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Jon Huff

designer and aritst

IL United States | Member Since 2008

  • 2 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 58 titles in library
  • 13 purchased in 2014

  • Doctor Who: Wheel of Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By David Troughton

    The Wheel. A ring of ice and steel turning around a moon of Saturn, and home to a mining colony supplying a resource-hungry Earth. It's a bad place to grow up. The colony has been plagued by problems. Maybe it's just gremlins, just bad luck. But the equipment failures and thefts of resources have been increasing, and there have been stories among the children of mysterious creatures glimpsed aboard the Wheel. Many of the younger workers refuse to go down the warren-like mines anymore.

    Jon Huff says: "A Few Cracks In The Ice"
    "A Few Cracks In The Ice"
    Would you try another book from Stephen Baxter and/or David Troughton?

    Most definitely.

    Would you recommend Doctor Who: Wheel of Ice to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, especially if they are Second Doctor fans. The flavor of the characters is really well captured.

    Any additional comments?

    This is a very solid read. I am not familiar with Stephen Baxter's other work, but based on his work here I'd give it a go. I was definitely intrigued by the basic setting here, and Baxter did a good job of bringing it to life with a decent-sized cast of characters in addition to the main cast of the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. Although some of the characters didn't really rise about the stock cyphers we're usually presented with, even in the television series, a few of them took on enough dimension to make them interesting. So it's good that the main cast is well rendered. It might have helped that I listened to the audio book, and David Troughton does an amazing impression of his father, the late Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. It really is uncanny at times. The surprising thing is that he does a very good Jamie as well.

    The main plot is intriguing enough, and unfolds in a pleasing manner for the most part. The mystery is solved little by little for the most part. One unfortunate exception occurs during one of the "interludes" in the book. The author uses this device to give us a bit of the backstory of certain characters or settings. For the most part, it works. But I feel like the nature of the main "threat" came too early during one of these interludes, and it became annoying that the main characters were falling behind us in discovering it's nature and it took some of the mystery away too early.

    There is a subplot involving a visit to another moon that seems to not go much of anywhere. I think the point was to build up the guest cast a bit (and give Jamie something to do) but while Jamie comes off well, the guest cast with him never really comes to life. It just seems to be a series of misfortunes that happen to them that don't amount to much. I was also a bit annoyed at the number of times characters entered and exited the moon. They'd barely escape with their lives, and then head right back down again. I think this happened at least four times. Although the task ahead was different each time, it did feel a bit repetitive. Also - I must note that bomb defusing in a book is even less interesting than it is in TV shows or in the movies.

    Still, all in all I found it an enjoyable experience in audiobook form, and I'm so happy past Doctors are finally getting new books again.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Another Stand Out Book By Gaiman"

    Neil Gaiman is my favorite writer. So, I read each new thing he does with a very open mind. But also with quite a lot of expectations. I'm happy to say he's yet to disappoint me. I find it impossible not to be taken in with what he writes. I suppose his ability to take a very real world and shine a light on the magical places JUST on the other side of it is a large part of it. His characters feel so real, even when they are fantastic. There is a lot of this that feels very personal, and that adds a lot of interesting shades and textures but does not color the actual story in a distracting way. If anything, it just made it easier for me to connect to the story. I think his work calls to that part of me that—despite being a very rational sort of person—still wants desperately to believe in those magical places... just on the other side of the door, at the edge of vision, in that cold little aching place in our heart, or at the end of the lane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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