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Cameron

A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.

Arnold, MD, United States | Member Since 2011

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 149 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Lucifer's Hammer

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3270)
    Performance
    (1901)
    Story
    (1919)

    The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival--a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known....

    DJM says: "Good story from front to back"
    "Awesome story destroyed by narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this one at 3X speed so that I could try to lose myself in the words rather than listen to Vietor's monotone. This story is amazing and believable, with great characters and desperate peril and awesome science. If you can tolerate Vietor, then do definitely listen. Otherwise, buy the print version and get this book into your brain!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beginning of the End: Apocalypse Z

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Manel Loureiro
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (680)
    Story
    (686)

    A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men. A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days. Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.

    Keith says: "Just For Pleasure"
    "Tired, predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've never read a zombie novel before, then by all means read this book. You will be consuming the distilled contents of the basic concept of a zombie apocalypse. If, on the other hand, you're looking for something new and original, look elsewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Dies at the End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1874)
    Performance
    (1706)
    Story
    (1722)

    STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why?

    Amazon Customer says: "Vulgar Funny. 4.95 Sale Win."
    "Read it every 6 months or so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is hands-down my favorite audio book ever. EVER. It is scary and funny (I had to pause it a few times just so I could finish laughing at a joke), and Stephen Thorne is the _perfect_ narrator for this, his performance was flawless. When you start reading, the story seems all over the place, and even when you finish it the first time it seems like someone just threw a dozen books at you at once, but the more you think about it the more everything makes sense. Then, when you go back and read/listen again, you realize that as insane as this book is, it's actually a whole and real story that obeys its own rules.

    I've listened to this book more than any other audio book, and if I could rate it any higher I would.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Subterranean

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By John Meagher
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (108)

    Travel to the bottom of the earth...to a place you never dreamed existed. Beneath the ice...a hand-picked team of specialists makes its way toward the center of the world. They are not the first to venture into this magnificient subterranean labyrinth. Those they follow did not return....

    David says: "Great story, funny Ausrtalian accent"
    "Formula action, shoddy science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Intelligent monotremes living deep underground. I just can't buy it scientifically. Add to that a soddenly predictable plot, and I quit reading halfway through. Decent narration, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (235)

    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

    C. says: "Well read and written, just not my cup of tea."
    "Unbelievably good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is an amazing work of fiction- the characters are utterly real, and the premise is engrossing. I'm a picky reader, and this book met every criteria I have for a book that I would recommend to everyone. The actual writing of it sucks you in and makes you want more and more. I found myself coming up with excuses to continue reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lexicon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Heather Corrigan, Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (569)
    Story
    (575)

    At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics - at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as "poets": adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

    Tango says: "Fasten your seat belt..."
    "Awesome speculative fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm picky about books, and I was very hesitant to read Lexicon when I saw that Max Barry had also written Jennifer Government (which I had read as an abridged audiobook years ago and found disjointed and preachy), but it was recommended to me by an extremely intelligent friend of mine whose opinion I trust, and so I thought I'd give it a try. It was totally worth it. This book has everything I want in a great work of fiction- amazing world-building, awesome characters that I get to know and love, compelling action and a premise that makes you lay awake at night. The narration was brilliant and let me experience the book fully, and I feel as though I was there experiencing it all. Now I will have to go back and read the unabridged Jennifer Government, because Barry is a genius and the only explanation for my previous impression must be that something was lost in the abridgement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gravity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (132)

    Emma Watson, a brilliant research physician, has been training for years for the mission of a lifetime: to study living beings in space. Jack McCallum, Emma's estranged husband, has shared her dream of space travel, but a medical condition has grounded and embittered him. He must watch from the sidelines as his wife prepares for her first mission to the international Space Station.

    Jacqueline says: "Fast Paced Thriller"
    "Nail biter with slightly disappointing end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The action flowed and pulled me through, I found myself looking for chores to do as an excuse to listen more. The character development was amazing and you really got the sensation of the cramped quarters of a modern space station. The science was fun and didn't ruin the suspended disbelief.

