This is my first Heinlein read and I now realize that I have been missing out. Some people were saying that this is a bad first book to start with Heinlein, but I have to disagree. This makes a great stand-alone novel and was a solid 5 star listen. The book seemed appropriate for adults and young adults.
Starman Jones is about a farmer boy born into a society where guilds control all the professions. Some guilds require lineage and have very expensive apprenticeships. All Jones has wanted to do since he was young was be an astrogator and go into space. Unfortunately for Jones, he is poor. When his uncle died without informing him whether had a recommendation to a guild he is unsure whether this goal may be obtainable. When circumstances place Jones in a position where he must run it seems obvious where his path must lead. With intelligence and an eidetic memory as guide he sets out to be more than just a poor farmers boy. In the process of his journey he meets a shady homeless man named Sam. When these two team up, the trouble starts, and they find themselves in an adventure across the galaxy.
This story was quite a ride. We get a look at a futuristic planet and society that encompasses the galaxy. There are multiple planets in this timeline where space travel is possible, but requires great mathematicians to course correct between worlds. You get some scientific jargon but it is completely fun and easy to follow. Plus, you are truly drawn through the whole mess of events with two opposite and engaging characters. I thought the ending was a little rushed and convenient when some characters were explained off in order to allow our main character a chance to be a hero. We get a short mention and brief exploration into different alien cultures, but there certainly was enough left open to write a sequel if this author had chosen. But really, I just wish this book were longer. If you are ready to suspend disbelief and enjoy a classic science fiction novel then give this book a try.
Brandon Sanderson once again roots out a great story and magic system. This is in my top favorite reads amongst his books. The Rithmatist is an excellent coming of age story about a sixteen year old, in a servant class, who must accomplish through normalcy with his ingenuity and smarts, what others are gifted and given with great powers. He is brought up in a school that provides an education to normals and rithmatists. Rithmatists are segregated in their community which creates a problem for the boy who has a passion for their discipline and must create his own path to learn their secrets. And while you may feel sympathetic towards the servant class at the start you will realize that there is a cost to being a rithmatist by the end. I am hesitant to recommend purchasing this book now, because it really needs a follow up due to some rather large loose ends left behind. However, if your a Brandon Sanderson fan this should definitely be in your wish/watch list.
The emperor's soul is about a woman who has been imprisoned for forgery. Through forgery there is magic, and she will use this talent to change the things, people, and world around herself. Brandon Sanderson has become an automatic buy for me with never a regret. This story made to be a pleasant stand alone novella listen. Also, the length seemed just right for this story. Although this is supposed to have some connection to the world of Elantis it was hard for me to even really tell; so I felt this story easily stands on its own. I felt similarly about Elantis as I do with this book and continue hope for Sanderson to dredge up more of this world. Anyhow, the ending was satisfying and perfect for what it was meant to be, a short story.
This reminded me of a poor version of Star Force by B.V. Larson. My biggest issue was being able to suspend enough belief to buy into the story. The characters reactions in the situations presented seemed unrealistic. The dialog was simplistic, characters hollow, and it just seems like to hard of a pill to swallow to get into this one.
I have been waiting to discover another good series in which to dive into and I believe this one has potential. In fact, after listening to Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin I immediately purchased the next book and have enjoyed the sequel just as much as the first book in the series. There are 18 books in this series and thus more to look forward to listen. This book is a fantasy romp and the comedy had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. The narration is another big mark in this books favor and Noah Michael Levine is a name I will note to look for in the future.
Another Fine Myth is about a boy who is training to become a wizard. He is very new to the arts when he is introduced to a demon named Aahz. Events overwhelm the boy named Skeeve at the very beginning and it is not long before circumstances propel the demon Aahz to becomes his mentor as the two are forced upon a mission to stop evil sorcerer from taking over all the dimensions. With a pervert demon as his companion, Skeeve will travel to other dimensions, like the devils world, in order to save the clods. This is a bit cheeky and you will come to appreciate the joke in that if you give this book a try.
This book reminds me a bit of the Bartimaeus series due to the existence of a summoned demon who adds comedic effect by mentoring to a sorcerer. I use that as a comparison as well because what really brings this book alive is the narration by Noah Michael Levine with the demon voice of Aahz. This voice may rival Simon Jones take on Bartimaeus. A good narrator can make a bad book good. However, I feel the writing is well done and funny too, so that makes this better than good, and rather, great!
I very much enjoyed this book. Peter & Max is based off a comic series surround common fairy tale characters. In this world, fairy tale heroes like Peter Piper live in a peaceful community set apart from other more magical worlds. This story dives deep into Peter's past and his perhaps less known evil brother max. Other characters included are Bo Peep and the Wolf. These tales are based loosely after the fairy tales and are much darker. I am not a comic book fan, but I found Bill Willingham's to be a great writer and I was drawn in very quickly with his story. I hope he continues to make new books based off the comics.
Also, Wil Wheaton did a great job with his narration. I didn't notice anything negative to say about his performance and became very caught up with this story due to an excellent production all around.
Legacies: Corean Chronicles is the first book in a new series for L.E. Modesitt, Jr. I found this book enjoyable despite some repetitive themes that tend to follow Modesitt books. If you are a Modesitt fan you should understand and can expect a well written story. Kyle McCarley did a fine job with his narration as well. He was clear and used various voices for the characters. The child who is the main character at the start grows up and his voice does change over a course of time.
