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Chris

"Audible is the most efficient of high quality entertainment."

Annandale, NJ, United States

ratings
17
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7014)
    Performance
    (4045)
    Story
    (4073)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Erica says: "Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever"
    "Audio adds depth to this technically accurate book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The audio book rendition of Daemon adds great depth to this already gripping book. The judicious use of subtle production effects and a second narrator make characters and scenarios much more convincing. Even without this, Jeff Gurner's narration is consistent and engaging, though paced slightly quickly.

    Daemon is a surprisingly good first book from new author Daniel Suarez. Its technical accuracy will please critical and knowledgeable listeners. You don't need to suspend much disbelief because all of the technology is realistic. As Daniel has said in interviews, his goal is to write books which are "just on the horizon" of the current time. Will that make this book dated in ten years? James Bond novels are still enjoyable, right?

    Daemon is engulfing, especially in its audio book recording. Recently, a particularly intense chapter had me so engaged that I drove 45 minutes past my highway exit, only noticing my plight when the chapter ended. Thankfully, that just gave me more time in the car to enjoy this great book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gibraltar Sun: Gibraltar Earth, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael McCollum
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (130)

    The expedition to the Crab Nebula has returned to Earth and the news is not good. Out among the stars, a million systems have fallen under Broan domination, the fate awaiting Earth should the Broa ever learn of its existence. The problem would seem to allow but three responses: submit meekly to slavery, fight and risk extermination, or hide and pray the Broa remain ignorant of humankind for at least a few more generations. Are the hairless apes of Sol III finally faced with a problem for which there is no acceptable solution?

    Richard says: "Keeps getting better!"
    "Skip books 2 and 3."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While "Gibraltar Earth" was clever, "Gibraltar Sun" and "Gibraltar Stars" do not live up to the epic potential they were given. While it's fine that their outcome is obvious, it's boring yo take an entirely uninteresting route to get there.

    In "Sun", dramatic situations are resolved too simply. Between them lies countless political meetings which are uninspiring.

    In "Stars", you'll spend the whole book watching the book's progress timer, wondering when the author is going to execute the plan he's created. Sadly, the series doesn't include the execution, only the painstaking and straightforward preparation.

    Save the two credits on "Sun" and "Stars". Your imagination can surely create a more interesting and more complete story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gibraltar Earth: Gibraltar Earth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Michael McCollum
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (178)

    It is the 24th Century and humanity is just gaining a toehold out among the stars. Stellar Survey Starship Magellan is exploring the New Eden system when they encounter two alien spacecraft. When the encounter is over, the score is one human scout ship and one alien aggressor destroyed. In exploring the wreck of the second alien ship, spacers discover a survivor with a fantastic story.

    Richard says: "I couldn't have asked for more!"
    "Unfulfilling series. Could have been so much more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Gibraltar Earth series has a great premise but falls far short of it's potential. It is a dry list of steps for creating the infrastructure needed to achieve the series's goal. Yet, it doesn't show the elaborate system in action, missing the potential for complex interactions, moral challenges, and some gripping story telling. Even during its dry procedures, it misses opportunities for human interest stories and drags the reader through a few predictable "suspense" situations.

    The first book, Gibraltar Earth, is clever and a decent read. The imagry is decent and the sci-fi is interesting. Sadly, there's no need to read the second two books, Gibraltar Sun and Gibraltar Stars. These contain too many lengthy recaps of the story this far, mission profile checklists, and bombastic political presentations. Skip the later two books and simply use your imagination to finish the story; I'm sure you know how it will end.

    Instead of buying the later two books, pick up Peter F Hamilton's "Pandora's Star" and "Judas Unchained". They contain epic premise which is fully realized with plenty of intrigue and human interest along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (1678)
    Performance
    (717)
    Story
    (731)

    Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother's face. To console his only child, Daniel's widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona's guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

    Katherine says: "Great With One Exception"
    "Deeply engrosing for a page-turner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I expected this book might be more cheesy and romantic than my usual fare since it was recommended to me by my mother. It lived up to this expectation, but I barely noticed. Instead, I was surrounded by the author's deep characters and the complex tapestry into which he wove them.

