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John

Mostly use audio books in planes these days. Know I really like a book when I find myself with earphones still on from home to hotel

Tupelo, MS, United States | Member Since 2003

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 134 ratings
  • 478 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Farseer: Assassin's Apprentice

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (2118)
    Performance
    (1467)
    Story
    (1481)

    With unforgettable characters, a sweeping backdrop, and passionate storytelling, this is a fantasy debut to rival that of Robert Jordan. Filled with adventure and bloodshed, pageantry and piracy, mystery and menace, Assassin's Apprentice is the story of a royal house and the young man who is destined to chart its course through tempests of change.

    Jake says: "Great book"
    "Good start to trilogy, but"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this first book and performance. Well conceived universe that was somewhat contained in size and scope. The main character spends much of book 1 as a child/youth. The unfortunate BUT is books 2 and 3 become unbearably inconsistent and leave you wanting to slap the main character half the time for being so dense and stupid.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Finnikin of the Rock

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Melina Marchetta
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh to save his kingdom. He stands on the rock of the three wonders with his friend Prince Balthazar and Balthazar’s cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood to safeguard Lumatere. But all safety is shattered during the five days of the unspeakable, when the king and queen and their children are brutally murdered in the palace.

    Jennifer says: "Simply Irresistable!"
    "Mostly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Finnikin is the 1st of 3 in the series, but is the only book that can exist on its own. To me, it is the best of the 3 books. Nothing really new or inventive for the genre.

    Book 2 ends in incomplete storylines whereas the Finnikin book could be fine if it were the only book you listen to. There are many parts of all 3 books that are very moving and well-written. The repeated problem with the series is that situation after situation resolves around someone not saying the MOST obvious thing at that time. Arguments, flights, entire chapters revolve around characters simply not stating the obvious facts they know, but decide not to share - no rationale why - they just don't communicate. The pattern starts mid-way through Finnikin, but it does become repetitively predictable through books 2 and 3 - to the point that every major plot point depends on it There are times you just want to yell because no group of characters could be this stupid at communicating with each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oath of Swords: War God, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (652)
    Performance
    (571)
    Story
    (579)

    Bahzell is no knight in shining armor, and besides he has too many problems of his own to be messing with anybody else's problems - let alone the War God's. Unfortunately, the War God has other ideas for him.

    breckoz says: "Almost Returned This One"
    "Caution - Unfinished Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's now going on 2 years and the story is left hanging with book 4. Meanwhile, the author churns out new stuff or un-serialized books in other series. Apparently, getting to book 4 took from 1995-2012. As much as I like this series, I'd recommend skipping it as the author apparently has no regard for readers if he thinks 20 years for a fantasy series is reasonable.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Soul Weaver: Bridge of D'Arnath, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Carol Berg
    • Narrated By Gregory St. John, Daniel May, Angele Masters, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    The evil Lords of Zhev'Na kept Gerick captive for months. Although his parents rescued him, he remains tormented by his experience-and mistrusted even by those who love him. Accused of treason, Gerick flees and takes refuge in a magical realm full of outcasts, where he will discover how to use his own magical talent-soul weaving-to save his people from Zhev'Na.

    John says: "Odd Departure in Plot"
    "Odd Departure in Plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book picks up a few years after the end of previous book in series. Same bad choice of having different readers voice different viewpoints as organized into chapters. The book title seems only lightly explored toward the end of the book. The odd departure in plot is when a major character enters a different world with his best friend for a fairly substantial part of the book. While the new world is interesting to some extent for that time, the switch to a different viewpoint in plot stops any further development - the major character and friend just suddenly appear in one of the 2 original worlds and any character from the 3rd world is never mentioned again.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Guardians of the Keep: Bridge of D'Arnath, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Carol Berg
    • Narrated By Daniel May, Gregory St. John, Jeremy Arthur, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    For 10 years, the noblewoman Seriana lived in exile, believing her husband Karon was dead, executed for practicing sorcery. But now she learns his soul has been anchored to this world by magic. He has been restored to life-though his memories of Seri are gone. When Seri's nephew is kidnapped - and a dark family secret comes to light - the two strangers will have to join together to defeat the evil Lords of Zhev'Na, who want to destroy both this world and the parallel magic realm that lies beyond.

    John says: "Great Setting and Start Until..."
    "Great Setting and Start Until..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Picks up "immediately" after conclusion of 1st book. The setting is more confined and manages to stay very engaging even though it's very different than book 1 in scope. Good start, BUT chapters then switch point of view from main heroine to others and a different reader then reads that chapter. On the surface that might seem OK until that character describes the same events from a different viewpoint and the others characters remain voiced (sometimes with different pronunciations) by the reader for that person in that chapter. The different readers never voice their characters together. Because the viewpoint is switching between the different characters for some of the same events, it doesn't really move the plot along very far.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Son of Avonar: Bridge of D'Arnath, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Carol Berg
    • Narrated By Angele Masters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    Magic is forbidden throughout the Four Realms. For decades, sorcerers and those associating with them were hunted to near extinction.But Seri, a Leiran noblewoman living in exile, is no stranger to defying the unjust laws of her land. She is sheltering a wanted fugitive who possesses unusual abilities-a fugitive with the fate of the realms in his hands...

