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Carlsbad, CA, United States

  • 10 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 419 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13 - Free First Chapter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends-and his own soul-Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic...

    Lifelong Reader says: "Beyond disappointed"
    "Guys... Marsters DOES read the actual book!"

    This is a FREE FIRST CHAPTER! Marsters DOES read the finished product (released tomorrow). Relax folks! And don't be put off the actual book by this! These 1- and 2-star ratings might turn off a new reader! Show Butcher some support!

    I got a pre-release copy at ComicCon last week, and the book is FABULOUS.

    0 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Cally's War: Legacy of the Aldenata

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Cally O'Neal, from Ringo's best seller Hell's Faire, stars in this New York Times best seller - a fast-paced interplanetary adventure that finds the trained killer locked in a battle to reclaim her lost soul.

    Jason says: "My favorite of the spin-offs"
    "My favorite of the spin-offs"

    I've read virtually all of the Legacy of the Aldenata/Posleen War books (save for The Hero, which is next), albeit somewhat out of sequence, due to a combination of Ringo's website being down and the Wiki article being frankly confusing. Consequently, after the initial 4 books of Mike O'Neal's main storyline, I went through all of the ancillary spin-offs prior to hitting the Cally's War storyline.

    First off, let me disabuse you: this is most certainly NOT graphically racy or lewd. Yes, there are some sex scenes, but they are tastefully portrayed, and not terribly graphic in their description. Laurel K. Hamilton, George R.R. Martin, or hell, even Piers Anthony have much more graphic sex scene portrayal. Maybe I wouldn't give it to a 10 year-old, but my 13 year-old son is welcome to try his hand at it.

    This book is a Posleen War cum Femme Fatale (pun intended)/James Bond espionage/spy adventure. It's a bit more fun that the others in the series, less heavy in a way, as it deals with Cally O'Neal's adult life as an agent for the Bane Sidhea, a secretive organization opposed to the Darhel. She is assigned to go undercover on Titan Base under cover of working for a Fleet Strike general, in order to determine out who's been betraying the Bane Sidhe to the Darhel.

    If you're looking for more hardcore war sci-fi, with epic battles and military deployments, this is not the book for you. If, however, you want to learn more about the bad-ass Cally had emerged as by the end of Hell's Faire, and you're into the James Bond/Bourne Identity type plots, you'll dig this.

    Oh, and to the other reviewer: she's rejuve'd to about 22-23, but her actual age appears to be around 50-ish. The other ages you're complaining about are flashbacks and memories, and are clearly described as such.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Battletech: Lethal Heritage (Blood of Kerensky: Volume One)

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Michael A. Stackpole
    • Narrated By Christopher Graybill

    The year is 3030. For the past 300 years, since the Star League collapse and the rise of the Five Successor States, these mortal enemies have fought over space, land, and politics. But a new threat looms just outside the Inner Sphere. The descendants of an old Star League general, the Clans, bred to be the best military force humanity has ever seen, have come to take what they believe is rightfully theirs.

    SYNAUBREY says: "If you read the book first you will be fine"
    "Incomprehensible if not a Battletech veteran"

    synaubrey: You get your wish.

    I've never read any of the Battletech series. I grabbed this selection (the collection) because Defiance Audio was the producer and I loved what they'd done with the Deathstalker series. I'm a serious audio-book "reader" (I used to work in the industry); I own well over 500 and have read far more, around 2-4 per week. With that having been said, I'm REALLY disappointed.

    The narrator is decent, the production is quality, but the plot is so severely abridged that it doesn't make an ounce of sense. Think in terms of the way the later Harry Potters and Eragon translated into movies: no exposition, rising action, denouement. Just action sequence after action sequence with nothing tying them together, no back-story, no character development, nothing. I've no doubt that they hit every major plot point in the book, but they don't relate them to anything, even each other.

    Further, I can't help but believe that this is not the first book or story-arc in the series, so what little plot is exposed appears to simply pre-suppose the reader already knows what's going on. I'm a little over an hour in, I haven't the foggiest clue what anyone's motivations are, why characters are being beaten up for their professions, why these big power-armors are blowing one another up in asteroid fields, why it's significant that Character A is in a wheelchair or that Character B is joining some "Prince's Guard" (or even what said guard IS).

