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Charles E. Richardson

bink

bink | Member Since 2008

ratings
91
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
37

  • Cyteen

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By C. J. Cherryh
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman, Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (416)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (378)

    The saga of two young friends trapped in an endless nightmare of suspicion and surveillance, of cyber-programmed servants and a ruling class with century-long lives – and the enigmatic woman who dominates them all.

    troy says: "This is a Heavy Book (lovely too)"
    "Great Author, Solid Science Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Cyteen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Cyteen won multiple award when it came out because it explored the future of a humanity that could shape itself and how the limits of the universe, time, and distance would change humanity. It is a great and DEEP novel.

    Having said this, I don't consider it her best work. The book lumbers through detail and the first third of the book has not real main character, until the woman who dies at the beginning starts to grow up. To me Cyteen is not as tightly written as Cherryh's later work. But Cyteen does a good job of exploring the effects of genetics, environmental control, and human evolutional limitations.

    This book is not among my top 10 audio books, though it was an thought provoking book. I am glad I listened to it.

    I love C. J. Cherryh books. I wish they had started with any of her other series like the Chanur and Foreigner series. I love her exploration of human/alien relations.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Cyteen?

    When you realize the Hindu religion may have been truly started with control of human genetics and rebuild of a life.


    What about Gabra Zackman and Jonathan Davis ’s performance did you like?

    I liked the use of the male voice in a dry archivist manner. Those passages were a more academic exposure to the books underlying theme. However, the author and original editors should have shortened and tightened these passages. BUT Jonathan's voice acting went well with the material.

    Gabra did better with the women's voices. The main male character sounded too whiney in the voice she gave him. It portrayed him more as a childish whiner than as a troubled "special". But I liked her voice very much and would love to here it in other strong female lead sci fi. I loved her portrayal of the main female older self.


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

    No. It was too slow in the first third and too long at 36 hours.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are not one to explore deep subjects, then avoid this book. If you want to hear thoughts on a very deep subject we are just starting into, this is a good listen, not a great one, but solid.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Scrapyard Ship: Scrapyard Ship, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Mark Wayne McGinnis
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (246)

    Lieutenant Commander Jason Reynolds has had a string of bad luck lately - evident by the uncomfortable house arrest bracelet strapped to his right ankle. Worse yet, he's relegated to his grandfather's old house and rambling scrapyard. To complicate things, the women in his life are pulling from every direction. But it's through a bizarre turn of events that Jason is led to a dried up subterranean aquifer hundreds of feet below ground. Here he discovers an advanced alien spacecraft, one that will propel his life in a new direction.

    Craig says: "Wait! Huh? What?"
    "US Navy SEALs in Space on an Alien Ship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Scrapyard Ship again? Why?

    Probably not, I think I have heard all the detail and nuance that exists in the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I can't say I learned enough about any character that I have a favorite. The main character the SEAL officer who later becomes a ship commander is annoyingly obtuse sometimes. Other characters don't get as much development as they need. In short he could have added at least 2 hours to shore up the lack of character development. HOWEVER, the characters were believable in most cases and likeable if they weren't acting stupid to bring about a problem too quickly.


    What about L. J. Ganser’s performance did you like?

    He has most of the basics I like. When he is reading his timing seems natural and doesn't see too jerky or so smooth I don't know where the sentences go. He had good character separation, that slight tone change that stands out consistently for a character without too much jarring, with two notable exceptions, the rhino guys and Molly,"the Dad's got to have something to live for" daughter. Both parts he had a good handle on how he wanted to play the character but he overdid the effect. Sometimes he over did them to the point of annoyance. From my point of view a hint of a voice consistent voice change is enough. I am not looking for the different voices of cartoons. But overall I was pleased.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reactions.


    Any additional comments?

    The author will either mature in his storytelling in that he will give us the background we need to truly relate to the characters, or he will become unreadable. The SEAL officer who is the main character is reacting to a civil medical person from another planet. Okay, interesting, but after a while the relationship hasn't developed or changed and the off-worlder starts to become a whiner and the main character is in waaay too much denial about what is going on. Little things that could have added, when the now ship commander says he is going to meet with his whole staff of mostly aliens, we never learn much about that at all, the main stage setting. We need to know these representatives to finally care if the interplanetary good guys are worth hoping they will survive. Finally, author uses the commander's stupidity several time in both books and it gets old. One more than one occasion the commander Is out acting like a ground pounder instead of captain of the last hope of humanity, oh, like Captain "tear my shirt" Kirk. So he is out in some puzzling situation with a bunch of SEALs with him and they all get so interested in one single thing, none of them notice some evil this way comes, and the team is caught totally off guard. That's not going to happen in a professionally trained unit. Someone will always be monitoring their helmet HUDs, always!

