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Julius Butcher

Member Since 2011

31
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 95 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Colin Meek
    • Narrated By Sylvester McCoy, Stephen Fry, John Sessions, and others
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (59)

    The Doctor and Antimony arrive on the planet Santiny, just as it comes under attack by General Tannis and his Canisian battle fleet. Meanwhile, his other companion, Ace, finds herself under the guidance of the mysterious Casmus, who seems to foresee an important and unusual role in store for her. As the adventure lurches from Santiny to contemporary London and on to Gallifrey, it becomes clear that the Canisians' next target is to be Earth.

    David says: "What could have been?"
    "I was disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a Doctor Who fan, I watch the show from the Eccleston series, so I had my expectations. Actually I don't know what to make out of this product. It is not an audio book in a sense that someone is performing a story. It is several episodes of BBC audio production put together. It doesn't have a narrative at all. The whole story is pure dialogues between the characters. The sound effects are very good, which helps to understand what's happening. But often I don't know which character is speaking, it's difficult to recognise the voices, so it's difficult to follow the story.
    I almost gave up listening, only the performance kept me going, the actors do their best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost: Paladin of Shadows, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Jeremy Arthur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (457)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (432)

    Former SEAL Michael Harmon, Team Name ''Ghost'', retired for service injuries, is not enjoying college life. But things are about to change, if not for the better. When he sees a kidnapping, a series of, at the time logical, decisions leave him shot to ribbons and battling a battalion of Syrian commandos with only the help of three naked co-eds who answer to the names ''Bambi,'' ''Thumper'' and ''Cotton Tail.'

    Jenassecret says: "Military-Erotica! I want MORE!!!"
    "Rapist hero? No way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would have thrown this book into the corner if I were reading a paper copy. Since I was listening to the audio version, I just stopped it around 3 hours and deleted it from my smartphone. Sure like hell I'm going to return it to Audible.

    If you want to read about a hero, who is turned on sexually when seeing a girl raped and tortured the same time, this book is for you. As for me, I'll never read any book from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wyrms

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (193)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (52)

    The sphere is alien in origin, but has been controlled by Man for millennia. A legend as old as the stars rules this constructed world: when the seventh seventh seventh human Heptarch is crowned, he will be the Kristos and will bring eternal salvation...or the destruction of the cosmos.

    Melissa says: "Card fans, don't miss this one!"
    "Weird book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished Orson Scott Card's Wyrms and I don't know what to say. This book pulled my mind apart. I liked and hated it the same time.

    It was full of awesome ideas. I loved that. The heads in the jars preserved by alien lifeforms... awesome. The genetic basis of the story and the interaction of different species are compelling. Here is a book which is not about aliens attacking humans or humans attacking aliens. The alien life-form chose to mix with the human genes in order to survive, moreover, to produce a much more dominant new race. The memory-storing crystals in people's mind was also an excellent idea, especially because it could be passed to the next generation.

    This being said, I almost fell asleep when the characters gave philosophical speeches to each other. Maybe I'm a shallow guy who easily get bored over deep philosophical thoughts, but my finger was itching to push the fast forward button. At some points I even considered giving up.

    There are some very, I mean very disturbing events in the story. I already found odd how Patience dealt with his father's head. However the most awful thing was the mating between the heroine and the worm-like UnWyrm. Not only the act itself, but what happened right after that. I would have thrown the book on the ground if it wasn't on my smartphone.

    Some of the characters simply irritated me. If I were the author I would have killed the fat woman character early in the book.

    I still cannot decide if it was a brilliant or a very bad book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Quest of Heroes: The Sorcerer's Ring, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Morgan Rice
    • Narrated By Wayne Farrell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (232)

    A dazzling new fantasy series. A QUEST OF HEROES (BOOK #1 IN THE SORCERER’S RING) revolves around the epic coming of age story of one special boy, a 14 year old from a small village on the outskirts of the Kingdom of the Ring. Thorgrin senses he is different from the others. He dreams of becoming a great warrior, of joining the King’s men and protecting the Ring. When he comes of age and is forbidden by his father to try out for the King’s Legion, he journeys out on his own, determined to force his way into King’s Court and be taken seriously.

    Samuel says: "Hackneyed, *and* repetitive"
    "Not impressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book sounded like grandpa telling a fairytale for the kids before bedtime. I mean it really sounded like that. One of the reasons I had this feeling was the choice of words, which I found odd in some places. I don't remember in any other book the phrases "he looked in every which way" or "on this day of all days" or "the king said on his kingly voice". For me these sound archaic. As I said, a fairytale.

    The plot was interesting, the story of Thorgin was what kept me listening, because I wanted to know what happened to him. It's a pity that the book ended abruptly, the hero thrown into jail, knocked out. Maybe the author's intention was to place a hook making the reader to go to the next book in the series, but this story lacked the satisfying ending. It was as if The Way of Kings ended when Kaladin was hung out in the storm on the roof of the barrack (if you read Brandon Sanderson).

    My other concern was some improbable events. For example when Thor broke into the Legion's training field, by the end of the scene he gained the support of the best Knight in the kingdom, and the son of the king offered his friendship. I just couldn't believe it. But again, if it's a fairytale...

