Over the last few years I have been getting into electronics, micro-controlers, and robotics and in 2010 my wife and I were able to catch the very end of the FIRST championship at the Georgia Dome. We didn’t really get to see much and what I saw didn’t make a lot of sense to me, after listening to this book it does now.
This book is the story of a school in California and its FIRST robotics team made up of rookie high-school seniors competing in the annual FIRST competition. If you don’t know about FIRST check it out
I really like the mission statement of FIRST found on the web site:
"Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership."
I hope that stories like the ones told in this book are being repeated all over the country and that by reading this book will encourage more people to get involved. I hope that I can work in time to volunteer for some FIRST activities this year even if it is just a couple hours taking pictures or helping to setup.
Jay Snyder turns in another great performance; to bad the story is not up to snuff.
This story took the politics to far, I seriously lost interest in this story many times. I feel like there is very little action and entirely to much explanation and whining. This is not why I have been reading these books.
I will now be taking a break from reading the Retrieval Artist series for awhile, it looks like the next book in the series may have more action and less politics so I will eventually listen to/read it, but it wont be anytime soon.
I really liked this one. So far it is the best book in the series. The tension between Noelle and Flint continues to grow as they try to sort out how they feel about each other.
I liked the mystery aspect and the depth in which it was explored by Flint. His honor and ability to sleep at night are seriously on the line. It is this aspect that made the story interesting to me, I could use a lot more of that type of story. Action, conflict, mystery and more action.
The politics in this book did get on my nerves; I could do without all the back and forth about alien politics.
This is the second book in the Retrieval Artist series of books and is a great continuation of the storyline.
In this book Flint and Noelle are no longer working together and Flint is learning that he really can’t trust anyone, which is very hard for him as he really wants to trust Noelle with everything he knows, but telling her to much will endanger his clients and their families.
The tension between Noelle and Flint is growing; they are trying to figure out what there new relationship is and how it will work in the future. It is not something that will be resolved anytime soon. It is this tension between the characters along with the crime-mystery drama that makes these books enjoyable for me.
Jay Snyder continues doing a great job bringing the characters to life.
I enjoyed the movie Payback with Mel Gibson, even though I think John Myhre ruined the theatrical release, which got me interested in reading the book that it was based on. This is that book. But before reading this book, forget the theatrical release of the movie entirely.
This is a dark book with a lead character that is not likeable in any way. I suspect there are plenty of people out in the world that would like to think of themselves as being a lot like Parker, hard, mean, uncaring and as tough as nails. But if they are like Parker they do not have any friends and will lead a very lonely and hard life.
I enjoyed this book but it did not make me want to read the rest of the 25 books in the series. Yes, you read that right, there are currently 25 books in the series, so obviously someone likes them a lot.
John Chancer does an amazing job narrating this book, he gives Parker a hard edge delivering his lines in a flat emotionless way that makes him very believable.
You’ll have to excuse me now, I am going to go watch "Payback: Straight Up: The Director’s Cut" which is much closer to the original story than the theatrical release.
I bought this book based on reviews at Audible and my love of Star Wars. As a kid I read the novelizations and Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind's Eye, which were all great.
Timothy Zhan does a good job of adding depth to the Star Wars universe and giving us a little more insight into the relationships between Han, Chewbacca, and Lando.
Marc Thompson does a great job with the narration. He gives Han a voice that is about half way between Harrison Ford and Patrick Warburton as The Tick. I really like it.
Overall it is not a very "Epic" story, it is more of a peek into the lives of Han, Chewbacca and Lando. It is limited by the Star Wars canon and does a very good job within those limitations.
This book was fun, there are a couple of stand-out stories here, but overall it didn’t really wow me.
It is definitely worth listening to if you have any favorite authors with stories in it.
I chose this book based upon the reviews at Audible and they were right, it is a very good listen. Jay Snyder turns in a very good performance bringing the characters to life and giving each one a uniqueness that makes them come alive.
This is the first book in a series that is currently up to 9 books, there is a lot of good reading here and it is a nice step away from the John Scalzi books I have been listening to.
What I like most about this book is how clear the main characters motives are, they are driven by things that make sense to me, their emotions feel real and easy to understand. They are very human.
In this universe Human’s have agreed to respect and uphold the laws of many different alien cultures. This has created a lot of problems for the police and the court systems because many of the alien laws, punishable in amazingly horrible ways, are not obvious to the humans who regularly break those laws accidentally by doing things that are not considered illegal by the humans.
Those that find themselves in trouble disappear; they change their identities and their lives to escape the alien punishments that await them. They spend the rest of their lives on the run from both the human and alien courts.
There are bounty hunters known as "Trackers" who hunt down the disappeared to bring them back to the courts while "Retrieval Artists" who search for the disappeared to help them in different ways.
With such high ratings and the endorsement from Neil Gaiman, how could I pass this one up.
I am not sure why, but this book just didn’t work for me. It started out with many small technical problems with the audio, small chirps and crackling, that really distracted me. But even after those issues went away later in the book I still just couldn’t get into it.
The lead character, Tom Carmody, never appealed to me... The book just feels pretentious to me with all the armchair philosophy, puns, and forced wordplay. I can see how this book would be viewed as a precursor to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker series, but Mr. Adams was able to do it without pretension, he did it in a way that made it feel natural in a way I do not feel like this book does.
John Hodgman does a good job narrating the book, but it is hard for me to judge as I never could get really involved with the storyline.
I really respect Neil Gaiman and Audible for making audiobooks like this one of stories and authors that many of us have never heard of and look forward to many more of them.
At Home is a wonderful collection of trivia about the objects in and around our home and our homes themselves. It does not delve into the type of details that A Short History of Nearly Everything does, but includes a lot of interesting Tidbits.
I don’t have much else to say about the book, I found it interesting and a good listen but it did not wow me.
The pacing in these books is very similar, there is a lot of great action with a little bit of character building in each one to keep them growing. I really appreciate that about this series, none of the characters have become stale for me and I am still interested in each character’s life and want to see how they evolve.
The only thing getting on my nerves the number of times the basics are explained and re-explained in the books. I understand that it is important for each book to be accessible to a new reader who has not read the previous books, but does the entire system for how magic works really need to be explained in great detail in every book?
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