SANTA CRUZ, CA, United States | Member Since 2011
I don't think I can do this book justice with a review. Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind Kingkiller Chronicles has caught me completely by surprise. To be honest, I had this book sitting in my library a year before I decided to pick it up. I only gave this a fair chance because I was getting ready to return it before the year came to pass. Well, I couldn't have been any more wrong about this book. I had been putting aside listening to this novel for several reasons. One, I had realized that the ending was given in the beginning of the tale and that most of this was to be about the retelling of our protagonists life story. Now, I really hate previews and I have said before in my reviews that I am extremely critical of prequels. Two, you might think that 32 hours is long, and I sometimes look forward to a book getting to its point sooner rather than later. However, almost as soon as I started listening, the bait was set, and I was hooked throughout the telling. Because the story encompasses the past and presence that includes the telling of a our protagonists whole life, there is much room for change, growth, and character development.
So here is a little bit about the novel. Patrick Rothfuss introduces us to Kote, the bartender, at the very beginning of the tale as a sort of mysterious, washed up hero. He is a man hiding from his past and present, trying to fit in as a normal bar keep in a small town. Here comes in the great Chronicler who has sought out Kote to set a record straight. See, Kote has a secret identity. He is really named Kvothe, who is either a hero or villain depending on whose story is told. And, thus, we introduce the very long life story of our hero, the protagonist, Kvothe. For me, Patrick Rothfuss seemed to linger just enough on each segment in Kvothe's life. So far, at least. There was no conclusion really, just a promise of more of the same in the next book of this series. Good and bad events outline the life of Kvothe with much tragedy starting young in his years. And there are some really horrible events at that, but it is the struggles that make this book great and set the backdrop for how this character will eventually become a powerful adventurer. However, the protagonist becomes really endearing to the reader due to his cleverness, brilliance and perhaps, moral fortitude (and potential for change). We get to see a curious boy grow through disasters and triumphs and enter into a magical world. Eventually Kvothe goes on to a university full of magic (at least to the common townsfolk) and studies where he learns power and knowledge. From dragons to damsels in distress, there is plenty of action where intelligence, power, and courage make us a hero.
Lastly, I need to mention that the narration is what carries this book more than anything. Everything is very well produced. The telling is dramatized, and the voices are exaggerated in such a captivating way that it left very few moments for boredom. The book is in fact crafted for a story teller (you will understand when you read). If I had to pick 3 books that were similar to this story they would be: Game of Thrones, Lies of Lock Lamora, and the Harry Potter series. I only say Game of Thrones because the setting is very medieval with a more feudal like system which illustrates differences between nobility and the common class. Furthermore, the Lies of Lock Lamora outline what it means to be the lower class and a thief in such a setting. And during quite a bit of this book our protagonist is found in hard circumstances and poverty. Neither of those books, like this one, will shy from a little violence. Lastly, I mentioned Harry Potter because it is a about a character who goes through school and learns a source of magic and power. There is much more to this story, but suffice to say, I found this book for the most part unique, which is why it is a winner for me.
In this novella there are two stories and an excerpt for book 6 hunted (about 8 minutes). Both stories have a little of Oberon in them in case you are wondering. They take place before Granuaile as well.
The primary story involves an ancient book in Atticus's collection that leads him on a journey to Egypt. Here he must deal with Bast, God of cats, Sobek, God of crocodiles, evil wizards, and demons. This one was a lot of fun and anything that involves Oberon and cats is always a good fit.
Next, a short chapter presenting a preview of hunted is given. Then the last story is about clan Rathskeller, which takes place ten months before the book hounded. This one is about gnomes and fairies and is about fifty minutes long.
This may not be the best value for your buck on audible, but well worth it if you enjoy the series thus far. I liked this novella better than his last. Again, these are prequels to the current book and I hope Kevin Hearne in the future makes more of these side adventures.
The narration is always excellent. I don't think we could stand for having anyone else but Luke Daniels for the voice of Oberon.
