steep learning curve. That would not be me. I like great stories told well. But I think Gibson has basically run out of new sci fi concepts, so he makes up for it with prose that makes a 4-row Rubbicks Cube seem like a nursery school shape matching toy.

    If you like that sort of thing, you'll be all over this one.

    Good luck!!

    Excellent narrator, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Station Eleven

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Emily St. John Mandel
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (411)

    An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

    Stacy says: "gah!"
    "Wonderfully emotive end of the world story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love this book. Can't say enough good about it. The character and plot development is completely believable and unique. Very much feels like you're there, and her story never devolves into a Hollywood shootemup brain pummeling.

    I love these characters because the author lets me love them, and weaves this wonderful tapestry of time and place.

    I was pleased to see her vision of humanity in crisis stays rather true to historical precedence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    Overall
    (1702)
    Performance
    (1431)
    Story
    (1434)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    Paula says: "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    "God, what a depressing hive of neurotics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Remember the Valium house wives of the 50s and 60s?

    Well, now they have English accents. This Novel has more estrogen than oxygen.

    Brilliant.

    Just over an hour in, and I'm ...OUT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1852)
    Performance
    (1657)
    Story
    (1668)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Jan says: "Sorry John... wanted to like it... love you anyway"
    "Relevant, unique, relatable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this title.

    I thought the story was unique yet completely believable.

    I like that Grisham chose (as is his way) a highly relevant environmental issue to anchor his story on, but didn't go overboard with the action. It keeps you on edge, but doesn't resort to unbelievable Hollywood blockbusting. In fact some of the action is actually kind of comedic (intentionally so).

    The narrator. A little whiney and slow at first, but as the book rolled on, I could see why she was chosen for a wonderfully imperfect and prematurely jaded heroin.

    Really fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Road Blues: The Pine Deep Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (644)

    The cozy little town of Pine Deep buried the horrors of its past a long time ago. Thirty years have gone by since the darkness descended and the Black Harvest began, a time when a serial killer sheared a bloody swath through the quiet Pennsylvania village. The evil that once coursed through Pine Deep has been replaced by cheerful tourists getting ready to enjoy the country’s largest Halloween celebration in what is now called “The Spookiest Town in America.”

    James says: "Refreshingly different."
    "Reads like a high school creative writing project"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nerdy, mundane, cliche.

    Maybe I'm just jaded, but it's really trite.

    The author's voice is awkward and ...nerdy is the best way I can describe it. I just get really tired of being disappointed by hours of suspense for mediocre highlights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1832)
    Story
    (1844)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Great start. Fizzle finish."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVED the opening story of this book. One of King's best I've read. But then it just kind of miandered through an average story and a not really very scary bad guy. I didn't think what he was doing was all that bad, so I really couldn't get behind the hero much.

    I was hoping the ending would provide some kind of insight or redemption, but nope.

    Overall, pretty average for one of my favorite writers. Sorry, Steve. LOVED Dr Sleep. LOVED 11/22/63. But this one didn't do much for me.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Skink - No Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    Classic Malley - to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard - he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink - he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

    Johnnie Walker says: "Hiassen Alert for Adults!"
    "Ok. Not his best, though"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was spoiled after Bad Monkey, I guess. LOVED that one.

    I don't know. Just not as much laugh out loud fun as I'm used to Hiassen.

    A PTSD hero who was a former governor? Hmmm. Ok. Just not great.

    The narrator was annoying, though. He's the right age to read this book, but his rhythm is really weird. Sometimes he sounds like Stephen Hawking's voice sythecizer or a Spak-n-Spell. Really irritating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legacy

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    The United States is ready to make a triumphant return to the moon, striking out boldly into the solar system in an attempt to regain the confidence of the heady days of the Apollo program. But a shocking discovery at Shackleton Crater brings the first Prometheus mission to an abrupt halt. Remote robots have uncovered human skeletal remains - and forensic analysis at NASA reveals the corpse to be over 700 million years old.

    Kenton says: "Remedial"
    "Remedial"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ugh. Basically, Clive Cussler but on the moon.

    Utterly cliche, worn out, trite and boring. One character actually used the term "Ray Gun." God, really?

    The story structure relies on such spoon-fed convenience, that it's not just unbelievable, but annoying. I hate being 5 steps ahead of the narrator. I'm no prodigy, but I found myself thinking things like "...really?" and "no shit," and "great, can we please get on with it?"

    And the narrator didn't help matters. He'd be great narrating a mid-70s crime novel. SciFi ain't his gig, though.

    I had to quit after 2 hours of eye rolling. Won't be buying anymore Event Group books.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Diving into the Wreck: Diving Universe, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (241)

    Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she's an active historian. She wants to know about the past--to experience it firsthand. Once she's dived the ship, she'll either leave it for others to find or file a claim so that she can bring tourists to dive it as well. It's a good life for a tough loner, with more interest in artifacts than people.

    Pascal Scheffers says: "Scubadiving... in space."
    "She's a BADASS... but not really."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first chapters make boss seem like a real tough chick. Cool! This is going to be be fun.

    Then it crumbles. She's over-cautious, over-sensitive, and over-conservative.

    Whatever. Look, either let her be a spit blood pirate chick, or an housewife with a spaceship. But PLEASE don't try to mix the two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fool Moon: The Dresden Files, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8749)
    Performance
    (6730)
    Story
    (6705)

    Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

    pterion says: "I'm liking Harry more and more"
    "This narrator kills the series for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually really like the stories, but the narrator reminds me of a fat, tired, late-thirties, self-loathing, dungeon master fanboy from back in the DAY.

    I get it. Dresden comes from that ilk... kinda. But he's also a freekin bad ass, and this guy just can't pull it off for me. It just seems so forced.

    I'm bummed to see the whole friggin series is narrated by him.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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