Narrator John Lee is remarkable: He can suck the life out of any good story. Lee has a deep voice and a fine accent, but those cannot make up for his random inflections, uneven reading style, and complete lack of voice characterization.
I would suggest buying the print copy of this book. Avoid John Lee's narration at all costs.
The book seemed interesting at the start, but I had to give up after about 15 minutes. Narrator Tamora Pierce enunciates so carefully and reads so slowly that she sucks the life out of the story. It sounds a bit like my ten year old reading a difficult book out loud.
These Broken Stars is categorized as a teen novel, but it is also a good read for adults. The main teen elements are that the main characters never have sex and swear words are referenced, but not said.
The plot and characters are solid and the premise is interesting. This is a typical journey of self discovery, but uses interesting elements that make for a refreshing read.
It is obvious that this science fiction novel is one of the few written by women. The authors have the hard core military "major" express feelings in a way that male writers do not.
Elements that didn't work:
-- Making the 18-year-old male protagonist be a major after two years in the military. The authors say he earned this through field promotions, but that would mean going from recruit to O-4 rank in two years. That would mean overseeing about a thousand soldiers at 18 years old. That's the kind of thing that doesn't happen, unless it is an honorary rank for royalty.
-- Having the two characters never have sex, despite falling in love while shipwrecked and alone. There's lots of sleeping cuddled together and making out, but it never goes further. The authors omit any element explaining this, instead it is just something required for a "teen" novel.
Overall, this is a good read and worth a credit.
Aurora: CV-01 is an acceptable book, a science fiction beach read. The characters are shallow. The writing is mostly tell, not much show. The plot and concept are good.
Narrator Jeffrey Kafer does a passable job on this book, with the exception of his horrible Russian accent. He plows through the content like a bull dog. His narration does little to enhance the characters, but is acceptable.
If you don't listen to a lot of audiobooks, you can probably find something better. With that said, this book is fine if you have an extra credit and some extra time.
Narrator Amy Rubinate has a style that ruins the book for me. I'd suggest listening closely to the sample to decide if it will bother you.
Instead of a natural speaking style, Rubinate falls into a narration pattern that stresses vowels too much, most especially on words at the end of sentences. You get something like this:
"When we got the letter in the pOOst, my mOOther was ecstAAtic. She had already decided that all our problems were sOOlved, gone forEEver."
Rubinate's narration pattern is worse in some areas than in others, but is strong enough to suck the meaning out of the writing and destroy the characters.
The over-stressed vowels are like speed bumps, bouncing the mind out of the narrative. Instead of flowing prose revealing the characters' thoughts and motivations, the over-stressed vowels stop the flow. When so many words are stressed, the sentences lose their meaning.
Narrator Chris Andrew Ciulla throws off the enjoyment of this book. He'll read a few sentences fine, then suddenly DECIDE that EVERY two or three WORDS in A sentence need to be STRESSED to MAKE the reading MORE DRAMATIC.
Listen to the sample and you'll probably see what I mean. When Ciulla does this, the sentence becomes very difficult to understand. The odd sentence stress destroys the flow and loses the meaning. Instead of staying immersed in the story, Ciulla's narration pulls attention back out.
Not recommended, based on the narrator.
A problem with modern recording equipment: you hear every detail. In this case, Jenny Sterlin needs a better denture adhesive. Throughout the recording, you hear the clicks and pops of what seem to be dentures not quite glued tight.
It might be something else... some unusual saliva buildup or something I don't know. It is enough that it is difficult to ignore.
You want to ignore it, because Sterlin's performance is very good and so is the book. I'm not sure I'll get further books in the series, unless I listen to the previews and find this problem corrected.
The audio quality on this book is terrible. I would be able to get past that, except that the narrator is terrible too!
Narrator Richard M. Davidson does an excellent job narrating this non-fiction book. The author, Bart Ehrman, also does a great job making the topic interesting, assuming you are interested in the first place.
Davidson, however, deserves a highlight. This book is filled with references to bible verses. If you were reading this in print, your eye would skip over the references unless you wanted to focus on the detail. The narrator's style makes this same thing happen in audio. He is able to mention the citations, but still keep the flow.
Davidson also makes the whole text very interesting. Ehrman writes this book in first person and the narrator takes advantage. The audiobook sounds like you are listening to a very engaging person enthusiastically telling you a story.
Sometimes the book gets bogged down in details of examples. These are things that you might skip in print, but are more difficult to handle in audio. In general, however, this happens infrequently.
If you are interested in the topic, you'll like this audiobook..
Dan Moore should not be allowed near a microphone. A prime example is the sex scene in the early in this book. The words are provoking, but his narration is like a high school science teacher talking about cell division.
Dan Moore ruins his own book.
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