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Patrick

Member Since 2013

27
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 205 ratings
  • 498 titles in library
  • 108 purchased in 2014
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  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (992)
    Performance
    (896)
    Story
    (903)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "Held my interest but ending was a letdown"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot was interesting but lacked the full wonder of his previous works in The Commonwealth Saga and the ending was a bit of a letdown. With that said, Peter still displayed his master craft literary skills that I've come to admire.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Overlord

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    The plans of a million years are finally ready for what has always been coming - Armageddon. Finally, the first move is set in motion and the assassinations begin, eliminating the leadership and consolidating military control of the seas and airspace of the world’s most powerful nations. Only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give the Earth a fighting chance at survival - a tiny being that has already saved the world once in the Arizona desert is now called upon to outthink his former masters.

    Matthew says: "I think I lost my watch down south..."
    "Well written, entertaining and narrated well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Even with several instances of SyFy exaggerations (time paradox, flying saucer wormhole generators, &c) the novel was very entertaining and even touched lightly into the military SyFy genre. With that said, the author's obvious insistence to interject partisan politics into the story was grating. The bad guy just happens to be a corrupt southern slightly portly REPUBLICAN Speaker of the House (Newty images abound) while POTUS is portrayed almost as a man of all seasons was a disappointment. One point reduction for being partisan when there was no need to be.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tower Lord: Raven's Shadow, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Anthony Ryan
    • Narrated By Steven Brand
    Overall
    (987)
    Performance
    (934)
    Story
    (938)

    Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus' vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus's grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.

    Jack says: "The Great Swampy Middle!"
    "Still very well written and narrated but wavers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Warning: Lightly touching spoiler territory

    I enjoyed both the writing and narration almost as much as the first novel. The enduring eventful journeys of Vaelin and those he meets continue to entertain. I particularly enjoyed the plot arc of Reva; although, was a bit disappointed when it strayed dangerously close to current day LGBT politics. I have no problem with characters having different sexual orientations; only when the story veers into 2014 advocacy territory on any subject. Hopefully, this won't continue to be a defining characteristic of Reva who is a much, much more interesting disruptive force to place too much focus on that.

    Princess Lyrna continues to be as beguiling as she is interesting and Ryan's use of her for a book-ending cliff-hanger ensures my impatient waiting of his next installment in the saga.

    Speaking of which, I was pleased to find that Frentis still lives and is destined to play a key role. Ryan's plot arc with him and his encounter, and forced affair, with the witcher-woman is very poignant.

    Half a star off for threatening to diminish Reva's character role; otherwise another fine piece of work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • King and Maxwell

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    Overall
    (1639)
    Performance
    (1429)
    Story
    (1435)

    It seems at first like a simple, tragic story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father...after his supposed death. Tyler hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to deeper, more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target? Sean and Michelle soon realize that they've stumbled on to something bigger and more treacherous than anyone could have imagined.

    JR Parrow says: "Come on guys, lighten up! This was a good book!"
    "Great Writing, Specious Motive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    *** SPOILER ALERT! ***

    Iran/Contra being the motive for plotting to assassinate a current day sitting president because Reagan wasn't convicted, Really?! If that weren't bad enough, the writer even had to use it as causative the reason why some imaginary couple committed suicide which drove the perp looney tunes. I mean, it's not like he couldn't have pick liberal LBJ who caused the real deaths of over 50,000 troops by use of an intentional lie.

    Anyway, 2 stars off for the leftist tilt but 1 star added back for the entertaining sound effects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thinblade: Sovereign of the Seven Isles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David A. Wells
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (185)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (177)

    When second son Alexander Valentine loses his brother to an assassin's arrow, he discovers that his family protects an ancient secret and reluctantly finds himself at the center of the final battle of a war that was supposed to have ended two thousand years ago. Pursued by the dark minions of an ancient enemy, Alexander flees to the mountain city of Glen Morillian where he discovers that he is the heir to the throne of Ruatha, one of the Seven Isles, but before he can claim the throne he must recover the ancient Thinblade.

