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thepoet

chewyluka

Sherman Oaks, CA United States | Member Since 2011

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 68 ratings
  • 203 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Cibola Burn: The Expanse, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (342)

    An empty apartment, a missing family, that's creepy. But this is like finding a military base with no one on it. Fighters and tanks idling on the runway with no drivers. This is bad juju. Something wrong happened here. What you should do is tell everyone to leave. The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds and the rush to colonize has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Ilus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.

    Striker says: "Decent Story, Lacking Good Narration"
    "A bump in the road of an otherwise stellar series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Plot:
    Holden & Company find themselves in the middle of a squatters vs corporate ownership dispute on a newly discovered planet, beyond the reaches of our solar system, where they certainly weren't the first to land there and may not be the only one's currently living there. As the terrorists plot and the corporate authorities battle, Holden is called in to keep the peace and figure a way to settle the situation peacefully. This story separates our crew of the Rocinante for a more extended period, for the first time since the first book (and more significantly) creating a situation for hazards in multiple locations. The book has a wild west feel that plants much of the story, and a majority of the POV's, on the ground.

    The Narrator:
    Erik Davies gives an energetic, if flawed & staccato, performance that is decent but unable to generate the life and worth that Jefferson Mays was able to give in his preceding readings.

    The Sum:
    I'm a fan of the series, after listening to the previous entries, and was really excited to dig in to this story but found myself at arms reach throughout much of the experience. The story begins strong with an opening few chapters that made me believe this would make a great addition to the series. Unfortunately, as soon as the crew of the Rocinante show up the story begins to ride the good will brought by the previous adventures. There's no real growth in our characters here and the plot feels familiar with the 'Holden's gonna make it all better' antidote close at hand. Considering the past additional POV's, two of the three new characters are pretty boring and don't add much to the story.

    It's not all bad here, there are some great moments, and considering the bar that's been set, I can imagine it's tough to top the last few books. One of the new characters, Basia, proves compelling, conflicted about his choices, ties to his family, and his struggle with his own identity. He adds some of the best moments of drama in the book. I love Holden and crew enough to enjoy their high points making this an enjoyable listen, for the most part.

    Knowing the change in narrator can throw me, the listener, for a loop I really tried to give Mr. Davies the benefit of the doubt, pushing through my own prejudice, however, I wonder if his reading caused me to enjoy the story less than I would have with the previous narrator. His reading of Holden felt all wrong and don't even get me started on Avasarala. Please bring Jefferson Mays back.

    Worth the ride, if you're a fan, but this book seems very skipable in the grand scheme of the series. If you choose to skip, perhaps consider reading the Epilogue to figure out how this will affect the future installments, it should be enough.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Music

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Greg Bear
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (77)

    Vergil's innovative experiment restructuring the cells of a common virus becomes a nightmare when, in order to save his research, Vergil injects the entire culture into his bloodstream.

    thepoet says: "Fascinating, Fast Paced, & one hell of a Mind*^ck"
    "Fascinating, Fast Paced, & one hell of a Mind*^ck"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Plot:
    Vergil Ulam is a lab tech working on organic thinking cells, he injects these cells into his body which begin to colonize and take over his life.
    Greg Bear originally wrote this as a short story in the early 80's, after winning the Hugo Award for best short fiction, he fleshed it into this novel, the first about nanotechnology in science fiction. I don't want to give anything away from this book, other than what I've said above but how could I convince you to check it out? The surprises in characters, science, and the possibilities of life stretched beyond the covers and jumped into my daily life. To be sure, this is NOT a Jekyll and Hyde story. As this book was written in 1985 the author's choices now seem prophetic and intriguing as if they were purposely done. Whatever life is it has only enhanced the possibilities of this book's reach and meaning. This story (and characters) is fascinating, terrifying, and emotional without hitting obvious cliched chordes.

    The Narrator:
    George Guidall paces his reading, letting the words rest for a moment before carrying on. This approach and command of understanding the material emphasizes the possibilities of where you, the listener, can take these ideas. There's a lot to digest in this book, crazy ideas, and I think Mr. Guidall gets this. He did an incredible job.

