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Paul

Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)

Member Since 2003

83
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 57 ratings
  • 635 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
14
FOLLOWERS
16

  • Dead Witch Walking

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Kim Harrison
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3051)
    Performance
    (2131)
    Story
    (2135)

    Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending law-breakers throughout Cincinnati. She's also a witch, one of the many Inderlanders who revealed themselves after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 50 percent of humanity. Witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves: the creatures of dreams and nightmares have lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But now they've stopped hiding, and nothing will be the same.

    Patti says: "wildly entertaining"
    "Not too deep, not too weird, just lots of Fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book in the excellent Hollows series. If you like this book, you will like all of them; if you don't, you won't. I found them very enjoyable! The story is good, the characters are good, and the narration is good. I feel a little pompous when I say that a book isn't "great", as in great literature, but I don't think that is the writer's intent. These are fun reads that will take you into a new place with plenty of action, magic, and even romance.

    These books do have plenty of romance in them and even talk about clothes and shoes, but it's all part of the main characters and done in such a way that it reveals things about the characters to you. I'm a guy, but I'll go out on a sexist limb here and admit that I really enjoy reading female authors because they usually do a better job overall at getting across the internal conflicts of the characters, their motivations, their hopes/fears, and yes, their feelings, and let's face it, they write female characters very well. I also happen to have a vested interest in figuring out what makes the fairer sex tick :)

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Pale Demon: The Hollows, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kim Harrison
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1916)
    Performance
    (1331)
    Story
    (1338)

    Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches' conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after - forever after.

    But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, anda pixy in one car, going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

    Mariya says: "Incredible Internal Consistency"
    "Another Winner!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have enjoyed listening to this entire series, so far. This book obviously advances the overall storyline and does so in the typically wonderful way of the previous books. For me, toning done the love-lines in this book made it more enjoyable. If you liked the other books in this series, you won't be disappointed. In fact, I think this book lifts the series a notch!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10234)
    Performance
    (8532)
    Story
    (8605)

    "My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep...."

    Geoff says: "I dig it."
    "More Goodness!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book! It is long (which I like), easy to listen to, full of good story, action, love, magic, etc. The plotting is very good and fits well with the first book. Nick Podehl is not my favorite narrator, but he's better than a lot of others, and does a good job here. The book keeps things moving along very well and does a lot of deep character diving. I could stand to have a lot more magic on display, but that's a small nit for a very good novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7242)
    Performance
    (6880)
    Story
    (6901)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "Classic Fantasy, almost too classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book very much! It didn't have that gritty, personal feeling of the first book in this series however. Actually, much of this book felt like it could have been written by Robert Jordann, which is a compliment, but also tells a bit about the classic feel and storyline.

    The pacing of the book waned a bit in the middle, then lots of things happen in the last 25% of the book. This is likely what would happen if I wrote a book, but not what I expect from one of my favorite authors. There was plenty of action and good writing to keep me entertained, but it felt like he was playing catchup to close the book out, near the end.

    A very good book that any fantasy fan will really enjoy!

    Michael Kramer and Kate Reading aren't my absolute favorite narrators, but they are in the top 10. This is another rock solid performance!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17973)
    Performance
    (15982)
    Story
    (15941)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Better Than I Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the past, I have not been a big fan of Stephen King's work. He was always a master storyteller, and able to tap into many base human emotions, but I never thought he was a really great writer. I'm glad to say that I am starting to change my opinion, specifically with much of his newer work.

    I like the way he handles the time travel in this book. It is done very well and has consequences, unlike in most books. The story is a very human story and does a good job of taking you to a place in time.

    Normally, Stephen King does not write books that are this long, and in this case I don't think he should have either. There is a good bit of stuff in the middle of the book that kind of feels like filler. He could have shaved a lot of that part down and not lost anything in the telling. But, when you are Stephen King, I guess not too many people are telling you to shave down parts of your book :) Another slight case of my pet peeve about missing editors in most books today, but not overly egregious, and still told very well.

