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Maggie McMeekin

I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology

Arlington Heights, IL, US | Member Since 2012

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 51 ratings
  • 313 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Soulforge: Dragonlance: Raistlin Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Weis
    • Narrated By Chris Sorensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (102)

    A mage's soul is forged in the crucible of magic. Raistlin Majere is six years old when he is introduced to the archmage who enrolls him in a school for the study of magic. There the gifted and talented but tormented boy comes to see magic as his salvation. Mages in the magical Tower of High Sorcery watch him in secret, for they see shadows darkening over Raistlin even as the same shadows lengthen over all Ansalon. Finally, Raistlin draws near his goal of becoming a wizard. But first he must take the drea Test in the Tower of High Sorcery. It will change his life forever - if he survives.

    Maggie McMeekin says: "Fantastic story"
    "Fantastic story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was a fantastic story and was the first Dragonlance novel I have ever read/listened to. I was drawn to Raistlin's character, and now I am very interested in reading further Dragonlance novels that feature Raistlin to see where his story goes from here.

    There are many fantastic characters in this book. The twins, Raistlin and Caramon, are very interesting dichotomies of each other, and I found myself liking both characters. I also loved the Kender race, and the Kender nature makes me smile; the rambling, cheery tales and behavior by a Kender in this story have made me laugh out loud,serving as comedic relief.

    The performance was excellent, and I listened with ferocity, breezing through the entire novel in just a few days.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    Overall
    (10689)
    Performance
    (9954)
    Story
    (9958)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Excellent read for 80s kids and scifi fans"
    Overall
    Performance
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    This was a very entertaining read. The main character's personality and voice was so distinct that I immediately found him likeable as well as believeable. I enjoyed the plot immensely and rooted from start to finish for our hapless hero.

    I highly recommend this book, and don't want to spoil too much of the plot here, so all I will say is, I enjoyed not only the personas of the main character's friends via virtual world interactions, but as the plot progressed, I enjoyed learning the truth about the people behind the online personas, basically their "real life" selves.

    The setting of the plot would likely be most easily understood by those who have played or are familiar with MMORPG games, and a lot of the novel takes place online within a virtual reality. However, I firmly believe someone like my mom would enjoy the novel, and she hasn't played anything except Dr Mario on Super Nintendo way back in the day. The familiar challenge of puzzles and quests, difficult opponents, needing equal parts weapons, armor and strategy - in one way or another, this is present in a lot of epic fantasy novels. It just so happens to be a part of this science fiction novel, as well.

    This book might appeal most to certain target audiences, but I think it has a lot of potential for wide range appeal as well. I was recommended this novel by my tattoo artist, who had hours upon hours of time to chit chat with me as he inked me. He hadn't read a novel in a while, apparently, but the 80s nostalgia and video game culture references sucked him in. As I read this novel, I felt the author must have been at least somewhat like me - ultimately, a nerd that was interested in 80s culture, video games (both retro and modern), MMORPG culture, science fiction and the possibilities of a dystopian future. It felt like the sort of novel my friends would enjoy, and I find it a great book to recommend to friends when they ask.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angels' Blood: Guild Hunter, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Nalini Singh
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1507)
    Performance
    (1141)
    Story
    (1144)

    Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best - but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option---even if the task is impossible. Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

    Leslie says: "Who Knew, Angels could be so hot!"
    "Predictable and not terribly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had higher expectations because I saw many positive reviews... Very much surprised at the actual quality and content of the story.

    First of all, I found this was truly a Harlequin style romance novel, set in a fantasy world. The plot really circulated around the relationship between Elena and Raphael, and the slow escalation of their relationship from animosity to romance. If anyone reading this review is surprised by that or considers it a spoiler, I am shocked, because it was clear to me from the start of the story where this was all heading. In a way the novel reminded me of how some pornos take time to setup a scene to explain why ultimately there will be intercourse ("ooh I broke the sink, I should call the plumber"). The fantasy world seems to be fleshed out only enough to create context for why Raphael would seek out and meet Elena. This is exactly as much plot as 50 Shades of Grey has - the world it is set in has events going on and they impact the main characters and so on, but overall the world is pretty transparently there as just the stage for the shenanigans of the romantic leads. This is a romance novel first, a fantasy novel a distant second.

