Sanderson's continued skill in world-building and character development is evident in the second installment of The Stormlight Archive. The only negative I have to say is that waiting on the next book will be a pain. I wouldn't say it's a cliffhanger, but Sanderson is weaving a well-paced epic that makes for a less than satisfying finish to his books. I want to make it clear that this is more a statement of how awesome this series is than to express disappointment in the way this one ended. Loved it all...just wondering if I should line all of these up after he is finished.
I suppose that the most telling part of the review would be to say that I immediately got the second book in this series. This is going to be one of the best fantasy epics of our generation. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Wheel Of Time series though I did read them. I think Sanderson stands head and shoulders above Jordan. Sanderson's world building is superior and his character development is grounded is what appears to be a deep understanding of human nature. I haven't read anything from him yet that has been less than excellent. If you like the genre, you I believe you will like The Way of Kings.
Without a doubt written for a young audience...but this book is a fun romp through history that will have your kids learning more than you did in school. It appears someone did some extensive research for this book (maybe Limbaugh himself or maybe one of his staff). Anyway, I enjoyed the book, but had more fun watching my kids get into it. Funny thing is my 11 year old thought she was too grown up for it. I started it for my 8 year old and before long, my daughter was reading along with the hardback version as well. On her own, she has already gone back and listened to the first one as well. I recommend this one for a great family listen.
Suarez could be considered a 'futurist' than a science fiction author. I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone who is not versed (or at least interested) in science. Influx is a well-written exciting story. Suarez is obviously well studied in technology and seems to have his finger on the pulse of where this technology could lead us. This is an excellent listen that is full of great conversation topics concerning the ethics of science and what the future will bring. All of this is wrapped up in an exciting story that I looked forward to returning to when I was away. Well worth the credit.
Before I start, I want to go on record (again) that a three-star rating in my book is worth a listen. There are far too many reviewers that rate every listen as 4 or 5 stars...How am I to trust them? Anyway, Dead Aim is a good story that kept my attention. But it is not worth a four or a five star rating. I enjoyed the story while it was playing, but suspect I will have a hard time remembering it two months and four books from now. I will add that somewhere around chapter 10, the is an abrupt story shift that almost had me thinking I had played the wrong book. Maybe I wasn't paying attention or I am riddled with ADHD. Or it could be an audio issue or just bad editing as I did notice a few paragraphs repeated at one point in listening. I gave the narrator 5 stars because he did a great job wit the voices. I always knew who was speaking what, and he didn't butcher the female parts either. And lastly, Perry's ending to this book is like having a hot chocolate molten cake after dinner...very satisfying.
There runs in this book an undercurrent of anti-government sentiment. If you are neutral or conservative leaning, you will probably enjoy this book. But if you are a tree-hugging liberal, you will likely hate it. I found it to be a good listen that held my attention at all times. I feel there are too many reviewers handing out 4 and 5 star ratings, so a good listen gets three stars in my reviews. It doesn't meet the fantastic four star rating, but its good.
I don't throw around four and five stars easily, so don't be thrown off by the three star review. This is my first listen from Robert Crais. Following some stellar reviews and an interesting plot summary, I took a chance. I will likely listen to him again based on this book. 'Suspect' has a unique back story and a good plot. Our heroes Scott and Maggie are both wounded and recovering, but don't come off as pitiful. I really enjoyed the chapters that took on the inner workings of Maggie the police dog in training. Crais was able to portray believable dog-thinking without over doing it as many authors, even good ones, tend to do. The pacing of the book is good. This is important especially with audiobooks as there is no skim-reading allowed when you listen. Still, I don't think it quite reaches the fantastic four stars or the "unbelievable! you have to stop everything else you are doing" five star rating....but its a good listen that I recommend for audible members.
Before continuing, I will say that I loved this book. After all, I fit squarely inside of its desired target profile. But it is at times so filled with references from the early gaming and electronic era that it would bore anyone under the age of thirty. Those afflicted with youth might finish the book simply because it is a well written compelling story. As for the older and wiser listener (55 and up), I would strongly consider another listen. This story may prove an accurate divination of tomorrow, but one that will be lost on those that know what MAPD means, but would have no clue about an MMOG even if stated in its long form. As long as I am making gross generalizations, I might as well add one more: gender. Yes, you can point out to me that there are scores of female gamer nerds (and I love them). But lets face it, the average female is more prone to a social behavior that would extinguish the fantasy and romance of Ready Player One. Great works of science fiction/fantasy make us either want to live in that created world or deeply fear living in it. The greatest of writing accomplish both at the same time. This book will likely achieve this feat if you are a gamer nerd techno geek. For the rest of you, it is a well written fun story that will get an average review. Hope this helps in your purchase choice.
Without spoiling the book for you, I will speak in general terms. You know those books you read or listen to where you feel like you wasted a part of your life that you will never get back....this might be that book for you. I will say this: Gillian Flynn displays near brilliance in character development and story pace. She takes you through a roller-coaster of emotions in your view of her characters. Gone Girl has what I would describe as an incredible plot. In fact, Flynn writes one of the best books I have ever read...up until the worst endings of all time. OR....she and her editor realized that this story had huge sequel potential and they decided to leave us wanting. In that case, this could go from one of the worst books to one of my all time favorites. My recommendation? Wait for the sequel before you pick this one up.
Baldacci is always a good listen for me. The Innocent delivers a fast-paced, interesting story that satisfies from beginning to end. He develops interesting characters, a mysterious plot, and well described setting. He does it all without boring the crap out of me for hours. This is important since my listening time and attention span is limited. Sorry though; five-star rating is reserved for "I can't wait to get back to my audiobook".
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