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Johan

Solna, Sweden | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 135 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • Bearers of the Black Staff: Legends of Shannara, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Book One of The Legends of Shannara. Five hundred years have passed since the war that almost exterminated humankind. But now the cocoon of protective magic surrounding the valley has vanished. When Sider Ament, last surviving Knight of the Word, detects unknown predators stalking the valley, and Trackers find two of their own gruesomely killed, there can be no doubt: the once safe haven of generations has been laid bare...

    Johan says: "Incomplete"
    "Incomplete"
    Overall

    I would only recommend people that are already "Shannara" fans to read this.

    My biggest griefs with the book are:

    1. Star Wars (new movies) flashbacks. The main characters are all whining like 3 year olds about choices that are not really any choices. It gets a bit tiresome when the author can't be arsed to build a real story but instead plainly writes what he wants us to think. It is somewhat like those comedy shows with the added laughter.

    2. Lord of the Rings (extra material) flashbacks. This is not a real book. It is extra material sized and it feels like the author could have written it in one evening being half asleep.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mako: The Mako Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ian J. Malone
    • Narrated By Andrew Wehrlen
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    A down-and-out history professor leads a team of old friends to virtual glory as the first-ever group to beat Mako Assault, a revolutionary new game that has emerged from nowhere to take the online world by storm. As a reward for their achievement, and under the guise of publicity, the group is flown to meet the game's mysterious designer, only to learn that Mako's intent was never to entertain its players…but rather to train them. An epic science fiction thrill ride of action, suspense, laughter, and romance, Mako is the story of five ordinary people rising to the challenge of extraordinary events, driven only by their faith in one another.

    Zed says: "Predictable and shallow. Written for young adults?"
    "Easy read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Mako? What did you like least?

    Easy to go back to and easy to let go of. For me this book falls under the junkfood category. It is pretty enjoyable while reading it, but it does not last past the point you put it away.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Andrew Wehrlen?

    I would. He does a pretty decent job with this book without that much to work with.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it and enjoy the listen. Just don't expect to be blown away by fantastic plots, character development and hours of post book processing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lions of Al-Rassan

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (173)

    The ruling Asharites of Al-Rassan have come from the desert sands, but over centuries, seduced by the sensuous pleasures of their new land, their stern piety has eroded. The Asharite empire has splintered into decadent city-states led by warring petty kings. King Almalik of Cartada is on the ascendancy, aided always by his friend and advisor, the notorious Ammar ibn Khairan - poet, diplomat, soldier - until a summer afternoon of savage brutality changes their relationship forever.

    Kat Hooper says: "Lots of drama"
    "Well worth listening to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy both story and performance. What I won't do is remember the book in six months. There really was not anything that stood out. I would have liked giving the book 3.5 (a little better than what I expected). For me the book was a little to "easy". There just wasn't enough depth and details in characters or story. It was more like a guilty pleasure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Frey: The Frey Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Melissa Wright
    • Narrated By Heidi Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Unaware she's been bound from using magic, Frey leads a small, miserable life in the village where she's sent after the death of her mother. But a tiny spark starts a fury of changes and she finds hersef running from everything she's ever known. Hunted by council for practicing dark magic, she is certain she's been wrongfully accused. She flees, and is forced to rely on strangers for protection. But the farther she strays from home, the more her magic and forgotten memories return and she begins to suspect all is not as it seems.

    Johan says: "Not for the old"
    "Not for the old"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I would recommend this for young adults (read girls under 15)


    Did Heidi Baker do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    With a main character so annoying the voice portraying it will have a very hard time. I don't think there is anything else she could have done to please me.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story/plot had some nice ideas.


    Any additional comments?

    The big issue with the book is that everything is spelled out. Only thing that was missing was the sitcom laughs in the background telling me that this was supposed to be funny. The whole book is like: "It rains. I get wet." "Look a boy. I think I am in love with him." "We are out riding. This is a moment of sexual tension."There is nothing in the book even hinting on an explanation as to why. For me that makes the main character come across as an erratic brat and I could not get past it. If this had been a paper book I would have gone through it just to get to the plot (which seemed fairly interesting), but being an audio book 7h is simply too much time to spend on something that could probably be summarized in a page or two of writing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Forge of Darkness: Kharkanas Trilogy, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Daniel Philpott
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Johan says: "Almost"
    "Almost"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I would really want to read the coming two books before rating (given Erikson's track record of slow first books).

    The story is close to a 5. The reason I don't give it that is because I lacked some of the epic clash between giants feeling I got from the Malazan books. This book has a very promising ending, but reaching that there were a bit too many whiny/uninteresting characters introduced.

    Will be painful having to wait for the next books ... :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    (1248)
    Performance
    (1115)
    Story
    (1119)

    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.

    Adnan says: "An engrossing yet demanding high epic"
    "Love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book series is on my top 10 list. Be careful though as the books are very complex and take some effort to appreciate. Think I started on book one three times before I finally got through to it and it was only around book three that I really started understanding what a gem these books are.

    The books are read very good. There is a nice distinction between the characters (which is impressive considering how many they are). I would give it a 4.5 if there was an option for it only because I might not agree with some of the voice/character pairings.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Briar King: The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Greg Keyes
    • Narrated By Patrick Michael
    Overall
    (226)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (112)

    Two thousand years ago, the Born Queen defeated the Skasloi lords, freeing humans from the bitter yoke of slavery. But now monstrous creatures roam the land and destinies become inextricably entangled in a drama of power and seduction. The kings woodsman, a rebellious girl, a young priest, a roguish adventurer, and a young man made suddenly into a knight all face malevolent forces that shake the foundations of the kingdom, even as the Briar King, legendary harbinger of death, awakens from his slumber.

    Jake says: "Good stuff"
    "Not a masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The story is simple enough to follow even if you miss half of it. If you are planning to uncork a 50yo whisky, light a cuban cigar and sit down in your favorite chair to listen to a good book ... this is probably not for you. If you want something to listen to while commuting to work or doing tedious work at home this is perfect. It is like a McDonalds meal of fantasy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (428)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "Not interesting for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Odyssey? What did you like least?

    The good. The epic story. Performance of Ian McKellen. The general flow of the language.
    The bad. All the parts not focusing on the epic story (which would be about 70% of the book). It is so stupefying simple. No character development. Everything is spelled out for you. Repetitive, if I hear another "Odyssey master of ... " I am going to scream.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)? Why or why not?

    Maybe.


    Have you listened to any of Ian McKellen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First time.


    Do you think The Odyssey needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not impressed at all. For being a "classic" the writing is so simple it could be a children book (the content might be a bit too bloody for it though :) ).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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