    The Sum:
    This book is unlike anything you've read/listened to recently, or maybe ever. There are very few books that transform my understanding of life but this one did it. This isn't for everybody but if you liked Perdido Street Station and have a natural curiosity of life, I think this book will fit right in. I might also recommend reading about the "noosphere" to give context for the nooscytes, if you find yourself confused.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2022)
    Performance
    (1835)
    Story
    (1836)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Even X-Men had a so-so debut"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    Myfanwy (pronounced mif-an-e) Thomas wakes up in a wake of bodies without a single memory, a series of letters introduces her to her body and her life at the Chequy (pronounced shack-ay) an agency in the UK that controls paranormal and extra terrestrial entities from entering every day human life.
    There's intrigue, increasingly peculiar abilities, and ever escalating situations that drive the listener through this debut novel, well enough. The first few chapters are interesting and the overall movement of the story pushed me forward but I felt that the main character was inconsistant and not very interesting, although she's not supposed to be interesting. That being the case I was left with the feeling 'why am I supposed to care about what happens?' The increasingly useless letters from her body's past inhabitant take away from the pull of the story and don't add enough texture to make them worthwhile. Unfortunately, I don't think this author is being true to who this character could be and ultimately this hurt the story for me. Also, there are a peculiar number of references to vomiting throughout the book that stood out as being needless and lame.

    The Narrator:
    Susan Duerden worked at creating different voices and covered the characters annoying petty complaining pretty well. Her accent, within the dutch characters, could get thin at times but I thought she held it together quite well. Overall she did a good job of keeping me in the story.

    The Sum:
    There are some interesting moments and the mystery element was well played but overall this feels like set-up for something bigger (that could get better), this appears to be the first of a series as Mr O'Malley is writing another one as I write this. I wouldn't recommend it as it stands now but there's room for growth in a series, I probably won't be traveling down that road myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5114)
    Performance
    (4593)
    Story
    (4618)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "Modern fantasy at it's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    After getting out of jail, Shadow is whisked into a world that has changed without his wife, with a new boss, strange characters, and a storm that could change the face of the world irrevocably.

    Neil Gaiman hasn't created a new world as much as new characters to inhabit our current one. Filled with myth, pathos and life this book is a beacon in modern fantasy fiction. This is a book not about an ultimate battle as much as it is about the the ideas of obsolescence and humanity being cut from the cloth of gods. This isn't a book about a hero who comes in swinging a sword or firing a gun to save the day, this is about flawed interesting characters, tired, beaten down, and lost trying to find their way in this new world. The characters are beautifully well drawn and compelling throughout the book and make the journey an indelible one. When the story feels a bit bloated in places, be aware that there's a reason for it, and it will all come together for you in the end. It takes some time for the pieces of who Shadow is to come into play and when it does it makes it worth while.

    The Narrators:
    The cast of voices are unforgettably good when it comes to Shadow, Wednesday & Laura while the secondary characters are rich and alive. There isn't a wrong note, voice, or tone throughout the entire story. Incredibly well done.

    The Sum:
    An incredibly well told story who's journey keeps you intrigued, invested and caring what happens next. If you want something different from the fantasy you've been listening to, look no further, you won't forget this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Tall Grass

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 46 mins)
    • By Stephen King, Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Stephen Lang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (426)
    Performance
    (391)
    Story
    (396)

    In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they've lost one another. The boy's cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen King and Joe Hill can deliver.

    Jesse says: "More King than Hill, more gross than scary"
    "Subpar King & Hill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    Twin twenty somethings, on a trip out west, hear a voice in some tall grass and wade out into it to help only to find themselves wading into a new kind of horror.

    What starts with a lot of potential is a story that isn't just half baked but hardly baked at all. It feels as if father and son traded chapters trying to outdo one another other and ended up stumbling over each other. There's set-up for some interesting potential in the first quarter, even when they first move into the grass. A complicated eb and flow, a life, to the grass is long left in the dust for horrific elements that are hollow and fall flat. There's gore and disturbing moments, if that's all you're looking for, but they don't mean anything. I stopped caring about the two main protagonists shortly after they were in the grass when I realized there wasn't much to the story. These two authors are much better than this, too bad.

