FORT COLLINS, CO, United States | Member Since 2012
Myself being an introvert, I was drawn to this book. I often wonder why I'm reluctant to speak up or why I feel uncomfortable in large group settings. The author (herself an introvert) does an excellent job of analyzing and deconstructing the behaviors and mind sets of introverts. So many times, during the book, I felt like I was reading exactly about myself and my own experiences.
The author goes into detail on how better to understand introverts and ways in which to use their strengths for greater success.
The few marks against the book is that there a few areas (very few) where the author seems a tad biased towards introverts (as opposed to extroverts), but overall this was an excellent read.
Highly recommended for like-minded introverts and people that want to better understand introverts (Perhaps parents of introverted children. Spouses of introverts.).
My bar for excellent sci-fi is set at Hyperion, so I judge each sci-fi book in relation to that. However, this book very much reminded me of parts of Heinlein's Starship Troopers, just modernized and more expanded upon.
A recruit, James McGill, joins up with earth's intergalactic army to fight another alien species on a distant planet: Steel World. Things quickly go awry, and James discovers that the conflicts are not entirely as they seem.
The book is well written, well narrated and keeps the listener in suspense. The cons are that I have yet to find sci-fi where aliens are not depicted as something similar to an earth species: giant insects, giant lizards, strange barking seal-like creatures. I have yet to listen to sci-fi where the aliens seemed truly ALIEN (as in something we have never encountered before or something that is not like another species on our own planet.)
That is my one complaint in regards to any otherwise solid and excellent sci-fi novel.
Great, but not excellent.
I realize that this book is considered a classic and that it is the inspiration behind the great war film: Apocalypse Now. However, I must have zoned out in listening to this book as all I ever heard was "heart of darkness" many times over. Thus, the title of my review: simply saying "heart of darkness" several times does not provide an understanding of what it means to have a heart of darkness. The movie, Apocalypse Now, did a far better job of imbuing the character of Kurtz with a "heart of darkness" than this book did of imbuing its character Kurtz with the same. Perhaps my expectations of this tale were skewed as I had first viewed the movie before experiencing this tale.
The narrator, Kenneth Branagh, is excellent, a very distinct voice. I'm also glad that I got this book at steep discount as I cannot consider it worth the list price. It's also advantageous that it's a short tale as I'd rather spend my time on other books.
An apocalyptic story, but the zombies have a bit of a twist to them. They are not typical undead, even though they hunger for human flesh.
The story starts out from the perspective of a young girl, Melanie, and her strange, yet wide-eyed naiveté, existence in this post-apocalyptic world. An excellently written character whom you will feel a connection to throughout the entire story.
The story switches between the perspectives of Melanie, a teacher, a soldier, and a researcher. Each character has superbly described motivations for their respective roles and are very believable.
The writing is excellent and the narration is top-notch. Only a few dings in the story where plot convenience marred a few areas of story development, but minor quibbles. I absolutely enjoyed this book! The ending is perfect!
Quantity is not directly related to quality. This book is about several characters in a medieval type/fantasy setting who are fighting an invading force of parshendi. It is written from several perspectives: a prince, a slave, an assassin, and a "priestess". This book is extremely heavy on exposition and very light on any action or anything that might cause you to become interested in the story. I'm surprised that it is by the same author as the lean, mean, enthralling story: Steelheart. I'm convinced that either publishing companies have done away with editors to cut costs, or editors don't bother telling bestselling authors what to cut out of their books. This book could easily be reduced by 75% as only about 10-15 hours were at all interesting in my opinion.
26 hours into this 45 hour book and the only two characters I found interesting were Szeth and Syl. Szeth has a very cool stormlight lashing ability that I would compare to Spiderman's ability to pull himself onto walls, roofs, etc. and run along those surfaces. It is very well described and easily the best of the action scenes in this book. Sadly, it comes at the beginning and disappears for the great majority of the remainder of the book.
Syl, a "spren" which I think of as a kind of fairie or sprite, is ironically devoid of personality when first introduced (the irony being that most all of the other characters are devoid of personality) and she gains personality as the book continues. I found her to be the best written of any character.
Dalinor, the prince, spends most of his time wondering about his honor. The priestess, Shallan, spends most of her time eating bread and jam. Literally eating bread and jam to set up a plot point that....zzzz....oh, sorry fell asleep.
I'd skip this book and anything else in the series. You could get through 4 great books by the time you got through this one. The one bright spot, the narrators are decent and concise in their delivery.
Wow! I thought there was going to be a worldwide epidemic with the recent ebola breakout. Listening to this book, it seems all but certain. Not a matter of if, but when. It absolutely fascinating how a strain of ebola broke out right near Washington D.C. in a group of monkeys and yet never infected a single human being. Or did it? That's part of the story that leaves you wondering if this deadly virus is only lying in wait.
Listen to this book. Period!
If you've seen Zero Dark Thirty, you need to read this book as well. It gives the perspective of the Osama Bin Laden mission from that of a Navy seal right in the action. He also describes other Navy Seal missions prior to finishing his narrative with the UBL mission. I can't get enough of these stories from the first-hand perspective of those in the mission.
I like Christopher Buehlman because of his vivid and descriptive prose. He's a natural for building a very believable environment. I highly recommend his other book: Between Two Fires. This story - Those Across The River - expertly ratchets up the dread and horror. That being said, I was a bit disappointed with what those across the river turned out to be, but that's a minor quibble.
The narration is well done, except the sound recording seemed to have a persistent glitch. Towards the end of some chapters, it's like the final word gets partially cut off. It's frequent enough to be irksome.
Still, I definitely recommend this book.
What a heart-wrenching, soul-devastating story that Celeste Ng weaves together. As the title indicates, the story is very much about how the unsaid things we never mention to one another can cause terrible misinterpretations and assumptions in our way of thinking about ourselves and our relationships with each other. Celeste is a master at describing and fashioning a tragic tell from those nuances.
An absolute work of art!
The narration was superb as well, but the story and the writing will knock you flat.
As I put in the headline, the narrator for this book is an absolute chameleon of a voice actor. His range of voices and accents is by far the best I've heard in any audiobook. The book is worth it just to listen to his mastery.
As far as the story goes, it is very well written with excellently fleshed out characters. The story of a young boy who hoards a valuable painting for years is realistic and tugs at your heart and soul as you listen to his journey. I could not give the story 5 stars however at it uses a terrorist attack on a New York landmark (overused yet?) and a very improbable meeting in New York between two main characters later on in the story. It's a small world, but not that small.
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