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breckoz

Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction

SANTA CRUZ, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

184
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 89 reviews
  • 238 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 57 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
40

  • Princeps: Imager Portfolio Series, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By L. E. Modesitt Jr.
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (199)

    The thrilling follow-up to Scholar - in which, after discovering a coup attempt and preventing a bloody civil war, Quaeryt was appointed princeps of Tilbor - begins a new episode in the young Imager's life. Now second only to the governor, and still hiding his powers as an Imager, Quaeryt is enjoying his new position, as well as his marriage to Lord Bhayar's youngest sister, Vaelora, when a volcanic eruption devastates the old capital of Telaryn. He and his wife are dispatched to Extela, Telaryn's capitol city, to replace the governor killed in the eruption.

    Lore says: "Better than Scholar but not great."
    "I name this book 4 stars!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book more than the 4th in this series. Now that I understand that this book was meant to be a precursor to the first 3 books in the series things are a little easier to put in perspective. I tend not to like precursor book but I like Modesett's character creation (although some have an odd feeling of being done before). There seems to be a little less praying and naming or maybe I've just become better at tuning those parts out. Narration didn't noticeably affect my listening experience but I still think a better job could be done with the contrast between character voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dorsai!: Dorsai Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Gordon R. Dickson
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (163)

    Throughout the Fourteen Worlds of humanity, no race is as feared and respected as the Dorsai. The ultimate warriors, they are known for their deadly rages, unbreakable honor, and fierce independence. No man rules the Dorsai, but their mastery of the art of war has made them the most valuable mercenaries in the known universe. Donal Graeme is Dorsai, taller and harder than any ordinary man. But he is different as well, with talents that maze even his fellow Dorsai. And once he ventures out into the stars, the future will never be the same....

    Mike Murphy says: "35 years ago I loved this. Now it seems very thin"
    "dorsai"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Here, There Be Dragons

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By James A. Owen
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (249)
    Story
    (250)

    An unusual murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, on a rainy night in London during the first World War. An eccentric little man called Bert tells them that they are now the caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica: an atlas of all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale.

    David says: "Rich Imaginative Fantastic World"
    "For Children"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sten: Sten Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Chris Bunch, Allan Cole
    • Narrated By Jerry Sciarrio
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (88)

    The first book in an action–packed new SF adventure series. Vulcan is a factory planet, centuries old, Company run, ugly as sin, and unfeeling as death. Vulcan breeds just two types of native: complacent or tough. Sten is tough. When his family is killed in a mysterious accident, Sten rebels, harassing the Company from the metal world’s endless maze-like warrens. He could end up just another burnt–out Delinquent. But people like Sten never give up.

    Professor says: "THE MASTERPIECE BY JERRY SCIARRIO"
    "The Adventures of Sten"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mutineer: Kris Longknife, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (749)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (455)

    Kris Longknife is a daughter of privilege, born to money and power. Her father is the prime minister of her home planet, her mother the consummate politician's wife. She's been raised only to be beautiful and marry well. But the heritage of the military Longknifes courses through Kris' blood - and, against her parents' objections, she enlists in the Marines.

    Jeffery says: "Harsh reviews seem undeserved to me"
    "Not Impressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Way of the Wolf: The Vampire Earth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By E. E. Knight
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, E. E. Knight
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (314)
    Story
    (316)

    Louisiana, 2065. A lot has changed in the 43rd year of the Kurian Order. Possessed of an unnatural and legendary hunger, the bloodthirsty Reapers have come to Earth to establish a New Order built on the harvesting of enslaved human souls. They rule the planet. They thrive on the scent of fear. And if it is night, as sure as darkness, they will come.

    On this pitiless world, the indomitable spirit of mankind still breathes in Lieutenant David Valentine.

    Kevin says: "Its what you expect, and thats not a bad thing."
    "Enjoyable Enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Farseer: Assassin's Apprentice

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2300)
    Performance
    (1626)
    Story
    (1649)

    With unforgettable characters, a sweeping backdrop, and passionate storytelling, this is a fantasy debut to rival that of Robert Jordan. Filled with adventure and bloodshed, pageantry and piracy, mystery and menace, Assassin's Apprentice is the story of a royal house and the young man who is destined to chart its course through tempests of change.

