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Josh

I like magical realism.

Member Since 2012

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 152 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014
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  • Beautiful Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1600)
    Performance
    (1351)
    Story
    (1362)

    Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks.

    FanB14 says: "One Was Enough"
    "So conflicted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you aren't looking for a book that requires a great amount of thinking or any background knowledge in the genre of fantasy, this is a good book to get. It's nice an long, if that's what you're looking for and all unknown information is spoon-fed to you all the way through the book. It's got your typical Romeo and Juliet-esque love story, and you can't help but root for them. There is not a lot of ambiguity is characters' good/evil alignments, except for a couple of characters, because that's really the basis of the plot.

    All in all, I eat up this type of story, but that doesn't keep me from getting frustrated. I thought the voice acting was great. The southern accent annoyed me, but that has more to do with the book's setting. The plot is great. It's a new spin on something a little overdone. But I did get frustrated with the two main characters, because at times they seemed so thick-headed. I would have something figured out long before either of them did, and I wanted to yell at them for being dense. I didn't feel like the male protagonist was *totally* realistic. As I was Ethan's age about 8 years ago, I don't recall being that emotionally intelligent as a 16-year-old, so that is was stood out to me the most, as far as flaws go. Like I said, overall I liked the book. The characters weren't under or overdeveloped for the span of time it took to listen to the book. But I felt like the end was a big middle finger, and a ploy to make me buy the next book (which I did).

    The song 16 Moons throughout the book is what really made the audiobook for me. It was a great touch, and it made my hair stand on end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8150)
    Performance
    (7470)
    Story
    (7500)

    Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

    Pi says: "Jarring change in Dotrice's performance"
    "By far the least interesting of the series so far."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you're a die hard fan, you probably won't find this book as boring. As for me, I'm stuck reading it sheerly because I've made it this far.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I think I understand what Martin was trying to do with this installment. Many of the chapters are from the perspective of auxiliary characters. Unfortunately, that's exactly what I didn't like about the book. On the bright side, it made me wish for chapters with characters whom I previously thought were boring.


    Have you listened to any of Roy Dotrice’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have no problems with Roy Dotrice. He is a great narrator and I enjoy his performances.


    What character would you cut from A Feast for Crows?

    I imagine every character is necessary in some way. Honestly, I'm very tired of Sansa.


    Any additional comments?

    Just trudge through. It's not as long as the third book or the fifth book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ruins: Pathfinder, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1386)
    Performance
    (1230)
    Story
    (1252)

    When Rigg and his friends crossed the Wall between the only world they knew and a world they could not imagine, he hoped he was leading them to safety. But the dangers in this new wallfold are more difficult to see. Rigg, Umbo, and Param know that they cannot trust the expendable, Vadesh - a machine shaped like a human, created to deceive - but they are no longer certain that they can even trust one another. But they will have little choice. Because although Rigg can decipher the paths of the past, he can’t yet see the horror that lies ahead: A destructive force with deadly intentions is hurtling toward Garden.

    James says: "Story Stretching 101"
    "Just kind of weird"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved Pathfinder. It was a good mesh of fantasy and sci-fi. Ruins takes a sharp turn to sci-fi. I honestly just found the whole plot kind of bizarre, creative, but disconcertingly weird. The ending was especially a little too much for me.

    A+ to Stefan Rudnicki. I'm weirdly in love with his voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The House of Hades: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Nick Chamian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (1071)
    Story
    (1084)

    At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors from both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

    C. MacMillan says: "Great story, but....."
    "Not my favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love all of Riordan's books, but this one was definitely not my favorite. I never quite pinpointed what quality of the book was so different from the rest in the series, but I often found myself bored. I think maybe it moved too slowly, compared to his typical fast-paced, action-driven plots. Some of it also felt very forced, like it was added as an afterthought. That's just the general feeling I got from the book.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't read it. It's still a great book, it's just not his best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3744)
    Performance
    (3223)
    Story
    (3196)

    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
    "My own User's Manual"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book at exactly the right time in my life. I'm stuck at a job with managers who chide me about my less than extroverted nature. I was starting to be really down on myself, though in many parts of my life, I've come to terms with who I am through trial and error. This book has really helped prevent me from going back into a deep episode of depression, and for that I cannot give it enough stars. If you are an introvert, know it, and find yourself in an environment or situation that really makes you doubt yourself because of it, this is the book for you.

    I related to this book in such a deep way that I plan to distribute it amongst my friends and family who are willing to take the time out of their lives to read this book. I feel like it would really help them to understand where I'm coming from as it has also helped me view myself from an objective position. I want them to think of it, loosely, as a User's Manual or guide on the way my mind works and ways they can help me to better communicate with them and vice versa.

    Kathe Mazur as the narrator could not have been a better choice. Her voice was calm and sometimes hypnotic. It was not hard to forget I was listening to a book, because it was like being told a comforting story by a trusted companion.

    Everyone should read/listen to Quiet, but especially if you yourself are an introvert or you are an extrovert confused by an introverted loved one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (991)
    Performance
    (901)
    Story
    (923)

    Ethan Wate has spent most of his life longing to escape the stiflingly small Southern town of Gatlin. He never thought he would meet the girl of his dreams, Lena Duchannes, who unveiled a secretive, powerful, and cursed side of Gatlin, hidden in plain sight. And he never could have expected that he would be forced to leave behind everyone and everything he cares about. So when Ethan awakes after the chilling events of the Eighteenth Moon, he has only one goal: to find a way to return to Lena and the ones he loves.

