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Cristina Torres

Member Since 2015

  • 6 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 517 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2015

  • The City and the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Geoffrey T. Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Diaspar is Earth's last city - surrounded by deserts, on a world where the oceans have long-since dried up. It is a domed, isolated, technological marvel, run by the Central Computer. Diaspar has conquered death. People are called forth; they live for a thousand years and then are recalled, to be born thousands of years later, over and over again. No child has been born for at least 10 million years. Until Alvin....

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "A Classic"
    "Meh, it was okay, at least engaging"

    It was an interesting story, but sort of morose. I found it mostly depressing and the actions of many of the characters unbelievable. Still, it had certain appeal in that it explored thoroughly the extremes to which the diverging attitudes of humanity might lead us. And it is an excellent warning against isolationism.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Sara says: "A Haunting First Book in the Series"
    "One of my top 100 Scifi novels"
    Any additional comments?

    The doomsday book does a very good job of making characters highly relatable, using antagonist archetypes and a few tropes to great effect, and generally pulls at your heart strings. It keeps you interested and even in the end you could go for "a little bit more."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

    Nathan says: "Read for the concepts and not for the characters"
    "An interesting exploration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August to be better than the print version?

    Yes, usually this would be a no, but Peter Kenny's performance is outstanding.

    Any additional comments?

    Those readers who can empathize with the main character seem of the opinion that this book is as much an exploration of the reader's "self" as it is about the Harry August. Those who cannot relate to the Harry, seem to dissociate him from normal human behavior, classify him as so outside the norm as to be even sociopathic. However, ultimately this an exploration of eternal recurrence (ground hogs day, but under your control), without an impossible striving for the perfection. Just a striving for purpose. Looking for a purpose is something we all do, to one degree or another, and that makes the character eminently relatable. However, his mode is so foreign as to also make him also alien. The author does a compelling job of portraying a character that is, at once, convincing in his role while still being wholly strange, since he is, in the end, immortal and we are not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Claw of the Conciliator: The Book of the New Sun, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Gene Wolfe
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis

    The Claw of the Conciliator continues the saga of Severian, banished from his home, as he undertakes a mythic quest to discover the awesome power of an ancient relic, and learn the truth about his hidden destiny.

    Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" is one of speculative fiction's most-honored series. In a 1998 poll, Locus Magazine rated the series behind only "The Lord of the Rings" and The Hobbit as the greatest fantasy work of all time.

    Ryan says: "The strange world deepens"
    "Good not as good as the first, but good."

    I feel like all these books end abruptly. I guess that is what you get when you take a huge book and break it into 4 parts. I long for the ways of french romanticist literature when a 1400 page book like the Count of Monty Cristo got published commonly. Anyway. It is good. Though I noticed that whoever put the cover art together spelled Conciliator wrong (or the people who listed it on audible did, either way someone screwed up).

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Coyote: A Novel of Interstellar Exploration

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Allen Steele
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim, Allen Steele
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The crime of the century begins without a hitch. On July 5th, 2070, as it's about to be launched, the starship Alabama is hijacked - by her captain and crew. In defiance of the repressive government of The United Republic of Earth, they replace her handpicked passengers with political dissidents and their families. These become Earth's first pioneers in the exploration of space...

    Michael says: "It gets better"
    "Obviously, people put this down without finishing"

    There seems to be a general misconception that this book is somehow attacking the right wing political agenda. I can tell you as a republican/libertarian, that nothing could be further from the truth. This book praises small government and self determination which are supposed to be two of the main goals of the right. Nor does Steele attack southern culture, if anything I believe that naming the man who rebels against the tyranny of the unjust government portrayed here in after Robert E. Lee is, if anything, high praise. Just because he calls the oppressive single party of the government of the former united states the "Liberty Party" does not mean he is attacking the right. Steele seeks to demonstrate that any government which embraces a single ideology and openly condemns all others will tend towards repression and the abuse of power. I think one of the strongest arguments for this intent comes from later in the book where the characters encounter a single ideology communist government (no better than the liberty party's republic), but I don't want to spoil it for you.

    I think the story is really good, some of the writing is a little unsophisticated for my tastes (but I'm spoiled by writers like Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, Simmons, Clark etc), mainly it seems toned down on vocabulary to reach a broader audience. The book is well read, and as I say the story is very compelling. I'd say this is a solid 4 star audio book.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor, Allyson Johnson, Kevin Pariseau, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On the world called Hyperion, beyond the law of the Hegemony of Man, there waits the creature called the Shrike. There are those who worship it. There are those who fear it. And there are those who have vowed to destroy it. In the Valley of the Time Tombs, where huge, brooding structures move backward through time, the Shrike waits for them all.

    Michael says: "The Shrike Awaits. Enter The Time Tombs..."
    "Well some of these people have no taste..."

    I would give Hyperion 4.5 stars, but I feel obligated to give 5 if just to offset these science fiction appreciation challenged fools. Sure, Hyperion ends abruptly. What publisher do you know that lets you publish a 1200 page novel? This is one of the best science fiction books of all time, I know, I've made a side career of reading Scifi. I would say the list goes something like this: Dune, Enders Game, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Hyperion, the Mote in God's Eye, the Fall of Hyperion. Read it, listen to it, but don't stop with it, finish up with the Fall of Hyperion as well. The books are really fantastic (not a huge fan of Endymion and Rise of Endymion but they tie up the series nicely). Seriously, if there is one writer today whose work compares to that of the "Golden Age" writers, it is Dan Simmons. This book is mostly character development, but it is great character development.

    33 of 40 people found this review helpful

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