    The narration was another weak point. My grandpa may had gotten away with this narration when I was six, but now it got on my nerves. It was as if the narrator was continuously surprised and amazed the same time.

    I managed to get at the end of the book, because as I said, I wanted to know what happened to Thor, but I'm not into the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Citadel: Troy Rising, Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (1097)
    Story
    (1117)

    Earth has managed to recapture the Sol system from their Horvath conquerors and has begun entering the galactic millieu. But when the Rangora Empire rapidly crushes humanity's only ally, it becomes clear the war is just beginning....

    Colin says: "another great story, with new characters"
    "The story of the sidekicks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Watching superhero movies I always wondered what was happening to the side characters. What were they doing while the hero kicked the bad guy's ass? I wanted to watch additional scenes featuring the sidekick or the underdog. In Citadel I got exactly that. We have characters like Dana, the engineer who became a pilot in spite of being shot at by aliens (or maybe because she was shot at). There is Butch the welder, who's main activities were cutting up junks that were alien ships before and trying to survive the enemy fire. And there is the female military officer, who prefers to have sex with men only after beating them up to release the stress.

    The story started kinda slow, I was bored sometimes in the beginning, but it got better later on.

    A while ago I have read on a writer's blog that you shouldn't start scenes with dialogue, because it confuses the reader. I agreed at that time, but now I see differently It can work pretty well. Ringo started almost all scenes with dialogue. It created a micro suspense, because I was guessing who was talking, where were they and what were they doing. And Ringo did the dialogues quite well, every character sounded natural.

    The "Americans are awesome" attitude irritated me a little bit, especially the figure of Tyler Vernon (appearing only sparingly), who was all-knowing, perfectly aware of what the humanity needed to beat the enemies. (Can someone who read the first book remind me where did he come from? I think he was having several part-time jobs as wood-cutter and book seller, trying to make a living. How comes he became the smartest man in the solar system?)

    The story wouldn't be that original, we have read countless space battles and laser guns, but Ringo could put a nice spin in it having Troy as the gigantic battle-station and creating the geez-look-how-man-petawatts lasers.

    I don't think I could take Ringo seriously, he had put a load of funny writing in the book, but that's fine, because sometimes I prefer the light reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (1245)
    Story
    (1257)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "First of my Howey books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I write this review, there are a lot of reviews for this book, so I may not add anything new, but I couldn't resist to give my two cents.

    Some people complained in the reviews why the book titled Wool. I find it appropriate, it refers to the core principle of cleaning the lenses, keep the Silo going.

    The characterisation is good, we get enough details and backstory for the main characters, others are drawn with rough lines, but we don't need to know them deeply.

    I enjoyed the writing except that it drags time after time. Some scenes were just too long, I had to resist to skip forward.

    I had problem with the basic principle of the Silo. People were separated, so they don't conspire against the ones who rule. The fact that it was hard to climb so many steps and the expensiveness of the electronic communication was supposed to do the job. There is logic in it, I admit, but something is just not quite right. People still communicated, word had gotten to places. There were a few other details that annoyed me, for example the lack of elevators. I get that it could have been because of this idea of separating people, but can you imagine how much stuff the porters had to carry up and down? And what about the big, heavy things? And there was also the cleaning. It was all believable that Holston was tricked to clean, but what about the people who wouldn't clean the lenses because they would be angry being cast out. And what about the total jerks, who would broke the cameras out of mere revenge? Surely there would be one or two in a few hundred years. Why not having a cleaning mechanism and use another way of punishment? These simply doesn't add up for me.

    Besides that I found the plot compelling, and I enjoyed the action scenes.

    I liked the way technical details were presented. The author didn't want to lecture me in engineering or IT, he gave only those details what I needed, without using jargon.

    All in all, I enjoyed the book, and I want to know what happens in Shift and Dust.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chopin Manuscript: A Serial Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Lee Child, David Corbett, Joseph Finder, and others
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2085)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (471)

    15 thriller masters. 1 masterful thriller! Former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, within it's handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to the U.S. to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins.

    BSquared67 says: "A rollicking thriller"
    "Interesting collaborative work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was interesting to see how fifteen different authors worked together to create a novel. In general it went well.

    The novel is fast paced, full of actions. Every author did his best to create the right atmosphere and deepen the characterisation.

    I enjoyed how authors used clues of others and built on them. Sometimes they had to work hard to fit them in the story but they have managed it. It created many twists and turns.

    I had the feeling that some authors overcomplicated the plot. In some cases the events didn't fit into the story. For example I didn't like the twist that Charlie lost her baby, I found it out of plot, so to say. Later another author used it nicely, but still...

    In every chapter I could see why it's not by chance that these writers are on the top of the profession. Their style was different, like different voices in the choir, but I enjoyed all of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mount Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    Overall
    (1315)
    Performance
    (610)
    Story
    (623)

    Guy Carson is a brilliant scientist at GeneDyne, one of the world's foremost biochemical companies. When he is transferred to Mount Dragon, GeneDyne's high-security genetic engineering lab, his good fortune seems too good to be true.

