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Julius Butcher

Member Since 2011

56
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 47 reviews
  • 132 ratings
  • 348 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Devil's Gate: A Novel from the NUMA Files

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler, Graham Brown
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (641)
    Story
    (643)

    A Japanese cargo ship cruises the eastern Atlantic near the Azores- when it bursts into flames. A gang of pirates speeds to take advantage of the disaster- when their boat explodes. What is happening in that part of the world? As Kurt Austin, Joe Zavala, and the rest of the NUMA(r) Special Assignments Team rush to investigate, they find themselves drawn into the extraordinary ambitions of an African dictator, the creation of a weapon of almost mythical power, and an unimaginably audacious plan to extort the world's major nations. Their penalty for refusal?

    Julius Butcher says: "My style of story"
    "My style of story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was exactly for my taste. Fast paced with lot of adventures. Strong characters. Cool mass destruction weapon, which was destructed by the end, of course. I don't know why I haven't read Cussler novels before, but I definitely will.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Assignment in Eternity

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (185)

    Robert A. Heinlein is widely and justly regarded as the greatest practitioner of the art of science fiction who has ever lived. Here are two of his greatest short novels: Gulf, in which the greatest super-spy of them all is revealed as the leader of a league of supermen and women who can’t quite decide what to do with the rest of us. And Lost Legacy, in which it is proved that we are all members of that league - or would be, if we but had eyes to see.

    Trip Williams says: "You'll like it because you can think..."
    "Not his best work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes I treat old books as if they were old wine, savoring the story matured during decades. But sometimes they go sour, lose their flavor, and I just spit them out. I mean I give up reading. This is what happened to me reading Assignment in Eternity.
    It took off well, the first story, "Gulf" was promising. I like fast paced action, so I followed the story with interest. Then the fast flow of events slowed down like a river leaving the mountains and spreading out wide on the plains. What followed was a boring discussion about people with super abilities. I found myself falling to sleep. By the end it started to be interesting again, but then BAMM, the protagonist died. End of story. I was left dumbfounded.
    I found the next one, "Elsewhen" better. Interesting way of travelling in time, alternate Earths, different stages of evolution.
    I gave up at the third one, when doctors started to discuss supernatural abilities. The subject itself was interesting, but the scene was so boring, I just didn't care to continue.
    Heinlein is a fine writer, but this book isn't up to his writing talent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Todd Henry
    • Narrated By Todd Henry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (390)

    Most of us live with the stubborn idea that we'll always have tomorrow to do our most important and valuable work. We fill our days with frantic activity, bouncing from task to task, scrambling to make deadlines and chase the next promotion. But by the end of each day we're often left asking ourselves "did the work I do today really matter?" We feel the ticking of the clock, but we're stuck in first gear, unsure of the path forward and without a road map to guide us.

    Oliver says: "Deeeeep sigh. And a tired one at that."
    "Good ideas but struggling listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had mixed feelings while listening to the audio book. The book is full of good ideas and inspiration, it made me want to work on my goals eagerly. However, time after time my attention wandered away, and I had to force myself to pay attention. I think if you haven't listened to similar books before, it's worth to give a try, but if you are familiar with this type of books, this one doesn't give you as much as you expect.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Ocean of Night: Galactic Center, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Maxwell Caulfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (164)

    It is 2019. NASA astronaut Nigel Walmsley is sent on a mission to intercept a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Ordered to destroy it, he instead discovers that it is actually the shell of a derelict space probe - a wreck with just enough power to emit a single electronic signal….

    Sanford says: "Colossal waste of time"
    "I wish I liked it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I purchased this title I made a mistake: I didn't check the date of the first publication. The audio book was published in 2012. Into one third of the story I started to suspect that the original book is older than my daughter, and later my suspicion was confirmed by mention of microfilms used in 2034. I should have known better to check the reviews more thoroughly before buying it. In the Ocean of Night was born in 1972. Almost as old as me. It's not that I'm against old books, but I pick them only if I want to be nostalgic. Otherwise I prefer books of this century.

    The story, however, started well, right into hard science fiction, astronauts discovering an alien artificial asteroid. Just what I wanted. But then the author made me jump fifteen years, to arrive into the daily life of the astronaut who made the first contact. The family setup was interesting, I must say, a blossoming triangle of a man and two woman, enjoying the threesome love-life. Besides that, a family drama unfolded in front of me, with the sadness of one of the partners having cancer. Oh, as a subplot, some slow development happened concerning an alien automated spaceship called Snark passing by. But not much.

