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J.R.H.

There are very few pleasures, in this life, that match the bliss of listening to a well written story read by a skilled orator. "Language is a virus from outer space." William Burroughs

Rouge Valley, Oregon | Member Since 2011

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 84 ratings
  • 289 titles in library
  • 29 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Abaddon's Gate

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (808)
    Performance
    (751)
    Story
    (749)

    The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

    Greg says: "The worst part is waiting for book 4"
    "The best book of the series (so far)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Qualifier: This review is for the whole series (3 books), to date. I believe the series will continue to 6 books.

    Many many authors and story tellers whether it be for TV, movies or novels are very good at writing beginnings and middles to stories. Very few know or are able to write satisfying endings. I think one of the best examples of this is Stephen King. Now I love King, as a great American pulp writer, with The Dark Tower series being one of my all time favorite fantasy series. I have read all of them and listened to all of them a handful of times. So just because you can't write an ending doesn't mean you shouldn't read the story. Now, with The Expanse series it is the exact opposite.

    As has been previously mentioned in other reviews this series has been written by two different authors under the moniker of James S.A. Corey. Each book is broken up into chapters that feature the perspective of a particular character. The first book is from just two, Holden and Miller. The other two books feature more diversity by using at least 4 points of view from very different personalities. Most likely each author is responsible for a different character. This works very well to give the reader a wide range of view points on the story, also, as may be the case, ethical counter arguments. Not to say it is a deep thought provoking series, it is not, but it is also far from shallow. What it is, is great entertainment.

    The first two books, Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War, are entertaining page turning stories that feature solid plot structure and interesting, real characters. Holden, the main character, pissed me off more than not with his head in the clouds, altruistic, utopian ideology, but the character was true to form. Miler balanced it out with his pessimism. Each book featured a missing girl plot line with an overarching metaphysical mystery in the form of the alien Protomolecule. The first contact story of the Protomolecule is the driving force behind the whole series and dictates the machinations of the characters and there moral and ethical decisions. Abaddon's Gate continues the Protomolecule mystery and also features a revenge story. The use of a secondary story line, missing girls or revenge story, gives the books a dynamic quality to the plot structure which cranks up the adrenaline popcorn munching page turning entertainment.

    I really enjoyed all three books with Abaddon's Gate being the highlight of the series so far. The narration is spot on and never gets in the way of the story. If you are looking for something to take you away from the daily grind and transport you into entertaining sci-fi universe, I can't recommend these books enough. Also, the series just got green lit to become a TV series. So get the jump on everybody.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Pandora's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4343)
    Performance
    (2644)
    Story
    (2682)

    The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

    Devin says: "Great Epic Scifi"
    "Universe building"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained are two of the best books I have read in a very long time. The true sign that you have fell under the spell of a good writer and/or book is when the boring parts are mesmerizing.
    Pandora's Star is the introduction to the universe Hamilton is creating and it is easy to wonder how many of the characters are relevant to the big picture. The best approach is to let go and let the narrative evolve. The books are expertly crafted. Everything pays off and every miscellaneous thread ties in beautifully.
    Hamilton's intelligence and creativity are deeply evident in these pages. He is not simply world building, he is universe building and the myriad forms of life, environments, religions, political structures, mythologies he has created is astonishing.
    John Lee does a fantastic job on the narration. He never gets in the way of the story and only serves to further the wonderful story playing in our imaginations.
    I will admit that I used a wiki to keep track of the characters in the beginning because this is a giant story with many plot lines and histories. I would recommend this option because it does help to involve you quickly into the machinations of the Common Wealth.
    If you are a Sci-fi fan who likes large intricate stories and have the patience for 40hr books you should give these a chance. They are quite rewarding.
    I will expand on this review talking about the ending under the Judas Unchained review.

    p.s. I could read a whole trilogy on Ozzie and the Silfen Paths.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (1910)
    Performance
    (1700)
    Story
    (1699)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Great beginning, Series just gets better."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Qualifier: This review is for the whole series (3 books), to date. I believe the series will continue to 6 books.

