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serialnumber55

serialnumber55

Alaska | Member Since 2012

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 159 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Life as We Knew It: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Susan Beth Pfeffer
    • Narrated By Emily Bauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (302)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (193)

    Miranda's disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the Moon closer to the Earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun?

    Syd says: "Makes You Wonder..."
    "Issues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If you want a post-apocalyptic YA novel, this may be one to try. The science is wrong (an asteroid pushes the moon into a close orbit) and the social science is wrong (the fact that an asteroid was going to hit the moon was greeted with a rather muted response, no doomsayers or predictions of disaster), but much of the narrative is a fairly realistic depiction of adjusting to a world that is not the same.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Susan Beth Pfeffer again?

    Sure.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakers: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Edward W. Robertson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (352)
    Story
    (355)

    In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter. When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn't the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA.

    Dan says: "Excellent Book 1"
    "Clever writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    While this series is predictable in many ways, it is made up for by the originality of the writing and the unusual juxtiposition of plague and aliens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • After the End

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Amy Plum
    • Narrated By Emily Rankin, Graham Hamilton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (96)

    World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there. At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life. When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war.

    Lauren says: "I enjoyed listening to it."
    "I wonder what they thought jets were?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about After the End?

    As the tribe lives near Denali, one wonders what they thought those noisy planes were. There were too many flaws in this book to read any others in the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End: A Post Apocalyptic Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By G. Michael Hopf
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton
    Overall
    (297)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (272)

    For Gordon Van Zandt, life was one of duty and loyalty to his country, so when 9/11 happened he dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps. This youthful idealism soon vanished, one fateful day in a war torn city in Iraq. Ten years later, he is still struggling with the ghosts of his past, but must now face a new reality thrust upon him and his family.

    North America, Europe, and the Far East have all suffered a devastating Super-EMP attack that has caused catastrophic damage

    Jan says: "So Dissapointed"
    "Trite and predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The End?

    Ho-hum. Men are men (you know, soldiers, manly - and clearly find it better to kill an unarmed man rather than shoot out the wheels of his truck) and women are women (housewives, teachers). And real men are unconflicted marines - or slightly conflicted. And real authors repeat the same words over and over ad nauseum. I will not be reading any others in the series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Article 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Kristen Simmons
    • Narrated By Jenny Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (125)
    Story
    (127)

    Kristen Simmons’ thrilling debut novel Article 5 is the first in an eagerly anticipated dystopian trilogy. In a world where soldiers have replaced police, arrests are made for minor infractions, and the Bill of Rights has been replaced with the Moral Statutes, 17-year-old Ember Miller longs for the days when things were different. But when her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 by the only boy Ember has ever loved, her peaceful, low-profile life is thrown into chaos.

    Staaj says: "Holds Its Own Against the many YA Dystopian Novels"
    "Some tedium"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The basic plot of this young adult novel is ok; we are in the near-future, when the forces of fundamentalism have banned any activity deemed unChristian. The protagonist, Ember, is the daughter of an unmarried woman who has been taken away for trial because she had an illegitimate child. Ember is also taken, and the plot revolves around she and her boyfriend escaping. Again, while the basic plot is good, Ember just doesn't spend enough time looking at the obvious. I suspect that the reason why she has to spend so much time doubting her boyfriend is because that is the basic tension in the book. If it weren't there, there would have to be some other filler. I wanted to yell at Ember, "Think! If he is such a jerk, why is he here? Can't you figure out he loves you?"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4809)
    Performance
    (4396)
    Story
    (4388)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Janice says: "What does it mean to be human?"
    "Well Written Myth Juggling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Take a Hebrew myth (the Golem) and an Arabic myth (the Jinni) and juxtapose them in New York a century ago. Use excellent English and original phrases, and what you get is a very readable novel. I recommend this highly. The narrator was adept at changing accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Witch of Hebron: A World Made by Hand Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By James Howard Kunstler
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (84)

    In the sequel to his best-selling World Made by Hand, James Howard Kunstler expands on his vision of a post-oil society with a new novel about an America in which the electricity has flickered off, the Internet is a distant memory, and the government is little more than a rumor. In the tiny hamlet of Union Grove, New York, travel is horse-drawn and farming is back at the center of life. But it’s no pastoral haven.

