LISTENER

lisa

  • 94
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 155
  • ratings
  • Abaddon's Gate

  • The Expanse, Book 3
  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,772
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,615
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,603

For generations, the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt - was humanity's great frontier. Until now. The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best scifi series I've ever "read"!

  • By Jim on 10-30-18

Not as strong as the first two books, but worthy.

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

Reviewed: 01-25-19

I readily admit to not being drawn into this book immediately as I had been with previous two. The character focus shifts to Clarissa Mao, daughter of Jules-Pierre Mao and Julie Mao's sister. She's out to kill Holden for what he exposed about her father. It's a bit, daddy look at me, and revenge for destroying the family name. It doesn't occur to her that father was responsible for that until the end. She's hard to like, and the machinations she makes it through are astounding.

Holden is trying to hold onto his ship while Clarissa works to frame him before she kills him. Mars has gone to court to force him to return the ship, so he and the crew are dodging major ports when Miller appears to him. Holden decides that means he's supposed to go through the gate built by the protomolecule and once he does, everyone follows, including the Martian team looking to arrest him. Before you know it, everyone has a gun drawn and the protomolecule starts to feel threatened.

The OPA sends the Behemoth to the party. Its full of unlikable characters as well. Still, the story unfolds and takes us to the point where the gates built by the race that sent out the protomolecule are open to humanity. It's a new age of exploration. I have high expectations for book four.

  • Future Reborn

  • Future Reborn, Book 1
  • By: Daniel Pierce
  • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 408
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 394

Jack Bowman is out of luck and out of money. That is, until he gets an offer to be a part of an experiment for a major scientific research company. All he has to do is get cryogenically frozen for a few years and he'll be rich. What could go wrong? Quite a bit, as it turns out. When Jack's pod splits open and he's met by two beautiful women, he's introduced to a very different world from the one he left behind. There are warring tribes, mutated animals, actual monsters, and even ogres. With so many threats, how can anyone hope to survive?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best dystopian books I've ever read

  • By James on 12-05-18

Fun, Hard Luck Hankish style.

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

Reviewed: 12-24-18

Where to start? Think broke guy ending up in a time capsule that doesn't get popped open for two millennia and you've got a good grip on this one. The world has gone to shit. Destroyed by a designer virus, several thousand years sees humanity hanging on by its nails and sheer determination in a world reduced to a slivered shadow of its former self.

Enter Jack. Spend a few months in a tube contributing to science, they said. Worth $500k they said. Except the scientists didn't live long enough to uncork him. Buried under the sands of time, he awakes to a world gone mad. Thanks to the experiment, he's just the man to see it back on track.

The tone reminds me a bit of Hard Luck Hank. Light science long on action, we're taken along a trail filled with monsters, genetic aberrations, psychos, and good people just trying to survive. Score one for the little guy, this story hits all the right spots. This was an audio 'read' for me. The narrator brings a worthy performance that adds nicely to the tale. Waiting for book two.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Caliban's War

  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 21 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,808
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,303
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,290

We are not alone. On Ganymede, breadbasket of the outer planets, a Martian marine watches as her platoon is slaughtered by a monstrous supersoldier. On Earth, a high-level politician struggles to prevent interplanetary war from reigniting. And on Venus, an alien protomolecule has overrun the planet, wreaking massive, mysterious changes and threatening to spread out into the solar system.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book of Great Series

  • By Michael on 10-06-17

Straight to book 3

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

You know how you really liked that first book and you dive into the second one only to be let down? That doesn't happen with this series. Book two is as intriguing and interesting as book one. The basic plot is an alien race sent a protomolecule to earth billions of years ago that got stuck on a moon of Jupiter instead. Humans have begun settling space, found the molecule, and started weaponizing it. The story is about a handful of people on the line of the ensuing struggle of a frightened world seeking stability through warfare (at least in the first two books) as the knowledge of this molecule is released to governments and the general populace alike.

I am trying to think of a series-not a series that is centered around a character, but a single idea, like this one-that I have liked as much, and nothing comes to mind. On to book three. Today.

