Yes. I've listened to it a few times. This is where the Dark Tower series really starts getting good.
Frank Muller was the golden god of audio books. The best I've ever heard (and I've heard A LOT!) He died from motorcycle injuries and the world moved on... but there are other worlds than these.
Arisen is not just an awesome zombie novel, it's a great novel period. I have read a few zombie books in my day, and I have found most of them to be lacking in some aspects. There is nothing wrong with this one.
While the story isn't exactly original, it's done in a fresh and exciting way that feels original. The characters are compelling (my favorite is predator). The situations are intense. The writing is excellent. The dialogue is spot on. Again, there is nothing wrong with this book.
R. C. Bray brings it! He's one of my favorite narrators, and he doesn't dissapoint. The man's a genius. If you've never heard him then this is a superb opportunity to start.
I can't recommend this series highly enough.
Red Rising was a really great book. However, I just didn't like the narrator at all. Apparently I'm in the minority of people who feel this way. So, I guess I need to defend my low rating of him.
Tim Gerard Reynolds's accent and the way he pronounced some of the words made it difficult to get into the story. After a few hours I got a little used to it, but it stayed aggravating throughout the entire book. He also read some parts extremely slow for no apparent reason. I assume it was to make the story feel more dramatic, but that wasn't the effect it had on me. Yet, the worst part of his performance was that it wasn't much of a performance. There was little to no difference in the voices of the characters, and when he would give a particular character a different voice he would change it up (sometimes in mid dialogue) and this made it hard to figure out which character was speaking!
When reading a well written novel, like this one, you can easily figure out the narrative flow and the story takes over and you almost forget you're reading and you get lost in the story. The same thing happens in a well read audio book. Mr. Reynolds totally misses the mark. Yet, the story is so well written and so well put together that even with this horrendous performance the listener can still get some enjoyment out of it. That's why I gave the story four stars, but I couldn't bring myself to give the overall rating more than three.
AAAAARRG! THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING!
Red Rising could have been in my "top 10 favorite audio books of all time" list if not for the narrator. The story and the themes and the characters are all amazing. So much so, that even the nerd in me that kept saying how the sci-fi elements were not scientifically realistic (terraforming Venus??? Really???) was shushed by the kid in me that just loves a good story.
My advice is to get the Kindle version of Red Rising and read it yourself.
Now, notice how I ignore my own advise and have already purchased the sequal, Golden Son, on audible that's also read by Mr. Reynolds. Almost all reviewers agree that's it's even better than this one... We'll see.
Instead of talking about this book in particular I want to talk about the series as a whole. This is for two reasons:
1. I just listened to all 3 books in less than 6 days.
2. You really must listen to them in order. If you haven't listened to the first two then you don't want to start here, and if you have listened to the first two then you won't be reading reviews about this one. So, if you're reading this then you are probably unfamiliar with the series.
These books are great. I am now a big Scott Meyer fan, and anything he puts out in the future (whether this series or something new) I will be listening to it. You can tell that these our his first novels, other reviewers have called them amateurish, but for all that they are better written than some extremely popular novels written by authors who've been doing it a while (I won't mention James Dashner by name). Plus, over the course of the three books you can see his writing and storytelling ability improve.
Some people, myself included, have compared these books to "Ready Player One." There's good reason for this. The similarities are there and the target audience is the same. However, I want to say that "Ready Payer One" was a more serious novel while this series is comedic at heart, and is better compared to "Discworld" novels or novels by Douglas Adams.
Ways to know if these books are for you:
1. Did you grow up in the 80's or 90's?
2. Did you and your friends sit around playing video games and making fun of the glitches and arguing over which parts were the best?
3. Did you and your buddies watch sci-fi and fantasy movies and make fun of the bad ones and argue over the good ones and discuss the plot holes in detail?
4. Are you a nerd at heart? Awkward around girls, bad at sports, love Monty Python?
If you answered yes these questions... These books should be right down your alley.
It's funny you should ask.
I think in this installment my favorite character is Jimmy. He seems to have changed a lot since the first book without really changing at all. You get to see his inner workings and you realize his motivations, and that makes him the most thought out and realistic character in this book.
Look, when it comes to these books you either get it or you don't. If you haven't listened to the first book then you need to do so before listening to this one. If you have listened to the first one then you probably won't be reading the reviews for this one, because you'll know if you're the kind of person who "gets it" or not. This book is more of the same... That is to say, awesomeness!
There's a lot more ado about time travel in this installment, and it gets so convoluted, crazy and confusing that it's just great!
Once again, Luke Daniels gives a brilliant performance.
That's really all that needs to be said.
Off to be the Wizard is excellent. Its the best audio book that I've listened to so far this year.
Fans of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will love it. If you liked "Ready Player One" then you'll enjoy this. If you're even a little bit nerdy then this is your book.
