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C. Hartmann

New York, NY | Member Since 2015

270
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 337 ratings
  • 839 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
53

  • Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jennifer Pelland
    • Narrated By Bev J. Stevens
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Celia's body is not her own, but even her conscious mind can barely tell the difference. Living on the cutting edge of biomechanical science was supposed to allow her to lead a normal life in a near-perfect copy of her physical self while awaiting a cure for a rare and deadly genetic disorder. But a bioiandroid isn't a real person. Not according to the protesters outside Celia's house, her coworkers, or even her wife. Not according to her own evolving view of herself.

    C. Hartmann says: "Another Great but Complex Listen"
    "Another Great but Complex Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot in this is so simple you can describe it in a short paragraph, but that is not the point -- it is about the writing -- about what happens both to the character and with the language. Set in the not-too-distant New England it deals with a nice lady who has her consciousness temporarily moved to a perfect machine body while her "real body" is in stasis awaiting a medical cure. Simple, right?
    Nope. Spectrum anxiety disorders are examined, Body identification issues, gender issues -- relationship issues. It is as though someone said: "I want something like the Matrix or inception where all of the flash is in service of some real ideas. Less fascination with the idea of the machine -- and more about the ideas related to the effects of the machine.
    This is not a G-rated book. And it addresses issues that, disguised as science fiction, are right now -- as many of the great ones are.
    Two other thoughts. First the narration is beyond good. People who want to narrate books should listen to this to learn. Second, even if you are inclined not to -- try this listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Backlash

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Lynda La Plante
    • Narrated By Kim Hicks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Late at night on a notorious high-rise estate in the London Borough of Hackney, a white van is being driven erratically. The driver is pulled over by the police and questioned. A woman on the street after a long night of drinking never makes it home. A suspect, an arrest, a confession - a case closed? Five years earlier, a thirteen-year-old girl disappeared in broad daylight on a busy London street.

    C. Hartmann says: "One of the best of the series"
    "One of the best of the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    They just keep getting better! As Anna matures so do the plots. Police procedurals at their best. I also like the narrator greatly!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1699)
    Performance
    (1555)
    Story
    (1559)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Megan says: "Worth it, 10x over!"
    "An Extraordinary Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an extraordinary matching of a wonderful story and superb performance. In an allegorical story that is as definitional and startling as "A Canticle for Leibowitz" was in the 1960's, this book re-imagines and provides an articulate perspective on the entire Zombie sub-genre. (This comes from a reader who does not like 99% of the MANY derivative Zombie stories at all. DO NOT pass this over because of the nominal subject matter.) Moreover, unlike Leibowitz, this is an almost immediately accessible and enjoyable listen from the very first page. Don't listen to this because it is an important book--although it is--do so because it is engaging, powerful and downright fun. The performance is exceptional as well. The use of the voice of a young girl to provide the over-story is brilliant and humanizing. The questions raised seem so simple, but are engrossing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Home

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Jennifer VanDyck
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    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
    (39)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    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
    (7784)
    Performance
    (6781)
    Story
    (6775)

    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.

    M. Davis says: "Classic Nora - Outstanding!!!!"
    "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?

    2 of 2 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
    (510)
    Performance
    (462)
    Story
    (467)

    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)

    47 of 47 people found this review helpful
  • Heartsick

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Chelsea Cain
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (271)

    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 !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4487)
    Performance
    (3991)
    Story
    (3992)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (658)
    Performance
    (610)
    Story
    (608)

    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.

    Mark Alspaw says: "Not what I was expecting!"
    "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
    (1233)
    Performance
    (1144)
    Story
    (1149)

    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.

    53 of 65 people found this review helpful

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