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JPaladin

Member Since 2015

125
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 68 reviews
  • 109 ratings
  • 319 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
14
FOLLOWERS
28

  • Gardens of the Moon: The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1959)
    Performance
    (1747)
    Story
    (1756)

    The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

    Amazon Customer says: "Probably best to read on paper/kindle"
    "Loved the characters & complex world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written for adults, this book has rich and deep characters. The world is complex and weaves an interesting network of layered machinations upon machinations.

    However, given the great maturity in writing style and characters I kept waiting for a more meaningful and develop story arc. Instead it felt like every event and conflict resolved through deus ex machina---which may have been the point, but it left me wanting a story line to get invested in. I may listen to the second book, but I'm not highly motivated to do so as I don't really care what will happen to these characters (that may also have been the point).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7749)
    Performance
    (6879)
    Story
    (6887)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Suzn F says: "Dreamlike Experience to Savor"
    "Colorful but lost me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The idea sounded fun. The language and descriptions were amazing. But the story lost me. Would return it but it has been over a year since I tried to finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3181)
    Performance
    (2897)
    Story
    (2906)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "Fun, a bit on the YA side, but fun."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first I couldn't see why this was compared so often to The Hunger Games. It seemed original and written for adults. Later in the book it became very reminiscent of hunger games. But I wasn't put off and still enjoyed it.

    This book isn't breaking any literary boundaries, but it is a fun rather light sci-fi/fantasy.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Servant of the Crown: A Powder Mage Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Brian McClellan
    • Narrated By Daniel Dorse
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Captain Tamas is an ambitious young officer in the Adran army. As a commoner, he is one of very few without noble blood to hold a rank. When he challenges the son of a duke over an insult, the subsequent duel lands him in hot water with the nobility and the royal cabal of Privileged sorcerers. Tamas is soon drawn into a conflict that goes to the very highest office in the land, and his only ally is the most unlikely of people; a young noblewoman named Erika, who needs Tamas to teach her how to wield her powers as a powder mage.

    Lakisha says: "Great story, but what was up with that narrator???"
    "Good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was not disappointed by this novella. Fun backstory on the characters. I'd recommend for fans of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Riddle-Master of Hed: Riddle-Master Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Patricia A. McKillip
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (194)

    Long ago, the wizards had vanished from the world, and all knowledge was left hidden in riddles. Morgon, prince of the simple farmers of Hed, proved himself a master of such riddles when he staked his life to win a crown from the dead Lord of Aum.But now ancient, evil forces were threatening him. Shape changers began replacing friends until no man could be trusted. So Morgon was forced to flee to hostile kingdoms, seeking the High One who ruled from mysterious Erlenstar Mountain.Beside him went Deth, the High One's Harper. Ahead lay strange encounters and terrifying adventures.

    Yoshi Yoshitani says: "A Favorite Series"
    "Good but dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible's advertising caught me. I was curious about a book that Sanderson would describe as his inspiration. While I'd be this was pushing new ground in the 70's, it felt very dated to me. The events, storyline, and characters were not developed to my liking. For the most part it seemed the protagonist just wandered from place to place running into monarch after monarch--each who had some amazing skill to teach him, in under 24hrs.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Face in the Window: A Powder Mage Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Brian McClellan
    • Narrated By Daniel Dorse
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Taniel is a powder mage; a flintlock marksman with the ability to imbibe common black powder to strengthen his mind, body, and senses, as well as shoot over long distances. Sent into short-term exile by his father, he's supposed to see some of the world and cool his head, to learn something besides life in the Adran army. His arrival in exile, however, coincides with the eruption of a bloody new conflict as the colony of Fatrasta rises up against its Kez suppressers. Taniel has certain talents that the Fatrastan militia could very well use, and can't help but get involved...

    JPaladin says: "Too short"
    "Too short"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Entertaining, but I was disappointed I spent $5 on it when it was done. Way too short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dune: House Atreides: House Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (770)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (542)

    Capturing all the complexity and grand themes of the original, this prequel to the Dune series weaves a new tapestry of betrayal, passion, and destiny into a saga that expands the tale written by Frank Herbert more than 30 years ago.

    Robert says: "Maybe better than original Audible production."
    "Nostalgic, but not impressive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the trip back to the Dune universe. It's been about 20 years since I read the original series but it was still very fun to get some back story of characters like Duncan Idaho and things like the Bene Gesserit breeding programs.

    As it was the son and a hired writer recreating Frank Herbert's world, I didn't expect great originality. And I wasn't disappointed...if you catch my drift. The plot was entertaining enough, but there were no impressive, creative ideas (nothing near the scale of the original series). Also the characters felt a bit underdeveloped. Especially the antagonist, who seemed characterchures of villains (were they so trite in the original series?).

    In summary, I enjoyed the trip back to Dune and I'm not disappointed I bought this book. However, I'm not going to read any of the other million prequels that this pair has produced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Policeman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (674)
    Performance
    (602)
    Story
    (606)

    What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job - but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging.

    Amazon Customer says: "There was trepidation ..."
    "Strangely captivatingly bleak pre-apocalyptic tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed this pretty bleak, but somewhat upbeat, detective story set to the back drop of the end of the world.

    Interesting allegory for the meaninglessness and/or intrinsic meaning of our every day actions/motivations. Kept me thinking about why we live our lives as I compared my motivations to that of he knowingly doomed.

    Enjoyable story, with interesting characters, and smooth writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Study

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Maria V. Snyder
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2443)
    Performance
    (1171)
    Story
    (1177)

    About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster.

    A says: "Fantasy, with a touch of romance."
    "Good idea, but YA and poorly written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed the plot idea.

    However, the writing is bad. Constantly breaks the old adage "show don't tell" as the characters explain all their actions and thoughts.

    The characters are poorly developed. Their actions are unbelievable in parts because the motivations are immature and unrealistic (for characters that are supposed to be sophisticated).

    YA and not particularly impressive even for that sub-genre .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Prince of Fools: The Red Queen's War, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (283)

    The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister - unseen by most and unspoken of by all. The Red Queen's grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth - drinker, gambler, seducer of women - is one who can see The Silent Sister.

    Ron says: "M. Lawrence does it again, but differently."
    "Lighthearted prince of thorns"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enjoyed this more upbeat version of POT. There are quiet a few similarities to the characters and storyline (beyond the obvious overlapping place & time), but it is fresh and distinct.

    As with POT the characters are richly developed, engaging, and interesting. The plot feels a bit weaker than the other series, but it is hard to compete.

    I recommend, especially if you are a fan of the thorn series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Circle of Reign: The Dying Lands Chronicle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacob Cooper
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (732)
    Performance
    (677)
    Story
    (683)

    Lands die. The living light fades. An ancient darkness awakens. The Living Light that sustains Arlethia is dwindling. An unknown, vicious enemy approaches in stealth from beyond the northern glaciers, a wasteland of ice that spans hundreds of miles. A clandestine brotherhood of assassins, held in check by the Light for millennia, seeks to break their maledictive shackles and unleash their bloodlust upon the world.

    Ana says: "A rich, exciting fantasy world"
    "Pretty good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading some reviews of this book, I was expecting a captivating, engrossing, mature, sophisticated Brandon Sanderson or GRR Martin type experience.

    While fine in its own right, it was not in the same ball park as those. The storyline/plot is creative and engaging. The character development is fine. The writing isn't amazing, but it does the job. It feels slightly like it is leaning towards the YA side.

    The experience/writing felt most like Brent Weeks.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful

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