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Chuck

United States | Member Since 2011

39
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 177 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
2

  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4226)
    Performance
    (3690)
    Story
    (3659)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Great story. Very well done beginning to end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first Haruki Murakami book, but it will certainly not be my last. What an amazing story. Very well written, very descriptive. The only thing I was not crazy about is that he would sometimes describe things he had described two or three times before, but it really wasn't that big of a deal. I loved the characters and how they developed through the book. Mr. Oshikawa was written so very well, I really despised him. The narration of the book is excellent too. If you can invest the time, I would highly recommend this book!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (329)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (313)

    A knight of Cygnar follows a strict moral code. His integrity is beyond reproach. He holds himself to the highest standards whether dealing with friend or foe. And he values honor above all. The year is 606 AR, and Cygnar has been sorely pressed by its enemies both at home and abroad. In Caspia, the conflict with the Protectorate is about to erupt into full war with the looming invasion of Sul. The Cygnaran military is desperate for soldiers with the skill, strength, and bravery to take up the devastating galvanic weaponry of the new Storm Division.

    Karen says: "More Madigan's Malcontents!"
    "More Please!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a fun book! I play tabletop RPGs and have wanted to try the Iron Kingdoms RPG, but didn't realize this story was set in that world until after the fact. It didn't diminish the book at all. The story, writing, and characters were really quite good. The plot was a bit predictable, but the characters were so much fun, I was paying less attention to the plot than I was the people in the book. I loved the fantasy elements of the book too, the world, the people, the technology (which is less about Correia's writing than it is about the Iron Kingdom verse, but it was still very well written into the book by Correia).I wish this wasn't a one off because I would love to read more about Madigan's Malcontents!

    Ray Porter's recitation of the book is absolutely amazing! This is the first book I've heard him narrate, and he's awesome. My next book may be decided based solely on if he's the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bran Mak Morn: The Last King

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Robert E. Howard
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    From Robert E. Howard's fertile imagination sprang some of fiction's greatest heroes, including Conan the Cimmerian, King Kull, and Solomon Kane. But of all Howard's characters, none embodied his creator's brooding temperament more than Bran Mak Morn, the last king of a doomed race.

    Chuck says: "These stories were not good"
    "These stories were not good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Based on the description, I was pretty excited about this book, but after the first story I was extremely disappointed. By the end, I was bored to tears. The stories were not interesting at all. I didn't care one bit for any of the characters, and I didn't feel like the writing was very good either. The stories just didn't grab me. It's a shame, I thought this was going to be a fun book, but it just wasn't for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3573)
    Performance
    (3091)
    Story
    (3095)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "Fun book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fun book. It had a cute story and while the plot was a little on the weak side I felt like the characters and their relationships with one another really drove this book.

    Wheaton's performance, while not great, wasn't horrible either. It was...pedestrian, and got the job done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4982)
    Performance
    (4716)
    Story
    (4702)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Good book, exactly what you'd expect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series (and I really liked this book) and Butcher is an amazing author, but the Dresden books are starting to become a little bit of rinse and repeat. Let me explain, I love how Harry's story (and the stories of all his supporting characters) advances with each book. We learn more about Harry and the further down the rabbit hole we go the better the story gets. However, Butcher seems to be following a pattern lately, Harry gets into situations that are seemingly impossible to get out of, gets physically and mentally injured to the point of not even being able to maintain consciousness most times, and always gets out of the situation (although never unscathed, which I understand is part of Harry's character developing, the plot moving along, etc.). I don't have a problem with this scenario in general as long as it doesn't happen that often. The problem I have is that it seems to be happening with more frequency in the Dresden books, like two or three times a book, and it's getting a little old, and in Skin Game, I felt like there was a bit of deus ex machina which rubbed me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong though, I still thought it was a really good book and can't wait for the next installment in the series.

