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Sailfish

Member Since 2013

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 55 reviews
  • 311 ratings
  • 701 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2015
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  • Ringworld's Children

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (261)

    The Ringworld is a landmark engineering achievement, a flat band 3-million-times the surface area of Earth, encircling a distant star. Home to trillions of inhabitants, not all of which are human, and host to amazing technological wonders, the Ringworld is unique in all of the universe.

    Ausbin says: "Great Sci-Fi"
    "Ringworld Population Revealed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Ringworld's Children in three words, what would they be?

    Poor Teela Brown


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Louie Wu. Because he can always count on out-maneuvering those who would control him.


    What about Barrett Whitener’s performance did you like?

    Just about everything, his alliteration, tonal infliction, &c


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Tribes of Ringworld


    Any additional comments?

    I was somewhat dismayed that Teela's luck finally ran out on her and would have preferred a more storybook ending for her.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ian Douglas
    • Narrated By David Drummond
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (164)

    Dev Cameron joined the military to fly a starship but is rated unsuitable and grudgingly accepts an assignment with the ground forces, piloting a massive walking tank (a warstrider). But Cameron may yet get a chance at glory when he makes a discovery about the alien foes that could change the course of the war.

    Nate says: "This one is tough to listen to."
    "Solid on the Science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An interesting story but started out somewhat awkward what with a condensed discussion of the protagonist's father's fall from grace.

    The author was not outlandish with the earth's science of the 24th century; although, he did (intentionally) veer into fantasist territory when describing the alien race technology.

    The relationship between him and the the female captain has started slowly but that may have been intentionally so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Starfire

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By B.V. Larson
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (172)

    On June 30, 1908, an object fell from the sky, releasing more energy than a thousand Hiroshima bombs. A Siberian forest was flattened, but the strike left no significant crater. The anomaly came to be known as the Tunguska Event, and scientists have never agreed whether it was the largest meteor strike in recorded history - or something else. Alien artifacts have been uncovered since the 1908 event, and a new star drive is discovered.

    Everett Jenkins says: "Star Force fans may be disapointed"
    "A bit of a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Straight out, I'm an avid Larson fan. However, the writing style of this novel was as other-worldly as the story lines of most of his other novels. Where in the past, the males took a commanding lead in more or less swashbuckling styles, Starfire reads like the were written by a new initiate of the SJW academy.

    Seriously, every male was either a psychopathic killer or some love sick supporting character just waiting for some woman to lead him around. Even the rare romantic moments come off stilted and seem more obligatory than meaningful.

    The five primary female characters (3 scientists, a DHS director and female astronaut pilot) were all strong-willed and strong minded individuals who wouldn't take crap from anyone. Even the male mission leader was almost relegated to cook status.

    I have nothing against strong female characters but these were so in-your-face bad ass it was laughable to make it through most of their parts.

    I'm left thinking that most of it had been written by co-author Thomas LeMay and Larson giving his name to it like a knock-off Kinkade painting.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1998)
    Performance
    (1784)
    Story
    (1793)

    The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

    Amazon Customer says: "Probably best to read on paper/kindle"
    "Boring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No interesting characters, plodding and rambling. Reminds me of the last season of Heros where everyone was simply sitting around talking about this or that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost: The Licanius Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Islington
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (2507)
    Performance
    (2243)
    Story
    (2242)

    It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs, once thought of almost as gods, were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs' fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion's Four Tenets.

    alfred says: "James Islington Has A Great Epic Here"
    "A Must Read and Better, Must Listen, Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is by far the best novel I've purchased this year and one that I would place on my top ten Epic Fantasy list. The story arc is new and novel and the coterie of primary characters are well defined and interesting in themselves. There's lots of intrigue, subtle and surprising plot twists and the burgeoning love interests, with one even having all the markings of a tragic pairing. I would place this writing style on par with Raven's Shadow; albeit, with a completely different story arc.

    This is my first introduction of James Islington and am very impressed with his ability to unfold a story in bits and pieces but do it in such a way to keep the readers interest. What can I day more about Michael Kramer that hasn't been better said by many before me. In my opinion, he "owns" the Epic Fantasy narration genre.

