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Douglas

Owen Sound, ON, Canada | Member Since 2006

57
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 467 titles in library
  • 22 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
    (1095)
    Performance
    (566)
    Story
    (571)

    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
  • 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
    (163)
    Performance
    (156)
    Story
    (157)

    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 9 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
    (444)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (313)

    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
  • Falling Free

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (473)
    Story
    (481)

    Leo Graf was just your average highly efficient engineer: mind your own business, fix what's wrong, and move on to the next job. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat, where a group of humanoids had been secretly, commercially bioengineered for working in free fall. Could he just stand there and allow the exploitation of hundreds of helpless children merely to enhance the bottom line of a heartless mega-corporation?

    Sumit says: "Worth a listen"
    "Good idea... bad execution"
    Overall

    There were some interesting chracters but frankly I wish I hadn't bought this book. While the characters were intersting they just didn't match teh story's idea in my opinion. Perhaps I had trouble sympathizing with the characters but I just wanted the book over with.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • By Heresies Distressed: Safehold Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (566)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (353)

    Now the battle for the soul of the planet Safehold has begun.The Kingdom of Charis and the Kingdom of Chisholm have joined together, pledged to stand against the tyranny of a corrupt Church. The youthful Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm has wed King Cayleb of Charis, forging a single dynasty, a single empire, dedicated to the defense of human freedom.

    James says: "I want Oliver Wyman back"
    "more action but different reader"
    Overall

    Probably my biggest beef with this book is taht the reader has changed and he's put his own interpretations on how the characters should sound. Narmahn in particular... not to mention a effeminate sounding Merlin.

    Story wise, more "action" then in the last book, though I prefered the last book. If the next book is the same price as this was I'll discontinue the series. On the other hand it doesn't ahve the mad technological dash taht Weber's otehr books like Harrington or Prince Roger series have.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Star Strike: The Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ian Douglas
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (151)

    Planet by planet, galaxy by galaxy, the inhabited universe has fallen to the alien Xul. Now only one obstacle stands between them and total domination: the warriors of a resilient race the world-devourers nearly annihilated centuries ago.

    Lawrence says: "Good Sci Fi Detail and excellent story"
    "Okay... except for the US-ness"
    Overall

    As military fiction goes it rads better then Weber or Ringo. The SF parts are refreshingly (if not uniquely) applied to the matter to keep the plot going. I was turned off and jolted from teh story when the authro seemed the need to introdce/emphasize the origins and loyalty to the "United States" marines. At one point I was rooting for the politicians to shut the marines down and I nromally don't like to do that. It's the same sort of egoisms which turned me off action films. I don't know if I'll bu the second book.

    4 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • By Schism Rent Asunder: Safehold Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (723)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (403)

    The world has changed. The mercantile kingdom of Charis has prevailed over the alliance designed to exterminate it. Armed with a multitude of small technological improvements - better sailing vessels, better guns, better devices of all sorts - Charis faced the combined navies of the rest of the world at Darcos Sound and Armageddon Reef, and broke them.

    B. Bozeman says: "Thought Provoked"
    "Better then the first book!"
    Overall

    I was very disappointed with the first book of this series but this second book was much better. it moved along quite well without getting bogged down in character monologues about technical fluff. What technical descriptions about weapons is short, concise bits that give readers an idea without distracting. I loved the ending, very touching.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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