The last book in the epic saga “The Wheel of Time has finally been written. We all know it wasn’t exactly the book Robert Jordan would have penned, that would have been impossible to duplicate, but we have to give thanks to Brandon Sanderson and the many folks that had supported Robert Jordan’s work. They have given us closure to a series that began in 1990, and for a while thought might never be completed.
Although all writers have their own style I believe Brandon Sanderson did a great job of blending his to Robert Jordan’s No one could know the Characters deepest thoughts and tendencies in the Wheel of Time better than Robert Jordan, and some of that insight was missing in the last books, but Brandon Sanderson is a very talented writer of fantasy fiction, and his painstaking effort to keep true to Robert Jordan’s vision is a homage to the late great writer.
“The Memory of Light does exactly what all of us WOT fans have been wanting; completion. It deserves five stars.
In the first book, “The Way of Kings,” we were introduced to the world of Roshar. It is a world of magic and aliens where hurricane-like storms lay savage to the world every few days and all of its inhabitants must adapt their lives accordingly. It is a world at war between the human armies led by High prince Dalinar Kholin and the Parshendi, a humanoid species. We were introduced to Jasnah, who is a renowned scholar and the niece of the High Prince Dalinar Kholin, her student Shallan, and Kaladin, a slave that by the end of Way of Kings is beginning to become the world’s first Knight’s Radiance in centuries.
If you haven’t read/listened to ”The Way of Kings,” I would strongly recommend that you do before going on to this second book, “Words of Radiance.” If you have read/listened to the first book I would recommend a review of TWOK before going on since it has been over four years and the second book starts off right where “The Way of Kings,” left off.
At 48 hours and 15 minutes this is a long book, in fact Brandon Sanderson posted on his blog that he wrote the manuscript under the working title “the Book of Endless Pages.” He was referring to the endless learning set forth in his first book but it seemed appropriate given its length; but don’t let the length of this book deter you as I listened the hours seemed to fly past. This is an amazing book.
“Word of Radiance” focuses on four characters: Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, and Adolin. In TWOK Kaladin was the main character and is still very prevalent but this book reveals more about Shallan. Like “The Way of Kings,” Sanderson interlaces the present with the past, developing the background on the main characters’ while moving the plot forward.
This is only book two in a ten part series and even though I can’t wait for the next book I found the ending satisfactory.
I word about the narrators, I’ve always been a big fan of Michael Kramer and Kate Reading and I thought they gave another great performance.
This is hard core science fiction with the science part underlined. There were times during the story when I felt I was in an advanced Physics class listening to a lecture on Orbital Mechanics; but the overall experience was entertaining and should excite the hardcore science fiction fan.
Set in the far distant future where DNA based life forms (humans) have advanced and can now freely travel across the known universe with the exception of its galactic core which is inhabited by a species that prefer isolation and are appropriately called the “Aloof,” the story is separated into two separate plot lines which are told alternately throughout the book. In our first plot line DNA is discovered in part of the Universe controlled by the Aloof and it sends a couple to seek out its source. We learn about an inspect-like species that are trying to come to grips with their relativity in the second. These two plot lines seem destined to come together in the end, but they never really do.
Overall I found Greg Egan’s descriptions of a galaxy-spanning, post human civilization fascinating and the narrator, Paul Boehmer, gives a good performance.
From one of the leaders in the cyberspace community, Matthew Mather takes us into the world of the future; a world of nanotechnology and virtual reality.
The earth is overcrowded and those with the resources flock to a corporate owned floating island called Atopia. Anything is possible in Atopia taking multi-tasking to an extreme. Thanks to nanotechnology and virtual reality people can literally be in more than two places at once.
Using his expert knowledge of cyberspace the writer gives us a very possible glimpse into the not so distant future where people seamlessly link with computers and expand their cognitive abilities; but at what cost?
The story may be a little hard to follow at first; the writer uses different characters to give their perspective of the same scene and it seems that there are separate story lines, but everything comes together in the last chapter.
The narrators do a good job and help the listener know that another character is speaking although I usually prefer one gifted narrator to an assembled cast.
I can’t wait for the second book “Dystopian. “
Cast from the mold of Star Ship Troopers and B.V. Larson’s other great space adventure, his Space Force series, Steel World; Undying Mercenaries is a high speed, high adventure, military Sci-Fi, page turner.
