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K. Howe


  • Darwin's Children

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Greg Bear
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eleven years have passed since SHEVA was discovered in human DNA, a retrovirus that caused mutations in the human genome and heralded the arrival of a new wave of genetically enhanced humans. Now these changed children have reached adolescence...and face a world that is outraged about their very existence. For these special youths are also ticking time bombs that could exterminate the "old" human race...

    Jim says: "Serious Science Fiction"
    "Ruined by the narrator"

    I like Bear's books, and I am sure that I would enjoy this one, but the narrator is dismal. He singsongs through the whole thing, as if he is bored of the story. It doesn't matter what he is saying, the cadence never changes, and it certainly doesn't reflect (let alone enhance) the story. He sounds petulant, like a father reading a book to a child he desperately wants to put to sleep.

    Is it just this book? No. I made the mistake of picking up another by this same narrator (Paul of Dune - don't do it!) I lasted about 5 minutes in that one. It took about 90 minutes in this one before I just couldn't take it any more. I think the book has a lot of promise, but not in this format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul of Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Muad'Dib's jihad is in full swing. His warrior legions march from victory to victory. But beneath the joy of victory there are dangerous undercurrents. Paul, like nearly every great conqueror, has enemies - those who would betray him to steal the awesome power he commands. Paul himself begins to have doubts: Is the jihad getting out of his control? Has he created anarchy? Has he been betrayed by those he loves and trusts the most? And most of all, he wonders: Am I going mad?

    Aaron says: "Good back stories but not much more"
    "Could Paul have forseen this narrator?"

    When it comes to audiobooks, there are two essential parts - first, that the book be a good book; and second, that the narrator is a good one. I made the mistake of buying this on the merits of the book, and didn't check the narrator.
    The narrator, Scott Brick, is dreadful. After I bought this, I lasted about 5 minutes before his singsong reading with dramatic emphasis on words that don't deserve it drove me to distraction. Then I realized that I had bought one of his readings before (Darwin's Children - also lousy). The narrator disappointed several of that recording's reviewers, several describing his reading as overly melodramatic on every sentence. Every. Single. Sentence.
    Brick has 393 books listed on Audible, and it seems to me that this is part of the problem. I suspect that every read he does is the first time he has seen the text, and although he is trying to do a dramatic reading, he doesn't know how the current sentence is going to end, let alone how it connects to the next one. I think he's reading the words, but not the story. It's like watching a soap opera with the actors reading off teleprompters because the scripts weren't ready for them to read ahead of time.
    It's a shame, really. I learned my lesson on this one and now check the narrator and listen to the sample on every book I am considering. It means, however, that some very good-sounding books (e.g., the Quantum Thief) are now ruined for audio listening - I doubt very much that Audible will re-record them with a competent reader. I do know that were I an author, I would be devastated to find out he was reading my book.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Star Trek, New Frontier: Books 1-4

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter David, John J. Ordover
    • Narrated By Joe Morton

    A new ship, a new crew, a new mission! All four exciting New Frontier adventures are captured here in one program! The newly refit Ambassador-class Starship Excalibur is sent to Secter 221-G, which was once ruled by the vicious Thallonians but has now descended into chaos. Captain Calhoun and his crew - including some old friends from The Next Generation - must boldly go where no one has gone before!

    James says: "A good story, but mired in"
    "Listening is an uphill battle"

    I enjoy a variety of Star Trek books on audio and in paper. These are no exception, and Peter David is one of my all-time favorite Trek authors. However, the narrator delivers the majority of the dialogue in a stilting, almost painful, manner. Other reviewers likened it to James T. Kirk's speech, but I find it much more difficult to listen to than Shatner's Kirk. I am seriously considering simply buying the books to read, so I can finish the story without having to suffer any longer. Story: 4 stars. Narration: 0 stars

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • State of Fear

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By George Wilson

    Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

    F says: "Did I read the same book as some of you?"
    "Try it first..."

    Take advantage of the option to hear a sample or download the first chapter. I find the narrator very difficult to listen to, and I'd never be able to make it through the whole book. His reading is stilted and dull, with no inflection and bad accents. Definitely one to try before you buy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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