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Lore

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

SAN JOSE, CA, United States | Member Since 2008

980
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 81 reviews
  • 158 ratings
  • 644 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
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  • Ex-Purgatory

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1447)
    Performance
    (1348)
    Story
    (1350)

    When he’s awake, George Bailey is just an ordinary man. Five days a week he coaxes his old Hyundai to life, curses the Los Angeles traffic, and clocks in at his job as a handyman at the local college. But when he sleeps, George dreams of something more. George dreams of flying. He dreams of fighting monsters. He dreams of a man made of pure lightning, an armored robot, a giant in an army uniform, a beautiful woman who moves like a ninja.

    Shams says: "Awesome story, but loss of voice actors jarring"
    "Be ready to unravel a mystery..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When you start with a world full of super heroes and zombies and then you add super soldiers and demons to the mix what comes next? Instead of adding a new class of character this time around Peter Clines decided he would throw us a curve ball and change the entire world instead. The narration was also changed to use just a single narrator - Jay Snyder.

    This book brings back all of the main characters but they are not super heroes/super soldiers and there are no zombies. This abrupt change is disorienting at first and it takes a while to sort out where this one is headed. I found it interesting to experience the main characters in a more mundane setting and once the story picked up steam it was as engaging as the first three books in a different way. There are many Pop Culture Sci-Fi references to be found in this one and that just endeared the book to me even more. Peter Clines and Jay Snyder have delivered another solid, entertaining story and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Firefight: Reckoners, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7402)
    Performance
    (6528)
    Story
    (6506)

    Newcago is free. They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand.Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though.

    G. House Sr. says: "Fabulous -- A Must Read Sequal"
    "More Epic storytelling and bad metaphors."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Firefight pick up shortly after the events of Steelheart/Mitosis and David Charleston returns to unleash more bad metaphors (and similes) upon a post-apocalyptic world still struggling to survive. This time the action moves away from Newcago over to Babilar (Manhattan) where another cell of the Reckoners struggle against the High Epic Regalia.

    The good news is this book is more than just another episodic fight against a High Epic. It starts to shed some light on just what Calamity is and why the Epics started to appear after it arrived. Details of Prof's history come to light and David finds himself at odds with his leader on how to best fight the Epic scourge. And as you can probably guess from the name of the book, Firefight returns to make young David question his understanding of Epics and also turn his heart into knots. David's feelings for Firefight cause him to change his understanding of the world and he begins to discover that he is more like his Father than he ever knew.

    MacLeod Andrews is once again on top of his game as is Brandon Sanderson so fans of Steelheart can't go wrong with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Phillips
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1968)
    Performance
    (1772)
    Story
    (1796)

    In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now....

    Mike From Mesa says: "Terrific story"
    "Partial story that left me on the fence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Second Ship is a story that adds a twist to the standard fiction leveraging the rumors of an alien ship crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1948. That twist here is that a second ship also crashed at the same time and remained undiscovered by the government. That second ship is eventually found by 3 high school students at the same time that the US government comes clean about the first ship. These kids keep the discovery to themselves and use the alien technology at their disposal to uncover the true motivations behind the President's promise to freely share advanced alien technology with the world.

    The story is deeper and more complex than I expected but it is also written in a way that just doesn't feel realistic. It isn't the sci-fi that feels unrealistic, it is the speech and mannerisms of the 3 high school kids and their interactions with those around them, including their parents, teachers, and the FBI/NSA. For the majority of the book I found myself interested in the story and felt that it had potential but I was never totally invested. This is no fault of MacLeod Andrews who does his usual superb job on the narration and kept me engaged more than I would have been otherwise.

    When the book just ended out of the blue without wrapping up the story in any way it left me unsatisfied and on the fence about continuing. Think twice before you pick this one up unless you go in with a willingness to listen to more than one book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The King's Blood: The Dagger and the Coin, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (676)
    Performance
    (618)
    Story
    (628)

    Acclaimed author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In this compelling follow-up to The Dragon’s Path, Geder Palliako enjoys high social standing as protector to the crown prince of Antea - but a looming war threatens to change his way of life. Meanwhile, Cithrin bel Sarcour is counting her blessings: long under close surveillance, she hopes a battle will be the opportunity she needs to regain her freedom.

    Dave says: "The Best Kept Secret in Epic Fantasy Continues"
    "Book 2 Picks Up the Pace"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Daniel Abraham provides some payoff for all of the foundation work he did in Book 1. All the same characters return and Pete Bradbury once again brings them to life with another excellent narration. With the background firmly established in book one for each of the main characters their storyline all move forward in significant ways and their paths begin to cross.

