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Joshua

fiction monster

Huntington Beach, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The God Theory: Universes, Zero-Point Fields and What's Behind It All

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Bernard Haisch
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    On the one hand, we have traditional science, based on the premises of materialism, reductionism, and randomness, with a belief that reality consists solely of matter and energy, that everything can be measured in the laboratory or observed by a telescope. If it can't, it doesn't exist. On the other hand, we have traditional religious dogma concerning God that fails to take into account evolution, a 4.6-billion-year-old Earth, and the conflicting claims of the world's religions.

    Evert says: "Excellent"
    "Good read for skeptics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a lifelong inquirer into religion, faith, and the existence/nature of God, this book appealed to me. What I found inside was an orderly exploration of The Question to which Douglas Adams insists the answer is 42. Haisch uses inquiries into the nature of light to reveal his theory on the nature of the divine. I learned a lot about theoretical physics fr listening, and the science seemed quite compelling. In particular I enjoyed his theory's application to the old Genesis saw, "Let there be light". Turns out that in our particular universe, light is required not only for things to be seen, but to even exist! Which totally blew my mind. I didn't agree with his views on biology and evolution, but he did put a disclaimer here that he is no expert in that area. In sum total, this book was enlightening but by no means a complete answer to The Question. Perhaps it was enough that it did offer a piece of the puzzle.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Skin Game: A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2940)
    Performance
    (2801)
    Story
    (2783)

    Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

    D says: "Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back."
    "Fantastic storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Skin Game is simply an awesome addition to the Harryverse! It easily drew me in to a world where monsters and magic are real, wicked villains and courageous heroes do battle. Most importantly, Butcher makes me believe this world is real enough to care about and close enough to touch. It's peopled with characters as unforgettable as they are engaging, believable and captivating.
    The plot line is complex, the action well thought-out, and the twists come hard and fast. But interlaced with the mayhem and manipulation is a sense of humor that often takes the form of Harry's snarky comments and gratuitous geek-culture references. I've lost track of all the Star Wars references, and got a laugh when Harry and Michael did an impromptu "Monty Python" sketch, with The Knight of the Cross completely clueless it was even happening! It's grace notes like these where we feel the author's tug on our nose and can't help but be amused.
    Marsters is amazing as always: one of my all-time favorite narrators. I hope he will be available to finish out the series. These are books that deserve his level of excellence.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (3210)
    Performance
    (1552)
    Story
    (1553)

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "A beautiful journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do my best to pick out books that catch my imagination, provoke emotion, and dazzle with the skill with which they are written. But Shantaram has blown me away. I've got about 100 titles in my audible collection, and this one is at or near the top for 1)enjoyable listening, 2) provoking deep and meaningful thoughts, 3) teaching me new things, and 4) being extremely well written.
    I wiki'ed the author when I was done, sounds like he's had quite a life! And the amazing thing is the meaning he gleans from these strange experiences in exotic lands. The unifying theme that people, instead of things, are what makes life worth living is very compelling. His insights on the heart are eye opening.
    The narrator did he most fabulous job I've heard in 100 books. He's absolutely phenomenal how he switches from accent to accent to accent, putting just the right character into each character's dialogue that the character becomes instantly recognizable. Just amazing work.
    I loved this book, and I will listen to it again. The metaphors and similes used were fresh and felt original. The writing was absolutely top notch. I highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5404)
    Performance
    (5037)
    Story
    (5033)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Ken says: "It's all about the codas"
    "A Tour de Star Trek"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Scalzi has another winner in this book! He's a master of his craft, holding suspension, using precise language, and keeping that action high. It's definitely a page turner. The story concept was cool, and the execution was flawless to my judgement. Good book! Makes ya think.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Legion: Monster Hunter, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3335)
    Performance
    (3088)
    Story
    (3093)

    When hunters from around the world gather in Las Vegas for a conference, a creature left over from a World War Two weapons experiment wakes up and goes on a rampage across the desert. A not-so-friendly wager between the rival companies turns into a race to see who can bag the mysterious creature first. Only there is far more to this particular case than meets the eye, and as Hunters fall prey to their worst nightmares, Owen Zastava Pitt and the staff of Monster Hunter International have to stop an ancient god from turning Sin City into a literal hell on earth.