    My one negative comment is that the end seemed a little lackluster, otherwise this story would have gotten 5 stars all the way.

    4 of 4 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
    (3903)
    Performance
    (2342)
    Story
    (2374)

    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!"
    "Intolerable Narration, ruins the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read another review that said the narrator made the story impossible to listen to, but I didn't believe it. I bought the book anyway because I love Niven and Pournelle-- but that reviewer was right!

    I know it sounds ridiculous, but the narrator's voice sounds like a drill seargent reading a shopping list and after about 10 minutes of listening to his droning I simply couldn't follow what was going on-- from changes of location to which character was talking. Apparently a few other people had problems with it that weren't as bad as mine, but I feel like I've wasted my money on a book that I can never listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rise Again: A Zombie Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ben Tripp
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (337)

    Filled with adventurous human drama-and shocking inhuman horror - Rise Again is a vivid and powerful debut novel of the zombie apocalypse.

    Tilo says: "This book is really good"
    "Awesome Character developmen and action, okay plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Zombie novels are a magnet for mediocre writers. There, I said it. If you don't agree, then this review probably doesn't have a lot to offer you. Still, I love the genre's potential, and this book comes the closest I've seen in a long while to realizing that potential. Rise Again spends a good while really developing Danny's character to the point that, despite the fact that she's a walking stereotype (although dark, drunk veterans with PTSD aren't usually played by women-- her only stand-out quality), I feel that I really understand and relate to her, so Tripp managed to not use her stereotype as a crutch. Good character development is insanely rare in this genre, so it was really refreshing and a very strong start to the book.

    That being said, pretty much every other face you see in the book is as flat as a cutout from a magazine. Danny keeps it real and keeps you caring, but it seems like Tripp was lazy in designing his other characters so the rest have no depth. A few are sympathetic, but they're all just slightly more developed than cardboard cutouts (case in point: gay interior designer, empathetic and soft-hearted female veterinarian, a-hole lawyer).

    The description, however, is magnificent throughout. Excellent prose, believable action and the avoidance of too many predictable plot developments (at least predictable by me) kept me interested to the point where I looked for housework to do just as an excuse to listen. There's a lot of gore, but it's not just a splatterhouse. Also, as a horror, it only really had one scary point for me, at the very beginning. The rest was sort of hum-drum zombie head-smashing.

    So there's bad and there's good in it, but it's worth reading. I should make mention that another very refreshing thing about this book is that it's not just another thought experiment about how awesome and scary the idea of the zombie apocalypse is. The story is as it should be-- the zombies are the environment, not the main character.

    The plot wasn't really that moving for me, however; Danny's character arc is decent but not earth-shattering, some people get saved from being eaten, world's still destroyed but they can start over. It's all a little canned. Rise Again does attempt to make a few statements about the nature of occupation forces like those we have in the middle east, but they're too heavy handed and that's not really what the book is about. The book is about Danny, someone who's gotten herself into a downward spiral that would probably end in death (we see the ghost of her future in Wolf, also a bit heavy handed), and the catastrophe gives her an opportunity to find the spark of purpose that might bring her some fulfillment and save her. In a word, the book is about redemption, but it's not strong enough to make you want to cry.

    All in all, it was a great read. It wasn't The Road or World War Z (I know the two are in completely different leagues from one another, but I loved them both), but it was better than the rest that I've read. And I've read a LOT.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3168)
    Performance
    (2176)
    Story
    (2212)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "Clarke writes simulations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We all have our tastes-- I prefer strong character development and compelling action that carries me through a story to its surprising ending. This one, like all of Clarke's work, is merely a high-level simulation of what it might be like. Intriguing, definitely, but without characters that I care about, I just can't get into it. He's sort of like a Tom Clancy of sci fi. Still, I know I'll read even more of his stuff, but only when it's cheap.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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