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Zachary C. Hoskins


Saratoga Springs, Utah United States

  • 3 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 26 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Blood Song: Raven's Shadow, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Ryan
    • Narrated By Steven Brand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm. Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of 10 when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

    Ron says: "Great Epic Fantacy"
    "Impressive debut novel"
    What made the experience of listening to Blood Song the most enjoyable?

    Steven Brand's voice is wonderful, his narration was the perfect tone for the book. I read this first as a self published novel on Kindle, and even still I can't imagine the protagonists voice to sound any other way.

    I still am floored that it took so long for a publisher to pick him up. If he can continue this story with the pacing, twists and enthralling characters he will quickly join Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Patrick Rothfuss and George Martin as the great living writers of Fantasy.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Blood Song?

    Several that would be spoilers if shared.

    Have you listened to any of Steven Brand’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but even though his only other work on Audible is WAU outside of my normal reading I am considering picking it up just for his narration.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A dangerous man without malice?

    Any additional comments?

    BloodSong is surely going to be the beginning of a long and glorious relationship with these characters. The world that Anthony Ryan has created should exist. It is cohesive, realistic and functional. The magic reminds of something that Robin Hobb might have produced, the characters of something Orson Scott Card might have created and a world epic and grand enough to rival any George Martin has envisioned.

    When I paid 99 cents for this on Kindle I had low expectations, but after one read and two listens I can say that it stands nearly as high on my can't wait list as the next Way of Kings book or the final book of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller chronicles. If any of these names are on your hit list then you will not be disappointed.

    Having invoked those names I should mention that the next novel is 100% complete and is only being heald back for a year by his new publisher to give time for this book to sell and the third is well underway according to the author so great writing, without the typical 2-3 year wait between books for this style of fantasy.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Frost Burned: Mercy Thompson, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Mercy Thompson's life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman - the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack - has made her a stepmother to his daughter, Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy's life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more.... After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can't reach Adam - or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They've all been abducted.....

    ShySusan says: "One of the best urban fantasy series"
    "Returning to what makes these books great!"
    Would you listen to Frost Burned again? Why?

    I would listen again. Patricia Briggs has created a universe with great tension between groups that have been fleshed out well enough to make us care about their competing needs. Her last book left that framework and suffered for it. This book reminds me why I enjoyed the series so much in the first place.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Banner of Heaven

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jon Krakauer
    • Narrated By Jon Krakauer

    At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.

    Craig Hansen says: "Not bad, but a bit biased"
    "Unfortunate misstep for otherwise competent writer"

    One wonders if Mr. Krakauer did any research from actual historical documents and newspapers or if he relied entirely on secondhand accounts, in this unfortunately error-laden book.

    Even on the story that is the focus of the book, he fails to get the town the murders took place in instead placing them nearly 50 miles away. That is only one of many many factual errors, and if he is that sloppy and or misinformed about the murder case that is his centerpiece how many more lapses may be found with serious research.

    While the premise sounds interesting, he fails to support his thesis. By using highly unusual cases of people who are on the fringe of their religious communities, Krakauer completely undercuts his argument that religion causes this kind of violence. The people that are highlighted would be just as likely to wreak violence in an athiest community as a devoutly religious one. In fact, by their very acts they reject the religious communities that they nominally do come from.

    I wanted to like this book as I have enjoyed other of Krakauers work but I was unable to find much that was redeeming. Unless you simply want to believe that religion causes violence I suggest you look elsewhere, this book certainly won't change any minds.

    52 of 132 people found this review helpful

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