    I didn't like Elena's character, I found her to be very cookie cutter, I have seen characters like her before. She had traumatic events in her past, is sexually repressed, is a lone wolf. She tries to be a strong female lead but it is impossible because ultimately the whole novel is just a vehicle by which she is driven into Raphael's seductions.

    Elena is inevitably dominated and seduced, unable to resist the sexy, magical, unbelievably strong Edward Cullen - I mean, Christian Grey - I mean, Raphael. Boring type of male lead as well because I have seen this male character plenty of times before as well. In fact, this is cookiecutter bad boy from Harlequin novels, except he is an angel here because of the fantasy setting the romance is set in, instead of being a 1700s bad boy pirate, or modern era vampire/warewolf, or modern era businessman.

    The reading level is low, I found the author repeatedly reused phrases to a maddening extent. I really hope to not hear or read the phrase "cobalt lightning" again for a LONG time. I am also pretty exasperated with constantly being told about how Elena "felt herself get tight" or "felt a tightening", in her... Ahem. It was so constant, she could have crushed coal into diamonds with the below the belt constant crushing, tightening, churning pressure she must've had going on. It was exactly the same sort of wording I found in other romance novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (3657)
    Performance
    (3196)
    Story
    (3233)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Fantastic! Highly recommend this."
    Overall
    Performance
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    I loved the plot of this story. It took me through several countries, and introduced me to complex, interesting characters from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life. There is a religious extremist/terrorist. There is an Eastern European hacker. There is a Chinese MMO gold farmer. A fascinating web of plot threads weaves together into a rich tapestry as the story unfolds. I found the climax of the novel so riveting I was almost late for work, as I sat in my car listening with rapt attention to the action packed shoot-out (trying to minimize spoilers, I apologize if this is already too much information for some). While it is a very long listen, I think it took me less than a week to listen to the entire thing, which says a lot about how interesting it is.

    This novel reminded me of what I enjoyed about Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One", which was the inclusion of the MMORPG fad and it similarly predicted the widespread popularity and commonplace nature of nearly everyone playing an MMORPG in the future. I see this as a feasible outcome in the future, and I like seeing novels set in the future that incorporate it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Song: Raven's Shadow, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Ryan
    • Narrated By Steven Brand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2496)
    Performance
    (2357)
    Story
    (2356)

    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.

    Robin says: "Complex but could be more compelling"
    "Solid, well written epic fantasy tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I felt this was a detailed, interesting world reminiscent of the quality to detail evident in other author's works (such as Brandon Sanderson novels).

    The main character was interesting. I liked the plot, and felt intrigued enough to want to keep listening so as to find out what happened next. There were moments that touched me, certain tear jerker scenes, and I am not even an overly sensitive person. I found myself caring about the events in the story, and felt that the author presented challenges or unfortunate circumstances in a compelling way that made me care and drew me into the novel.

    I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fantasy novel fans. I found the author to be talented and will read more from this author. I have read all of Jordan's Wheel of Time, all of the books from the Song of Ice and Fire series to date, pretty much everything by Brandon Sanderson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Atul Gawande
    • Narrated By William David Griffith
    Overall
    (430)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (145)

    Sometimes in medicine the only way to know what is truly going on in a patient is to operate, to look inside with one's own eyes. This book is exploratory surgery on medicine itself, laying bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is - complicated, perplexing, and profoundly human.

