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carl

Oregon City, OR, United States | Member Since 2010

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 362 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Paul Malmont
    • Narrated By Christopher Lane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    In 1943, when the United States learns that Germany is on the verge of a deadly innovation that could tip the balance of the war, the government turns to an unlikely source for help: the nation’s top science fiction writers. Installed at a covert military lab within the Philadelphia Naval Yard are the most brilliant of these young visionaries. The unruly band is led by Robert Heinlein, the dashing and complicated master of the genre. His “Kamikaze Group,” is tasked with transforming the wonders of science fiction into science fact....

    Jim N says: "Pulp Perfection!"
    "This one is a lot of fun"
    Overall

    I don't know if the anonymous one star reviewer listened to the same book I did, but I thought it was great. Certainly not of earth-shattering importance, but a vastly entertaining ride throught the early days of Science Fiction and World War II. All of the early pulp greats are there: Campbell, Gernsback, Dent, Gibson, as well as the next generation of writers that made SF the genre it is today. Heinlein, Asimov, deCamp and yes, even pre-dianetics L Ron Hubbard all working to solve a mystery involving a lost secret of Nicola Tesla with possible war-winning ramifications. Writing in an old pulp serial cliffhanger style, the author threw everything into this book, even the kitchen sink. On the way he solves the Philidelphia experiment, find New York's lost Catalin Vault and even runs into the mythical Junkers 390 Amerika bomber, all in a wildly improbable story interwoven with a plethora of carefully researched facts. He even included cameo's of a teen-aged Ray Bradbury, Forrest J Ackermann and many others. The author may offend some by treating Hubbard more sympathetically than he may deserve, but still in all, it is a really fun listen and well worth the credit. In fact, as soon as I submit this review I'm going to listen to it again If you're unsure, check out it's extremely high rating on Amazon. You won't be sorry

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Fallen Race: The Shadow Space Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kal Spriggs
    • Narrated By Jonathan Waters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (86)

    Baron Lucius Giovanni, Captain of the battleship War Shrike, finds himself without a home or nation, his ship heavily damaged, and crew in bad shape. The odds against their personal survival are slim. The time of humanity has come to a close. The great nations have all fallen, either to the encroaching alien threats or to internal fighting and civil war. The aliens who seek to supplant humanity, however, have not taken one thing into account: Lucius Giovanni.

    carl says: "Both author and narrator need seasoning"
    "Both author and narrator need seasoning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kal Spriggs and/or Jonathan Waters?

    Doubtful but perhaps


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kal Spriggs? Why or why not?

    This book was clearly a freshman attempt. It had some good story and plot points, but he really needs to refine his craft.


    How could the performance have been better?

    It didn't sound like the narrator had much experience. He talked too fast, slurred words and mispronounced words because he hurried. He also needs work on his character voices and accents.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Tears of the Sun: A Novel of the Change (Emberverse Series, Book 8)

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (346)
    Performance
    (290)
    Story
    (298)

    It's Change Year 25, a generation after high-energy technology died in a catastrophe most of the human race didn't survive. The children born after the Change are now starting to take center stage - and Whoever or Whatever was behind the Change itself may be taking a hand in their rivalries. An expedition has travelled to Nantucked across a strange and hostile continent to find some answers.

    Robert says: "Admit it, you're in for the duration"
    "Filling in the backstory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Tears of the Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 20%


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There were several


    What does Todd McLaren bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I'm used to McClaren. Changing narrators now would be jarring.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Would've liked to, but it takes a couple of days


    Any additional comments?

    I really don't understand all these negative reviews. Like David Weber, Stirling writes in great detail and many layers. If one allows oneself to become invested in the narrative, these books are very compelling. I will be listening to the entire series many times in the future.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Armageddon's Princess: A Lexus Toulouse Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Anthony Pacheco
    • Narrated By May Ling Su
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Investigator Lexus Nancy Toulouse, ex-soldier extreme: finds her Libido Generator is on the fritz, learns her old warship wants to "get back together" (despite the fact she already has four husbands!), loses whatever war-torn sanity she had left in a crime reenactment and becomes the Princess Concubine to the mysterious Empress.

    carl says: "Quite A Story"
    "Quite A Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Armageddon's Princess the most enjoyable?

    His ability create a very believable future world. It's very obvious the author was heavily influenced by Heinlein's later work (heavy in the confused sexuality dept.) mixed with a lot of Scalzi. If you don't mind some very explicit and at times confused sex and violence, you will probably enjoy this very much.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll be waiting for his next book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Meridian 144

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Meg Files
    • Narrated By Carly Robins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    A young woman and her lover are scuba diving on an old sunken warship off a Pacific island when the world above them on the surface turns into a monstrous fireball. The sunken wreck shudders and tips. This spectacularly conceived story may well assume a place somewhere between Nevil Shute's On the Beach and Margaret Atwood's Surfacing.

    carl says: "Excruciating"
    "Excruciating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I loved Neville Schute's "On the Beach" and "Earth Abides", but this was less a post-apocalyptic survival story than a tortuous winding path through a very damaged woman's psyche. The author seemed to be using her struggle to survive her present situation as an allegory explaining her past miseries. Unfortunately, the protagonist is totally unlikeable. Shallow, manipulative, completely reactive, and not very bright. certainly not the kind of woman I'd want to be stuck on a desert island with. Oh, did I mention every other character in the book is about as shallow as a piece of tinfoil? If you're curious, or desperate feel free to take a look, You can always return it and find something worth while.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Who knows?


