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Bruce Selzler

SezWho

San Jose, Ca | Member Since 2012

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 138 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Monster Hunter Nemesis

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (2383)
    Performance
    (2228)
    Story
    (2235)

    Agent Franks of the U.S. Monster Control Bureau is a man of many parts - parts from other people, that is. Franks is nearly seven feet tall and all muscle. He's nearly indestructible. Plus he’s animated by a powerful alchemical substance and inhabited by a super-intelligent spirit more ancient than humanity itself. Good thing he’s on our side. More or less.

    Bruce Selzler says: "Another Winner"
    "Another Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've been following the MHI story since book 1 you either already have this or are considering getting it. In a nutshell: You want this.

    This story, as mentioned in other reviews, is told from the perspective of Agent Franks. Who has been a huge (no pun intended) enigma since the beginning. But here, you find out what he is, why he is, and ultimately who he is.

    Its logical to make a comparison to Monster Hunter Alpha as it is focused on an individual perspective other than Owen Pitt. However it is also a very different type of story because of the nature of the "beast". And you get the usual gun/weapons "porn" that Correia does so well, and weaves into his worlds.

    I won't give away the plot, but you will be re acquainted with familiar faces, and there are some welcome cameo's from MHI personnel. Be prepared for some very shocking twists that clearly set up future volumes.

    I really enjoy this series. I highly recommend it. And I can't imagine why this isn't a series on HBO or a series of movies.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11622)
    Performance
    (9019)
    Story
    (9077)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "A Very Mixed Bag"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me preface this by saying that I think lots of folks will like this book. There is much of the book that I like. However, this was a difficult read for me.

    My first Sanderson book was Steelheart. Which I loved and highly recommend. Once done, I went looking for another read by the author and stumbled on The Way of Kings. It looked like it was exactly what I wanted. A nice long book that was the beginning of a series that I could dig my teeth into.

    So this was a book I really wanted to like. And again, there is much to like here. But the writing style, and the approach to the story was so radically different from Steelheart that it was sort of shocking. Maybe it was just me, and my pre conceived expectations, but I had a really difficult time keeping track of whats going on in the story. Which, in itself, is not a problem. I don't mind complexity, but my problem with this story is that I kept getting the feeling that the level of complexity didn't really move the story forward. And in fact, often got in the way of character development. Now that Im finished I feel justified in those beliefs. There is a lot of time spent in this book with side stories, and flashbacks, that just never pay off. Or offer any insight into the motivations of the characters.

    It took me until well into part three until I could finally pinpoint the different story threads. Once I started working out where the main story lines were things improved quite a bit. The main characters Caladin, Shalin, and Delanar Kolin are great characters. The Caladin story itself is worth the price of admission. But again, in the end there wasn't a real satisfying payoff for any of the characters. And the ending! I think it was meant to be a powerful foreshadowing of what is to come. But I was left feeling very unsatisfied, and Im really questioning if I want to continue with the series.

    Again, I don't want to be too disparaging. This didn't work for me as well as I would have liked, but maybe its just me. This book, and series, is definitely worth considering. The "dual narrators" approach is very interesting, and does help to define the main characters. But if you are looking for another Steelheart shake it off and get ready for a very different experience.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7280)
    Performance
    (6792)
    Story
    (6819)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Great Read and Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this book up without knowing much about it. It appears to be the first of a series, and I can't wait for the next book. The story, while fantastic, is thoughtful, logical, and entertaining. The characters are interesting, if sometimes intentionally corny, and I got sucked into the relationships and character development pretty quickly. The universe that Sanderson defines is a great place to explore.

    Macleod Andrews does an excellent job of narration. His characterizations are unique and are not to be confused with Sandman Slim and company. He's become one of my favorite narrators. I hope he stays with the series.

    If you like good sci fi/fantasy I think you will enjoy this book. I went in with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised to find this gem.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Crimes Against Magic: The Hellequin Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Steve McHugh
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (507)

    How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember? Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past and the only clues to his identity were a piece of paper with his name on it and a propensity toward magic. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer and a successful thief for hire, but it turns out that those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet. When they cause a job to go bad, threatening a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her.

    Christopher says: "Excellent World"
    "Mixed Feelings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a strange listening experience. I want to say up front that I liked the book. However it is definitely a mixed bag. And I definitely understand some of the comments Im seeing being written about the content.

    First, the narration struck me as odd in style. Langton has a "very proper" british accent. While he's easy to follow and understand, I was originally having a problem with his stylistic approach to the content. The story has a "gritty" feel to it, however Langton's reading style reminded me of someone reading "Winnie the Pooh". A very odd paring. And when Langton tries to adopt a "hard" tone, it sounds a little forced by comparison.