  • Leviathan Wakes

  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 20 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,061
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,375
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,362

The first book in the landmark Expanse series, now a major television series! Leviathan Wakes is James S. A. Corey's first novel in the epic New York Times best-selling series The Expanse, a modern masterwork of science fiction in which humanity has colonized the solar system.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Addictive start and then a slump in the middle

  • By Elley Murray on 09-28-17

Glad to hear this is a series

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

OMG! This has to be one of the top ten books I've ever read. Full disclosure; I don't really have a list as much as I know this is a story I won't be enjoying then pulling back up out of my inventory five years from now to re-listen, having forgotten most of what happens. Leviathan Wakes is full of strong characters and a strong plot that has plenty of room to continue to evolve. Science that doesn't bog you down with explanations or get preachy. Space. Lots and lots of space and all the things that come with living in space that none of us think about much. The accents confuse me a bit. I do have a hard time thinking Belters are going to sound like Jamaicans, but they should have a different language, and this one works. It fits with the idea that people born of a station are going to be different from their rock-bound counterparts. That they will develop priorities that defines them as a culture to go along with the physical differences of growing up in less than earth gravity.

And then there are the aliens. Finding out this is a series doesn't make me instantly tired as I imagine working my way through it. I look forward to what has yet to be revealed.

  • Avalanche

  • A Sheriff Bo Tully Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Patrick F. McManus
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

When the call comes in that Mike Wilson, the unlikable owner of West Branch Lodge, has gone missing, Sheriff Tully is delighted. This is an excellent opportunity for Tully, his tracker pal Dave, and his retired sheriff father, Pap, to enjoy a few evenings of hot tubs and single-malt scotch at the luxurious lodge while working the case. However, visions of R & R vanish in a flash on the drive up, when Tully and Pap suddenly realize an avalanche is thundering down the mountain, straight toward them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another fun romp with the Sheriff

  • By S. Furniss on 09-08-17

Fun cozies with an outdoor theme

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

The story takes up about year after the first book. Bo still hasn't gotten the lovely young M.E. to fall in love with him, although he was certain she already had. Don't take a girl camping in high country in November. There's your bit of dating advice for the week.

Local man, Mike Wilson, goes missing. Bo picks up Pap (mostly to save DeeDee) and heads up to the Lodge, a ski resort owned and operated by Mike's wife, Blanche Wilson. They almost die on the way there. Avalanche. Dave, owner of Dave's House of Fry and best tracker in three counties, maybe more, beat Bo and Pap to the lodge. The investigation begins, and when the tracks don't add up and it looks like the avalanche wasn't natural, Bo gets that bad feeling that Mike is already dead and he might be next.

Then he gets the call that Mike's business partner was found dead in his office down in town. Now he's investigating two murders while fending off amorous women every which way he turns. It's going to take all his ways and wiles to get out of this one alive.

Narration was pretty good, but there were a couple spots where I lost track of who was talking. Didn't ruin the story, but I did notice them.

  • Tangled Threads

  • Elemental Assassin, Book 4
  • By: Jennifer Estep
  • Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
  • Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,716
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,723

"I'd rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings. But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson's front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn't shy away from my past - or my present. And right now I have a bulls-eye on my forehead."

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • So, let's recap... yet again

  • By Sharon11675 on 07-12-12

Emotions, grrr.

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

So, this listen was part of a road trip. The same way I used to worry about mix tapes and CD burns, I now download a ton of books and marathon read as I drive. It's perfect. What wasn't quite as perfect was my thinking I'd listen to one Elemental Assassin after the other. I downloaded five.

Threads is the book where Gin has to deal with a lot of feelings. New feelings developing between Owen Grayson and herself. Old feelings regarding the baby sister she thought was dead and isn't, but has shown up in Ashland. Bria is a police detective. She took the opening left by Gin's last lover, Donovan Caine, and she's here to go after Mab Monroe, same as her big sister.

Oh, boy.

Can Mab handle the two Snow sisters? Well, we don't find out. Mab hires an assassin of her own to take out the Spider, the local assassin who had declared war on her and is toying with her by killing her men.

Will we ever find out? I think we will, and I will enjoy reading that story. Now, what I didn't like and the reason I didn't get through all five assassin books, (because it certainly wasn't the lack of miles to cover.) These books are repetitive. The nice thing is you can pick up any one of them and not be left out or left behind. It's all there. The bad thing is if you're reading the series in order, you've heard half of this before. Stop already! And that's why I'll be putting at least five books between each one of the remaining stories. They are good. I love Gin's character and the action is non stop, but the repetition is overwhelming back to back. Take a breather and come back.