    What does Carly Robins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She did the best she could with what she was given.


    Was Meridian 144 worth the listening time?

    Not really


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein Must Die!: Fate of Nations, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Chris Kohout
    • Narrated By Corey M. Snow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    1910 AD - Impending war with England has given Nikola Tesla the chance to build his dream: a weapon to end all wars. The American steam-powered Beowulf tank is larger than a house, and carries enough firepower to face an army. Beowulf also has a mechanical brain, embedded with the consciousness of Colonel Browning, America's best military strategist.

    carl says: "Utter Lack of Logic"
    "Utter Lack of Logic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Einstein Must Die! better?

    Where to start? Sophomoric writing, no historical accuracy about the era, historical figures, or situations.


    What was most disappointing about Chris Kohout’s story?

    lack of any structural consistency in his plot or technology involved. Supposed to be set in the early 1900's yet the book begins with a sea-battle between a Ship of the Line and a Constitution class frigate. It gets worse from there.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Corey Snow?

    I think he did the best he could with the material.


    What character would you cut from Einstein Must Die!?

    All of them.


    Any additional comments?

    Yeah. I know Steampunk has its own rules, but this book felt like it was written from a ninth-grader's study hall day-dream. Thank God for Audible's return policy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Breakers: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Edward W. Robertson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (281)
    Story
    (285)

    In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter. When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn't the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA.

    Janie says: "Left me wanting more....."
    "Far Better Than I Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Breakers?

    I bought this book because it was cheap so I wasn't expecting much. It's kind of a cross between Independence Day and the Stand without the mysticism of the latter. Once you get past the kind of graphic descriptions of the plague victims there are no huge situational suspensions of disbelief...at least no more than one of the Die Hard films. But anyway don't spend a credit on it, just buy it. It's a good day read and a bargain for the money.


    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Given Sacrifice: Emberverse Series, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (173)

    Rudi Mackenzie has won the battle that expelled the enemy from the new High Kingdom of Montival. Now he must free the people who live in the state once known as Idaho from occupation by the legions of the Church Universal and Triumphant and pursue them to their lair over the mountains. There he will finally confront the forces behind the Church - the Powers of the Void.

    carl says: "Great Ending To This Part Of The Saga"
    "Great Ending To This Part Of The Saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Given Sacrifice to be better than the print version?

    TGS was probably the most satisfying of this series since The Sunrise Lands, probably even more so. I've enjoyed all of these books but at times parts of them-sometimes large parts-seemed to be more place-holding than moving the story along. At other times the whole thing seemed rushed, like the author was up against a deadline. S.M. Stirling is a very compelling writer however, and he has never been boring. I'm pretty sure anyone buying this book has read the entire series. If not, do so before you read this one. These are not stand alone books and I would imagine the frustration quotient from trying to figure out who is who and keep up with the storyline would be huge. Also, knowing virtually the entire life stories of the characters make them like old and comfortable friends. That being said, TGS wraps up this part of the saga very well, with enough plot twists to keep the reader entertained and anticipating more. Stirling is evidently writing a trilogy within a trilogy: Dies The Fire and its two sequels, The Sunrise Lands through this one, then at least two more, covering three generations. I can't wait till next September.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Seeds of Earth: Humanity's Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Michael Cobley
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (54)

    First contact: the dream that became a nightmare when the first alien life encountered swarmed locust-like through the solar system. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invading forces, Earth's last, desperate roll of the die was to send out three colony ships - seeds of Earth - to different parts of the galaxy

    Michael D Ableiter says: "Just plain BAD"
    "A fun ride"
    Overall

    Without doubt space opera in the grandest tradition of the genre. Michael Cobley has created layered, textual imagery that is vastly entertaining and I am eagery awaiting the next installment which audible will hopefully make available soon. The only reason I gave it four stars is because the reader used some very annoying accents and voices that detracted from the story, including one that sounded so much like Alec Guinness in Star Wars I kept waiting for him to tell one of the other characters to "Feel the Force". In addition, some of the Scot's brogue he used was so thick I had to rewind it to make out what was said. Minor annoyances aside though, it was a huge fun and well worth the credit

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Alexander Cipher: Daniel Knox, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Will Adams
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (257)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (183)

    Egyptologist Daniel Knox's lifelong fascination with Alexander the Great and his tomb, a fabled wonder of the ancient world, could be the death of him. After construction workers excavating in Alexandria expose a catacomb dating back to ancient times, Knox eagerly sneaks in to scout the cavernous and dusty site. Among the relics he finds clues that may solve one of the world's greatest mysteries: the last resting place of Alexander the Great.

    C. Johnson says: "Very strong start to a (hopefully) lengthy series"
    "A lot of fun"
    Overall

    As an amature Ptolemaic archaelogist, I'm a sucker for this kind of book. Along with the Holy
    Grail and Ark of the Covenant, Alexander's tomb is one the great lost treasures of the past. The Alexander Cipher although lightweight, is fast paced, well-written and from an historical and archealogical standpoint is pretty much dead on. The author knows ancient and modern Egypt as well, and he uses his knowledge of the country to serve up some unexpected twists. It's a fun way to fill up twelve hours or so, and you pick up some interesting information as well.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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