    Many many authors and story tellers whether it be for TV, movies or novels are very good at writing beginnings and middles to stories. Very few know or are able to write satisfying endings. I think one of the best examples of this is Stephen King. Now I love King, as a great American pulp writer, with The Dark Tower series being one of my all time favorite fantasy series. I have read all of them and listened to all of them a handful of times. So just because you can't write an ending doesn't mean you shouldn't read the story. Now, with The Expanse series it is the exact opposite.

    As has been previously mentioned in other reviews this series has been written by two different authors under the moniker of James S.A. Corey. Each book is broken up into chapters that feature the perspective of a particular character. The first book is from just two, Holden and Miller. The other two books feature more diversity by using at least 4 points of view from very different personalities. Most likely each author is responsible for a different character. This works very well to give the reader a wide range of view points on the story, also, as may be the case, ethical counter arguments. Not to say it is a deep thought provoking series, it is not, but it is also far from shallow. What it is, is great entertainment.

    The first two books, Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War, are entertaining page turning stories that feature solid plot structure and interesting, real characters. Holden, the main character, pissed me off more than not with his head in the clouds, altruistic, utopian ideology, but the character was true to form. Miler balanced it out with his pessimism. Each book featured a missing girl plot line with an overarching metaphysical mystery in the form of the alien Protomolecule. The first contact story of the Protomolecule is the driving force behind the whole series and dictates the machinations of the characters and there moral and ethical decisions. Abaddon's Gate continues the Protomolecule mystery and also features a revenge story. The use of a secondary story line, missing girls or revenge story, gives the books a dynamic quality to the plot structure which cranks up the adrenaline popcorn munching page turning entertainment.

    I really enjoyed all three books with Abaddon's Gate being the highlight of the series so far. The narration is spot on and never gets in the way of the story. If you are looking for something to take you away from the daily grind and transport you into entertaining sci-fi universe, I can't recommend these books enough. Also, the series just got green lit to become a TV series. So get the jump on everybody.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4110)
    Performance
    (3440)
    Story
    (3434)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "Story bogs down under the weight of mediocrity."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It is too bad that after being a member of Audible for a little over a year and listening to some excellent books that I have to start here, a rather mediocre thriller, but it is what it is and it's better to start now than not at all. I have gotten so much from reading others reviews that I thought I would throw my voice into the fire.

    Ray Porter lifts this book from something that might not be listenable to a book just entertaining enough to not put down. I do prefer a few other narrators to Mr. Porter, Pacey and Brick, however he has the perfect voice for a thriller, or wanna-be in this case. So, if you are a major Porter fan and like your black ops mixed with a little zombie mayhem, this might be for you.

    The major problem with Patient Zero is the lack of an engaging, dynamic central character. Although, Joe Ledger is a relatively interesting figure he is not compelling enough to unite the story lines into a cohesive narrative. His most prominent personality trait, other than being a lethal warrior, is that he is a smart ass, however this is not depicted in a unique manner that defines his character. It simply comes off as flippant, unbelievable and juvenile. If this was handled in a way that gave his personality distinction it might have served a purpose, unfortunately it doesn't and Ledger best friend the psychologist Ray becomes a much more compelling figure.

    My last thought here is that you need a bad guy for this kind of story. At the beginning we are promised a type of mad scientist, a trope that approached properly could have been very successful in this type of story. We never got the mad scientist. Instead we have three different bad guys, well two guys and one woman, that have a sorted love story inside a malevolent end of the world plot. None of these figures gives us anything engaging enough to be concerned about or allow us to vent our hatred at what they are planning. They are benign and undefined. I personally didn't care what they were doing.

    I have said nothing very positive about this novel, but that is not to say I did not enjoy it at moments. Some of the action scenes are very well orchestrated, beautifully described and addicting. Mostly, I had the feeling of guilty pleasure while listening. Like watching a movie that isn't very good but does offer enough action and mildly interesting plot twist's to keep you occupied until the end.

    21 of 27 people found this review helpful

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