Beaverton, OR, United States | Member Since 2011
Listening to the first hour of so of "Redshirts" I was sure it was just another funny story, full of sly humor and sassy one liners that make me laugh the way "Fuzzy Nation" and "Agent to the Aliens" did. When I heard about the book on Scalzis blog and read the beginning paragraphs I was sure thats where it would go-and I'm fine with that. I love his fun novels. Everyone needs a laugh at one time or another. Except for the head banging "He Said", "She said" dialogue that Scalzi writes (which seems to drive we audiobook listeners bonkers), the start of Wil Wheatons reading of Scalzi's new novel led me to believe I'd laugh the evening away.
Then it got a bit serious. Funny, still, but serious with a strange twist that had me totally amazed at the concept. I had to rewind a chapter here and there because I was sure I'd missed something. I wasn't getting it all. As the novel got deeper into the left hand turn the plot had made, it didn't lose it's fun jauntiness but it did gather even more unexpected sober, tough thinking adding plenty of "I never thought about that before" to the plot .
Character development is ...well..odd because Scalzi has developed his main protagonists along a couple of different lines. Pathways I had never considered in many years as an SF reader and viewer (and listener even). It's good character development...we know the protagonists- we have known them for years, even decades of Star Trek and they never seem to change..but these characters are sharper, more developed and very clever when they analyze their situation aboard the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid", flag ship of the galaxy. They have a captain who is completely J.T. Kirkian in attitude and language, a ships engineer, doctor...in fact all the standard characters we have gotten used to seeing-including new ensigns wearing red shirts. The ones who die on away missions.
I don't write spoilers so all this sounds vague but I want to encourage listeners to stick with the book through the irritating dialogue then listen carefully to the next few hours.
As for the Codas,I think they add to the book. I don't know how else Scalzi would have added the information..it wouldn't have fit into the body of the novel. And though it isn't really vital information it is lore that adds to the novel and incases our knowledge of the characters. Some reviewers on the Amazon site discounted the codas entirely. I think they are part of the book and it's an interesting way to insert this data into the book.
This is a book for SF lovers, Star Wars/Star Trek fans, ComicCon goers and generally those of us who grew up with Heinlein and Roddenberry, with Ray Bradbury (who passed away today at age 91) and Rod Serling, with Neil Gaiman and Isaac Asimov.
Scalzi fits in with all these guys, especially the early Robert Heinlein YA books, though theres nothing YA about "Redshirts".
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Some awful decisions were made about orphans in the early parts of the 1900's East Coast cities-where the influx of immigrants who had no work but many children lead to train loads of youngsters being brought to the midwest and literally given to people who wanted kids to work farms or sew or even act as nanny to the receiving parents own children.
This novel really got to my heart as it details the story of two orphans-one a victim of the orphan train and the other a product of the foster care system we have today. They come together and each learns from the other.
A wonderful listen...made me grateful for my parents.
A lot like his other books, The Story of Danny Dunn might be a good place to start listening to Bryce C's plethora of audible books simply because it isn't quite as long. It was written towards the end of his long writing career and has themes very similar to other books in his oeuvre.
There are other better and much longer listens but the new Courtenay listener may want to work up to them.
Glad I heard it, just so I can say I've listened to all he's written and worth a credit.
Joe Hill really writes an awful (in a good way) novel..this was ucky creepy and I'm still thinking about it a week and another good listen later. It was truly not a fun listen and really got to me but I still am glad I listened. Made to be listened to rather than read, Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek "Voyager" fame shows her narrating ability in Hills' iconic horror novel..she has a flexible voice that can do many registers from high to low and displays an excellent ability to put the creep into creepy. Don't fall asleep to this novel..it will bring on BAD dreams......garenteed!
This is the kind of plot that makes the horror genre honk its horn in excitement. While there are some reminiscent scenes similar to Hills more famous dad's iconic novel "Christine", Joe Hill doesn't stand on literary parents productivity with this example of his work.
This book may wreck Christmas for some of you..I'm glad I listened to it in the spring as I don't want to hear "Holly Jolly Christmas" for a long time.
I'm quite serious about listening to it while falling asleep. I did and my brain was full of the monstrosity of the Rolls "Wraith" trapping ME and taking me for a ride while I slept.
I need to find a NICE book to listen to while I fall asleep I guess.
I really dislike sound effects..and apparently David Baldacci's producers think we need sound effects and musical interludes to perk up what was a fairly tedious listen.
McLarty and Cassidy did their best to perk the book up but it was not at all believable. The second novel in a series, I won't be buying the third (if there is one).
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This fictionalization of a true story takes place in the early 1900s in the Australian desert. People worked very hard to try and make a living, women were expected to get married and be second to their husbands horse in importance not ride the range and fix fences with their father. Australian natives were called 'abos" and had no rights at all.
