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C. Hartmann

New York, NY | Member Since 2014

218
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 329 ratings
  • 820 titles in library
  • 105 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
47

  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1063)
    Performance
    (962)
    Story
    (969)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "Wow...Seriously, seriously great book..a 6"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So that I don't bury the lead -- this is one sophisticated, complex wonderful book. The narration is great as well. I wish Audible/Amazon would allow folks who listen to more than 20 books a year to, just a once a year, give a 6 star rating. Just one. Like a premium frequent traveler rating. I'd love to see the books that made that list. I'm certain this would be get the 6th star from a lot of people.

    I enjoy historical biographies and hard science fiction particularly when the Sci-Fi comes in very long books or multiple book series -- with one or more of the following themes: modern space operas, complex storylines, detective or noir/cyberpunk overtones, cascading clever thoughts/dialogue and/or military. This has led me to earlier works by Peter F. Hamilton (Void Trilogy, Greg Mandel Series), Dan Simmons (Hyperion), Alastair Reynolds (Revelation Space Trilogy, Terminal World), Richard K. Morgan (Altered Carbon) and most recently Charles Stross. (Halting State and Rule 34.) (A swirling, clever, funny and very complex pair of police procedurals done just enough into the future to look at the next big thing in social engineering, computing, communications and just about anything else you can imagine.)

    I never thought I'd say that I liked another Hamilton book as much as the Void Trilogy -- and this is a slightly different type of animal. Where that was broad and wild, this is tight and classy. It is like Wallander (obscure Swedish police procedural reference) meets the Void Trilogy. It IS "modern space opera, complex storyline, detective or noir/cyberpunk overtones, cascading clever thoughts/dialogue and/or military."

    When I read Charles Stross' Halting State, I initially found it hard to get into the three rotating storylines and the fact that the narration is, oddly, in the second person -- but it was worth the work to do so. This one takes no such early work. Pay your one credit, hit the button an WHOOOOOSSSHHHH ! You are off. Like Halting State, it is a rock solid police procedural with a clever and appealing set of smart characters.

    It is like listening to a great new song...you sort of know the rhythm and style but WOW. Toby Longworth is perfect too -- superb meld of material and delivery. Like I said, a 6 on a scale of 5.

    New entry on the top ten.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Home

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Jennifer VanDyck
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Thousands of years ago, artifacts of the early space age were lost to rising oceans and widespread turmoil. Garnett Baylee devoted his life to finding them, only to give up hope. Then, in the wake of his death, one was found in his home, raising tantalizing questions. Had he succeeded after all? Why had he kept it a secret? And where is the rest of the Apollo cache? Antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his pilot, Chase Kolpath, have gone to Earth to learn the truth.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Respectable, double action mystery sci-fi"
    "Not the Best of the Series, But Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like McDevitt you will like this book. It is not his best, and God knows the books in this series do not move quickly. But it is fun and the premises are both clever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andromeda's War: A Novel of the Legion of the Damned

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By William C. Dietz
    • Narrated By Isabelle Gordon
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    In Andromeda's War, his heroine will face her ultimate test - as a battle-scarred legionnaire and as an innocent young woman who once lost everything... Now a platoon leader, Legionnaire Andromeda McKee seems to have successfully left behind her true identity of Lady Catherine "Cat" Carletto, one of the last two surviving members of the Carletto family targeted for death by Empress Ophelia. After failing at her one shot at vengeance, Andromeda had been questioning her own resolve.

