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john

Greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2005

90
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 450 ratings
  • 764 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Dreaming Void: Void Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2383)
    Performance
    (1520)
    Story
    (1537)

    AD 3580. The Intersolar Commonwealth has spread through the galaxy to over a thousand star systems. It is a culture of rich diversity with a place for everyone. A powerful navy protects it from any hostile species that may lurk among the stars. For Commonwealth citizens, even death has been overcome.

    Ethan M. says: "Solid Hamiltonian Space Opera"
    "Outstanding"
    Overall

    So, look folks...

    This is part one of a Space Opera. It's going to be long. There are going to be a ton of characters. There will be plotlines and themes that will develop slowly. You'll have to wait till 2010 to see how it all ends.

    It will, however, be magnificent when it's done.

    For folks unable to deal with the naritive realities of a space opera, I'd suggest a title by Franklin W. Dixon.

    And please, writing a review that insists a yarn is "too hard to follow" says less about the book than the reader.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Prince of Thorns

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (568)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (529)

    Author Mark Lawrence has won over audiences everywhere with Prince of Thorns, his exciting debut novel. Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs. But he’s determined to take back what’s rightfully his, so he returns to the castle a few years later - unaware of the dark and powerful magic that awaits.

    Mathias says: "All Grit And Gore, Very Little Story"
    "Bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    In the hands of a hack, even "shocking" violence quickly becomes formulaic, dull Mindless slaughter a plot does not make. Effective character development is also, apparently, optional during a pogrom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • House of Chains: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (366)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (336)

    In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.

    Armand says: "Write Brilliance Audio to get Ralph Lister back!"
    "Awful Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    People don't like it when you swap narrators on them mid saga. I get that.

    Random House's decision to replace Roy Dotrice for John Lee in the middle of the George RR Martin stuff annoyed me and (according to reviews) everyone else. I was amused to note that once Martin's stuff became so popular that they completely re-recorded the John Lee books. And it was the right thing to do.

    This is worse. Far worse.

    Replacing the magnificent Ralph Lister with this Michael Page clown for the fourth Malazan book is a move of unrivaled stupidity. Lister was amazing. Page is dreadful enough to make a truly sublime saga unlistenable.

    The narrator's take on a character's voice is how the listener identifies the cast. In a series with hundreds of characters, this is vital. Michael Page can't even be bothered to maintain internal consistency with his own voices.

    I was delighted to have discovered Steven Erikson's works. I doubt I'll listen to another.

    Page is that bad.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Memories of Ice: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (474)
    Story
    (483)

    The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Onearm’s army and Whiskeyjack’s Bridgeburners alongside their enemies of old - the forces of the Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii mages, and the Rhivi people of the plains. But ancient undead clans are also gathering; the T’lan Imass have risen.

    Jacob says: "Really deep world and deeper mysteries."
    "Pure Bliss."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'm sure some fool will post a "it was too confusing / I couldn't get into it / there were too many characters/ what does Moonspawn look like anyway?" reviews sooner or later. Which, of course, will beg the question: Why would you buy a 42 hour long book if you've the attention span of a gnat?

    2 of 2 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
    (1542)
    Performance
    (1373)
    Story
    (1382)

    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"
    "Sublime."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It's as good as all the positive reviews suggest.


    And unlike another remarkably skilled fantasy author, Steven Erikson has completed his grand saga. You actually get to see how it ends... how the author penned the final page.. not how HBO finished it because the author got fat, rich, lazy, and had a heart attack.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Quantum Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Hannu Rajaniemi
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (167)

    Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy—from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he’s confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.

    David says: "Idea-heavy, requires an attentive listen"
    "Sci-Fi Done Properly."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Suzanne Collins has written several books that might appeal to the sensibilities of the negative reviewers... I'll bet they can even follow the plot on those.
    .
    For anyone who loves that rarest of science fiction treasures, a complex and fascinating tale couched in prose that shows genuine competence with the written language, stop here.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Surface Detail: A Culture Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Iain M. Banks
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (284)

    Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right, she will need the help of the Culture....

    Sarah says: "Excellent story, excellent narration"
    "Outstanding."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think that the "only slightly psychotic" warship "Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints" may be one of my favorite characters in any tale, ever.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Declare

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (143)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (113)

    As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, a coded message draws Professor Andrew Hale back into Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Elements from his past are gathering in Beirut, including ex-British counterespionage chief and Soviet mole Kim Philby, and a beautiful former Spanish Civil War soldier-turned-intelligence operative.

    art says: "Oh Fish. Art Thou Constant???"
    "Must be savored."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those tales that will not appeal to anyone who looks forward to summer blockbusters for their enlightened storytelling and character development.

    Rather, it's a gloriously intricate tale focusing on the maneuverings of intelligence services. Not surprisingly, and exactly because intelligence services mostly attempt to outthink and not outfight, things blow up irregularly and progress deliberately.

    If you've struggled with a John LeCarre title or found that Umberto Eco moves "too slowly", this is not for you.

    Even with the black things from other planes occasionally shredding some hapless dude.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13518)
    Performance
    (11867)
    Story
    (11919)

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "Terrible."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'd love to see HBO try to edit this sprawling, inane mass of cheap cliche and adolescent sexuality into a compelling narrative.

    Perhaps someone will start anew from scratch. It won't be worse.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Prowler

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Alexey Pehov
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (191)

    An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom.

    francisco says: "New twist on the old "quest" genre."
    "Nothing New"
    Overall

    On the strength of the reviews which claimed this was somehow different than the hundreds of mediocre swords-and-sorcery tales already written, I grabbed it.

    Nothing unique. Nothing new.

    Somebody's already done it, somewhere, better.

    5 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Well of Ascension: Mistborn, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7260)
    Performance
    (5178)
    Story
    (5219)

    The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years - has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

    Robert says: "It keeps getting even better"
    "Bad."
    Overall

    Pros- Outstanding narrator who carries the entire experience. Original, fascinating system of magic. Decent political machinations somewhat reminiscent of the great house struggles in Dune.

    Cons- Sanderson can't actually write dialogue or develop characters in an convincing manner. It's not as bad as the Wheel of Time drivel, but not worth your time.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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