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Colin

atascadero, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

186
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 46 reviews
  • 276 ratings
  • 511 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • A Quantum Murder: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (508)
    Story
    (510)

    Dr Edward Kitchener, a brilliant researcher into quantum cosmology, lies dead with his lungs spread out on either side of his open chest. Only a mercenary or professional killer could have breached the premier-grade security system - but why would a professional waste time in ritual slaughter? Greg Mandel, psi-boosted ex-private eye, is enticed out of retirement to launch an investigation into a past which - according to Kitchener’s theories - might never have happened.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Excellent sci-fi murder mystery"
    "Solid 4 star effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the first of the Greg Mandel stories was a little clunky, this book shows much of why I love Peter F. Hamilton's works. Characters are developed, plots move quickly but realistically and there's plenty to keep the reader's interest. Now I'm off to download part 3!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (4263)
    Performance
    (3184)
    Story
    (3195)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Steven says: "Steven Pacey is magnificient."
    "Hang in for the next books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I won't repeat the praise that's already been repeated several times but I do want to stress that while book 1 does have some action, it's primarily a character development book and a chance to get to know some great characters. I listened then was a bit reluctant to move on to the next book as there were some parts that dragged a bit. It's good, but more like a 3.5 star book. I am SO glad I hung in there as books 2 and 3 are edge of your seat, sit in your car after your commute, stay up late and an excuse to vacuum your house good!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Specter of the Past: The Hand of Thrawn, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (661)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (632)

    The Empire stands at the brink of total collapse. But they have saved their most heinous plan for last. First a plot is hatched that could destroy the New Republic in a bloodbath of genocide and civil war. Then comes the shocking news that Grand Admiral Thrawn--the most cunning and ruthless warlord in history--has apparently returned from the dead to lead the Empire to a long-prophesied victory.

    bonita says: "Ok Rh, so where's the second volume?!"
    "Ok book, best narration I've ever heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Similar to other Zahn Star Wars books, the story is entertaining though sometimes a bit stiff and narrowly constrained. The plot isn't as developed as the Thrawn trilogy but it moves along and should keep the listener entertained. However, Marc Thompson's stunning performance brings the book to life and adds depth and quality to characters that might otherwise be lacking. It's worth a listen just to be amazed by the range of Thompson. Truly outstanding and worthy of a credit just to hear the best narrator in the business excel at his craft. 3.5 stars for the book, 10 stars for performance by Thompson.

    0 of 0 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3853)
    Performance
    (1977)
    Story
    (1988)

    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
    (2271)
    Performance
    (1615)
    Story
    (1632)

    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.

    35 of 43 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
    (5482)
    Performance
    (5048)
    Story
    (5042)

    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.

    AudioAddict says: "And I didn't think I liked fantasies..."
    "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
    (1057)
    Performance
    (957)
    Story
    (963)

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (452)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (286)

    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 2 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
    (9758)
    Performance
    (8761)
    Story
    (8925)

    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
    (2952)
    Performance
    (2633)
    Story
    (2642)

    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
    (3168)
    Performance
    (2960)
    Story
    (2967)

    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.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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