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Kevin

Boulder, Colorado | Member Since 2010

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 32 ratings
  • 288 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18860)
    Performance
    (17051)
    Story
    (17196)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Ugh, Harry Potter meets Hunger Games in a bad way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Um, yeah. This is just not a good book. It's fairly clear that the author just thought she could rehash bits of Hunger Games (post apocalyptic U.S. focused on kids suffering through a dystopian world) and Harry Potter (different houses with different reputations/skills). Not only does the author fail to do a good job in creating something new and interesting, but the writing is mediocre leaving the listener waiting for a reason to keep listening. In the end, I decided to just stop listening and give this one up.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Elantris

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4649)
    Performance
    (3103)
    Story
    (3150)

    Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is "outstanding." Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

    Lore says: "What if your body could never heal?"
    "Good first novel, but not his best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really dig Brandon Sanderson (or B.Sands as I commonly call him). This book is good and it's a sign of the great writing he has done since. But, it's definitely an earlier work. Characters are simpler, plots are less convoluted, and writing is not as good (not that I can talk).

    Is it worth a listen? Totally.

    If you have already gone through his other series, this can get you by while you wait for his next tome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Marissa Meyer
    • Narrated By Rebecca Soler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2259)
    Performance
    (2043)
    Story
    (2049)

    Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.

    Staaj says: "Surpised by how much I enjoyed it"
    "Interesting start to a series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book isn't as trite or kitschy as I thought it would be. The writing was fun and the setting was actually well thought out. Yes, it's just a spin on Cinderella, but hey it was well done. I say, "Go for it!" You'll probably have a good time if you're into this sort of stuff. I certainly did. I will give you a heads up though - the future books in the series seem to be much less original and fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses: Half Moon Hollow, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2267)
    Performance
    (2102)
    Story
    (2094)

    Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it. Complication One: The artifacts are lost somewhere in vampire Jane Jameson’s occult bookshop. Complication Two: Her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, keeps turning up half-naked at the strangest times....

    Diana Turmenne says: "One of the best spin offs I have read!"
    "Much better than last Harper book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this was a much better book than "Driving Mr. Dead". I found the humor in this book on par with some of Ms. Harper's better books. Characters had interesting backgrounds that made me want to see how things turned out. Yes, the book is predictable in it's final outcome. It's a romcom book. The fun is about the twists and turns on the way there. This book did a good job.

    I would recommend reading all the the "Nice Girls Don't..." series first as this book relies heavily on characters from those books and the inside jokes may be lost on you without that.

    Finally, the reader, Amanda Ronconi, may have been tasked too hard for this book. I really sympathize as she is a great reader and does many accents well. But, the lead character in this book is supposed to have an accent that is a combination of Boston (think JFK) and Irish. It was at times painful to listen to. Yuck. I don't think Ms. Ronconi blew it as much as that was just a horrible accent to assign to any character - that was all Molly Harper's fault. The reader sounded best at times when she just gave up on trying to put any Boston in and just let Irish roll out. After a few hours you'll get used to it, but wow, it's like adjusting to eating cheeseburgers with chocolate sauce on top. You could do it, but it just hurts to think about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Driving Mr. Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3768)
    Performance
    (3428)
    Story
    (3421)

    Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation. Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog!

    Ducky says: "Molly Harper can't write fast enough for me!!!!"
    "Not Molly's best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel it's probably safe to say I'm in the minority as a male reader/listener to Molly Harper's works. What can I say, I like a romcom and she is definitely funny. I've burned through pretty much everything she's written about Half Moon Hollow and werewolves in Alaska etc etc. Most of the books are pretty formulaic, but they are funny as hell and satisfying.

    This one is just the low point I guess. This book's female lead was just pretty bland and the male character, I found little sympathy for. He just seemed to be a character plucked from any one of the 80's romcoms - aloof, not knowing how to connect.

    What generally makes Ms. Harper's books good are a bunch of nearly-Shakespearian mix ups, misunderstandings, and people doing things wholly inappropriate. Aside from boob-painting vandals, this story really seemed to lack that quality.

    I wouldn't say, "Don't read this", but I would say, "Only read this when you've got nothing else and you want a fix of fantasy romcom."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Tooth

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Ian McEwan
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (624)

    Winner of such prestigious honors as the Booker Prize and Whitbread Award, Ian McEwan is justifiably regarded as a modern master. Set in 1972, Sweet Tooth follows Cambridge student Serena Frome, whose intelligence and beauty land her a job with England's intelligence agency, MI5. In an attempt to monitor writers' politics, MI5 tasks Serena with infiltrating the literary circle of author Tom Healy. But soon matters of trust and identity subvert the operation.

