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Member Since 2011

  • 4 reviews
  • 60 ratings
  • 405 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015

  • Mindstar Rising: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth

    It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice"
    "A Good Story but Not Hamilton's Best"
    If you’ve listened to books by Peter F. Hamilton before, how does this one compare?

    I have listened to and read most of Hamilton's works, and though I enjoyed this one a lot, it doesn't stack up to his later Novels. Hamilton's brilliance is in crafting expansive epics with a diverse cast of brilliant and intrepid characters. This novel, while imaginative, simply lacks the scope, scale, and depth that lend greatness to some of his later works. I am still sincerely hoping that an audio publisher decides to put his Night's Dawn trilogy on here eventually!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of Innocents: The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mitchell Hogan
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen. As Caldan and his companions flee the city, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in. With Miranda's mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan is forced to disobey the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors if he is to have any chance of healing her. But when one of the emperor's warlocks arrives to take control of him, he begins to suspect his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing.

    SimiGr8spirit says: "Great read"
    "Disappointing Second Installment"
    What would have made Blood of Innocents better?

    In the first book the characters developed individually and in their relationships in a moderately satisfying way. The protagonist's naive nature and feckless enthusiasm were excusable because he had grown up in a sheltered environment. In this book ,however, all of the characters just act as foils to progress a very predictable plot. Caldan is shocked, over and over, that he isn't taken seriously by people in power. This is really painful to read. It's like watching a bad horror movie where the irrational actions of the characters just make you want to punch them. And it is made worse by the fact that Caldan is supposed to be this strategic genius who is great at reading patterns and people. And he shifts between offhandedly slaughtering enemies, and being appalled that he has done something so callous as to strike a lady! (The lady in question being a murderous sorceress).

    All this ends up just making it impossible to understand his motivations or maintain respect for a character which the first book managed decently. Hogan got lazy with this book and instead of working on character development and finding ways to flow forward the plot from there just makes up absurd situations and conclusions to ram forward to the next story line.

    Also, he repeatedly uses the "I don't have time to explain right now" ploy to avoid characters from understanding what they need to, when there is never actually a shortage of time. Usually these phrases occur during the middle of journeys or preparation periods that are days or weeks long, and the explanation would take maybe 30 seconds. No time while making a campfire, or during eating, or before sleep? I don't mind suspending disbelief but it's much easier to get lost in a story if you maintain realistic premises for inter-character tension and lack of clarification.

    Has Blood of Innocents turned you off from other books in this genre?


    What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

    Wyman has a good voice and keeps dialogue going smoothly. He isn't as good as some in switching between male and female characters, but overall does a pretty good job of processing the story.

    What character would you cut from Blood of Innocents?

    The healer. She just whines and moans and has really flimsy motivations. Basically playing the part of "moral compass" (badly) to keep Caldan from treating Bells like the villain she is and getting crucial info out of her.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Brilliant and Expansive"
    If you could sum up Reamde in three words, what would they be?

    Expansive. Imaginative. Exciting.

    What other book might you compare Reamde to and why?

    Neal Stephenson's books are really only comparable to themselves. His style of writing wherein he crafts a multiperspectived storyline that slowly weaves among itself until it comes crashing together in a final climax is reminiscent of a Robert Jordan, George R. R. Martin or Peter F. Hamilton saga, but handled in a much different way. Stephenson also introduces numerous political, philosophical, historical and technological themes that are expanded on or alluded to at numerous points throughout the novel. If you read some of his non-fictional work, you can see the brilliance of Stephenson as an interpreter of the trends of the modern world, but he manages to slide these ideas in unobtrusively throughout his fictional adventures. His earlier novel Cryptonomicon is the closest overall comparison that comes to mind.

    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    Brilliant reading. Hillgartner conveys Stephenson's wry humor and the aggressive brilliance of his characters with perfect aplomb. Dodge will always sound like Hillgartner's rendition of him in my head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "An Unexpected Masterpiece"
    What did you love best about The Name of the Wind?

    With most fantasy novels, you get bogged down in remembering the complex mythos of the world's history, the ridiculous lineages and names of the characters and ruling families, or in suspending disbelief for the system of magic that governs the world. This book leaves all of these issues behind, and crafts a world of magic and politics as easy to believe in as our own.

    Rothfuss' brilliance is that for all of the fantastical elements of his story, he spends his greatest effort crafting complex and imperfect characters that we can empathize with, and grow to care about. Kvothe the child is recognizable in the innkeeper Kote, underneath the weight of years, experience and sadness that weigh him down. This layering of depth is difficult to craft, and all the more precious when it's done right. When you are done reading this book, you want nothing more than to find out more about what happened, and I fully expect that when this series ends I will return to it again and again because I will miss the friends that I came to know in reading it.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Master Iloden is a brilliant character. Whimsical and mysterious, he is the best kind of teacher, and the best kind of inspiration for the young and the brilliant. He may be mad, but he understands the world better than any of the sane, real or imagined.

    What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

    Nick Podehl articulates this story to perfection. His variations in cadence, accent, and emotion convey the brilliance of the story and the personalities of the characters as well as any narrator I have ever heard. Having listened to this performance, I would find a different author reading the future installments as difficult to countenance as a different author from Rothfuss completing the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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