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JPaladin

Member Since 2009

107
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 59 reviews
  • 100 ratings
  • 295 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
24

  • Blood Song: Raven's Shadow, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Ryan
    • Narrated By Steven Brand
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3288)
    Performance
    (3094)
    Story
    (3095)

    The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm. Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of 10 when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

    Ron says: "Great Epic Fantacy"
    "Wonderful Epic! Mature and well-written."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the kind of work I'm looking for. Written for adults, with rich characters, epic sweep of events, complex layers of intertangled personal, political, and mythical story-lines.

    A rare book in the category of, and perhaps even better than, Game of Thrones, Name of the Wind, Warded Man, or The Way of Kings.

    Can't wait for the next book.

    The narrater was great--not one for forcing a variety of voices, but providing a solid, pleasant, and effective read. Like hearing a fireside story read by a master story teller.

    Great Book and Performance!

    56 of 60 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
    (276)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (268)

    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.

    Andrew Stone says: "I LIKED IT!"
    "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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Free: Legion: Skin Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (388)
    Performance
    (356)
    Story
    (360)

    As the new story begins, Leeds and his "aspects" are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there's a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous.

    B. says: "A Pleasure"
    "Fun installment in the Legion series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book (helped that it was free). But it has the halmark Sanderson creativity. While I'm not overwhelmed by any aspect of the book (storyline is fun, but not amazing; character development is good, but not his best work; concepts are engaging, but not inspiring), I enjoyed it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Widow's House: The Dagger and the Coin, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (187)

    Lord Regent Geder Palliako's war has led his nation and the priests of the spider goddess to victory after victory. No power has withstood him, except for the heart of the one woman he desires. As the violence builds and the cracks in his rule begin to show, he will risk everything to gain her love or else her destruction. Clara Kalliam, the loyal traitor, is torn between the woman she once was and the woman she has become. With her sons on all sides of the conflict, her house cannot stand, but there is a power in choosing when and how to fall.

    Brian says: "Please Don't Make Me Wait Long For The Final Book!"
    "Best book in the series!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Up until this book I enjoyed but didn't love this series. This is the book in which it all really starts coming together. The character development is paying off. The actions of the characters in prior books fits. The epic storyline is coming into fruition. I'm hooked on the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Angela Lin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1071)
    Performance
    (972)
    Story
    (984)

    New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson is widely celebrated for his Mistborn Trilogy and contribution to the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In The Emperor's Soul, a Forger named Shai can copy and re-create any item by using magic to rewrite its history. After being condemned to death for attempting to steal the emperor's scepter, Shai is given one final chance. She' ll be allowed to live if she can create a new soul for the emperor, who hovers near death.

    debbie says: "A Great Short Novella that is Long in Story"
    "Good, if not great, Sanderson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was the last available Sanderson book I had yet to read. Given its short length I waited for a long time until it came up on sale. It was worth the sale price. Fun book. Not in the same class as some of his other work, but enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3026)
    Performance
    (2786)
    Story
    (2787)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Enjoyable read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Different kind of story. Fun retelling of the emigrant's tale through the experience of two mythical beings.

    Well done and enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deathless

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Catherynne M. Valente
    • Narrated By Kim de Blecourt
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (53)

    Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to Western European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories that have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the 20th century.

    Robert says: "My Favorite Fantasy Book of the Year"
    "Interesting, but not fully engaging."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fascinating to glimpse the experience (if only fictional) of communist Russia. I'm enjoying trying to parse through the allegories wrapped adapted in Russia folk lore.

    However, while I haven't finished yet, I'm not entirely taken with the experience. Not sure I'd recommend, unless you are interested in Russian history/folk lore.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Broken Sword

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Poul Anderson
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    Thor has broken the sword Tyrfing so that it cannot strike at the roots of Yggdrasil, the tree that binds together earth, heaven, and hell. But now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade Bölverk the ice-giant to make Tyrfing whole again. But Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who has taken his place in the world of men.

    Corey says: "Wow"
    "Something lost in the translation?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure if I read the wrong review or what. But this book is boring me to death. It is like a dull retelling of an old english folk tale.

    I put it down two books ago and haven't gone back.

    Not I'm going to be able to ever finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Curse of Chalion

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2179)
    Performance
    (980)
    Story
    (987)

    Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

    Terri says: "What makes a hero... LMB knows"
    "Very different, thoughtful read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You follow a broken man back from complete destitution into the heart of a political & mythical struggle.

    Yet, this isn't the tried powerless learns to be powerful story-line. It takes you along on a somewhat complicated and usual path. While there is some action, it is far from action packed.

    I would recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Brian Staveley
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (1397)
    Performance
    (1310)
    Story
    (1314)

    In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

    Ethan M. says: "Of the various new fantasy series, this is... fine"
    "Childish, but fun (said with some guilt)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While not fully YA, it is heading in that direction. It is an action romp that tries to break free of the tried and true fantasy story-line, but doesn't really succeed.

    If you are looking for great fiction, look on. If you are looking for escapist fantasy fiction, you've found one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Magicians: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Lev Grossman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3249)
    Performance
    (2471)
    Story
    (2491)

    Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

    Kyle says: "Not an average book"
    "Narnia/harry potter meets the hard realities"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting and engaging. A different kind of book. It is an attempt to tell a "harry-potter/narnia" tale from a real world perspective. Basically, that means the characters are complex, troubled, selfish, etc and not everything works out in the end.

    I was more fascinated and interested that I thought I'd be in this concept. I must admit it got me thinking. It made a nice allegory for the process of growing up; it takes a hard look at the idea that one must let go of fantasy/dreams and what it means not to.

    I would recommend this book. (Maybe not for those looking for escapist fiction, unless you can take a few punches).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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