  • Venom

  • Elemental Assassin, Book 3
  • By: Jennifer Estep
  • Narrated by: Lauren Fortgang
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,857
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,861

"It's hard to be a badass assassin when a giant is beating the crap out of you. Luckily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My current mission is personal: annihilate Mab Monroe, the Fire elemental who murdered my family, which means protecting my identity, even if I have to conceal my powerful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Getting better....

  • By Teresa on 12-05-12

Gin is at it again

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

Gin Blanco is a tough girl with Ice and Stone magic that, along with her training, gets her out of all kinds of messes. It also allows her to help her friends, or Finn's friend Rosalynn, in this case. Rosalynn is a vampire/madam at Northern Aggression, arguably one of the coolest names for a bar I've seen. Because Rosalynn helped Gin get into one of Mab Monroe's parties last year, she came under scrutiny of the Fire Elemental's goons - and one of them took a real shine to the vamp. A bruised, bloody shine.

Killing Mab's favorite giant is now on Gin's to do list. Doing it before Rosalynn ends up dead would be preferable.

This is female protagonist, urban fantasy. Gin makes for a believable tough girl while still having all the hang ups normal people have. Love affairs gone bad. Picking the wrong guy. Not thinking far enough into the future. The story is packed with action, magic, and wry humor. Just the way I like it.

  • Ghost in the Wind

  • By: E. J. Copperman
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 519

Guesthouse owner, single mother, and reluctant ghost whisperer Alison Kerby is about to sit down to movie night with her family and friends when she's struck speechless. Floating before her is the ghost of her musical idol, 1960s English rock star Vance McTiernan. He's in desperate need of help from Alison and her resident ghostly gumshoe, Paul Harrison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this series!

  • By Marfa923 on 02-25-16

Amanda Ronconi gives an amazing performance

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

Reviewed: 11-19-18

Never meet your heroes. Alison meets hers, in ghost form. Lead singer/songwriter of the British band, The Jingles has come to her for help. How can she say no? Why would she even want to? Their music got her through adolescence.

Paul is decidedly not a fan. Finding out who killed Vance's daughter may see the man dead twice, at Alison's hand once it becomes clear Vance hasn't said anything truthful since she met him. She has experience with faithless swine. There's no putting a story past Alison.

But she stays on the case, even when he'd throw her off it. A woman was murdered and she deserves justice.

I missed this one when I was catching up, but it turns out it didn't matter. It's a great addition to the cozy mystery series, and I love these. Same atmosphere book to book. You know exactly what you're getting when you pick one up. Made for great road trip listening. Amanda Ronconi is amazing, as always. She's the perfect voice for this series.

  • Fool Moon

  • The Dresden Files, Book 2
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,964
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,914
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,861

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books I've read in a long time!

  • By David Ziegler on 05-06-10

Dresden learns about Werewolves.

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Jim Butcher is one of my favorite authors. I love how he brings out the heart of a character and his worldbuilding is sublime. If you even remotely like the genre, you can't go wrong with a Dresden book. James Marsters narrating just makes it a must hear.

  • The Emperor's Soul

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Angela Lin
  • Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,801
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,817

When Shai is caught replacing the Moon Scepter with her nearly flawless forgery, she must bargain for her life. An assassin has left the Emperor Ashravan without consciousness, a circumstance concealed only by the death of his wife. If the emperor does not emerge after his hundred-day mourning period, the rule of the Heritage Faction will be forfeit and the empire will fall into chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Short Novella that is Long in Story

  • By debbie on 11-02-12

Slow paced, and worth every minute

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Shai is a forger, but not of the mere kind the word brings to mind. Shai forges souls. She researches every aspect of a thing; where it came from, how it was made, what has happened since it was wrought into being. Using that knowledge, she captures the essence of what it not only is, but what it wanted to be. What it once was.

And that is how she comes to be crafting the soul of the Emperor. He was devastated by an assassination attempt and while the healers were able to reforge his body, his mind is a wasteland. If Shai can create a stamp that returns the essence of the man to that body, her theft of the Moon Scepter will be forgiven.

But Shai knows better than to believe that. She's been set an impossible task: three months to do what will take years. And yet, if she can accomplish this, Emperor Ashravan will be her finest creation ever.

You fall in love with Shai. She's a thief, but one with purpose. An honorable criminal. It's a short story, for Sanderson, so there are gaps in the explanations, but go along with it, for it is a wonderful tale.