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Michael

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

Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006

38
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 635 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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25

  • Elminster: The Making of a Mage: Forgotten Realms: Elminster, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Ed Greenwood
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (102)

    In ancient days, sorcerers sought to learn the One True Spell that would give them power over all the world and understanding of all magic.... The One True Spell was a woman, and her name was Mystra - and her kisses were wonderful. It is the time before Myth Drannor, when the Heartlands are home to barbarians, and wicked dragons rule the skies. In these ancient days, Elminster is but a shepherd boy, dreaming of adventure and heroics. When a dragon-riding magelord sweeps down upon him, though, the boy is thrust into a world of harsh realities, corrupt rulers, and evil sorcerers.

    Michael says: "Stands apart in the Forgotten Realms. Tremendous!"
    "Stands apart in the Forgotten Realms. Tremendous!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've read my reviews, you know I love some of the Forgotten Realms audiobooks, such as the Dragonlance and Drizzt series. I was holding onnto hope that the Elminster series would be part of what Amazon would bring to the table for Audible's listeners. Finally, they have done so, and it's well worth the wait.

    I read the Elminster novels many years ago, when they first hit the shelves. Ed Greenwood is a prolific writer with an excellent style, and I absorbed each of his Elminster novels, soaking in the superb storytelling strengths this author brings to the table.

    Every aspect of this novel and the subsequent novels in the first and additional series are exceptional listening. Wonderful broad plot strokes, deep story lines and character development.

    Once again, no spoilers at all. It would only ruin the listening journey.

    If you like high magic fantasy, this makes for an exciting listen. And as to the rest of the series, Greenwood does't disappoint. I love this series so much, i bought them all.

    You owe it to yourself to listen to this, the very first in the series.

    I'm betting you'll want the rest, as I did.

    Enjoy!

    9 of 11 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
    (4267)
    Performance
    (2925)
    Story
    (2960)

    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?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    38 of 42 people found this review helpful

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