    Susianna says: "Perfect Book for your Literary Sweet Tooth"
    "Good, but not great."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We read this as part of our book club and found it disappointing. It wasn't a bad book, but you found yourself often wanting the characters to be better, the plot to be much tighter, and the whole concept less vanilla. It's a sort of twist on spy novel and romance that didn't quite work for me or the other book club members. In my listen, I kept on waiting for something to happen. Not a bad book, just not great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7475)
    Performance
    (6614)
    Story
    (6607)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Mariya says: "Killin’s my business and business is fine"
    "Eh, Read "Hard Magic" instead"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just listened to both of Correia's available Grim Noir books and thought they were great! Original, well thought out and, for the most part, the characters were diverse and interesting. I went to the author's website and read him ranting about how he believed that he hadn't gotten some award or another, because of the liberal reviewers or some such and how he was okay with that because he had a big gun collection and a house in Utah. Hey, that sounded bizarre to me as Hard Magic didn't seem to have any sort of political bent at all. Just great fun.

    Then I picked up Monster Hunter International and I found out what was going on. I have to say that this book was just simple-minded and had a heap pages wasted on subplot about how the US government wants nothing more than to get in the way of people trying to stop evil monsters. For a plot point, here and there, I think this could work, but Correia just made this more personal vendetta than story. In Ghost Busters, it was great to see the interplay between Walter Peck (the EPA guy) and the Mayor and the Ghost Busters. I get it. This can be funny. But, this book just took it way, way too far.

    The point of this book, for me (hey I'm not the author, but I did listen to the whole thing), should be "There's some bad monster dudes, and here is our ragtag bunch of heroes out to save the day". Instead, I found it to be, "The government is actually the only reason we have a problem, because they are whiney liberal idiots who don't let decent Americans shoot things (evil monsters) with guns."

    Between that plot and the endless discussion of this gun vs. that gun and which had what size barrel diameter and number of balls of shot in a cartridge and bull-pup configuration or the back blast from this grenade launcher, I was finding myself distracted much more than entertained.

    If you just want to hear a book the promotes stereotypical viewpoints about guns and liberals for hours on end, this could be the book for you. I found it to be the work of a writer who has not yet come into his prime that focuses on things that did not advance the plot. This, I find in stark contrast to Correia's "Hard Magic" which was excellent. It's still evident from that book that the author is a self described "gun nut", but it is tempered with an excellent plot, and good writing (in the books, he does a great job of altering writing style to match the perspective of different characters' world view). I suggest that if you're looking for a well-written book that is a great blending of action and fantasy start with that book instead.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Earth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton-Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (719)
    Performance
    (630)
    Story
    (639)

    The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone? Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some say mad, others allege dangerous - scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget.

    colleen says: "A Different Pratchett"
    "Surprised - in a good way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Long story short: Read this book, but don't expect Terry Pratchett. The plot idea was fascinating - infinite Earth's you can travel between. This book is really akin to Larry Niven's, "Ring World" than it is Disc World. There are a few humorous lines here and there, but it's mostly hard science fiction. Great! Entertaining! Makes you think. It's a great start to a series and I can't wait for the next.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3656)
    Performance
    (3304)
    Story
    (3339)

    Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world....

    T. Ater says: "Pleased, yet wanting more..."
    "Unexpected greatness. Obviously setup as a book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was thoroughly impressed by this book. Haven't read the author's previous works, but this book gave enough introduction to the mythos and universe that I was able to catch on quickly. This book isn't quite "urban fantasy" as it's more Wild West-themed fantasy, but it's done with some class.

    The characters were a bit stereotypical (quiet lawman with a past, silly sidekick, developing you prodigy, etc etc), but the plot was well conceived and the characters fit well into the story. Worth reading, and worth waiting for book 2!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Called: Mercy Thompson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4465)
    Performance
    (2983)
    Story
    (2991)

    Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

    Susan says: "I love this series.."
    "Decent read, but obviously a "part 1" of many"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yup, it's another urban fantasy book rife with strong female characters, various supernatural baddie baddies, and hints at love-triangles. The sad thing is that if this wasn't written by the same formula as most books in this genre, I would give this a much higher rating. It's not that it's a bad book - it's actually really good and better than much of what I've read in the genre. It's just that there isn't much new or original in the plot, the universe, or the people.

    Like most urban fantasy books I've read, this one spends book 1 doing a lot of introducing what different types of critters can do, what their weaknesses are, and setting up a bunch of "unanswered questions". What's in her past? Oooh, why is she an orphan? etc etc

    The reading is decent, but some of the characters blended together in my mind and I fault that, at least in part, to the reader. As a first person perspective book, narration by a woman makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, almost every other character in the book is a man and the reader makes them all sound like gravelly jazz singers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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