Having downloaded the book a few minutes after two in the morning, the day of its release, and taking only a few hours to catch a little sleep, and do that annoying thing called work in between, I just came up for air having spent the best eighteen hours and fifty minutes that I have spent in a long time. Then, taking time only to reacquaint myself with the family again, I couldn’t wait to write this review; Kudos to those reviewers who could transcend time.
Harry’s back and he’s alive again. For those keeping up on the series he had been dead in the last book and only by the help of Mab was he able to come back to the mortal world; but now he belongs to the Queen of Winter as her white knight. Of course, this is Harry and he has every intention of defying her whenever he can.
The story begins in Artic Tor where Harry meets some new “friends,” and begins his rehab; coming back to life is not easy.
After some interesting rehab exercises, orchestrated by Mab, Harry almost feels like his old self again and then receives a surprise birthday party, thrown by some of his new winter court friends.
Having survived his birthday party Harry receives his first assignment as the new white knight.
In order to complete his assignment, and keep his island Demonreach from exploding and taking half of Chicago with it, Harry seeks out his old companions; Bob, the skull, His half-brother Thomas, Molly his apprentice, and the pizza loving faeire general Toot-Toot, to name a few.
This was a great listening experience; Jim Butcher writes a superb story and the narrator, James Marsters, is Harry Dresden and gives a fantastic performance.
In “Steeheart” we learned that “Calamity” came to earth and somehow changed certain people giving them extra-ordinary powers; they were named “Epics.” The Epics felt superior to “normal” humans and used their new powers to rule and subdue any one standing in their way. Epics are not created equal, however, and there was quickly a hierarchy established with the strongest epics at the top; they were called “High Epics.” High Epics were thought to be invincible and they ruled their own territory with a god-like hand challenging any other epic that tried to challenge them; “Steel heart” was one of those “High Epics.” He ruled “Newcago, where a boy named David lived. As a small boy David’s father was killed by Steelheart and the boy vowed to get his revenge. He studied all of the epics searching for their weaknesses in hopes of destroying them and eventually joined a group called “The Reckoners,” that were also on a mission to eliminate the epics.
At the end of the book we learn that David finally found a way to kill Steelheart and achieve his revenge. He thought life would be easier after the fall of Steelheart but there are still more High Epics out there and the story continues.
Before listening to/reading “Firefight,” I would recommend Sanderson’s short story “Mitosis. It tells a little bit about life after the fall of Steelheart as another Epic tries to fill the void Steelheart left in “Newcago. “Mitosis,” is a great short story and shouldn’t be missed if you’re following the entire “Reckoners,” series.
In “Firefight David and the Reckoners must travel to “Babylon Restored,” the new name of the area that was once called Manhattan, to deal with another High Epic, called, “Regalia.” Sanderson creates some amazing images describing the very startling yet fascinating environment that the Epics have created. In this second installment of the trilogy Sanderson answers some questions that were left hanging from the previous book as we go deeper into Calamity and yet there are still more waiting to be answered in the last book that will be called, “Calamity.”.
There are some interesting new characters introduced in “Firefight,” but some others’ that were left out from the previous book that I liked, but there is always David.
Like most of Sanderson’s books the ending is very satisfying, exciting but still leaving you wantingt more.
The narrator, MacLeod Andrews, gives a good performance.
Now that earth has become enforcers for the Galactic Empire in this part of the universe Specialist James McGill and Legion Varus have been assigned guard duty on a High Tech Planet called Tau Ceti, better known appropriately as Tech World; but even before they can embark on their mission some political infighting and McGill’s uncontrollable need to express his opinion lands him in trouble again.
Once matters are somewhat settled McGill and Legion Varus ship out for Tau Ceti where dying isn’t enough this time as the mercenaries must cope with greed and corruption on a planetary scale. As usual McGill will take it upon himself to make choices and decisions that could affect all of humanity as possible big changes concerning the entire Galactic Empire are coming to light.
B.V Larson’s main concept of re-growing bodies and retrieving memory leads to some interesting sub-plots in this latest installment in his series. From previous books we have learned that there are rules set in place regarding “Re-growths.” A person must be verified to be deceased before a new grow can occur to prevent multiples of the same person for instance, and if one does not die over the years it is recommended that the data banks be updated so a person doesn’t come back looking ten or fifteen years younger; both of these scenarios are explored in this book.
The narrator, Mark Boyett, gives another good performance and I look forward to the next book.
Scott Brick’s narration sets an eerie tone in this mystery thriller about a man, Jacob Underwood, who lives in a near-future dystopian world in which he makes a living as an assassin. After experiencing a near life ending motorcycle accident Underwood believes he is one of the living dead making him a cold, emotionless, systematic killer with only a “spark,” of humanity left in him. This detached life style, however, soon becomes tested when he is given the most challenging assignments of his career.
The mysterious writer, who goes by the pseudonym, John Twelve Hawks and is the author of “The Fourth Realm,” seems to intertwine his own personal mistrust of governments and corporations into his writing but the end result is a rich and engaging story.
