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David Morgenstern

San Francisco | Member Since 2007

  • 4 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 472 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • A Talent for War: An Alex Benedict Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Gregory Abbey, Jack McDevitt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Everyone knew the legend of Christopher Sim. Fighter. Leader. An interstellar hero with a rare talent for war, Sim changed mankind's history forever when he forged a ragtag group of misfits into the weapon that broke the back of the alien Ashiyyur. But now, Alex Benedict has found a startling bit of information, long buried in an ancient computer file. If it is true, then Christopher Sim was a fraud.

    Brian says: "Very good - but the cover and title are deceptive"
    "Very enjoyable mystery"

    Interesting characters and setting. I admit that I'm a sucker for science-fiction mystery stories. The space battles for opera fans are all accomplished in a simulation. I enjoyed the introduction of Alex and Chase but readers should be reassured the pair will be better developed in the next volume of the series. And I don't know that I fully understood all the motivations of some characters.

    A note: I was put off by the terrible pronunciation of Greek and other foreign names and terms. Even ordinary words. This really is a problem with the producers. Shameful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Ruins: Diving Universe, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck

    Boss, a loner, loved to dive derelict spacecraft adrift in the blackness of space...But one day, she found a ship that would change everything - an ancient Dignity Vessel - and aboard the ship, the mysterious and dangerous Stealth Tech. Now, years after discovering that first ship, Boss has put together a large company that finds Dignity Vessels and finds "loose" stealth technology. Following a hunch, Boss and her team come to investigate the city of Vaycehn, where 14 archeologists have died exploring the endless caves below the city.

    David says: "Disappointing...."
    "I am warming up to this series"

    I had some serious issues with the first volume in this series, Diving into the Wreck. I am happy to report that this book is worth reading. The story line of a space vessel lost in in time is interesting and there's plenty of suspense and action. But even better, now we have a second viewpoint from another character, which is done in the third person.

    As I said in my previous review, I find the first-person narration for the major character off-putting -- it's difficult to write in this mode successfully. The entire first book was done in first person, and I'm sorry to report that it's still not effective here in the second volume. But now, we have another viewpoint, so the book was saved for me.

    Like many classic science fiction tales, this book ended in a rush. I wanted more, which perhaps is a good sign.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Prefect

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a law enforcement officer with the Panoply. His beat is the multifaceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. His current case: investigating a murderous attack against one of the habitats that left 900 people dead, a crime that appalls even a hardened cop like Dreyfus.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Best yet of the Revelation Space series"
    "Excellent hard science crime fiction"

    This is a fun hard sci-fi story that is also an excellent crime novel. Yes, I admit that I am a fan of sci-fi/fantasy crossover crime stories. A sucker some might say. But this story offers way more than the usual fare. I really was sorry to come to the end of the story.

    The Prefect presents plenty of terrific sci-fi society and sci-fi justice ideas, along with plot twists and cliff-hangers. Instead of a private eye, Reynolds presents a futuristic police procedural. The story isn't set on Earth but in a loose alliance of space habitats called the Glitter Belt.

    Still, the main character is hard boiled and his backstory is revealed over the course of the novel. Artificial intelligences bad.

    Narrator John Lee may be an acquired taste to some, bringing an astonishing range of British and European accents. The Glitter Belt in the far far future isn't speaking with an American accent.

    26 of 28 people found this review helpful
  • Diving into the Wreck: Diving Universe, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck

    Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she's an active historian. She wants to know about the past--to experience it firsthand. Once she's dived the ship, she'll either leave it for others to find or file a claim so that she can bring tourists to dive it as well. It's a good life for a tough loner, with more interest in artifacts than people.

    Pascal Scheffers says: "Scubadiving... in space."
    "A Wreck Altogether"

    I am a very big fan of K.K. Rusch's scifi detective series The Retrieval Artist, so I looked forward to her new work. Sadly, I must report that Diving into the Wreck was an unhappy start to a new series.

    Other reviewers say they were able to overlook the first-person narrative style. I could not. First, the style made it almost impossible to create a rich, fictional world. This was very unsatisfying, especially for speculative fiction.

    Second, the main character is uninteresting. She's confused about things that don't seem to be confusing. She is supposed to be a smart person but she's blocked and shut down (yes, I know that's part of the story but it didn't work for me). She is angry about things but unaware.

    I found that I just couldn't care about her. Another big problem.

    Now, the book offers many details about diving into space ships, which I gather are taken from experience from real-world dives. It just wasn't enough to hold me for a novel.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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