Heinlein was ahead of his time. He was an extremely inventive and imaginative author. I am not sure what order to read his books, although this one reminded me a lot of Star Man Jones. There wasn't much action for the most part, but there were some exciting parts and twists. This book is about discovery and exploration of planets for colonization in a future society of Earth where space travel is possible. Perspective takes place through the eyes of one character and the story writes like an autobiography over the course of years of his life. The basic premise is that people have discovered that twins can communicate telepathically. To date Earth has had trouble hearing back from long range scout ships that venture off to explore habitable worlds at the speed of light due to the great distances involved. The use of these twins for instantaneous communication may make it possible colonize worlds faster. The concept of space and time are explored in this novel. In addition, the effects of how time ages one twin differently than the other due to traveling at the speed of light is explored. We get a taste of alien worlds, like the Star Man Jones book, and once again I find myself wishing there was more meat to the story. But I do appreciate Time For The Stars for what it is meant to be, a light, stand alone, discovery, science fiction novel.
And that would have been a mistake. I now eagerly await a chance to get the sequel. Aye, ye ought to give good listen and not give up less ye've given good time and reason. Expect that style of language to be presented by some of the main characters. I did not find this distracting in an audio format and feel it lends some identity to the characters. David Weber is a great writer and I was impressed with the progression of his protagonist. Now that I have had the pleasure of enjoying at least four of his series I would say I am a true fan. However, there are some things different about this tale than other books that Mr. Weber has written and it may not be a fit for everyone. This is magic oriented, not space, and the battles take place in a middle earth setting. Also, the battles are more one on one rather than involving commanding a legion of ships or men. The story is also more adventure based with a hero, companions, and an evil antagonist to defeat. Yet, in the end, we have an intelligent fearless hero who does the right thing despite the consequences, and these were some of the elements that drew me into this tale.
Sword of Oath is tale of swords and sorcery with many races of creatures like dwarves, halflings, elves, wizards, cultists, Gods, and men. We begin with Bazhell Bahanakson who is a prince and great warrior of his people, the Hradani. He is not human and his race has been cursed with the "rage" which is some sort of a berserk war cry that lends strength when facing an enemy. Bazhell is special in that he can overcome the recklessness of this rage and control it with great clarity and precision to the devastation of his enemies. He is a very noble and honor driven creature, and when it comes that a women is being raped by prince Harnak, he has no choice but to come to aid and rescue her from his clutches. Unfortunately, he is a political hostage of this prince Harnak's family. Over time he has become humbled to insults to prevent war for his people. But rape is too much and he figures he must now flee because there is no good way out of this situation. And so begins his journey for a new life; a journey involving many different cultures, creatures, and Gods. He is a reluctant hero, but does the right thing, which tends to lead him into trouble because there is much strife, evil men, and different ways of life in the lands ahead.
Although I had a hard start absorbing the details and making up my mind on the protagonist and style of language used, these issues were resolved shortly. I found myself liking the story more and more as it progressed. I should mention the same sort of thing happen to me with Honor Harrington and now I am an avid fan of that series. Audibles has a great return policy so consider listening to at least half of the first part before giving up, because I don't think you will regret it.
Maybe this book just hit me at the right time, but I had a lot of fun with this one. I think the testament of a good book is one that makes you crave for more. And I certainly will get the sequel to Orien.
This novel is about the creation of civilizations, Gods, and men in a journey through space and time. The protagonist, Orion, has been created in the form of a man and is warrior/hero for the human race. He also is not quite human. He has been given intelligence with the ability to process events faster (quicker reactions) and is able to control all his bodily functions. He can still die like normal men, but with the help of a God like being he rises time and time again with the purpose to save human kind from total destruction. Ahriman is Orien's nemesis whom he pursues across time to kill. Orien starts from the future and goes backwards in his encounters. Unlike Orien, Ahriman travels the normal direction of time plotting all the while the destruction of space time and the universe. The effect is that Orien does not know who he is and what he can do at the very beginning and becomes more knowledgable about his purpose every jump back in time.
The settings and landscapes will change as Orien goes back in time and we get to see a lot of different era's and technological capabilities of man. If you study history and like science fiction this series might be a fun fit. Time travel is always tricky to deal with and explain off. I felt Ben Bova did a great job keeping the reader engaged in the story and less with the mechanics. However, we do get some explanation that time is very fluid and events can change either direction in time you follow. The answers to questions like who is Ariman, why he wants to destroy the human race, and who/what Orien is are slowly answered throughout the tale with each era they travel. You may even find yourself thinking differently about Orien and his mission by the end of the novel.
