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Nathan

London, Ontario Canada | Member Since 2007

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 117 ratings
  • 491 titles in library
  • 78 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Lives of Tao

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Wesley Chu
    • Narrated By Mikael Naramore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (158)

    When out-of-shape IT technician Roen wakes up and starts hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumes he’s losing it. He isn’t. As of last night, he has a passenger in his brain - an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Over the millennia his people have trained human heroes to be great leaders, to advance our species at a rate far beyond what it would have achieved on its own. Split into two opposing factions - the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix - the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries.

    Nathan says: "Realistic take on secret agent with aliens"
    "Realistic take on secret agent with aliens"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stereotypical overweight programmer gets to live out dream of being trained as a secret agent. Only it's a realistic version of a secret agent with all the boring parts and there's an alien voice inside his head. I was worried it would be too similar to The Host but it's completely different.
    Funny and was refreshing to read something with modern day pop culture & geeky references. First half should be used for workout motivation showing the large amount of work involved in getting an overweight couch nerd into shape.
    I think it went too far with the amount of influence aliens had on human evolution. According to it every single historical event or person was influenced by the aliens. Has a somewhat surprising ending and written with intention of a sequel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (969)
    Performance
    (875)
    Story
    (878)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "Forget the rhetoric, listen to a 1st hand account"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anyone with a remote interest or curiosity of the middle east should read this book. It's an honest first hand account of what it's like for a girl growing up in Pakistan. Malala recounts what life for her, her family, her village and her country is like before the Taliban, living under the Taliban rule and after the military "officially" pushed them out.
    I like to think of myself of well informed but this explains many questions. How terrorist organizations are able to use propaganda and start off with compassionate gesture like providing funding to win the heart and minds of locals. Why the country citizens don't trust the United States, the extent of government corruption and political maneuvering.
    The second take away we see through Malala, a girl who strongly believes in her rights to an education, and her father how one person can make a difference. It's an inspiring tale of how standing up for what you believe and against what is wrong can affect people and change.
    The book does a good job of not getting tied down in the high level politics but covers them just enough to understand what is going on.
    Forget the rhetoric and listen to this first hand account of life in Pakistan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dragons of Autumn Twilight: Dragonlance: Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (639)
    Performance
    (582)
    Story
    (601)

    Lifelong friends, they went their separate ways. Now they are together again, though each holds secrets from the others in his heart. They speak of a world shadowed with rumors of war. They speak of tales of strange monsters, creatures of myth, creatures of legend. They do not speak of their secrets. Not then. Not until a chance encounter with a beautiful, sorrowful woman, who bears a magical crystal staff, draws the companions deeper into the shadows, forever changing their lives and shaping the fate of the world.

    Kitty says: "Dissapointing Narration of a Classic Favorite"
    "For classic fantasy and RPG fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a long and slow read taking place in a well thought out world. It's the first in a popular series so while it plays into cliche and tropes of the genre it may not have been a big deal when it was written. This makes the plot predictable and not very thrilling.
    Characters are stereotypical but distinct from each other, however as often the case with many main characters only a few are really fleshed out and even then briefly.
    If you like dungeon crawlers, campaign based stories (RPG) or classic fantasy it is worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stories of Your Life and Others

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Ted Chiang
    • Narrated By Abby Craden, Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    This new edition of Ted Chiang's masterful first collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, includes his first eight published stories. Combining the precision and scientific curiosity of Kim Stanley Robinson with Lorrie Moore's cool, clear love of language and narrative intricacy, this award-winning collection offers listeners the dual delights of the very, very strange and the heartbreakingly familiar.

    Carolina says: "Amazing collection of short stories"
    "Short story collection for the thinking person"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How could the tower of babel be built, how would a mad scientist view the world, What if we could make ourselves unaffected by people's looks, and what if Angel sightings were common everyday occurrences and we could see the deceased in heaven or hell? These are some of the stories this collection examines with their social, scientific and psychological impact. Some stories better than other, aimed more at plot and themes so some readers may find them boring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alif the Unseen

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By G. Willow Wilson
    • Narrated By Sanjiv Jhaveri
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (114)

    In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients — dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups — from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif — the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind.

    Nick says: "Entertaining and insightul"
    "An urban fantasy taking place in the middle east"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An urban fantasy taking place in the middle east, which may feel like a different world for western readers. Computer hacker inadvertently get involved with mystics, government censors and involves the Arab spring. At the heart it's a coming of age and romance story. Good introduction into middle eastern culture and themes. If you're use to western fantasy it's worth a read for something different.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mockingjay: The Final Book of The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28392)
    Performance
    (22120)
    Story
    (22343)

    Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena live, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge....

