Madeline Fathom had miraculously landed the crippled Nebula Storm on Europa. She joined on that frozen moon of Jupiter the stranded crewmembers of the ill fated EU vessel Odin. The Nebula Storm's reactor was ruined in the landing, the Odin's shuttle can't make the trip back home, and the only vessel that could have make the journey to save them has just been destroyed by a renegade crewman, bad luck, and the remorseless forces of nature.
In my review of the second book of this series, I complained that something was missing. I guess the authors were saving it all up for this book. I just erased my next sentence because I don't want to spoil anything for you. I want you to have a chance to experience this story spoiler-free.
The story is great. It is similar in many ways to "The Martian." (another great listen) But there are several wow moments. In fact, maybe I should say wowee-dowee moments. I am sitting here feeling a little sad because the story of these people has come to an end. It was a great end, but I'm so sorry that I won't be able to spend tomorrow with them.
Read this series. Start with the first book and work your way through in order. You'll thank me.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
When the strange fossil she'd discovered ended up giving her a trip to Mars, Helen Sutter thought she'd gone about as far as any paleontologist would ever go in her lifetime. But when you've also married A.J. Baker, overconfident super-sensor expert for the only private agency in space (the Ares Corporation), and your best friend Madeline Fathom Buckley is a former secret agent who's just signed on as the chief of security for the newly created and already embattled Interplanetary Research Institute of the United Nations, there's always somewhere farther to go.
I basically listened to the first and second books in this series in a single huge gulp. And the third book is downloading to my computer as I write this review. So do I recommend this series? Yes. Heck, yes.
Now for the whining: The characterizations are great. I suspect this is Eric Flint's contribution. Most of his books do a good job with characters. And I love the fact that there is actually science in this book. A lot of science fiction is close to completely science-free. But there is something missing. A sense of wonder over the amazing discoveries they are making. It's like a child in a toy store. "Oh, look at this toy. Oh, there's something else. Here's something else..." They don't linger to savor discoveries. It's like the story is approaching a climax and then backs off just short of it time after time.
So I feel a bit unfulfilled after listening to the first two books, but only a little. I really enjoyed the ride. And I'm really looking forward to the third one.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Dante the necromancer is the most reviled man in Sabria, indicted by for crimes against the living and the dead. He salves bitterness with a magical puzzle - a desperate soldier's dream of an imprisoned sorceress and a faceted glass that can grant one's utmost desires. But the dream is a seductive trap. Haunted, blind, driven to the verges of the world, Dante must risk everything he values to unravel a mystery of ancient magic, sacred legend, and the truth of the divine.
I, too, thought they picked the wrong guy to be the voice of Dante. Some people are far more sensitive to the narrator's voice than others (this means you, Gordon). But if you can just relax and pay attention to the words rather than how they are delivered, I think you will find this a powerful story.
This is the last book of a trilogy and it brings the story to a magnificent ending which I would never have suspected was awaiting us as I read the first book. I suppose it would be possible to understand and follow this book as a stand alone, but your experience and understanding will be very much richer if you read all three books in their proper order.
The main character through most of the book is Dante, a sorcerer. He is a very powerful magician with particularly bad control of his temper. In this third book of the trilogy, we finally learn about those parts of his past which contribute to his apparent hatred of everybody. But we also learn that he has a destiny which even he has never suspected which also drives his rages.
I find Dante not only the most interesting character in this trilogy but one of the more interesting and original characters in all the fantasy I have ever read.
I recommend this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
For Portier de Savin-Duplais, failed student of magic, sorcery's decline into ambiguity and cheap illusion is but a culmination of life's bitter disappointments. Reduced to tending the library at Sabria's last collegia magica, he fights off despair with scholarship. But when the king of Sabria charges him to investigate an attempted murder that has disturbing magical resonances, Portier believes his dreams of a greater destiny might at last be fulfilled.
Many fantasy series are very predictable. There is the sword and sorcery type typified by Tolkien. There is the paranormal detective typified by Jim Butcher, etc. I found this trilogy to be quite different from any I had read before.
I liked it.... with some reservations.
Each of the three books in the trilogy is quite long (17, 18, and 21 hours), and in the early parts of each book, the story dragged a little for me. But each book comes to an exciting and unusual ending which very definitely justifies the long buildup.
I didn't always understand everything that happened. I suspect that this arose from lapses in my attention. If I had been reading rather than listening to this, I suspect I would have gone back from time to time to skim a few pages and figure out what I had missed. But you can't really skim in an audiobook, so I just plowed on and eventually I'd figure things out. However, if you are into the possibility of getting the Kindle book along with the Audible book, this trilogy would probably be a good one to do it with. (Or check out the book from your local library and have it on hand while you are listening.)