    C. Hartmann says: "A Slightly Different Direction in Legion Series"
    "A Slightly Different Direction in Legion Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As this is the umpteenth "Legion of the Damned" book, you will either like the series or not. If you have not read the series and like military sci-fi it is a must read, but don't start here. Go back, read the first two. If you have read the series, this continues the Cat/Andromeda arc well. She is growing in complexity and depth. As is the case with many of these Legion books, the destination is not that important -- it is all about the journey. There is a little more thinking and a little less fighting. It feels like almost an interlude, but it was quite enjoyable,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7629)
    Performance
    (6646)
    Story
    (6638)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    Amazon Customer says: "A great book"
    "Quite the Heroine -- very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me begin by saying that I'm a guy....and that I don't read that many mysteries. But to broaden my horizons I've been consciously trying to read more female-lead science fiction recently, and have enjoyed it. I've been trying to read mysteries and police procedurals as well. So I decided to try a strong female-lead mystery. The lead character is quite a bit of fun -- very smart and pleasantly different. The story, while not tremendously complex, is interesting. But reading a book that is DEFINATELY written from the female perspective with the amount of romance involved was a surprise. In the end, I think it helped me "get" my wonderful wife of many years (also a constant reader) a little better....and for that alone it was worth the time. I will probably not read more by this author, although I enjoyed this, and would read another about this particular character -- not because it isn't good -- but more because I'm somewhat limited as a reader. It is unfortunate to say that, but I think it is true. Odd review, huh?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Abyss Beyond Dreams: Chronicle of the Fallers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (300)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (280)

    The year is 3326. Nigel Sheldon, one of the founders of the Commonwealth, receives a visit from the Raiel - self-appointed guardians of the Void, the enigmatic construct at the core of the galaxy that threatens the existence of all that lives. The Raiel convince Nigel to participate in a desperate scheme to infiltrate the Void. Once inside, Nigel discovers that humans are not the only life-forms to have been sucked into the Void. The humans trapped there are afflicted by an alien species of biological mimics.

    C. Hartmann says: "Intersection of the Void and Commonwealth - Super"
    "Intersection of the Void and Commonwealth - Super"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Lee is the best narrator ever and the Hamilton Commonwealth/Void series is one of the best Meta-Space Operas ever Nice combination. If you have followed our various storylines in and out of the Void you will have to read this. If not, you will not get it. But can I make a suggestion? Go back and start with "Pandora's Star"....I envy you the journey.

    Pandora's Star (2004), ISBN 0-330-49331-0
    Judas Unchained (2005), ISBN 0-330-49353-1
    The Dreaming Void (2007), ISBN 978-1-4050-8880-0
    The Temporal Void (2008), ISBN 978-1-4050-8883-1
    The Evolutionary Void (2010), ISBN 978-0-345-49657-7
    The Abyss Beyond Dreams (2014) (This one)
    The Night Without Stars (TBA)

    35 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Heartsick

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Chelsea Cain
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (645)
    Performance
    (269)
    Story
    (266)

    Damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan spent 10 years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer. But in the end, she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for 10 days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go.

    Karen says: "Entertaining Listen"
    "How Did I Miss This Series ?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK....I admit it, I'm more likely to read Sci-Fi or Non-Fiction history than mysteries. But I have read all of the Dexter/Hannibal Lechter/Scarpetta books. And every Summer I take some time off to try to find a few non-Sci-Fi audiobooks. How did I miss these? What a clever premise. What a smart writer. I guarantee you will like this if you can take the rough imagery (it is a sadistic serial killer after all.) Just try the first hour....hooked. Good narrator as well !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4313)
    Performance
    (3838)
    Story
    (3838)

    LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well, not since a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner, Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty - until he meets his new partner. Maggie is not doing so well, either. The German shepherd survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before she lost her handler to an IED and sniper attack, and her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s. They are each other’s last chance.

    Jacqueline says: "Gripping Page Turner!!"
    "Unexpectedly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to take some time off from science fiction -- so I went to the "police procedurals" list on Audible and looked for the highest rated book with more than a few ratings. This was it -- and for good reason. I've read Crais before, but this seemed to be particularly good. Do not read it if you don't like dogs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Black: Odyssey One, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Evan Currie
    • Narrated By David deVries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (563)
    Story
    (560)

    The wreckage of the starship Odyssey, once Earth's greatest guardian, lies strewn across New York City. Abandoned by all but its captain, Odyssey's sacrifice covered the withdrawal of countless troops as the Drasin assault ravaged the planet. When Captain Eric Weston finally emerges from the rubble, impossibly alive thanks to the mysterious "Gaia", he knows with the Drasin it's kill or be killed.

