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Susan

Mukilteo, WA, United States | Member Since 2006

14
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 540 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2014
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  • The Quantum Rose: A Novel of the Skolian Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Catherine Asaro
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (62)

    The Saga of the Skolian Empire is Catherine Asaro's trademark series. It chronicles the lives of the members of the ruling family of the Empire in the distant interstellar future, weaving a fine blend of action, romance, and hard science fiction.

    Lisa says: "ok, but barely!"
    "Nebula? If you say so....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It's an OK read if you like Skolia already (and like it a lot). But it wasn't for me. The only time I found any excitement or tension was when the heroine was kidnapped, but that didn't last long. Other than that, people were way too happy and friendly with each other to make an interesting read.

    I sure don't see a reason for a Nebula award, but no story is beloved by all people.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Blah ending for me. You could predict it easily. I was ready for the story to end long before it did. Nice portrayal of a resident population fighting invaders, but not realistic. She had something like a couple hundred thousand people in a tent city on the plain. They would have used up all food and water resources within miles and miles in just a couple days, not to mention lack of sanitary facilities. In Fantasy, you needn't be realistic, but Science Fiction usually tries to act like it could happen.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Anna Fields’s performances?

    No, Ms. Fields narration bothered me more than the story. She makes the hero sound like he's a drunk teenager. She does not excel at male voices.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe if Spielberg and Lucas did a great makeover.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Fields narration ruined this for me, but the story wasn't that enthralling. After reading Primary Inversion, I was ready for a supposedly award winning novel in the series. I didn't feel like I received that experience.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tricked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5701)
    Performance
    (5263)
    Story
    (5258)

    Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert. But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shape-shifters called skinwalkers.

    Nicholas says: "Hooked in an Instant"
    "Ho hum, Atticus fighting another god"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nothing new. Atticus teases another god and acts so surprised and innocent when the god gets riled up I read the other following books, as my son bought them all, but I had to stop after a few more. They were all the same.
    The narrator, as always, is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Men at Arms: Discworld #15

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Nigel Planer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1165)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (528)

    MICHAEL says: "Decent character development, poor audio quality"
    "4 stars is too low, but I can't give out 5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    All the Discworld novels earn 4 stars, but the City Watch group deserves 5 stars. But for me 5 stars means perfection and as close as Terry Pratchett comes, no one can be perfect. That said, I don't see how anyone can be disappointed with his characters, pacing, tension, plot and humor. So this is a 4.5 star review.

    1 of 2 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
    (10054)
    Performance
    (8974)
    Story
    (8953)

    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"
    "Great, new character, new concepts, well written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No point in going overboard with my compliments, as I don't believe in fulsome reviews and never give anything 5 stars. But I was tempted to do so when I first read this. But nothing can be so perfect that it deserves 5 stars, even this. But I'm tempted to give it a 4.5.

    The characters were well drawn, sympathetic, and believable. The world picture is very believable. The pacing and tension was great. The cliche 'hard to put down' definitely applies.

    That said, after the second book, the series slowly goes down-hill. Pacing, tension, dialogue all took a hit as editing skill/effort decreased. Story flaws that don't bother you in the first 2 books get more glaring. But for sure buy the first two and use your best judgement on the rest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (1878)
    Performance
    (1084)
    Story
    (1086)

    In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

    Carol says: "Wonderful"
    "Second best of Willis' books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Read the other reviews to give yourself an idea of what you're getting into. (Unique plot, annoying characters and long-winded). Then if you think you'll like it, read this one and Doomsday Book. Then stop. These are the two best of her books.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • On Basilisk Station: Honor Harrington, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2311)
    Performance
    (1676)
    Story
    (1668)

    Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk station and given an antique ship to police the system. The vindictive superior who sent her there wants her to fail. But he made one mistake: he's made her mad....