    Geder Palliako and his Spider Goddess zealot allies exert their power and start to bring an ancient prophecy to life while Dawson Kalliam sees through their plans and instead strives to protect Antea from losing itself. With Dawson forever ignoring the potential consequences of his actions, his wife Clara continues to have his back and focuses on ensuring the success of the family. Cithrin starts to come into her own and her odd relationship with Marcus strengthens as their plans take shape. And finally, after the reveal at the end of book 1, Master Kit realizes he is uniquely qualified to stop the events that are unfolding and he must take action.

    Despite the fact that Book 1 was a slow listen at times I do not recommend skipping it as it provides essential set up material for this one. If you have already listened to it then it's an easy choice to pick up Book 2 and enjoy the payoff.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10721)
    Performance
    (9842)
    Story
    (9880)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "A post-apocalyptic thrill ride."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brandon Sanderson is a masterful writer and I look forward to anything he publishes but I hesitated to jump on Steelheart because Super Hero fiction is not at the top of my favorite genre list. However, it is a Brandon Sanderson story so I could not stay away for long...

    A burst in the sky known as Calamity knocks society into a post-apocalyptic world ruled by Super Villains known as Epics. The story takes place in Newcago (formerly Chicago) where an Epic known as Steelheart ruthlessly establishes his dominion over both humans and lesser Epics. Everyone knows Steelheart is invincible and even the Reckoners, a group of humans rumored to hunt and kill Epics, won't mess with him.

    However, young David Charleston has a secret that he has kept hidden for the last 10 years. He has witnessed something that no other living person ever has - he has seen Steelheart bleed. He hopes to somehow use this knowledge to exact revenge on Steelheart for killing his father but he knows he will never be able to do that by himself. That is where the Reckoners come in....

    In true comic book superhero fashion this story is a thrill ride full of impossible situations and long odds for the good guys. Although it isn't very deep, the story kept me interested and Sanderson's characters all have unique and interesting personalities. MacLeod Andrews is excellent and he does a great job on the character voices. Although I may have been slow to start this series, once I finished Steelheart I did not hesitate to move on to the short story Mitosis and book 2, Firefight. If you are reading this review then I would suggest it is time for you to play catch up as well.

    Note: if you a fan of Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines then I would think you would enjoy this book as well and vice-versa.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon's Path: Dagger and Coin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1198)
    Performance
    (1076)
    Story
    (1084)

    Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.

    Dave says: "A Subtle, Smart, and All-Around Great Epic Fantasy"
    "Slow start that pays off in Book 2."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will admit that I had to start this one a few times to get going. The opening chapters jump around from character to character and right when you start to get your bearings in this complex world a new chapter starts and you are lost again. This is all compounded by the fact that you are exposed to the history of the world along with the present and a myriad of different races of humanity. It is a lot to absorb all at the same time and it is easy to lose track when you don't know what is important and what is not. I am going to guess many listeners do not make it through the first third of this book so be sure you don't start this one when you are distracted.

    Things do settle down after a while and the characters start to come together in the storyline but even then it isn't the most interesting tale. Laden with banking contracts and political maneuvering the story slogs on slowly - mostly setting things up for the second book. The very ending ties back to the very beginning and ties off one of the lose ends but I still found myself ambivalent toward most of the characters when it was over. The spider goddess and the powers of her priests do make things interesting but for the most part there is little magic in use throughout the story.

    Book 2 is when I really started to care about some of the characters and what was happening to them. If you don't plan to give this series at least 2 books to form an opinion then I would recommend that you save yourself the trouble and go for a different fantasy series. Things definitely get more interesting in book 2.

    Pete Bradbury does a good job on the narration and is the narrator for the first 4 books in the series which is all that is available as I write this. (The series is supposed to include a 5th book as well.)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3229)
    Performance
    (2901)
    Story
    (2904)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Keeps you guessing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Something is not right in Wayward Pines, Idaho - that much is obvious from the start. After that Blake Crouch slowly reveals just how wrong things are as you experience the story from the perspective of Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke. Ethan is not the type to let things go and the more he peels back the onion the more bizarre things get.

    If your listening experience is like mine then you will formulate and discard many theories as you listen until the big reveal finally comes. The reveal itself was a surprise but it wasn't completely fulfilling as some of the explanation given didn't resonate well with me. In order to avoid spoilers I really can't say more about it other than the author does explain it all and doesn't leave you hanging.

