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Nathan

London, Ontario Canada | Member Since 2014

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 50 reviews
  • 124 ratings
  • 532 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Lives of Tao

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Wesley Chu
    • Narrated By Mikael Naramore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (191)

    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"
    "Realistic take on secret agent with aliens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stereotypical overweight programmer gets to live out dream of being trained as a secret agent. Only it's a realistic version of a secret agent with all the boring parts and there's an alien voice inside his head. I was worried it would be too similar to The Host but it's completely different.
    Funny and was refreshing to read something with modern day pop culture & geeky references. First half should be used for workout motivation showing the large amount of work involved in getting an overweight couch nerd into shape.
    I think it went too far with the amount of influence aliens had on human evolution. According to it every single historical event or person was influenced by the aliens. Has a somewhat surprising ending and written with intention of a sequel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6102)
    Performance
    (5604)
    Story
    (5607)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Not a horror fan but he sucked me in."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't normally read horror and this was my first Neil Gaiman read. Main character reflects back on his childhood, growing up as a six year old in the country. His new nanny is a dark presence that negatively influences those around her and he must seek refuge with a mysterious friendly neighbours. Reflecting back on it the plot wasn't that scarey or original. But it was very well written.
    Normally I don't notice an authors use of prose (words) but here they sucked me into the mindset of a child, along with his fears and sorrows. I'll read more Neil Gaiman books because of it.
    Mr. Gaiman voice reading only enhanced the atmosphere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goblin Emperor

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Katherine Addison
    • Narrated By Kyle McCarley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (217)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (199)

    The youngest, half-goblin son of the Emperor has lived his entire life in exile, distant from the Imperial Court and the deadly intrigue that suffuses it. But when his father and three sons in line for the throne are killed in an "accident," he has no choice but to take his place as the only surviving rightful heir. Entirely unschooled in the art of court politics, he has no friends, no advisors, and the sure knowledge that whoever assassinated his father and brothers could make an attempt on his life at any moment.

    Skipper says: "Not bad, but not what I expected"
    "Political intrigue and positive feeling. No action"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A freak accident, or was it? kills the Elvish Emperor and his immediate heirs, forcing his exiled half-goblin son Maia to take the throne. Ill prepared Maia must navigate political intrigue, bureaucracy, assassin plots and find a wife. It sounds more exciting then it is.

    This is a book about political intrigue, nobility and royal court system, basically behinds the scene of royal government. Instead this is a character study that could be used to show children the other side of fairy tales. Why you don't want become ruler as it is lonely on the top, boring trying to remember formalities, and people trying to undermine or kill you.

    Can also be used as a study guide for royal formality, when to use the royal 'we' the informal 'I', etc. The main character is extremely likeable, idealist and relatable which saves the book as we have empathy for his situation and watch him grow.

    The world building is excellent, you can tell there is a bigger world not fully explored and the characters are all well developed. However, while it take place in an elvish kingdom and main character is half Goblin, other then ear movements it doesn't take advantage of being fantasy, could easily be rewritten as historical fiction with different human cultures.

    If you like political intrigue, reading about nobility, being inside a confused character head and a positive book read it. If you want to be thrilled, excitement or lots of action look somewhere else. It a nice contrast to dark and grim fantasy that seems to be the norm today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Don't Want to Kill You: John Cleaver Series #3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dan Wells
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (140)

    John Cleaver has called a demon - literally called it on the phone - and challenged it to a fight. He has faced two of the monsters already, barely escaping with his life, and now he's done running; he's taking the fight to them. But as he wades through his town's darkest secrets, searching for any sign of who the demon might be, one thing becomes all too clear: in a game of cat and mouse with a supernatural killer, the human is always the mouse.

    Lisa says: "LOVED IT... but is this the last?"
    "If you like the previous two, just read it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you read the previous two books in the series, just read this one too, you won't be disappointing.
    While the previous books dealt with John's struggle and identity as a sociopath, here we see him in action accepting who he is and his mission in life. His personal life also develops entering a more serious relationship. Can someone without empathy be in a relationship?
    Like the other books half the enjoyment is being inside this character's head, seeing how he sees and interprets 'normal' teenager and social situations. Anyone who struggled understanding people behaviours or emotions will identify. Book is full with humour, much of it dark.
    The ending was great, you need to be a sociopath not to feel impacted by it. Good ending to a series but leaves room for a very different continuation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated By Zara Ramm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1414)
    Performance
    (1275)
    Story
    (1275)

    Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

    Sires says: "Action Adventure Time Travel Novel w/ Good Reader"
    "Time travel story without paradoxes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The main character is recruited by a University to conduct historical research in secret using time travel.
    For a book involving time travel it doesn't deal with paradoxes and except for the Cretaceous period, very little of the story takes place in the past. Plot plays like a disaster movie, if anything can go wrong it does and often. A large part of the book deals with the main character relationships and life at what comes off as a party school. Read more like a coming of age disaster story then thought provoking.
    Told in reflective first person perspective with plenty of dry wit and self depreciating humor, personally I found it often hilarious. There are many side characters and about half way I started losing track of them. The story shifts and twists a few times the ending opens up sequels/series to a new direction.
    It's a fun read and I got through it quickly but besides a few cool concepts not much to reflect back on or thought provoking. I'll probably read the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sparrow

