LISTENER

G. Parish

WILLOUGHBY, OH, US
  • 327
  • reviews
  • 390
  • helpful votes
  • 330
  • ratings
  • Treecat Wars

  • Star Kingdom, Book 3
  • By: David Weber, Jane Lindskold
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 708
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639

Book Three by international writing phenomenon David Weber. Two young settlers on a pioneer planet seeks to stop a war and to save the intelligent alien treecats from exploitation by unscrupulous humans. The fires are out, but the trouble’s just beginning for the treecats. On pioneer planet Sphinx, ruined lands and the approach of winter force the now Landless Clan to seek new territory. They have one big problem - there’s nowhere to go. Worse, their efforts to find a new home awaken the enmity of the closest treecat clan - a stronger group who’s not giving up a single branch without a fight.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Third 'chapter' of "Tree cats' meet "Humans"

  • By PlantCrone on 11-02-13

Solid YA Novel

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

I recently finished reading Treecat Wars, third book in the YA series Star Kingdom. The series is set in the Honorverse, a century or two before most of the tales told in the Honor Harrington novels.
This particular novel is focused on the early relationship between humans and treecats, before everyone accepted them as a sentient species.
The recent fires on the planet Sphinx have left the resources to few for all treecats in a particular area to survive and, if it cannot be prevented a war will ensue among the treecat clans.
The local teens who are bonded to treecats are doing their best to stop this tragedy, but are hampered in their efforts by those who would see the treecats destroyed rather than suffer a loss in the value of their land holdings on Sphinx.
Conclusion: This is an excellent YA sci-fi book, with a coming of age tale woven into it as well. I would recommend this to any teenager, anyone who likes cats, or anyone that is a fan of the Honorverse. It's well written and easily enjoyed.

  • Pavane

  • By: Keith Roberts
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 442
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 395

Considered Keith Roberts' masterwork, this novel consists of linked short stories (six measures and a coda) of a 20th century in which the Roman Catholic Church controls the Western world, and has done so since Queen Elizabeth of England was assassinated in 1588. The Protestant Reformation never happened, and the world is kept in a Dark Age of steam-power transportation, with no allowance for electrical power, by a tyrannical Rome.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It's the Characters that Outline the World

  • By Troy on 03-01-13

Just Buy It

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

I recently finished listening to Pavane, by Keith Roberts. Thus is part of Audible's Neil Gaiman presents series. The series, as I understand it, are made up of books admired by Neil Gaiman, though perhaps not as well known to the general public.
The book is named Pavane after the processional dance of the renaissance era. It was a formal Spanish dance comprised of six parts and a coda. This book is an alternate history that assumes that Elizabeth I was assassinated, the Spanish armada won, and Philip not only extended his own power but that of the church, putting an early end to any chance of a religious Reformation.
This book is written as six separate tales followed by a coda, similarly to the dance after which it was named. This is unusual for an alternate history novel. Most well written alternate history novels, such as 1632, go into great detail about the world they are in. They go to equally great pains to describe the differences in as brief a portrait as possible. If they didn't keep it brief the information would overwhelm any chance of a decent tale.
This is a serious departure from that model, once again reminiscent of the Pavane. Each story is extremely personal, extremely well crafted, and oft heart wrenching. The world of this alternate history is oft shown only as a backdrop, though not one even the fictional characters can ignore. In some areas it is extremely detailed and in other areas it is strangely vague. This style of dancing around the subject, rather than focusing on it directly not only draws one into the story, but also fires the imagination.
Conclusion: This is an excellent choice for any adult. I wouldn't suggest it as a YA novel, however, almost anyone else will find something of value here. It may be alternate history, but it is also made up of some of the best short stories I have had the good fortune to encounter.

  • Monster Hunter International

  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 24 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,692
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,212

Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My second Monster Hunter book

  • By Randall on 06-29-18

Excellent Urban Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

I recently finished listening to Monster Hunter International. This is an urban fantasy book where it turns out monsters, such as vampires and werewolves are real. The reason people don't know about them is due to government censorship.
The main character, Owen Pitt, is initially attacked by his boss, who transformed into a werewolf before attacking him. He barely survives the incident, loses his job due to his willingness to protect himself with a gun in direct contradiction to company policy, and is threatened by government agents in regards to keeping THE secret. The one bright spot to the whole thing is that a freelance group of monster hunters offer him a job. Monster hunting, it turns out, pays insanely well.
Things would all be fair dinkum if it wasn't for the ghost in his head, a companion he picked up when he almost died, and visions of the end of the world. Well, one can't have everything.
Conclusion:This is a fairly solid bit of Urban Fantasy. The tale itself is extremely well written. There is an underlying story of romance between two of the main characters that feels a bit rushed, but everything else was done so well that it can be overlooked. If you have an interest in urban fantasy this is an excellent choice.

