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mark

Clarkston, GA, United States | Member Since 2011

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 86 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Pushing Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (1968)
    Performance
    (1637)
    Story
    (1652)

    2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

    Jesse says: "Proof that a good story doesn't require a trilogy"
    "About 80% of a great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, the good part. Reynolds has a rare gift for weaving hard science into his plot. The matter of fact limitations of physics and effects of near light speed travel make this novel stand out from a host of lazy sci-fi. The author is undeniably adroit at imagining and describing alien and future worlds and this makes for a compelling and at times irresistible narrative.

    However...the science and alternate worlds are by far the best part of the book. The characters inhabiting these worlds are entirely flat and opaque, and I do not mean unlikable. Based on previous reviews I expected the characters might be harsh or unsympathetic, but instead I have almost no idea what their motivations might be. They have little internal narrative, and character development is strictly one-dimensional, A to B. They are alternately self-righteous and petty, occasionally stopping in the middle of the most intense danger to be catty to each other. Whenever they begin talking the story comes to a screeching halt. The dialogue is stilted and odd, and sounds nothing like actual human conversation.

    With all of this being said, if you can overlook the paper cut-out characters and get past the parts where they talk, there is a fascinating, magnetic story here. I do hope Reynolds continues this universe in the future, with better characters.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By James M. McPherson
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom and many other award-winning books, James M. McPherson is America's preeminent Civil War historian. Now, in this collection of provocative and illuminating essays, McPherson offers fresh insight into many of the most enduring questions about one of the defining moments in our nation's history.

    Roy says: "An Introduction to McPherson"
    "Excellent Book, Awful Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another indespensible perspective on the Civil War from James McPherson. Here he goes into depth about some topics only briefly covered in his outstanding Battle Cry of Freedom vols. 1 & 2. The excellence of the book is unfortunately marred by a bizarre performance that is so rapid as to be almost incomprehensible. Once I slowed it to half speed it was better, only now a bit slow. I cannot imagine this audio could have been produced intentionally.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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