    Sam Karpierz says: "Great fantasy"
    "Decent Start to New Series BUT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Told through constant flashbacks from present to about a decade earlier, this initial book 1 of 4 in series does its dutiful job in fleshing out universe and staging characters. It's a little slow at times as it does take a good bit of time to really get going. It is a fairly standard medieval setting. What is good overall is the author can at times move you to actually care about what's happening emotionally.

    BUT later books in series switch from a single reader to readers for particular chapters - I'll relate the issues with that in those book reviews, but beware that change before you decide to start this one.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1017)
    Performance
    (900)
    Story
    (901)

    The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

    Adnan says: "An engrossing yet demanding high epic"
    "Written to Confuse On Purpose"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Started listening to this on an airplane and then continued on return trip. Spent the 1st 4-5 hours convinced I'd somehow bought a middle book or the 1st book in a series that had the background told previously. Nope - author just writes characters, their actions, the landscape, the whole entire universe like he wrote it down as he thought of them. Spur of the moment - no context for anything. You have parts, books, chapters all loosely driving a threadbare storyline.

    While the Audible description outlines a plot seemly based on "WhiskeyJack" character, he's actually one of the least visible characters in book. Hours 5 - rest of book didn't get any better.

    For those who talk about how complex the book is... badly written doesn't make a book complex. Will not be purchasing further books in series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of Tyrants: Temeraire, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (166)

    Shipwrecked and cast ashore in Japan with no memory of Temeraire or his own experiences as an English aviator, Laurence finds himself tangled in deadly political intrigues that threaten not only his own life but England's already precarious position in the Far East. Age-old enmities and suspicions have turned the entire region into a powder keg ready to erupt at the slightest spark.

    Tango says: "Setting Up for the Grand Finale"
    "Another Great Volume in Excellent Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Initially begins so oddly that you wonder if you somehow missed a volume between the last book mostly set in South America and this one. You slowly learn that it does indeed pick up the tale. Overall, this book is divided between 3 situations - each as interesting as the last. I again deduct a star for overall rating because the author again randomly ends the book. This ending is even more abrupt than the ending in Book 7.. It's not so much a cliff hanger as the book just stops. Not particularly fond that that practice in this series and given the free form storyline, you begin to wonder if the series will conclude.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Siren Depths

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Martha Wells
    • Narrated By Christopher Kipiniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (128)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (114)

    All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature - until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. But now a rival court has laid claim to him, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance.

    Sharon says: "Excellence in Worldbuilding"
    "Great "Conclusion""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the book leaves open possible opportunity for more (hopefully), it neatly closes most of the back-story elements of the 1st two books and even provides much of the pre-history that moved the 1st two books forward. The author manages to propel the characters into yet another new situation (this time more politically oriented initially) without loosing a step. I'm very impressed with the author's skills as she has managed to create 3 separate storylines in 3 books that are non-repetitive and leave you wishing for more.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Martha Wells
    • Narrated By Christopher Kipiniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (310)
    Performance
    (268)
    Story
    (275)

    Moon, once a solitary wanderer, has become consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. Together, they travel with their people on a pair of flying ships in hopes of finding a new home for their colony. Moon finally feels like he’s found a tribe where he belongs. But when the travelers reach the ancestral home of Indigo Cloud, shrouded within the trunk of a mountain-sized tree, they discover a blight infecting its core.

    Magdalena says: "Wow - An original universe"
    "Solid - Good Middle Book in Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The storyline in this 2nd novel is more varied and ranges from an initial "discovery" setting in the home forest to an odd twist that turns into an old fashioned quest, but in a very unique setting. Given the progression and growth of the characters and a good pace overall, very good listen and lives up to promise in 1st book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Winds of Fate: The Mage Winds, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (80)

    High Magic has been lost to Valdemar centuries ago when the last Herald-Mage gave his life to save the kingdom from destruction by dark sorceries. Yet now the realm is at risk again. And Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne, must take up the challenge, abandoning her home to find a mentor who can awaken her untrained mage abilities. But others, too, are being caught up in a war against sorcerous evil.

    CatBookMom says: "Very disappointing; could have been so much better"
    "Awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am nearly convinced there are 2 different authors posing as Mercedes Lackey. The Last Herald Mage series being a gloriously exciting and well-written story. This series is so different in writing style and even mythology at times that I could swear it couldn't be the same author. Where the Herald Mage series propels the storyline forward with wonderfully vivid descriptions of events and characters, this Winds series tells the story from within the thoughts of the characters - what an inane and repetitive means to tell a story when you literally can spend 15-20 minutes listening to a character think about the pros and cons of doing something and then skip past them actually doing it. So little actually happens plot-wise because hour after hour is spent listening to the obsessive thoughts of characters that you find yourself skipping forward to get on with it. As I write this, I'm just about finished with book 3 and it's taken a more than a month to get through this series. I just can't understand how the same author can seem so completely totally different in writing style. Based on release dates, the last book from Herald Mage series and this first book came out the same year - no clue why they feel and read/sound so different.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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