    Perhaps even more memorable than the book is narrator Jonathan Davis's captivating performance. His voice brings romantic flare the characters' passion and the pronunciation of the Spanish environment. Like an elite few narrators, Davis recreates the spirit of each character so fully and uniquely that you'll forget there is only one person reading. I guarantee that for months afterwards, when you hear a name or place featured in this book, you'll recall Davis's rich interpretation its post-war Barcelona counterpart.

    'The Shadow of the Wind' is a worthwhile dip into romance, intrigue and mystery.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (234)
    Story
    (235)

    In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

    bluebelle says: "My Favorite Book!"
    "Wrong narrator! English accent describing Spain."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After Jonathan Davis's captivating performance reading 'The Shadow of the Wind', I was excited for this sequel to continue my journey in old Barcelona. How shocked and disappointed I was to hear the badly miscast narrator. The clear English accent of narrator Dan Stevens is jarringly out of place reading about Spain. Where 'Shadow's Davis brought warmth and flair to the pronunciations of Barcelona's people, places and passion, Stevens flatly delivers 'Angel's Game' as if reading an article from the UK Daily Mail.

    Get the print edition or eBook in order to imagine Jonathan Davis's authentic narration in your mind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2196)
    Performance
    (1780)
    Story
    (1797)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "Be patient, it's worth it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Though Solaris may initially seem awkward and full of unnecessary back story, all of this information will be used and make sense in time. In hindsight, the non-traditional delivery and over reliance on suspension of disbelief helped place the reader among the strange circumstances of the book's characters.

    Ultimately, Solaris delivers a refreshingly creative science fiction context for some very human emotions. Solaris is clearly a classic.

    It was a pleasure to hear Alessandro Juliani's voice again after his prominent role in Battlestar Galactica. As one of his earliest narrations, his style was slightly more dry and stilted than I'd prefer. Still, he succeeded in bringing the characters to life and pulled off some of the difficult emotional passages.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Xenocide

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and others
    Overall
    (4731)
    Performance
    (2582)
    Story
    (2606)

    Xenocide is the third installment of the Ender series. On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequeninos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought. But Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus which kills all humans it infects, but which the pequeninos require in order to transform into adults.

    David says: "full of passion"
    "Pleasantly tangled web fractured by many narrators"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Xenocide" continues the story but not the quality storytelling of "Speaker for the Dead".

    The story itself is a pleasantly tangled web of conflicts. However, some passages drag on, belaboring obvious circumstances. Entire scenes appear unnecessary as their outcomes affect the story and character development minimally. Feel free to let your attention wander a bit at these times.

    Sadly, the use of many narrators damages the audio book. Expanding on the director's goal to give a different narrator to each character's point of view, even more narrators are brought in to voice newly explored characters. The producers took this so far as to commit crimes against sound waves, though I won't point them out, hoping you didn't notice. Not all the narrators perform equally well, yet the effect could have been achieved by using only the best two - the lead male and female narrators.

    "Xenocide" is a decent read if you're committed to the "Enderverse", but its fragmented narration will test that commitment.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8029)
    Performance
    (4507)
    Story
    (4558)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
    ""Ender's Game was just the intro""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Speaker for the Dead is the deeper story," says author Orson Scott Card, comparing it to his better known work "Ender's Game". Thus, for all the acclaim earned by "Ender's Game", this book deserves even more.

    Like all good science fiction, "Speaker" is primarily about its characters and their development as they face their challenges. The many characters are diverse and well defined, forming a tight web of conflict and emotion. The larger plots which progress the multi-book story arc are also intriguing. However, the next book "Xenocide" doesn't match the quality of "Speaker", so you may which to depart the "Enderverse" at the end of this book.

    Unfortunately, the audio book is confused and fragmented by its eight narrators. The problem lies in the director's high-concept goal of providing a different narrator for each character's point of view. This causes dialog from a single character to be voiced by many narrators, obscuring the subtle character nuances a good narrator can develop during their read. At times, it's even difficult to tell the difference between dialog and thoughts, and which character is speaking. The director's goal could have been accomplished by two narrators as it was in "Ender's Game"; the main male narrator who brings the steady determination of Ender, and the main female narrator who brings the passion of Valentine.

    Ultimately, "Speaker" is a great read and a decent listen. Since "Ender's game was just the intro" according to the author, you'll be excited to hear what "Speaker" has in store as the headline act.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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