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Member Since 2013

  • 9 reviews
  • 61 ratings
  • 592 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015

  • Shadow Puppets

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki

    Best selling SF author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth.

    Earth and its society have been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin's victory over the Formics. The unity forced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School.

    Amy says: "Great book!"
    "Grain of Salt"

    What I know about customer reviews is that they all have to be taken with a grain of salt. No matter how good something is, the complaints outweigh the praise because being unhappy about something motivates people.

    So I am going to weigh in here on the positive side, even though I never review books. I really enjoyed this audio book. I haven't read anything in the Ender series in a long time but I can't wait for the obvious sequel to this one.

    I did find the banter between Peter and his parents and Petra and Bean annoying and almost identical. But the story is compelling and not completely transparent as some can be.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Some Sing, Some Cry

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Ntozake Shange, Ifa Bayeza
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Audible presents the multigenerational epic Some Sing, Some Cry. Created by Ntozake Shange and Ifa Bayeza, this audiobook takes listeners on a journey through Reconstruction, two world wars, the Harlem renaissance, and Vietnam to modern day America.Some Sing, Some Cry begins at the threshold of one family’s freedom. We meet Betty Mayfield, newly emancipated from Sweet Tamarind, a lush and haunted rice plantation off the Carolina coast.

    Barbara says: "Southern Soul"
    "Some Good, Some Not So Much"

    Robin Miles does an excellent job of reading the many compelling characters in Ntozake Shange's and Ifa Bayeza's well-written epic novel that spans from Reconstruction to modern times. I give it four stars and not five for two reasons:

    1. A few production mistakes. Some of the re-reads and recording errors were not edited out, so we hear the narrator read a few pieces twice. I've never heard that before in an Audible book!

    2. Some factual errors from the authors take me out of the book and make me wonder about the accuracy of the rest. One example is a couple of characters join the "Air Force" during WWII, only there wasn't an Air Force then--the Army Air Corps was a division of the U.S. Army.

    I look forward to more audio books from Robin Miles!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

    Ione says: "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
    "Not for Serious Scientists or Even Amateur Ones"

    I spent one credit on this book with an open mind because I find that science fiction is a very interesting way to explore issues in the modern world in a non-threatening way. As such, I wasn't surprised by the author's preamble of sorts and it made me even more curious.

    But there was one point that lost me entirely, as someone who understands and believes in science and who is a deeply religious person. In the very beginning, the alien ascribes certain aspects of the universe as being evidence only of God's existence, and challenges the scientist to counter him.
    Our history is rife with humans assigning things we don't know and understand to God, only to find out there is some scientific explanation for it. This doesn't, in my mind, negate God, but only shows our increasing understanding of the universe. But the "scientist" doesn't point this out to the alien.

    I expected a deeper discussion of this issue and was profoundly disappointed. It might be good for young readers, but it's too over simplistic in my opinion.
    Better to spend your credit elsewhere.

    4 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"

    As usual, Gladwell makes a great case for thinking in new ways about the world. His accessible writing and compelling stories keeps the reader engaged. Well worth my money and time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Help

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kathryn Stockett
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Why we think it’s a great listen: The most celebrated performance in all of Audible’s history, The Help has nearly 2,000 5-star reviews from your fellow listeners. We hear the print book’s not bad, either. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another.

    Jan says: "What a great surprise!"

    Great narration for a well-told story. The readers were spot-on for their characters--I haven't heard a better narration in the hundreds of books I've listened to. The characters are complex and the story compelling and surprising.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The White Plague

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A warm day in Dublin, a crowded street corner. Suddenly, a car-bomb explodes, killing and injuring scores of innocent people.From the second-floor window of a building across the street, a visiting American watches, helpless, as his beloved wife and children are sacrificed in the heat and fire of someone else's cause.

    DJM says: "Good story once through"
    "Better Left in the Archives"

    Written in 1983, The White Plague reveals its decade and biases throughout.

    Its primary flaws are that Herbert, in 1983, could not imagine a 1996 with women in charge of their own lives, a world without IRA bombers and what the world would become with a bio terrorist on the loose.

    His one woman character is cardboard while the men are all fully-realized. The world where there are 10,000 men to one woman should have more women leaders. Instead, the women are content to marry leaders and produce babies for them. The main character is profoundly religious in the beginning but by the end is happy to take on many "husbands" so that she could "do her duty" to repopulate the world. Where is her, or any other woman's, desire for power, for women would have a lot of power in such a world.

    His lack of imagination of a world without the IRA kept me from suspending my disbelief. And Herbert's poorly imagined world response to a bio terrorist that targeted women kept me skeptical.

    The White Plague is better left in 1983, where it belongs.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "WOW Can't Wait for Sequil"

    So rarely do we see well-developed and realistic characters in science fiction. And we see them in Spin, in addition to a compelling plot.

    Spin walks that very pleasing line between hard and soft science fiction. Most of the story is the physical and emotional journey of the main character, but it's set in a compelling dystopic world with mysterious aliens they call "The Hypotheticals."

    It is worthy of its 2006 Hugo award.

    It's well-read by Scott Brick, my favorite audible reader. I'd just listened to his narration of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and thought Brick did a nice job of sounding completely different in Spin.

    I almost never stay up late to finish listening to a book, but I did for Spin. If you're a sci-fi fan, you won't want to miss this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Empire: The Empire Duet, Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Orson Scott Card is a master storyteller, who has earned millions of fans and reams of praise for his previous science-fiction and fantasy works. Now he steps a little closer to the present day with this chilling look at a near-future scenario: a new American Civil War. The American Empire has grown too fast, the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point, and the war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war.

    Andrea says: "Good pace, weak premise"
    "Stay With Card's Other Books"

    ...if you like Orson Scott Card.

    In Empire, Card borrows from research he'd done for other books, and some concepts/relationships, in order to preach about political radicalism.

    Because he's taken on modern politics, this work isn't timeless like some of his other works are.

    As others have said, this novel is full of holes, and has charicatures rather than characters.

    I'd recommend skipping this one.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Great Story, Poor Reader"

    The title of this review pretty much says it all. I listen to a lot of science fiction audio books. I have heard a range of readers and I need to say that the person reading this book is flat and boring. He doesn't seem to know how to make the story alive or real.

    I'd recommend buying the book and reading it instead.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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