    James Marsters IS Harry Dresden. There is no other way to put it. He was made for this role and his performance on this book was as amazing as all his others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11296)
    Performance
    (10530)
    Story
    (10539)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Ryan says: "Wil Wheaton for President"
    "Simply Amazing!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book blew me away! It grabbed me from the very beginning and didn't let go even after it was over. The story was absolutely amazing! Disclaimer: I was raised in the 80s and grew up listening to the music, watching the tv/movies, reading the books/comics, and playing the games (some, not all) that Cline uses in this book. I was instantly transported back to my childhood every time I hit play to continue listening to this book.

    Not only is the story great but Cline's writing is very good too. It flows, it's crisp, and he's very descriptive, sometimes to a fault. The story was tight and never really lagged. The one part I didn't care for was Wade basically forgetting about the contest as he falls in love with Artemis. That seemed a stretch to me (since his entire life revolved around the contest), but, maybe Cline writing it that way speaks more to the fact that Wade was disconnected entirely from the real world and suddenly he had someone who truly wanted to know about him, spend time with him, and talk to him, even if it was in a virtual environment. It showed how truly alone he was, which may have been Cline's intention.

    Wil Wheaton's narration was pedestrian. He does an okay job, not so bad that it annoyed me, I have heard worse, but he basically uses the same voice for every character. Not sure I can fault him for that, he's not a voice actor/narrator by trade and I've become spoiled by listening to amazing narrators like Michael Kramer, James Marsters, Craig Wasson, and Davina Porter.

    Overall, this book is a must listen too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gatherer of Clouds: The Initiate Brother Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Sean Russell
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (89)

    As the plum blossom winds herald spring in the Empire of Wa, Initiate Brother Shuyun, spiritual advisor to Lord Shonto, the military governor of the northernmost province of Seh, receives a shocking message from the barbarian lands. The massive army of the Golden Khan is poised at their border. Forced to retreat south, Lord Shonto is caught between the pursuing barbarian hordes and his own hostile emperor’s Imperial Army.

    Chuck says: "Solid conclusion to an entertaining story"
    "Solid conclusion to an entertaining story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a nice continuation of the first, and overall, the story that Russell tells is very entertaining. I did feel a little let down in that I kept expecting some huge denouement, and while the story does wrap up nicely, I was expecting the main character to perform some otherwordly feat(s). Russell built him up so much, but maybe that was the point, while everyone around Shuyun expects great things from him, ultimately I feel like he is only looking for enlightenment, which he ultimately finds.

    One other thing that I was confused about is the missing scrolls. Maybe I missed it somewhere in the reading, but I don't feel like Russell ever told us where the scrolls went. Did I just miss it? Possibly.

    Overall, Alexander's narration was pretty good, although he does have a few voices that just don't work that well (like the one that sounds eerily like Yoda, yikes, it was not good).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Initiate Brother: The Initiate Brother Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Sean Russell
    • Narrated By Elijah Alexander
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (133)

    Plague and warfare have swept across the Orient, ravaging the ancient kingdom of Wa, devastating the royal line, and leaving a new dynasty on the throne—a new emperor, Akantsu, filled with fear of all who might seek to wrest the empire from his grasp. Among those out of favor with the new liege is the Order of the Botahist Monks, whose mystical powers have enabled them to hold positions as spiritual advisors to the imperial court for nearly ten centuries.

    JPaladin says: "Good book; interesting characters, plot, and arc"
    "Fun, entertaining, and somewhat unconventional"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very good book. The world that Russell creates is beautiful and intriguing. He "paints" a magnificent landscape with gorgeous settings and characters. The writing is pretty good, although it does seem to slip at times, but not so often that it takes away from the overall story. Russell provides a great mix of action, tension, quiet meditation scenes, war, fighting, and court intrigue that keeps the story fresh and keeps the reader engaged.

    One thing I did not like was a story line he introduces very early in the book, and to me seemed like it would be central to the book, but he leaves it behind and only touches on it briefly throughout the rest of the book. Maybe he'll spend more time on it in the second book. Other than that, it's a really good book.