    Coftse says: "Christine"
    "This series went for one book too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I would not have been pleased with the series ending as it did in Beautiful Chaos, I found this book to be the worst in the series. I will not go as far as saying that it was a bad book, but the only word that I can think of to adequately describe this book is "severed." You may understand what I mean if you read it. If you have read the other three books, by all mean, complete the series, there's no reason not to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gregory Maguire
    • Narrated By John McDonough
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4226)
    Performance
    (1917)
    Story
    (1941)

    Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

    Suzn F says: "I was not sure for a while then......."
    "Long and dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me months to get through part one of this audiobook. I thought the story before Shiz was painfully slow and boring. The rest of the novel was bearable if I listened to it at x2 speed. I've thought about it independently and relative to the musical. I'll start with the independent book. I was expecting something far more interesting based on the subject of the novel. Maguire could have done so much with the life of the Wicked Witch of the West, but I thought it fell very very flat. It was really not to my taste. Parts of it were good, and I thought it had a lot of potential, maybe put into the hands of a good fantasy author, but I do not think that is Maguire (based on reading a couple of his other novels). The story was excruciatingly slow most of the time and the content was very dry. It had the feel of the older novels I had to read in high school when it was paining to read each chapter. I think there are very overt political statements throughout the novel, but I was looking for a fantasy novel, not a political allegory.

    For those of you only reading this because you liked the musical: There are very few similarities between this book and the musical. All of the characters is the musical are in this book, but none of them remotely resemble the characters of the Broadway show. G(a)linda is a very insignificant character after the first half of the book. Madame Morrible is only an antagonist in Elphaba's youth (Elphie just holds grudges forever). I thought the musical took a much better route with Elphaba's past and the idea of "wickedness." Maguire spent the good part of a chapter toying with "what is evil?" but it's late in the book and seems thrown in haphazardly. Long story short: If you want the musical, go see the musical, you will find nothing of the sort in this book.

    No matter how I look at it, independently or not from the musical, I did not like this book and I would not recommend it to others unless they are seeking a highly political drama set clumsily in a fairly fanciful world.

    The narration was merely acceptable, but arguably the most appealing part of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9517)
    Performance
    (8639)
    Story
    (8708)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    linda says: "Well, I don't know what I was expecting"
    "All around okay."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the story, but it was not exceptional. I liked the narrator, but I did not find his performance particularly exceptional.

    Overall, I'll remember that I read it and the general plot, but I found it to be a pretty unmemorable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Eagleman
    • Narrated By David Eagleman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (750)
    Performance
    (528)
    Story
    (515)

    In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries. Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence, and visual illusions, Incognito is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.

    Laura says: "Changed the way I think about how I think..."
    "Great book that needs a different narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Generally, I enjoy it when authors read their own books, but this is the exception. He just spoke too slowly. I had to put the speed to x2.5 to get it to a speed that I found tolerable. It could just be me.

    The overall subject is very interesting. I especially liked the chapter on vision. If you find cognitive science interesting and do not have a strong background in it, you'll find this a very good read. If you already know quite a bit about cognitive science, I don't know how much of this will be new to you. I have a pretty rudimentary knowledge of it, and the majority of the information was new to me or explained in a way I had never thought about it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gate Thief: Mithermages, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Rankin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2006)
    Performance
    (1823)
    Story
    (1829)

    Here on Earth, Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of 13 centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him - and they can’t control him; he is far too powerful. On Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless - he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he must still somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North, for when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took responsibility for the Great Gates.

    Benjamin says: "Flashes of Great, Ok, and Bad. Overall: Meh."
    "A wonderful sequel to The Lost Gate"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked The Lost Gate, but did not love it. The Gate Thief satisfied all the qualities I thought the former lacked. Gate Thief was interesting and had very few parts that moved too slowly. In Lost Gate, I found the chapters about Wad boring and sometimes difficult to finish, but this book made their relevance clear. I especially liked the development of Danny in his social relationships, especially who he can and cannot trust.

    Until the last chapter of the book, I found Wad's acknowledgment of Danny's superiority in power and character to be promising as an opportunity for development in his character. The last chapter showed me!

    The biggest thing that this book had that the first lacked was a definite enemy, rather than a vague notion of families that may or may not kill Danny.

    Details about gate magery and man magery were especially fun.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6298)
    Performance
    (3084)
    Story
    (3100)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "Everyone should read this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had to read this for an Adolescent Literature class, and I fell in love with the book. The audiobook is even better than reading the book. The book has elements that could appeal to both the young and old. I would say a kid should be able to read it at about age nine or ten, sheerly because there are about three instances that may be just a little bit too creepy for a little kid. All of Gaiman's books are distinctly different. If you read and did not like Stardust, that does not mean you will dislike this book, but it does not mean that liking Stardust will make you dislike this one. They are just totally different and written in completely different styles. The Graveyard Book is much less dense than Stardust, but it has so much more to say. Gaiman's performance was superb, which is exactly what I expected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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