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U. Hoerhold

Member Since 2004

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 327 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014
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  • The City & The City

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By China Mieville
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (788)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (379)

    When a murdered woman is found in the city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks to be a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlof the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he investigates, the evidence points to conspiracies far stranger and more deadly than anything he could have imagined. Borl must travel from the decaying Beszel to the only metropolis on Earth as strange as his own.

    James says: "Interesting Premise"
    "Nicely done book, great narration"
    Overall

    I had previously read Perdido Street Station and found it to be too fantastic, so I was hesitant to download this. The City & The City, however, is very realistic, although with an interesting twist. Taken as a gritty detective novel, the plot is well done, suspenseful, and has some interesting turns.

    The atmosphere is augmented by the cultural backdrop. It's not clear exactly where the setting is, but is has a distinct Eastern European, bordering on Middle Eastern, color.

    The cultural details that arise from the unique relationship between the two cities in the story are very insightful. The willingness of people to "unsee" others and to submit to a seemingly omnipotent agency recall Eastern European, Communist era politics.

    Overall, a very interesting and enjoyable book. The narration is very good. The characters could be a little deeper, and the underlying principle of the two cities is a little difficult to buy into completely. Still, the atmosphere draws you in, and the plot keeps you interested.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1778)
    Performance
    (1075)
    Story
    (1076)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Paul says: "A Masterwork - across two parts."
    "Couldn't immerse myself in the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story has an interesting premise, and the writing itself is good. To cut to the chase, my problem with the story is the "jumping around" aspect of it. I don't feel fully invested in any of the subplots, because they don't feel like they're "real". They feel like dream sequences where you know you will eventually wake and return to reality. The characters that "jump" to different times don't seem fully invested either, because they will eventually return to their own time. Because of that, I really didn't care much about anything that was going on.

    The reading was very good, but it didn't raise my overall rating of the audiobook because it wasn't able correct my issues with the story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Devil May Cry: A Dark-Hunter Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Sherrilyn Kenyon
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    Overall
    (654)
    Performance
    (304)
    Story
    (318)

    Sin was born a Sumerian god, until he was tricked into Artemis' service as a Dark-Hunter. This immortal has dreamed only of regaining his godhood and seeking revenge on the goddess who betrayed him. But when a beautiful woman, in perilous danger from those he now hunts, suddenly appears in his life, Sin knows that his world will never be the same again.

    Josaphine says: "Awesome!"
    "Maybe good for a teen audience"
    Overall

    This may be entertaining for a younger audience, but there are too many things wrong with it for a mature reader. The whole plot sounds like it was thrown together on the fly. I understand that the story involves different pantheons, but it seems like the author just came up with a character, made up a list of gods/people/demons that character hates, and repeated until she ate up enough pages. All the characters are one-dimensional, you don't get any real background on any of them. The dialog sounds like it was created by a 16 year old, the author never really finds the right voice for the book. I'm surprised there are so many positive reviews for this book. Obviously, people have different tastes.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of the World: Book One of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (8192)
    Performance
    (4302)
    Story
    (4340)

    When their village is attacked by trollocs, monsters thought to be only legends, three young men, Rand, Matt, and Perrin, flee in the company of the Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor of unsuspected powers. Thus begins an epic adventure set in a world of wonders and horror, where what was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

    Greg says: "This Series Rocks"
    "Shallow and predictable"
    Overall

    I'm clearly in the minority among the listeners here, but I found this story to be mediocre at best. I've read LOTS of books in this genre, including Eddings, Donaldson, Brooks, Anthony, Moorecock. This book is more shallow than most.

    The characters are not well developed at all. We don't really know anything about Moraine. She seems to be able to do anything she wants, from putting up walls of fire to healing people. Lan is also a complete unknown, until near the end of the book. We don't really know what motivates any of the other characters, with the exception of Rand. We have some idea of his history, and we know there's some mystery as to his origins. That, however, is what completely gives away his role in the plot. We know from the beginning that he is going to be the "special one" that the story revolves around.

    The story seems to wind aimlessly for the most part. They're in the farming village, they're in the evil abandoned city, they get split up. Some of them end up on a boat. Some end up with some kind of traveling gypsy folk. At some point they realize they don't need to go to the magical city, they need to find the "Eye of the world", which we don't know anything about. What's the point of all this? The whole thing seems pretty random.

    None of the characters or settings have any real charm. I didn't end up really caring about any of them.

    There are some interesting elements to the story. The different factions, like the "Children of Light", and the Red and White factions in the capital city add some realism. Some of the ideas of power and balance are interesting. Overall, though, it's not enough to really bring life to the story.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1497)
    Performance
    (672)
    Story
    (676)

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Well written book, narration a little flat"
    Overall

    Let me start with the narration: it comes off a little monotonous and flat. The narrator does a decent job of giving each character a unique voice, but a little more life in the dialog would have been an improvement.

    As for the story itself, I found it excellent. The story unfolds intriguingly, the characters are well developed, and the dialog is very well done. It shows a very realistic view of the more base aspects of life. The main character really captures the feelings of being caught in the grind of life, underachieving, the twisted aspects of romantic relationships, and the general drudgery of life.

    A minor flaw, in my opinion, is the fact that some of the social commentary is a little obvious. The author takes swipes at corporate greed and consumerism that seem a little forced.

    Overall, I found this to be an excellent book, with good narration. I would highly recommend it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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