    I wouldn't pay full price, but the $7.95 was fine. I don't mind supporting beginning authors who have the basics to be decent writers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rip-Off!

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Scalzi, Jack Campbell, Mike Resnick, and others
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, Scott Brick, Christian Rummel, and others
    Overall
    (392)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (358)

    In Rip-Off!, 13 of today’s best and most honored writers of speculative fiction face a challenge even they would be hard-pressed to conceive: Pick your favorite opening line from a classic piece of fiction (or even non-fiction) - then use it as the first sentence of an entirely original short story.

    carmen says: "not just for sci-fi fans"
    "The SciFi is hit-or-miss, mainly miss"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Rip-Off!? What did you like least?

    The Concept. Most of the authors involved are well known and I like their other books. So they pick a first line of some other novel to base their short piece on. Sounded interesting with an interesting group of authors, and the narrators looked good, too. Only about half of the stories are SciFi. Well, written stories, but uninteresting to me. If I wanted to read about 1920's Chicago or prewar Germany, I would look in period fiction. I am not saying this is bad writing, just not Sci-Fi.


    Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?

    I won't be buying any more with this format, but these are great authors, so yes. BTW, the listen button just gave too little information on this book to make a decision.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was fine, though it was WIL WHEATON that mislead me. ("WIL WHEATON!" shouted like Sheldon on TBBT.) I love his narration and I probably wouldn't have bought it if his name hadn't been on there with Resnick and several others. WIL WHEATON!


    Any additional comments?

    I am a pretty hard core Sci-Fi reader. So these shorts that had fantasy, period fiction, with a touch of real science fiction just didn't do it for me. I can tell you that most of the writing was good, though I didn't make it all the way through the book. So take my rating stars based on your leanings.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (1651)
    Performance
    (1466)
    Story
    (1465)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Wakes up my interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Leviathan Wakes?

    The main character didn't just run around acting silly in a very bad situation. He thought. He wasn't perfect, but he thought. He added a crew that you grew to like.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Leviathan Wakes?

    When he decides he has to share the information he has with the rest of the solar system.


    Which character – as performed by Jefferson Mays – was your favorite?

    Jim Holden is the main character. If you don't like him you won't like the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extremes. Just good solid story telling with a great performance to boot


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator has the ability to separate his narration from the characters. He has a sense of timing and import. He does not over act. He does not make me aware of him. I can instantly tell the different characters apart and they don't all sound the same. Twenty year olds sound twenty and forty year olds sound forty.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Centurion

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (353)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (178)

    In the second decade of the 21st century, the world is struck by two catastrophes: a new mini-ice age and a plague to dwarf all previous experiences. Rising out of the disaster is the character known to history as "Bandit Six", an American Army officer caught up in the struggle to rebuild the world and prevent the fall of his homeland - despite the best efforts of politicians, both elected and military.

    Lindsay says: "Enjoy the story and forget the politics"
    "Ringo Goes Political"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    First, let me say, I have read about everything Ringo has written and I will try his next book. BUT having said that, if you wanted to read a SciFi and not a treatise on how Red states are better than Blue states, don't bother. It's not really SciFi anyway, but I can get into a decent apocalypse/survival book from time-to-time, but the book doesn't really start until Book 2 / chapter 7, up until then it's Ringo's political rantings.


    What was most disappointing about John Ringo’s story?

    About 60% of it is political ramblings. All media is anti army, except Fox. Red States are gooder and Blue states can't find their own asses. (Of course, he ignores the fact that Blue states economically outperform Red states hands down. But hey, why let reality get into an apocalypse/survival book.)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Ringo has the ability to bring a soldier's life and risks alive and he does this in a scene where two scout strykers hit a pre-battle rant by a local leader. The whole chapter is classic Ringo and one of the reasons I listened to the whole thing even though I kept flipping forward as he started a rant. I was hoping to find more, and there were more small little bits of writing, but not much.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    If they left out his ranting scenes, I could appreciate the main character and the men who followed him.


