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Jeffrey

Columbus, OH, United States | Member Since 2009

105
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 1068 titles in library
  • 124 purchased in 2014
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3

  • A Hymn Before Battle: Legacy of the Aldenata

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1095)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (760)

    With Earth in the path of the rapacious Posleen, the Galactic Federation offers help to the backward humans - for a price. You can protect yourself from your enemies, but God save you from your allies!

    Dr. Daniel Chapman says: "Another heads up!"
    "Military SIFI and aliens too!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story about a perpetually dysfunctional military, aliens of friendly, evil, and all-together shady types, and a handful of heroes who somehow make the best out of all of it.

    I didn't much care for the first several chapters, but somewhere around the 1/3 mark I began to enjoy it, and at the end, I had become enthralled. I generally don't much care for male readers with American accents, but all of that changed when the narrater tackled the alien voices, and did a stellar job doing it. I replayed the last couple of chapters just to hear it again.

    Be aware, though, that the story is dripping with military jargon, military world view, and what I might call military social pet peeves. Most of it is rather authentic, if not sometimes a bit shallow. There are significant and colorful descriptions of battle, complete with reasonably accurate tactical analysis. Some actions of the characters, however, don't seem to make much sense.

    The SiFi aspects of the story is rational, and the science is consistent.

    Overall, I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys military fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (830)
    Performance
    (769)
    Story
    (772)

    This Lovecraft classic is a must-have for every fan of classic terror. When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.

    Jeffrey says: "Not for everyone"
    "Not for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a great deal to this little story, including great description, what I'd call sublime horror, and a rather large dose of social commentary on the time it was written.

    Be advised, however, that this story was written in the early 1930's using the literary style of that period. It was a time of great social change, and the concept of science not being able to solve all problems was really being driven home. Fear that the world was becoming a darker place was growing and the future was looked upon with gathering dread. With older works of art, one should recognize that fears tend to change somewhat. Yet Lovecraft knew about the kind of fear that never ends, that corrodes the soul, that destroys lives.

    Listeners who wish easy prose and fast action should probably pass on this.

    Yet if you appreciate very well written, thoughtful, and suspenseful in the classical sense sort of prose, this little novella is for you.

    91 of 94 people found this review helpful
  • By the Mast Divided

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By David Donachie
    • Narrated By Peter Wickham
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    London: 1793. Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on her way to war. In the first few days, Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. And he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader.

    Jeffrey says: "Might not be what you think"
    "Might not be what you think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This isn't an action series. The sea battle aspect of this series is not the focus. Rather, this series is a work of historical interest which illuminates the life of the times and the politics of the times. If history interests you, then you are in the right place. If you want sea battles and dashing heroes, you best look elsewhere.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Storm: Legacy of the Aldenata

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (467)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (306)

    In an instant the world changed for Lieutenant General Michael O'Neal. His beloved Corps of the last remaining ACS destroyed beneath the guns of the Fleet, his staff shot before his eyes, arrested on the charge of war crimes, he faces a short, one-sided trial, a trip to the Fleet Penal Facility and a bullet to the back of the head while trying to "escape".

    Colin says: "Nice to see Michael O'Neal back, and his daughters"
    "Missed Opporunities"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review pertains to the entire series.

    I generally don't write reviews here unless the work is extraordinary in some way. In the case of John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata series, it is the extraordinary failure of missed opportunities.

    Ringo creates a rather interesting world where Earth is swept into an interstellar war involving several alien races which we can neither understand or trust. The various races are well fleshed out in terms of social norms and motivations, and the political and psychological interplay between them could have made for masterful prose in the hands of a better author.

    What we get, however, is what we in the military used to call "The enlisted man's world view", in which the entire force structure is to revolve around the combat individual and his small unit. As one progresses through the ranks, this world view tends to expand as well, so that, one hopes, the individual begins to realize that although the heroics and capabilities of combat units can, indeed win battles, wars are won with command and control, logistics, and politics. It is unfortunate, then, that the protagonist of the series, who ultimately leads the entire galactic force structure, continues to act as an enlisted man.

    Here we get battle after battle, fought by generally mono-dimensional characters sharing the same political convictions. To Ringo's credit, the tactics he presents are sufficiently correct, and the scenes of combat are reasonably well done.

    The quality of writing is rather basic in the first few books, but gets significantly better as co-writers come on board. The level of political and psychological insight improves as well.

    Yet I wonder how much better a more accomplished writer would have handled the political, social and psychological aspects of the interaction between the Humans and the various alien races, and how each society would have been impacted by such an exchange.

    Ringo will likely never be considered among the best writers of sifi, and the books in this series ultimately devolve to what I might describe as "Sifi channel made for TV" quality. If all the reader requires is a fast and furious romp through the war zone, this series will suffice. Those who require sifi Asimov style, with insightful treatment of sociology, psychology, and the state of Man, will likely sit back in wonder over the missed opportunity of creating something compelling enough to become classic.

    The series has been left unfinished, it appears.

    1 of 4 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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13193)
    Performance
    (10793)
    Story
    (10917)

    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!"
    "Doesn't quite get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't usually review books. I figure I either like them or I don't, and it's usually a manner of taste and style. This book, however, was so boring that I couldn't listen to more than a few hours of it. Apparently written for teenagers, there are no insights here, no world building, no secrets, no innovation, and really, no fantasy either. Not sure how he did it, but Rothfuss managed to turn what might have been an interesting story into some sort of coming of age sigh-maker. Rothfuss surely isn't an explorer of souls as is Guy Kay, and he surely isn't the master storyteller as is Jordan, isn't the magic technocrat as is Sanderson, nor is he the world builder as is Martin. Nor, to his high discredit, is he the coming of age storyteller of a Rowling. Fact is, his prose is trite and simplistic, his characters unidimensional, his story unimaginative, and his plot twists inane.

    The reader certainly doesn't help much either.

    I see a lot of folks liked this book, but I certainly did not. I'd advise the hard core fantasy fans to spend their credit elsewhere.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The King's Coat

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dewey Lambdin
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (154)

    It is 1780, and 17-year-old Alan Lewrie is a brash, rebellious young libertine. So much so that his callous father believes a bit of naval discipline will turn the boy around. Fresh aboard the tall-masted Ariadne, Midshipman Lewrie heads for the war-torn Americas, finding - rather unexpectedly - that he is a born sailor, equally at home with the randy pleasures of the port and the raging battles on the high seas. But in a hail of cannonballs comes a bawdy surprise.

    Andrew says: ""Sex, Swords, Sailing Ships""
    "Best of the genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well written, seems less cartoonish than the Hornblower and Belitho series. Can be pretty funny at times. And, of course, narrated by my favorite, John Lee. if you like the period sailing stories, you owe it to yourself to try this one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11667)
    Performance
    (9061)
    Story
    (9121)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Much like Wheel of Time"
    Overall

    I typically dislike Sanderson's previous work, but I thought I'd give it a try after reading his latest Wheel of Time effort. The Way of Kings reads an awful lot like Jordan, and less like Sanderson. That's better for me, I suppose, but it may help to remember that when considering the download.

    The world he creates isn't as interesting as the history he creates, but his use of language might cause some confusion early in the story. I found it difficult to keep all of the strange names straight, so I can understand why some reviewers here stopped reading early. It really is worth reading through.

    Innovative? Not really. Creative? certainly, but it seems more a derivative of Mystbourne and WoT.

    So, a good read, I think, with a bit more downside than WoT. I would recommend it to fantasy fans, but perhaps not to new fantasy fans.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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