This is a coming of age type story of a boy named Alucius. The first 15 chapters or so we get a view of our protagonist as a child as he grows up in the Iron Valley and learns the ways of a sheep herder. We get an idea of what the magic system is from which this character seems to be very well gifted. His life is eventually turned upside down and he is called to join the army as forces threaten his homeland. There is plenty of character development and our hero will soon discover the many flaws in the world in which he inhabits.
Having recently read Imagers series I noticed that similar terms were used (for example, glass to tell time). Also, similar is the main theme of a young hero who is good natured, moral, and possessing magical abilities who must struggle through battles and be promoted through the ranks of an army. At least there is not an annoying religion in this story. The magic system, on the other hand, is very similar to imagers. There is descriptions of strings which connect people, objects, and have some importance in the fabric of the world. There are still many details to be told of the extent and history surrounding magical talents. However, we receive an acceptable ending for the meantime with some interesting characters left in play that should make some entertaining future sequels.
Dorsai tells a story about a man is unique in his intelligence and abilities. He is from a world where people are mercenaries and have a code of honor and higher themselves to other planets as elite soldiers. By smart thinking, tactical genius, and strength, he elevates himself in power and becomes a hero. There are multiple worlds, space flight and fights, politics and power struggles. I enjoyed following the main character on his journey through his life. However, it got a little strange and hard to follow when the author went on about genes and these strange super abilities. There was a feeling of something missing at times and the book jumps around strangely. The ending lost a star for me as well. I was looking forward to the next book, but I am not sure anymore.
This was just too much of a child's book to keep me entertained. The characters had no depth and acted foolishly. The story was very predictable and there was an agonizing wait at times for the characters to come to obvious conclusions the author was presenting. I found this fantasy story to be all over the place. Also I couldn't understand the rationals of most of the characters. I will credit the author with an active imagination but I didn't find much cohesion. The characters were immature and it felt like they were playing at war in the end (and it was all very PG). The narration is fine if you like to be talked to like a child. The voices really emphasized the shallow, and at times generic feel of the story and characters.
If you are an adult, skip it. There are better books in the fantasy genre for kids. Try Magic Kingdom for Sale by Terry Brooks, Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud or Neil Gaimans Graveyard book.
This was a great find and it reminded me a little bit of a Heinlein read. This story follows the life and adventures of a boy called Sten. This book can be broken up into 4 parts revolving around his life, and things look promising for the continuing books in this series.
Sten is born on a corporate world named Vulcan to a lower class family of workers. This oppressed class of employees (and their families) are subject to a greedy company that has tricked them into servitude by shady contract dealings. With unfair practices, brutality, and disregard for human life, there are many reasons to dislike the system and conflict that follow our young adventurer. Dealt a hard hand from birth into this unfair system Sten must use intelligence, ingenuity, quick thinking, a little bit of luck and force to find himself a better life. This book is classified as four books in one with each story taking place at separate times in his life (but apparently close in time span). They also wrap up very nicely. Each part was great for its own purpose and we get to see the protagonist progress through harsh conditions that bring about loss, love, leadership, and success.
Narration was good for the most part. Jerry Sciarrio did a find job distinguishing between characters he read. I only have one minor criticism. It would have been nice to have some chapter breaks or pauses because I had to back track a few times when I wasn't completely focused on the story.
I would have been satisfied using a credit on this one. Give it a try, be ready to cheer on Sten and enjoy the ride.
This book left an odd taste in the mouth and it is a shame because I thought the universe Mike Shepherd created had great potential. We have a futuristic society where humans have expanded across the galaxy. There is mention of another alien race and a conflict between Earth and the Rim worlds. Also there is a heroine who is coming into her own person wanting to detach herself from the reputation of her family and showing her true mettle. She is brave and there is opportunity for her to be a leader. However, the execution of this book was off and this one fell short of my expectations. The main character doesn't have quite the mature commanding presence and tactical genius of a Honor Harrington. The story doesn't have the cohesion and intrigue of a Miles Vorkosigan novel. And the battles lack the suspense and excitement of a Prince Rogers or Black Jack Geary book. In short, I thought the characters and stories fall a little flat compared to these other greats.
The title "Mutineer" seems like an after thought. Most of this story is about Kris Longknife's career in the military. The story starts off with a rescue mission. Next, she is transported to an alien world. As the lowest ranking marine officer, Kris finds herself in a position where the military is doing everything wrong and this situation forces her to take charge, fix things, and show her leadership skills. In the very end of this book Longknife finally escapes her planet side marine life and enters the bridge of a spaceship in a possible entanglement with an enemy fleet. During these adventures she is also facing outside threats against her life by a mystery group or person.
It seemed like many of the pieces were there but a massive editing job was needed. The characters all gave Kris Longknife a hard time because she comes from a privilege background, so in this respect the book is similar to Lois McMasters Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series. However, Kris is very distant with her family and her choice to join the military was not a popular one. The story didn't really elicit any emotional responses, such a sympathy, for the main character for me. Parts of this book seemed off and at times un-fullfilling. And there were moments I tuned out for a little bit. Also, I thought the ending was anticlimactic and poorly done because it felt fake a bit forced. In the end Kris seems to be more lucky than smart. I have no motivation to download the next book, but I am up to giving Shepard a second chance if a sale comes along.
A good narrator can help make a mediocre book great. This narration might have hindered the listen. The different accents were not particularly enjoyable to listen through.
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