    Any additional comments?

    I also listened to the whole thing, minus the ranty parts, was the narrator. I am looking for more of his books. I have done this with three other narrators. This would have been a solid one or two if it hadn't been for the narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where the Ships Die

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William C. Dietz
    • Narrated By Bill Quinn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Somewhere, deep in the vast blackness of space, a wormhole waits to be found. Dorn Voss needs to find it. But, the stakes are high and he isn’t the only one looking. Natural occurring wormholes are the lone means of intergalactic travel in the universe. Whoever controls them gains riches and power unimaginable. The coordinates of one such wormhole, the Mescalaro Gap, are lost, hidden behind conspiracy and murder. With a prize so great, many a man or alien would do anything to find those coordinates and control the universe.

    Charles E. Richardson says: "8th Grade Writing by an Accomplished Writer"
    "8th Grade Writing by an Accomplished Writer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from William C. Dietz and/or Bill Quinn?

    I would try another Dietz book, but no fiction by Quinn ever again.


    What could William C. Dietz have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Dietz's writing in this resembles his other books sometimes, but most times you get the idea that he wrote this when he was in 8th grade. The descriptions of the main characters are stereotyped shells as opposed to his characters in the Legion of the Damned series. It was almost as if this book was written as a satire of his other books or novice author wrote it in Dietz's "style" and they slapped the Dietz name on it.I have read or listened to almost all of William C. Dietz books and I had to stop listening to this on about half way through. I bought this on the strength of his name alone. I wish I had read the Amazon book reviews on the written version first.I am as disappointed as a long term reader can be.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bill Quinn?

    Almost anyone else, but Donald Coren was fine in Dietz's other books. I least I could track the plot and not have to stop and start the player all the time.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It completed my library of Dietz books. I just wish he hadn't wrote it, or if he was going to in any case, had written it with his normal care.It also taught me to read other site's reviews of the written form of the book even if the author is one of your favorites.


    Any additional comments?

    If you enjoy William C. Dietz, don't buy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foreigner: Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By C. J. Cherryh
    • Narrated By Daniel Thomas May
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (340)
    Story
    (348)

    The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

    Tango says: "A Sci-Fi Neville Chamberlain"
    "The Start of a Great Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Foreigner to be better than the print version?

    Yes, because hearing the narrator pronounce the names of the alien language is helpful. I also find that Cherryh can bog down just a bit in detail in the written word, but for some reason it isn't as distracting in the audio edition. Mind you, this is somewhat necessary during the first book since she is introducing a whole new world with the idea of what a alien-on-alien translation would be like.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Foreigner?

    When Bren realizes he has to split from his humankind in order to protect those same people. Sometimes he gets a bit pedantic or monotonous when Cherryh is getting just a bit lost in detail. This can be distracting. I get the feeling he want to get on to the next bit.


    What aspect of Daniel Thomas May’s performance would you have changed?

    Sometimes he leaves me breathless running through passages, especially near the beginning when we are hearing new Atevi words for the first time.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Shortly after an attempted assassination of Bren, the main human character through out the series, realizes how alone he is and starts to hold on to Banachi and Jago. You can feel the building, well Bren and Cherryh would say NOT, trust-thing.


    Any additional comments?

    You have to listen carefully to the beginning of the book. There is a lot of history that is used later in this book and the following books. If you can keep it all balanced, it is a rich environment with building, believable relationships.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Echo: An Alex Benedict Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Eccentric Sunset Tuttle spent his life searching in vain for forms of alien life. Thirty years after his death, a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic, indecipherable symbols is found in the possession of Tuttle's onetime lover, and antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is anxious to discover what secret the tablet holds. It could be proof that Tuttle had found what he was looking for.

    Terry says: "Great Story But A Male Narrator?"
    "Good Mystery Novel in the Future"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    FIRST, make sure you don't already have this one with Boehmer as the narrator. Apparently they have decided to confuse us all. They will even let you repurchase this one as if you don't have it. I almost did.

    Second, The whole Chase and Alex figure out a mystery 15000 years if the future thing works well because McDevitt is consistent (Well, Chase seems to be getting whinier, bad Jack.), creates a consistent world we get familiar with and we see changing, and makes an interesting mystery.

