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Sheldon

Augusta, ME, United States | Member Since 2012

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 160 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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  • Marines: Crimson Worlds

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jay Allan
    • Narrated By Jeff Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (242)

    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"
    "Really not worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here's the basics. The story is OK, formulaic and nothing that really holds interest. The story itself is short, the length they show includes almost an hour at the end of descriptions of the factions, something that could have been put in the beginning or better portrayed through the story. It also includes another two plus hours of the first three chapters of the second book. At no point do you feel anything for any character, and the author struggles with foreshadowing, relying on the ever so subtle "later I would find out..." multiple times. The battle scenes are vague and don't draw you in at all. It sounds more like a monologue description of events hitting only on the key points.

    The narrator: Honestly Jeff Bower should do ANYTHING but narrate these books. If you want to be put to sleep, these might be your answer. Monotonous doesn't even describe the voices he uses and the use of electronic synthesis for the first half of the book is arguably one of the most infuriating things to listen to ever. Females sound like some sort of deranged minnie mouse noise, while the males all sound like a bored knockoff of Mr. Rogers.

    I think the only reason I finished this book was to make sure it didn't somehow improve, but it might have been sheer stubborn mindedness. If the narrator wasn't horrible and the story was a bit better written I might have though of giving the rest of the series a chance, as it is though I'm going to do my first ever return with Audible.

    Instead of this try something by B.V. Larson, his books aren't perfect by any means but they are 3-4 times better than this and essentially cover the same genre without being overly irritating (and without Bower as narrator). Alternately try Lost Fleet for a bit more fleet action and a bit less ground troops.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steadfast: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1222)
    Performance
    (1141)
    Story
    (1142)

    Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth. But before they can make tracks for home, two of Geary’s key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary on a far-flung chase, ultimately ending at the one spot in space from which all humans have been banned: The moon Europa. Any ship that lands there must stay or be destroyed—leaving Geary to face the most profound moral dilemma of his life.

    rich says: "Black Jack Faces His Toughest Opponent Yet"
    "Good story,but a rushed narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me begin by saying I waited a very long time for this book to come out. I downloaded it the morning it came out and had finished it by the end of the day so it's fair to say I was looking forward to it.

    The good: The book continues the series nicely and takes some interesting turns and twists that you really won't expect (nothing more about that here). The writing style has matured or at least settled into a good rhythm.

    The bad: Christian Rummel is a good narrator but I think this book was narrated as quickly as possible then not proofed at all. He will change pronunciations of the same words during the book (and words he has never mispronounced before), also there are a couple of spots where he just seems to plow through the material without really giving it any thought which is very unlike him.

    The bottom line: I listened to this book twice before writing this review and overall it's a darn good book. It's a real shame about the cliffhanger at the end because you'll want the time to be put into the next book to solve the issues we have here but at the same time you'll want it out NOW.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10662)
    Performance
    (9929)
    Story
    (9933)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "I'm so glad I took a chance on this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book, but it was better than anything I could try and explain to you here. Geek nostalgia, trivia, random shout-outs and references, it's all here.

    Fair warning, you're going to end up with a bunch of 80's songs stuck in your head during and after listening to this, and you'll listen to it more than once. FACT. You just want more and more. If you liked Snow Crash don't even think about skipping over this one. Douglas Adams fan? This is for you. Still have an Atari sitting around? Dust it off because you'll be fiending to play it after.

    Wil Wheaton nails the narration and brings quite a bit of geek cred to the table. The only downside of the book is that it ends. I can safely say that this book has secured a site in my top ten favorites. Give it a go and you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7587)
    Performance
    (7219)
    Story
    (7230)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Just amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The best part of this book in my mind is that anyone can appreciate it. You don't have to be a fan of sci-fi, hell you don't even have to like it. The story is exceptionally well written and narration is as perfect as it could be without going full radio-show. This book is good enough to warrant a second or even third listen.

    If you are like me you had this on your wishlist because you were curious but you weren't sure you'd enjoy it, sort of like saving a movie for a rainy day when you have nothing better to do. I wish I had purchased this immediately and not waited a few months because this is hands down one of the best audiobooks I've heard. This book had every opportunity to be a boring timeline-esque list of events and it never once feels like that. The plot moves along much better than any of the Martian days it describes ever could. I could go on all day like this but the bottom line is it's funny, quirky, and you will actually find yourself laughing out loud while you listen to it. After this, I'll give anything else Andy Weir puts out a chance without question or reservation. So quit reading this review and get started on this awesome book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5699)
    Performance
    (5318)
    Story
    (5314)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Simply refreshing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book:
    Scalzi doesn't always do it for me, but he nailed this one. The premise is something any sci-fi fan will relate to and the story is not only well written but oh-so-fresh. The storyline does the job of setting up everything you need for the three codas, and they finish the book perfectly. The characters are well rounded and thought out, the story is unique and entertaining, and the plot carries everything cleanly all the way through. My only gripe is the amount of "he said, she said" but in rapid-fire dialogue that is bound to occur and only becomes noticeable a few times.

    The narration:
    Wil Wheaton just takes this thing and runs with it. He nails the characters across the board, and with his narration you could almost do away with those "he said, she said" because he makes it so easy to follow. I've always enjoyed his narration and this is no exception.

    The bottom line:
    If you grew up with the Trek universe there is simply no way you can miss this book. You'll find yourself actually (not metaphorically) laughing out loud at times so bear that in mind when listening to this masterpiece. I get some hints of Douglas Adams style humor and banter, but this story isn't trying too hard to be something it isn't. Overall this was one of the more enjoyable stories I've listened to in some time, and my favorite from Scalzi. Just one last thing, don't expect to enjoy other books as much after hearing this one, because it sets the bar a bit high for fun, light, interesting and absorbing sci-fi.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sagan Diary

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Stephanie Wolfe, John Scalzi
    Overall
    (746)
    Performance
    (644)
    Story
    (651)

    Jane Sagan: Soldier. Killer. Lover. Dreamer. In John Scalzi's best-selling Old Man's War series of science-fiction novels, we see this warrior woman as the other characters see her - silent and strong, from the outside. But now The Sagan Diary shows us Sagan from another point of view: her own, as she prepares to leave military life and join her new husband and adopted daughter on a colony world.

    Robert says: "Nothing like Scalzi's old man's war."
    "Even at free this was too expensive."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The guy obviously has talent, and I get his desire to broaden his horizons, but personally you couldn't pay me to listen to this again. I'd give his actual novels a try, but this short story is about as devoid of entertainment as a bus tour of the Serengeti with 50 of your least favorite people.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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