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Colin

atascadero, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
262
REVIEWS
44
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
167

  • Pandora's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4145)
    Performance
    (2464)
    Story
    (2503)

    The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

    Devin says: "Great Epic Scifi"
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall

    At first I was pretty apprehensive about downloading this book as something just seemed a bit too "Sci-fi"about the title and cover art, wow am I glad I did! This book really is incredibly well written and fascinating from end to end. Character and plot development are amazing and it builds tension constantly. There is plenty of action (from political maneuvering to full scale war) to keep you listening. Within the bounds of the created reality everything makes sense and characters react as humans really do. What most impresses me about this work is that it is at times a crime drama, a character driven narration, a sci-fi work, and even a political thriller; truly the scope of this work is impressive!
    I think this is the second book of the past 30 I've listened to from Audible I've given 5 stars, quite surprising to me that it's Sci-fi! I can't wait to start Judas Unchained to find out what happens next!

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Reversal: Harry Bosch, Book 16 (Mickey Haller, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    Overall
    (3706)
    Performance
    (1850)
    Story
    (1859)

    Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Brilliantly executed"
    "Like reading court documents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not sure what happened with this book but it's almost like you are reading the minutes from a court case. Very little action, almost no suspense, very un-Connelly-like book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Live Free or Die: Troy Rising, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2082)
    Performance
    (1439)
    Story
    (1455)

    When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the solar system, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. But the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, were peaceful traders and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

    Amazon Customer says: "Republican Physicists in Space!!!"
    "Story is drowning in politics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the basic plot is interesting and there's no doubt Ringo is a capable writer, Live Free or Die is bogged down by constant political commentary. I'm slightly right of center politically and not normally bothered by this sort of thing (especially as I live in a very conservative area) but it was really extreme and detracted from the otherwise good story.

    The theme of "Liberal city idiots" exploiting the hard working country patriots is repeated on nearly every page of this book. Global warming is a joke, Democrats are lazy moochers off the government while Republicans are working multiple jobs, CNN is a bunch of foolish idiots and Fox News is the only station worth talking to and Washington DC should be nuked. Even the aliens society is failing because they are liberal. Even if you agree with all this, the non-stop nature of the barbs is amateurish and very distracting.

    I'm sure I will get down votes on this review by people who will vote purely for political reasons but if you stop and analyze the book from the perspective of a Sci-fi fan, not a political rant, you will see the political aspect of the book was so overdone it ruined the intent. There is much to be said of subtlety.

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4957)
    Performance
    (4562)
    Story
    (4558)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    Magpie says: "Two books in one - keep listening!!"
    "Pleasantly Surprised!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't have high expectations coming into this book as the reviews had said it's a good intro but not much depth but I found myself looking for excuses to listen to Theft of Swords any chance I had! The characters are believable and well written, the plot moves forward through every scene and the depth of the book gets more and more involved the further in you get.

    I'm typically more Sci-fi than fantasy but this book is very well written and while there are fantasy elements, mostly it's a fun adventure story set in something like the middle ages meets Lord of the Rings. Well thought out and descriptive, if I could give 4.5 stars I would!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (965)
    Performance
    (870)
    Story
    (877)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "Don't judge Hamilton by this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a huge fan of Peter F. Hamilton's other works I was greatly looking forward to his latest epic. Of the 10 Hamilton books I've listened to or read, this was not even in the same league. The characters are boring and lacking in depth, the plot is ridiculously slow and the unnecessary story lines make up more content than the relevant ones!

    Great North Road is comprised of 2 related story lines; one an extremely long winded police procedural and one about a supposed elite military unit on another planet looking for a scary alien. The police procedural plods along at a snails pace, lacking direction and substance. Hours are spend on the main character's search for a new home or other inconsequential elements that bring the plot to a screeching halt. The military unit section is basically a very bad lost-in-the-woods horror movie about a bunch of inept soldiers who go in unprepared and make one bad decision after the next. Implausibility is the rule for this section so don't expect it to be realistic.

