Scalzi's first novel, an attempt to see if he was a novelist, was a hard sell. Perhaps he might have used a better agent, but things worked out well enough for him--he learned enough from writing this novel to go on to write some of the best modern novels.
Agent to the stars is a science fiction comedy (mostly, anyway--it's sad and touching in places, but most often the tears are from laughter). Why would an alien race wanting to make contact with Earth land on the White House's front lawn? That's so over-done. We've seen it in movies for years, and apparently so have they. So they take a different direction, and hire an agent.
But exactly how does an agent introduce a hideous alien species to the world? It's not a very straight path, but it sure is an enjoyable one, made all-the-better with Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek fame) doing the reading.
New York is under attack! Not War of the Worlds style attack, but attack none-the-less. And the Doctor doesn't just want to fix problems, but needs to this time around.
This story was a good, solid story that fit well into the Doctor Who universe. Nothing new and exciting about it, but certainly a fun story to enjoy. If you're looking for a classic or if you're looking for fun time travel paradoxes, this probably isn't the story you're looking for, but if you're looking to continue your adventures with the Doctor.
There are so many versions of A Christmas Carol in various media formats. This one works out to be a nice, easy listen and worth the time spent.
Given a free story by an amazing writer, it's impossible not to be excited about it. It's short, yes, but that's the perfect length for a quick little Halloween scare. Well worth the price and certainly an enjoyable listen, even if there's nothing unexpected or outright scary that happens. It still should manage to get your thoughts going and creep you out.
Pathfinder fits well into the sci-fi/fantasy genre, with lots of fantasy overtones and settings ("magic", more of a medieval feel) with scientific explanations. This setting again enables Orson Scott Card (of Ender's Game fame) to demonstrate his amazing story weaving abilities.
Rigg is forced onto a journey by the death of his father, being told to find a sister he never knew he had, and learning throughout that he's not who he thought he was. There are lots of twists and turns throughout his journey, multiplied by the way this story plays with time.
The reading itself was generally well done, although having different voices reading different chapters hurt my immersion at times. Overall, all of the readers had good voices, but were just different enough for me to get distracted. The story itself was worth the minor problems in reading, and made this well worth a listen.
Most endings of well-loved series are sad, knowing that the characters and situations we've spent so long learning about and coming to love are at their journey's end. Mockingjay is no exception.
This series started out wonderfully, with The Hunger Games, quickly capturing attention and interest in this universe that Suzanne Collins has created. The next two books delve more deeply into the politics of the universe, straying further from the simple competitor's point of view to get a better view of the world as a whole. For people that enjoyed the first book for the games and the micro-politics that went on with them, the next two books would be a disappointment.
For people that left the first book wanting to see the ruling government get what's coming to them, the books only get better.
If you already have the first two books down, there's little point to reading this review. Finish off the series and enjoy it. If you're looking for a series to catch up on, this is one worth considering. But you probably want to read reviews for the other two books to see if this is the one for you.
Christianity is often questioned about how, if God is good, can we live in a universe of pain. It's a difficult problem to answer, but Lewis gives some interesting insight and thoughts on this question.
His arguments may not be correct, but do give reasonable thoughts with which to approach the problem and try to gain some understanding in the universe. It's worth considering for anyone interested in this problem of pain.
Love and flowers may go hand-in-hand, but generally they don't come alongside a prison cell. Dumas takes a break from the political intrigue found in most of his stories, and writes a (relatively) short novel without the use of weaponry (for the most part). It's a drastically different feel from The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo, but it's still distinctly Dumas, as he manages to work love and intrigue into a story woven around a tulip.
The Black Tulip takes place in Holland of 1672 (not the France of most of Dumas' works), and opens describing both why the tulip is important and why the protagonist gets thrown into jail. From there it's an enjoyable journey that easily holds the audience's interest. Unlike most works by Dumas, this one comes in as a much shorter story, leaving Dumas with less time to ramble on with thoughts and descriptions, keeping the plot clean and simple.
Peter Joyce does a great job of narration with this story, giving distinct voices to the different characters, and helping the story to flow.
A great story for any Dumas fan, or for anyone wanting to see if they like his work without investing the time needed for the Three Musketeers or Count of Monte Cristo classics.
In many ways, Catching Fire doesn't live up to the first book--there's a lot more that is going on, with the feel of the story changing over this book to lead into the third book of this trilogy. In the first book, it's generally pretty obvious who can be trusted and who can't (simply, trust no one), while the interplay between the characters and their relationships become more important in this book. There's also a loss of feeling of "everyone against the capitol" that the last book had, as the capitol looks less black-and-white, with the only true evil appearing to be the president himself.
Still, with the change of feel from the first book, this is an enjoyable continuation of the story, and certainly well worth a try for anyone that enjoyed the first in the series, and will likely be preferable for anyone that finds the intrigue and politics more enjoyable that the black-and-white good vs. evil stories. McCormick continues her stellar job of narration, keeping the story flowing and engaging, and helping the audience enjoy the story thoroughly.
The story itself is a great story, classic science fiction from a master of the genre. A story worth knowing by anyone interested in science fiction. However, the performance made it difficult to enjoy the story. Munro's style pauses frequently as he reads, but his pauses are often more lengthy than they should be, and occur at someone odd places, breaking the flow of the story greatly.
For the price, it's worth listening, but if you're really wanting to enjoy the story, look for a different narration.
It was good to hear the actual, original Wonderful Wizard of Oz and see just how different it is from the movie. While a better book adaptation that many more modern movies, the famous movie still missed a lot of the highlights of the book.
The best part of this audiobook, however, was the performance. Anne Hathaway does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life, giving each of them their own unique (and as in the case of the stork, for me anyway, somewhat unexpected) voices. She helped me to be immersed in the world in a way that the movie never managed proving that while pictures may be worth a thousand words, a well-spoken word can be worth a thousand pictures.
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