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Duncan

Johannesburg, South Africa | Member Since 2012

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014
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  • The Alchemist and the Executioness

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (713)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (337)

    It is a world where magic is forbidden – yet practiced in secret every day. But each small act of magic exacts a dreadful price – for it brings the bramble, which chokes farmland, destroys villages, and kills with its deadly thorns. In this world an alchemist believes he’s found a solution to the curse. But will the cure be worse than the disease? And a woman is forced to take up the mantle of her father, the Executioner. But it will not be the only death that she faces.

    Rand says: "Not What I Expected..."
    "Indian inspired magic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is a pleasure to read fantasy which has broken free of the conventional medieval European-esque setting and cast its sights a bit wider. In this case by creating an Indian inspired setting which is very refereshing. The work contains an environmental message which thankfully does not detract from the quality of the two stories presented. Previous works by Niven and Pournelle (Burning City et al) have explored magic as a non renewable resource while this work takes a more modern environmental approach and deals with the impact that sustained magic use would have on the biosphere. The description of magic use is very visceral involving more senses than simply sight and sound with a great deal of its impact revolving around its smell and the memories that this evokes in the characters.

    The two stories are uneven in both quality of writing and narration with the Alchemist performing excellently on both fronts while the Executioness performs strongly, many parts of it are genuinely good even, but not quite reaching the same level. Both stories are better by far than the bulk of recent mainstream fantasy and the shared world building excercise has created a setting of real value which I hope that either or both of the authors return to.

    Importantly the price is right (in both time and money). The risk to reward ratio is very favourable so I urge you to give it a try.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon Reborn: Book Three of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5363)
    Performance
    (3044)
    Story
    (3085)

    The Wheel of Time returns, and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

    Karl Knight says: "Top Quality Audio Entertainment"
    "Enjoying the series at last"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've tried to enjoy the Wheel of Time several times without success. I just could not get past the extremely derivative first instalment in the series. However listening to the series during my daily commute I've passed that hurdle and have found the second and third books to each be significantly better than the previous one. I really do like how the two readers handle the different male and female point of view chapters although there are some words which they do pronounce significantly differently. However this does not detract from my enjoyment of their performance.

    It was worth both my time and money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bitter Seeds: The Milkweed Triptych, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ian Tregillis
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (705)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (532)

    Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of World War II, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him. It wasn’t his imagination; the wired woman can see into the future and use her knowledge to twist the present. In fact, Marsh soon discovers that the Nazis are running missions with people who have special powers....

    Phelix_da_Kat says: "WW II alternate history: X-men vs Warlocks"
    "Bitter Seeds, Book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Nazis and Warlocks. Competent prose coupled with good narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The crows in the interludes. Portraying the progress of the war from the point of view of carrion birds was a neat idea and was well executed.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The attack on the farmhouse by British forces.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Thankfully not as I listen while driving.


    Any additional comments?

    None

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Sailor on the Seas of Fate: An Elric Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michael Moorcock
    • Narrated By Jeff West, Michael Moorcock
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (63)

    Leaving his cousins Yyrkoon and Cymoril, Elric sails from Imrryr, the Dreaming City, and seeks an unknown goal in the world of the Young Kingdoms where Melniboneans were—at best—disliked. Included is a dramatic introduction, over 11 minutes in length, read by author Michael Moorcock himself.

    Katherine says: "Short, fast stories, but still manage to be deep"
    "Moorcock's Dawn Treader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Sailor on the Seas of Fate rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Apple


    What other book might you compare The Sailor on the Seas of Fate to and why?

    The first in the series.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff West and Michael Moorcock (introduction) ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The first in the series. This one came second,


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I listen in my car. I'm almost always moved.


    Any additional comments?

    There are no subtractive comments either.

    1 of 9 people found this review helpful

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