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Rob L

boston, ma | Member Since 2014

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 77 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
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  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8248)
    Performance
    (7307)
    Story
    (7298)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Konstantin says: "Suprizingly entertaining"
    "Why didn't I like this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Did anyone else absolutely love the Grimnoir Chronicles and absolutely hate Monster Hunter International? I did, and I'm still trying to figure out what the difference is. Part of it is probably the order in which I listened to them. After the brilliance of Grimnoir, I had high hopes for MHI and was severely let down. If I had listened in reverse order, maybe I would have found MHI to be just mediocre, and not such a thorough disappointment. I rated it 2 stars because I'm trying to overcome that bias, but how I felt after listening to it (and even during the later parts of the book) was a 1-star reaction.

    In the Grimnoir books, Correia created a new set of supernatural rules, and it worked really well, intertwining with historical events and the politics of the day. In MHI, it's just your typical werewolves and vampires and basically a bunch of people try to shoot them and blow them up. I guess that didn't do it for me. The plot and character development of the Grimnoir books seemed so much more developed and interesting, while the Monster Hunter characters are superficial and stereotyped. I found myself neither believing them nor caring much one way or another what happened to them as the book progressed.

    And the narrators definitely play a role. Bronson Pinchot really brought the Grimnoir series to life, not just with character voices, but with his tone and with pauses in just the right spots. Oliver Wyman kind of read MHI and didn't add much. Or maybe the writing was just that much worse and he had less to work with. I honestly don't know where one stops and the other begins.

    Anyway, you have two popular series by the same author with very similar overall ratings. But in my opinion, they are nothing like each other, and I recommend digging a little deeper into the reviews to try to figure out if this is what you want.

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • The Keeper of Lost Causes: Department Q, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2037)
    Performance
    (1785)
    Story
    (1781)

    Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's premier crime writer. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in northern Europe, and he's won just about every Nordic crime-writing award, including the prestigious Glass Key Award-also won by Henning Mankell, Stieg Larsson, and Jo Nesbo. Now, Dutton is thrilled to introduce him to America.

    L. O. Pardue says: "Fantastic New Scandinavian Series!!"
    "I didn't love the narration *or* the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I agree with a lot of reviewers that the narration of this book was pretty rough. It wasn't totally unlistenable, but it added a kind of constant underlying annoyance to the experience.

    When I try to separate out the story by itself, I think it was only mediocre at best. It somehow managed to be both far-fetched and dull at the same time. I don't think the writing or dialog was particularly good, although is that a mark against the original author or whoever translated it? Hard to say, but I can only judge based on what I heard. Anyway, the plot ended up being something like a below average episode of Law & Order, but stretched out to fill a novel-length story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Laura Hillenbrand
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23220)
    Performance
    (17553)
    Story
    (17604)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Seabiscuit was a runaway success, and Hillenbrand’s done it again with another true-life account about beating unbelievable odds. On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.....

    Janice says: "Indescribable"
    "Unbelievable Story; So-So Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After three years listening to books from Audible, I'm really starting to understand how important the narration is to my overall enjoyment. This book is a perfect example.

    This is a truly incredible story and book is clearly well-researched. But it's told in a very straightforward way, and the narrator does nothing to inject drama into the performance. It comes across as though it's courtroom testimony about the events, or maybe something you'd hear read aloud in history class.

    I listened to this because the story sounded very interesting, and it was probably the highest-rated (4.7 with thousands of reviews) non-sequel I have ever seen on Audible. I must say I was a little disappointed. This is still a fascinating and worthwhile story, but if I could do it over again, I'd read it rather than listening.

    -----

    (As an example of what I'm talking about, see the book Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. It's fiction, but is also a detailed account of the horrors of war told in a fairly straightforward way. If anything it's more mundane than Unbroken, but the narrator, Bronson Pinchot, does a masterful job and made it hard to stop listening.)

    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
    (11350)
    Performance
    (8488)
    Story
    (8535)

    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.

    D says: "A GREAT TRILOGY!!!"
    "Highly original fantasy series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the surface this might seem like yet another Lord-of-the-Rings-style epic fantasy series, but dig a little deeper and what you find is a unique and incredibly well thought out fantasy world with its own take on magical powers and other abilities.

    Never before have I read a series where the details are this carefully crafted and intertwined. There is no X-Files/Lost phenomenon going on here, where the writer(s) keep adding mysteries until no hope remains for an explanation.

    Not only is the story universe (the magical physics, if you will) very consistent, but the plot and story arc of the entire series were clearly planned out ahead of time. Books two and three were not afterthoughts, stapled on after unexpected success. If you enjoy the first hour of book one, it bodes well for your enjoyment of the series as a whole.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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