    gerry says: "Damn you Steve Gibson"
    "50/50 mixed feelings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought the first 3 books of this series sight un-seen (or heard) because it got such great hype. The first half of this novel was superb. I thought I had found a female Miles Vorkosigan. She solved an apparent losing situation using wits, wiles, deception plus the meager people and supplies at her disposal. The second half should have been excised. It was endless debates and conversations and little or no action. Unfortunately, the second half is more indicative of the series, so I didn't buy anymore after the first three.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2099)
    Performance
    (1412)
    Story
    (1431)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "Has faults but the best of Connie Willis' books"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book, and To Say Nothing of the Dog, made me a Connie Willis fan. I would read what ever I could find. However, she has some faults as a writer that other reviews speak of. As she has won more and more awards, the problems get more and more glaring. So spend your money to read this one, then stop.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Honor of the Queen: Honor Harrington, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1539)
    Performance
    (1116)
    Story
    (1117)

    It's hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards conquest as the only option and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That's why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the Republic of Haven, and the planet Grayson is strategically situated to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office overlooked a “minor cultural difference” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet of Grayson are without rank or rights and Honor’s mere presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.

    Richard says: "Following on in the series - Book 2"
    "Great space battles, but dumb plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is only saved by an exciting space-ship battle at the end. The rest of the time, the heroine does dumb stuff. The rabid patriarchal planet doesn't like women in command, so she runs off in a huff, allowing the rest of the navy to get clobbered. There is some satisfactory revenge as she wins the next space battle and there is real human pathos as she liberates some POW's but then she goes off half-cocked when she finds they've been killed or raped. Weber could've found a more inventive form of revenge. She saves the life of the patriarchal leader, leaving her with physical disabilities, but the leaders had already been pretty much convinced to accept women by then. If we had half star rating, I'd have given this only 2&1/2, not 3 stars.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Short Victorious War: Honor Harrington, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1237)
    Performance
    (886)
    Story
    (889)

    The rulers of the People's Republic of Haven are in trouble and revolt is brewing, so it's high time for a short victorious war. But Honor Harrington is going to give them a war that's neither short nor victorious.

    AudioAddict says: "Maybe I'm just stupid..."
    "Com' on Weber, make-up and lip gloss?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bought first three books in this series at once, as they got such good hype, so I felt compelled to listen to them all. Dumb me. I could go on at length, but the two big things that stand out are that the heroine does absolutely nothing to win the battle; it's sheer luck (or author design) that her ship survives until rescue comes. She's running as fast as the rest of them. And then we see her being instructed at make-up to win a man and how to apply lip gloss? Hundreds and hundreds of years in the future? What's extra sad, is that he usually does space battles excellently, but even that falls down in this book. I won't be reading anymore of Weber's books.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Hunted: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3901)
    Performance
    (3628)
    Story
    (3631)

    For a 2,000-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt - Artemis and Diana - for messing with one of their own. Dodging their slings and arrows, Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so instead of playing hide-and-seek, the game plan is...run like hell.

    D says: "Another Serving of Hilari-tea"
    "Give it a miss, threre's little story here"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story seems to be an excuse for the author to take a European trip. It was more a travelogue, as more gods chase Atticus around Europe and England. Then make peace in a less-than-satisfying finish. That's it, go read the next book. Seems to be a time filler and setting up for the next book. I'm getting real tired of constantly hearing about how the dog likes sausage, bacon and poodles. And since at the end we find that they are getting one more dog, I'm more dubious about the next book. And I'm a real dog person, too.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (1717)
    Performance
    (1529)
    Story
    (1527)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Surprisinglly well-written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I began reading this, I realized that it was not the sort of plot that appeals to me. But it was so superbly written, that I kept reading it, mostly for that reason, (but also to find out what happens the the missing girl). There was the occasional annoying anachronism. I don't believe that hundreds of years in the future, men in outer space will still address each other with "Hey" and we'll eat take-away in plastic containers. But those were few and far between.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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