I envisioned this book being a whole lot different coming into it. Some things like character interactions and the imaginative descriptions of worlds I liked a whole lot. While other concepts, like luck, seemed a little too silly for the rationals presented. But overall this was an unique experience and I was sufficiently drawn through with the characters presented. The ending was a little abrupt and I feel it demands a look into the sequel (which there are numerous provided).
This is an exploratory, classic, science fiction novel. We are introduced with our protagonist, Louis Wu, who is a 200 year old human. Due to the "spice" he is in the best condition of his life and has the body of a 20 year old. In the beginning he is confronted by an alien called a Puppeteer with a proposal to explore a far away world and gain his species a new space drive that could inevitably mean the salvation of his planet. The puppeteer called Nessus also recruits two other beings to the expedition. An alien named Kzin (known as the speaker) is an ambassador to Earth and is known to be from a race of warriors. The third traveler is a human woman named Teela Brown who is oddly picked for her candidacy due to her luck. If that sounds strange to you now then later when the author, Larry Niven, repeatedly brings up that luck is a powerful (almost magical) force, well, it got kind of tiring for me.
So, all four travelers set off to this strange planet and find themselves in more trouble than they had bargained. Each character has their own motives and this companionship is very tentative. The interactions between characters is what helps move the book along. They make the story interesting, but there seems to be more talk and reasoning through plots that unfold in the worlds adventured than actual action. A main theme Larry Niven tries to explore is the abuses of power and how it can make one feel god like when such decisions made can effect so many. We are introduced to various alien cultures and I really enjoyed the descriptions of future technologies, Earth, and other alien planets.
Prior to starting The Stone of Tears I had read 1/3 of book 1 and seen the TV series based off the book Sword of Truth. I found this book easy to pick up and understand. However, I should mention I had issues with the first book in this series. I tried reading it twice from a hard copy version, but had to put it down. This was a long time ago. I had found the tale too predictable, thought the characters very shallow, and I just didn't care for the opening story line. Then I ended up watching the TV show. I found it to be just as bad at the start and overall found some of the writing lacking. But despite the contrived feel to the story it grew on me. I actually was disappointed by season 2 when it was cancelled and I came to appreciate the writing. Although both versions went different directions they certainly shared some parallels.
So, here I am now with book two, and I find this telling to be as enjoyable as the TV series. The book version is very long and dragged on a while in parts, but I was happy because I got to see more of the story that I missed in the TV version. The Stone of Tears picks up after Darken Rahl has been killed and Richard is off to his home lands with Kahlan. It helped for me that the author decided to switch between three different stories from the perspective of Zed, Kahlan, and Richard. Each adventurer was set upon their own quests for different reasons and all contributed to the main story line.
There were some edge of the seat moments and I went through this book fairly fast considering the length. However, there is not always constant action. This may have helped to give the story a little depth. But occasionally I felt some events skipped by very fast. Instead of taking us through the present course of events, at times, we are told a summation of things that occurred. Also, the ending of this book felt a little rushed considering the pace and course of the story. I found the conclusion to be a little too convenient.
The narration was fine. Yes, I see all the complaints about this reader, and if you decide to check out the next books reviews, they only got worse. But a lot of good those complaints did as the narrators they switch to supposedly get worse. Jim Bond might not win any awards for this performance, but he did an alright job. My least favorite character he performed was Zed who had some annoying parts. However, all the voices were clear and I didn't find the narration distracting. I also don't hold any expectations that other reviewers might have had from the last installment, which had a different narrator. I would give his performance a 3.5 overall.
In the Dark Tower book 1 we are thrust into this future post apocalyptic world with a man name Roland. What is revealed in the beginning is simply that Roland is a "gun slinger" and is in pursuit of his enemy, "the man in black", who has lain obstacles in Roland's path for vengeance. This is a very dark fantasy world full of magic, mutants, demons, and many mysteries. You really need to pay attention in this book or you might get lost. The author skips around the main characters past and present and this transition may be one of those things harder to follow for the audio listener. The book starts off with very little information and the listener is forced to discover and come up with their own conclusions during the course of events. The listener is pulled along with an assortment of questions and although I found Roland's conflicts engaging for a time, I did start to get a little tired of the chase and ambiguousness of the story near the end. Questions like "what is the dark tower?" and "who is the man in black?" follow up with incomplete answers and bring up even more questions like those involving what encompasses the universe, creation of life, and God. Since we end with so many questions this book felt incomplete to me. I liked the narration and will consider getting the next book in a future sale.
