I only have about 60 audible books under my belt so far but I already have a small list of favorite narrators. Poor narration can really hurt a good story.
In this case, True Grit is a fun story but I really don't like the narration. The lip smacking, lack of emotion and what sounds like a microphone clicking on and off were just too distracting for me to really enjoy this story.
Once I start a series I usually stick through to the end. Worse than a long, drawn out series is wondering and not knowing whether things will get better. Generally I'll go along with a weak but promising first or second book in a series in hopes of the author and the story developing further.
Unfortunately Star Carrier series never developed. Each book was basically the same formula. Very light on the development of characters, very details on the individual shots of a battle but weak on the overall strategy and progress. Terribly detailed and repetitive in technical descriptions of planets, atmospheres and right or left hand sugars - most of which made zero difference to the story but was repeated often enough to believe something was coming up.
Unfortunately nothing ever came up.
I love sci-fi. I love a good space story especially. If another book comes out in this series I will buy it but my expectations will be quite low.
In the same category of military sci-fi give The Lost Fleet by John G. Henry a try. It's still not the drama of Orson Scott Card or the willd rides of Larry Niven but it is good listening. Something on the fantasy side (I do not believe fantasy and sci-fi are one in the same) you need to give Jim Butcher's Dresden Files a shot. An excellent series!
Crude. Lewd. Socially unacceptable.
No redeeming qualities.
Heinlein has great books and trash books. Nothing in between. Sorry I couldn't write a better review. I just couldn't follow the story.
Lloyd James reads well. Heinlein wrote erratic.
It was a fine short story and introduction to a series I hope I'll enjoy as much. Character development was great while the story was just a background. I'm OK with that in a short intro to a series. In fact I wish more series started this way.
This is not the typical sci-fi I normally read. In fact, while there is some good sci-fi in there to keep me interested in the story the interaction between Ziggy and Bob have me trapped in the story. I was planning to move on to some other books I've downloaded since starting this one but now I have to finish the series. Just too dang good.
Excellent story until the very end. There was a lot of story and character development before the event though I'll have to go back to tie up some apparent loose ends. The event description was outstanding. The closer we get to the end the more the story turns obscure or pointless. In the end the speeches were hollow and it became difficult to listen to without being disappointed. Maybe it's odd to compare this story to The Stand but a similar apocalyptic formula was used with The Stand having a much stronger finish.
Marc Vietor's narration was great. He had mostly believable voices for the characters and was consistent throughout. I'll be looking for more of Marc's work.
I want to thank Audible for providing samples of the first few chapters. It's saved me a credit. I generally like the "radio show" format but something missed the mark here. The original book is brilliant but I won't be able to make it through the live version.
I saw the movie years ago and considered it kind of a cult classic but I never took it very seriously. I'm not sure how I fell upon the book - a sale maybe? But I just finished listening and I have to say it is an amazing story that puts the movie to shame.
There is so much more depth to the story than ever hinted at in the movie. Ed's thoughts and observations as he made decisions and faced challenges were compelling. A movie can never capture a story told in the first person.
I also have to say that Will Patton's narration was absolute perfection. I often felt he was telling the story from personal experience. Amazing work.
This book will be one of the few that I will have to listen to again and again.
I understand Heinlein was a master of science fiction and this particular novel is an award winner. I thought it was pure drivel. Am I missing something? I recently finished Starman Jones which I enjoyed and Starship Troopers which was ok. This story of communism, socialism, anarchism, polygamy - political and social science fiction - fits right in there with Atlas Shrugged. Tripe.
Wikipedia says "it is generally considered one of Heinlein's major novels as well as one of the most important science fiction novels ever written." What am I missing? Robinson's Mars series and Steele 's Coyote series at least keep the BS politics to a side story and have interesting main stories worthy of being called science fiction. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is simply an unsophisticated outdated political fiction that could have just as easily taken place on a remote island in the Pacific (or California for that matter).
Short review - long winded soapbox.
Casting picked the wrong narrator for this book. Mr.Garcia speaks with a clear voice that might be a pleasure to listen to if given the right story. His voice has a pleading quality to it - sometimes a whining quality. I see Mr. Garcia reading the classics or maybe some genre I don't listen to such as childrens books.
After listening to the first book in this series my impression was serious fictional science with fun banter, appropriate sarcasm, and witty conversation. Mr. Parker nailed the first book with his outstanding performance. I mean he nailed it. His voice, inflections, emphasis were all spot on. I was able to laugh in the right places, be shocked in other places and follow along with the story very easily.
In the second book much was lost. Too much. I would have to listen to something multiple times to realize that was supposed to be a funny part or the characters picking on each other or some serious encounter. But instead the whole book is lost in an incorrect emotional interpretation. All sense of tension countered by comic relief is lost. Instead all the characters seem to be whining or complaining to each other.
This is one of the fails when converting a series into audible content. Publishers need to realize the narrator is a huge part of the book. They can turn a wonderful book into a painful drag or even turn a mediocre book into something worth listening to. With Mr. Parker they found the right narrator - then immediately changed for someone so wrong for the part. I notice in future books Mr. Parker does not return. Unfortunate. I'm not sure I can go through one more book with Mr. Garcia only to be facing another change in narrators. Ugh.
As a parallel - Jim Butcher has a series called The Dresden Files. It is outstanding! For 13 volumes the narrator, Mr. Glover, gave an outstanding performance. Voice perfect. In volume 13 they brought in a new narrator and I almost lost interest in the whole series. Maybe I was totally used to Mr. Marsters by that time but I don't think I would have listened to the whole series if it was read by the narrator of volume 13. Fortunately this publisher realized the situation and brought out volume 14 with the original narrator. Outstanding!
If all publishers would realize their narrators are bringing their books to life and their voice must be matched to the character then I think the audible world would be much better. If they find the right voice in the early volumes of a series - stick with it! Pay him or her more if you have to but don't swap voices without due consideration for the impact on the listener. Narrators are celebrities in a real sense. If my favorite artist (narrator) is reading in a genre I listen to (or one I want to try) I jump on it because of the narrator and I'm generally pleased with the outcome.
I religiously watch all the James Bond movies, most multiple times. I like all the actors that have played the part of James Bond. Over the years I've come to think I know James Bond and what to expect from him.
I came across these books while looking for my next read. I don't often pick a book after I've already seen the movie but I never read any James Bond books so I figured I would give it a try. I was surprised Casino Royale is actually first in the series.
I'm happy to say that the books and the movies can exist independently. There is very very very little that ties the two together. I was amazed at what runs through James Bond's mind, how he thinks of himself and how he thinks through a situation. The book Bond is not the same as the TV Bond. The book makes fiction very believable. So while I enjoyed the story a lot I was more captured by how Ian Fleming thinks through his characters and how much more realistic and believable the book is than the movie. I'm going to enjoy this series.
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