    T.K. says: "It's about time..."
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    An interesting perspective on how we are all human, and the sort of subjective factors that impact surgeons and doctors on a daily basis. This was a very quick listen for me. I found it well written, peppered with humor as well as touching human perspective. I recommend it to those working in the medical profession as well as anyone interested in gaining some insight on the challenges that physicians face on a regular basis. While nobody likes to be the patient that ends up the one the doctor makes a bad judgment call on, it is inevitable, there is no perfect human being and nobody performs without error in ANY profession. The pressure is high and medicine is very tricky, and I feel books like this one help warm people's hearts and break down their ignorance. Perhaps it can help reduce the knee jerk reactions of those who are quick to judge doctors harshly or immediately want to sue over medical errors or judgment calls made in tense, critical moments of life and death.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Why Can't I Get Better?: Solving the Mystery of Lyme and Chronic Disease

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Richard I. Horowitz
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (9)

    You may not know that you have Lyme. It can mimic every disease process, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, autoimmune conditions like MS, psychiatric conditions like depression and anxiety, and cause significant memory and concentration problems, mimicking early dementia. It is called the "Great Imitator," and inaccurate testing - combined with a fierce, ongoing debate that questions chronic infection - makes it difficult for sufferers to find effective care.

    Maggie McMeekin says: "Fantastic and insightful"
    "Fantastic and insightful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Note that I am a nurse that is studying to be a nurse practitioner.

    This book was a big surprise to me. I see chronically ill patients all the time, and I never considered conditions such as Lyme disease or babesia. I was amazed by the wide spectrum of symptoms that often get diagnosed as other conditions. In particular, I was amazed to read stories about patients that, when treated, recovered from chronic pain, disability (going from completely wheelchair bound to walking), and recovery from psychiatric symptoms.

    This is a very important read for nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and the like. Similarly, I highly recommend this book to those that have suffered from chronic conditions and haven't received answers as to why they weren't improving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (978)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (932)

    Warning: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. This is not a metaphor. You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection - the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like. You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings.

    Charles says: "Very Different than John Dies, but Equal"
    "Hilarious and addicting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was truly a clever book, filled with lines that had me laughing out loud. It was consistently entertaining. The plot moved at a fast and exciting pace.

    I did not find it scary or truly a horror, perhaps because the humorous tone really kept things from getting too dark or frightening. I did enjoy the twists and turns of the plot and I feel I was able to enjoy the story even though I listened to this audiobook before its predecessor "John Dies at the End". I have since read the aforementioned predecessor as well and can say this book is even better than the first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of the World: Book One of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (9210)
    Performance
    (5257)
    Story
    (5303)

    When their village is attacked by trollocs, monsters thought to be only legends, three young men, Rand, Matt, and Perrin, flee in the company of the Lady Moiraine, a sinister visitor of unsuspected powers. Thus begins an epic adventure set in a world of wonders and horror, where what was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

    Greg says: "This Series Rocks"
    "Takes a bit of getting used to... But satisfies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I write this review after having listened through the series up until the 8th book now, so I can say that the storylines have own on me and it makes for a fonder review of the first book.

    The world that The Wheel of Time series takes place in has a lot of gender-related issues, from which genders may use magic to what gender roles are or are not. It is hard to get used to from a feminist perspective, but after immersing myself in this world, I have come to think, "This is just how this world is, and this is what is normal in this society." Certainly it is nothing shocking if one looks at the history of the human race in real life, anyhow.

    There is a religious-like overtone surrounding the savior-like figure of the Dragon Reborn, reminiscent of several world faiths that have had or currently await a savior figure to be made flesh and turn the whole world around one way or another. The major divisions and organization of the religious/magic using order in this series is interesting and complicated, and we are introduced to it through the eyes of Rand, Perrin, Matrim, Egwane and Nynaeve. In this novel, we see that there is a lot of mystery, mysticism and distrust initially of the Aes Sedai.

    R. Jordan has his quirks as a writer. He does tend to immediately describe the breast size, poutiness of the lip, and clothing of introduced female characters, then revisits it frequently whenever the female character returns in and out of the storyline. He also tends to describe the size of the nose, the appearance of facial hair/ mustaches, height and clothing of male characters in the same fashion. It does get annoying at times, but it has never frustrated me to such an extent that I would consider putting the book series down and choosing another.

    The first book struggles with truly making us understand the unique characteristics and personalities of Rand and his village friends, and it isn't until later in the series that I realized that Perrin was my favorite, followed by Matrim as my second favorite. Their characteristics, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors are initially lost behind the likely necessary attention the author pays to fleshing out the world the story takes place in. It takes some getting used to in order to keep track of all characters and all the locations and the politics of the story, but it is not different from Song of Ice and Fire in that respect. It isn't too complicated, but it does take a bit of adjustment and getting used to.