    Jake says: "Great book"
    "One Time Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (269)

    Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman has been selected for the ground team of the first manned expedition to our mysterious neighbor planet. Joining an international team of astronauts and scientists, he endures the rigors of training, the dangers of traveling an incredible distance in space, the challenges of an alien landscape, and the personal and political conflicts that arise when the team must face the most shocking discovery of all.

    Ben says: "Solid Near Future Sci-Fi"
    "A Trip To Mars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everlost

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (105)

    Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to go, either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.

    Word Nerd says: "Interesting concept"
    "Life After Death"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is about a boy and girl who are in a car crash and find themselves as ghosts in a sort of limbo world. They children must come to terms with their new ghostly lives and figure out how to interact in this new world where the laws of physics are a little off. This story is mostly told from the perspective of the girl. There are only children ghosts in this universe because adults obviously know where they are going after death. This book is appropriate for children and young adults. As someone who doesn't read many ghost stories I found the ideas fresh enough. However, I found some of the characters are a little too thick headed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (325)

    "My name is Mike Ross. I'm a Ferryman. I help people with ghost problems, or ghosts with people problems. Funny thing, no one ever helps me with my problems. Civil War ghosts bent on killing me, Skinwalkers who just want my body, and a vindictive spirit linked both to my bloodline and my destiny... It turns out the dead still hold a good deal of influence over the world, and they don't want to give it up. I'm in way over my head. Fortunately, I'm too stubborn to quit."

    DonNel says: "Like Harry Dresden? You will love Michael Ross!"
    "Definitely No Dresden"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are some strong similarities to the Dresden Files series, however, Pennies for the Ferryman is no where near the same level of quality. The protagonist, Mike Ross, is similar to Dresden in that he is dirt poor and is an investigator of paranormal situations. Mike Ross is more like Mortimer from Dresden Files. He can see and talk to ghosts and help them move on. The exception is that Mike Ross is more aggressive and a little bit of a smart aleck. He is also a bit of a juvenile and lives at his moms place. He is an Afghanistan war veteran who had injured his eye during his service requiring him to get a new eye implant that allows him to see ghosts. This upsets the ghost community and soon finds that life at home is as dangerous as life was over seas. The style felt a little military oriented. There were some issues with the writing and I was up in the air as to whether I care much for the characters. Mostly I felt the writing lacked originality. You might think an author named Jim B. would want and try to separate his writing from other known writers in his category of work. Overall, it was a decent enough one time listen. Maybe some day I will will pick up the sequel, but this one isn't very high on my list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (21493)
    Performance
    (12964)
    Story
    (13094)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Liked The Movie? Check Out The Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will take a different approach with this review and include some reasons why people who have seen the movie should check out the book as well. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is a book I have read and listened to many times. This work by Orson Scott Card is the crowning achievement of his career and I am glad that he finally agreed to bring this book to a movie format. If you have not seen the movie yet and want a review of the book by itself, skip the next paragraph.

    While the movie release was done well in the given time allotment, I believe that it is still worth checking out the book itself; the real genius. In the book we get a better look at the family of Ender Wiggin and see their effects on Ender. His brother and sister are equal to Enders genius and play a role shaping society. There is a larger focus at the battle school. The overall tension is greater and we see better character development. Ender shapes the pupils around him and the reader can understand more what makes him a good military commander. The reader comes to understand just how manipulated Ender is throughout the book and can find some sympathy with his actions. Without much politics of the time explained, the ending was altered to some extent as well. Lastly, Orson Scott Card wrote a book about Bean himself that takes place from his perspective during Enders Game. If you haven't read/listened to either of these versions yet, then you are missing out on two different and complex stories.

    Enders Game is about a world consumed with the fear of annihilation after an alien fleet had invaded some years ago. With similarities to starship troopers, nations have come together to provide a fleet of spaceships for the salvation of Earth. This Earth is overpopulated and there are laws that prohibit having more than two children. Only for special exceptions are "thirds" allowed to be born. Such is the case that Ender Wiggin who is marked by birth with the intent to be the savior of the planet. Ender himself is a tactical genius. He has been recruited at a young age to go to a battle school in order to train to become a commander. There are some interesting applications of futuristic technologies and include mind invasive tech, and battle room facilities in space. Children are brought together at very young ages and forced into hard realities with no privacy. They are hence analyzed and shaped into effective weapons. The story pushes at the limits of human tolerances and shows at what lengths these military leaders will go to produce a commander of battle fleet that they believe will determine the fate of human existence in the stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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