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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
  • 629 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
30

  • Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Richard Ellis Preston
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (103)

    In a postapocalyptic world of endless snow, Captain Romulus Buckle and the stalwart crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must embark on a perilous mission to rescue their kidnapped leader, Balthazar Crankshaft, from the impenetrable City of the Founders. Steaming over a territory once known as Southern California — before it was devastated in the alien war — Buckle navigates his massive airship through skies infested with enemy war zeppelins and ravenous alien beasties in this swashbuckling and high-octane steampunk adventure.

    Joki says: "Exuberant Steampunk Swashbuckling Adventure!"
    "Move Along To Better Works In The Genre."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes, no matter how you try, you can't get into an audiobook.

    It can be the premise. In this case, I LOVE the premise.

    Sometimes, it can be the delivery. In this case, Daniels is passable.

    So, why did I have so much trouble with this audiobook, starting it over numerous times to make sure I was hearing it correctly, re-evaluating the plots and the "believability" of the work?

    Let's figure this out by looking at what good writing does for the reader or listener.

    Good writing takes us on a journey that must, by the very genre's nature, suspend disbelief. It's a requirement. This is done by more than interesting action sequences, which this work DOES have. It requires solid world-building combined with a believable lead character.

    There are other important factors to successful writing, but on these two key factors, the work falls short. Romulus Buckle is too perfect, with no flaws that accompany a great story. As to the good sequences, they just don't come together as a WHOLE work of exceptional world-building. Tolerable, but not worthy of an Audible credit.

    I keep these negative reviews short when I deliver them, because they should be short and to the point. It's my hope that Preston will step up his game in the future.

    There are SO many other works that deserve your attention here at Audible, both fiction and non. Explore those instead.

    13 of 15 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
    (4427)
    Performance
    (3075)
    Story
    (3114)

    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.

    40 of 44 people found this review helpful

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