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Andrew Barnett

Member Since 2008

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 76 ratings
  • 463 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • The Lives of Tao

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Wesley Chu
    • Narrated By Mikael Naramore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (149)

    When out-of-shape IT technician Roen wakes up and starts hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumes he’s losing it. He isn’t. As of last night, he has a passenger in his brain - an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Over the millennia his people have trained human heroes to be great leaders, to advance our species at a rate far beyond what it would have achieved on its own. Split into two opposing factions - the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix - the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries.

    Nathan says: "Realistic take on secret agent with aliens"
    "Interesting Premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book has an interesting premise, and Wesley Chu delivers a good story to back it up. I enjoyed the book from start to finish, and look forward to the sequel.

    My only quibble is the "training montage" part of the story does seem to have a bit of a gap somewhere. In other words there's a hole where the hero jumps from fat lazy oaf to super bad ass secret agent without adequate explanation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1359)
    Performance
    (1243)
    Story
    (1240)

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "Loved It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Love this book. The story is great, and the narrator is excellent. Much in the vein of Harry Dresden, but with London as the background. Thoroughly enjoyed London locations and language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Corpse Reader

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Antonio Garrido, Thomas Bunstead (translator)
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Cí, a young scholar-turned-gravedigger in medieval China, has survived enough horrors and pain to last several lifetimes. He finally has the chance to return to his studies - only to receive orders from the Imperial Court to find the sadistic perpetrator of a series of brutal murders. With lives in jeopardy, Cí finds his gruesome investigation complicated by his old loyalties - and by his growing desire for the enigmatic beauty haunting his thoughts. Is he skilled enough to track down the murderer? Or will the killer claim him first?

    Zulu says: "Medieval China"
    "Not My Thing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Antonio Garrido and Thomas Bunstead (translator) and/or Todd Haberkorn?

    Probably not. This book just wasn't my preference.


    Would you recommend The Corpse Reader to your friends? Why or why not?

    I might recommend to those I know prefer mysteries and/or thrillers, and have more tolerance for slow pacing. I prefer faster pacing and/or more focus on science.


    Any additional comments?

    As mentioned, this book wasn't to my taste. I listened to the first part, and just couldn't bring myself to start the second part. I think I had a problem with the pacing of the character development: the main character spends too much time being passive, and the pace of his "coming out of his shell" is too slow for my taste. The pacing may have been forgiven if there were more focus on the unique aspects of the book (such as forensic science cast in light of the time frame and culture).

    The narrator was fine -- not spectacular, but didn't get in the way of the book, either.

    I may revisit this book if I run out of other things to listen to, but for now my queue of new books is too long to spend time on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Various Haunts of Men: A Simon Serrailler Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Susan Hill
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (245)

    A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquility and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, and dedicated to the task of unraveling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events.

    karen says: "Best of the best...."
    "*WHO* just died???"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I found this book because Steven narrates Joe Abercrombie's First Law series, and I liked him so much in that series (he's like "Michael Caine reads you bedtime stories...") I decided to find other books he's read. I'm glad I did!


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book. Although it started off a little slow, it was a worthwhile listen in the end.

    I found it disconcerting that the author invests so much time into various point-of-view characters, only to have those characters be killed suddenly. And it seemed a bit odd to have a series of books named for a character that played a supporting role, at best -- although that perhaps changes in later books. It's almost like the author killed off everyone else, so the guy that's left gets the series named for him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Battle Station: Star Force, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1569)
    Performance
    (1446)
    Story
    (1447)

    In Battle Station, Kyle Riggs faces new challenges, new alien fleets, and learns the secrets behind the war he has been fighting for years. In the fifth book of the Star Force Series, the Eden system is in humanity's grasp, but can they keep it? Star Force is weak after a long war, and many yearn to go home. Knowing the machines will return with a new armada eventually, Riggs seeks a more permanent solution. Along the way, worlds are won and lost, millions perish, and great truths are revealed.

    William says: "Non-stop Sci-Fi Action"
    "Col Riggs Never Learns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from B. V. Larson and/or Mark Boyett?

    Narration is fine. Earlier books in this series were fine. Long-term problems started getting annoying by the fourth book, so much so that I haven't finished the fifth.


    Was Battle Station worth the listening time?

    I gave it a listen just to see if I still found it annoying. I did, so I stopped.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the fifth book in the series, and I started getting dissatisfied with the series by about the fourth book (Conquest). I think my problem is that the main character doesn't seem realistic anymore. When the series started, the character's actions were somewhat believable. By the fourth and fifth books, it's just plain obnoxious. You mean to tell me that a professor of Computer Science can't figure out how to encrypt email? And a former Army lieutenant can't think of a way to structure an officer corps into something like a professional military? It's like the author threw in these details of the character's back story, and then didn't follow that through to logical conclusions (or worse: forgot he included those details).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 47 Echo

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Shawn Kupfer
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Nick Morrow, half-Chinese drifter, is a convict conscript assigned to 47 Echo - a suicide squad. No one cares whether they live or die, as long as they complete their missions. Under the command of a Marine Corps with nothing but contempt for its squadron of felons, they are on a mission to defend what's left of war-ravaged Russia....

    Tracey says: "Greatly surprised by author's debut novel"
    "Good listen"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book. I found it through the narrator, Victor Bevine, whom I enjoy on David Drake's RCN series. I'm glad I did. The story is interesting, and narration excellent. I have a very minor quibble with the flow of the story; it can seem abrupt or choppy in a few spots. Overall a good book, and I look forward to more from Shawn Kupfer.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Armor

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By John Steakley
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (1095)
    Performance
    (701)
    Story
    (706)

    The planet is called Banshee. The air is unbreathable, the water poisonous. It is the home of the most implacable enemies that humanity, in all its interstellar expansion, has ever encountered. Felix is a scout in A-team Two. Highly competent, he is the sole survivor of mission after mission. Yet he is a man consumed by fear and hatred.

    George Dean says: "An intense and unusual work, wonderfully performed"
    "powered armor infantry versus the evil bug aliens"
    Overall

    I remember loving this book when I discovered it in the library as a teenager, and I still find it quite enjoyable 18 years later. The parts with Felix in armor are great; the other "half" of the story is entertaining enough to wade through to the good parts. It was memorable enough 18 years ago that I happened to be searching for it on Audible a day or so after it became available.

    I'm sure hardly a review goes by without some comparison to Heinlen's Starship Troopers (the book, obviously, not the awful mess Hollywood made). I find the two books similar, even to having to wade through half the book to get to the good parts, but they are different enough to have them both be quite enjoyable. It's a sort of mini-genre of powered armor infantry versus the evil bug aliens. (Actually, I guess it's not so mini, anymore -- there are countless video games, like Halo, based on this genre.)

    The narrator on this audio book is good too -- although his whiskey-and-cigarettes growl is great for Felix and the fighting men, it does get a little silly when he stretches it for the female voices.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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