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Questionable Edict

AK, TX, CT
  • 3
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 22
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  • Quantum Space

  • Quantum Series, Book 1
  • By: Douglas Phillips
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279

High above the windswept plains of Kazakhstan, three astronauts on board a Russian Soyuz capsule begin their reentry. A strange shimmer in the atmosphere, a blinding flash of light, and the capsule vanishes in a blink as though it never existed. Daniel Rice is a government science investigator. Marie Kendrick is a NASA operations analyst. Together, they must track down the cause of the most bizarre event in the history of human spaceflight. They draw on scientific strengths as they plunge into the strange world of quantum physics.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • starts like a thriller, goes to wacky land

  • By Ocean State Prime on 04-23-18

Good Science, Good Fiction, Mediocre Writing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-31-18

The core story itself is enjoyable and interesting. The science and fiction work well together to create a story arc that, for the most part, is engaging enough to make it through to the end.
My problems stem from the actual writing. The characters are awkward, full of cliches and contrived actions/reactions. There is a boilerplate Evil Corporation that is totally inconsequential to the story. And the way certain plot elements play out is totally disconnected with how they would in real life.
I’m also not sure I like the way the author writes women. The author clearly (and, of course, rightly) gives female characters a central place in the story, but they all come across as starry-eyed little birds, their fates too dependent on the ‘grounded and practical’ men.
In summary, and with some regret, I doubt I’ll continue with the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Isaac's Storm

  • A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Richard Davidson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,574
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,439
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,433

In 1900, Isaac Monroe Cline was in charge of the Galveston station of the US Weather Bureau. He was a knowledgeable, seasoned weatherman who considered himself a scientist. When he heard the deep thudding of waves on Galveston's beach in the early morning of September 8, however, Cline refused to be alarmed. The city had been hit by bad weather before.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A highly detailed account of a catastrophic storm

  • By Norman B. Bernstein on 09-28-15

Excellent story and well narrated

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-18-16

Though a little uneven at times, this account of the 1900 Galveston hurricane is well told and thorough. A few other reviewers complain of too much detail. I couldn't disagree more. The sections of personal histories and weather science add context and weight to the events described.
As an added bonus the narrator, Richard Davidson, very often sounds like Zapp Brannigan! I could only wish that all my audiobooks were narrated by this man!

  • Seveneves

  • A Novel
  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal, Will Damron
  • Length: 31 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16,808
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,619
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,613

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • So Much Potential

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 06-08-17

The narration is simply bad.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-13-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Overall I don't regret the time I've spent listening to the book so far. The science is sufficiently grounded to be somewhat believable and the core story is interesting. The dialogue though, I don't know if it's totally attributable to the horrible narration, but the dialogue can be juvenile and tedious for long stretches. There are a couple of British characters that speak in nothing but 19th century 'britishisms' ("old chap", "jolly good", and so on). It becomes so distracting that you begin to imagine them wearing pith helmets and monocles. The US President suffers from the same problem of being a ridiculous caricature of a one dimensional, power hungry villain. The main characters fare somewhat better, but generally the humans aren't the strong part of this large, long story.

What other book might you compare Seveneves to and why?

I listened to Aurora recently, about a generation ship and it's struggle to survive. That book was far superior to this one if for no other reason than the character depth and narration.

How could the performance have been better?

The accents. Good god, they're awful. Every single one. Mary Kowal also has a strange vocal inflection where there's a slightly audible sigh at the end of each sentence. I'd almost describe it as 'supressed valley girl.'

Was Seveneves worth the listening time?

So far. I'm ~2/3 through and have considered ditching it several times. I've heard that part three really slows down and becomes a drag so there are still no guarantees that I'll finish.

Any additional comments?

This is good hard sci-fi, definitely not great hard sci-fi.