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Jacob

Salem, OR, United States | Member Since 2012

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 201 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4782)
    Performance
    (4398)
    Story
    (4399)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    Magpie says: "Two books in one - keep listening!!"
    "Entertaining Tolkienian Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sullivan is a fan of the Traditional Tolkienian Fantasy and it shows. There are dwarves, elves, and wizards. If you're like me, that doesn't bother you when the mood strikes to read familiar or predictable mythologies. Just don't anticipate Sullivan breaking any new ground in Fantasy story telling like an Abercrombie or Rothfuss.

    That said, the story is fast paced and action packed. The characters are believable and likeable. The main characters feel familiar, a brotherhood of thieves that follow a conveniently honorable code of ethics a la Steven Lynch. There is an occasional chapter that is full of mythology--necessary, but extremely boring.

    Tim Reynolds projects his voice well and is intelligible. He has above average accents and character voicing. However, a couple of his character are so similar, there are times it is difficult to tell which character said what.

    30 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • House of Chains: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (239)

    In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.

    Armand says: "Write Brilliance Audio to get Ralph Lister back!"
    "A great piece to this remarkable epic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Erikson does several things better than any other author I’ve read:

    1. Consistently introduces new characters to the narrative.
    2. Creates dynamic characters, changing their attitudes or philosophies as the story moves.
    3. An advanced and mysterious mythology.
    4. A magic convention that is unique in fantasy writing.
    5. Follow multiple character story lines throughout.

    Erikson writes without much consideration for chronology, nor does he give you much in the way of reminding us about a character’s history. This makes for very challenging listening and I find myself going to the Mazatlan wiki page to find information on characters.

    This story follows a character we’re introduced to in Deadhouse Gates. Karsa Orlong’s origin story takes a good 3rd of the opening. I found a bit hard to follow, but eventually found myself enthralled with the character and looked forwarded to his storyline reappearing late in the book.

    Michael Page was extraordinary as usual. Because names are not always mentioned in dialogue, there were times it was tricky to tell which character spoke.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Memories of Ice: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (401)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (375)

    The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Onearm’s army and Whiskeyjack’s Bridgeburners alongside their enemies of old - the forces of the Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii mages, and the Rhivi people of the plains. But ancient undead clans are also gathering; the T’lan Imass have risen.

    Jacob says: "Really deep world and deeper mysteries."
    "Really deep world and deeper mysteries."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Erikson's Mythology is as deep, perhaps deeper than Jordan's or Tolkien's. So deep, that I didn't feel any sort of grasp on it until halfway through the book. The characters from the first book are all but forgotten for this tale. Erikson again spins 4 storylines bound for a collision at the end of the book. New, vibrant, and complex characters abound as we again see both sides of warring parties. I find myself rooting for morally bankrupt individuals and trying to figure out if this is a story of futility or hope in the face of desperate odds. Erikson takes on a journey of retribution and sacrifice--balance past criminal behavior versus wisdom gained from experience or tenderness brought on by ignorance.

    The story is action packed and abhorrently violent. I was entertained and thought provoked throughout, but too depressed at times to take on long stretches of listening.

    Ralph is a solid reader--clear and dynamic, however he does not have the vocal range or accents to cover the shear number of characters presented. I would really love to hear a female reader take on the female characters, much like Michael Kramer and Kate Reading in Jordan's Wheel of Time.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1270)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1140)

    The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

    Adnan says: "An engrossing yet demanding high epic"
    "Complex and compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't expect to have any questions answered in this opening to the Malazan Book of the Fallen. However, the characters were each unique and compelling. There is a ton of action and violence on par with Abercrombie. If you're like me, you will hit the prologue after you have finished just to try to figure out what you've missed. I am looking forward to the rest of the series hitting Audible. Performance wasn't spotless, but Ralph is good enough not to get lost in dialogue changes and complex "foreign" language.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Red Country

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (839)
    Performance
    (761)
    Story
    (756)

    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

    The best character from Abercrombie's First Law returns to us and doesn't disappoint. As is standard, this is bloody, bleak, but hugely entertaining. Steven does excellent voicing and accents. Thanks Joe, and bring us more of the Bloody Nine!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Unmarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Scott Stratten
    • Narrated By Scott Stratten
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    For generations, marketing has been hypocritical. We've been taught to market to others in ways we hate being marketed to. So why do we still keep trying the same stale marketing moves? UnMarketing shows you how to unlearn the old ways and consistently attract and engage the right customers. You'll stop just pushing out your message and praying that it sticks somewhere....