    Throw this all together with a bunch of ill-timed flashbacks to explain plot holes, a narrator who does such strong accents they are at times incomprehensible, repetitive phrases and a book that should have been edited to 8 hours and you get Great North Road, all 36 hours of it. I never thought I'd say this about a Peter F. Hamilton book but you should spend your credit elsewhere.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappeared: A Retrieval Artist Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (272)
    Story
    (278)

    Retrieval Artists help the lost find their way back home, whether they like it or not. Specialized private detectives, they investigate the most unusual crimes in the galaxy. But Miles Flint isn't a Retrieval Artist. He's just a cop, trying to do his job.

    Phelix_da_Kat says: "Sprint finish.."
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While it's not the best book I've ever read it's paced well, has enough character development and the plot is interesting enough to keep me listening. There a some pretty big holes in the premise the Disappeared is based on but if you can get over that you will be entertained. 3.7 stars would be a fair overall rating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8746)
    Performance
    (7854)
    Story
    (7987)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
    "LOTR it is not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I have re-read Lord of the Rings several times as an adult, The Hobbit should have been left in my childhood. The plot is very disjointed with odd jumps in time that make the book feel abridged. In fact, I checked twice to be sure I didn't accidentally get the abridged version when entire seasons of the year were skipped without more than a line or two to mark their passing. LOTR is still one of my favorites but now I remember why I had never bothered to re-read The Hobbit.

    A note on the narration: While the narrator is quite good, the production value is lacking. There were several chapters where you can hear Inglis swallowing or smacking his lips after every sentence. Good performance let down by technical issues.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2711)
    Performance
    (2421)
    Story
    (2427)

    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?"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After really enjoying Daemon and Freedom, this book was quite a disappointing effort by Suarez. The concept of Daemon was great and it was backed by a fun and exciting plot. Kill Decision on the other hand has an interesting premise with almost no plot and boring characters as well. I really hope Suarez pulls together another book as I think he has potential but this was not it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2968)
    Performance
    (2772)
    Story
    (2782)

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Mike Naka says: "bucket full of zombie juice"
    "Really bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVE zombie books, even the bad ones, but this was too much. The main character is obnoxious with his ridiculous tangents, support characters are completely one-dimensional and the writing is pretty bad. "He said... He said.... She said..." There was no substance, no tension and nothing original brought to the genre. The narration is monotone and adds to the annoyance of the main character (though in fairness, his voice fits the main character perfectly).

    This was definitely one of my most disappointing credits as with all the great reviews I expected it to at least be entertaining. Save your credit.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (8007)
    Performance
    (4717)
    Story
    (4704)

    Ken Follett's World Without End was a global phenomenon, a work of grand historical sweep beloved by millions of readers and acclaimed by critics. Fall of Giants is his magnificent new historical epic. The first novel in The Century Trilogy, it follows the fates of five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage.

    Louis says: "Loved it and learned alot."
    "Long winded with a solid historical foundation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I really enjoyed Pillars of the Earth and many of Follett's other novels, Fall of Giants is a long winded and somewhat disjointed quasi-romance/history novel that feels lacking in plot. It's the story of the early 20th century fall of the class system in Europe but is done so in stops and starts that feel unpolished and sloppy.

    It's not intended to be a history of the times but the plot is just not interesting enough to be this long of a novel. At the end of the novel the reader is left asking "What was the point?" Maybe the point is in the next novels but will not find out.

    As always, John Lee was exceptional.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • How to Train Your Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (235)

    Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III may be the son of the brave leader of the mighty Viking tribe the Hairy Hooligans, but he certainly doesn’t feel very heroic. When Hiccup and the other boys his age are challenged to pick baby dragons from the dragon nursery, Hiccup actually manages to catch a small one. But now how will he train his stubborn new pet?

    Susan says: "Not the same as the movie"
    "7 year old son loves this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our 7 year old son has moderate to severe dyslexia and hates to read because of the effort it takes. We turned to audio books to instill a love of reading with moderate success until we found this series. Our son BEGS to listen to How to Train Your Dragon and would turn down video games for a chance to listen! Our only complaint is the stores are far too short for the price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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