  • The Book of Cthulhu

  • Tales Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft
  • By: Ross E. Lockhart (editor)
  • Narrated by: Fleet Cooper, Teresa DeBerry
  • Length: 27 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 367

The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the 20th century's most singularly recognizable literary creations. Initially created by H. P. Lovecraft and a group of his amorphous contemporaries (the so-called "Lovecraft Circle"), The Cthulhu Mythos story cycle has taken on a convoluted, cyclopean life of its own. Some of the most prodigious writers of the 20th century, and some of the most astounding writers of the 21st century have planted their seeds in this fertile soil. The Book of Cthulhu harvests the weirdest and most corpulent crop of these modern mythos tales.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Improves on Lovecraft, believe it or not

  • By bookgurl on 04-29-14

Generally Good

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

I recently finished listening to the Book of C'thulhu Tales. This is a collection of modern writing purportedly written in the style of H. P. Lovecraft. The editor of the work, in a forward, claims that this is the best of this kind of fiction currently written.
This book has, roughly, about 25 short stories. About 75% of the tales here squarely hit the mark, delivering on what would expect of tales regarding the Old Ones.
Another 15% or so make a good attempt at it, but just don't quite hit the mark.
The last 10% not only wildly miss the mark, but seem poorly written, executed, and wholly unaware of the ideas behind the C'thulu mythos. It is baffling that they were included at all.
On the whole this collection is well worth reading, but there are a couple of stories one shouldn't feel guilty about skipping.
The narrators both handled their jobs well and the sheer variety of tales allowed them to show off their chops. My only issue was that the narration was generally recorded at a lower volume level than was ideal.
Conclusion: This is a buy, but only if you are already a fan of the C'thulhu Mythos.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

  • Field of Dishonor

  • Honor Harrington, Book 4
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,693
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,696

The People's Republic of Haven's sneak attack on the Kingdom of Manticore has failed. The Peeps are in disarray, their leaders fighting for power in bloody revolution, and the Royal Manticoran Navy stands victorious.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slightly different from the first three books

  • By AudioAddict on 03-18-14

Well written, but has a bit of buildup

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

I recently finished listening to Field of Dishonor, another excellent entry in the Honor Harrington series. The Honor Harrington series documents the career of Honor as an officer in the Star Navy of the space kingdom of Manticore. In this book, it continues with the events of the previous book in the series. In the previous novel her nemesis, Pavel Young, had shown cowardice in the face of the enemy. What should be a straightforward affair quickly becomes a political quagmire where she finds that justice is not always given and evil all too often cloaks itself in robes of righteousness.

  • The Graveyard Book: Full-Cast Production

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman, Derek Jacobi, Robert Madge, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,341
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,581
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,550

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique children's story... Loved it!

  • By shelley on 12-04-17

An excellent book of undead delight

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

I recently finished listening to the Graveyard Book. A small family is murdered swiftly by an intruder, but while he tends to his grisly work the baby wonders away and into a nearby graveyard. The shades of his recently deceased parents beg the ghosts of the graveyard for protection for this babe even as the assassin stalks the child. He is given the protection of the graveyard, learns to live a living shade, and has adventures where he finds the living are often more twisted than the dead. The full cast really brings this production to life. It is an excellent audiobook.

  • A Mighty Fortress

  • Safehold Series, Book 4
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Jason Culp
  • Length: 35 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,583
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,265
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,273

Young Cayleb Ahrmahk has accomplished things few people could even dream of. Not yet even thirty years old, he’s won the most crushing naval victories in human history. He’s smashed a hostile alliance of no less than five princedoms and won the hand of the beautiful young Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm. Cayleb and Sharleyan have created the Charisian Empire, the greatest naval power in the history of Safehold, and they’ve turned Charis into a place of refuge for all who treasure freedom.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • "To be honest" not Weber's best work