    The Narrator:
    Mr. Lang does a great job holding the pieces together here. The characters are well drawn and their voices are quite distinct. I feel like he's a bit out of his element here but this might just be fron the writing.

    The Sum:
    If you want a couple of moments of shallow horrific moments, you'll find them here. On the whole there's not much here to sink your teeth into or to feel scared about. This is more of a waste of time.

    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
    (6120)
    Performance
    (5701)
    Story
    (5701)

    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"
    "Wheaton & Scalzi Win Again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    New crew members happy to be brought aboard a starship, are suddenly alarmed to find out that their away parties continue to come back one or two crew members short and begin to believe there something behind it all.

    The title alone should get the faithful Star Trek & Battlestar Galactica crowd on board but non-fans will find just as much to enjoy in this funny fast paced thrill ride. The action scenes are brisk and pull you right into it's well layered trap of a twist. There's a lot to like in this story and at 8 hours it'a hardly a huge commitment and my only caveat is that I didn't get to know the characters enough. Their motivations are clear and their actions true to form but I would have loved more scenes with away missions, misdirection, and incompetence from the bridge crew. The three codas felt tacked on (with the exception of the third one) to fill the space at the end. The first one is funny and entertaining but it's hollow. The balance of the three is interesting but I think the third one would have made the perfect ending.

    The Narrator:
    His adept perception, great knowledge and deft reading puts him at the top of his game. Will Wheaton comes out swinging for the bleachers and delivers another fantastic read. He gets this material, of course he does, and more so get's Scalzi's writing style, voice and humor. I don't want to imagine anyone else narrating his books, this is my third with this combination and I look forward to the next

    The Sum:
    A very entertaining, exciting, well read story that I only wish was longer and had a bit more depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11898)
    Performance
    (10812)
    Story
    (10836)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "14 is an entertaining hodgepodge"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    Twenty something, with a dead end job, moves into a new apartment and finds excitement behind the walls of his new building.

    An interesting cast of characters helps to flesh out what's otherwise a meandering story with no real vision of it's conclusion. There are plenty of twists and turns, once you get through a long first half, in the story but it never seems to get anywhere worthwhile. Each situation seems to be disconnected from the last, leaving a dis-congruous path of "then this happened" lingering. There's a fair bit of imagination and ingenuity in building out these sequences of which there's plenty enjoyment to be had. The cast is a hodgepodge of different walks of life and are approached in a way that come across as believable even though some of the dialogue feels a bit forced at time, trying to be chummy and coloquial.

    The Narrator:
    Ray does the best with what he has here. His female voices are a bit jarring at first but I eventually settled into them. The dialogue is a bit forced, and with the voices I had trouble buying it, while some of it came off as just ridiculous. Overall he tackled the story well, added intensity where needed and kept things moving at a brisk pace. He really picked up speed towards the end and finished with what ended up being a fairly entertaining read.

    The Sum:
    Although the start is slow and many of the pieces don't make a cohesive whole, this was a fairly entertaining listen. I wouldn't agree with many of the blindly praising reviews but I wasn't disappointed in the end. The narrator did a good job of keeping things interesting and entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angle of Repose

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (329)

    Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, and husbands and wives.

    Laurene says: "A magnificent novel, beautifully read"
    "One of the Great American Novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    A wheelchair bound grandson assembles the notes & letters of his grandmother to piece together her family's travels into the west in the 1800's.

    If you thought Steinbeck held a monopoly on classic California historical fiction, you haven't listend (read) to this masterpiece. Without exception, Stegner's writing in this novel is taut & unquestionably beautiful, what this man can do in a line will fill your imagination. His weaving of the early West and this family's struggles, successes, and failures creates the most realized version of the period to date. His characters, flawed, opinionated, frustrating, forgiving, & funny leap out of the earbuds (off the page) becoming people you've known, people you care deeply about. His phrasing drives this tale with a truly human bend to every action, line of dialogue and motivation. This isn't my normal go to book and was extremely happy for the recommendation. This is a book that earned every bit of the Pulitzer that it won.

