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Ian

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 351 titles in library
  • 68 purchased in 2014
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  • Mindstar Rising: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (817)
    Performance
    (734)
    Story
    (727)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    Overall
    (3657)
    Performance
    (3196)
    Story
    (3233)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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
    Overall
    (12141)
    Performance
    (9791)
    Story
    (9909)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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