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julienne

Member Since 2010

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 130 ratings
  • 375 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1204)
    Performance
    (553)
    Story
    (558)

    Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. But it can't help his fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

    Scott says: "Scicen Fiction Can Be Literature"
    "Interesting, but enh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting concept, but I wouldn't read this again, and I'm not recommending it to anyone I know. Sawyer spends too much time preaching about how his version of neanderthal utopia is superior, and every one of these repetitious little sermons interrupts the narrative and takes the reader right out of the story. On top of that, most of the characters are completely flat and static. With only three or so well developed characters, the plots seem contrived, and those three are the only ones who are affected by the story. Everyone else is robots. It's as if Sawyer had this thought--hey, what if it's a belief in an afterlife that makes society suck--and instead of taking the time to explore that, he tried to write a persuasive essay in the form of a story. There are better speculative fiction explorations of why society is flawed, and I don't see enough original, compelling content to make this a better choice than the others.

    Also, heads up: if you were taught to pronounce neanderthal like -tall, then prepare to cringe every time the reader says it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1962)
    Performance
    (1780)
    Story
    (1779)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "James Bond + Warehouse 13 = Read this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book so much that I was actually disappointed to find out it's O'Malley's debut novel and there's nothing else by him for me to read (yet). I've given this book as a gift and recommended it to several folks already, and you should totally spend your credit on this book.

    The characters are unique and well-crafted, and the plot is intricate and so clever. I want to steal this man's ability to describe things, he does it so well and in-character, too! The solution to the mystery of the story is foreshadowed throughout, so it doesn't come out of the clear blue sky, but right up until you get to the end, you'd've never guessed what was coming. If you like James Bond and Warehouse 13, you've gotta give this a shot. I swear it's worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Palace Job

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patrick Weekes
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (106)

    Loch is seeking revenge. It would help if she wasn’t in jail. The plan: To steal a priceless elven manuscript that once belonged to her family, but is now in the hands of the most powerful man in the Republic. To do so, Loch - former soldier, former prisoner, and current fugitive - must assemble a crack team of magical misfits that includes a cynical illusionist, a shape shifting unicorn, a repentant death priestess, a talking magical war hammer, and a lad with seemingly no skills.

    Jesse says: "Well Written Fun...With a few twists along the way"
    "YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is like Leverage except in fantasy land. And it's not even a generic fantasy land! Seriously, Weekes writes for some incredibly popular video games, and while you can see that he went to the shelf and picked up all the necessary stock characters and locales, none of those things remain stock by the time you read them.

    The plot has all the depths and twists and turns you expect of a good heist, and the world, characters, and world-rules are detailed and well fleshed out. I've already recommended this book to a good ten people, and I gave it as Christmas presents to several of my friends, all of whom are now raving about how fantastic this is.

    The reader, Eyre, does such a great job. I can't even begin to praise her work enough. She really brings this book to life. Characters all have distinct voices, and her choices are absolutely perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Perry Moore
    • Narrated By Michael Urie
    Overall
    (832)
    Performance
    (588)
    Story
    (594)

    In the story comic book legend Stan Lee calls "spellbinding" and "totally original," Thom Creed has secrets. For one, like his father, he has super powers. Also, he's been asked to join the League—the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. Then there’s the secret Thom can barely face himself: he's gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, Typhoid Larry, and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide....

    Robert says: "Give it a listen!"
    "Proof that Heroes Don't Have to be from Comics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good read with honest, meaningful themes and realistic characters. I enjoyed pretty much every aspect of it, from the plot to the dialogue to the characters themselves. If you're into superheroes, you'll love this. Even though they got Stan Lee to write/read an introduction, most of the references and nods to the superhero genre are to DC, not Marvel. Moore does a great job of being realistic without making things too realistic for superheroes.

    You absolutely should read this book; just heads up: the main character's major flaw is that he's a typical teenager who's certain the most looming personal problem in his life will utterly destroy him/the universe, of which he is the center. I remember being 17 and acting the same way, but it's so annoying. That said, the story itself acknowledges that he's blowing his fears out of proportion and a small part of the plot hinges on the fact that he's an oblivious, self-absorbed teenager. So, read this book, and just power through the whiny teenager problems, because it's totally worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6665)
    Performance
    (6062)
    Story
    (6070)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Kinda like Jack Taylor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I never would have read this if I hadn't known who'd written it, since I don't normally read detective fiction that doesn't involve magic of some kind. I'm so glad I picked this up, though. It's not Dickens, but then again, it's not supposed to be. If you watch Jack Taylor or A Touch of Frost (or read the books they're based on), I very much recommend this.

    The whodunit nature of this never felt contrived, and I cared deeply about the individual characters involved throughout the plot. Rowling's always been good at creating characters, and it shows. I'm almost reminded of Agatha Christie, in that the motivations of the different characters are explored just as much as the deductive sciencey CSI-type stuff.

    I really hope that we'll see another Galbraith book in the future, even knowing who's really doing the writing. This was great, and I'd happily read more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Warbreaker

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    Overall
    (2903)
    Performance
    (2078)
    Story
    (2089)

    An author whose previous, wildly successful novels have earned him a reputation as fantasy's master of magic, Brandon Sanderson continues to dazzle audiences with this tale of princesses and gods. In this extraordinary world, those who attain glory return as gods. And those who can master the essence known as breath can perform the most wondrous miracles - or unleash the most devastating havoc.

    Robert says: "What's Your god like?"
    "Exactly What You'd Expect from Sanderson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sanderson's known for constructing intricate, complex worlds with detailed backgrounds and rules--and Warbreaker delivers on all counts. If you liked Elantris and aren't particularly married to fantasy, then you'll probably like this, too. Honestly, Warbreaker blows Elantris out of the water, technically speaking, since there's a lot more skill in the narration, plot structure, and execution--but of course, that comes with experience.

    The reader, Yaegashi, on the other hand, is a reader I'm going to avoid in future. I understand what he was trying to do with the voices--making the flippant and indolent Lightsong sound like a stoner would have been a good touch--but Yaegashi didn't succeed in making the voices consistent or in differentiating the voices too much. Plus, he takes weird, abrupt pauses when reading long sentences. If you can ignore mediocre reading, then by all means, have at this audiobook. It only ever bothered me when I noticed it. But if you're usually aware of the reader, maybe you should pick this up in text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skinwalker: Jane Yellowrock, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2920)
    Performance
    (2481)
    Story
    (2486)

    Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps.

    Mobilis says: "How refreshing"
    "Fun fluff book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    None of the vampires are whiny teenagers! Also, the monsters, including Jane, are always presented as being dangerous. It keeps the tension high and contributes to a nicely complicated plot. This is a great book for listening to on a summer holiday to the beach or even an afternoon in the park.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Khristine Hvam’s performances?

    Maybe. Her accents are terrible, particularly her French accent. Why did they get a narrator for a book set in New Orleans with a bunch of French vampires when her French accent sounds like a reluctant high schooler taking his oral exam? It's distracting, but not so distracting that you can't enjoy the story. Plus, I suppose if you don't know what a French (or Cajun or British) accent should sound like, then you'll never notice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Almost. I admit I got a little cross with my roommate for interrupting me a few times.


    Any additional comments?

    If I were reading this on paper, I would have skipped all the descriptions of what the main character, Jane, wears for every little outing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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