This is my first solo John Ringo listen. I enjoyed the the joint project between David Weber and John Ringo to create the Prince Rogers series. This book is similar in style. This is all very military oriented. There is a lot of military jargon and some of the names went by my head but it was still a fun listen. This book skips around to various military personal in the war against the Posleen. There is a lot of death and destruction and general chaos. I found the different alien races introduced to be intriguing and the characters engaging.
I thought the first book had a lot of potential, but then it started to go down hill towards the end. I had hoped this second installment would have started off better than it did and I felt the need to stop every half hour to get through the first half of the story. In fact, with a little editing I think we could have started with the second part (last 5 hours) of this recording. However, I did not find this novel without some redeeming qualities. But I can not recommend this for adults or young adults as it stands. For the record, I preordered this book and would have given the first in the series a five star review if I had purchased it on audible and not through itunes when it originally came out.
The Gate Thief picks up at the creation of the great gate. You should expect more of the same to continue from the end of book one for quite a long time. I started to really dislike the main character for being an insolent, foolish, and childish. If you like that sort of high school maturity scene then maybe you'll love this book. I could see someone relating this experience to that of listening to the Percy Jackson series because of the correlation with characters in high school, greek mythology, and super powers.
A big issue I found with this novel was the filler and immature teenage dialog between the characters. Some of it felt like an inappropriate teenage soap opera. Orson Scott Card (OSC) tries to explain that he wanted to give a thorough explanation of events so we would understand everything in the closing of this book, but I found some needless repeating of events. Often we experience occurrences, reasoning, and conclusions through the perspective of two different characters. There is also a need to explore, rationalize and philosophize through Danny's powers which brought back memories of the Pathfinder series. Another big mistake with this novel was the romantic angel. Danny has many girls trying to have his "babies" and sex with him. This definitely got a few few eye rolls from me. OSC is somewhat crude in his writing. We know this from Ender. He will be blatant about nudity, promiscuity, and bodily functions. We get the pleasure of listening to the characters talk about spying on girls in bathroom, peeing, pooping, and whole shebang that many authors tend to leave out. Overall, I mostly found the writing involving Danny to be sophomoric, predictable and staged, while finding other dialog repetitive.
So, the space time talk is back. I disliked his pathfinder series for its philosophical approach and it appears OSC's new obsessive focus on this topic has splashed over to this novel as well. 'Young child set off with self discovery for new powers but is confounded with that darn space time,' sound familiar? I shouldn't be surprised that this happened, but I guess I expected him to do a better job at separating his books since he is putting both these series out so close together.
Now, were there any redeeming qualities to this book? Yes, I thought that the other world OSC created with Wad (aka Loki the "gate thief") had some great characters developing and plots unfolding. It was a complete change from the teenage day dream world the character Danny North was living in. The narration wasn't fantastic, but it helped in this instance to have two narrators for each world. I didn't like the voice that portrayed Danny and the people from middle guard. Maybe it was due to the deep voice that came off monotone.
Anyhow, here is a passage I found amusing coming from OSC, a very outspoken anti gay marriage man.
"Girls were all man mages when you thought about it. They wrap guys around their fingers and drag them anyway they want it. First time I have ever envied the gay thought Danny. But then he had to admit to himself, being honest, he felt nothing of the kind."
Religion eventually is tied into this world of magic and I will give OSC credit for being thorough with trying to make this universe believable. An explanation for the Devil and Jesus is put forward. But we all know OSC's true God is space time. We get a long 15 minute explanation on why he wrote what he wrote at the end of this book. If you are looking to be a writer, maybe this is helpful, but it sounded like a lot of needless justifications to me.
This was a fun casual listen for someone who likes the classic fantasy. It appears to be for all ages and was an enjoyable prequel / adaptation to classic story of Peter Pan. This retelling seems like it may still fit the classic model but it does give us some more details on certain aspects like magic (star dust), how hook lost his hand, and the people and creation of Neverland. The narrator is excellent. Solid 5 stars for an opening book.
Report Inappropriate Content