    Carson soon finds that it is. He learns that GeneDyne geneticists are tinkering with a common virus with an eye on the enormous profit to be had from a cure for the flu. Their cure involves permanently altering DNA in humans. What's more, Mount Dragon harbors another secret that puts the world at horrifying risk.

    Kathy says: "Great grab-you-in-plot!"
    "Interesting listen after the swine flu epidemic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was scary to listen to this book after the swine flu and the bird flu epidemic. It felt like reading a prophecy. Fortunately these epidemics didn't kill most of the Earth's population as Mount Dragon predicted it could happen.

    The story has several layers. One of them is the question: should scientists tinker with the human genome, alter our genes and change the core of our humanity for good. There are arguments pro and con, everyone should answer it for himself/herself. But the question is worth to talk about.

    Another layer is the human desire for money and power. I also would add the human desire to do good. It was satisfying to see that the top guy admitted his mistake at the end and went down with dignity.

    Another layer is that it's an action book with suspense and chase and fight. I liked that the main character is not an exaggerated super hero but a regular capable guy. OK, not so regular that you can find one at every corner, because he has a PhD and he's smart, but he has the temper and flaws that anyone of us has. By the way, the characterisation is quite good. I liked that the bad guy wasn't ultimate villain, but the authors showed the shades of his personality together with his good intentions.

    The book proves that the authors did their housework in research. The places described vividly, the science is awesome and there are so many nice details about smaller things (for example about the banjo, or the horses). However they are not overdone, they fit very well into the story and they make it more believable.

    The narration was well done except that doing female voices is not David Colacci's strength.

    This my first book from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, but I will read / listen to more from them for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farside

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (221)

    Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet circling a star some 30 light-years away. Now the race is on to get pictures of that distant world that show whether or not the planet is truly like Earth - and if it bears life. Farside observatory will have the largest optical telescope in the solar system and the most sensitive radio telescope, insulated from the interference of Earth’s radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the moon’s solid body. But building Farside is a complex, dangerous task. And what they ultimately find stuns everyone, and humanity will never be the same.

    Gordon says: "Not super impressed to be honest"
    "An OK read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked that Farside was based on real science. There is an amount of suspense, but I missed the "chewing my nails" moments when you can hardly wait what's going to happen next. At certain point the killer was predictable.
    I liked the author's voice and the way he wrote the story. However the excerpts from the personal files irritated me. The characters' background should have been incorporated into the story.
    Farside is an OK read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Army of One: FREE Star Force Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By B.V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (1464)
    Performance
    (1331)
    Story
    (1341)

    In BV Larson's "An Army of One" the Macros of the Star Force series invade from the skies, forcing a nanotized assassin into a deadly decision.

    Sami says: "Powerful scenario and smooth follow up"
    "Nice interlude between books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't read book 3 and 4 yet, so there was some spoilers for me, but I don't mind. This novella is a nice interlude between books, it reveals the story of Bjorn, who becomes one of the nano-guys. If you ever wondered what happened to the guys outside of the main story, now you have a chance to learn about one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: A Gray Man Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1787)
    Performance
    (1594)
    Story
    (1608)

    Ex-CIA master assassin Court Gentry has always prided himself on his ability to disappear at will, to fly below the radar and exist in the shadows - to survive as the near-mythical Gray Man. But when he takes revenge upon a former employer who betrayed him, he exposes himself to something he’s never had to face before. A killer who is just like him. Code-named Dead Eye, Russell Whitlock is a graduate of the same ultra-secret Autonomous Asset Program that trained and once controlled Gentry.

    Adegoke A. Adeyemo says: "Finally found out about Kiev!!!"
    "Fits well into the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hooked on the Grey man novels right from the second one. I mean I have read On Target first, actually. Then, of course I went back to read the first one.
    The figure of the Grey Man is compelling. When I was thinking about him I realized that I like a professional assassin, a serial killer, who makes hits for money. But there is something about him what makes us, readers to stand on his side. It's maybe that he kills only bad guys, which speaks about certain principles he possesses. It's maybe that he is mysterious, always slipping out of the hands of his pursuers.
    This book brings an interesting plot into play. Dead Eye is almost like the Grey Man: though, well trained, merciless killing machine. But there is a big difference: he doesn't share the same principles. When he lays out his own scheme, he draws the Grey Man into a dubious game. An assassin always is in danger, the Gray Man's life isn't different, half of the governments are after him for one reason or the other. Mostly killing somebody important. But now his troubles are augmented having Dead Eye playing games with him.
    I liked the dynamics of the story. Dead Eye tried to go trough his airtight plan, but it is not by chance that the Gray Man is considered to be the best assassin. He changed the game, and Dead Eye had to adjust.
    In this book we learn a few things from the past of the Gray Man, which adds some puzzle pieces to the his picture.
    I especially enjoyed that the final battle was played out in Belgium. I live in Overijse, where the safe-house was, I go to work on route N4 every day, and I'm familiar with Uccle and Etterbeek. It was fun to see the story to unfold in these places.
    After the fourth installment, Court Gentry is still one of my favorites, right next to Jack Reacher.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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