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Strephon

Aires male -- often butts head against reality

Springfield, VA, USA | Member Since 2009

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 184 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2965)
    Performance
    (2645)
    Story
    (2654)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "Lot of science, but it rocks!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    You won't mind that the characterizations are little more than sci-fi shadow puppets or that the sole female character "unexpectedly" can handle a reality TV obstacle course with the best of them. The star of the show is the fast-moving narrative. I was so intrigued with the science and weaponry that I stopped the recording several times to look up references to myrmecology, weaver ants, and the latest technology in weapons, body armor, and pilotless aircraft. I was never bored. In the more fast moving scenes, the narrator's different accents sluice over each into each other, but you'll forgive the untethered tongue for the speed and engagement of the tale. A great listen. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Gordon S. Wood
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (25)

    Central to America's idea of itself is the character of Benjamin Franklin. We all know him, or think we do: In recent works and in our inherited conventional wisdom, he remains fixed in place as a genial polymath and self-improver who was so very American that he is known by us all as the first American.

    Tina says: "My 3rd or 4th favorite history/biography book"
    "Franklin Would Have Loved This Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In far less space than the typical doorstop tome, Wood illuminates Franklin's long professional and intellectual trek to become the most "American" of the founders. Anyone who relies on their high school or college understanding of Franklin will profit from Wood's treatment of a man who was truly a lifelong learner, but one careful never to be too far out in front of what the traffic would bear. Insufficiently appreciated in his time, Franklin turns out to be every bit as much responsible for the success of American independence even if his vision of how to frame the Constitution of the new nation did not emerge as the orthodox view. A great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Jesus Became God

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Professor Bart D. Ehrman
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (86)

    This fundamental historical question and its complex answer speak penetratingly to the spiritual impulses, concerns, and beliefs that have played a seminal role in our world, even as they reveal the foundation of history’s most global religious movement, and fresh insights into the Western world's single most influential human being. Tackling all of these matters and more, Great Courses favorite Professor Ehrman returns with the unprecedented historical inquiry of How Jesus Became God.

    Diana says: "History Not Theology"
    "Compelling Argument, Ehrman Scores Again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bart Ehrman once again applies an erudite scholarship to the early period of Christianity. This time, he traces the development of the belief that Jesus was not only a Messiah, but part of a Triune God. Ehrman uses comparisons to pagan and Jewish attitudes toward divinity and a meticulously researched unfolding of Christian views starting with Paul and ending with the Nicene and post-Nicene creeds. Ehrman's reading of his own text is great fun. Once he warms to his topic one can hear his training in fire-and-brimstone sermonizing that makes otherwise detailed historical analysis actually spellbinding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coinspinner's Story: The Fifth Book of Lost Swords

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Cynthia Barrett
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Prince Murat of Culm possesses Coinspinner, the Sword of Chance which brings untold good fortune to its owner. Can Coinspinner aid Murat in his efforts to acquire Woundhealer, the Sword of healing Murat’s ruler desperately needs? Or through lack of wit and Coinspinner’s propensity to whimsically change owners will Murat find himself caught up in different quest? Prince Adrian, away at a school for magic, is assigned a test of his abilities. More challenges than a school trial await him.

    Strephon says: "O Fortuna, velut luna statu variabiliis"
    "O Fortuna, velut luna statu variabiliis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No other sword of power fulfills its purpose better than the Sword of Luck. Conceived by the gods to make sport of humanity and forged by Vulcan for their divine entertainment, Coinspinner follows the fickle destiny for which it was created. Yet, with the old Olympians now passed from the scene, perhaps Coinspinner's object lessons are not always guided by the dictum, "Whom gods destroy they first raise up."

    Coinspinner leaves many questions unanswered. I actually listened twice to the ending just to be sure I didn't miss anything. Nope. Regardless of scabbard, whether finely wrought or rough-clothed, Coinspinner's true casing is enigma.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farslayer's Story: The Fourth Book of Lost Swords

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Fred Saberhagen
    • Narrated By Cynthia Barrett
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Long, long ago, the Gods forged Twelve Swords of Power, each with a unique and deadly quality. They forged too well, for the swords could kill the Gods themselves. Then the swords were lost, scattered across the land; and many are they, both good and evil, who are desperate to find them again. This story is of Farslayer, the sword that can kill from across an entire world. The game is fierce; the prize is the sword.

