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Brian

mrhodges

Redmond, WA, United States | Member Since 2011

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 235 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Deathless

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Catherynne M. Valente
    • Narrated By Kim de Blecourt
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to Western European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories that have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the 20th century.

    Robert says: "My Favorite Fantasy Book of the Year"
    "I really wanted to like it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know this novel was intended to play on traditional folk tales, but it really did not translate to a full length book. Folk tales rely on repetition (series of 3s) and one-dimensional characters (defined by one exaggerated characteristic). That works in short tales. But in a long tale, centered on a theme of suffering and toying with conflicting relationships, it drags the story down. I found myself irritated with the main character's melancholia because I simply did not care about her. I really wanted to like this book, and stuck with it to the end mainly due to the beautiful prose, but it never delivered.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9526)
    Performance
    (8646)
    Story
    (8716)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    linda says: "Well, I don't know what I was expecting"
    "Abandon all hope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, but this latest Langdon tale has to be one of the worst books I have read in my life. The characters are two dimensional (all geniuses, all beautiful, martial arts expert, stunningly good actors etc. etc.). The character motivation is shallow. The book is probably 2/3 exposition--information that should be shown through story. And, seriously, the "woke up with amnesia and a pocketful of clues" trope is pathetic. I really wanted to like the book. I did not. Really, really bad.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Among Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (692)
    Performance
    (598)
    Story
    (597)

    Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.

    Eoin says: "Subtle Character Piece"
    "Simply fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What more can be said about this audio book than, "simply fantastic"? The narrator is in perfect tune with the story. The story itself is a fantastic coming of age tale celebrating the discovery of life and magic through a passion for sci-fi novels. This was one of the best audiobooks I have had the pleasure to listen to ever.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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