    Sandi says: "What A Shock..."
    "Correia does it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This installment of the monster hunter series doesn't disappoint, with action, tension, high stakes, cool monsters, a twisty plot, and even some romance thrown in between bursts of automatic gunfire. The international monster hunting scene is explored in this book, character back stories are brought out and examined, and new and exciting ways to die are illustrated. There's loads of suspense and conflict, and the prose smoothly flows keeping you in the story and constantly hooked. Correia won't win awards for poetry, but for fast paced action that grabs you and won't let you go, he's a master.
    Gun nuts will love this book too, as he spends time accurately depicting gun use and new gun models and attachments. I loved this series, and this book was a fine example of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1888)
    Performance
    (1708)
    Story
    (1709)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Fairly original"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one sort of got off to an awkward start. We are given that old protagonist with amnesia, and for me it felt really lame at first. This book took a while to get started and a while to capture my interest. But once things started to be explained and revealed, I got hooked. The concept isn't totally original, but it was well thought-out. I took a long time to warm up to the protagonist as well, but I eventually did care about her. I think this must be a new author who isn't yet adept at grabbing a reader's attention. He does have a lot of good content in his book, but needs to work on establishing a hook early on in the story. In summary: this wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it also wasn't bad. If there was a sequel I would probably buy it.
    Cheers!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10029)
    Performance
    (9331)
    Story
    (9333)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Riveting Dystopian Energy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cline creates a world in our near future that is not only believable, but seems nearly inevitable. Recession turns to Depression, energy is at a premium, climate issues troubles the weather, and people retreat from the world into a more palatable virtual reality. The OASys is a platform that combines the best and worst aspects of MMORPGs into a vast universe with thousands of gaming worlds, all tied together. Because, you see, everyone can only have one avatar for all worlds. This creates a shared identity between virtual identity and real identity that with most people sublimes the real for the more exciting virtual. People retreat from the world, letting it sort of go to heck, and focus their efforts on their online personas. Multinational corporations take up the slack, deciding issues for a society that no longer cares for the real world.

    Add a contest for hundreds of billions and control of the game everyone plays to this world, where the only thing everyone agrees on is that intimate knowledge of the late 70's and early 80's will be essential to win. This part was interesting too, as much of the music, games, culture, and even fashion of the time when I was growing up was brought back into the limelight.

    The characters introduced are vivid and believable, quirky enough to be fascinating, and have a charm all their own. The plot whips by at a good pace that kept me riveted, unable to stop listening easily. The OASys game as described sounds terribly addictive, and I'm rather glad it's not available or I would be sorely tempted to play it.
    This is the best use of a credit I've found in quite a while. Worth it, most definitely.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pearl in the Sand

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Tessa Afshar
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (138)

    Striking beauty comes at a price. Rahab paid it when at the age of 15 she was sold into prostitution by the one man she loved and trusted—her father. With her keen mind and careful planning she turned heartache into success, achieving independence while still young. And she vowed never again to trust a man. Any man. God had other plans. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walked Salmone, a prominent leader of Judah, held in high esteem by all Israel.

    Joshua says: "A woman's heart revealed"
    "A woman's heart revealed"
    Overall

    I wish I'd have been able to listen to this book before I married. I've never read or watched anything that gave such an honest and in depth portrayal of a love story that reached across courtship and deeply into the complications of marriage. For anyone who is or has been married, I would recommend this as a good way to understand your partner and their complex thoughts and fears that contribute to the health of that relationship.
    The story was good and well told. It held my interest throughout and I finished the book in a short time as a result. It gave me a lot to think about as well, shining light into some very harsh passages in the Bible which, at a surface level, appear to be God-sanctioned ethnic cleansing. These parts of the Bible have given its detractors ammunition as examples of a wrathful God.
    This book used historical context to underline the will of God in detroying the Canaanite civilization as something terrible, but also just. Their society devalued the weak, the alien, the poor, and the young. It also emphasized God's anger at those who persecute the weak and are cruel to children. The citizens of Jericho had a nasty habit of sacrificing their children to their gods. This book took the view that God couldn't abide that sort of thing forever, so He used the nation of Israel to destroy it.

    The narrator was very good at portraying the characters, and I also liked her accent, as it went well with the story. The fly in the ointment was the frequent sounds of swallowing and gulping. That should have been sound edited, as it was annoying and distracting. Even with this one detraction, this was still a very worthwhile listen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Towers of Midnight: Wheel of Time, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5486)
    Performance
    (3182)
    Story
    (3209)

    The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight. The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age. Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck....

    Jacob says: "Doesn't wrap as nicely as Gathering Storm"
    "Great Finish to the Series"
    Overall

    Of all the books in the WoT series, I'm ranking these two as #1 and #2. Sanderson is doing an absolutely fantastic job expanding Jordan's world, extrapolating characters and actions to satisfying conclusions, and really "getting" the emotional component of the story. It was long, but honestly not long enough. I found myself checking the length of the story left on my iPod, to make sure there was enough left. And when it was finished, I am just like . . . AAAAUUUGHH! Why isn't the last one ready yet?
    Just amazing writing, everything I expected and more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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