    The story seemed to speed up when the Snark started to communicate through a medical implant, and resurrected the said partner. I thought "yes, real science-fiction, finally". It didn't last long, though. The alien spaceship left the Solar system running from a missile. Why, of course the US government had to shoot at it, it's standard Hollywood procedure.

    Then there was the wreck of another alien spaceship on the moon, which almost caused the death of the character who stumbled in its shield by chance. Space accident. Fight for life. Good stuff. But then jump again, and now I was discovering the alien ship's computer. Oh, the ship lowered its shield sometime in between, but I never learned how and why. Anyway, there was the promise of hard sci-fi again. But what I really got was description of dull images downloaded from the alien computer. Boring. I wondered why the scientists didn't go exploring the ship. Yes, they told me that it was dangerous, and they had plenty of time, it wasn't going anywhere. Serious? It was an alien ship, for god's sake!

    And then came Mr Itchino (I hope I spell it right after hearing), who went to play being a hermit in the woods on the hillside. But only after that I had to listen to all the wonders of singing birds and landscapes he was amazed of. Did I mention boring? After an agonizingly long time he finally learned about the secret of the mountain: Bigfoot existed. No kidding. Mr Grave saw them, they shot at him with their laser gun.

    By this time I listened to the audiobook at x1.25 speed to get over it quicker. I still had my hope that there will be an amazing ending. False hopes.

    Mr Walmsley suddenly was sucked into the alien computer, and the aliens told him everything he wanted to know, and he told me some of it. While chopping wood on the hill. For Mr Itchino. In an elevated mental state. All of these spiced with a high literature writing style, which was odd, because it didn't match the previous part of the book.

    I almost forgot to mention the religious sect of the New Sons. I'm still wondering what was the author's purpose with them.

    I found the cover copy misleading. In the Ocean of Night promised me so much, but definitely failed to deliver. John Scalzi would be able to write this story in thirty pages, and still find the room for a little sarcastic humour of his.

    Some reviewers say that the next books in the series are better. I wouldn't know. I won't buy them. I go to listen to an Alastair Reynolds book instead.

    The narrator did an excellent job, certainly I would listen to books he reads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endymion

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1727)
    Performance
    (1079)
    Story
    (1092)

    Here, Simmons returns to this richly imagined world of technological achievement, excitement, wonder and fear. Endymion is a story about love and memory, triumph and terror - an instant candidate for the field's highest honors.

    David says: "A fine Part II of the Hyperion Cantos"
    "What was the point?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After finishing the book I asked myself: what was the purpose of this story? What was the point of the quest? Why did they go through those worlds instead of jumping to the final location? For Aenea to develop certain traits and improve her personality? Weak reason. It seemed that it was only for the sake of going on a quest. Come on. They even haven't met the famous architect they were searching for.

    This story was so much without a satisfying resolution that I felt cheated at the end. Remember what the Poet, at the beginning of the adventures, asked Endyminon to do? That was a promise from the author. Very few were achieved by the end. Oh, it will be in the next book? Then this one was only a prelude to the real events? I feel more cheated.

    I liked the world-building, though. It was interesting to see the different worlds and cultures. Having listened to the Hyperion books it was kind of familiar feeling, as if I visited old places. I also liked the author's voice.

    The character of Aenea was weird. She knew so much in one moment, than she was a twelve year old child in the next. At the end of the book I got a hint that she was seeing visions from the future, but her character just didn't came together properly.

    Maybe the whole arc of the story will be completed in the next book, but I'm not sure I will buy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost: Paladin of Shadows, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Jeremy Arthur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (580)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (542)

    Former SEAL Michael Harmon, Team Name ''Ghost'', retired for service injuries, is not enjoying college life. But things are about to change, if not for the better. When he sees a kidnapping, a series of, at the time logical, decisions leave him shot to ribbons and battling a battalion of Syrian commandos with only the help of three naked co-eds who answer to the names ''Bambi,'' ''Thumper'' and ''Cotton Tail.'

