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Douglas

Owen Sound, ON, Canada | Member Since 2006

61
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 552 titles in library
  • 61 purchased in 2014
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  • Off Armageddon Reef: Safehold Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1204)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (674)

    When Earth herself lay under siege by an enemy humankind could not defeat, mankind undertook one last throw of the dice: Operation Ark. Earth's final colonizing expedition was meant to build a new civilization, on a planet so distant even the Gbaba might never find it, and without the high-tech infrastructure whose emissions might betray its location.

    Alison says: "David Weber always good"
    "A good foundation"
    Overall

    A good book if it willbe the first in a series. That being said if it's meant to stand on it's own it's mildly muddled. I assume, given the description that the main chracter is Nimue. that being said "she" doesn't appear that often and when "she" does it's either for some rather unbelievable action sequence or to suffer a historical dissertation.

    Don't get me wrong, history is important but the relevance of the speches given (or thought) is something that weighs the story down. Unlike where there's a fairly clear dominant main character in the say the Prince Rogers series, this book suffers from too many characters with little or no background to understand thier motivations.

    The book is described as a "sci-fi epic" it's not, it's more a historical military novel with a few sci-fi bits as plot props.

    I really can decide how I feel about it. I'm going to reread it again but at least for the first read-thru I didn't care about any of the characters and the bits of SF that were included are very good concepts but either allow deus ex machina style plotting or add littleif antyhing to move the story forward.

    I suppose it could be arged that SF is a relative term given the planet's tech levels but for my midn that's stretching things a bit.

    17 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent's Shadow: Elemental Masters

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (389)
    Story
    (395)

    From the magical mysteries of India to the gaslit streets of Victorian London, Mercedes Lackey's unique departure from her Valdemar series follows a young woman doctor as she searches for the secret behind the sorcery in her blood.

    CatBookMom says: "Very enjoyable"
    "Not as good as it sounds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Serpent's Shadow?

    While I normally enjoy strong female protagonists, I found Maya (our heroine) too strong. Her world view (and I think the author's) is that if your female your a perfect being. If your male your lower then scum.

    I could accept Maya's world view because of the time period the story was set in. But As soon as our main male character meets up with Maya he's immediately cowed by her verbal warning.

    I could also accept this if Peter was presented as a whishy-whashy man, he's not though. He's presented as a strong Water Master, that he was a ships captain for several years before starting a business ashore.

    Maya has an English father and an Indian mother. This in itself isn't a problem except that everyone that meets her (except the white males) loves her instantly without her having to do anything. She faces no discrimination because of her sex/race except, again, from teh white males who seem to be put in her path so that the author can preach the evils of men.

    If the time period was a modern era setting I could understand the lack of discrimination better. However my understanding is that this book is set around 1902 so the lack of discrimination and insta-love for our main female character just doesn't make sense to me.


    What was most disappointing about Mercedes Lackey’s story?

    The handling of Maya's mixed race. Maya could have been half-human/half-martian and it wouldnt have made much difference to the way people react to her. As I said above if the time period was more modern I could understand people's reaction to Maya's mixed racial background better.


    Which character – as performed by Michelle Ford – was your favorite?

    Peter Scott.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Serpent's Shadow?

    I don't think cutting any scenes would ahve saved this book, there were too many flaws int eh foundation.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book, the premise was interesting. I just didn't like the main character Maya.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shogun: A Novel of Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By David Case
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1034)
    Performance
    (605)
    Story
    (616)

    A bold English adventuer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love....An English captain and his crew are shipwrecked on the coast of feudal Japan. They must deal with two Japanese warlords who are struggling to attain the title of Shogun - and the ultimate power that comes with it.

    LeRoy Reynolds says: "Great audio book AFTER the first 2.5 hours"
    "I liked it better when I was younger"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think if you haven't seen the miniseries or are looking for a Romeo-Juliet sort of story you could enjoy this work. I certainly did when I was in my teens.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointment because while there's resolution, you're mostly told what happens rather then shown what happens. I also wanted to know more about Blackthrone's future.


    What didn’t you like about David Case’s performance?

    The narrator only had three "voices" for all the characters. Blackthorne/narration, female and everybody else. Sadly the "Everybody else" voice sounded like the narrator was being tortured while reading the speaking parts.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    As I've said when I was a teen I liked this book. The story/idea was very interesting. I enjoy stories set in Japan, each character was distinct from the other characters and didn't feel like cardboard cutouts.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the author became confused about who was main protagonist was because as the story went on Blackthorne seemed, to me at least, to become a secondary character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thread Slivers: Golden Threads Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Leeland Artra
    • Narrated By J.M. Badger, Michael Braun, Adam Chase, and others
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Ticca is a newly-minted Dagger, a young honorable mercenary out to prove her worth in the big city. Her first job seems like a simple one, but it sets her on a path to a destiny bigger than she ever dreamed. The friends she makes along the way may have destinies of their own to fulfill...The three of them are swept into a series of deadly events. Fighting to stay ahead of their adversaries, they stumble into secrets that catapult them towards disaster that even the Gods are not prepared for.

