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Penny Lauritzen

Member Since 2008

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 166 ratings
  • 420 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • The Sword of Shannara: The Shannara Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1760)
    Performance
    (930)
    Story
    (947)

    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!"
    "not worth two credits"
    Overall

    I went into this book fully aware of its reputation as a Tolkien knock-off. That didn't bother me in the least. And it turns out that I find negative comparison to Tolkien unfair and irrelevant.

    What actually makes this audiobook unlistenable has nothing to do with its questionable creative origins. It is a combination of gutwrenchingly bad melodrama, death by self-congratulatory exposition, and a narrator who just feels like he's along for the ride.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11068)
    Performance
    (8500)
    Story
    (8552)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "worth the wait"
    Overall

    I was worried leading up to this release that Tor wouldn't shut up about how Sanderson was finishing Wheel of Time. No mention of his already impressive previous works, they made it sound like this was his first original novel. Thankfully, the book stands on its own, despite the aggravating marketing.

    I finished the Way of Kings audiobook last night, having dropped the hardback in favor of listening.

    The story starts off slowly, almost unbearably slowly. But it continues to gain momentum for its entire 45 hour length until the point of bursting. The world is new and exciting and dangerous, and also strangely familiar at the same time. It gives the very real sense of being part of an idea much larger than itself.

    As always Kramer and Reading are very good. There are a few minor hiccups in this edition - the only really jarring one was when somewhere around chapter 60, Kate decided to change the pronunciation of a major character's name... But the offending scene passed quickly and all was soon back to normal.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8645)
    Performance
    (6073)
    Story
    (6110)

    For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

    Lore says: "Book 1 of a great series that is not to be missed!"
    "Enthralling"
    Overall

    Mistborn is the most compelling fantasy series I've encountered this decade. The world is rich with flavour, the characters are human and believable - and likeable.

    Michael Kramer's performance is amazing, the book got the treatment it deserved.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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