Bayonne, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011
I've read several of Scalzi's books now. They are light, entertaining, well-paced and just surprising enough to keep me coming back.
I've never been blown away by Scalzi... he is very creative, but his execution never quite matches the the promise of his premise.
Always fun. Never amazing.
I'll be back anyway.
The narration is horrible and full of weird pauses that make no sense at all.
Way to kill a great story, Alan.
I love the way David Mitchell's mind works. This book is heavily peppered with extremely clever observations, turns of phrase, and all the dry wit that David Mitchell is known for.
I enjoyed every bit of this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of British comedy.
This is not a series of stories like other Bodett listens I've found. It is a short novel that follows a couple of young kids who live in the wilderness of Alaska, and have to fend for themselves while their dad is away.
This was very captivating and charming, once you get passed the crapping recording quality.
My only real gripe with the novel is that the ending was a bit of a let down. It is a bit too predictable, and the kids act in ways that are out of character.
Still worth the listen, though. The ending wasn't horrible, it just wasn't great.
A fantastic listen for a family car trip. Fun and wholesome entertainment, spoken by a true master storyteller.
I listened to these as a kid, and again as an adult. I enjoyed them both times.
It's clear that Wool, Shift & Dust are the end product of a short story that got stretched beyond its natural length. The premise was so flimsy and ill-conceived that it could not support the weight of so much exploration.
This ending did give some resolution to the plot and to the characters (most of them, not all). You won't find any big surprises here. The story plays out the way it had too.
Ultimately I feel that this entire series was a waste of time. It could all have been told in one book. The second in the series didn't even have to exist, and this one was way longer than it had to be.
Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is my favorite genre, so the fact that I was bored nearly the entire time came as a bit of a shock. I guess I just never got over how stupid the setting was, or the fact that the author based the entire premise on an arms race that wouldn't have had a stalemate any different that the nuclear arms race (mutually assured destruction, anyone?).
The scope of the building of the silos was too big for us to believe that the architect wouldn't have been a need-to-know person, so that entire character was silly. I also can't believe that a small handful of people could have orchestrated the whole thing, or that at the end of the day, they could have nuked the planet.
The story drags on through 3 books, and feels just as claustrophobic as the silos. The author could have been braver and let us explore the world outside... but again, this was a short story, with little thought given to anything outside of the teeny tiny slice of the world we see.
The books weren't horrible. Well, Shift was, but Wool and Dust weren't. I guess I'm going to give this a middle-of-the-road rating. Had I known what I was getting into, I never would have picked up the series. It's just not worth the time. It doesn't leave you with anything to think about. It's just a silly, flat story.
There are some genre cliches in this sci-fi serial, and at first I was doing a bit of eye-rolling.
But Weber quickly won me over, and I found the story to be very engaging and fun. The characters were likable and believable. No one was too evil, or too stupid. I won't say that every character was nuanced, but they certainly weren't as flat as I feared they would be.
This book was fun, and mostly a page-turner. It did hit some notable lulls where Weber almost lost me. A lot of what happened on the planet was just boring to me. And at times Weber did a little bit too much "telling" instead of "showing"-- a classic rookie mistake.
The climax of the book was extremely well-done, if a hair predictable.
One thing that was notably absent was the presence of artificial intelligence, and any number of other technological advances that one would expect from a society that could build huge spaceships. This is a very hard oversight to swallow from a book written in the early 90s, well into the computer revolution.
I enjoyed this book for what it was: a book about the navy, but set in space. In that context it was really fun.
I've got the second one in my queue now. I'm hoping it's just as good.
I'm a huge Sanderson fan, and so I was excited to see a highly praised shorter story from him. This had all his trademarks: an interesting magical system being prime among them.
I'm giving this a mediocre rating, though, because Sanderson didn't surprise me here. I think this story showcases a magic system that didn't make the cut for his full-length novels. It seems like he explored this one to see if it had legs, and then cut it off with a very short plot arc.
It was fun, but not up to his usual standards.
It was also incredibly predictable. I was hoping Sanderson would do something surprising with this format. He didn't.
I'm in awe of how much work Sanderson can put out there. He's a writing machine.
But I wish he'd write less, and come up with some new tricks.
Mistborn and the Stormlight Archives have the magical systems covered. Steelheart and The Rithmatist were getting greedy. Spewing out this novella is just unforgivably redundant.
I'll keep buying his stuff because I like it. But I'm losing respect for Sanderson. He's stopped challenging himself to be creative. Now he's just making money off of a formula. As long as he keeps adding just enough of a twist to each story, I'm fine with it... but the honeymoon is over.
As in his other books in the Culture series, Banks has really illustrated how artificial intelligences will just completely overshadow humanity, Most sci-fi authors jump through hoops to get away from that notion, because it is difficult to write about. Banks tackles it head on, and as a result, his stories are the smartest in all of modern sci-fi.
Banks did a better job with writing engaging characters here than I've seen in his earlier books. That's a good sign, as it was my primary complaint about him in other reviews.
Banks does little hand-holding in his novels. He throws you in, and you just need to figure out what's going on. I respect him for respecting his readers... but it is representative of Banks's style in general. He isn't concerned with captivating his readers. He wants to tell his story and you can come along if you like.
I've been listening to a lot of Scalzi's stuff: Fuzzy Nation, Redshirts, etc... and I was always left feeling that the writing and dialog never quite met the expectation set by the premises of the stories.
With Year Zero, I found the opposite. This book is frequently funny, and John Hodgman is the perfect narrator for the wit and satire. On the other hand, the premise of the book is so lightweight that it doesn't warrant a novel-length exploration.
I'd recommend this book to fans of Scalzi, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye open for more literature from Rob Reid.
The story promises to be more exciting than it actually is. The setup hints at the supernatural and extraordinary... instead we find that all the mysterious stuff is not so magical after all.
Also, Robin Sloan did not do her research. As a result, the ending of the book is not just stupid, but flat out WRONG.
In spite of this unforgivable flaw, I did enjoy the narrative flow, and the story did keep my attention the whole time.
It gets 3 stars from me because it was fun, and there were some clever bits.
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