    Sam Poe says: "How to break immersion..."
    "Great start but run out of steam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Thread Slivers better?

    The character of Duke is an unpleasant creature whom I didn't like spending time with. He detracted from the story and lessened the importance of the two protagonists introduced at the beginning of the story.

    Sula's heritage is so overly hinted at that it ruins some of the mystery surrounding her.

    More showing of Ticca's past rather then telling of her past.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Leeland Artra again?

    Probably not. I might give the second book a chance if it's ever on sale.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Cut out the sound effects. They added little to the performance in my opinion and in some cases were distracting/badly timed.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thread Slivers?

    Anything involving Duke. He seemed like an unnecessary chracter and feels more like an author self-insertion.


    Any additional comments?

    The premise was enough to get me to spend one of my credits on the book. It started out well but as more and more characters were added the entire flow of the story bogged down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Capturing Faith: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Victoria G. Schwimley
    • Narrated By Randi Larson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Chelsea Warren is the most popular girl in school, and the leader of the tightest clique on campus. The most important things to her are her looks and the respect of her followers. But Chelsea has a secret she doesn't want anyone to know. Amber Walker is compassionate, trustworthy, and the most well-adjusted girl in school. The most important thing to her is serving God and her community. When an argument between Chelsea and her best friend occurs, she runs straight to Amber for help.

    Douglas says: "Capturing Emptiness"
    "Capturing Emptiness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Capturing Faith better?

    Despite the strong and interesting summary, the actual plot was shallow and lacked any real depth. The word choice and phrasing might have worked better as a children's book, rather then as a book directed at teens.

    The book starts to raise interesting questions of a person's faith but then seems to shy away from the topic. As if the author felt the reader wouldn't be able to understand.

    The main character, Amber, lacked flaws. She was jsut "too good" to be real. Again, in a children's book this sort of main character could pass easily but I expect more depth from a teen/YA focused story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Victoria G. Schwimley again?

    I'm not sure. I normally don't listen to faith-centric books. I picked this one up because of the strong plot summary but the execution of the ideas in the story were a letdown. I'm not sure if I'd listen to the author's other stories.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Chelsae wished her family was back the way it sued to be.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment was my reaction. I had high expectations of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the narration. The narrator tried to give each character a different voice and generally was successful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Line: Witching Savannah, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (273)

    To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South. Despite being powerless herself, of course. Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Great new series!"
    "A good start but stumbles a bit."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Line?

    The plot was interesting, limited info dumping to a minimum and didn't give the plot immediately away within the first chapter.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The main character Mercy was the most interesting. She seemed fairly fleshed out as well as Oliver.

    The entire love quadrangle. If Mercy was younger (13-15) I cold maybe see this as an important plot element but it just bogged things down.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The Voice Actress could convey emotion well and fitted it to what was happening in the narration.

    I didn't like that there were only a few unique voices and sometimes the VA mixed up which character was speaking and used a different voice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Overall it's not a bad beginning to a series. The novel suffers from a few issues, like having a too neatly tied up ending. I wish Jackson, for example, could have been a great loose end.

    The whole love plot was strange and detracted from the plot for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1353)
    Performance
    (737)
    Story
    (743)

    When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo - an unhatched dragon egg - fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle.

    Janet says: "Dragon Riders of Pern meet Master and Commander"
    "Good idea, poor execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book. While the concept is interesting the plot itself is simple. Despite the simple plotting the major draw back is I didn't find any of the adult character's sympathetic or appealing.

    For example this one woman has a child, not because she desires to raise a family but so that her dragon can have a handler they are familiar with. She's quite causal about suggesting to our main character that he have two children so that two of the dragons we've met to this point can have future handlers.

    Lawrence isn't offended over the lack of parental care this shows. Rather he's appalled at the forwardness from a woman. It offends his upper crust sensibilities because she's not acting like a (proper) lady should.


    What was most disappointing about Naomi Novik’s story?

    The main character. I found him arrogant, hypocritical and shallow.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Simon Vance’s performances?

    I normally like Simon Vance but this book fell flat so yes I would try another of his performances.


    Was His Majesty's Dragon worth the listening time?

    Worth the time? Yes. Worth the price no.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the worst book I've ever read so I'll give the second in teh series a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadows: The Shadow Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Cheree Alsop
    • Narrated By Christy Crevier
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Duskies are born in a dangerous world as servants of the lords of light and shadow, but when creatures known as the Sathen threaten all the races, a Duskie named Nexa finds herself caught in the middle of a perilous journey to save her people and unite the races as one. Facing dangerous odds, prejudice, and violence, Nexa finds strength in those around her and, ultimately, love. Epic, stunning, and absolutely mesmerizing, Shadows is the unique and original story you have been waiting to listen to.

