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E. A Dunn

laineyd

The beautiful South | Member Since 2004

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 381 ratings
  • 379 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Digital Fortress

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2208)
    Performance
    (732)
    Story
    (747)

    When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage, not by guns or bombs, but by a code so complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.

    Amy says: "Meh..."
    "Don't read what you know"
    Overall

    Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed Da Vinci code and its prequel, so I was optimistic about this read. Unfortunately, I was horribly disappointed. I am not sure if the culprit is Mr. Brown's lack of knowledge about this subject (compared to the subject matter of Da Vinci) or my relative depth of knowledge about it (I happen to run data centers for a living) but I was extremely disappointed in the book.

    The characters were interesting and the basic concept to start with was OK, but from there it degenerated rapidly. By the end of the book I was figuring things out quicker than most of the characters (always a bad sign) and the majority of the plot line had become completely unbelievable. As with all techo-thrillers, the bottom line is that when the machine is run-amok or in horrible danger... simply turn the thing off. Since this solution is so elegantly simple, writers from Asimov to Star Trek have been inventing convulted ways to keep their machines from being turned off, and even more convulted reasons why those mechanisms would be built. Just in case Mr. Brown decides to write in this genre again, here are some good rules of thumb:
    1) Rule #1 of data center design - The EPO (emergency power off) is always located at a controlled and secure location near the exits (there can be multiple, after all) to the data center... not 3 stories below the data center in some goofy catacombe of generators and cooling equipment.
    2) Rule #1 of computer system design - If your $3 billion computer runs so hot it can explode... put a $10 temperature sensor in it so it can shut itself down to keep that from happening accidentally.
    3) Rule #1 of being an international assassin - silencers don't work very well on revolvers, sound escapes from between the cylinder and the barrel.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Terms of Enlistment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (931)
    Performance
    (861)
    Story
    (861)

    The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

    DAVE says: "Solid military sci-fi."
    "I soooo wanted to love this book..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being a frequent visitor to the author's blog, having read a few of the chapters he released as short stories, and being a HUGE fan of dystopian future novels I really expected to love this book. Unfortunately I did not. Some of the story is very good, but some is flat and one dimensional. Some of the ideas are new and interesting, but some are retreads from Alien and Blackhawk Down. Some of the "future tech" is cool... but there is also quite a bit of anachronism and it feels inconsistent.
    Worst of all, there is no resolution to any of the plot threads. The last chapter is literally "We did this, but it doesn't really matter because there is more... buy the sequel." I get it that a lot of books now are setups for a trilogy or whatever, but this was just ugly and blatant. At least some of the plotlines should be resolved... or hinted to... or something. So disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Travel Writing: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Peter Ferry
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Pete Ferry teaches high-school English in the wealthy suburb of Lake Forest outside of Chicago and moonlights as a travel writer. On his way home after work one evening, he witnesses a car accident that kills a beautiful woman named Lisa Kim. But was it an accident? Could Pete have prevented it?

    E. A Dunn says: "pretty good, but..."
    "pretty good, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Somehow this was recommended to me as a mystery novel. it's not bad, but it definitely isn't a mystery novel. good writing about a good writer, with just a few too many literary asides and in-jokes for me. well performed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Minotaur

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Barbara Vine
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    As soon as Kerstin Kvist arrives at remote, ivy-covered Lydstep Old Hall in Essex, she feels like a character in a gothic novel. A young nurse fresh out of school, Kerstin has been hired for a position with the Cosway family, residents of the Hall for generations. She is soon introduced to her "charge", John Cosway, a 39-year-old man whose strange behavior is vaguely explained by his mother and sisters as part of the madness that runs in the family.

    Susan B. says: "Top notch Barbara Vine"
    "Good, but misleading genre"
    Overall

    This is a wonderfully written book, with fine lines of humor, suspense, and tragedy. I would not, however, call it a mystery as some have. There is some mystery to the story, in that you glimpse the end in the beginning and you wonder how things get there, but it is not a "whodunnit".
    PS: Very well read.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • SilverFin: Young Bond, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charlie Higson
    • Narrated By Nathaniel Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the James Bond series, readers meet a 13-year-old schoolboy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will one day take him all over the world, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals known to man.

    E. A Dunn says: "looking forward to the sequel"
    "looking forward to the sequel"
    Overall

    My 12yo (and rabid Bond fan) son and I listened to this on a recent roadtrip. I have to say it was a hit with both of us... a good introduction for young Bond fans who may not be ready for the "Full-Flemming". We look forward to grabbing the sequel from Audible when it is available!

    FYI - Another good 'starting Bond' is Thunderball - similar to the movie, straight forward, minimal graphic content.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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