    Overall, you will like this book, even if you (gasp) don't normally like Stephen King.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Jakarta Pandemic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton
    Overall
    (773)
    Performance
    (694)
    Story
    (692)

    In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them.

    deedeeg says: "Nice surprise"
    "Halfway Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a little over half way done with this book, but I am going to go ahead and write this review, because at this point I've been mostly bored, so even if the book does pick up the pace, half of the book was still boring, thus earning 3 stars. I'll listen to the rest, because I'm this far in, and I find the premise of a pandemic highly interesting. So, I'm just hoping something will actually happen (and hopefully not all in the last chapter - pet peeve).

    Some of the problem is the semi-bland narration. It's not offensive (like too many I've listened to), but makes the characters sound bored most of the time.

    The writer talks far too much about details that don't matter. I don't really care which shoe a character puts on first. I like details about surroundings or characters that actually tell me something about what/who they are. But too many details in this book don't enlighten you in any way, they just fill pages and waste time.

    Yes, some of these kinds of details are also in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but they told you something about the character and there were far fewer than in this book.

    Are good editors so hard to find? Or is nobody listening to the editors? It just seems that too many books suffer from a lack of editing :(

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6512)
    Performance
    (6075)
    Story
    (6100)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Will I Listen To The Next One?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll admit it, I'm a grown man and I still like comic books. I don't have a "collection" per se, I just really like the art and the inventiveness of the storylines. So, I thought this was a very cool re-imagining of the whole super-being concept (and it is). I also really really like Brandon Sanderson's writing and have read all of his previous books.

    Why did I give the "Story" three stars then? It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but I really thought it could have been better. One aspect is the information that is withheld until near the end of the book answered some of the questions that bugged me through the whole thing and I thought the author was just trying to be a little too cute by withholding some of these things. It's also very very hard to pull sci-fi/fantasy into the real world in a successful way. When you build a completely new world, you can suspend all disbelief, but when your book opens in a bank lobby in Chicago, my mind starts putting me in those places and thinking about what I would do.

    I also have a hard time believing that completely normal people would stand any kind of a chance against someone with more powers than superman or that superman would need any kind of an armed military. Also, if someone like superman could rule Chicago, why would they stop there? Do ego-maniacs ever have enough?

    So, see, maybe it's just my geek brain getting in my own way. I would probably like it even more if I listened to it again, knowing what I know now, and making an active effort to suspend disbelief.

    This book is clearly laying groundwork for what I hope will be an epic series. Yes, I will certainly listen to the next book, it's Brandon Sanderson for crying out loud! I promise to be a better listener next time around :)

    The narration was very good!

    The characters were well done and complex. There was plenty of action and interaction. This is a very inspired concept!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mississippi Jack: Bloody Jack #5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (306)
    Story
    (296)

    In Mississippi Jack, the fifth installment in the Bloody Jack series, the intrepid Jacky Faber, having once again eluded British authorities, heads west, hoping that no one will recognize her in the wilds of America. There she tricks the tall-tale hero Mike Fink out of his flatboat, equips it as a floating casino-showboat, and heads south to New Orleans, battling murderous bandits, British soldiers, and other scoundrels along the way.

    Tee Bellflower says: "Kellgren does it again!"
    "Over The Top?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is over-the-top in an Indiana Jones Temple of Doom way. It's the least believable book in the series so far. I couldn't stand listening to the characterization of Mike Fink. But actually, his characterization kind of fits the whole book to me, too big, too noisy, and just plain unbelievable. I actually laughed out loud at the preposterous nature of a big scene near the end.

    Note to writer/editor: You cannot have a verbal reading of a journal entry that the person never wrote down and it was only in their mind!

    I have loved all of the previous books in this series. So, I'm going to listen to one more. If it doesn't redeem the series for me, I'll stop there. Also, if they don't either consumate their relationship or break it cleanly in the next book, I'm going to be quite unhappy. Enough is enough I say.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sheepfarmer's Daughter: The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (1192)
    Performance
    (865)
    Story
    (875)

    Refusing to marry a pig farmer and joining the army, even if it means never seeing her family again, Paksenarrion begins an adventure that enables her to restore an overthrown ruler.