The cast of characters is about the same over the three books, but each book is narrated from a different point of view. The characters are complex and interesting and I didn't find any of them to be ripoffs of any other characters I have ever known.
Each of the first two books comes to a satisfactory end, but the third book is a triumph. It will be well worth your trouble to complete the trilogy.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
For awhile, the rock festival at "Sundays" went well. The sun shone, the bands played, and everyone - except a few angry neighbors - seemed to enjoy themselves. Then the weather changed. And in a nearby quarry, two lovers found a body that made even Inspector Wexford's stomach lurch.…
I know that I am in the minority here, but I don't care. I've got to have my say on this book. Every. Single. Blessed. Person. In. This. Book. Is. NEUROTIC!
I heard so many good things about Ruth Rendell, that I tried the first book in this series. And I hated it. But, I told myself, sometimes it takes a few books for the author to hit her stride. So I went down about halfway on the list and tried this one. ARRRRGGGHHH!!!
I plan to ask Audible for my credit back on this one.
There wasn't a single person in this book that I liked. Every person was neurotic. The murder victim was a compulsive liar, hated her mother and wasn't willing to marry a man unless he had power and money. The detective's sidekick was pathologically over-protective of his children, treating older teens as if they were preschoolers. One woman's husband worked from home, and she didn't dare leave the house lest he should want a cup of tea or something. She didn't read a book or watch television, she didn't get a part-time job, she didn't go for a walk in the garden on nice days. She just sat by the window and stared out at the world while waiting for her lord and master to call. And meanwhile he showed his contempt for her at every opportunity.
Everyone felt obliged to apologize for everything. Sometimes they would apologize for such innocuous behaviors that I had to roll my eyes. Yet everyone felt free to criticize everyone around them. There was nothing that didn't merit criticism: If you decorated your house differently than someone else would have decorated it, you were crude or coarse. No matter what you wore, someone would criticize it. It would be too modern for some and too dowdy for others, but no one would like it and they'd all look down their noses at you for it. Everyone was judging everyone else at all times.
The Wikipedia article on Ruth Rendell says that she has been praised for her psychological crime novels, but it seemed to me that she bought a 1950s-era abnormal psychology text at a used book store and then assigned one chapter of the text to each character. They were so cartoonishly overdrawn as to be ridiculous.
If English people are really like this, I'm amazed that there are any English left in the world. I'd think that most would commit suicide and the remainder would be too depressed to reproduce.
I absolutely DO NOT recommend this book or this series.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
Eff is an unlucky 13th child...but also the seventh daughter in her family. Her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful double seventh son. Her life at the edge of the Great Barrier Spell is different from anyone else's that she knows.
I have now read all three books in this trilogy and I sincerely hope that Wrede's readers will convince her to turn this into a series. I can see plenty of paths she could take towards turning out more books about this interesting young woman.
Over the arc of the trilogy, I really enjoyed the unfolding of her personality, from a disregarded and dismissed child to struggling adolescence to blossoming young woman. I don't want to provide spoilers, but I find that while Lan is an admirable and deserving young man, Eff is by far the more creative and interesting character.
I enjoyed the interplay between events in our history and how they differ in Eff's. And I really enjoyed learning that both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were seventh sons of seventh sons. (We should have guessed.) 8-)
I kept thinking during the first book in this trilogy that she kept hanging revolvers on walls and then not shooting them (see Wikipedia article, "Chekhov's Gun") It was revealing in this book to see all those guns being taken down and used. Clearly, this entire series was mapped out before she completed the first one.
To sum up: Don't start with this book. Read them in their proper order: "Thirteenth Child", then "Across the Great Barrier", and then this one.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
History is made and defined by landmark events-moments that irrevocably changed the course of human civilization. They have given us: spiritual and political ideas; catastrophic battles and wars; scientific and technological advances; world leaders both influential and monstrous; and cultural works of unparalleled beauty.
This is the second of the Great Courses I have read which is done by Professor Fears, and I have thoroughly enjoyed both of them. He has a very lively and at times humorous way of telling his stories which is very easy to listen to. Also, he goes into detail enough about background and culture so that we can really understand why these stories matter to us today.
He covers a really large variety of topics, too. There are political events like Caesar crossing the Rubicon or the Athenians driving off the Persians or the ascension to power of Adolf Hitler. There are religious events like the life of Buddha or Jesus. There are scientific or medical events like the lives of Hippocrates, Pasteur or Darwin. There were a few events I had never heard of, but there were many more events I had heard of but didn't know much about. He brought these events into sharp focus and helped me understand that my life today would be very different than what it is if this or that event had not taken place.
