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Kent

Springfield, VA, United States | Member Since 2009

97
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 64 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
13

  • Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7122)
    Performance
    (3680)
    Story
    (3727)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
    "Not bad - a little slow - but worth the time!"
    Overall

    Good narration, but a bit too soothing of a primary voice for a long commute. Still - well done on the narration, overall. The story was good, but not full of nearly as much action as its predecessor ("Ender's Game"). As a sequel - not bad, but also not consistent with the pace/story of "Ender's Game". Intriguing plot - but at a VERY slow pace. Glad I listened to it, but it didn't draw me in, much. The plot concepts were solid (and intriguing), but you had to be listening for depth. Probably not a great "casual" listen. I had to replay several scenes when I failed to catch the subtleties of some plot points.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4754)
    Performance
    (4441)
    Story
    (4436)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Cristina Hatfield says: "Quite an enjoyable read"
    "Clever, creative, and FUN!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a creative and clever way to look at characters! I don't know if this started off with Scalzi saying, "Hmmm, I wonder if I can write in various points of view, and look behind the scenes of how characters tick?", or as just a random idea. Regardless - it worked! The main story was funny, poignant, and creative. The separate coda were well-linked to the main story in a very heart-felt manner. I really liked this book a lot! I am fastly becoming a huge Scalzi fan-boy! “Old Man’s War”, “Fuzzy Nation”, and not “Redshirts” – all good stuff! Oh, but, I guess amidst all this mush of Scalzi-love, I probably should point out that he does have a tendency to use the screenplay style ("he said", "she said") a bit too much! And, particularly in an audiobook, this becomes VERY obvious…and not just a little irritating! Let's just call this his "room to grow" as an author! (Maybe that's how he gets his word-count up for meeting publisher requirements???) Still, other than that one affectation, I really like the way he thinks and writes! His dialog is crisp and focused, and his characters are ALWAYS unique and enjoyable. I will definitely read/listen to more of his works!
    And, as an audiobook, Wil Wheaton did an excellent job as Narrator - which makes sense that he'd be able to inflect emotion into these characters because, he himself (as Wesley Crusher on "Star Trek TNG") must have felt like his character might just as casually become just such a "Redshirt" in the early days of his TV series appearances. Wil Wheaton did a really good job of putting dynamic range into the various characters - with more vocal intonations than I'm use to from him (as an audiobook Narrator). He really got into these characters!
    So, from all perspectives, this was an excellent listen!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Door into Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (179)

    Dan Davis, an electronics engineer, had finally made the invention of a lifetime: a household robot that could do almost anything. Wild success was within reach, but then Dan's life was ruined. In a plot to steal his business, his greedy partner and greedier fiancée tricked him into taking the "long sleep": suspended animation for 30 years.

    K. Lange says: "One of Heinlein's Best"
    "Heinlein Keeps It Simple Yet TWISTED!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm always a sucker for time-travel - - and the concept of cold-sleep (cryo-sleep) to travel into the future is a neat idea - then, using pseudo-science to get the main character BACK in time - - well, it wasn't a very precise explanation, but it worked well-enough as a plot device! But, that is one thing I like about Heinlein - he doesn't overdo the explanation. He tosses out a mostly-credible premise, lays down a patina of fairly plausible science, and then just runs with the main task of character development and interaction! So what if it really wouldn't stand up to the scrutiny of a physicist. It's FICTION!!! And, as a story-teller, Heinlein is beyond reproach! He is able to get you to like (or dislike) his characters without spending excessive time describing their personalities and motivations. Concise! Refreshing!! This was a lovely little story about how to use time-travel to serve up a dish of hot Karma! And, the ending wound down to a typical Heinlein-esque "open-minded" relationship situation that left me with a tiny but of "Hmmm!" But, I'll resist spoilers! Suffice it to say that this should make for a really saucy discussion at book club! As to the narration - it was a decent job! Nothing amazing, but it was a light and fun vocal interpretation without flaws or anything that drew me out of the story. I'd listen to another audiobook read by this narrator!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Voice from the Edge, Vol. 1: I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Harlan Ellison
    • Narrated By Harlan Ellison
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (75)

    Harlan Ellison has won more awards for imaginative literature than any other living author, but only aficionados of Ellison’s singular work have been aware of another of his passions…he is a great oral interpreter of his stories. His recordings have been difficult to obtain…by his choice. In 1999, for the first time, he was lured into the studio to record this stunning retrospective.