    I give up. This abridging editor should be shot. I can list the number of audio books I couldn't finish on both hands (and with my count, that's saying something), but this is garbage, plain and simple. The book may be amazing, the series grand, but you'd never know it from this example. If you like high-quality sci-fi, go get Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon or Simon Green's Deathstalker, but pass on this one. Maybe if they re-release unabridged.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamsongs, Volume II (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By George R. R. Martin, Roy Dotrice, Adrian Paul, and others

    Dubbed "the American Tolkien" by Time magazine, number-one New York Times best-selling author George R. R. Martin is a giant in the field of fantasy literature and one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. Now he delivers a rare treat for listeners: a compendium of his shorter works, collected into two stunning volumes, that offers fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master.

    Ethan M. says: "Great, but this volume is 60% horror"
    "This man is a literary god."

    As opposed to getting truly thorough with the review, I'll simply stand by the review I wrote for Volume I. Exquisitely crafted, brilliantly narrated, and a joy to read.

    The "Man Called Tuf" portion of the volume refers to another anthology of short stories (two are presented in Dreamsongs) and were so entertaining that I wound up tracking down a hardcover.

    This is worth the credit and then some. I pre-ordered a hardbound from Amazon (this is a pre-release remember) to have for my kids when they get old enough. WELL worth it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Making Money: Discworld #36

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs

    The Ankh-Morpork Post Office is running like...well, not at all like a government office. The mail is delivered promptly. Postmaster General Moist von Lipwig, former arch-swindler and confidence man, has exceeded all expectations - including his own. So it's somewhat disconcerting when Lord Vetinari summons Moist to the palace and asks, "Tell me, Mr. Lipwig, would you like to make some real money?"

    Jason says: "Another gem."
    "Another gem."

    Pratchett does it again. Every bit as humorous and satisfying as the preceding books in the series. So why 4 stars? If you're starting with this book, I recommend against it. Every prior Discworld book I've read could stand on it's own with pride. This one needs Going Postal as a progenitor.

    Does this make it bad? No, it was marvelous! Does it achieve the Buddha-like literary enlightenment that its forbearers did? Only almost. I’ve been hemming and hawing about the rating since I started this review. Audible, can you tweak my vote to 4.5?

    For those of you new to Discworld, do yourselves a service and start at the beginning and work your way up. Audible has about 2 years of material (if you’re on the platinum account), and I’ve yet to be disappointed by one of his works.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Dreamsongs, Volume I (Unabridged Selections)

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By George R. R. Martin, Roy Dotrice, Adrian Paul, and others

    Dubbed "the American Tolkien" by Time magazine, number-one New York Times best-selling author George R. R. Martin is a giant in the field of fantasy literature and one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. Now he delivers a rare treat for listeners: a compendium of his shorter works, collected into two stunning volumes, that offers fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master.

    Jason says: "Martin like you've never heard him before."
    "Martin like you've never heard him before."

    When I saw the presence of this book, I greeted it with an air of casual indifference. I've never been a huge fan of short stories; not enough meat to them. I prefer my books like I prefer everything else: Epic. Moderation shows a lack of commitment. Some of these though… wow.

    With this installment, I find I'm forced to revise my stance: I'm now not a fan of BAD short stories. It seems that a truly talented writer such as Martin can cram all the character development and plot progression required for a genuinely good tale into 45 pages. Sir, I’m sorry to have doubted you.

    I picked this up while patiently twiddling my thumbs awaiting Dance of Dragons, the rest of the Mallorean, Memory of Light, etc. (Martin, if you ever read this: For the love of all that's holy: finish this series! Without dying halfway through. And without more prequels. We've lost WAY too many incredible sagas midway recently).

    I have to say that I was actually ignorant of the prolific nature of Martin's repertoire. He's been all over the place, genre-wise, and appears equally talented across the board. It’s also quite a treat to have Martin himself narrating the autobiographical portions of the book. You really come to know the man behind the Songs, and get a good idea of not only the struggles he overcame becoming a writer, but also the varied successes and triumphs that you’re (most likely) unaware of (I had no idea he won awards for comic book scripts, for example).