The story arc is dramatic and as it unfolds we learn all about Jessica-a rugged and mouthy 14 year old at the start of the story and in her mid 30s at the end. She has to fight for everything and though she looses many of her battles she remains the woman she was at 14 (an age when young girls were expected to get married at this time).
Jessica collects several unusual friends even as she loses her father and her mother and sister plot against her.
I can easily believed the story is fictionalized truth-what happened to Jessica Bergman during her strife filled life is too dreadful to be fully fiction and people were treated the way Courtnays book explores. Black natives did have their children removed from their homes from 1915 until 1969 (Wiki source). Women were expected to do as their fathers or husbands demanded-most had many children so there would be workers for the land and in the family with just girls, a Jessica type girl wasn't uncommon-someone had to help the father work the land.
I've read most of the reviews and feel a bit sorry for those who didn't finish the listen because it was depressing or upsetting. It is reality of a time thats gone now but the story remains heartfelt and deeply endearing. I don't think I'll ever forget it.
I've read or listened to Jodi Picoult's books since her first novel was published. Sadly the past several have not been up to the first ones. "The Storyteller" is a big jump back to good writing.
Because I've listened to many of her stories I'm quite used to the variety of narrators and, as usual, I think this system of narrating greatly adds to the story.
Not a 5 star, but a good solid 4 star listen I highly recommend.
Faith Hunters new series continues to be well developed as the primary characters are more deeply explored in Book 6 of the Jane Yellowrock series.
Conflict both physical and emotional is explored as Jane is called to discover the reason why the 'super vamps' seem to be resistant to her typical methods of making renegade vampires truly dead.
Janes personal relationships with her two primary love interests are further explored but we readers/listeners have even more exploration into Janes history and background-much is revealed in this book and my interest remained peaked.
In my opinion, the strong woman with a gentle heart in the series is a great role model for women from the older teen up to any mature age (I, for example, am 70) who enjoys her action mixed with introspection. Although I enjoy books with good love scene writing I also appreciate that Jane doesn't jump into bed with just anyone. She thinks about what she wants/needs before acting.
The action scenes are great-well written with lots of information about guns etc. The male reader would probably enjoy 6this series more than he expects...I encourage men who like action books to try the Jane Yellowstone series for light reading.
I loo forward to more in this series
I very much appreciate the writing Rusch has done in these first 9 novels in the series. She pens a good tight plot, the story arc runs true and the characters evolve as the series progresses.
I do think, though, the story wouldn't have been nearly as effective without Jay Snyder as its narrator. A great voice able to bring all the different persona in these books together as well as adding excitement to the story line gives so much to these books. I'm so impressed with his work. I intend to look for other novels he's narrated because I like the sound of his voice so much.
Blowback sets the series up for further expansion - and I'm glad. Though it did leave a few loose threads, all in all the plot is nice and tight and we understand why things are progressing the way the author has taken them.
Character development is this authors forte. She's allowed her characters to grow in their development as the time goes. This is especially important with Talia, a young outspoken girl who deserves a spin off series one of these days!
The civilization Rusch has penned is believable. It's very enjoyable to imagine meeting the aliens she's imagined and shes done a nice job of working around problems that would come from a meeting of different specie. It's quite believable.
I suggest these books be read in order. I'm sure each is set up to be sort of stand alone, but starting in the middle might be confusing, though Rusch does add a brief backstory in all the novels.
Suitable for most ages...I was listening in my car with my 8 year old grand daughter at the point where cloning was being discussed. She asked questions and I turned the book off and we had a good discussion about cloning. Now she wants to hear more of these books..it's a big jump from Mary Osborne's Magic Tree House stories she has on her iPod to Si Fi but I'm ready to encourage her to take it if she wants. I started Heinlein's Juvenile Books at 11 so why not?
A good book with action and situations where the listener is given opportunities to think about what she would think in the same situation.
What a great story arc---a marathon on the moon...Rusch really comes up with different ideas and I love it! Jay Snyder has the aliens down pat..voices and attitude-he's got it made.
A new protagonist-Miles Flint is introduced in this novel. He's a Retrieval Artist (why artist? I wonder)..someone who makes it safe for those who have crossed an alien culture go into hiding..ya gotta read these..or listen to them..to get what I'm talking about here.
In any case, as a former runner I could totally connect with this novel. And enjoyed it as much as the first. I'm sad to see there's only one more written in this series because I'm hooked as I haven"t been since "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". And thats saying something!
Kristine Rusch has developed a great hook with this series, and she's joined with Jay Snyder as narrator to come out with a great new story arc--at last-a NEW SiFi story line.
Rusch writes tight dialog, both human and alien and Snyder does a wonderful job of inventing the aliens speech patterns and voices. Together they have a intriguing new idea that caught my attention in the first hour.
Other reviews have covered the story line so I won't-I just have encourage those who love good tight SiFi thats not based in uber tech but reads like it's just the normal day except hundreds of years in the future, to check this first novel out. As for me, I'm on to # 2
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