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Minneapolis, MN, USA | Member Since 2003

  • 8 reviews
  • 273 ratings
  • 567 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • The Ashes of Worlds: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The culminating volume in The Saga of Seven Suns weaves together the myriad story lines in a spectacular grand finale. Galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and the factions of humanity are pitted against one another. Heroes rise and enemies make their last stands in the climax of an epic tale eight years in the making. The Saga of Seven Suns is one of the most colorful and spectacular science-fiction epics of the past decade.

    David Arbogast says: "Satisfying Conclusion to a Great Series"
    "I've reached that point..."

    Ya know... there is a point where you just sit back and say this or that character is getting ridiculous and it is making the whole story ridiculous. I've reached the point where the Chairman of the Hansa is so one-dimensional and such a pivot point for the enitre story that everything is getting predictable.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork Angels: The Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Neil Peart

    For more than two centuries, the land of Albion has been ruled by the supposedly benevolent Watchmaker, who imposes precision on every aspect of life. Young Owen Hardy from the village of Barrel Arbor dreams of seeing the big city and the breathtaking Clockwork Angels that dispense wisdom to the people, maybe even catching a glimpse of the Watchmaker himself. He watches the steamliners drift by, powered by alchemical energy, as they head toward Crown City....

    Amazon Customer says: "Great with the album, decent YA novel alone"
    "Disappointing even for a fanboy"
    What would have made Clockwork Angels better?

    This is essentially a story of self-discovery but there really isn't any sense of urgency, purpose or drama. A naive teenager impulsively sets out and story after story occur. None of them interesting. None of them particularly revealing nor suspenseful nor rewarding. It is interesting that the society in the story is very regulated, structured and bland (by intention) and, as a result, so is the "adventure" we experience. In listening, I must admit I was bored by this story; drifted my attention to other thoughts; came back and really didn't miss anything. I am at a point of just hearing through the end just to finish it.

    What could Kevin J. Anderson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The biggest problem is that there is no suspense aspect at all. I can't tell what is really driving this character besides curiosity and idle choice. There is no drive here, Owen just does things and he doesn't know why and neither do you...and after a while you don't care.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Neil Peart?

    Here I have to bury my fanboy bias for Rush. Neil isn't a good narrator. He reads the story as a father would read a bedtime story to a young child or a baby he's trying to lull to sleep. Very few sentence inflections (and I mean like three or four) and they don't particularly match the story action. He has limited character 'voices' and they all sound fairytale-ish. He voices the main character, who is a naive 17 year old, with such innocence that I equate it with a naive 10 year old.

    Also, sad to say, Neil has a slight lateral lisp and his 'ess' sound come across as 'esh.' Now that's no big deal, and many people speak that way...just not professional narrators. There is a reason why people with hangnails aren't professional hand models, if you catch my drift.

    All that said, the story doesn't help either.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Clockwork Angels?

    It's not a matter of scene or scenes to cut. The story just needs more purpose, and either drama or humor or adventure or love or anything really.

    Any additional comments?

    It does make for a good, if super-prolonged, drinking game. Take a drink every time you hear a Rush lyric or song title!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

    Joseph says: "Amazing, powerful book about America."
    "An odd sidenote for audio fans..."

    Not so much a review of the book, but just a comment on audiobooks. George Guidall is a top notch narrator; one of the best. But his style and the style of this book made this sound EXACTLY like his narrations for Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. I kid you not; I think this one could be dropped in the middle and no one would know different.

    For the record I enjoyed this book and I also enjoyed Stephen King's.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Alexander Adams

    In barren desert lands and seedy vast underwater cities and in the blackest depths of space...unfolds a tale of good and evil, of myth and magic, of innocence and power. At last the saga that captures the imagination of millions turns back in time to reveal its cloaked origins - the start of a legend - the story of Star Wars.

    Erik Blythe says: "Better than the movie"
    "Nothing special"

    If you've seen the movie you don't need to get the book. Some enhancement of Anakin Slywalker's character but not enough to thrill.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Hegemon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Orson Scott Card tells a tale long awaited by millions of fans: the story of how Bean turned away from his first friend, Ender, and became the tactical genius who won the Earth for Ender's brother, Peter, who became the Hegemon.

    Anthony says: "Good story...bad production"
    "Good story...bad production"

    I really enjoy Orson Scott Card's stories but unfortunately I had a science fiction bias when I bought this book. There is in fact little to no science fiction in this book. It's Earth bound and in the future, that's it. Good story though.

    The production is poor. Everyone has their own preferences as to how narration is done but I'm sure all agree that the editing of corrections and music are like loud bangs in a quiet room. Clearly it wasn't until the end that someone pointed out the mispronuciations of names and words. The solution of letting some instances slide, warbling others, and dropping in mismatched re-records was just plain BAD. You can get through it but you may feel you didn't get your money's worth.

    40 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • All the Trouble in the World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Plague, Poverty...

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By P.J. O'Rourke
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt

    Best selling political humorist P.J. O'Rourke tackles the "fashionable worries" - enormous global problems that are endlessly in the news and constantly on our minds but about which we mostly don't have a clue in this hilarious, thought-provoking audiobook.

    Todd says: "Hilarious Dead On Read"
    "Horrible sound fidelity"

    Even on the best format the sound is so tinny that it is hard to hear or more accurately it is hard to listen. When dealing with audiobooks this is a very important factor to consider. Reading this might be the better choice. You may have to really like the author to sit through this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Gregory Maguire
    • Narrated By John McDonough

    Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

    Kathleen says: "It's not easy being green"
    "Not what I hoped"

    I thought the set-up was perfect for a witty and humorous story. This is not a comedy (which is why everybody is saying it is slow). If your interest is in a dramatic story comparing good and evil in an interesting world that is not ours then maybe this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Enjoy the journey as the destination is far off!"

    I very much like this series and recommend it but, with over 100 hours of audio time, don't start with the expectation that it ends with the third book. In a very real sense it seems like it is only getting started. Similar to Robert Jordan's series this may well be a long series.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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