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Karen S. Coyle

one picky reader!

Florida | Member Since 2009

52
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 214 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Barrayar: A Vorkosigan Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1192)
    Performance
    (704)
    Story
    (704)

    In the wake of interplanetary war, former commander Cordelia Naismith has deserted her own planet to marry the leader of the defeated enemy, Aral Vorkosigan. On his home planet of Barrayar, two rival factions are eyeing the recently vacated throne, and Aral, recently appointed Regent of Barrayar by the Emperor on his deathbed, must stand between them. Lord and Lady Vorkosigan, Aral and Cordelia struggle to establish stability in a fragile government thrown into confusion by the transition of power.

    Karen S. Coyle says: "Lois Bujold always delivers!"
    "Lois Bujold always delivers!"
    Overall

    This is the second part of the omnibus novelization of her books Shards of Honor and Barryar (since released in one title as the book "Cordelia's Honor") and if you haven't read Shards of Honor yet, you have to start there. Cordelia (and in later books her son Miles) are some of the best protagonists in all of fiction, not just sci-fi. Science fiction as a whole is notoriously littered with books that have really nifty aliens and spaceships.... and really wooden characters spouting ridiculous dialogue. This is one of those rare gems that gets every part of the writing RIGHT. Yes, there's space travel and fascinating outer-space-worlds-of-the-future to explore here, and the world-building is top notch: but this would be an outstanding book in ANY genre; on depth of characterization alone. Cordelia is blazingly smart, warm-hearted, loyal, and very witty (by the second chapter you'll feel like you've always known her, because Bujold's just that darn good), and she has one adventure and/or crisis to handle after another in this great book: and every beat of the story plays out as absolutely REAL; every character is fully fleshed out and multi-dimensional, the fallout from every decision is realistically portrayed. It's a mash-up of the best possible space opera, the best possible soap opera, and the best possible character studies out there - just hurry and download this thing; you can thank me later!

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13318)
    Performance
    (11686)
    Story
    (11736)

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "So Glad Roy's Back (Well, Sort Of....)"
    Overall

    Very "Feast For Crows" in style - awesome compared to the other fantasy out there, but just so-so compared to the other books in this series. Again the story meanders through character threads and locations you don't have much interest in, at the expense of characters and storylines you DID want to hear about; but manages to be mostly fascinating just the same. A note about the narration: I was so excited to have Roy Dotrice back, after losing him for "Feast" - but boy has he changed! Since when is Dany an elderly Scottish woman? It's jarring!

    29 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book IV

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (4261)
    Performance
    (2469)
    Story
    (2494)

    It is not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters start to gather, picking over the bones of the dead and fighting for the spoils of the soon-to-be dead. Now in the Seven Kingdoms, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces, some familiar, others only just appearing, are seen emerging from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges ahead.

    Aaron says: "No Roy Dotrice"
    "Changes, and not for the better"
    Overall

    Great series, great writer - but this is the weakest link in the chain so far. And the switch from the excellent narration of Roy Dotrice to the adequate but completely different tone of the new narrator is jarring. Also, some favorite characters from the series as a whole do not appear in this installment: which leaves WAY too much space for the author to meander around in circles with secondary characters in subplots that don't advance the storyline much.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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