    Barbknecht says: "Awesome Read!"
    "Overwrought Adulation Over The Prince King"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    David Wells is an able, and in many instances, gifted writer. Also, Derek Perkins is a very good narrator. With that said, the over-the-top continued fawning over Alexander as a beloved and great king and his over use of passages where he praised the princess unnerved me after the 3rd passage but still he persisted. Regrettably, halfway through it I reached the point to where I simply wanted to finish the novel, not for the enjoyment of it, by my time and investment in it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom (TM)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5114)
    Performance
    (3084)
    Story
    (3101)

    In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

    James says: "wow - a must read"
    "Devolved into leftist, anarchist pipe dream"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the story, Daemon, for its savvy technical awareness and seemingly evasiveness as to the direction of the citizen rebellion against the corporatist economic system. A rebellion instigated by a deceased diabolical uber-rich Daemon creator, Sobol.

    Sadly, this second and final installment was a huge disappointment. It pretty much touched every leftist trope for justifying a revolution that kills masses of innocent people in order to upend an evil cabal of corporate and governmental overlords. If I had to pin this down using analogies, I'd say it was a mix of (John Scalzi, etal) METAtropolis (sans the gazillion pigs), a dab of Rousseau's "Theory of Natural Human", Lenin's ideas of justifying a bloody revolution with little regard to innocents, near-sighted anarchists (who seem to be all in vogue today) and a dash of OWS and Greens to give it texture.

    I say "sadly" since, well, "it coulda been a contender".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5237)
    Performance
    (3234)
    Story
    (3261)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Overwrought Folksy Survivalist Doomsday Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The whole EMP event that acts as a catalyst is simply a plot device to launch into a sorrowful story that devolves the US both into a medieval society and a loss of over 250 million people. It could very well have been an asteroid bombardment in the beginning and 99 percent of the novel wouldn't need to be changed.

    If that weren't bad enough, after every loss of life episode, the author somehow manages to recollect what seems to be every post-war aftermath from photos and paintings that the pitiable protagonist recollects seeing. From Napoleonic era, European plagues, WWI, WW2 and so forth.

    Lastly, the tone of the novel always tends to reference society before electronics as being better able to adapt to such an attack, going as far as highlighting a 1959 Edsel as the standard of survivability! It often comes off as almost preferring an EMP attack to happen to bring us back to the good old days. As an example, the rag tag civilian militia that was formed for defense were named -- get this -- Company B. I kept thinking that a reference to the Andrew Sisters "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" would be alluded to but was saved that hilarity.

    If you are an uber Red Dawn survivalist fanatic, you'll probably enjoy the novel; otherwise ... not so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Remembered Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (289)
    Performance
    (267)
    Story
    (267)

    Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "A surprising and staisfying departure for Reynolds"
    "Snorefest!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed to find that Alastair Reynolds would write a science fiction novel of almost 22 hours in narrated length that focused mainly on elephants (large and dwarf) and uninteresting characters acting out their petty sibling rivalry. I write this as one who has listened and enjoyed several of his other novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hollow World

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (200)

    Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He's built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he'll face a world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and the cost of paradise. Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time has begun.

    Hassan says: "A Good Read!!"
    "Yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a regrettable letdown from Michael's earlier work of the Riyria sagas. Worse yet, it took over two thousand years and last few paragraphs of story to determine a key element of what demon haunts the protagonist. Then, after finding out, one senses that he lived in the 1950s instead of 2014 before leaping into the future.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Marines: Crimson Worlds

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jay Allan
    • Narrated By Jeff Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (241)

    Erik Cain joined the marines to get off death row. The deal was simple; enlist to fight in space and he would be pardoned for all his crimes. In the 23rd Century, assault troops go to war wearing AI-assisted, nuclear-powered armor, but it is still men and blood that win battles. From one brutal campaign to the next, Erik and his comrades fight an increasingly desperate war over the resource rich colony worlds that have become vital to the economies of Earth's exhausted and despotic Superpowers.

    Jack Brown says: "Refreshing"
    "Bland and monotonous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An entirely uninteresting story. In fact, it was so uninteresting that the narrator wasn't able to generate much enthusiasm in reciting it himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chad Morris
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (505)
    Performance
    (458)
    Story
    (461)

    Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible.

    Douglas says: "Harry Potter meets DaVanci Code -Young Adult title"
    "A short but entertaining story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well worth the Daily Deal price for admission. I liked it so much that I'm purchasing Book 2 and looking forward to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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