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Cameron

A lover of contemporary, character driven sci-fi.

Arnold, MD, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
73
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • Robopocalypse: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Wilson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1440)
    Performance
    (1060)
    Story
    (1063)

    In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans - a single mother, a lonely Japanese bachelor, and an isolated U.S. soldier....

    Raxxillion says: "OMG! The hyperbole is the GREATEST EVER!!!!!"
    "A robot World War Z"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had such potential, but it came across too boring to complete. No characters were sufficiently interesting (aside from the child voice) and in their absence the action just wasn't compelling enough to keep me reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gravity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (125)

    Emma Watson, a brilliant research physician, has been training for years for the mission of a lifetime: to study living beings in space. Jack McCallum, Emma's estranged husband, has shared her dream of space travel, but a medical condition has grounded and embittered him. He must watch from the sidelines as his wife prepares for her first mission to the international Space Station.

    Jacqueline says: "Fast Paced Thriller"
    "Nail biter with slightly disappointing end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The action flowed and pulled me through, I found myself looking for chores to do as an excuse to listen more. The character development was amazing and you really got the sensation of the cramped quarters of a modern space station. The science was fun and didn't ruin the suspended disbelief.

    My one negative comment is that the end seemed a little lackluster, otherwise this story would have gotten 5 stars all the way.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Mote in God's Eye

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3830)
    Performance
    (2278)
    Story
    (2308)

    The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".

    J. Rhoderick says: "A great read!"
    "Intolerable Narration, ruins the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read another review that said the narrator made the story impossible to listen to, but I didn't believe it. I bought the book anyway because I love Niven and Pournelle-- but that reviewer was right!

    I know it sounds ridiculous, but the narrator's voice sounds like a drill seargent reading a shopping list and after about 10 minutes of listening to his droning I simply couldn't follow what was going on-- from changes of location to which character was talking. Apparently a few other people had problems with it that weren't as bad as mine, but I feel like I've wasted my money on a book that I can never listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rise Again: A Zombie Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ben Tripp
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (330)

    Filled with adventurous human drama-and shocking inhuman horror - Rise Again is a vivid and powerful debut novel of the zombie apocalypse.

    Krystal says: "It's below average, at best"
    "Awesome Character developmen and action, okay plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Zombie novels are a magnet for mediocre writers. There, I said it. If you don't agree, then this review probably doesn't have a lot to offer you. Still, I love the genre's potential, and this book comes the closest I've seen in a long while to realizing that potential. Rise Again spends a good while really developing Danny's character to the point that, despite the fact that she's a walking stereotype (although dark, drunk veterans with PTSD aren't usually played by women-- her only stand-out quality), I feel that I really understand and relate to her, so Tripp managed to not use her stereotype as a crutch. Good character development is insanely rare in this genre, so it was really refreshing and a very strong start to the book.

    That being said, pretty much every other face you see in the book is as flat as a cutout from a magazine. Danny keeps it real and keeps you caring, but it seems like Tripp was lazy in designing his other characters so the rest have no depth. A few are sympathetic, but they're all just slightly more developed than cardboard cutouts (case in point: gay interior designer, empathetic and soft-hearted female veterinarian, a-hole lawyer).

    The description, however, is magnificent throughout. Excellent prose, believable action and the avoidance of too many predictable plot developments (at least predictable by me) kept me interested to the point where I looked for housework to do just as an excuse to listen. There's a lot of gore, but it's not just a splatterhouse. Also, as a horror, it only really had one scary point for me, at the very beginning. The rest was sort of hum-drum zombie head-smashing.

    So there's bad and there's good in it, but it's worth reading. I should make mention that another very refreshing thing about this book is that it's not just another thought experiment about how awesome and scary the idea of the zombie apocalypse is. The story is as it should be-- the zombies are the environment, not the main character.

    The plot wasn't really that moving for me, however; Danny's character arc is decent but not earth-shattering, some people get saved from being eaten, world's still destroyed but they can start over. It's all a little canned. Rise Again does attempt to make a few statements about the nature of occupation forces like those we have in the middle east, but they're too heavy handed and that's not really what the book is about. The book is about Danny, someone who's gotten herself into a downward spiral that would probably end in death (we see the ghost of her future in Wolf, also a bit heavy handed), and the catastrophe gives her an opportunity to find the spark of purpose that might bring her some fulfillment and save her. In a word, the book is about redemption, but it's not strong enough to make you want to cry.

