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Paul

Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)

Member Since 2003

69
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 609 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
14
FOLLOWERS
14

  • Dead Witch Walking

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Kim Harrison
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2711)
    Performance
    (1828)
    Story
    (1830)

    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 :)

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4575)
    Performance
    (4285)
    Story
    (4303)

    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
    (437)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (242)

    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
    (1065)
    Performance
    (756)
    Story
    (761)

    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.

    Karen says: "Written book translates to excellent audio book"
    "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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (963)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (883)

    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.

    Mike Naka says: "awesome! left me wanting more, more, more!"
    "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
    (654)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (338)

    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
  • Bloody Jack

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By L.A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1073)
    Performance
    (591)
    Story
    (586)

    Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of 18th-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas. There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret.

    Terry says: "Sometimes it clicks"
    "You can't just walk away from a ship!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was over way to quickly, I wanted more (so I'm off to download the next book in the series). If you want to get lost in a fun story set upon the high seas, this is the book for you. The performance was so good that it was like listening to someone telling their own story.

    It wasn't perfect... many of the characters were very stereotyped. However, the main character was so atypical that it made up for the rest of the typical cast of characters for the most part. But, introducing some additional non-standard characters would have made a really good book, great. Also, the book should have been longer (I can't believe I said that, but it's true). I know this is a series and I'm sure I will get to know the characters very well in other books, but there were lots of parts of this book that went by way to quickly.

    I happen to love books about ships, sailing, military, pirates, adventure, and plunder. I think one of the things I like about this combination is that you can't just walk away from a ship (or the military) and I like to see all of the inter-personal threads unwind as people are forced together in these kinds of environments, especially when matters of treasure and life-and-death fighting is introduced into the mix. It brings out the worst and the best in humankind. I mean really, what more can you want?!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black Magic Sanction: Rachel Morgan, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Kim Harrison
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1674)
    Performance
    (959)
    Story
    (958)

    Rachel Morgan has fought and hunted vampires, werewolves, banshees, demons, and other supernatural dangers as both witch and bounty hunter—and lived to tell the tale. But she’s never faced off against her own kind, until now. Denounced and shunned for dealing with demons and black magic, her best hope is life imprisonment-at worst, a forced lobotomy and genetic slavery.

    Eivind says: "Ms Morgan is back, finally"
    "Book 8, Still In Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dawn Cook (a.k.a Kim Harrison) does not disappoint! Some authors let you down after 2 or 3 books, but this is book 8 and this one is just as good as the first. Some witchcraft, demons, pixies, vampires, demons, romance, action, comedy, and some top notch voice-acting make this series a pure joy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3069)
    Performance
    (2868)
    Story
    (2866)

    Dark fantasy goes hardboiled in Book II of the hard-hitting Grimnoir Chronicles by the New York Times best-selling creator of Monster Hunter International. The Grimnoir Society’s mission is to protect people with magic, and they’ve done so—successfully and in secret—since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s, but when a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir.

    Paulette says: "Spellbound is Pure Magic"
    "Excellent Book 2!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another great book in this series. "Good on ya", Larry Correia, and keep them coming!!

    1 of 1 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
    (1778)
    Performance
    (1612)
    Story
    (1612)

    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"
    "Loved Everything, Except Two Things"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really did like this book! I wanted to like it a lot more, but two things brought it down. First, the narrator is really good, but during the parts of the book with no characters speaking, she gets very sing-songy and it drove me just a bit crazy (not hard to do) if I thought about it too much. I can't find it anywhere, but I swear she also did some narration on The Golden Compass audiobook. I like everything about her except that every sentence has to end going....uuuuup. This was actually more minor than the second thing.

    The second thing I couldn't get past was the antagonists, the grafters. Their capabilities are supposedly based on pure science, but they can do things that go far beyond the people who have super abilities! I LOVE science, so I was just unable to accept this concept of a totally secret group of people who have the scientific abilities attributed to them in the book. If the grafters had some supernatural leader that was channeling supernatural energy to make all of their stuff possible, I could even buy that, but to say it was pure science, bah! To say there were people who centuries ago could men who could craft flesh and organs with capabilities beyond what we have available even today, nope. For me, this all but ruined a really good book and since it is clear that they will have a part in a sequel, I doubt I'll be buying that either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight at the Well of Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Peter Macon
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    At the heart of a bizarre planet lay the goal of every being that had ever lived.… Below average in height and unprepossessing in appearance, Nathan Brazil is an unassuming if cynical starship owner, carrying passengers and cargo for a living - hardly the sort of person to hold the fate of the entire universe in his hands. But when Nathan detours from his route to answer a distress call, a hidden stargate hurls him and his passengers to the Well World, the master control planet for the cosmos. Billions of years ago, a godlike race unlocked all the secrets of space and time and remade the universe according to their grand design.

    Michael says: "Step Through The Portal, And Be Changed Forever!"
    "The Good, the Okay, and the Weird"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I REALLY liked this book in the beginning. I liked it pretty good in the middle. I liked it well enough to try to finish it by three quarters. I didn't really like it at the end.

    Why? It's hard to say exactly, but it started out as a cool story with a interesting concept, a wide array of characters and a goodly amount of mystery. Near the end, most of the mystery was gone, the characters got stale, the story broke down, and things just went off the sci-fi rails.

    Maybe it was just my mood, the phase of the moon, or maybe this review is right. In any case, it would be a worthwhile read just for the first half, very inventive! The narration is very good as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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