    Rachel says: "Not Recommended"
    "Interesting concept but marred storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    1) Better editing. There are places where words or entire sentences are repeated. Also there are a few places where obvious errors have not been corrected (e.i. having just had breakfast but referring to the meal as lunch).

    2) Slow the pacing. The author's writing doesn't spend a lot of time on world building, I think because the author is rushing to get to the love interest/romance section. Since I picked this up under the Sci-Fi category I wasn't expecting a YA cliche.

    3) Include character development since there really isn't any. Nexa goes from a member of an oppressed species who guards caves and can barely fight to leading arms and becoming a tactical genius with little time spent to develop such skills.

    4) Dump the romance between the two main characters, it's very cliche.


    Has Shadows turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I'm not sure, what is this genre? As I said this was listed under Sci-Fi and I've read worse Sci-Fi books then this. It reads more like a book aimed at tweens though. Given the excessive insta-love that's happening I can't even really call this Young Adult though it's closer then Sci-Fi.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christy Crevier?

    Oliver Wyman, Gover Gardner, Christina Moore or Jennifer Van Dyck


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

    None that I can think of.


    Any additional comments?

    The author has a solid idea but I think her rush to do the whole romance thing spoiled what could have been a great idea. Also with poor editing and less then stellar narration it wasn't the best book I've listened to, nor the worst.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Royal Ranger: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (221)

    Will Treaty has come a long way from the small boy with dreams of knighthood. Life had other plans for him, and as an apprentice Ranger under Halt, he grew into a legend - the finest Ranger the kingdom has ever known. Yet Will is facing a tragic battle that has left him grim and alone. To add to his problems, the time has come to take on an apprentice of his own, and it's the last person he ever would have expected. Fighting his personal demons, Will has to win the trust and respect of his difficult new companion - a task that at times seems almost impossible.

    Jason says: "Saying goodbye to old friends"
    "Worst in the series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Royal Ranger?

    Several things.

    My biggest disappointment though was Maddie. She finds out that her parents have taken a extremely drastic step which upsets her. Unfortunately this betrayal's impact lasts something close to 2 paragraphs and then vanishes. The fact that Maddie doesn't show any other emotional response to the event just makes her appear shallow and leaves the book lacking depth that other books in the series have captured so nicely.

    The Author uses the book as a soap box to preach about the sins of alcohol.

    Maddie had (at first) one memorable character trait but soon that's eliminated to the point where you could go through the book and replace "Maddie" with Wioll and stick Halt back in as the Mentor and you'd likely not notice the difference.


    Has The Royal Ranger turned you off from other books in this genre?

    In the genre? No I've read far worse. By the author possibly.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    About the only good thing about the story was the narration.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No, the book summary is misleading. The summary tries to make it sound more dramatic then it actually is. It should really read "Will takes on his god daughter because her parents don't have a clue what to do with her. This isn't a realy mystery because the author's telegraphed who the apprentice will be from teh second chapter."


    Any additional comments?

    Compared to the rest of the series, this one really flopped for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Phantom Universe: Summer Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Laura Kreitzer
    • Narrated By Karen Savage
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she's lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?

    Lisa says: "Summer is amazing."
    "Racist and romance pretending to be a fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quite possibly the most disgusting book I've ever read. To have Canada act as World War II Nazi Germany if very offensive to me. The fact that the author goes out of her way to blatantly depict Canada as "the bad guy" and the American's as "the good guys" doesn't help.

    This isn't about human slavery, it's about a badly written romance trying to be a fantasy novel. I realize that this is listed (now) under the "teens" category but I've read books for teens that are superior to this piece of cow dung.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Oath of Fealty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (469)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (334)

    Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter follows her dream of becoming a hero out of legend by running away to join the army. Military life and warfare aren't anything like she imagined - yet she holds to both her duty and her dreams. Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold tell of her rise to become the paladin who saves a kingdom. In this new trilogy, Paks's former comrades in Duke Phelan's Company assume new roles and the story turns to follow their adventures.

    James says: "More Moon Magic"
    "Weak beginning better ending"
    Overall

    This and the two others to follow will have big shoes to fill when it comes to following up the previous three books. And while reading the first three books isn't necessary it provides a lot of background to the story presented. My only real issue with the book (and it might ahve been the narrator) was the Arcolin/Phaelan bits seemed... stilted. I wish there had been more Dorrin as her parts seemed to be rushed somehwat. Overall though I enjoyed this and look forward to the next book which isn't out until 2011.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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