I loved this book. I listened to it again in anticipation of the third sequel (Warbound), and I raved about it so often that my husband agreed to start listening to it. He rarely goes for science fiction but he is hooked on this one.
The story is a truly creative alternative history of the early thirties, and I liked the chapter prefaces that featured quotes from real historical figures, tweaked to mirror the storyline. The characters are well-developed, and it was impossible not to care about them. My favorite is the teenaged Faye, who turns out to be tougher than all the others combined. There are plenty of weapons and fights, building to a spectacular finale. The ending is very satisfying, and this story stands nicely on its own. But wait, there's more! The adventures continue with Spellbound...
This would have been a great read, but the audiobook is catapulted into the realm of fantastic by the narrator. Mr. Pinchot creates a unique and perfect voice for every character, from Jake's slow deep-gravel drawl to Dan's measured enunciations, to Faye's 'Oakie' accent, to the skin-crawling misplaced syllables of the Pale Horse.
I got Monster Hunter International after I finished this book, but for me it doesn't compare.
Hard Magic made it onto my desert island list.
I expected to like this book based on previous reviews, but the characters were one-dimensional, the love interest was completely improbable, there was way too much sex and leering, and it was a real slog to get to the end. I enjoy the Ilona Andrews series and the Patricia Briggs series, and I hoped these would be similar. They're not.
What if the first alien contact consisted of gelatinous smelly blobs who had watched The Blob? What if their knowledge of Earth was based on TV sitcoms and movies? What if they came quoting Yoda ("away put your weapons ...")?
This is my favorite John Scalzi story to date - so funny that I had to be careful where and when I listened so I wouldn't startle other people with unexpected bursts of laughter. There is also pathos and much food for thought. Scalzi packs a lot into the story - clueless actors demanding starring roles, the ecosystem that preys on them (agents, press, public), director/producers desperately scheming to fund a worthy project, Holocaust survivors, euthanasia, and how to introduce an alien race to the world without causing global panic.
The narrator Wil Wheaton does a superb job - the characters each have individual voices and temperaments. I first heard him narrate Ready Player One, and he was wonderful on that one too.
All in all, highly recommended.
Ivan is on his own in this book, out of Miles's shadow and forced to play a highly political hand. Now we learn the motivation behind the "Ivan, you idiot" remarks - Ivan never was an idiot, he just played one quite skillfully. It served him well and kept him alive until now ...
This book doesn't quite stand up to the best Bujold ("A Civil Campaign", "Mirror Dance", "Memory", "Barrayar", some of my favorite books of all time), and it has the feeling of a series finale because all the loose ends not tied up in "Cryoburn" (which chronologically follows this one) seem to be addressed here. On the other hand, any time spent in the Vor universe is golden. I hope we haven't seen the last of Miles and Ivan.
I didn't know anything about the book or the author when I selected this, just took a chance based on the reviews. What a wonderful surprise - this is one of my new favorite audiobooks! I loved Katherine, her unorthodox 'education' (courtesy of her uncle), the way she adapts to her new circumstances, in fact everything. The narration is terrific. I look forward to listening again ...
I first read the LOTR Trilogy as a young teen, while I was home with a bad cold. My mother was in the middle of The Fellowship and wouldn't give it up (and who could blame her?), so I started with The Two Towers. Talk about confusion!! I highly recommend listening to them in order. The Trilogy is one of the top books on my Desert Island Reading List.
Many years later, I got this version of the audiobook on CD and played it to death. I loved the books and the movies, but hearing the stories really enhances the experience. I always felt these books were written to be read aloud. I have waited YEARS for Audible to add both the unabridged Trilogy and the Hobbit. Thank you Audible.
Here is a compelling argument for eliminating sugars and processed starches from our diet. The correlation between eating sugars/starches, the development of insulin resistance, obesity, and subsequent heart disease, is frightening. This book does go into the biochemistry of glucose and fructose metabolism, but it really isn't necessary to understand each step of that process. Focus on the end result, and be very, very afraid.
The real shock is in the author's explanation of the disconnect between the scientific research and the established medical advice that we are given every day. "Calories in, calories out" has been the mantra for as long as I can remember, and it is still being touted in the recent HBO series "The Weight of the Nation" (May 2012). I had read the author's essay on this series in Newsweek and decided to listen to his book. I was simply amazed... and when I cut out sugars/grains (just to see what would happen) I lost eight pounds in four weeks.
This was just a blast to listen to! I'm not a gamer or a Rush fan, but I didn't have to become either to enjoy the audiobook. I loved the story and the characters. There were many hilarious scenes - one of my favorites involved the main character reciting the dialogue from 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail', receiving extra credit for his accurate use of inflection/accent. The final hunt for the egg was so compelling I had to stop listening so that I could pick it back up later without interruption. Wil Wheaton's narration was perfect. I can't wait to listen to it again.
This was one of the most wonderful books I've ever heard. A feast for the ears. The story is fantastically imaginative, the prose is richly visual, I could see all the details of the circus and smell the popcorn and caramel. I wanted to visit the circus myself! The narrator does a wonderful job bringing everything to life. I didn’t want it to end. Once it was over, I couldn’t wait to listen again. This is everything an audiobook should be - try it, you won't be sorry.
Miles is back in full manic mode, with Armsman Roic and Dr. Raven Durona in tow. It will take all of them plus a resourceful local boy to get to the bottom of an shady pyramid scheme based on life after cryopreservation. Make sure there's a box of tissue at hand before getting to the end. Various loose ends are tied up for other characters in passing (Sgt Taura, the Koudelka sisters, Mark). This book deals with a lot of issues and is far deeper than it appears on first listen, I had to go through it twice and it does merit 5 stars. Don't start the series with this one, pick up Shards of Honor or Barrayar (one of LMB's very best).
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