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Brisbane, Australia | Member Since 2009

  • 4 reviews
  • 20 ratings
  • 484 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015

  • Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Half-Navajo geologist Jamie Waterman has been selected for the ground team of the first manned expedition to our mysterious neighbor planet. Joining an international team of astronauts and scientists, he endures the rigors of training, the dangers of traveling an incredible distance in space, the challenges of an alien landscape, and the personal and political conflicts that arise when the team must face the most shocking discovery of all.

    Ben says: "Solid Near Future Sci-Fi"
    "Solid Near Future Sci-Fi"

    This is a solid science fiction title set in a slightly dated near future. Ben Bova has written an interesting story about the first human expedition to Mars that I found quite engaging and addictive. Some of the story elements are now dated (eg. Floppy disks, battlestar galactica approach) but nonetheless the story holds up as realistic and for me, at least, exciting.

    I had previously read the title in hardcopy prior to 'reading' it on audible and I think I appreciated it more evenly - throughout the entire book - the second time around. I attribute that to the format - you can not easily scan or skip ahead in an audiobook - but also to the narration of Stefan Rudnicki who kept it interesting. Stefan manages to deal with the many accents passably or at least better than I could.

    A very nice read!

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Steven says: "Steven Pacey is magnificient."
    "Exceptional Story and Audiobook"

    The First Law Series (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings) by Joe Abercrombie is an impressive and remarkable Fantasy series. I review the entire series here. With the proviso that this first book is necessarily incomplete without the others, the following comments apply equally to the first book alone.

    The world Abercrombie creates is gritty and realistic and reminiscent of the yet to be completed Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin. Politics, torture, warfare and violence play a central role in the narrative. There are no heroes in the story, only deeply flawed individuals who nonetheless assume the the role of protagonist.

    Explanation of the world and the true motivations of the secondary characters comes to the reader slowly and continues to the end of the last book. The conclusion, when it comes, is complete (and possibly even too long). Despite the resolution of the series' conflicts and the careful attention to completing story arcs, the ending is far from the cliched heroic triumph of characters living happily ever after.

    On reflection the incredible characterisation of the flawed protagonists pose many questions about the nature of good and evil, nobility and the potential of individuals to grow and mature without beating the reader over the head with any 'answers'.

    The narrator, Steven Pacey was exceptional in his reading and all of the voice characterisations. His ability to consistently produce identifiable voices (male and female) for the army of speaking roles and use them correctly in the context of the surrounding description was remarkable and added immeasurably to the experience of the story.

    Overall, a very high quality series and an exceptional audiobook production.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orphans of the Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Jordan Foundation sponsored the Proxima Centauri Expedition in 2119, in attempt to reach the nearer stars of the galaxy. But that was far in the mythic past. The original purpose of the Ship's epic voyage has long been forgotten, and for generations the giant spaceship, lost between the stars, is the only world that the people aboard have known. A strange civilization has evolved, with its own superstitions, savage religion, rigid class structure and mutant outcasts.

    Noe says: "Our world is a spaceship."
    "Good, fast classic science fiction"

    This is a classic Heinlein science fiction novel about a generation ship transiting the stars, the descendants of whose crew have lost knowledge about their mission or the truth about their world. This is not an original idea but this early book may have been the first to explore it. The protagonist finds out the truth and struggles to convince others, including the power-hungry captain.

    The book is fast-paced and easy to listen to. The narration is of good quality. Despite the age of the book there are few scientific or technological faux pas. The end, when it comes, seems sudden and slightly contrived. Still, it was a good and enjoyable read and a great first Heinlein for me!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cell

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cell phone operating within the entire world. Within hours, those receiving calls would become insane, or die.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent"
    "Interesting and Engaging"

    This is the first Stephen King book I have listened to and I found it very engaging and enjoyable. I have a soft in my heart for apocalyptic story lines and Cell delivers on this score.

    I had previously read Stephen King's 'The Stand' in hardcover and was initially worried that like that title the book would take a long time to recount backstory. This was not true of 'Cell' at all and the action starts within a few pages. Nice short chapters means the story keeps a frenetic pace.

    My only criticism of the book is the sudden and somewhat inconclusive end.

    The narration and character voices by Campbell Scott is uniformly excellent and I will keep an eye out for other titles he has narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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