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JPaladin

Member Since 2009

59
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
11

  • The War with the Mein: Book One of the Acacia Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (374)

    A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    Glen says: "Thumbs up!"
    "Great potential"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was a bit of a roller coaster for me.

    For the 1st half or so I was interested but not truly captured by the story. Then it hooked me hard. But then I thought the story/plot was becoming predictable and too "safe." Then it went a whole new direction--which surprised me (and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but it was interesting).

    Another review compared it to Game of Thrones, while I see the comparison--mostly due to the multiple first person point of views and the divergent and re-convergent story lines--it has a very different feel. Enjoyable, but without the same sense of gritty "realism" for the characters, except for some distinct segments. There is a similar story arc regarding the diaspora of siblings from a family destroyed by political/military conflict set to a background of layered personal, political, and mythological conflict. There is also a similar "forgotten" history of a dark and mysterious foreign threat looming behind the story-line in the first book--waiting to be developed, I presume, in the following books.

    And there are some interesting and some what unique ideas here and some great potential for an intriguing epic story.

    In short: I liked it and I'm going on to the next book. It isn't yet one of my favorites, but I could see it becoming one of them if the series continues on its current trajectory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heroes Die: The First of the Acts of Caine

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Matthew Stover
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (257)

    Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana as the Blade of Tyshalle, Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, simply the best there is at what he does. At home on Earth, Caine is Hari Michaelson, a superstar whose adventures in Ankhana command an audience of billions.

    Douglas says: "Finally, an epic worthy of Stefan Rudnicki"
    "Enjoyable, but not outstanding."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although it was an interesting idea for a setting, at first I couldn't quite get into the genre mixing, as the SciFi story/element wasn't catching my interest. But a few chapters it hooked me. When I was done with the book I was satisfied by the story, but I'm waffling on going on to the sequel.

    What I liked:
    The characters were written well enough to make you care about them.
    Story was fairly fast paced and kept you entertained.
    The conflict in both worlds was engaging and interesting.

    What I disliked:
    The "fantasy" side of the story was violent, but not truly dark or gritty.
    There wasn't much development of the mythology or magical system.
    Some of the dialog was nearing childish and caused me to loose my suspension of disbelief.

    I'd put this in my "pass the time" category. Not sure if I'm going on the sequel yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor of Thorns: A Broken Empire Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (127)

    Jorg would be emperor. It is a position not to be gained by the sword but rather by vote. And never in living memory has anyone secured a majority of the vote, leaving the Broken Empire long without a leader. Jorg has plans to change that - one way or the other. He’s uncovered even more of the lost technology of the land, and he won’t hesitate to use it. But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced - a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King. The boy who would rule all may have finally met his match....

    Just Marvel Me says: "Entire Adoration"
    "Spectacular. A very impressive work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! I just finished book 2 & 3.

    As I read this series I was continually awed by the layer upon layer of connection between the main character's actions and his slowly revealing history (and future).

    It was masterfully done! While not my favorite book, I have hardly been more impressed with a story so well weaved.

    And the ending was perfect!

    I say read the series. It is dark. The main character does many awful things--but in the end it all makes perfect sense. Each step in his story is purposeful and necessary.

    Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemist of Souls: Night's Masque, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Anne Lyle
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods - and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital? Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is appointed to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems.

    Christopher says: "Enjoyable Read/Listen!"
    "Pretty good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are looking for an action packed romp, this isn't the book for you. It is a pretty decent story set to a fairly interesting fantasy background.

    You'll note that almost every review remarks on the homosexual relationships in the book. I only think it's notable that this is the first book I've ever seen with them front and center. This was far far less sexual or graphic than many heterosexual encounters described in countless other books in the genre. It really is only 3 gay characters and 1 bi.

    In the end, it past the time. It lost my interest a bit at the end. And I haven't gone on to the sequel. But I may at some point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance of Cloaks: Shadowdance

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By David Dalglish
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (118)

    Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. All the thieves' guilds of the city are under his unflinching control. If he has his way, death will soon spill out from the shadows and into the streets. Aaron is Thren's son, trained to be heir to his father's criminal empire. He's cold, ruthless - everything an assassin should be. But when Aaron risks his life to protect a priest's daughter from his own guild, he glimpses a world beyond piston, daggers, and the iron rule of his father.

    beachgirl says: "Great cast of characters, Dynamic narration"
    "OK, but I'd like to take a crack at re-writing it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a pretty enjoyable book, following a pretty tried and true (if not a bit tired) formula for fantasy novels.

