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Wade

Waterford, MI, United States | Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 92 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition): The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2466)
    Performance
    (2324)
    Story
    (2338)

    Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....

    Ryan says: "It's about time!"
    "Just hand over the Star Wars universe to Zahn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was at the theater when the original Star Wars movie arrived and changed everything. The quantum leap in special effects in the Star Wars movie is always credited as the main differentiator from previous sci-fi movies. More importantly, though, it was the characters and the universe that captured everyone's imagination.

    Zahn picks up the story roughly 10 years after The Return of the Jedi. He includes all the heroes you would expect (Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Lando, Chewie, etc.) and handles them deftly. They've grown a bit and settled into their roles in the New Republic, but they are the same characters everyone would expect. More importantly, though, Zahn expands the universe with an additional set of great new characters and a villain equal to the task of replacing Darth Vader. Zahn's villain, Commander Thrawn, is different from Vader in his power isn't from own brutal strength and malevolence but from the fact he is four steps ahead of you at every turn. Thrawn if more a Moriarty than a monster.

    I picked up this audiobook in 2013, having not read a Star Wars novel since 1979 (Splinter of the Mind's Eye). This story not only reignited my love for the Star Wars universe, it helped wash a bit of the bad taste left in my mouth from Star Wars Episodes 1 - 3.

    One cannot over-emphasize how good a job Marc Thompson does with the narration. He is truly the gold standard in Star Wars narration that all others will be compared.

    One additional note: Zahn's novels are not only well-written but are kid-safe as well. Zahn doesn't fall prey to the writing crutch of making the story more gritty or darker in order to try and make it more exciting. I had no qualms about giving these to my kids and they had no qualms about asking me for more of his novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Dark Force Rising: The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1410)
    Performance
    (1312)
    Story
    (1327)

    The dying Empire's most cunning and ruthless warlord - Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the remnants of the Imperial fleet and launched a massive campaign aimed at the New Republic's destruction. With the aid of unimaginable weapons long hidden away on a backwater planet, Thrawn plans to turn the tide of battle, overwhelm the New Republic, and impose his iron rule. Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republican Council.

    Tyler says: "Marc Thompson Delivers Again!"
    "Solid second act of the Thrawn sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is no letup in the second installment of this trilogy (not unlike the original Star Wars trilogy). Zahn continues to move the story along with a quick pace, fleshing out his new cast of characters and expanding the Star Wars universe.

    One of Zahn's strengths is his use of the "stars" of the original series - the fan favorites get a chance to grow during the story but aren't radically different from the characters we love. Unfortunately other Star Wars authors aren't as disciplined (I'm looking at you K.W. Jeter).

    The one additional star in this production is the narration work of Marc Thompson. His performance is spot on, including the well known characters. His Lando, or Han Solo, or even Admiral Ackbar are instantly recognizable and sincere, not over-the-top caricatures. If they made this trilogy into an animated mini-series they could save money and just hire him for all the voice work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Ride a Dragon's Storm

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    The hilarious series which inspired the Dream Works film. Hiccup has three months, five days and six hours to get back to Berk, save his father, battle Polarserpents AND win the annual Inter-Tribal Friendly Swimming Race. Can he do it???? David Tennant reads this hilarious children's clasic which can be enjoyed by everybody.

    Kenya says: "Adorable"
    "Clever tale read with enthusiasm"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've made it through the previous six stories in this sereis then you know what to expect - fanciful adventures involving nearly impossible situations and memorable characters. This story is no exception and is on par with some of the better tales in the series.

    What sets apart our experience with this series is the inspired performance from narrator David Tennant. He doesn't just narrate the story, he gives a rollicking performance full of energy and hilarious characterizations. My kids listen to these repeatedly and like to imitate the vocalizations and accents for their favorite characters. These stories have become a fun family experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Be a Pirate

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (144)

    Hiccup was a Viking hero - dashing, brave and ever so clever. But even Viking heroes have to begin somewhere. In this riproaring adventure he recounts his early days - when he still had a lot to learn about swordfights, shipwrecks, and homicidal dragons.

    Georgia says: "Another Tennant triumph"
    "Narrator enhances an already fun story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Tennant is clearly having a ball while narrating this book. His enthusiasm is contagious and my kids absolutely are enthralled with this audiobook. They've listened to it several times in the last month. The story is fun (albeit simplistic) and the characters are memorable. If you enjoyed the first book then by all means get this one as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Train Your Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Cressida Cowell
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (372)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (284)

    Hiccup was a truly extraordinary Viking Hero, Warrior chieftain,awesome sword-fighter and amateur naturalist. He was known throughout Vikingdom as 'the Dragon Whisperer' on account of his power over these terrifying beasts. But it wasn't always like that.

    Hazel says: "Brilliant car-trip entertainment"
    "Fun story, inspired narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a fun (although familiar) story of a normal boy who overcomes the odds using his brains. But it contains Vikings and that alone gets it an additional star. My kids loved listening to this, especially the inspired narration of David Tennant.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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