    The Narrator:
    Mark Bramhall tackles this book with the dedication of someone who deeply understands the beauty, depth, and life within this book. Leading with the story's narrator, there was little doubt that he could handle this character with the tone, timber and age in his voice. It's with the female voices that he lends the passion and sympathy that really surprised me. A narrator can make or break a book, consider me a huge fan.

    The Sum:
    I was recommended this book and accepted it without knowing a single thing about it. The breadth of this story, characters, time & place left me with a renewed hope in what this format is capable of. I was excited to move back into this world with each listen, as each chapter unfolded. Give this book a chance, it will surprise you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (18473)
    Performance
    (16443)
    Story
    (16402)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Would you change, everything?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    Teacher goes back in time, to 1958, falls in love with the time and struggles with both his experiences and the ever "obdurate past" to stop JFK from being assassinated.

    This is a sprawling epic of a book, King at his best post accident King best. There's been a real shift in the subjects and approach with King over the last decade. Taking on smaller subjects and unraveling them into these huge tapestries of emotional and meaningful expressions of life. If you are looking for terror, there's a little bit of that. If you're looking for great characters, as always King is all over that. If you're looking for a story that's "to the point", this is not your story. I feel like King has come into his own with this book in particular. He fels like he's having a blast writing this, he can't wait to share his excitement with the reader. Every nuance, nook and cranny is an expression of his love of these characters, time, and place. The story meanders into these expressions and if you (ever faithful reader) are not about the journey turn back now. This book is all about the journey, even the end (in it's own way) is all about that journey which makes it worthwhile. Is there fat here that could have been trimmed? Are there points of logic that don't work? Yes of course, hence the 4 stars, but for this journey it's worth it.

    In the event you were wondering (safely) if the ending is any good (faithful King reader), yes the ending is actually good here, which is enough to make me celebrate to not be left hanging in the wind....again.

    The Narrator:
    Brilliant. His choices become fastened safely as testament after a moment. He nailed it.

    The Sum:
    A great story, extremely well told, that spans the emotional tapestry that covers us all in our place and time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Feed: The Newsflesh Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Paula Christensen, Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (970)
    Performance
    (761)
    Story
    (753)

    The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

    susan says: "I laughed, I cried..."
    ""Zombieland" meets "All The Presidents Men""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Story:
    A journey into a tomorrow with outbreak as a part of current events, Georgia & Shawn are adopted siblings who run a blog site reporting first hand accounts of zombie occurrences until they win the journalistic lottery to cover a presidential candidate.

    The story moves through more political and current events, medical as well, that sets up a world worth remembering and experiencing. This undercurrent of tension about contact with the virus, and the great lengths the population, sat with me going through the experience of the story. I had to remind myself on occasion that I didn't have to wory about catching the
    "Kelsen Amberly Virus" which turns you into a zombie. The violence isn't fetishistic or overstated, there's a fair bit of humor and care at the same time taken into the cost of this virus. There are few great scenes of intense moments that will give most thrill seekers what they're looking for, don't count on widespread zombie killings in this book. The political conspiracy element has some intriguing elements, unfortunately some are quite cliched. Hopefully the following books will be able to open that political conspiracy into something more believable and take a cue from the stronger "CDC" elements that have a real cost to the population, there's something really interesting there.

    The Narrators:
    Two voices, mostly that of the character Georgia (Paula), run through the book. The character Shawn (Jesse), his voice is less integrated and feels more tacked on, and his accents leave a lot to be desired. Paula's run through the majority of the book is playful, emotional, & picks up the excitement very well. Her performance was worth taking the journey with.

    The Sum:
    There's a real sense of what's at risk here which would compel me to continue into at least the second book, as long as those very few cliched villains and dot by dot plot connections stay behind. Overall the story was interesting, timely and off the beaten path from what you'd expect from the genre. Like I said if you want to see a Zombie version of "All The President's Men" this is your book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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