Having already submitted to the vast empire of the Galactics, Earth is in a struggle for survival and humanities legions of mercenaries must battle on planet Cancri-9, better known as Steel World to endure; but death is not the usual final obstacle as these mercenaries have the ability to regenerate.
It’s an interesting concept, the book has several plot twists and the characters are well developed and believable.
This is a story begging to be a series; and the narrator, Mark Boyett, gives a great performance.
Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s historical novels of high adventure Steven Brust takes us into the past history of the world he created, called Dragaera, through the Khaavren series. “The Khaavren series is presented as historical novels written by a fictional character named Paarfi of Roundwood. Paarfi is a Dragaeran presiding in the same time frame as Vlad Taltos. In fact “Tiassa,” the thirteenth book in the Taltos series can be thought of as the sixth book in the Khaavren series. The time frame between the two series is hundreds of years apart but characters can appear in both series since Dragaerans live thousands of years.
“The Phoenix Guards” is book one of the Khaavren Romance series which follows Khaavren of Castlerock; a young Dragaeran from the House of the Tiassa. He and his friends join the Phoenix Guards and set off on a high adventure.
These series of books should be of special interest to those who follow the Taltos series as it gives more background story to some of the more prominent characters of that series. In “The Phoenix Guards” I was especially interested in learning more about Adron e'Kieron, a prominent Dragonlord and father of Aliera e’Kieron, one of the main characters in the Taltos books.
In “The Phoenix Guards,” Steven Brust truly captures the spirit of “The Three Musketeers” written by Alexandre Dumas. Brust ’use of old fashion, intricate, and highly verbose writing is overtly based on Dumas’s style as Steven Brust references in his author’s notes. I found the style of writing a little odd at first, but then really entertaining, if not poetic, once I got used to it.
“The Phoenix Guards” is a strong enough story that can be read-listened to as a stand-alone book; but I believe is much more enjoyable if all of the Taltos series is read first.
Kevin Stillwell, the narrator gives an outstanding performance.
"Doctor Sleep" is the sequel to the book; not the movie.This is an important fact that Stephen King shares in his author’s notes. Although, I am a fan of both the movie and the first book, Stephen King makes it clear that if you want the true story of the Torrance family you need to read the “Shining,” published in 1977, and then you will enjoy the sequel, “Doctor Sleep,” that much more.
Little Danny Torrance was only five when he became an iconic character in one of the scariest books ever written; and the ethereal haunted Overlook hotel, room 217, “Redrum,” and his possessed and murderous, alcoholic father, Jack, will be forever remember in literary history.
In “Doctor Sleep,” Danny is grown up; he works in a small New England town as a hospice worker and has the special ability to help patients come to terms with their deaths. Given his history its no wander, like his father, Jack, he is an alcoholic; but is trying to cope with his addiction by attending AA meetings. Alcoholism is very prevalent in this book, as it was in the first book of this series; in fact its diminished exploration in the movie, “The Shining,” by Stanley Kubrick, is one of the many reasons Stephen King was not a big fan of the movie, as he struggled with his own challenges with alcohol addiction during that time.
Danny is still psychic, although his abilities have weakened with age and its obvious when he comes in contact with Abra Stone, a girl who, at the age of twelve, has not yet fully tapped into her powers.
The young girl, is in danger, and she needs Danny’s help to keep her safe from a group, called The True Knot, that feed off of psychic powers; particularly children.
“Doctor Sleep is more than just a sequel, although it has roots to “The Shining,” this is a story that has its own wings; and boy does it fly.
If you’re wondering whether to purchase the text or the Audio version, the narrator of this audio book should make that an easy decision. Will Patton gives a spectacular performance and should not be missed.
I always find it fascinating where writers get their ideas and, according to an article by Rachel Brutsch of the Deseret News, Brandon Sanderson was cut off in traffic one day and immediately thought of the other driver, “You’re lucky I don’t have super powers because I would totally blow your car off the road.” That immediate thought horrified him; and he thought, “Its a good thing I don’t have superpowers.” Then he pondered, “What if the evil guys had all of the super powers?” That idea was the essence for his new Y.A. series, “Reckoning.”
Steeheart is a super-villain. He is one of many that received their power from a star called Calamity that appeared in the sky one day. Most thought the people that received these new found powers would use them for the benefit of mankind; wrong. With ultimate power comes ultimate corruption.