    It falls into my "past the time" on the long drive category. It is written for adults and is done well. Didn't really come up with anything original (and missed a few opportunities for an interesting twist on the coming of age story of a young criminal with a heart of gold).

    I haven't gone on to the sequel yet. But I'll consider it if I can't find another more interesting option.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2730)
    Performance
    (2443)
    Story
    (2473)

    Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world....

    Timothy says: "Pleased, yet wanting more..."
    "This is as good as the mistborn series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I waited over a year after finishing the mistborn series to read this. I should have rushed to it. It is a great extension of the series.

    It is a different time period, but it has a similar feel to the series. While I think it'd be enjoyable on its own, because of the illusions and other references, I'd say you'd want to read the trilogy first. And honestly, you should read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prince of Thorns

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (307)

    Author Mark Lawrence has won over audiences everywhere with Prince of Thorns, his exciting debut novel. Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs. But he’s determined to take back what’s rightfully his, so he returns to the castle a few years later - unaware of the dark and powerful magic that awaits.

    Arthur says: "Tough hero to like, but you do"
    "Wow! Surprized and glad I finally listed to this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been putting off this book for sometime, given the other review's descriptions of the dark, anti-hero.

    They are very right; the main character is dark and an anti-hero. I almost stopped listening in the first 10min because he was such a B***rd.

    But not shortly after I found myself rooting for him. It is an impressive work in that regard. The main character's condition begins to make sense and you begin to sympathize with him (I hope no one empathizes with him).

    I liked it. I'm heading straight back to listen to the next book.

    I'd say if you like dark/gritty this is your book--although, I'd say it is more dark that gritty.

    I'd recommend it for fans of Game of Thrones, Blood Song, Dragon's Path, The left Hand of God, Black Company, or anything by Joe Abercombre

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Three: Legends of the Duskwalker, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jay Posey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (229)

    The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more.His name is Three, a travelling gun for hire in a dying world. He has no allegiances, no family, no ties.Against his better judgment, he accepts the mantle of protector to a sick woman on the run, and her young son. Together they set out across the plains in search of a mythic oasis, attempting to survive the forces that pursue them, and the creatures of the dark.In these dark times, a hero may yet arise.

    Andrew Stone says: "Fantastic - Fast Moving - Totally Engaged"
    "Post apocalyptic lone wolf takes woman & child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A "classic" story of tough lone-man who gives up his rough and tumble life to protect woman & child in trouble. It was a retelling of a western in a post apocalyptic world.

    I was entertained through to the end. I didn't rush to read the second book, but I might read it sometime later.

    All in all, I found it somewhat interesting, while it didn't impress me with its originality or plot.

    So I'd put this in the "time filler" escapism category.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elseerian: The Chronicles of Lumineia, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ben Hale
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (264)

    The assassination of heroes was once a warning... for an invasion that nearly destroyed the world. Nations were slaughtered, cities were erased from existence, and defending armies were crushed into oblivion. In weeks, all life stood on the verge of extinction. But the end did not come. Instead the black horde vanished, leaving terrified survivors... and rumors. As the centuries passed the holocaust faded into legend, and finally myth. Across the southern sea a gifted young man is completing his training.

    Andrew Stone says: "Loved this book!"
    "Action packed, but lacking depth and writing skill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was very excited at first--this seemed to be just the book I was looking for. I was ready for a "classic" style hero "comes into his own" sort of brain candy.

    At first this delivered just that sort of story. But soon it became clear that the characters were going to stay dimensional and the dialog and situations stilted, forced, and not very captivating as a result.

    Didn't finish it.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Prism

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Brent Weeks
    • Narrated By Cristofer Jean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (776)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (576)

    Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

    Lee says: "Big fan of Brent Weeks but..."
    "OK, but nothing to write home about."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes, the narrator is awful. But I could get past it.

    He undoubtedly weakened the book, but I still was hoping for more from Weeks. The book was ok, I listen until the end (although, it was a close call a few times at the beginning).

    I'd say that if you have no other books on your list and want something to fill the time go for it. If you are looking for a deeply interesting or incredibly well written fantasy novel for adults--keep shopping.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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