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Michael

Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.

Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 635 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5407)
    Performance
    (4902)
    Story
    (4966)

    Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

    Amazon Customer says: "End of one of my favorite fantasy series ever."
    "The Dragon Rides Again On The Winds Of Time!"
    Overall
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    "The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
    What was, what will be, and what is,
    may yet fall under the Shadow.
    Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time..."

    In A Memory of Light, the Wheel of Time series comes to a conclusion since its first book (The Eye of the World,1990) opened the door to Jordan's fantastic world of magic, politics, religion, savagery, and intrigue. Since that first novel, readers have passionately waited in anticipation for the next novel in the series, and then the next, passionately cheering and arguing after reading each same novel in the series. Here, the very last in this phenomenally epic saga is finally available at Audible, and the anticipation has been no less strong, the cheering and arguments no less passionate.

    Think of it: This grand telling has birthed over forty million printed copies in over thirty languages. It warrants a longer and better than typical review. So, let's.

    One of my favorite writers, Brandon Sanderson, respectfully took the reins from the deceased Jordan, who passed in 2007, and bravely took up the incredibly daunting task of completing what Jordan would never be able to do: Tying in Jordan's style and notes combined, take the the series to completion, and thus closing the Wheel of Time appropriately. Sanderson moved forward to do exactly that, and successfully completed both The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight. Each novel achieved number 1 New York Times hardcover best-seller status, and rightfully so.

    Sanderson and Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, have done what is almost impossible to achieve: Meet the demands of millions of fans worldwide by faithfully adhering to the author's passionate dream of breathing life and completion into this final novel, and in the telling, take us one last time on a powerfully heart wrenching journey that satisfies, thrills and moves.

    Will I give away plot lines or provide spoilers?

    Read my other reviews, and you know I NEVER do. However, here's I WILL tell you: This novel will stir you, excite you, satisfy you as it weaves together the final strands of this fantastic tapestry of The Wheel Of Time! Many questions will be answered, and story lines closed. Epic battles will be fought, and heroes and villains thrust to the very limits of their being. You will stay up nights, wringing your hands, cheering on your favorites, be completely surprised, you'll maybe even shed a tear or two. At the end of it all, when the last words are spoken...You'll be satisfied.

    I have been an Audible listener since 2006, and have literally HUNDREDS of audiobooks in my listening library. This last novel is a RARE OCCURRENCE. Similar series facing the author's death and so much storytelling yet to be completed DIE off. They fade, and the readers left thoroughly disappointed. Not so here.

    If you have loved, or even liked, the Wheel Of Time series, you owe it to yourself to buy this audiobook. Devour it, as the series has devoured millions across the globe. This Audible book is a MUST OWN. It has my very HIGHEST recommendation.

    Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Jordan, and Mr. Sanderson for an incredible journey.

    And an appropriate farewell.

    48 of 55 people found this review helpful
  • Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4371)
    Performance
    (3023)
    Story
    (3060)

    In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

    Jim says: "Remastered into chapters from CD."
    "Lost Roman Legions...And POKEMON?"
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    If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.

    This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.

    Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.

    To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.

    It DOES sound lame.

    Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.

    I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.

    The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.

    So, what about the writing?

    Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?

    I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.

    Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?

    Home run, Jim. Home run.

    40 of 44 people found this review helpful

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