Luke Daniels is awesome. I wish all narrators would put in the effort, enthusiasm and zeal he does.
At under eight dollars (member's price) there's no reason to not get this book. If you're like me I guarantee you'll immediately purchase the rest of the series.
I purchased this because it had won the audio book of the year award for 2014 on audible. I know nothing about Shakespeare except what little I was made to read in high school. I know nothing about the play Hamlet except, isn't that the one with the "to be or not to be" line? I don't know if this was 'audio book of the year' quality or not, but it was a solid 4 star audio book in my humble opinion. The narrator does a great job for the most part, although there was a few spots that seemed a little monotone. The writing was alright and the story was OK, but nothing about it really grabbed me. I wasn't excited about finishing it like I was with some of my favorite audio books.
Yesterday's Gone is a hard book to write a review for. It's even harder to rate. This is because of a few reasons...
First is the narrators. Some were good. Some were even great. A couple were really bad. The good ones kind of grew on me and so I gave them a collective 4 stars, but I got to say that the really bad ones was a chore to listen to.
Secondly, the book skips around from character to character and the narrators are assigned (I guess is the best term) their own character and, ergo, their own plot line. Some of the characters and plot lines are very compelling. They are well written and well thought out. Then there are some that feel more like caricatures and their story lines feel more contrived. Finally, there was one that I would role my eyes every time it came their turn, because it was so bad and so hard to listen to.
This is the portion involving the character, Luca. The problem is that I'm not sure if it was the writing or the reading that made Luca's portion so bad. I have to say that it was the worst writing in the book, but whoever it was that read the part of Luca was awful and I wanted to stab her (I think it was a woman but I could be wrong) in the face with a rusty fork... It was THAT bad!
Thirdly, is the overall story line. It starts out great. But as it progresses it gets more and more convoluted. It's as if the authors want to throw in something from every genre of fiction literature into their story.
Now, I'm a fan of all genres of fiction, and I even like books that defy genre boundaries. If you want to mix sci-fi and horror or put comedy into fantasy I am with you. However, this book just puts too much. It's a supernatural alien zombie conspiracy end-of-the-world action/adventure horror fantasy (take a breath) novel. I don't want to say it goes too far, but it kind of does.
With all that said... I was, for the most part, entertained.
Bottom line; as soon as I can afford more credits I will get season 2. I want to know what happens next and where it is going. However, if it doesn't get any better I may not follow it to the very end... And while I'm waiting on credits I have some other audio books sitting I'm my library I need to get around to listening to.
The idea behind the story is so awesome that it almost makes me physically ill how poorly executed it was. That fact that its a YA novel is no excuse. This is horrible writing. Seriously, it's the worst writing of any book that I've ever made myself finish. I thought, "maybe it is the author's first novel." But NO! I googled James Dashner. He's written a few books before this one! Why do people keep buying his books?
I wrote a paragraph listing everything wrong with this book. Then I deleted it. Let me just say that teenage boys stuck in a deadly maze with no idea of how or why they're there is an awesome premise for a novel. It would be very hard to mess that up... But James Dashner did mess it up in every way imaginable.
There's two more things that need to be said:
First is about the narrator, Mark Deakins, who did very well considering what he had to work with. So, kudos to him.
Second is about the movie. I watched it after listening to the book because, like I said, the idea behind the story is awesome. While it's not a masterpiece of cinematic brilliance, it is a very entertaining movie and well worth the time. The writers of the screenplay fixed all the idiotic things about the book.
Wow! This narrator was bad. I mean, really bad. For some reason he used a fake southern accent that made the words of a badass navy SEAL sound like Forrest Gump. He also got a lot of the inflections, tones and narrative flow very wrong. I know that Chris Kyle isn't an author and expected the writing to reflect that, but anyone with half a brain should be able to figure out how the words were meant to sound out loud. John Prudent is an idiot!
The story itself was awesome. Mr. Kyle has lived an amazing life. His tale was heroic and heartbreaking and seemed very real. Also, he told it in an unflinching, no-apologies way that was shocking and breathtaking. There's no way to truly know what going through his experiences would be like without actually living them, but I felt like I came as close as possible by hearing his words. I teared up... A few times.
As for the war in Iraq, and war in general, I loved hearing Chris's views and opinions on it. He's a simple man, but that doesn't mean he's stupid. He has a black and white outlook on life. I guess its a soldier's outlook... A SEAL's outlook.
If this book had been read by a competent reader (I'd suggest R. C. Bray) it would have been a five star audio book. Oh well. The worlds not a perfect place.
What Christopher Moore does extremely well is he creates characters that are entertaining and instantly lovable. His characters seem real in an odd way, because the situations they're involved in are absurd.
This was his first novel... And it's great!
Listen to it!
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