SANTA CRUZ, CA, United States | Member Since 2011
I have mixed feelings about this book. Card has some interesting ideas involving time travel. I liked how he used two different time lines to help explain how events unfold. However, I thought some of the reasoning and conclusions the protagonist would immediately come up with were a bit too easy and convenient. There are plenty of holes to be found with time travel and this book doesn't shy from such paradox's that arise. It is actually a bit confusing if this is meant to be for children. The characters tend to talk a lot about using their abilities for time travel and the book spends a lot of wasted time on trying to explain their successes and failures in this venture. I felt there could have been more action when it was all said and done. I think this could have been a stand alone novel in it's own right and I didn't care for the ending at all. In addition, there were some obvious parts of this book that were a little frustrating, like Rigg's father dying. I mean, did anyone actually believe that occurred? As such, It was fairly easy to draw a lot of conclusions before the protagonist even came to them which shows poor writing. So I think in the end I am really trying to say it was all a little too convenient, predictable, and somewhat confusing.
The narration was dreadful. I'm not exaggerating here. At the start I didn't care for the narrator. I didn't like how his voice fit the characters and it all seemed a little too plain. Then you get used to the voice. Halfway through we get a different narrator who over animates his voices of characters to the point where it is distracting. And then soon after that we get a different narrator coming in and so on.
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.
I though this was an okay listen, but I am not generally a fan of the vampire and monster genre of fantasy. The way of the Wolf is about a futuristic Earth that has been devastated by by an alien race known as our mythological vampires. They have learned to feed off humans for immortality and their cruelty has no ends. There are also good aliens that help our protagonist, Valentine, become imbued with wolf powers. Basically this is a story about humans fighting back.
I liked the main character. Valentine struggles from a tragic history and this tale is about him coming of age. We are given enough reasons to dislike the enemy alien vampires that rampage across Earth and the reader comes to identify a hero in the protagonist. I thought the author has some interesting ideas and was very creative with his post apocalyptic world of monsters.
I have a few criticisms. Some of the story felt a little hokey. Everything seems to go right for the main character as he seems to be in the right place at the right time. Allies also seem to pop up out of nowhere in critical times. The main characters morals are a little ambiguous to me. He certainly isn't above torture and killing at times. There is some profanity and there are many amoral characters. The author describes a world where women are raped, people are slaughtered and eaten alive. There is use of profanity and there is a sex scene that gets a little explicit. Maybe Twilight has shaded my view on vampire and werewolf literature, but it seems like authors always feel need to put some romance into their writings. So, unsurprisingly our protagonist becomes love sick and is driven to some irrational gallantry.
I wasn't expecting anything deep out of this novel, but I felt the author did an alright job overall. The narration was great, but I thought the introduction from EE Knight was unnecessary. I will probably pick up a sequel at some point down the line.
I have listened to the whole series. Overall, I liked the world Robin Hobb created but the characters were a little frustrating at times. Also, the conclusion of this series wasn't that great. However, it did wrap things up for the most part and I felt compelled to keep buying into each book with my credits to get a conclusion. But it is really hard to sympathize with the main characters motivations and understand his loyalty rulers of this society. I have mixed feelings about some of the characters too. I just felt the story could have been written better and I think generally that is my opinion about some other Robin Hobb works I have listened to as well.
Despite those complaints I would still say this is worth a listen, but be prepared for a long story. This is a series about a boy coming of age and being outcast because of his blood. There is a mentor component and a struggle to find ones identity. There is also magic and adventure in the later books.
Mars by Ben Bova is about Earth's first manned mission to mars. The book was written in 1992 so it might be a little out of date. The main character, Jamie, Is half Native American and the story makes a big fuss about racism in America towards this culture. This book isn't my favorite of those that I have read so far from Ben Bova. The story went by very slow. Yet, Ben Bova is a good enough writer to keep me interested enough to listen to the whole thing. Just do not expect high amount of action. This has a more realistic feel and might be more similar to a real mars mission, not some Buck Rogers fantasy adventure. I found the characters likable. I think mainly this book could have used a nice editing job and a little more suspense. Overall, I am satisfied with this read and I will continue to buy Ben Bova's work. A bunch of other stand alone novels falls in the same time line as this one, so there is more to look forward to after this read if you like it. As to that, I can recommend Empire Builders.
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