    Christopher says: "Intriguing start"
    "A Book With Engine Problems"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Engine problems, because it never got started. Or better yet, barely got started by the end. The overall feel of "didn't go anywhere" of the book applies to the writing all along the way. There is a ton of description about meaningless stuff that doesn't lead anywhere. I really like detailed descriptions if they actually mean something to the characters or storyline, but this writer writes detailed descriptions about meaningless things, then flies through things that should be meaningful. If you like knowing that someone was "walking West along a wall that ran Southeast against the North side of the city perpendicular to the East-West crossing", then this is the book for you. I don't mind this kind of description if it ties into the story, or is going to be a long battle, or has some general purpose, but it didn't.

    The narration is almost adequate. Better than just being read to, mostly.

    If the whole book were like the last 20%, it would have been much better. There are lots of ways to get to know characters and tell their backstory without having to labor through it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Daylight War: The Demon Cycle, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (1339)
    Performance
    (1230)
    Story
    (1238)

    In this heart-stopping installment of the Demon Cycle, humanity continues to struggle against the demon plague - even as survivors hold out hope that the Deliverer will save them all. On the night of the new moon, the demons rise in force, seeking the deaths of two men, both of whom have the potential to become the fabled Deliverer, the man prophesied to reunite the scattered remnants of humanity in a final push to destroy the demon corelings once and for all.

    Joe says: "Can't Believe Audible Didn't Announce The Release."
    "Hated it, then Loved it, then..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book some time ago, started to listen to it and absolutely hated it! Maybe it was just me, maybe my head wasn't in the right place. When I recently ran out of other listening material and decided to just hunker down and bear it, so I started over from the beginning again. I originally rated it 1 star, but as you can see, have revised my rating to 4 stars :)

    In the beginning, I didn't like the narrator, his voice sounded like he had a very bad cold, which maybe he did (or maybe he just grew on me) because I found myself really liking him after a while. I'm not sure if his voice changed or if I just grew accustomed to him.

    This book can be very confusing at times, which may only be true in Audio form. It changes between time, place, and character sets quite often and there is little indication (at least in the audio format) when that is happening, so I went through some confusion at the start of each new segment.

    The author uses a lot of complex foreign words to name things, people, places, events, etc. which change depending on the person's point of view from which he is writing. Yes, it may be very authentic, but many times I found myself not even trying to figure out what was being said or referred to, and just waiting to pick up the clues based on context. For example, one character may have 5+ parts to his/her name (think middle eastern) but also have 2 or 3 additional names due to their classification in the society. Add on top of that the point of view of the speaker and you will understand why, many times, it took me a while to even understand who was speaking or to whom they were speaking.

    Okay, that's the bad stuff... This truly is a sweeping and epic novel that covers a lot of territory, nations, characters, and time. The story lines are complex, but very fulfilling and creative. The inter-personal relationships are also complex and satisfying. The action is fairly constant and well done.

    Overall, I found myself very drawn into the story, captivated by the action, empathetic with the characters, and sad when the book ended. If you don't let any of the negatives get to you early on, you will be rewarded with yet another great novel in this series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Bloody Jack #2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (772)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (444)

    Jacky Faber, Bloody Jack, is back, and this time, she's facing a situation far worse than a ship full of murderous pirates. Curse of the Blue Tattoo, L. A. Meyer's sequel to the enormous popular Bloody Jack, is just as bawdy and entertaining as the original.

    William says: "Nice story, extremely well read!"
    "Better than the first?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book! How many times can you say that, even of a really good book. Not only is the writing great, but the narration is excellent, and the action just keeps on coming. It's not a complex work of fiction, but I don't think it was intended to be. It is a good story that keeps getting better. The length of this book was perfect (I complained that the last one was too short).

    I miss the ship and the rolling sea, but the story is kept fresh with a new setting and new set of characters. I'll be downloading the 3rd book in this series as soon as I get more credits :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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