    All in all, this was a fantastic purchase. I heartily recommend it. If you’re a diehard Fantasy/Sci-Fi fan, this is your cup of tea. If you’re looking to learn more about one of the best writers of modern day, you’re in for a treat. If you’re seeking a long, involved, multi-part drama a la the Wheel of Time, Song of Ice and Fire, etc., then you may want to pass… but I’d recommend giving this a shot anyway.

    38 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Titus Groan: Volume 1 of the Gormenghast Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mervyn Peake
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Enter the fantastical world of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast Trilogy, one of the undisputed fantasy classics of all time. Novelist C.S. Lewis called Peake's books "actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience."

    Benjamin L. Alpers says: "Count Me Among the Peake Fans"
    "Inane pedantic babbling"

    One of the major problems that the fantasy and science fiction genres can face is the author falling in love with the world they are creating to the exclusion of character development. Titus Groan is perhaps the worst example I’ve yet seen of this. It’s as though Peake sat down, wrote a short story, and then amused himself for the next two years by attempting to use every synonym in the thesaurus for every verb or adjective in his pitiful plot (“Not enough room in this sentence? I’ll just add eleven more.”).

    I’ve given this monstrosity 4 and a half hours to pull it together (I’ve just begun chapter 19) and NOTHING of note has happened yet. Peake’s writing style is frankly painful, providing a plodding description of four or more paragraphs to state that the sky is blue. His story telling is erratic, his timelines and characters confused, and, as of the point of this writing, has provided me with approximately four pages of character information.

    The narrator is decent. Though his voice acting appears moderate in this reading, consider what the poor man has to work with: a series of Dorian Gray characters babbling (often incoherently) about nothing. Each character appears to be mentally challenged, and you as the reader are invited to partake of their nonsensical ramblings.

    If you’re a description fanatic (not lover, you need to be a FANATIC for this one), you MAY find something appealing in this drivel. If you’re looking for engaging, entertaining fantasy with a PLOT, go elsewhere. This book is utter tripe.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Path of Daggers

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Mark Rolston

    In Book Eight of The Wheel of Time, the action begins when Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha are heading for Caemlyn and Elayne's rightful throne. On the way, they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan.

    Amazon Customer says: "Hard To Follow"

    Truly, a greater travesty has never been perpetrated on the audiobook-listening public. Mr. Jordan, one of the greatest fantasy authors of our day (I own the hardcovers of the entire series thus far), would no doubt have to spit to get the taste out of his mouth were he to hear this rendition. The book, some 900 pages long, has been sliced, diced, run through a food processor, then given to a talentless, tone-deaf mule to read it. For the love of all things holy, wait for the unabridged version (Audible: hint, hint), or read the book. The unabridged readers are superb, and the storyline unparalleled. While I cannot recommend the series and its unabridged counterparts highly enough, this was a waste of time, tape, and the electrons used to transfer it during download.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Taliesin: The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Lawhead
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It was a time of legend, the last shadows of the mighty Roman conqueror faded from the captured Isle of Britain. While, across a vast sea, bloody war shattered a peace that had flourished for 2,000 years in the doomed kingdom of Atlantis. This is the remarkable adventure of Charis, the courageous princess from Atlantis who escapes the terrible devastation of her land, and of the fabled seer and druid prince Taliesin, singer at the dawn of the age. It is a story of an incomparable love that joins two astonishing worlds....

    John says: "A Classic interpretation of a Classic tale"
    "Blackstone should be shot for this narrator"

    The story is well worth the slow pace, but the reader's voice makes me want to hit her. Think a British harpy with hemorrhoids. Unlike most narrators (see Jim Dale), Nadia May's range includes a grand total of two voices: Female, and female-sounding male. I'm not the least bit surprised that she was not called back for the subsequent (and far more popular) titles. I'm an audio book fanatic (I have hundreds), and Ms. May has made it to my very short list of readers to avoid.
    On the upside, the storyline that takes place after this book is worth the suffering, especially if you are one of those who, like me, refuse to engage a series out of order.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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