    GS says: "Conflicting Emotions"
    "A great end to a series, staying true but fresh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By now if your thinking of reading this book you already committed to the series. A different tone than the previous books and we get to see the rest of the world the previous books built. This is much more focus on the politics and media manipulation on both sides.
    It's rare to see a popular book series show the brutal consequences to ones mental health of living through a tragedy. This book really explores the trauma, P.T.S.D and mental repercussions on Katniss. Hopefully your use to being inside the girls head because it pretty messed up at this point.
    This is not a clean tying up of lose ends. There are twists and turns, surprises you may not see coming but can be understood.
    A great end to a series, staying true to what came before while keeping it fresh.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Claire North
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (273)

    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

    C. Hartmann says: "A Very Tough Read -- but perhaps worth it"
    "Read for the concepts and not for the characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Finished reading: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.
    The classic question: if you could live your life again, what would you do differently knowing what you know now? For Harry August this isn't hypothetical, he is born, lives, dies and is reborn again at the exact same day and place as before. The premise has been explored before in Groundhog day and Edge of Tomorrow but having to live his whole life again is a big difference.
    This is a book about concepts and big picture plot. Explores how an individuals would react, what kind of secret society would form, deal with the tediousness of childhood, try different careers, and keeping life interesting. This allows other concepts like alternative history and pre-crime prevention to be examined.
    This kind of story needs many characters and settings but only two characters are really developed. While the concepts that are introduced are interesting to think about the story narrative is only adequate. There no interesting characters to draw you in and no risk or thrill until the last third.
    Narrator was excellent keeping the different characters and accents distinct.
    The story is slow and not a page turner. Read if your an ideas person.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Feast Of The Drowned

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Stephen Cole
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (798)
    Performance
    (628)
    Story
    (624)

    When a naval cruiser sinks in mysterious circumstances in the North Sea, all aboard are lost. Rose is saddened to learn that the brother of her friend, Keisha, was among the dead. And yet he appears to them as a ghostly apparition, begging to be saved from the coming feast... the feast of the drowned. As the dead crew haunt loved ones all over London, the Doctor and Rose are drawn into a chilling mystery.

    Amazon Customer says: "Creepy, but good!"
    "Like a okay David Tenant and Rose episode"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would rate this as on par with an average David Tenant and Rose episode. Nothing memorable or ground breaking. Didn't take advantage of the possible extra length or unlimited budget (imagination) a book has over a TV show.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux: The Story of a Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Therese Martin, John Beevers (translator)
    • Narrated By Sherry Kennedy Brownrigg
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    Sharing memories from early childhood through her life as a Carmelite nun, Therese opens her heart to us. This bride of Christ reveals her passion and longing for union with God. Her simplicity is charming and we begin to believe that we can travel the path to salvation that she points out to us.

    Jessica says: "Loved It!"
    "Inspirational with lessons for everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book recommended from two people so I read it not knowing what to expect. I was presently surprised.
    Written by Saint Therese of Lisieux it starts off sharing the story of her life, growing up devoted to God and follows her short life. It offers a unique look of the actions of a Saint and share her mindset, thoughts and views. While the life she lives is challenging and requires personal sacrifice, it is not impossible and brings a relatable example of someone truly devoted to Christ.
    On the surface you think it unlikely to offer guidence for a 'modern world' but the lessons and advice are timeless. Advice on dealing with life's little annoances, from people you don't get alone with, to dealing with people who talk at the theater. Shows how often it is the little things we do that have greatest affect on people and pleases God.
    While you probably won't go into it or finish expecting to become a saint yourself it does give guidence and inspiration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Promise of Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Brian McClellan
    • Narrated By Christian Rodska
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (510)
    Story
    (515)

    Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail. But when gods are involved.... Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should....

    Caleb L. Allen says: "Wonderful Fantasy set in Napoleonic-Era style tecn"
    "Refreshing change from common fantasy settings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a suspense action pack thrilling page turner. Political intrigue, coups, danger, assassinations, mystery, uncommon but familiar setting, clever & unique magic system. What more could you want?
    Setting is familiar but uncommon in the fantasy genre, inspired by the French revolution. A coup overthrows the wealthy and magical elite but the civil unrest must be quenched before foreign powers take advantage. old debts and promises repaid, backroom deals and alliances must be struct and traitors must be sniffed out. All the while the mysterious last words regarding the return of a god must be investigated.
    The story is engaging often taking twists and turns. Think the story is going one way but then it changes and once you think it going to change it brings it back. There three kinds of magic systems and two of them follow rules at make sense. The most interesting revolves around gun powder.
    The book has many ideas but not enough time to see them all develop. Some of the character consequences were not fully realized or undid after a few chapters. But it does not go easy on the characters.
    A refreshing read if your getting tired of common fantasy settings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35960)
    Performance
    (26959)
    Story
    (27344)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "I will read the sequel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the start I was concerned it would be too teen romance from the female prospective. Thee was a bit much in the center but not bad and I liked the analytically take on it. World building is good as you can sense the greater world behind the scenes.
    Two things stories tend to ignore are the physical pain and injuries from fighting and the time it takes to heal. Both were handled well here. The ending was fairly predictable but the journey was exciting. I was worried when the plot changed that it was aiming for a happy ending but it actually helped the story grow. Looking forward to reading the sequel

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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