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mary Doria Russell
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (788)
    Performance
    (591)
    Story
    (594)

    Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience - the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life - begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

    Yvette Flores says: "Far fetched book but good summer listen."
    "More literary than fun but good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found it to be a slow read, more literary then fun, and more hard sci-fi then fantasy sci-fi. Despite being published in 1996 the predicted science is vague enough not to take away from advances since then.
    In the near future the discovery of nearby alien civilization causes the Jesuits to organize a mission to make contact. Loosely Paralleling historic Jesuit missionary.
    Like good sci-fi it deals with several social issues and other themes. Faith and devotion is a strong theme throughout. Dealing with significantly different cultures and overcoming one's troubled past.
    Half the book is dealing trauma and a character's personal struggle to reconcile his faith of a loving God with the horrors and evil he witness.
    The aliens and world are different and strange by our standards but understandable if not always relatable. Characters are well developed, believable and interesting. I had an issue that every Priest on the mission seemed loose with their faith. I think the organization of the Church was handled well.
    While funny, clever and hopeful at times this is not a feel good book at the end. If you like first contact stories or theme of struggling with one's faith or traumatic past it's worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms: Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By N. K. Jemisin
    • Narrated By Casaundra Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (339)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (269)

    Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

    Bleu says: "Great Writing, Fantastic Worldbuilding"
    "Easy and fast read but a LOT of sexual tension"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a easy, fast and comfortable read but mostly due to the writing style and not the plot.
    A girl from a 'savage' tribe is summoned to the capital where the monarchy have gods as their slaves. The story starts off sounding like it will be political but that plays very little. There is a LOT of sexual tension and innuendo in this book which seems to be the main focus as well as relationships..
    Explores themes of corruption, desire, and history interpretations. Lot of world building at the start and figuring out how the god system works. The book is enjoyable while I was read but reflecting it afterwards, it seems to lack substance, like junk food.
    I'm not sure if I'll read the sequels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Invisible Man

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (314)
    Story
    (316)

    On a freezing February day, a stranger emerges from out of the gray to request a room at a local provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why does he disguise himself in this manner and keep himself hidden away in his room? Aroused by trepidation and curiosity, the local villagers bring it upon themselves to find the answers.

    Brian says: "Way ahead of its time!"
    "Holds up as a period piece, why it's a classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like good science fiction the story deals with the concept, ideas and people over actual science. How would individuals, a small town and eventually society at large deal with or believe in an invisible man. The advantages and disadvantages being invisible presents and what it could do to a person's mind. There's enough scientific explanation to allow us to understand how someone went about achieved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1263)
    Performance
    (1109)
    Story
    (1116)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "Forget the rhetoric, listen to a 1st hand account"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anyone with a remote interest or curiosity of the middle east should read this book. It's an honest first hand account of what it's like for a girl growing up in Pakistan. Malala recounts what life for her, her family, her village and her country is like before the Taliban, living under the Taliban rule and after the military "officially" pushed them out.
    I like to think of myself of well informed but this explains many questions. How terrorist organizations are able to use propaganda and start off with compassionate gesture like providing funding to win the heart and minds of locals. Why the country citizens don't trust the United States, the extent of government corruption and political maneuvering.
    The second take away we see through Malala, a girl who strongly believes in her rights to an education, and her father how one person can make a difference. It's an inspiring tale of how standing up for what you believe and against what is wrong can affect people and change.
    The book does a good job of not getting tied down in the high level politics but covers them just enough to understand what is going on.
    Forget the rhetoric and listen to this first hand account of life in Pakistan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight: Dragonlance: Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (782)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (731)

    Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.

    Kitty says: "Dissapointing Narration of a Classic Favorite"
    "For classic fantasy and RPG fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a long and slow read taking place in a well thought out world. It's the first in a popular series so while it plays into cliche and tropes of the genre it may not have been a big deal when it was written. This makes the plot predictable and not very thrilling.
    Characters are stereotypical but distinct from each other, however as often the case with many main characters only a few are really fleshed out and even then briefly.
    If you like dungeon crawlers, campaign based stories (RPG) or classic fantasy it is worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stories of Your Life and Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Ted Chiang
    • Narrated By Abby Craden, Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    This new edition of Ted Chiang's masterful first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, includes his first eight published stories. Combining the precision and scientific curiosity of Kim Stanley Robinson with Lorrie Moore's cool, clear love of language and narrative intricacy, this award-winning collection offers listeners the dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar.

    Carolina says: "Amazing collection of short stories"
    "Short story collection for the thinking person"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How could the tower of babel be built, how would a mad scientist view the world, What if we could make ourselves unaffected by people's looks, and what if Angel sightings were common everyday occurrences and we could see the deceased in heaven or hell? These are some of the stories this collection examines with their social, scientific and psychological impact. Some stories better than other, aimed more at plot and themes so some readers may find them boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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