Many of the events in the early part of the course were religious in nature--because, I suppose, religion was such an integral part of the lives of ancient peoples. I am not a believer in any religion, but I can see that these events were still very important in shaping our world into what it is today, so they needed to be included in this course.
Bottom line: I really enjoyed this, and I recommend it to you.
20 of 23 people found this review helpful
In these 12 inspiring lectures, Professor Fears presents a well-balanced portrait of Churchill that does not whitewash his flaws. Yet he also draws on the most recent historical scholarship and material from Churchill's writings and speeches to make the case that Churchill belongs with Pericles of Athens and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest statesmen in the history of democracy.
A number of years ago, before I joined Audible, I listened to a biography of Winston Churchill. I had heard all my life what a great man he was and I decided I wanted to know the details. To my amazement, this biography revealed that Churchill wasn't a great man at all. He was rather stupid and petty and got a lot more credit than he deserved, etc., etc. I was quite confused. I wasn't totally willing to give up my idea of him at a great man, and I wondered why the author of that biography would put in so much time and effort writing a book about a man he despised.
Toward the end of THIS biography, the author mentions that there have been a couple of biographies in recent years that basically set out to make Churchill seem a failure at everything. I liked this book much better.
Yes, Winston Churchill was a flawed personality. Maybe this had something to do with the way he was raised. His mother was promiscuous and his father died of syphilis. Both his parents neglected him terribly as a child. He was sent off to boarding school at the age of seven, and when his father traveled to the city where the school was to give a speech, he didn't bother to visit his son, even though the school was just across the street.
He was also highly intelligent and he was a true hero on many occasions. I really liked this biography. While the author mentioned where he fell short occasionally, he spent more time detailing Churchill's many positive attributes.
I finished this book in only two days, which shows how gripping it was. I didn't want to turn it off for sleep.
20 of 22 people found this review helpful
New York Times best-selling author Laurie R. King garners widespread acclaim for her suspenseful novels rich with historical detail. Set in the vibrant Paris Jazz Age, The Bones of Paris introduces private investigator Harris Stuyvesant, an American agent who’s been given the plum assignment of locating beautiful young model Philippa Crosby. But when Philippa’s trail ends at the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, Stuyvesant discovers a world where art meets sexual depravity - and where a savage killer lurks in the shadows.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is the first book in a new series for King. I can understand that she might be feeling burned out on Mary Russell and want a change. I just wasn't sure about this one.
First of all this story takes place in Paris, and I speak NO French. There was a lot of French conversation going on, and while King was generally good about going back and providing the translation, there was so much of it, I got impatient at times.
Second, the story was creepy. A lot of the creepiness was my own imagination kicking in, I admit. And I admit that it is an indicator of how good a writer King is that I could feel that creeped out on the basis of so few details. And I know that many people like creepiness. To let you gauge how timid I am when it comes to creepiness, I don't read Stephen King or Dean Koontz at all because I'm afraid of them. So you can judge this based on your personal Creepometer. If you read Stephen King or Dean Koontz, you shouldn't have any problem with this book. But if you are a solid yellow coward when it comes to creepiness, beware.
I like the main character (mostly). He is a manly man. I like his English friend and hope he will turn up in future books in the series. I like the way real people who were really in Paris at the time turn up in the story. (I really got a kick from the Hemingway references.) Ms. King always seems to do massive research about her locations and includes details that make a place and time come to life.
The plot was complex. There were several very viable candidates to choose from for the role of murderer, and I didn't figure out who it was until close to the end.
Bottom line: I WILL be getting the next book in this series. I recommend that you try it.
36 of 38 people found this review helpful
"It is the heart of this place, and it is dying," says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast's palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken. Twenty years ago Robin McKinley enthralled listeners with the power of Beauty. Now this extraordinarily gifted novelist retells the story of Beauty and the Beast again - but in a totally new way, with fresh perspective, ingenuity, and mature insight.
Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors in the whole world. Her first book is entitled, "Beauty" and is the story of Beauty and the Beast. Oddly, many years and books after "Beauty" Robin chose to tell the story of Beauty and the Beast again. And that is this book.
Both books have some things in common. They are both telling the same fairy tale, after all. But this story is fairly different in many ways. When this book first came out on paper, I got it immediately, but I was Very fond of "Beauty" and I think I was jealous on its behalf. I did not reread "Rose Daughter" again until this audio version came out. I can see now that "Rose Daughter" has much to offer. I think "Beauty" was the romantic ideal of an unmarried woman in her 20s, and "Rose Daughter" is the romantic ideal of a married woman in her 40s.
I still like "Beauty" better.
My advice if you have never read any of Robin's books: Start with "Beauty" or "The Blue Sword" or "The Hero and the Crown". Then if you fall in love with Robin's work, branch out into her other books, including this one.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful