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S. Ludtke

Houston, TX USA | Member Since 2014

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 270 ratings
  • 744 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
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  • Lords of the Middle Dark: The Rings of the Master, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Jamie Du Pont MacKenzie
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Long ago, the machines had rebelled, wiping out most of humanity and exiling the survivors in widely scattered reservations. Master System ruled unchallenged, the key to breaking its power - five microchips disguised as gold rings, carefully hidden away. But then an Amerindian called Hawks stumbled across information about the five rings, and suddenly Master System developed an interest in seeing Hawks dead....

    Captain Skurvy says: "A great SCFI adventure thats not dated by time"
    "Decent series, but not my favorite by Chalker"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read most of Chalker's work back in High School, and requested that Audible make it available (as I'm sure did others). Chalker does speculative SF very well, and has a lot of creative ideas in his books. While certainly some of it is derivative, most of his books are far less derivative than most other authors, and he has a lot of ideas which are uniquely his. This particular series, while voice-acted very well, isn't my favorite (though I had to listen to it again to realize that). His other series, like the Well of Souls, are much more creative and interesting IMHO. Don't get me wrong, this series isn't bad, and like his other books, his universes are well thought out and self consistent. I just found myself getting a little bored as I listened through this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The God Decrees: The Devan Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mark E. Cooper
    • Narrated By Mikael Naramore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Julia is a strong-willed Englishwoman who knows what she wants, and she's working hard to achieve it. An Olympic gymnast, she's training hard every day in preparation for the upcoming games when tragedy strikes, and her world ends with a phone call. Her parents have been killed in a senseless car accident, killed by a drunk driver. Suddenly everything is different.

    Kenna says: "Alice in Wonderland meets Harry Potter"
    "Good, but not outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As someone who has been reading fantasy for several decades, this book falls clearly (and this isn't a spoiler) into the "person transported to another world who can do magic" category. The characters are likeable enough, but it feels like there isn't a tremendous amount of depth. There are large jumps in time, and it sometimes feels like a leapfrog from one action sequence to the next. The balance of power doesn't seem ... well ... balanced. It was an enjoyable enough read, and I will listen to the next one when it's out, but if another series produces a sequel first, this one will probably not be the first on my list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Black: Odyssey One

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Evan Currie
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1899)
    Performance
    (1745)
    Story
    (1752)

    Captain Eric Weston and his crew encounter horrors, wonders, monsters, and people; all of which will test their resolve, challenge their abilities, and put in sharp relief what is necessary to be a hero. A first-rate military-science-fiction epic that combines old-school space opera and modern storytelling, Into the Black: Odyssey One is a riveting, exhilarating adventure with vivid details, rich mythology, and relentless pacing.

    C. Hartmann says: "Great, Solid Military SciFi / Evolving Space Opera"
    "Good but not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Don't get me wrong, this series isn't a disaster or anything. I will probably give the second book a try.
    Pros:
    - good action/suspense
    - decent plot concept. Pretty tricky to make inferior technology plausibly relevant, and this is handled reasonably well
    - military aspects are fine,
    Cons:
    - Writing isn't all that great
    - Science is a bit rough. Seems like he may have had to play a bit fast and loose with some numbers to make the plot concept work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragons of Dorcastle: The Pillars of Reality, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    Overall
    (1880)
    Performance
    (1714)
    Story
    (1713)

    The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of Dematr behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

    Katie says: "Huh....Well there are dragons. Kinda."
    "Slow start, but looks like a good series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Looks like the beginning of a fairly long series based on what is revealed in the first book. Wasn't sure if i liked it 1 or 2 hours in, but kept going and was quite involved by the end. Will definitely continue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2.5

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1699)
    Performance
    (1559)
    Story
    (1564)

    Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries. The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.... In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

    Josh says: "But No...."
    "At last, a bit more !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Do not read this book if you haven't read the other two books of the Kingkiller Chronicle. If you have read those books, and want to see more of his wonderfully sculpted universe, this novella is a great addition. Don't expect it to extend the plotline of the main series. This is a side branching, but wonderfully imagined and beautifully written and read. Unlike many authors in the Scifi/Fantasy genre, where the focus is often on the world and plot, rather than the writing, Rothfuss is a deeply skilled writer. Much like his character, everything simply has to be right. Every word in its place, and carefully considered. Even though it is short, it is well worth the price. I hope he finally manages to finish his trilogy soon, and continues to write.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mako: The Mako Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ian J. Malone
    • Narrated By Andrew Wehrlen
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (50)

    A down-and-out history professor leads a team of old friends to virtual glory as the first-ever group to beat Mako Assault, a revolutionary new game that has emerged from nowhere to take the online world by storm. As a reward for their achievement, and under the guise of publicity, the group is flown to meet the game's mysterious designer, only to learn that Mako's intent was never to entertain its players…but rather to train them. An epic science fiction thrill ride of action, suspense, laughter, and romance, Mako is the story of five ordinary people rising to the challenge of extraordinary events, driven only by their faith in one another.

    Zed says: "Predictable and shallow. Written for young adults?"
    "Good story poor SF"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is quite well written with good character development and a decent writing style. The voice-acting is excellent. However, the technical side of things seems fairly poorly thought out. Suspension of disbelief is invoked many more times than necessary in this book, in many places seemingly out of laziness. The space battle scenes seem to lack a sense of the actual size of space, and space battles seem more like naval/air battles. For example, a space ship with wings so it can work in atmosphere as well, which seems to go from zooming around the canyons on a moon or the planet's surface back into orbit in a matter of a few seconds, then sweeping graceful arcs through space. While I confess, this is no worse than some of the SF in Star Wars, it feels a little disappointing on this front. Also, as mentioned by others, the book is steals pretty liberally from The Last Starfighter and Star Wars. As a character study, it's good, and it would probably make a decent summer movie, but don't go in expecting anything vaguely like hard SF.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sorceress, Interrupted

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By A. J. Menden
    • Narrated By Traci Odom
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Though Megalopolis has many superheroes, none of them is quite like Fantazia. That’s no surprise, given her parentage. But immortality is hard, even for a sorceress. Watching loved ones age and die…? It’s better to live in a pocket universe tending bar. It’s safer to remain cold and aloof, to not get attached to anything or anyone. So, helping the Elite Hands of Justice defeat the Dragon was a mistake.

    S. Ludtke says: "Meh"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is should start by saying that, not realizing it was the middle of a series, I did start out of order. However, I didn't feel lost, and it was pretty easy to pick up the back-story. While it is fairly well written and is well performed, it just wasn't all that exciting. The science/magic wasn't all that clearly developed, making it mostly about the characters (which can still be fine). I just found myself not caring all that much about them. It was fine, and I finished reading it through the end, but didn't really have much of an inclination to read the others in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11743)
    Performance
    (10500)
    Story
    (10467)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "Don't fear the cover art"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Based on the cover art from this series, I was a little afraid it would turn out to be some sort of romance novel (which I do not read) with some sci-fi fantasy tweaks thrown in. Never fear, this is a solid fantasy series, with a very imaginative interpretation of real-world mythology and a good self-consistent set of rules for magic, gods, etc. They are action-packed with good character development, and very solid voice-acting in the audiobook version. I immediately continued with the rest of the series after reading this one. PS - If you are devoutly religious (regardless of the religion), you may not find it quite as enjoyable, as it certainly pokes fun at the idea of any one religion being correct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silent Tower: The Windrose Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Barbara Hambly
    • Narrated By Nicole Poole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    In a world where wizards are relegated to ghettos, it is no surprise to see one murdered in the street. But for Stonne Caris, a young warrior monk who sees the killing and gives chase to the culprit, there is nothing ordinary about seeing a murderer disappear into a black, inky portal. The Archmage sends him in search of Antryg Windrose - a half-mad mage who understands the nature of these passages between dimensions.

    Jamie says: "Worth the wait!"
    "Enjoyable Hambly series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read these tech/magic crossover books as a teen in the 80's, but it still translates quite well. While the computer tech is a bit dated, those of us who grew up in the dawn of the computer age can still appreciate it, and it's a minor aspect of these mostly-fantasy/mystery books anyway. Great character development, and a very good mystery plotline to pull it all together. Don't expect a tremendous amount of detail in the workings of magic in her universe, but what there is holds together very well. Well worth the read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight at the Well of Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jack L. Chalker
    • Narrated By Peter Macon
    Overall
    (262)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (236)

    At the heart of a bizarre planet lay the goal of every being that had ever lived.… Below average in height and unprepossessing in appearance, Nathan Brazil is an unassuming if cynical starship owner, carrying passengers and cargo for a living - hardly the sort of person to hold the fate of the entire universe in his hands. But when Nathan detours from his route to answer a distress call, a hidden stargate hurls him and his passengers to the Well World, the master control planet for the cosmos. Billions of years ago, a godlike race unlocked all the secrets of space and time and remade the universe according to their grand design.

    Michael says: "Step Through The Portal, And Be Changed Forever!"
    "Finally, Chalker's best work !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read pretty much everything Chalker wrote back in the 80's as a teen, and enjoyed this series then as well. I sort of expected that I would find it more childish or unsophisticated reading it as an adult. I was completely wrong. Still an excellent book, and definitely his best series. Wonderful character development, a highly original plot, and the voice acting and recording quality are excellent as well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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