    Katherine says: "Amazing audio performance"
    "Ellison - The Genius of the Disturbed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great collection of Ellison! His stories never fail to make you think. I've been a H.E. fan for years, and decided to go back to re-read his works. I'm SO glad I did. After about 30 years, one tends to forget the subtleties of short stories. And, for the most part, the stories in this compilation DO stand up to the test of time - being mostly about universal human foibles. (Okay - sure, there are some dated references, but they are minor, and easily allowed!) So it is no wonder that so much of his work has been made into television shows or movies - OR, that he has written so much specifically for visual media. And, as an extra treat, I especially loved that this audiobook is read by Harlan Ellison himself. (NOTE: The following is with regard to all of the reviewers who have said that Ellison reading Ellison is off-putting!) There was a brief intro to put a few of the stories into perspective - then BAM - full-on Harlan! What better way to get yourself into the (twisted? complex! disturbed?) mind of Harlan Ellison than by having him read the stories they way they bump around inside his head! Yes - he DOES read at a frantic and frenetic pace. Yes - his voice is unevenly modulated, and you DO have to keep a hand near your volume control. Yes - his vocal style is sometimes haphazard and difficult to follow. BUT, this is how these stories were meant to be read! This is how these stories were written! And, this is exactly how these pieces of manic "disturbia" were conceived! Besides, Ellison is actually a pretty decent reader - once you dial into his pace and tone. I especially like his casual and off-hand intonations. There is a real sense of the IMPACT of these stories as he narrates them. I very much look forward to listening to the other volumes in this series ("The Voice from the Edge"). Great stuff!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • On Basilisk Station: Honor Harrington, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2049)
    Performance
    (1433)
    Story
    (1421)

    Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk station and given an antique ship to police the system. The vindictive superior who sent her there wants her to fail. But he made one mistake: he's made her mad....

    Bronwyn Soell says: "Two issues to address: narration and story"
    "I Really Wanted This Story to be OVER!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was pretty underwhelmed with this one! I didn't HATE it, but I can't say I actually LIKED it! So - 2 stars! I guess after something as riveting as "Old Man's War" - this was pretty tame! I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator over-enunciated, and gave Honor a 18-21 yr. old tweeny-bopper's voice that sounded too...well...too damn perky and empty-headed! (Yes, I know Honor is SUPPOSE to be a soprano - but this was a bit too high for a woman of her supposed age, even as a soprano!) And, as to the story itself, well, it felt like hours 1-14 were 13 hours of unnecessary expostulation around an hour of weak but necessary (yet highly contrived!) set-up; with the final 2.5 hours being really nicely elaborated (the crux of the crisis!), but leading to a REALLY predictable conclusion. I also thought the character of Honor was tepid, shallow, and unrealistic - mainly because the author never gave us quite enough of her story and back-story to make her credible. Also, MANY of the secondary characters had WAY more personality (yes, I know Honor is SUPPOSE to be cool and stoic, but I mean that her character just had no real back-stopping! It was flat!). Still, it was not BAD. And, if the audiobook's narrator had been less annoying in her voicing and speech patterns, it may have been mildly enjoyable. As it was, I just wanted it all over with - being damned and determined to finish it (hoping the ending might be more clever than it was!). And, as to that ending - it WAS really well depicted by the author. It's almost as if he had a really good battle scene short story, and felt compelled to put a novel around it. But, alas, Heinlein could have done this in half the verbiage (especially the unnecessary and highly-gratuitous tech-speak and pseudo-military lingo - AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!), and would have done it twice as well! Will I continue this series? Almost certainly not! Will I read more by this author? Perhaps, but likely not! (And, I will PURPOSEFULLY steer clear of this particular narrator for future audiobook selections!)

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Changes: The Dresden Files, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4624)
    Performance
    (3132)
    Story
    (3141)

    Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry.

    Julie D says: "WOW. I'm stunned!"
    "Yeah, a few changes!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! Yeah, CHANGES alright! Was nothing left un-upended? And, as I've said before, in the audiobook series of this novel, James Marsters just gets better and better as a narrator...especially, in this story, when he does the voices of the Pixies (most especially for Toot-Toot)! Too funny! So, now, everything is up in the air! What next? OMG, I can't wait to find out. Anyway, this book, particularly, seemed to have a more compelling tone to it, too. Perhaps it's when Jim Butcher talks about kids (and Dresden's kid, in particular this time), he really shines. I look forward to the next in the series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (4690)
    Performance
    (4252)
    Story
    (4263)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Well worth my time and credit!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For me, this book was a "Hey, why not take a chance" selection from audible.com. And, I liked it a LOT! Bronson Pinchot did an EXCELLENT job of narrating. And, as for the material itself - well, it was fun, creative, action-filled, and clever. The characters were, for the most part, unique and memorable (either as good-guys/gals or bad-guys/gals). What I found interesting - and not a little bit odd - was that I was reading Brandon Sanderson's "Alloy of Law" at the same time as I was listening to this audiobook. There was an interesting overlap in general (and I mean GENERAL) theme. One is not a derivative of the other - but I just found it interesting (serendipitous?) that two books I'd be working on at the same time would have characters who can manipulate their weight (either by pushing/pulling on metal, or by just altering gravity), and that both books would have such a rich panoply of magical characters. But, back to this book.... I really enjoyed the storyline, and the hint of a magical being (and it's predator) that over-arches this plot. The fight scenes were BRILLIANTLY filled with unique and clever uses of the character's particular magic in ways that just defied second-guessing. That was refreshing! I especially liked the use of Japanese kanji as power elements that could strengthen individuals - but only if they were meticulously inscribed! Nice! All in all, this was a delightful experience - especially with Bronson Pinchot reading (his breadth of characterized voices was impressive and enjoyable). I will definitely listen to the next book in this series, and will almost certainly read something else by this author (Larry Correia has a "Monster Hunter" series that has me intrigued.) Oh, and this was a "quasi-alternative historical fiction noir" story, as well - with perhaps a little steam-punk thrown in for good measures. Talk about cross-genre writing! Anyway, we get to meet some familiar historical folks along the way, but in slightly altered positions. And, watch for the uber-subtle shout-out to Raymond Chandler near the end! I may need to go back and look for more such "Easter Eggs" now.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Turn Coat: The Dresden Files, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (4177)
    Performance
    (2910)
    Story
    (2917)

    The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council - and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden....

    Lisa says: "Worthy Addition To The Series"
    "Another Great Story from the Dresden Files!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jim Butcher just gets better and better with each book. And, James Marster gets better and better with each one of these books that he narrates for audiobook. James Marster's use of voices (especially for tiny little fairies!) is fabulous! Very/VERY good job! This was a really fun book. Lots of intrigue and plot twists. And, the plotting was NOT cliche or easy to guess. Also, I really like the character development in this series. I look forward to listening to the next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fool: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1982)
    Performance
    (805)
    Story
    (821)

    Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear demands that his kids swear to him their undying love and devotion. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of...well...stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