    I will definitely be keeping my eye out for Book 2 of this trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Planet Strike: Extinction Wars, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (225)

    Imagine a ship the size of a planet. It has an atmosphere of methane, but there is no water. Mysterious and dark, it sails through a gateway, leaving a path open to the most implacable enemies that mankind and the aliens of the Milky Way Galaxy have ever face. Genetically tailored, symbiotic body armor protects the human commandos that are to be dropped on the metallic surface. A trooper in his armor, with surgically enhanced, neuro-fiber speed, is the deadliest grunt in the universe.

    Dennis says: "Great Story!"
    "Still entertaining after all the similaries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On finishing Planet Strike, I've come to the conclusion that this series is not a parody of other similar novels but closer to that of a mashup or blending of two (Star Force series and Halo Saga) and, possibly a touch of a third (Pandora's Star).

    Warning: Spoiler Alert!

    The Metal World (portal planet) is a completely unnatural planet, similar to Onyx (Halo: Ghost of Onyx), that is inhabited by Xenokillers (Kargs) whose primary objective is to kill all other sentient beings, period. This is more like the Primes in Pandora's Star but could also apply to the Sentinels in Halo. Also, part of the portal planet includes a Dyson Sphere but in this case more closely aligns with Ghost of Onyx than one in Pandora's Star. The top alien fighters, Lokhar, are a prideful fanatical species much like the Halo Elites which seem to combine two of the Halo Covenant hierarchies, High Prophets and Elite warriors; where the prophets are the ones who are charged with interpreting the Forerunner artifacts. The main Lokhar warrior, Prince Venturie, is similar to the Halo Arbiter in that he is Creed's primary Lokhar nemesis but there are many differences such that it's clearly not a close match. One of the artifacts is a sphere-shaped floating 1000s year old circuit-addled AI, EP/SRT2000, much like Halo's Halo 343 Guilty Spark or Mendicant Bias. Lastly, the description of the Lokhar Indomitable crash closely resembles that of the Halo Pillar of Autumn.

    With that out of the way, I still highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading an entertaining swashbuckler space opera novel, even if they've read the other similar novels. Yes, there are glaring overlaps to other novels but there are more than enough differences to give it its own unique feel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Assault Troopers: Extinction Wars, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (335)

    The Earth died when aliens rained thermonuclear warheads on her cities and sprayed the surface with a bio-terminator. A deadly poison drifted to every corner of the planet, threatening the last survivors with annihilation. For a soldier like Creed, there is only one way to keep breathing untainted air. He must bury his hatred of the extraterrestrials and join the Jelk Corporation as an assault trooper, leaving the planet for outer space. In return for his and other people's services, the corporation will house the last humans for as long as the assault troopers keep winning.

    rich says: "Payback is a Bitch You Lumpy Midget!"
    "Deja Vu all the way down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I honestly don't know if Assault Troopers is a massive, unashamed knock-off of previous SciFi works or a subtle parody mashup of all of them.

    Warning: Spoiler Alert:

    What with a Forerunner artifact (Halo), Overmen Creed vs. Col. Riggs, select multicultural troops, e.g. Creed's Coterie vs. Riggs Pigs, untrustworthy/eccentric AI bots N7 vs. Marvin (Star Force Series parallels), hollowed-out asteroid allusion (Troy Rising) it would be easy to call this a knock-off and feel justified in doing so.

    However, while there are similarities between Creed and Riggs there are also enough differences that leaves me scratching my head. Creed is a street smart ruffian whose prior life was traveled on a road leading to one violent experience to another; whereas, Riggs was that of a cultured farmer/professor. Creed's character is more crude than Riggs but, interestingly, more chivalrous than Riggs' womanizing predilections.

    Then there is the plethora of movie references Get Smart, Avengers, Die Hard, &c, which are all examples of where protagonists just barge ahead recklessly against insurmountable odds much the same as Creed.