    This story is like one long Twilight Zone episode so if you like that type of fiction then give it a go otherwise this is not for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1928)
    Performance
    (1515)
    Story
    (1527)

    Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game.

    Katherine says: "3.5 stars"
    "An uneven continuation of Old Man's War"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book 3 of the Old Man's War series unites the main characters from the first 2 books, John Perry and Jane Sagan, and jumps ahead to their retirement on the peaceful colony of Huckleberry. Of course their relaxed existence is disrupted as interstellar politics and conspiracies take over and they find themselves facing one impossible challenge after another. The Conclave plot line picks up steam and the stakes get ever larger as the story goes on. All of this makes for an interesting enough premise but in the end Scalzi's execution and Dufris' narration just didn't keep me immersed this time around.

    A myriad of small plot devices add up as the book goes on and very few of the characters act realistically. John and Jane uncover clues that things are amiss but just go along for the ride putting themselves and their adopted daughter Zoe at great risk. The aliens speak using standard 21st century colloquialisms and General Gau, the Leader of the 420 alien race Conclave, puts himself at risk to personally visit colony planets to speak with the leaders before destroying them. The list goes on throughout the book and the final plot twist at the end was the least believable of the bunch.

    I didn't dislike this book but it did leave me uninspired to immediately continue with the series. When I do resume it will likely be with book 5 and not book 4, Zoe's Tale, which is a re-telling of the story from Zoe's perspective. Although the story was ultimately entertaining, once was enough for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose and the Thorn: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2533)
    Performance
    (2332)
    Story
    (2337)

    For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.

    Cecil says: "Great Series but don't start here"
    "On par with the best Riyria Revelations books."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My experience with the Riyria books started with Theft of Swords and proceeded forward in publishing order, which means I finished the Riyria Revelations series before starting on the prequel stories of the Riyria Chronicles. I believe such a path increased my enjoyment of The Rose and the Thorn simply because of the knowledge I have regarding a lot of the main characters. Arista, Gwen, Reuben Hilfred, and even Percy Braga are fleshed out in this book and I really enjoyed learning more about them. This is a prequel story done right.

    Unlike the Crown Tower, the time Royce and Hadrian have a more established relationship which allows Michael J Sullivan to really bring to life the world around them. This approach combined with a compelling story line makes this book as good as the latter works of The Riyria Revelation series. It also reveals the root causes for certain events that will happen much later in the series so MJS is working his magic in both directions making both Chronological and Publishing viable listening orders.

    Either way you can't go wrong with this book. Tim Gerard Reynolds is well established as the voice of the Riyria characters and he does not disappoint. Note that if you pick this one up then there is no need for you to also grab The Viscount and the Witch as that is fully contained as a chapter within this book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Terms of Enlistment: Frontlines, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1369)
    Performance
    (1248)
    Story
    (1245)

    The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

    DAVE says: "Solid military sci-fi."
    "Solid but Ordinary Military Sci Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A bleak future offers little hope to those born in the overcrowded cities of the North American Commonwealth. Andrew Grayson and his parents live on welfare and he has no intention of inheriting that limited existence from them. Andrew opts for the only choice that appears to be a brighter future - he joins the Armed Forces. After all, if he makes it through boot camp then he will have a consistent paycheck of his own and even an outside shot at leaving Earth by being assigned to the Navy.

    Andrew quickly learns that the promise of a better life in the military comes with many strings attached and that he is just a small cog in a giant machine. We follow Andrew from enlistment through boot camp and then on to his first couple of assignments. His experiences are varied and complicated but unfortunately he never really establishes much of a personality for himself. Kloos creates a futuristic world with interesting technology and a plausible military structure but none of it is able to take the book to the next level.

    Andrew mostly goes along for the ride in the armed forces and he does what he has to do every step of the way, only occasionally pausing to think about right or wrong. This is pretty straight forward military science fiction and it is more interesting as an introduction to a larger story than it is as a standalone work.

    The excellent narrator Luke Daniels does his usual good job but he wasn't enough to push this one to 4 stars for me. The experience was, however, solid enough for me to give book 2 (Lines of Departure) a listen at some point.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)

    • UNABRIDGED (54 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    Overall
    (2597)
    Performance
    (2365)
    Story
    (2380)

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.

    Robin says: "Short story with no shortage of events"
    "Free Riyria - Nuff Said"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not going to waste time on a lot of words. If you are a fan of Riyria there is no downside or risk in listening to this free short story. It is Royce & Hadrian read by Tim Gerard Reynolds and that is all you need to know.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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