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Charles Grayson

Memphis, TN USA | Member Since 2008

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 280 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (165)

    The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate search for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But though freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.

    Michael says: "Once Again, Terry Brooks Delivers The Goods!"
    "Another quest where everybody dies, pointlessly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Bloodfire Quest?

    Feckless protagonists, poor character development and unoriginal story line. Honestly, they all deserve to get eaten by some creature because they behave so stupidly at every point in the story that I couldn't care much about their fate.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Brooks again?

    I'll probably get the last book of this series, but I won't be happy about it. Nothing more after that.


    What three words best describe Rosalyn Landor’s voice?

    Overly dramatic, but her range of voices is quite good.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance


    Any additional comments?

    Brooks' portrayal of female characters borders on being sexist.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Valor's Choice

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Tanya Huff
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (123)

    In the distant future, humans and several other races have been granted membership in the Confederation - at a price. They must act as soldier/protectors of the far more civilized races who have long since turned away from war.

    Shelby says: "Surprisingly Good!"
    "Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Valor's Choice better?

    More character development.


    What was most disappointing about Tanya Huff’s story?

    The people are all indistinguishable from each other. No distinct personalities.


    What three words best describe Marguerite Gavin’s voice?

    Pleasant, but the character voices were too chirpy for marines.


    What character would you cut from Valor's Choice?

    All of them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Edge: The Edge, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1230)
    Performance
    (835)
    Story
    (848)

    Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

    Karen says: "Wow...wow...what?"
    "A Romance Novel under the Guise of a Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Delete the shallow, romance-novel like treatment of the male lead, Declan.


    Any additional comments?

    The fantasy aspect of the story is pretty good, but some of the writing seems lifted straight from a romance novel. Perhaps this is due to there being two authors, one male and one female. We know who is responsible for the gooey parts.

    1 of 3 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
    (8806)
    Performance
    (7827)
    Story
    (7800)

    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"
    "No Dresden"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Hounded? What did you like least?

    Our hero, Atticus, doesn't have a shred of Harry Dresden's personality or complexity, and all of the other characters are likewise paper thin, completely undeveloped. The character of Oberon, the dog, is idiotic.

    The story also lacks the, oh, intellectual depth of a Dresden story, which often wrestles with the ideas of right and wrong. Atticus seems relatively amoral, and demonstrates an indifference to the implied deaths of two humans at the hands of an immortal towards the beginning of the story. I almost stopped listening after that.

    The story doesn't really build any suspense as it moves towards the climax, so there isn't much satisfaction afterwards, particularly since it's difficult to care much about Atticus or his stupid dog.


    Was Hounded worth the listening time?

    No


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nimisha's Ship

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Anne McCaffrey
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (28)

    On Vega III, where the jaded inhabitants pursue lives of malicious intrigue and decadent pleasure, Lady Nimisha Boynton-Rondymense has always been an anomaly. Disdainful of the frivolity of her fellows, she prefers the exciting and challenging world of her father, Lord Tionel, owner and principal starship designer of the famous Rondymense shipyards.

    Eric says: "Great book!"
    "More of a documentary than an adventure"
    Overall

    There really isn't the slightest bit of tension in the whole story, not even a harsh word between characters. Almost every bit of dialogue is accompanied by the narrator pointing out the "grin" on the face of the speaker. The first third of the book is a dry rendition of the story of our protagonist growing up, without the slightest shred of personality development. Our protagonist, Nimisha, is clearly perfect in every way.

    The story picks up a bit once she's marooned on the planet, but the characters still aren't developed as distinct personalities. The plot summary of the book hints that dark forces are scheming to take over her ship building company while Nimisha is gone, but in reality, that only occupies a few paragraphs and then disappears as a threat.

    The writing style of the book is awkward, as if the author was thumbing through a thesaurus to find the most obscure word to say something simple, and of the characters talked the same way. You can't tell the difference between the narrator and any other character in the story. I surely expected something better from an author of McCaffrey's experience.

    The narrator talked too fast, didn't make distinctions among voices, and stumbled frequently.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Truth of Valor: A Confederation Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tanya Huff
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (71)

    Former Marine gunnery sergeant Torin Kerr is attempting to build a new life with salvage operator Craig Ryder on his ship, the Promise. Turns out civilian life is a lot rougher than she'd imagined - salvage operators are losing both cargo and lives to pirates. And when they attack the Promise, Craig is taken prisoner and Torin is left for dead. When Torin finds out why the pirates needed Craig, she calls in the Marines to get him back....

    Martha says: "Love a kick butt female!"
    "Workman-like"
    Overall

    The two main characters, Torin and Craig, are two-dimensional stereotypes of the damsel stolen by the bad guys and having to be rescued by the high testosterone manly-man, except that gender roles have been reversed. Here, the man is the equivalent of the helpless pretty blond, and Torin is the tough-talking kick-ass character who must prove her manhood through physical brutality and profanity. Neither had any personality beyond what was needed for them to perform in these roles.

    And I really groaned at the hackneyed climax where Craig urges Torin to allow the chief bad guy to live rather than having her "become just like them" by killing him, only to have to blow up his escaping ship minutes later. How many times have we seen this scenario played out?



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Wolf Conspiracy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert V. S. Redick
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (242)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (118)

    The Imperial Merchant Ship Chathrand is the last of her kind. Six hundred years old, the secrets of her construction long forgotten, the massive vessel dwarfs every other sailing craft in the world. It is a palace with sails, a floating outpost of the Empire of Arqual. And it is on its most vital mission yet: to deliver a young woman whose marriage will seal the peace between Arqual and its mortal enemy, the secretive Mzithrin Empire.

    Lindira says: "Very Good"
    "Decent story"
    Overall

    but as another reviewer pointed out, our main protagonist is a bit feckless. Perhaps it's just a build up to make him more of a hero when he develops more of a spine.

    My review is probably colored by the antipathy I feel for the narrator. Every character bellows his lines like he's standing on a Shakespearean stage; there is no sense of anyone having a private conversation. And so many characters cackle like witches around a cauldron.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1590)
    Performance
    (1185)
    Story
    (1180)

    After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can't rest for long - and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

    Anthony says: "This is how you write a series!"
    "Incompetent Liar"
    Overall

    Locke Lemora really isn't a very good liar, and I'm not sure whether the author is actually trying portray that, or he doesn't know how to depict a character who lies well. I got very, very tired of hearing his whiny voice struggling to cobble together implausible stories without any advance thought. Likewise, he doesn't seem to be much of a con man; neither of this "big cons" of this book or the last went well at all, and he seemed more resigned to being manipulated by others than in doing the manipulating, in spite of all the boasts he made about his own competence. There was simply nothing to admire about this character.


    The author also seemed to have constructed only one personality and then used it for all of his characters; they all, for instance, liked to engage in long, humorous similes, very similar to the ones used by the narrator. And every character used the same type of vulgar language, to the point that it became monotonous.


    The narrator, too, was an assault on my ears. His voices were much more suited towards a Shakespearean stage, because they "boomed", as if they were talking to an audience rather than to each other.


    All in all, I really hated this book.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Moonheart

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Charles de Lint
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (63)

    When Sara and Jamie discovered the artifacts, they sensed the pull of a dim, distant place, a world of misty forests, ancient magics, mythical beings, ageless bards...and restless evil.

    Vava says: "Enjoyable, different storyline"
    "7th Grade Level"
    Overall

    Two dimensional characters and hackneyed dialog prevented me from caring about anyone in the story.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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