Earth unaware is a prequel to the Ender series and I guess the listener/ reader could begin with this series and then move on to Ender Games; but having already listened to the entire Orson Scott Card’s series, listening to Earth Unaware gave me such an Ominous sense of foreboding; and, even though I know what was coming, it kept my ears glued to the story.
I believe it fills a void that was missing from “Ender Games.” It gives us a more detailed background story about earth and the characters that will play a major part in the war, before the Formic, or “Buggers” attack.
This is not a standalone book, of course, and there are many sub-plots left hanging for the next book in the series, but O.S.C. is such a polished and professional writer that it was a satisfying start. His character development is superior; and, as he eludes to in his authors notes, he writes each segment of the book as if it were a scene in a play making the dialogue come to life.
A word about the narration; I’m not usually a fan of an assembled cast, preferring one talented narrator, but I thought they all did a superb job.
In the last book of the Iron Druid Series, “Hunted,” Atticus O’Sullivan’s apprentice, Granuaile, finally became a full-fledged druid in her own right; she even adopted her own Irish wolfhound. After two thousand years of walking the earth alone the Iron Druid was no longer the only living druid. Then at the end of “Hunted,” Atticus discovers another druid frozen on one of the Time Islands; his old arch druid, who goes by the modern name, Owen Kennedy. Once Atticus’s “thaws” him out Owen becomes druid number three.
Now in “Shattered,” Atticus must indoctrinate his old arch druid into the modern world; but with the old man’s surly disposition it’s not an easy job.
Meanwhile Granuaile gets some distressing news about her father and must go off on her own to deal with the situation. Her journey takes her to India, where she meets an old friend, must visit some snow folk in the Himalayans, and then go back to India and due battle against a supernatural creature with the help of one of the Hindu gods.
We still get several doses of Oberon’s canine philosophy. Loki, the unstable Norse god is still around ready to start Ragnarok; and Atticus still needs to find out which one of Tuatha Dé Danann is out to get him.
Relationships seem to be the predominate theme in this latest installment; besides Granuaile, Atticus now has a sort of father figure in his arch druid Owen. Granuaile must deal with her father and later on confront her feelings about her mother; even the Tuatha Dé Danann have relationship issues.
Luke Daniels gives another great performance as usual.
James McGill and Legion Varus are off on another mission ready to piss off the Galactics and the rest of the universe while still trying to keep earth safe in B.V. Larson futuristic military world.
In the first book of this series, “Steel World,” humans found out that they were not the dominate species in the universe; in fact, as far as the Galactics are concerned, humans are about as significant as ants. Earth is considered a fringe planet with no real significance and would have simply been destroyed unless they could come up with a unique or superior trade good. With the help of some negotiated alien technology earth found its trade; undying mercenaries. In “Steel World,” the superiority of their trade good was tested but thanks to James McGill and Legion Varus earth’s viability survived.
In “Dust World,” the resolve of the human spirit is once again tested. Earth finds out there is another planet that has been colonized by humans, Separatist’s that wanted to get away from earths rules and govern themselves; but since it is against Galactic law for a planet to colonize Earth sends Legion Varus to handle the situation. Not sure exactly how his legion is supposed to “handle,” this situation Specialist James McGill has some concerns about this mission. It is a dilemma that could put him at odds with his Legion and possibly place all of earth in jeopardy if the Galactics find out about the colony, but he always seems to follow his own moral compass no matter what the possible consequences. The situation becomes more complicated when another alien species, not connected to the Galactic Empire, is discovered with plans of its own. What these aliens, the Galactics, and even some of Legion Varus’s own people for that matter, don’t seem to understand is human unwavering determination and will to survive.
So far through two books this has been a good series, if you like this genre, with lots of action and futuristic technology. I liked Mark Boyett’s narration, especially the southern accent of James McGill.
When the Dresden files began with “Storm Front,” Harry was a private detective and the only openly working professional wizard in Chicago. Then he became a warden for the white council, fought all kinds of supernatural monsters, including the Red Court, and recently he was dead. Now in book 15, “Skin Game,” he is the warden of the island Demonreach, and oh yeah, also the reluctant knight of winter court. What great story progression.
From the previous book, “Cold Days,” we know Harry has a parasite in his head and its threatening to end his life. Now Mab, the queen of the winter court, and Harry’s boss, is using his infirmity as leverage to get him to do a job. She’s loaned him out to one of his most hated foes, Nicodemus Archleone and the Denarians. Having done battle with Nicodemus before Harry knows he has his hands full; but locked and loaded with his usual nonstop smartmouth commentary and banter Harry is ready to fulfill his obligation and at the same time thwart his old enemy’s plans. Harry will need the help of his friends, although Thomas and Molly do not make an appearance we get a lot of Murphy, Michael and Butters, and he must use all of his cunning to get him and his friends out of this story intact.
I did like the development of the characters, notably “Butters,” and, as usual, there are plot twists. Some loose ends from the previous books are tied up with others left hanging; but this is “The Dresden Files,” and, if you’re like me, am glad that Jim Butcher always leaves us wanting more.
A note about the narrator; if you’re wondering whether to read the book or listen to this audio, James Marsters is Harry Dresden; his voice inflections captures the clever wit and subtle nuances of the character perfectly.
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. “
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