    Jennifer says: "Takes A Wierd (in a bad way) Left Turn"
    "Another magic trope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    As I said in my review of the first book in this series, I like the post-apocalyptic genre. Except I really prefer reality-based speculation. There were inklings in the first book that we might be moving into the realm of fantasy, and sure enough . . . . The Witch really is a witch. Brother Job really does have powers. The Queen-Bee really is a seer - as well as a breeder.

    But for all of that, the book was listenable. Sure, it was an American-style ending (everything turns out ok), except that enough was left to ensure a third book in the series. The narrator does a good job with the various characters in the book.

    But it's a novel about the end of the everyday technological world and a new world that has magic in it. Not really my forte.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Made by Hand: The World Made by Hand Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By James Howard Kunstler
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (174)

    The electricity has flickered out. The automobile age is over. In Union Grove, a little town in upstate New York, the future is nothing like people thought it would be. Life is hard and close to the bone. Transportation is slow and dangerous, so food is grown locally at great expense of time and energy, and the outside world is largely unknown. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis now, but people aren’t sure.

    David says: "A kind of Amish post-apocalypse"
    "Great start, but then . . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Disease and other complications have returned the world to pre-petroleum technology - a traditional setting for this genre. We are in a town that is hobbling along, relying on tradition and custom, rather than any real government or law enforcement. Much of this book, the first in a series (I know there is another one out, but I haven't yet read it), is a great introduction to the protagonist, whose wife has died and whose son left town a few years before. He is in a relatively secret relationship with the wife of his best friend, the local Congregationalist minister (although it is apparently not a secret to the minister - they just never talk about it). A cultish group of men and women have bought the local high school and are fixing it up as a place to live. At times cooperative, they also demonstrate that they are willing to violate others' rights to get them to conform to their expectations and religion. At the same time, a group on the edge of town who supply materials gleaned from garbage dumps and demolition, are also demonstrating their unwillingness to abide by standard modes of behavior; they engage in an apparent murder, coercion, and theft. So with this - and an attractive young widow - as the backdrop, we become engaged in the protagonist's life, a life that is expressed in great detail. But as we get closer to the end of the book, and as we become to suspect that the science fiction in this story may not be limited to just the hypothesized near-future (indeed, it may creep over into fantasy, but we don't ever get to really know in this book), the detail starts to be overlooked. The book rushes to an end. Now I know that the details may come out in the next volume, but the way that the likely war was averted between the town and the inhabitants of the junk yard was just too easy. If the book just ended there, ok. But the protagonist relates a summary of the next few months, and somehow peace happens, his conjugal relationship with the young widow continues, and there is no mention of the reaction of his previous lover, the minister's wife. It just ends too smoothly. I would have preferred a cliff-hanger to the easy gloss that is provided. I happen to relish (and am writing a novel in) this genre, and I really enjoyed this book, up until the last - rushed - part. I have bought the next in the series, but I am a bit worried that the craft of the first three-quarters of the first book will not be achieved in the second. We will see.

    0 of 0 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
    (25079)
    Performance
    (23026)
    Story
    (23032)

    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?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Cliffhangers at every turn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Martian?

    Everything in this book is scientifically-based. The protagonist is a feisty, yet brilliant, botanist-engineer who manages to anticipate most situations that would kill him.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist is foul-mouthed and someone I want with me when I go into space.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Never a dull moment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Existence

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Brin
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (452)
    Story
    (450)

    Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

    A. Massey says: "Big ideas, good science fiction, frustrating style"
    "It actually is a part of the uplift series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It took a while for me to get into this novel, but I got hooked and am happy I did so. It is a prequel to the uplift series, something I didn't realize. Brin has some interestingly unusual ideas about AI and its proliferation. Recommended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4538)
    Performance
    (3961)
    Story
    (3935)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Murakami Masterpiece"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was the first Murakami I ever listened to. Since then, I have bought all of his novels. This was a mixture of American music, Philip K. Dick, Japanese mythology, Orwell, a bit of Lovecraft, and far more than I can expound upon. A superb novel for those whose taste runs into the bizarre.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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