  • By David on 05-20-10

Another great addition to the series

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

Reviewed: 12-26-18

I recently finished listening to the fourth book in the Safehold Series from David Weber, A Mighty Fortress.
The series takes place in a distant future where humans expanded into space, believing they were alone. It was then they found out why the rest of the universe was so silent. There was an ancient and we'll established alien species already out there who annihilated all serious competition.
In a last bid for survival they sent out a secret colonization fleet to this distant system in hopes of establishing a colony that would not be found. Once the danger was past they would rebuild, quietly, carefully, and the next time they encountered their enemy they hoped to be too large to destroy.
Once they arrived at the planet there was a violent disagreement among the leadership of the colony. The first group wanted to follow their mandate. The second group felt that a permanent primitive state was the only real chance for survival. This led to a war with those who sought a permanent primitive state winning after a nuclear holocaust. They rebuilt and wiped the minds of every remaining colonist outside of the leadership. When the colonists awoke the next day with no memories, the leaders were awaiting them. They presented themselves as the angels of God and presented those they fought against as fallen angels. Integral to their faith from the very first day was proscriptions on technology.
Unbeknownst to them the original colonists had one among them who had, with their help, modified a PICA, an Android that could carry a human consciousness, to a state where it could carry her consciousness permanently. They built a secret facility a few thousand feet beneath a mountain and left her there in an inactive state. When Nimue awoke a thousand years later, the waiting time deemed necessary to avoid detection by the aliens. She found a world with kingdoms subservient to a highly corrupt theocracy whose very basis was built on a lie.
The theocracy in question was, at that very moment, stretching forth their hand to threaten one of the small sea going kingdoms under their sway called Charis. Having assessed the situation she changed her PICA's appearance to that of a man, since such primitive cultures would likely not accept a bold and daring adventurer if that same person were a woman. Rechristening herself in male form as Merlin, she sallied forth to aid Charis in its very struggle for survival against the Church of God Awaiting.

This particular book is focused on the continuing war between Charis and the Church of God Awaiting. Charis is dealing the issues that have cropped up in the recently conquered kingdom of Corisande as well as the torture and murder of priests who have left the Church of God Awaiting to join the Church of Charis in Corisande. The Church of Charis are considered heretics for even daring to point out the rampant corruption in the Church of God Awaiting. Combining such rampant fanaticism with a resistance movement causes no end of problems in Corisande.
In the Temple lands, Jaspar Clinton, leader of the Inquisition uses his powers as head of the Inquisition to destroy, his enemies, their friends, and even their families. He, however, faces resistance from an unknown player in the great game that will not give him a wholly free hand.
Lastly, a bunch of Kingdoms under the sway of the Church of God Awaiting have built a huge fleet to overwhelm Charis' fleets. Charis, despite being outnumbered, is working on developing new weapons that will help them survive this perpetually uneven contest.
Overall it is another great addition to the series and one well worth checking out.

  • Angelmaker

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,333
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,198

Joe Spork repairs clocks, a far cry from his late father, a flashy London gangster. But when Joe fixes one particularly unusual device, his life is suddenly upended. Joe's client, Edie Banister, is more than just a kindly old lady - she's a former superspy. And the device? It's a 1950s doomsday machine. And having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the government and a diabolical South Asian dictator, Edie's old arch-nemesis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique Read!

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-13-13

Unexpected Delight

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

This book was undersold by the writing on the tin. It isn't just some sort of generic steampunk novel. It is an in depth dive down a fantastic rabbit hole where the imagination runs rampant and characters stand out in full Technicolor. In short, it's awesome and well worth the coin.

  • Common Sense

  • By: Thomas Paine
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 896
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 890

Thomas Paine published Common Sense in 1776, a time when America was a hotbed of revolution. The pamphlet, which called for America's political freedom, sold more than 150,000 copies in three months. Paine not only spurred his fellow Americans to action but soon came to symbolize the spirit of the Revolution itself. His persuasive pieces, written so elegantly, spoke to the hearts and minds of all those fighting for freedom from England.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A must for anyone interested in history

  • By Johan on 05-18-15

Treatise from our Founding

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

This is an excellent political treatise from our founding, laced through with subtle philosophy, witty banter, and more than a trace of wry humor. Well worth reading, even today.

  • The Sword of the South

  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 23 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 489
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483

Know thyself. Its always good to know who you are, but sometimes that's a little difficult. Kenhodan has no last name because he has no past...or not one he remembers, anyway. What he does have are a lot of scars and a lot of skills - some exhilarating and some terrifying - and a purpose. Now, if he only knew where he'd gotten them and what their purpose was....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Weber has done it again

  • By wayne on 09-15-15

A new chapter

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

This us clearly a new chapter in the War God's own series. While some previous characters are present, new stars also emerge. My only regret is that the next book in the series isn't yet available.