    Jenassecret says: "Military-Erotica! I want MORE!!!"
    "Rapist hero? No way!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would have thrown this book into the corner if I were reading a paper copy. Since I was listening to the audio version, I just stopped it around 3 hours and deleted it from my smartphone. Sure like hell I'm going to return it to Audible.

    If you want to read about a hero, who is turned on sexually when seeing a girl raped and tortured the same time, this book is for you. As for me, I'll never read any book from this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wyrms

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (72)

    The sphere is alien in origin, but has been controlled by Man for millennia. A legend as old as the stars rules this constructed world: when the seventh seventh seventh human Heptarch is crowned, he will be the Kristos and will bring eternal salvation...or the destruction of the cosmos.

    Harold D. Doublename says: "Card fans, don't miss this one!"
    "Weird book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just finished Orson Scott Card's Wyrms and I don't know what to say. This book pulled my mind apart. I liked and hated it the same time.

    It was full of awesome ideas. I loved that. The heads in the jars preserved by alien lifeforms... awesome. The genetic basis of the story and the interaction of different species are compelling. Here is a book which is not about aliens attacking humans or humans attacking aliens. The alien life-form chose to mix with the human genes in order to survive, moreover, to produce a much more dominant new race. The memory-storing crystals in people's mind was also an excellent idea, especially because it could be passed to the next generation.

    This being said, I almost fell asleep when the characters gave philosophical speeches to each other. Maybe I'm a shallow guy who easily get bored over deep philosophical thoughts, but my finger was itching to push the fast forward button. At some points I even considered giving up.

    There are some very, I mean very disturbing events in the story. I already found odd how Patience dealt with his father's head. However the most awful thing was the mating between the heroine and the worm-like UnWyrm. Not only the act itself, but what happened right after that. I would have thrown the book on the ground if it wasn't on my smartphone.

    Some of the characters simply irritated me. If I were the author I would have killed the fat woman character early in the book.

    I still cannot decide if it was a brilliant or a very bad book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Quest of Heroes: The Sorcerer's Ring, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Morgan Rice
    • Narrated By Wayne Farrell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (376)
    Story
    (384)

    A dazzling new fantasy series. A QUEST OF HEROES (BOOK #1 IN THE SORCERER’S RING) revolves around the epic coming of age story of one special boy, a 14 year old from a small village on the outskirts of the Kingdom of the Ring. Thorgrin senses he is different from the others. He dreams of becoming a great warrior, of joining the King’s men and protecting the Ring. When he comes of age and is forbidden by his father to try out for the King’s Legion, he journeys out on his own, determined to force his way into King’s Court and be taken seriously.

    Samuel says: "Hackneyed, *and* repetitive"
    "Not impressed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book sounded like grandpa telling a fairytale for the kids before bedtime. I mean it really sounded like that. One of the reasons I had this feeling was the choice of words, which I found odd in some places. I don't remember in any other book the phrases "he looked in every which way" or "on this day of all days" or "the king said on his kingly voice". For me these sound archaic. As I said, a fairytale.

    The plot was interesting, the story of Thorgin was what kept me listening, because I wanted to know what happened to him. It's a pity that the book ended abruptly, the hero thrown into jail, knocked out. Maybe the author's intention was to place a hook making the reader to go to the next book in the series, but this story lacked the satisfying ending. It was as if The Way of Kings ended when Kaladin was hung out in the storm on the roof of the barrack (if you read Brandon Sanderson).

    My other concern was some improbable events. For example when Thor broke into the Legion's training field, by the end of the scene he gained the support of the best Knight in the kingdom, and the son of the king offered his friendship. I just couldn't believe it. But again, if it's a fairytale...

    The narration was another weak point. My grandpa may had gotten away with this narration when I was six, but now it got on my nerves. It was as if the narrator was continuously surprised and amazed the same time.

    I managed to get at the end of the book, because as I said, I wanted to know what happened to Thor, but I'm not into the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Citadel: Troy Rising, Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1835)
    Performance
    (1350)
    Story
    (1372)

    Earth has managed to recapture the Sol system from their Horvath conquerors and has begun entering the galactic millieu. But when the Rangora Empire rapidly crushes humanity's only ally, it becomes clear the war is just beginning....

