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S. Ludtke

Houston, TX USA | Member Since 2004

ratings
245
REVIEWS
8
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Lords of the Middle Dark: The Rings of the Master, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Jamie Du Pont MacKenzie
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Long ago, the machines had rebelled, wiping out most of humanity and exiling the survivors in widely scattered reservations. Master System ruled unchallenged, the key to breaking its power - five microchips disguised as gold rings, carefully hidden away. But then an Amerindian called Hawks stumbled across information about the five rings, and suddenly Master System developed an interest in seeing Hawks dead....

    Captain Skurvy says: "A great SCFI adventure thats not dated by time"
    "Decent series, but not my favorite by Chalker"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read most of Chalker's work back in High School, and requested that Audible make it available (as I'm sure did others). Chalker does speculative SF very well, and has a lot of creative ideas in his books. While certainly some of it is derivative, most of his books are far less derivative than most other authors, and he has a lot of ideas which are uniquely his. This particular series, while voice-acted very well, isn't my favorite (though I had to listen to it again to realize that). His other series, like the Well of Souls, are much more creative and interesting IMHO. Don't get me wrong, this series isn't bad, and like his other books, his universes are well thought out and self consistent. I just found myself getting a little bored as I listened through this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mako: The Mako Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ian J. Malone
    • Narrated By Andrew Wehrlen
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (48)

    A down-and-out history professor leads a team of old friends to virtual glory as the first-ever group to beat Mako Assault, a revolutionary new game that has emerged from nowhere to take the online world by storm. As a reward for their achievement, and under the guise of publicity, the group is flown to meet the game's mysterious designer, only to learn that Mako's intent was never to entertain its players…but rather to train them. An epic science fiction thrill ride of action, suspense, laughter, and romance, Mako is the story of five ordinary people rising to the challenge of extraordinary events, driven only by their faith in one another.

    Zed says: "Predictable and shallow. Written for young adults?"
    "Good story poor SF"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is quite well written with good character development and a decent writing style. The voice-acting is excellent. However, the technical side of things seems fairly poorly thought out. Suspension of disbelief is invoked many more times than necessary in this book, in many places seemingly out of laziness. The space battle scenes seem to lack a sense of the actual size of space, and space battles seem more like naval/air battles. For example, a space ship with wings so it can work in atmosphere as well, which seems to go from zooming around the canyons on a moon or the planet's surface back into orbit in a matter of a few seconds, then sweeping graceful arcs through space. While I confess, this is no worse than some of the SF in Star Wars, it feels a little disappointing on this front. Also, as mentioned by others, the book is steals pretty liberally from The Last Starfighter and Star Wars. As a character study, it's good, and it would probably make a decent summer movie, but don't go in expecting anything vaguely like hard SF.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sorceress, Interrupted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By A. J. Menden
    • Narrated By Traci Odom
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Though Megalopolis has many superheroes, none of them is quite like Fantazia. That’s no surprise, given her parentage. But immortality is hard, even for a sorceress. Watching loved ones age and die…? It’s better to live in a pocket universe tending bar. It’s safer to remain cold and aloof, to not get attached to anything or anyone. So, helping the Elite Hands of Justice defeat the Dragon was a mistake.

    S. Ludtke says: "Meh"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is should start by saying that, not realizing it was the middle of a series, I did start out of order. However, I didn't feel lost, and it was pretty easy to pick up the back-story. While it is fairly well written and is well performed, it just wasn't all that exciting. The science/magic wasn't all that clearly developed, making it mostly about the characters (which can still be fine). I just found myself not caring all that much about them. It was fine, and I finished reading it through the end, but didn't really have much of an inclination to read the others in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9836)
    Performance
    (8773)
    Story
    (8751)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "Don't fear the cover art"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Based on the cover art from this series, I was a little afraid it would turn out to be some sort of romance novel (which I do not read) with some sci-fi fantasy tweaks thrown in. Never fear, this is a solid fantasy series, with a very imaginative interpretation of real-world mythology and a good self-consistent set of rules for magic, gods, etc. They are action-packed with good character development, and very solid voice-acting in the audiobook version. I immediately continued with the rest of the series after reading this one. PS - If you are devoutly religious (regardless of the religion), you may not find it quite as enjoyable, as it certainly pokes fun at the idea of any one religion being correct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Tower: The Windrose Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Barbara Hambly
    • Narrated By Nicole Poole
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    In a world where wizards are relegated to ghettos, it is no surprise to see one murdered in the street. But for Stonne Caris, a young warrior monk who sees the killing and gives chase to the culprit, there is nothing ordinary about seeing a murderer disappear into a black, inky portal. The Archmage sends him in search of Antryg Windrose - a half-mad mage who understands the nature of these passages between dimensions.

    Jamie says: "Worth the wait!"
    "Enjoyable Hambly series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read these tech/magic crossover books as a teen in the 80's, but it still translates quite well. While the computer tech is a bit dated, those of us who grew up in the dawn of the computer age can still appreciate it, and it's a minor aspect of these mostly-fantasy/mystery books anyway. Great character development, and a very good mystery plotline to pull it all together. Don't expect a tremendous amount of detail in the workings of magic in her universe, but what there is holds together very well. Well worth the read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight at the Well of Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Peter Macon
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    At the heart of a bizarre planet lay the goal of every being that had ever lived.… Below average in height and unprepossessing in appearance, Nathan Brazil is an unassuming if cynical starship owner, carrying passengers and cargo for a living - hardly the sort of person to hold the fate of the entire universe in his hands. But when Nathan detours from his route to answer a distress call, a hidden stargate hurls him and his passengers to the Well World, the master control planet for the cosmos. Billions of years ago, a godlike race unlocked all the secrets of space and time and remade the universe according to their grand design.

    Michael says: "Step Through The Portal, And Be Changed Forever!"
    "Finally, Chalker's best work !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read pretty much everything Chalker wrote back in the 80's as a teen, and enjoyed this series then as well. I sort of expected that I would find it more childish or unsophisticated reading it as an adult. I was completely wrong. Still an excellent book, and definitely his best series. Wonderful character development, a highly original plot, and the voice acting and recording quality are excellent as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5347)
    Performance
    (3307)
    Story
    (3326)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
    "Excellent Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Atlas Shrugged?

    I first read this in high school at the recommendation of an english teacher who didn't really care for it, but thought I probably would. She was right. I reread it (or listen to it) now every few years. If you believe in the greatness of human achievement and of the human mind, and have not read this, you should. Give it a little time, it is a massive book, and starts rather slowly.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to a (non-audible) performance of this book by a different narrator, and this one is superior in my mind. I have not listened to the other available audible reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is not physically possible to listen to this in one sitting.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1819)
    Performance
    (824)
    Story
    (832)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Richard says: "Tour de force"
    "Clever masterpiece"
    Overall

    While I have enjoyed Stephenson's other books, some of the other reviews left me with doubts. After reading this book I conclude it's a true masterpiece. The book mixes philosophy and physics in a compelling way. The development of the language (commented on by other reviewers) rapidly grows on you, and in the end is critical in establishing the reality of the world he portrays (despite being a bit punny at times). While the book isn't fast paced, it contains a layering of mysteries which are resolved at just the right pace, giving the story a real sense of depth and breadth. If you are after a fast-paced action novel, look elsewhere, but if you find slightly deeper books that bring philosophy mathematics and physics into play, you will enjoy this book. As a footnote, the narration is excellent, and a real pleasure to listen to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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