    All in all, it was a great read. It wasn't The Road or World War Z (I know the two are in completely different leagues from one another, but I loved them both), but it was better than the rest that I've read. And I've read a LOT.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Childhood's End

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Arthur C. Clarke
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3100)
    Performance
    (2123)
    Story
    (2155)

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city - intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

    A User says: "Food for Thought"
    "Clarke writes simulations"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We all have our tastes-- I prefer strong character development and compelling action that carries me through a story to its surprising ending. This one, like all of Clarke's work, is merely a high-level simulation of what it might be like. Intriguing, definitely, but without characters that I care about, I just can't get into it. He's sort of like a Tom Clancy of sci fi. Still, I know I'll read even more of his stuff, but only when it's cheap.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5199)
    Performance
    (3198)
    Story
    (3225)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "A bit sophomoric."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Its premise is good, kind of a "what if it all ended" apocalypse preparedness feel to it, and I think the most fun parts to it were where they had to make decisions like, "do we eat the wild dogs after we shoot them?" The characters were all a bit flat and stereotyped, and the little character development there was seemed forced. All in all, I felt a little like I was watching something at about the intellectual level of Fox News.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mount Dragon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1344)
    Performance
    (633)
    Story
    (646)

    Guy Carson is a brilliant scientist at GeneDyne, one of the world's foremost biochemical companies. When he is transferred to Mount Dragon, GeneDyne's high-security genetic engineering lab, his good fortune seems too good to be true.

    Carson soon finds that it is. He learns that GeneDyne geneticists are tinkering with a common virus with an eye on the enormous profit to be had from a cure for the flu. Their cure involves permanently altering DNA in humans. What's more, Mount Dragon harbors another secret that puts the world at horrifying risk.

    Kathy says: "Great grab-you-in-plot!"
    "Loose on science and tech, but good for its time."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The main character was excellently developed, and it had a fairly strong plot, although it changed gears on me at the end and fell short. As someone deeply entrenched in the biological sciences, i love a good bio thriller although unfortunately the science must be top-notch in order for me to buy it-- this one just didn't quite cut it for me. Still, kept me reading to the end, which is saying something. Meh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Terminal Experiment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (98)

    An experiment has gone terribly wrong. Dr. Peter Hobson has created three electronic simulations of his own personality. One will test life after death; another, immortality. The third one is the control unit. But now all three have escaped from Hobson's computer into the worldwide electronic matrix. And one of them is a killer.

    David says: "Incredible"
    "Kept me reading to the end, where it let me down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good characters and a high-tension plot, very cohesive story. The end, however, was a bit anticlimactic, much like other Sawyer works. Still, it's not like I want that part of my life back or anything. Meh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ice Limit

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (2914)
    Performance
    (1647)
    Story
    (1648)

    The largest known meteorite has been discovered, entombed in the earth for millions of years on a frigid, desolate island off the southern tip of Chile. At four thousand tons, this treasure seems impossible to move. New York billionaire Palmer Lloyd is determined to have this incredible find for his new museum. Stocking a cargo ship with the finest scientists and engineers, he builds a flawless expedition. But from the first approach to the meteorite, people begin to die....

    Lyn says: "Wonderful, Well researched, Page Turner"
    "This is why I love Preston and Child"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Amazing characters, truly suspensful action, and the plot developed with such tension that I couldn't tear myself away. I think I'm a fairly picky reader, but I am looking for other books just like this one to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Music

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Greg Bear
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (74)

    Vergil's innovative experiment restructuring the cells of a common virus becomes a nightmare when, in order to save his research, Vergil injects the entire culture into his bloodstream.

    thepoet says: "Fascinating, Fast Paced, & one hell of a Mind*^ck"
    "Awesome, but had to listen at 1.5x speed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good God, Guidall takes his sweet time. Too many long pauses between words. Sped up, the performance became more satisfactory, and the awesome story (albeit somewhat meandering as is Bear's style) was able to come out.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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