ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States | Member Since 2006
I enjoyed both the story and the performance, but neither left me begging for more. 'The Mote in God'd Eye' should definitely be experienced, first. Don't expect any new ideas or entertaining twists. It's solid scifi, but that's all.
You either love the Holmes stories or not, so it's really about the reader. I found Patrick Tull's reading to be just that, "reading" not "performing." For that I took away one star. I could hear no attempt to change voices for each character; however, since the Novella is written as Dr. Watson's documentation of the events (like the other Holmes adventures) this is not really a bad thing. You can just view it as Watson reading his own work. Anyway, I found it perfectly enjoyable and wholeheartedly recommend it to all lovers of the Doyle's "Consulting Detective."
I'm still not a fan of the main character, Harry Hole (pronounced like Hoola); and BTW, I'm not sure if the pun is intended or not. After all, the books were originally written in Norwegian.
There must be something here, 'cause I keep using my credits on this series. For those who don't know, Harry is a bit damaged as a human being, but his heart is in the right place. If you are a fan of detective fiction, think Jesse Stone.
The story lines are good to maybe even clever, so I'll give the next in the series a go. I enjoyed the narration in this one. I wasn't captivated by Thor Knai, but the work is easily competent or better. It's not at all necessary to experience the series in order, at least up to this point. There are a couple of references to earlier cases, but nothing that would be a spoiler for the earlier books or prevent your enjoyment of this one. So, if this sounds like your thing, pick any of the series up to this point, and give Nesbo a try.
If you like your fiction with a little science, you'll probably like the 'Lost Fleet' series. Don't expect radical new ideas or cosmology on the fringe. This is what you might call "practical sf." I love the main character. He's the kind of person that I could serve under with confidence and loyalty.
If I remember correctly, some reviewers complained that the battle elements are excessive. I disagree. I think the books include just the right balance of action vs. character development, even though I have to admit that the characters don't have extreme depth.
You won't find any really clever ideas here, but it's good solid writing. I'll continue to the next volume.
Like all of Verne's works. The dialog shows it's age, I find that charming rather than bothersome. Verne was a visionary, and I rate 'Mysterious Island' among his best. If classic literature is your thing, you will love this.
Berney Clark's performance was right on the mark. I would definitely listen to him in the future.
Better than 'The Lost Symbol', lacking some of the unrealistic elements common to the technical and political aspects of Brown's work. If this were a movie, it would be the "wait for the television release" variety. Barring nearly unanimous outstanding reviews of his next release, I'm done with Brown.
I did; however, enjoy Paul Michael's performance. Very well done!
I have mixed feelings about all Dan Brown novels since 'The Da Vinci Code.' His storytelling is usually above average, and his research into history and symbolism adds a welcome depth to all of the Robert Langdon novels. However, I find his research in other areas to be so lacking as to seriously detract from the enjoyment of the works.
Usually, Brown's errors are related to politics, law, and technology. I'll not detail any of the technological errors, as they are usually minor and not important to the story. Frequently; however, legal and political issues are a major story element, and deserve far more attention. In 'Angels and Demons' we have the French National Police (Police Nationale) ordering around British officers, on British soil, so blatantly that you would swear the UK must be a colony of France. In 'The Lost Symbol,' we see the US CIA exercising powers that they simply do not have on US soil. The authority of both the CIA and the US military are severely limited within the US as constitutional protections. It's not that I am so naive as to believe that some bureaucrats, politicians, and federal agents of various kinds don't push the limits from time to time, but Brown took it to extremes that would have gotten them arrested in the real world. The CIA does not take over domestic investigations and order around other federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. Whether you agree or not, I think you can see how this detracted from my enjoyment of the story with an issue that could have been avoided by placing domestic counter-terrorism where it belongs - with the FBI. I guess, using the CIA was more dramatic than the truth. To quote Robert Langdon, "I'm a fan of the truth."
As usual, Richard Poe's narration is excellent. His work is highly recommended.
To summarize, I believe that, due to the popularity of the Langdon character, the originality of the symbologist premise, and the overwhelming success of 'The Da Vinci Code,' Brown has become overrated. The stories are good exciting reading/listening, but with serious realism flaws.
It is what it is. Nothing to complain about, but nothing that most Zen/Chan/Taoist practitioners won't already know. If you are new to these disciplines, or just beginning to practice Tai Chi/Chi Gung, then it's probably worth the purchase. At the price, buy it for cash. Don't waste a full credit.
Those who are considering purchasing this book probably already know that the WOT series had it's highs and lows. Jordan started off brilliant, then slowly faded in the middle of the series. However, I believe that those works were essential to the series. No disrespect intended to the great storyteller Robert Jordan, but Brandon Sanderson completes this epic work with a skill and passion that equals, or exceeds, the early Jordan work. This is EASILY my favorite book of the series. If you are new to WOT, do yourself a huge favor, and start at the beginning. If you are a life-long friend, you will leave 'A Memory of Light' with many unanswered questions, but having really enjoyed the ride.
Brilliantly conceived by Jordon, masterfully written by Sanderson, beautifully executed by Kramer and Reading.
My HIGHEST recommendation.
This is the first book in Jack Campbell's "Lost Fleet" series.
It's been a long time since I read/heard a book that left me immediately ready for the next installment. I can find no fault with Christian Rummel's reading- very well done. Black Jack (our protagonist in this series) is my kind of hero. He is quietly competent and ethically sound. Maybe this series should be required reading for all public officials! I found the mix of action and intrigue to be just about right. Some reviewers have commented that, as the series progresses, the "escape" of the fleet (see publisher's intro.) is drawn out too long. We'll see. So far, I'm loving it!
After "The Bat," I thought I was unsure about this series. Now, I think I understand what it is. I completely enjoyed "Redbreast," but I'm still not won-over. Why? I think it's that I don't like Harry, himself. For new potential readers/listeners, Harry reminds me of Jesse Stone. I have to confess that I only know Jesse from the movies. Strangely, I liked that series of movies in a way that I can't really like Harry. Maybe it's the Tom Selleck effect, since they are similar characters. Some additional credit may go to the translator. I'm amazed at how well humorous elements translate. I would normally expect humor to be a highly cultural phenomena, but you would never know that the novel wasn't originally written in English.
I'm pretty sure I will get the next available installment, but I hope that Harry will become a less damaged character over time. I can only do so much of the damaged, whining, unreliable, drunk before I expect to see some improvement in character. I want characters that I can look up to, eventually. I tell you this so that you can judge for yourself. If you find a permanently damaged personality to be more "realistic," then Harry might be your guy.
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