    Carla says: "Excellent Info, Delivered with Refreshing Candor"
    "Wish I could get all my Clients to read this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scott is funny and honest. If you considered using social media to improve your business this is a must listen. He gives solid examples of the common mishaps of businesses and offers real solutions. I am trying to apply these principles in my own consulting and encouraging my clients to do the same. The recording is clear, paced perfectly and Scott reads it himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4834)
    Performance
    (4395)
    Story
    (4443)

    Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

    Amazon Customer says: "End of one of my favorite fantasy series ever."
    "A fitting end, but extremely intense."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Intense from beginning to end. Perhaps too intense at times as I had to give myself a break from this story several times as I listened. However, it has the epic finish we hoped for in this massive tale. For me this is a story taking 20 years to close out and I am satisfied. Michael and Kate are very good as readers once again. Voices get somewhat confused as times since there are so many character, but overall it does not detract from the story. I would recommend this book and this entire series, but give yourself plenty of time and read something light in-between breaks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rise of Empire: Riyria Revelations, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3666)
    Performance
    (3347)
    Story
    (3364)

    Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

    Adnan says: "Great continuation of the first book. Tons of fun!"
    "Sullivan's series matures."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't like recycled characters. For the most part, Sullivan introduces new characters nicely and realistically. We start this volume with the rapid rise of a new character, which is emotional and smartly written. Sullivan has a tight grasp on who his antagonists are but is able to layer their motivations with more nuance than in the prior volume. Sadly, one character comes from the prior volume and it feels a bit clunky. A twist at the end makes up for that, however.

    My other complaint is the number of times our hero's are captured then manage to convenient escape. This reminds me of the TV Series "24". Jack Bauer or family gets captured because they don't call for back up and then get guarded by one inept guard.

    Beyond that, the action sequences are easily visualized and the storyline is enjoyable. Tim Gerard Reynolds gives a fantastic performance. It is his best voice acting to date. Product removed to much space between segments and it is difficult to tell when a new scene has begun.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1923)
    Performance
    (1491)
    Story
    (1489)

    After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can't rest for long - and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

    Anthony says: "This is how you write a series!"
    "An excellent sequal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lynch manages to do something I have seen only done a couple times effectively--insert a seafaring novel into a fantasy series, a la Lewis or Feist. The action sequences are well composed, fluid, and vivid. As with the first of the series, characters are loveable and not impervious to death.

    My one complaint with this story is that if we are to believe these characters are such great thieves, why do they make so many mistakes? The ending of this story is so stupidly below the characters' abilities, it is difficult to believe. However, if the story is about the journey and not the destination, this is a great listen.

    Michael Page is in my top three of readers. His voice library is nothing short of phenomenal. He seamlessly transitions dialogue character to character with perfect clarity and projection. He is one of the few that I will listen to the book, simply because he is reading it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3046)
    Performance
    (2351)
    Story
    (2357)

    An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

    Luke A. Reynolds says: "Stupendous, but be warned."
    "Great Characters in an inovative world."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lynch creates a world where humans have moved into the cities that an ancient and presumably alien civilization left behind. This is the backdrop to a metropolitan crime and politics atmosphere with a fantasy twist. The characters are compelling and likeable. I rarely get drawn in so well to so many different characters. Like George R.R. Martin, Lynch isn't afraid to kill off characters you grow attached too.

    Lynch uses multiple timelines--Lock Lamora in his youth then as an adult. It proves an effective means to tell background and fill in mythology.

    My one complaint with this story is that if we are to believe these characters are such great thieves, why do they make so many mistakes?

    Michael Page just broke my top three of readers. His voice library is nothing short of phenomenal. He seamlessly transitions dialogue character to character with perfect clarity and projection. He is one the few that I will listen to the book, simply because he is reading it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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