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Olivia Aldridge

San Francisco, CA

  • 2 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 246 titles in library
  • 72 purchased in 2014

  • The Gripping Hand

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, award-winning authors of such best sellers as Footfall and The Legacy of Heorot, return us to the Mote, and to the universe of Kevin Renner and Horace Bury, of Rod Blaine and Sally Fowler. There, 25 years have passed since humanity quarantined the mysterious aliens known as Moties within the confines of their own solar system. They have spent a quarter century analyzing and agonizing over the deadly threat posed by the only aliens mankind has ever encountered - a race divided into distinct biological forms, each serving a different function: Master, Mediator, Engineer, Warrior.

    James says: "The sequel matches the first book"
    "Terrible cash-in on brilliant Motie universe"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A strong story with compelling characters and dialogue.

    What could Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Spent more time on development of good characters and less time dragging out boring conversations irrelevant to the core story arc.

    What aspect of L. J. Ganser’s performance would you have changed?

    Voices for characters were not unique enough - often I lost track of who was talking, especially in three-way conversations. I can't imagine that these conversations would be unambiguous in text without "said x", "x responded", etc, conversation structure crutches, so I assume that they intentionally removed them for the audio presentation - which would have been great if the narrator could keep the voices consistent and distinctive.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The universe was neat. The Moties are still a very cool idea for an alien civilization. The elevator pitch for this book's core story arc is awesome, it's just the characters and dialogue and pacing draped around that core arc that are terrible.

    Any additional comments?

    For calibration, I would give Mote in God's Eye four stars. I've liked other work by these authors; just not this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Mediocre story with no narrative momentum"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Characters are deeply, frustratingly foolish. Almost everything they do will make you cringe, like watching the poor ingenue wander upstairs alone in a bad horror movie.

    Would you be willing to try another book from William Landay? Why or why not?

    No. Not a compelling storyteller.

    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    The main character, but all were well done. Gardner is excellent as always, infusing the characters with individuality while steering safely clear of the fake accents and melodrama that characterize some narrators.

    Could you see Defending Jacob being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, because the first-person perspective is baked too deeply into the story, such as it is.

    Any additional comments?

    This is not a terrible book, just not a very good one. The ambiguity surrounding Jacob's guilt is one bright spot throughout the book, but the final twist/resolution left me unfulfilled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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