    Elijah Alexander does a pretty good job with the narration, however, there is something about his voice that took me quite a while to get used to. He is very breathy and often soft spoken which was very distracting for me at first. Most of his character voices are quite good and distinct, but some are just bad, such as the horrible Yoda type voice he uses for one of the minor characters.

    Overall, I'd recommend this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mongoliad: The Foreworld Saga, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, and others
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (112)

    An untested group of Shield-Brethren initiates stand before the sprawling Mongol army in a bloody circus of sadistic violence, while a hardened company of their finest roam the desolate wasteland of the Mongol empire, wrapping their dead in blood-soaked soil and struggling to find the strength to fight even as they mourn. The warrior-monks, both in the East and the West, sharpen their swords for a final battle. The Khan of Khans must be slain if Christendom is to survive.

    angel says: "This Book Rocks"
    "Good finish to the series..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The third book wraps up all the main story lines nicely and like the first two books is fun to listen to. It's not spectacular in any way, but it was a good listen. See my reviews of the first two books for my thoughts on the writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mongoliad: The Foreworld Saga, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, and others
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (173)

    In the aftermath of the Mongolian invasion of 1241, beleaguered Christians struggle with the presence of a violent horde and a world turned upside down. Apocalyptic fever sweeps through Europe, infecting even the most rational individuals, leaving all to wonder if they are seeing the end times - or an hour when new heroes will emerge from the ruins of cataclysmic defeat.

    Carol says: "Flawed but fascinating"
    "Good, not spectacular"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As suspected, the second book basically picks up right where the first one inexplicably and suddenly stopped. I truly believe these were written as one book and just chopped up by the publisher into three. This book does add another fun story line and continues the previous story lines from book quite nicely.

    My comments from the first book, i.e. writing by committee, turns of phrase, number of languages spoken by the characters, still hold true for this book. (See my review of the first book).

    Overall, it's still a fun historical fiction story to listen to and I'm enjoying it. I've already moved straight into book three.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Mongoliad: The Foreworld Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo, and others
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (455)

    In the late nineteenth century a mysterious group of English martial arts aficionados provided Sir Richard F. Burton, well-known expert on exotic languages and historical swordsmanship, a collection of long-lost manuscripts to translate. Burton’s work was subsequently misplaced, only to be discovered by a team of amateur archaeologists in the ruins of a mansion in Treiste. From Burton's translations and the original source material, the epic tale of The Mongoliad was recreated.

    Daniel says: "Good story - but"
    "It's...Okay."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like most people, it was Neal Stephenson's name that drew me to this book. Then I read the description and it sounded like a great story, it however, falls short of that. It's not bad and it's not great, it's just okay. The story is interesting and has kept my interest despite the characters not having a lot of depth or development.

    I don't mind the writing by committee so much, however, there are a few things about the writing that really stand out to me. One, the authors often use turns of phrase, idioms, common phrases, slang, whatever you want to call them that are common today but seem out of place for the mid 13th century. Not being a historian, I have no idea what common phrases were used in the time this story is set, but many of the phrases used by the authors feel out of place. The other thing that stands out to me is that the characters are pretty well learned and knowledgeable, and most of them speak multiple languages. Again, I'm not a historian, so maybe this was commonplace during this time, I don't know. It just seems kind of convenient.

    The one huge thing about this book, and most other reviewers have commented on this, is the fact that the book just stops at the end. No story lines are tied up, wrapped up, or even sufficiently put in a decent position to be paused, the book just stops. I've already started listening to book two, and as I suspected, book two basically picks up where book one left off. It seems like, and I'll have to confirm this once I start book three, that they wrote one book and for some reason or another the decision was made to cut it up in multiple books after the fact.

    Luke Daniels narration is pretty good, not great, but it is good.

    Overall I liked the story enough to move right into book two. Ultimately it's a fictional tale and in that respect it's fun and entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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