Steelheart has the strength of 10 men. He’s virtually indestructible, he can fly and when he’s enraged he can turn inanimate objects into steel. He exercised that particular power to transform most of Chicago and part of Lake Michigan before becoming the emperor of “Newcago.”
David Charleston was an eight year old boy when he saw Steelheart murder his father. Ten years has passed and David can think of only one thing; bringing Steelheart down. He is just a normal human and decides to recruit another group of humans, called “Reckoners” to help him. Reckoners study those like Steelheart, to learn their weaknesses.
This is a story that has been told many times, the struggle between good and evil, but this time Superman is not on our side; can good still win?
Its billed as a Y.A. book, and there is some romance that is usually associated with such genre, it does not, however, overwhelms the story; anyone that like Sci-Fi adventure should like this book. It is, after all, by Brandon Sanderson; and, by all indications it is the start of an epic tale.
Larry Correia’s Grimnoir trilogy has come to a conclusion in “Warbound.” There is so much I love about this series, that takes place is an alternate 1930’s era, that its hard to know where to start. The characters are true to the era, yet they live in a world that has been given magic from a creature that has come to earth in an effort to hide from a predator that wants to suck the magic out of the entire universe. Larry Correia’s use of real life characters from the Thirties such as John Moses Browning and General John, “Black Jack”, Pershing, and references to Nichola Tesla and his inventions, gives his alternative world authenticity.
In “Warbound,” Jake Sullivan, Sally Faye Vierra, and the iron guard Toru, are the main characters in this third installment. I really like the relationship that is formed between Jake and the Iron Guard; and of course, Faye is my favorite character in the series. There are still the other characters we’ve come to know such as, Pirate Bob, Francis, Dan, Heinrich, and Pemberly Hammer - the Bureau of Investigation's human lie detector, but their roles are diminished in this book. One of the new characters, Dr. Well, a sociopath and inmate of Rockville Penitentiary, that Jake recruits to help swart the greatest threat to earth, the Pathfinder, is also a standout character.
The battle action is amazing with magic being thrown from all sides and the technology that Mr. Correia adds, such as powered armor, and of course the flying airships, only add to the excitement.
On a side note; although this is the end of the trilogy, Mr. Correia leaves open the possibility for more Grimnoir adventures;let's hope.
About the narrator; it’s crazy, to me, that Bronson Pinchot, “Balki Bartokomous” from Perfect Strangers (one of my favorite sitcom televisions shows from the mid-80s and early 90s) is the narrator. This guy has range, and gives another great performance.
Unbelievably, a while ago Audio was selling this book on a discount list. I bought it just to keep in my library if I ever found myself short on listening material. Now that the sequel has come out, “Fuse,” I decided to give the first book a listen, and maybe it was the discounted price but I was pleasantly surprised.
Billed as a YA book, to me, it has more of a sci-fi adventure feel, even though it did have some but not the usual overwhelming amount of teenage romance that is usually associated with such genre, as detonated super-bombs containing nanobot technology changes the face of the world. The post-apocalyptic result is a dystopian society separated into two groups: those affected by the bombs, and those who were protected by a dome.
I thought the descriptive graphic writing from Julianna Baggott was exceptional, if not a little dark, as she describes in great detail the twisted and deformed bodies of the survivors living outside of the dome. The title “Pure,” refers to the lucky ones living inside of the dome that remain physically pure.
The story follows Pressia, a young teenage girl, as she struggles to survive in this twisted new world, and a young man, Partridge, who is in search of some answers and wants to know how life is beyond the constricted confines of the dome.
I thought the ensemble of readers gave the narrative depth, but the audio performance might have been as good with one talented narrator.
I’m using a credit for the sequel.
What do you need to survive two thousand years being chased by an assortment of gods from across the mythological spectrum; humor.
In “Hunted,’ the Iron Druid chronicles, book six, Atticus and his merry band are on the run across Europe being chased by Artemis and Diana, the Greek and Roman goddesses of the hunt. Loki, one of the Norse gods is still after him ready to begin Ragnarok, and to make his life even more interesting vampires and a group of dark elves are also trying to eliminate the Iron Druid.
With a surprisingly insightful and humorous canine philosophy delivered by Atticus’s Irish wolfhound, Oberon, my favorite character in the series, Kevin Hearne writes some of his best lines.
Luke Daniel, the narrator, does another great job and his rendition of the wise cracking canine cracks me up.
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