    Colin says: "another great story, with new characters"
    "The story of the sidekicks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Watching superhero movies I always wondered what was happening to the side characters. What were they doing while the hero kicked the bad guy's ass? I wanted to watch additional scenes featuring the sidekick or the underdog. In Citadel I got exactly that. We have characters like Dana, the engineer who became a pilot in spite of being shot at by aliens (or maybe because she was shot at). There is Butch the welder, who's main activities were cutting up junks that were alien ships before and trying to survive the enemy fire. And there is the female military officer, who prefers to have sex with men only after beating them up to release the stress.

    The story started kinda slow, I was bored sometimes in the beginning, but it got better later on.

    A while ago I have read on a writer's blog that you shouldn't start scenes with dialogue, because it confuses the reader. I agreed at that time, but now I see differently It can work pretty well. Ringo started almost all scenes with dialogue. It created a micro suspense, because I was guessing who was talking, where were they and what were they doing. And Ringo did the dialogues quite well, every character sounded natural.

    The "Americans are awesome" attitude irritated me a little bit, especially the figure of Tyler Vernon (appearing only sparingly), who was all-knowing, perfectly aware of what the humanity needed to beat the enemies. (Can someone who read the first book remind me where did he come from? I think he was having several part-time jobs as wood-cutter and book seller, trying to make a living. How comes he became the smartest man in the solar system?)

    The story wouldn't be that original, we have read countless space battles and laser guns, but Ringo could put a nice spin in it having Troy as the gigantic battle-station and creating the geez-look-how-man-petawatts lasers.

    I don't think I could take Ringo seriously, he had put a load of funny writing in the book, but that's fine, because sometimes I prefer the light reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wool: Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Amanda Sayle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2180)
    Performance
    (1995)
    Story
    (2009)

    In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Post-apocalyptic life in a silo"
    "First of my Howey books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I write this review, there are a lot of reviews for this book, so I may not add anything new, but I couldn't resist to give my two cents.

    Some people complained in the reviews why the book titled Wool. I find it appropriate, it refers to the core principle of cleaning the lenses, keep the Silo going.

    The characterisation is good, we get enough details and backstory for the main characters, others are drawn with rough lines, but we don't need to know them deeply.

    I enjoyed the writing except that it drags time after time. Some scenes were just too long, I had to resist to skip forward.

    I had problem with the basic principle of the Silo. People were separated, so they don't conspire against the ones who rule. The fact that it was hard to climb so many steps and the expensiveness of the electronic communication was supposed to do the job. There is logic in it, I admit, but something is just not quite right. People still communicated, word had gotten to places. There were a few other details that annoyed me, for example the lack of elevators. I get that it could have been because of this idea of separating people, but can you imagine how much stuff the porters had to carry up and down? And what about the big, heavy things? And there was also the cleaning. It was all believable that Holston was tricked to clean, but what about the people who wouldn't clean the lenses because they would be angry being cast out. And what about the total jerks, who would broke the cameras out of mere revenge? Surely there would be one or two in a few hundred years. Why not having a cleaning mechanism and use another way of punishment? These simply doesn't add up for me.

    Besides that I found the plot compelling, and I enjoyed the action scenes.

    I liked the way technical details were presented. The author didn't want to lecture me in engineering or IT, he gave only those details what I needed, without using jargon.

    All in all, I enjoyed the book, and I want to know what happens in Shift and Dust.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Chopin Manuscript: A Serial Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Lee Child, David Corbett, Joseph Finder, and others
    • Narrated By Alfred Molina
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2168)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (545)

    15 thriller masters. 1 masterful thriller! Former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, within it's handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to the U.S. to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins.

    BSquared67 says: "A rollicking thriller"
    "Interesting collaborative work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was interesting to see how fifteen different authors worked together to create a novel. In general it went well.

    The novel is fast paced, full of actions. Every author did his best to create the right atmosphere and deepen the characterisation.

    I enjoyed how authors used clues of others and built on them. Sometimes they had to work hard to fit them in the story but they have managed it. It created many twists and turns.

    I had the feeling that some authors overcomplicated the plot. In some cases the events didn't fit into the story. For example I didn't like the twist that Charlie lost her baby, I found it out of plot, so to say. Later another author used it nicely, but still...

    In every chapter I could see why it's not by chance that these writers are on the top of the profession. Their style was different, like different voices in the choir, but I enjoyed all of them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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