    As for the performance, we do not hear much from Kate Reading in this book when compared to the other books. She has a pleasant, eloquent voice and I like her characterization of the characters. I also like Michael Kramer's performance, which dominates the majority of this book. He has narrated several audio books I have listened to, and I am used to his voice and enjoy it. He doesn't overact or get too crazy as he narrates, he is just a solid, steady voice and therefore has never been annoying or unpleasant to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5551)
    Performance
    (4724)
    Story
    (4720)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "I miss Marsters, but a solid story+ performance"
    Overall
    Performance
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    Any additional comments?

    It was hard to get my head around the fact the voice of Harry, James Marsters, wasn't going to be the narrator. Glover does a good job but he had tremendous shoes to fill, and after 12 audiobooks and hundreds of hours of Marsters narrating, it was very difficult to hear Glover narrating and think it was still Harry. Glover' performance is good, but he doesn't have the acting range Marsters does, so he doesn't shout as passionately during heated moments, doesn't get as emotional, etc. Glover's performance is in line with traditional audiobook performances, but I missed Marsters for his acting chops, and for how real he makes Harry Dresden. I feel like I am in Harry's head listening to him think as he goes along through life when it is Marsters narrating, and Glover just felt like a guy reading a book to me.

    All that aside, I really enjoyed this book! I think the series dances around what lies on the "other side" and therefore it is definitive proof that there are souls, and that souls survive death, which is in line with my spiritual beliefs. I therefore truly enjoyed the exploration of what it is like to be a ghost or spirit, though we could not see the next step further (what lies beyond when spirits aren't tied to reality but instead go on to wherever they go on in the afterlife)... Harry wonders, too, and I am starting to wonder what the setup is of the afterlife in the Dresden Files universe. I hope that we see more angels and demons, and exploration into the soul and the nature of reality, as the series progresses, simply because I go bananas for any books or TV series that tackle those topics.




    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Days: The Dresden Files, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5573)
    Performance
    (5180)
    Story
    (5179)

    After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad - because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long.

    Ethan M. says: "Thwarts Every Expectation - In a Good Way"
    "Awesome story, and great to have Marsters back"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had been worrying how Harry Dresden would pull off sticking to his moral and ethical stances once he is sworn to his post as the Winter Knight. I did not want Harry to make choices that I couldn't at least defend to an extent, as part of why I love him as a character is that I can understand his thought process and how he makes decisions when things fall apart. I can relate to his moral prerogatives and concerns, and even when he makes mistakes, they aren't the sort that make me feel like he has irreversibly betrayed some precious moral code.

    I found myself liking how Jim Butcher handles Harry's role as the Winter Knight, since luckily Harry manages to maintain a grasp on his moral compass. Furthermore, Harry is never subservient by nature, and even when under the thumb of queen Mab, he finds ways to do things his way.

    I do see that Harry is having some changes, mostly becoming more primal and angry in heated moments, so I hope that Jim Butcher does not keep Harry committed to the Winter Knight post too long. I continue to dread the day that Harry's character loses his grip on his moral senses entirely and does something that will make me feel distaste and disappointment with the series. So far, it's been a tight rope walk that keeps me guessing but which has ended to my satisfaction, but the Winter Knight business is the biggest threat yet to Harry's moral compass.

    I love having Marsters back as Harry's voice, I do not want the series to stray from Marsters again, as one of the biggest attractions of the audio books has been the fantastic performance that Marsters does. I have a huge crush on Harry Dresden, because I have had a huge crush on Marsters ever since he was Spike in Buffy.

    The series continues to tease us about whether Harry finds a happy, romantic outcome with Karen Murphy. Harry has been single way too long, but his life is complicated, and his feelings for Karen have continued to develop. I have my hopes up that the moral, stabilizing force of Karen in his life will help Harry in the future, especially if the personality changes brought on by being the Winter Knight continue to progress.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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