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John

United States | Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (924)
    Performance
    (837)
    Story
    (846)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "Sprawling Multi-Planet Soap Opera (in a good way)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The scope of the story is massive; the character list alone is hard to keep track of. And while everything ties together a little too neatly at the end, there are a couple really compelling story lines (and characters). Also, a very fine performance by Longworth makes listening to this quite enjoyable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Quantum Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Hannu Rajaniemi
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (149)

    Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy—from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he’s confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.

    David says: "Idea-heavy, requires an attentive listen"
    "Convoluted and demands attention"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Not sure how to review this book. Part of me thinks that this is the kind of book Philip K Dick would write today (in the best sense) and part of me thinks it was just outrageously convoluted. There are only so many shocking revelations a book can have before they cease being shocking and become banal. I think i would've like the book version better, as it might have been easier to follow the techno-futuristic intricacies. But the narrator sounds like Willem Defoe and that was fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Atrocity Archives: A Laundry Files Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Charles Stross
    • Narrated By Gideon Emery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (522)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (409)

    Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

    Ethan M. says: "A great techno-spy-Lovecraftian-horror-comedy"
    "If Stephen Hawking was a Ghostbuster..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Was The Atrocity Archives worth the listening time?

    Contrary to many other reviews, I just found this novel largely uninspired (despite the potentially interesting cocktail of styles). It's part spy-novel, part occult/magic powers, part math techno-geek. the 2nd quality means that any time that part 1 gets you into a sticky situation, you can invent some (mathematically justified) magical way out. oh, and of course, there are Nazis. unless i get really desperate, I'm not even going to pursue the other books in the series (and that is saying something).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3926)
    Performance
    (3428)
    Story
    (3396)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Now my favorite Murakami"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you like Murakami's style of fusing reality with a dream-like fugue state, you will love this book. And its exceptionally good to listen to, once you get used to the at times caricatured voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hybrids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (201)

    Scientists (and lovers) Mary Vaughan, who is human, and Ponter Boddit, who is Neanderthal, embark on the harrowing adventure of conceiving a child together. To overcome the genetic barbed wire of mismatched chromosomes, they must use banned technology obtainable only from a Neanderthal scientist living in the northern wilderness.

    dissipatedfog says: "Hated it!"
    "To didactic for its own good, but fine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Sawyer explains in an interview that Planet of the Apes was the inspiration for this trilogy, insofar as it used sic-fi to investigate then contemporary moral and political issues. I can definitely see the connection, but this investigation ends up being too didactic and simplistic for my taste. Pretty clear sense of good and bad and all that comes with that.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blindsight

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Peter Watts
    • Narrated By T. Ryder Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (96)

    Set in 2082, Peter Watts' Blindsight is fast-moving, hard SF that pulls readers into a futuristic world where a mind-bending alien encounter is about to unfold. After the Firefall, all eyes are locked heavenward as a team of specialists aboard the self-piloted spaceship Theseus hurtles outbound to intercept an unknown intelligence.

    James says: "Compelling modern hard sci-fi"
    "Best sci-fi i've read in a while"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Blindsight to be better than the print version?

    no


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Blindsight?

    too many to count


    Any additional comments?

    A brilliant, speculative, and very densely written work. I had to re-listen to the first several hours twice - but it was entirely worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2612)
    Performance
    (2335)
    Story
    (2341)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "Fun Light Page Turner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Kill Decision? What did you like least?

    Suarez basically writes contemporary political thrillers that use cutting edge computer and military technology as the engine for page-turning action adventure. In the case of kill decision, its the prospect of autonomous drones with swarming behavior. No deep characters or compelling speculation here (one of the 2 main characters here is annoyingly simple). But lots of fun techno-action. I preferred his "Daemon" and would recommend it as a better place to start with Suarez.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Xenocide

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and others
    Overall
    (4586)
    Performance
    (2454)
    Story
    (2481)

    Xenocide is the third installment of the Ender series. On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequeninos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought. But Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus which kills all humans it infects, but which the pequeninos require in order to transform into adults.

    David says: "full of passion"
    "Best of the series so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Xenocide to be better than the print version?

    no


    What did you like best about this story?

    the conceptual intricacy


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    there were several narrators and the juxtaposition worked well


    Any additional comments?

    I really like the more philosophical fiction (as long as it doesn't get too didactic or preachy), and this is one of the best I've come across. I enjoyed the 2nd book a great deal, but this is another league entirely. really quite brilliant.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rainbows End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Vernor Vinge
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (774)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (270)

    Set a few decades from now, Rainbows End is an epic adventure that encapsulates in a single extended family the challenges of the technological advances of the first quarter of the 21st century. The information revolution of the past 30 years blossoms into a web of conspiracies that could destroy Western civilization. At the center of the action is Robert Gu, a former Alzheimer's victim who has regained his mental and physical health through radical new therapies, and his family.

    Steve says: "Great Discovery"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Vernor Vinge and/or Eric Conger?

    yes


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The introductory fram of the first 15 minutes was SOOO compelling and exciting that I was really unprepared for the small, personal redemption narrative that is really the heart of the book.


    Was Rainbows End worth the listening time?

    Sure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1782)
    Performance
    (792)
    Story
    (799)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Richard says: "Tour de force"
    "Gripping story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Anathem again? Why?

    No. Its a very compelling story, but there are so many extended didactic parts that it gets kind of tedious.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    way too long for that.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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