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Member Since 2002

  • 6 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 642 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • The Sword of Shannara: The Shannara Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.

    Nicholas says: "Finally Unabridged!"
    "Worst Reading in History?"

    Wow, for the first time ever I've found a reader that I actually hate. He gets the tone of the book entirely wrong in nearly too many ways to explain. Here are a few of the highlights:

    Most of the time, during dialogue, every character sounds like some snotty stuck-up rich-kid from the "right side of town" talking down to one of the "average folk". In other words, virtually every line is delivered in a condescending tone. It's unbearable.

    There is also a tremendous amount of strange, seemingly unnecessary inflection going on throughout the reading. It seems like, possibly, and attempt to "lighten the mood", although I can't tell for sure because it is so strangely delivered. At any rate, it is completely inappropriate for a novel which is largely dark in tone.

    Also, the reader appears to mispronounce "Shannara" and "Eventine" rather horribly. Of course, this open to interpretation, but he pronounces them in a way I've never heard anyone else use in discussing the books, so I have some evidence to support my claim....

    All in all, I can barely manage to listen to this, not because of the story, but because of the reader.

    About the story:

    Yes, it is a relatively blatant rip-off of The Lord of the Rings, but it is still a good tale for the young adult reader. The writing is relatively poor, but the story is fun and truly enjoyable. The rest of Terry Brooks' works are not rip-offs, so don't let that put you off.

    But for heaven's sake, READ IT yourself, because this reader destroys it completely.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Island: Gideon Crew, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David W. Collins

    Gideon Crew, brilliant scientist, master thief, is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer, Eli Glinn, gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. Gideon's task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells, now on display in New York City and protected by unbreakable security. Accomplishing the impossible, Gideon steals the parchment - only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks.

    Mary says: "Their worst book!"
    "Just keep getting... Worse..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It could have been written a lot better. Sounds like it was written by high school students. The relationship between the male and female protagonists was written in an especially sophomoric way.

    If you’ve listened to books by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child before, how does this one compare?

    Like many of their other works, the story itself is simply a fun science fiction tale. However, the quality of the writing in their work continues to degrade over time. This work is no exception, being extremely poorly written. It reminds me of a lot of Clive Cussler's stories. The story itself is quite fun in a kind of Indiana Jones way, but the writing is so god awful that what you really want is an abridgment down to just a few hours so you can get the story without having to wade through all the crap writing. Even the story in this case, however, isn't up to snuff. Considerably more predictable and less interesting than many of their previous works.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    This performance was mediocre. Not terrible. And not good. Too average to even find anything to like or dislike about it.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


    Any additional comments?

    I certainly hope these guys get their act together and start producing the kind of averagely written, but extremely entertaining stories they used to tell. This is a very poorly written story of only average quality. There's just nothing to recommend here. Skip it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seize the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Moonlight Bay: a safe, secluded small town that is at its most picturesque in the gentle nighttimes that inspired its name. But now, somewhere in the night, children are disappearing. Christopher Snow believes that the children are still alive. He is convinced the disappearances have everything to do with the catastrophic effects of secret research conducted deep within Fort Wyvern. To keep those secrets, violent and powerful forces are willing to conceal even the most heinous crimes.

    Kim says: "WOWWWW!!!"
    "Poor followup"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not really. The first novel in this two part series was absolutely phenomenal, one of the best works of literature I've ever read. Not just a "horror story" or a "mystery", but truly great literature, up there with the very best of Stephen King (i.e. Hearts in Atlantis) or even older greats like Fitzgerald. This book, however, is just a typical crappy kinda-horror story.

    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It should have lived up to the first story or never been written.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Wasn't really a great scene.

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not a chance. Even reading it was a mistake. Kind of the literary equivalent of Highlander 2, or the Matrix sequels, or the Star Wars Prequels: A work so bad it damages the enjoyment of the earlier works.

    Any additional comments?

    Rumor has it that Dean wasn't happy with this novel either, and that he's waiting to finish it with a third when he can really do it justice. I hope so!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict: The Gap Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Donaldson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, one of the most acclaimed fantasy series of all time, master storyteller Stephen R. Donaldson returns with this exciting and long-awaited new series that takes us into a stunningly imagined future to tell a timeless story of adventure and the implacable conflict of good and evil within each of us.

    Cody says: "The Real Story"
    "Stop it with Scott Brick"
    What did you like best about The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict? What did you like least?

    An excellent and traditionally dark Donaldson story.

    What did you like best about this story?

    The layer-upon-layer of story. The peeling away of those layers...

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Scott Brick is possibly the single worst narrator ever. He routinely gets the overall tone for a book wrong, and he has an incredibly odd and annoying rhythm and inflection. He overdoes "sympathy" horribly. Maybe a tollerable reader for some kind of happy/sappy romance, but godawful for all the SciFi and Fantasy he is ruining.

    Could you see The Real Story: The Gap into Conflict being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Anyone except Scott Brick.Would be a great series if done "darkly" like Battlestar Galactica (the new one).

    Any additional comments?

    Please get the publishing houses to stop using Scott Brick. Please request that they have all works read by Scott Brick re-read by someone competent. Please provide those new performances free to those of us here who have the misfortune of finding some many of their favorite works destroyed by him...

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Blasphemy

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The world's biggest supercollider is locked in an Arizona mountain. The Torus was built to unlock the secrets of the very moment of creation: the Big Bang itself. Will the Torus divulge the mysteries of the creation of the universe? Or will it, as some predict, suck the earth into a mini black hole? Or is the Torus a Satanic attempt, as a powerful televangelist decries, to challenge God Almighty on the very throne of heaven?

    carl801 says: "This makes"
    "Typical Preston"

    This book is pretty much typical of Preston. His characters, with only a couple of exceptions, are generally flat. Preston is not a great writer. He does, however, tell a pretty darn good story, and that is also the case here. I expect many of the negative reviews seen here actually stem from Preston's straight-forward approach to the nature of human faith and religious belief. It is certainly a book which pulls no punches in this regard. It would be admittedly difficult for most religious persons to look at this book from "the outside" and give it a fair review.

    It should be noted however, that although Christianity in particular is the religion Preston chooses to oppose rationality and science in this work, the actual point of the book is much broader and more disturbing. It is actually a very sobering look at human gullibility, stupidity, mob-mentality, "The God Gene", etc.

    Definitely a worthy read for anyone who looks a the world around us and wonders where it all went wrong.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Saturn: A Novel of the Ringed Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Amanda Karr, Stefan Rudnicki, full cast

    In the best-selling novels Venus and Jupiter, Ben Bova dramatized the latest discoveries about our own solar system in an epic tale of near-future exploration and development. Now Bova turns his attention to one of our system's greatest mysteries, Saturn.

    Don says: "Enjoyed It"
    "Too political, like much of Bova"

    Ben Bova has great talent. Unfortunately, it is all too often submerged beneath a plot rife with political bickering. Not that Bova doesn't have a point (that our near-sighted (or totally blind) politicians are stifling the expansion of man into space), but he shouldn't hit us over the head with it in nearly every book. There is enough SF here to keep the book interesting, but you'll have to wade through some muck to get to it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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