    Unlike Firebird, you can read this one mostly as a standalone, though there will be a few references that don't make sense, but otherwise it is just fine standalone. THOUGH I RECOMMEND starting from the first one "Talent for War" The whole series clicks for me, and the first book will tell you if it clicks for you.

    I also like this who academy series also, and I would tell you to start with "The Engines of God" It is set far in the future several thousand years before Benedict.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Firebird: An Alex Benedict Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (229)

    Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe-science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies. Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system, where they too vanished. And following Robin's trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger.

    wendy says: "best Alex Benedict in a while"
    "Another in a Line of Great Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like previous Alex Benedict novels this is fast moving, thoughtful, and uses characters well. Like the rest he takes us through a mystery in the far future of humanity. In this case he covers something that has been happening since the first novel in the series, infrequent disappearances of intersellar space craft. It is a mixture of learning what humans are and what we will do for each other.

    If you have loved the previous in this series you will like this one, too. If you aren't familiar, I would suggest you read earlier ones to get the full effect of the series.

    The narrator has done several of these novels and has a good style developed that makes identifying character changes and specific characters fluid. She does overplay Chase, the female lead, a bit hysterically. It is noticable but not a huge blemish. Otherwise her voice carries you through to the end.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Anniversary Day: A Retrieval Artist Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (203)

    Four years ago, a bomb destroyed part of the dome protecting Armstrong, the largest city on the Moon. Now, as the city celebrates its survival with an event it calls Anniversary Day, a larger threat looms - one that begins with the murder of the mayor, and spreads across the moon itself.

    Shaliali says: "Defferent Focus"
    "No Real Ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Rusch's books as sci fi detective novels. She creates a consistent world in which we get to know characters across books. She then kills some of those characters and you get personally involved because you want these mysteries solved. Flint or Nyquist or/and DeRicci, with Flint's help, solves the major mystery while other subplots get moved along also. At the end, your "mystery solved" fix and are ready for the next novel.

    If you read them out of sequence there is enough embedded history that you get through with no sense of vital missing information, but then if you get in sequence, then all the better. BUT she always ends the mystery. There is a solution. You get your "ahhh". You may not really like it, but it is solved and it is consistent and you know there will be more later. The world of Armstrong, Flint, and everyone else awaits your next adventure.

    Some of the people claim that this story is unusual because it centers on Nyquist, but DeRicci was the center in "Extreme", so this is not a major departure. In fact it intrigued me because Rusch was willing to say Armstrong was bigger than Flint early in the series. You know the Retrieval Artist series is going to be a rich environment. But I would also say that there is no central character here. This is a Moon wide, maybe wider, crisis. There are at least 6 main characters in it and Nyquist gets more room to setup a former partner who is germane to the central mystery. So, I don't agree that there is a central character in this novel. BUT Rusch has done a great job developing them and they flow together naturally.

    Now for all the praise, she violates a major rule SHE set up, there is no mystery solved. This is just a freakin' two-parter. She has mentioned the lack of a solution in an earlier subplot where Armstrong Dome almost got blowed up real good, but the other major plot was solved in that book. Interesting look into an future book, so Anniversary Day was not a surprise to me.

    So we go through the crises in the Domes, centered on DeRicci. We go through an investigation with Nyquist WHO shares the spot light with another detective, Marona(?), and we find out that Nyquist and Marona(?) like working together. We find Flint thinking he is second best to Talia, his clone daughter and this duo pulls out info that saves the Moon's Domes from Millions of death. We find out a big bad boogie man may be attacking not just the Domes of the Moon, but the Whole Earth Alliance, END OF STORY... WHAT???? What did we solve? Who got caught really. A former partner of Nyquist's is a brainwashed lackey, but come on!! No, the boogie man/woman bomber and/or the Twenty WHO are the real instigators and movers are not understood. They were the case to be solved, and we got a TV type end of the season cliff hanger.

    I am thinking Rusch might have been hanging out with R.R. Martin. God help us all if she has.

    In the end the situation with Nyquist and DeRicci seems like it will either explode or come together, NO. Just like the major mystery of the book, it just drags on to the next novel.

    This is completely counter to Rusch's normal fix to the reader of a decisive interesting end with characters that have a lot more mileage on them. Come on Rusch, solve the Major mystery of the novel and then go on.

    However, if you like the series so far, unlike in her other earlier novels, you will HAVE to read this if you want to continue on, but it will be an interesting read and decent continuation of the all the major characters.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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