    In all, though, I did find this an entertaining story and even eventually acquired a liking to many of the primary characters. As such, I plan to get the next two books to see when Heppner is really taking us.

    Lastly, why did images of Independence Day (Mad Jack Creed vs. Russell Casse/Randy Quaid) when his dad approached the first alien ship?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25087)
    Performance
    (23034)
    Story
    (23040)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Heavy on physics yet still very entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read many a SciFi novel where there are many extrapolated scientific theories to discuss things like FTL drives, plasma cannons, lasers and the like but this was the first one I've read where the novel weaved so many references on applied physics, botany and plain old mechanical engineering needed to keep the stranded astronaut alive during one travail after another. And yet, the central character was so indomitable and down to Mars, uh, Earth that the use of all the arcane scientific jargon wasn't a distraction.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and also enjoyed the narrator's ample talent in his performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prince of Fools: The Red Queen's War, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (289)

    The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister - unseen by most and unspoken of by all. The Red Queen's grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth - drinker, gambler, seducer of women - is one who can see The Silent Sister.

    Ron says: "M. Lawrence does it again, but differently."
    "A wonderful novel and a great narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the most entertaining novels I've experienced in a very long time. The protagonist, Prince Jalan, is everything a reader would hope for in a cad. He's a coward, liar, womanizer, drinker and seemingly a fool. Unbeknownst to him, he is about to be thrust into quest with a Viking that is his polar opposite and is unable to weasel his way out of it. While there are a number of dark moments, some of them sadly poignant, I couldn't help chuckling at Jalan's reaction to anything that would require him to take responsibility or, gods forbid, place himself in danger.

    Excellent writing by Mark Lawrence and superb narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Balance Point: Orphan's Legacy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Buettner
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Number three in the science fiction adventure Orphan’s Legacy series, a saga of spy games and military action on an interplanetary scale. The balance point of interplanetary Cold War II between Earth and monolithic Yavet tips unexpectedly toward peace. Covert ops Captain Jazen Parker and his sharp-shooting lover and partner Kit Born slide from world-saving hazardous duty to escorting a telepathic alien monster home from Earth to mate. And the two of them are forced to consider a quiet domestic future together.

    Sailfish says: "Very Entertaining Military SciFi Series"
    "Very Entertaining Military SciFi Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Buettner is very knowledgeable on the military SciFi genre and able to keep the entire series entertaining. MacLeod Andrews's narration was obviously well rehearsed and came off professionally done. It's often hard to find an audiobook where the narrator can move between multiple male and female characters convincingly and he pulled it off splendidly.

    The last book of the series, Balance Point, was a bit off from the other two but still well worth the time invested in it; along with tying up the loose ends left open from the first two books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor and Clown: A Man of His Word, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dave Duncan
    • Narrated By Mil Nicholson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (88)

    The loyal stableboy Rap had fought through hell and high water to rescue Inos, his queen. But once he did, he found that she had already married the accursed Sultan Azak, who had despoiled her beauty. As Inos follows her destiny, and Azak his, Rap awaits his fate at the hands of torturers....

    Pasta says: "this was the best in the series!"
    "A Fabulously Written Saga"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This saga is my first introduction to Dave Duncan's writing and Mil Nicholson' narration skills and I've found both to be surprise and a very pleasurable listening experience. My pleasure with this set of novels is only measured slightly more than my excitement of finding another author who has a masters level in writing skills AND has many other novels that I am looking forward to exploring.

    ** SPOILER ALERT **
    Note: My only unfavorable comment is that of how long he stretched out the whole unrequited love aspect of the story. Yes, I know it ends up being a central theme but it still seemed a bit tiresome at the end. Even so, it is only a very small complaint and nothing so significant as to dissuade any potential reader from enjoying all the many other wonderful aspects of this novel.

    PS: Duncan has an uncanny way of writing sentences in such a way that one often doesn't catch the mirth hidden in the metaphors and similes until they are midway into the following sentence. So entertaining that I'd find myself chuckling to myself, much to the bewilderment of people next to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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