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JPaladin

Member Since 2009

ratings
85
REVIEWS
46
FOLLOWING
11
FOLLOWERS
17
HELPFUL VOTES
77

  • 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
    (1720)
    Performance
    (1628)
    Story
    (1627)

    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.

    JPaladin says: "Wonderful Epic! Mature and well-written."
    "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!

    39 of 40 people found this review helpful
  • Kushiel's Dart

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Carey
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    Overall
    (1079)
    Performance
    (675)
    Story
    (684)

    The land of Terre d'Ange is a place of unsurpassing beauty and grace. It is said that angels found the land and saw it was good...and the ensuing race that rose from the seed of angels and men live by one simple rule: Love as thou wilt.

    Glen Gaines says: "The Kushiel series in order"
    "Never finished it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reviews seemed pretty positive, from readers with similar tastes, so I gave it a try.

    In fact I gave it three separate tries.

    I guess its just not my cup of tea.

    Neither the plot or the characters captured me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10560)
    Performance
    (9584)
    Story
    (9605)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Jumped the shark."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the risk of being obnoxious, I'd say this book "jumped the shark" about half way through.

    It started as a well-written and interesting urban psuedo-fantasy mystery. I was curious about what was hidden behind the strange occurrences and was drawn along with the characters.

    However, as the mystery was revealed, it got odder and odder. Eventually it stretched my ability to suspend my disbelief. Not necessarily because the circumstance became so surreal (and they did) but because the characters, for the most part, took it all so well--as if it were just another challenge to overcome.

    All in all it kept me entertained, but I'll think twice before buying another book from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Night Watch: Watch, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Sergei Lukyanenko
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (386)

    Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. Living among us are the "Others", an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. A thousand-year treaty has maintained the balance of power, but an ancient prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will rise up and tip the balance. When a young boy with extraordinary powers emerges, will the forces of the Light be able to keep the Dark from corrupting the boy and destroying the world?

    Parusski says: "Lyrical, haunting and engrossing!"
    "Pretty good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed, but wasn't blown away by this book. There were some interesting concepts bantered about by the main character, but nothing too profound or meaningful was every truly developed. Story line was run of the mill. But the writing was pretty good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5777)
    Performance
    (5507)
    Story
    (5520)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "Delivered!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    That's the Sanderson I've been waiting for!!!

    Picks up the storyline and expands on it.

    A couple parts felt a little bit cheezy (ala Stealheart and not Way of Kings), but not too bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Lian Hearn
    • Narrated By Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5969)
    Performance
    (2126)
    Story
    (2133)

    A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "Wonderful epic story"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing to write home to mother about. But an enjoyable fantasy story set in a feudal Japanese society.

    I liked it and may look for sequels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6849)
    Performance
    (3218)
    Story
    (3223)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "3-books in one--AT LEAST"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book took me by surprise. Both in how much I enjoyed it and in how diverse it felt in plot and story-telling.

    It starts in the near future in a sort-of FBI pseudo mystery- setting, mildly calling to mind The X-Files (a character even directly references it). This section had some very brutal and sad events that made me consider putting the book down, but I'm glad I didn't

    The story later shifts into a few very different mid-apocalyptic narrative (some personal narratives) that is very imaginative and empathetic.

    Then it shifts again into a post-apocalyptic community survival story.

    Yet, it is all very purposeful and interconnected. The need for the great span of time and the diversity of POV becomes apparent as the story progresses.

    Given its length and shifting story-lines, Mr. Cronin could have easily broken this up into more than one book. I greatly respect that he didn't and I think it made for a better story.

    I'm already onto the next book in the series and enjoying it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War with the Mein: Book One of the Acacia Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (839)
    Performance
    (397)
    Story
    (405)

    A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    Glen says: "Thumbs up!"
    "Great potential"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was a bit of a roller coaster for me.

    For the 1st half or so I was interested but not truly captured by the story. Then it hooked me hard. But then I thought the story/plot was becoming predictable and too "safe." Then it went a whole new direction--which surprised me (and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but it was interesting).

    Another review compared it to Game of Thrones, while I see the comparison--mostly due to the multiple first person point of views and the divergent and re-convergent story lines--it has a very different feel. Enjoyable, but without the same sense of gritty "realism" for the characters, except for some distinct segments. There is a similar story arc regarding the diaspora of siblings from a family destroyed by political/military conflict set to a background of layered personal, political, and mythological conflict. There is also a similar "forgotten" history of a dark and mysterious foreign threat looming behind the story-line in the first book--waiting to be developed, I presume, in the following books.

    And there are some interesting and some what unique ideas here and some great potential for an intriguing epic story.

    In short: I liked it and I'm going on to the next book. It isn't yet one of my favorites, but I could see it becoming one of them if the series continues on its current trajectory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heroes Die: The First of the Acts of Caine

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Matthew Stover
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (323)

    Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana as the Blade of Tyshalle, Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, simply the best there is at what he does. At home on Earth, Caine is Hari Michaelson, a superstar whose adventures in Ankhana command an audience of billions.

    Douglas says: "Finally, an epic worthy of Stefan Rudnicki"
    "Enjoyable, but not outstanding."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although it was an interesting idea for a setting, at first I couldn't quite get into the genre mixing, as the SciFi story/element wasn't catching my interest. But a few chapters it hooked me. When I was done with the book I was satisfied by the story, but I'm waffling on going on to the sequel.

    What I liked:
    The characters were written well enough to make you care about them.
    Story was fairly fast paced and kept you entertained.
    The conflict in both worlds was engaging and interesting.

    What I disliked:
    The "fantasy" side of the story was violent, but not truly dark or gritty.
    There wasn't much development of the mythology or magical system.
    Some of the dialog was nearing childish and caused me to loose my suspension of disbelief.

    I'd put this in my "pass the time" category. Not sure if I'm going on the sequel yet.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emperor of Thorns: A Broken Empire Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (192)

    Jorg would be emperor. It is a position not to be gained by the sword but rather by vote. And never in living memory has anyone secured a majority of the vote, leaving the Broken Empire long without a leader. Jorg has plans to change that - one way or the other. He’s uncovered even more of the lost technology of the land, and he won’t hesitate to use it. But he soon finds an adversary standing in his way, a necromancer unlike any he has ever faced - a figure hated and feared even more than himself: the Dead King. The boy who would rule all may have finally met his match....

    Just Marvel Me says: "Entire Adoration"
    "Spectacular. A very impressive work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! I just finished book 2 & 3.

    As I read this series I was continually awed by the layer upon layer of connection between the main character's actions and his slowly revealing history (and future).

    It was masterfully done! While not my favorite book, I have hardly been more impressed with a story so well weaved.

    And the ending was perfect!

    I say read the series. It is dark. The main character does many awful things--but in the end it all makes perfect sense. Each step in his story is purposeful and necessary.

    Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemist of Souls: Night's Masque, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Anne Lyle
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (53)

    When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods - and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital? Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is appointed to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems.

    Christopher says: "Enjoyable Read/Listen!"
    "Pretty good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are looking for an action packed romp, this isn't the book for you. It is a pretty decent story set to a fairly interesting fantasy background.

    You'll note that almost every review remarks on the homosexual relationships in the book. I only think it's notable that this is the first book I've ever seen with them front and center. This was far far less sexual or graphic than many heterosexual encounters described in countless other books in the genre. It really is only 3 gay characters and 1 bi.

    In the end, it past the time. It lost my interest a bit at the end. And I haven't gone on to the sequel. But I may at some point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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