    However Ido have to say that after a few chapters I started feeling like the tone was more of a British "understatement" style, which I like, and I got a little more in tune with the subtle sarcasm and ironic commentary. But Im not entirely sure whether that was me dealing with the narration or if it was Langton shifting the emphasis of his reading.

    The story writing here is strong, and the characters are interesting and fun to follow. But it does jump back and forth in a timeline with different character story lines. It can be difficult to follow but thats not necessarily the problem. The real issue is that this timeline jumping doesn't do that much to propel the story. And frankly isn't that necessary to the overall story arc. It does help to define some character development, but Im left thinking that all that jumping around wasn't necessary and that the story could have been better served using a different approach.

    But, overall its a pretty fun listen. I may or may not continue the series. But Im glad I read this one.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sandman Slim

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Richard Kadrey
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1780)
    Performance
    (1501)
    Story
    (1509)

    When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels. That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle.

    Mike Naka says: "jack bauer + spawn = sandman slim"
    "From the gates of hell to Los Angeles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How I feel about this book is a little complicated. I definitely liked it, and MacLeod Andrews does an awesome job with his characterizations in all of the books.

    When I first finished this book I wasn't sure I would finish the series. I liked the book, but I didn't have an overwhelming need to jump into the series right away. However I kept thinking about the characters, and Andrews reading. And I had to go back for seconds.

    I'm glad I did. I eventually finished the whole series and I hope that Kadrey revisits these characters. The mythology grows on you and the characters only get better and more interesting with age.

    I've read a couple of reviews that complain about the story being far-fetched and utilizing too much "deus ex machina". True, but if you are looking for reality you're looking in the wrong place. This story and series is pretty "outside". You will need to suspend quite a bit disbelieve. But I think its worth it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1510)
    Performance
    (1359)
    Story
    (1351)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "Excellent Historical Analysis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Aslan's previous work "No God But God", which is a similar text that focus' on Islam and Islamic traditions.

    Zealot is very much in the same mold and quite enlightening. Its well written, well read, and I have the sense that the content is well researched. Apparently with the written text you can look up the source material through the appendices.

    Regardless of your take on Christianity and who you feel Jesus was, this is a good, professionally written, scholarly, and respectful text. It can get a little confusing and it speaks to confusing times. But Aslan does a great job staying on track and elucidating the key events critical to early Christianity.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla: Biography of a Genius

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Marc J. Seifer
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (978)
    Performance
    (869)
    Story
    (858)

    Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.

    Jean says: "Tesla was a hundred years ahead of his time"
    "A solid Biography of an Eccentric Genius"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Wizard again? Why?

    Im not sure I would listen to this particular book, even though I thought it was excellent. However this book does inspire me to look into other good sources on Tesla.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wizard?

    It would be hard to pinpoint a single event. However it was very interesting to view Tesla through the eyes of his contemporaries. And visa versa.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    Good performance. A little dry, but appropriate for a biography. Clear and understandable.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. Good performance. It can be a bit confusing as the author tends to pop back and forth in time however I still recommend the book for anyone remotely interested in Tesla and inventors in general.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (6064)
    Performance
    (5513)
    Story
    (5530)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "A Great Find"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Hard Magic?

    I happened to notice this book while browsing for something new. I had never heard of the title, but I had heard of the author via the Monster Hunter series. However I had never read any of his books before.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Hard Magic?

    I enjoyed the character development. The principal players are diverse, interesting, and are good people to spend time with. Even the villains.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to top the climax of the story. But Jakes battles with Maddy really added a level of sophistication and conflict that was very satisfying.


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

    The female leads and the relationships to the others were great story lines. Jakes relationship with Delilah was particularly poignant. And Faye's character was both a treat and a key plot point as she strove to avenge her grandfather.


    Any additional comments?

    Bronson Pinchon did an outstanding job reading this story. Great dialects, pacing, and tone. I hope he chooses to do more of this work as his involvement will be a huge selling point for me. I highly recommend this story and I've already purchased and started the second installment of the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stainless Steel Rat

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1085)
    Performance
    (854)
    Story
    (856)

    DiGriz is caught during one of his crimes and recruited into the Special Corps. Boring, routine desk work during his probationary period results in his discovering that someone is building a battleship, thinly disguised as an industrial vessel. In the peaceful League no one has battleships anymore, so the builder of this one would be unstoppable. DiGriz' hunt for the guilty becomes a personal battle between himself and the beautiful but deadly Angelina, who his planning a coup on one of the feudal worlds.

    SFF11C says: "Awesome"
    "Sez"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Harry Harrison and/or Phil Gigante?

    Possible. The writing is good, the narration awful.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader in this case got it all wrong. Wrong inflection, wrong tone, wrong pace. The works. The worst performance I've heard on an audiobook.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story could be good. Hard to tell, the narration is so bad.


    Any additional comments?

    I really wanted to like this book. I've been hearing about this series for years. Did not suit me at all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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