    Michael says: "Mr Moore does it again."
    "Another SUPERBLY FUNNY book by Christopher Moore!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I REALLY loved this book! And, the audio-version made it even better. The material is hilarious - as long as you don't have a thin skin for TOTALLY non-PC language, for ribald humor, and for...well, WANKING, SNOGGING, and SHAGGING! The amount of research that went into making this "loose retelling" of the King Lear story must have been phenomenal! And it shows - by virtue of how masterfully and seamlessly the author interwove the "King Lear" play with bust-a-gut funny embellishments. There are a multitude of Shakespearean quotes (from various other works of the Bard) tossed into (and tossed off!) this totally irreverent book! I was laughing at a steady pace the entire way through the book! And, the narrator of the audio-version (Eaun Morton) did and EXCELLENT job of bringing the voices to life (especially the 3 Witches!). This is, IMHO, one of Christopher Moore's finest books! It pays irreverent homage to Shakespeare, while telling a nasty little story of deceit, revenge, treachery...and "heinous f**kery"! Loved every minute of it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Warded Man

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2088)
    Performance
    (1458)
    Story
    (1469)

    Peter V. Brett has won accolades from critics, fans and fellow authors alike for this riveting debut novel. The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors. But all is not lost, as some hold out hope that a savior will release humanity from the demons' terrifying reign.

    Meloney says: "Brilliant"
    "Better Than Anticipated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was actually better than I expected. It started off sort of like a long-winded fantasy, but had some very unique magic elements and creatures - sufficient to capture my curiosity and hold my attention. Probably the biggest fault might be the excessive cast of characters that surrounded the primary 3 main characters - so it got a little confusing when the interwoven plotlines bounced back/forth. ("Huh? Who the hell is XXXXX???" happened several times.) Still, that's a minor gritch. For the most part, all of the minor characters moved the plot along. In fact, I found myself REALLY hating a few of those minor characters, and shouting out loud (I listened to the audiobook version - so I was shouting at my car stereo...which must have been VERY amusing for other drivers on the road!) for those bastards to "get cored" [jargon from the book!].

    And, there were some places where I thought the plot was unnecessarily protracted - but it really wasn't all that bad. So, all in all, it had fairly acceptable pacing. But, I did have to keep reminding myself that this is a multi-book series - and that this is the opening volume in that series...soooo, establishing foundational material is necessary!. This only molified me a little, and tried not to be too peeved when it took 4/5 of the book for the primary characters to finally connect - and for the main story to be established.

    Oh, by the way, the action scenes were really well done - and the author's ability to create plot tension was superb.

    That all said - bottomline: I'm moderately inclined to continue the series, if for no other reason than to see if those secondary characters finally get their just retaliations(and they had freaking BETTER!!!). And, the storytelling IS engaging and fun in such a unique world. I'm tempted to hear more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Stand

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5376)
    Performance
    (4715)
    Story
    (4749)

    This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

    Meaghan says: "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"
    "Swaying Me Toward Being a Stephen King Fan!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have never been a huge fan of Stephen King...mainly because I felt him to be a gristmill of common fiction. But...there have been several of his books that I've found to be imaginative, well-written, and insightful. This is definitely one of his better books! Many of the detractors for this Uncut/Unedited version slam it for being long-winded, and for many passages being unnecessary. However, I strongly believe that THAT is exactly one of this book's most endearing qualities...its depth of character - especially for secondary, tertiary, quaternary, and even (surprisingly detailed) for briefly mentioned quinary characters. It is a book that needs to be enjoyed for the journey, not the final word. It's a character study - a jigsaw puzzle of interlaced attitudes and feelings; it's a mélange of everyday folks being thrown into an extra-ordinary situation...a crucible, if you will. And, sure, it's good vs. evil at it's core. But, it's much more than that. It's a slice of life, gone REALLY wrong! Prophetic? I hope not! A warning? Certainly! Overall, I really enjoyed it MUCH more than I thought I would. I plan to explore more of King's works in the near future! Oh, and in this audiobook format, the narrater (Grover Gardner) was AMAZING in his range of voice characterizations (male, female, young, old, mentally challenged, and evil)! His intonations and expressiveness was incredible. This was apx. a 48 hour experience - and I was not bored, nor did it put me off at any point along the journey!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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