    Strephon says: "Farslayer Hits the Mark"
    "Farslayer Hits the Mark"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the narrative voice of fables we follow the ill-omened career of Farslayer in a remote part of the world. Mischance follows upon mideeds as forces and eminences vie to possess the Sword of Vengeance. Saberhagen keeps you guessing right up the end who will possess the weapon that does not rest easily in its hilt.

    If you have already been enchanted by the magic of Saberhagen's world, this Fourth Book will place you under its spell in spite of the not always well-voiced characters. This is a recording that would come across better if there were one male and one female reader. But, in the end, an engaging tale that rewards the time spent.

    On to Number Five.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Six

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Larry Correia, Mike Kupari
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1153)
    Performance
    (1083)
    Story
    (1089)

    Michael Valentine, veteran and former member of an elite private military company, has been recruited by the government to conduct a secret counter-terror operation in the Persian Gulf nation of Zubara. The unit is called Dead Six. Their mission is to take the fight to the enemy and not get caught. Lorenzo, assassin and thief extraordinaire, is being blackmailed by the world's most vicious crime lord. His team has to infiltrate the Zubaran terrorist network and pull off an impossible heist or his family will die.

    K says: "Great story, characters, narration, and more"
    "Female? Gay? Forget it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Larry Correia simply can't resist using the word "gay" as a derogatory adjective meaning useless, weak, silly. Women in this book do little more than divine when men need their sexual favors and proffer said intimacacies without prompting. And it's hard to get your arms around the main the characters whose main delight in life is killing. I listened to the first third third of the book and walked out. Sorry, Correia really went off the rails on this one.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (7403)
    Performance
    (4407)
    Story
    (4440)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Grips You from Beginning to End (?)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You don't really notice the fact that there are almost no women, and for anyone who cares, a few less-than-positive references to gays. The story-telling is so powerful and the wordimagery so accessible to the imagination that I wanted more immediately. The ending, which I won't spoil, does hint at a sequel. I hope there is one. This book is everything sci-fi can and should be: a speculation on the future of the human species that engages us and leaves us thinking rather than just entertained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hunted: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4246)
    Performance
    (3954)
    Story
    (3954)

    For a 2,000-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt - Artemis and Diana - for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is...run like hell.

    D says: "Another Serving of Hilari-tea"
    "Atticus and Granuaile in "The Amazing Race""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all of the books in this series and enjoyed them. Both the writing and the performance make the series among the very best of the genre. This one had the ingredients. Fast pace, humorous banter, interesting magical twists (perhaps too many)... but somehow the parts didn't cohere. I think that Hearne has created a series that requires a good recollection of the previous books, which escaped me. I found myself wondering: what was the situation with Bacchus? Wasn't Odin angry because of previous shenanigans played out in the Norse pantheon? When was Lief seduced by the dark side?It was just quite a lot to wade through even before the English Channel. Perhaps a new story line free from previous associations would be a better bet for any novels in this series. And please, no spin-offs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6265)
    Performance
    (5835)
    Story
    (5837)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Less Funny Than it Thinks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I waded through 30 minutes of this palaver before giving up. It might be usefully compared to an adolescent stand-up routine on open-mike night. Save your credits and move on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4192)
    Performance
    (3518)
    Story
    (3512)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "Cliched and Made-for-TV, but you'll listen anyway"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Patient Zero in three words, what would they be?

    As many previous reviewers get right, this book has the pulpy feel of a novelized made-for-TV movie. But I disagree with those who dismiss this book as juvenile fiction. Maberry has taken pains to paint the scenery, mount the sets, and choreograph the actors. It takes patience to fully enjoy this verisimilitude, and today's attention-deficit teen would have his finger on the fast forward button for much of this, missing half the point of the novel.

    I'm relatively new to sci-fi recordings. Is there a sub-genre called


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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