    SteveK says: "Unworthy of Series"
    "Reviewing the 4th Book in a Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By Book 4, it should be assumed that readers like the characters and the series -- and pretty much know as much as possible about the premises. So this is for those folks. I start by noting that I was been a big fan of this series from the onset. Thus, I was horrified in the first 50 pages. I thought: "He's ruined it." It was ground-based and felt like a Captain America cartoon. I almost stopped listening. Then, just as suddenly, the majority of that stopped and we were in space and things were fine. The on-the-ground sub-plot even improved once it was fitted into the story.

    In the end I enjoyed the book and look forward to #5. Part of what makes this series interesting is that the characters think their way through situations -- any moron can pull the trigger on a super-gun and survive catching bullets in their teeth while delivering pithy platitudes.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ark Royal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Christopher G. Nuttall
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (916)
    Performance
    (852)
    Story
    (858)

    Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Riveting military sci-fi"
    "TWO (!!) audiobooks this year get SIX stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the past I have suggested that every Audible.com subscriber who listens to more than 50 books per year should be allowed to award a SIXTH STAR just once per year. Sort of a frequent flyer club for hardcore listeners. This year would be hard -- I would have to give out two, and they could not be more different books. Silkworm, a detective novel by J.K. Rowling (writing under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) and the military sci-fi story Ark Royal by Christopher Nuttall, a Brit living in Malaysia.

    First, both remind me that these are audiobooks, and that involves either a reading or a performance of the book. These are performances. I have told everyone I recommend these books to make sure to listen to them rather than read. The performances are wonderful. There are a dozen books I've listened to where the narration makes the book even more......these go on that list.

    Second, both are excellent writers staying within the bounds of their genre. Rowling is like a vacuum cleaner -- it is as though she read every single detective procedural from 1920 to present and decided to write the best one of that school. (One reviewer criticizes her for not using the "Harry Potter" imagination -- but that totally misses the point of what she has done.) It is not derivative, it is just really proficient. Similarly, Nuttall writes the quintessential military space opera. He does not try to go outside of the genre or beyond it.

    Third, in both cases I feel sad that character development, language and sly intelligence are so sadly missing in many books. When I read these two, I realize how much you miss that when its not there. I won't give away either plot -- but I hope you take the time to listen to these as they are fun, interesting, smart and satisfying.

    Finally, I know.....it is only July. But I feel pretty sure that these won't be topped this year, although there is a second book following Ark Royal.

    31 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (308)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (276)

    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

    C. Hartmann says: "A Very Tough Read -- but perhaps worth it"
    "A Very Tough Read -- but perhaps worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a tough book -- there is a lot physical and psychological torture. The idea is not new, but it is well-done. Excellent narration. That all said, I enjoyed the intellectual challenges. It was like reading Kafka -- a book that ends up being as much about you as it is about the character. More literature than Science Fiction despite the excellent time-travel "rules." It put me in mind of "the Man in the Empty Suit".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Forever Watch

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Ramirez
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    All that is left of humanity is on a thousand-year journey to a new planet aboard one ship, The Noah, which is also carrying a dangerous serial killer.... As a city planner on the Noah, Hana Dempsey is a gifted psychic, economist, hacker, and bureaucrat and is considered "mission critical". She is non-replaceable, important, essential, but after serving her mandatory Breeding Duty, the impregnation and birthing that all women are obligated to undergo, her life loses purpose as she privately mourns the child she will never be permitted to know.

    C. Hartmann says: "An Interesting and Ambitious Effort"
    "An Interesting and Ambitious Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Forever Watch in three words, what would they be?

    interesting, unique perspective


    What did you like best about this story?

    I don't usually review books I can't recommend without reservation. But this is sufficiently good that even with a few reservations, it is worth the read. It takes a rather old meme (generation colony ship with "something going on") and infuses with a new perspective and a variety of unique ideas. Take a chance and read it -- it has twists and turns that I was not expecting.


    Have you listened to any of Dina Pearlman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. She is always very good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    It isn't what it seems to be


    Any additional comments?

    I'll remember this more than a lot of other books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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