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Michael

Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.

Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 629 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Runner: Run Duology, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By William C. Dietz
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (35)

    In a crumbling futuristic society, Earth is only a myth, the technological advances of centuries have faded into distant memory, and space travel depends on a fleet of run-down, unreliable ships. Only the brave-or foolhardy-undertake such risky journeys. The brave, the foolhardy-and the runners… Jak Rebo is one such runner, whose current job is to deliver a future religious leader to his people, while avoiding assassins.

    Michael says: "High Praise For A Master Crafter Of Worlds!"
    "High Praise For A Master Crafter Of Worlds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Star Wars... Starcraft... Halo... Mass Effect... Hitman... Resistance...

    You know most of these franchises and their popularity. So, what do they have in common?

    William C. Dietz.

    Dietz is a "Go-To" writer for these franchises. The reason they flock to him is obvious, once you've read or heard his work. He creates worlds: Fantastic stories, characters with depth, descriptive page-turner writing, and good dialogue, all blended together to give you an enjoyable reading or listening experience. In effect, he can put franchises on the literary map.

    So, do these accolades and high praises warrant your valuable Audible credit? Definitely.

    In fact, regarding this audiobook, "Runner," Dietz does not disappoint - If anything, after reading this, you'll possibly want to go on a voyage of discovery regarding his other writing.

    This story feels like a early classic Andre' Norton style novel, replete with failing technology spanning star systems, psychic sensitives, technobot zealots, waring religious factions, a failing fleet of sentient starships ferrying barbaric peoples back and forth across the galaxy, warring royal families, tek-tomb raiders uncovering lost star gate technology, chosen prophets, runners who brave passage on the failing starships for riches and power, and at the center of it all, a slumbering master computer arching across the starways, sought by all of the above.

    Be warned - The plot will unfold a bit into the story, as Dietz sets the pace by providing richly defined characters, great back stories, and sub-plots leading to the master story line itself. The lead characters are so well defined, that you'll empathize with their successes and failures. Dietz's descriptive writing is dead-on, placing you right in the middle of a believable milieu, and at the end of the day, that's crucial in an exceptional audio work.

    As to the narration, Runnette was a pleasure to listen to in this work, and brought it home.

    I've enjoyed this audiobook, so much so, that I've gladly ponied up another cherished Audible credit for the second book in the the "Run" duology.

    And frankly, I can't wait to start listening.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4438)
    Performance
    (3087)
    Story
    (3126)

    In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

    Jim says: "Remastered into chapters from CD."
    "Lost Roman Legions...And POKEMON?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.

    This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.

    Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.

    To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.

    It DOES sound lame.

    Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.

    I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.

    The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.

    So, what about the writing?

    Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?

    I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.

    Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?

    Home run, Jim. Home run.

    42 of 46 people found this review helpful

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