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E.

Oakland, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rachel Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Broadbent
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2869)
    Performance
    (2549)
    Story
    (2551)

    Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person.

    FanB14 says: "Wonderful Walkabout"
    "Engaging and wonderful, if a bit depressing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The performance by Jim Broadbent was wonderful, he really brought a great authority and kindness to the story. I listened to this book while going on several long walks around my neighborhood, which was a great way to really get into the story. I've been almost exclusively listening to science fiction and fantasy for the past year, but picked out this title based on Audible's recommendations. It did not disappoint!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Treason

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (907)
    Performance
    (658)
    Story
    (663)

    Lanik Mueller is a "rad" - radical regenerative - a freak who can regenerate injured flesh...and trade extra body parts to the Offworld oppressors for iron. On a planet without hard metals, or the means of escape, iron offers the promise of freedom through the chance to build a spacecraft. But it is a promise which may never be fulfilled, as Lanik uncovers a treacherous conspiracy beyond his imagination.

    Barry says: "Entirely enjoyable"
    "Interesting concepts, disjointed story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed snippets of this book, but the overall plot line wandered and seemed forced. Card wrote this very early in his career, and it shows. The characters and concepts he introduces are strong but they don't hold together very well. I think the concepts would have worked better as a series of short stories about the world of Treason, rather than strung together as one narrative. I also thought the ending was unsatisfying and sort of cheesy. Great narration from Rudnicki as always, though! (Although my boyfriend had to stop listening because of Rudnicki's deep voice - his style certainly isn't for everyone!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4542)
    Performance
    (3076)
    Story
    (3108)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    AudioAddict says: "A hero with a sexy voice!"
    "Cheeseball narrator turned a ho-hum story annoying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator's voice was too sing-song and dramatically forced for my taste, his female characters too breathy. Add one-dimensional characters "the skeptical politician," "the self-righteous arrogant rival captain," "the eager cadet" (times about fifteen), and this book amounted to a real disappointment. I've been looking for a good epic sci-fi series to sink my teeth into but I'm bailing on this series after the first book. I found myself eager for it to be over so I could get back to something with real substance beyond battle descriptions and inner monologues about whether endless war turns people cold. I hoped for more from this book, but it came up short. Back to wishing I was still newly discovering Alastair Reynolds.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Caliban's War: The Expanse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (894)
    Performance
    (820)
    Story
    (822)

    James S.A. Corey’s best-selling hit Leviathan Wakes earned Hugo and Locus Award nominations. In Caliban’s War, the second chapter of Corey’s Expanse series, a desperate Earth politician works tirelessly to prevent war from reigniting. Meanwhile, upheaval takes root on Venus and Ganymede. And amidst this tumult, James Holden and his crew on the Rocinante are charged with the impossible task of saving humanity from a terrifying fate.

    Ethan M. says: "No sophmore slump as both plot and writing improve"
    "An improvement on the first book, more complex"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is worth the listen purely for Jefferson Mays' reading of Avisarila, the aging Indian politician grandma who curses like a sailor. Add in more starship battles, evil alien plots, political intrigue and the search for a little lost girl, and it's popcorn sci-fi at its best.

    While the first book swapped perspectives between two key characters, this book covers four perspectives, more widely variant. The way the stories are woven together keeps the book moving along while more convincingly delving into the ethics and motivations of each character.

    Also mad props to Corey for writing convincing, engaging female characters, something I've found sorely lacking in many other sci-fi authors like Alastair Reynolds or Orson Scott Card. Gone is the cheesy manic-pixie-dream-girl-in-his-head from the first book of the series, and in her place there's a gigantic kickass curvaceous Polynesian marine wearing mechanized body armor. Yes please!

    I'm eager for the next installment!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (1533)
    Performance
    (1362)
    Story
    (1359)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Just the right mix of characters, concepts, action"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to dozens of different science fiction authors on Audible now and James S. A. Corey is on my top 5 list. Not for depth or particularly thoughtful writing, but for pure shoot-em-up romping fun. "The Expanse" series is excellent so far (I'm two books in). His character development is engaging, the technologies and political concepts are just "near future" enough to resonate very well, and I enjoyed his active, fast-paced writing style. Jefferson Mays delivers a great performance - he does enough to differentiate the characters' voices without sounding cheesy. My only complaint, echoed by Joshua in his review, is the "imagined girl in the character's head as plot device" trope, which got a bit old in the last third of the book. But otherwise this was a great fun medium-weight sci-fi story that had me hooked from start to finish. I blew through it in a week and instantly downloaded the next book in the series. Popcorn sci-fi!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earth Unaware

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1277)
    Performance
    (1162)
    Story
    (1164)

    The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

    El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt.

    Keith says: "Earth Unaware is a must listen for Ender fans"
    "Nice distraction, but nothing special."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston and/or the narrators?

    I enjoy Orson Scott Card's writing, but this book fell a bit flat for me. As the first in the series it included a lot of build-up but not as much interesting storytelling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (225)

    Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe-science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system, where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.

    wendy says: "best Alex Benedict in a while"
    "Entertaining, but the narrator is a bit flat."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jack McDevitt and/or Jennifer Van Dyck?

    The story is compelling enough - starships, scientists, mysterious disappearances and holes in space time. McDevitt seems to be aiming for detailed character development, but instead the story falls a bit flat, with lots of exposition and irrelevant description.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Something about the narrator's voice was just a smidge off for my liking - the way she reads dialogue is a bit forced and lacking in believable emotion. It wasn't bad enough to turn me off the story, but it didn't draw me in the way other performances have. I suspect a slightly different narrative performance might have hooked me better.


    Was Firebird worth the listening time?

    All that said, it kept me intrigued and amused for the entirety of the performance. I was glad to listen, if only to pass the time.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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