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M. McCormick

Texas
  • 24
  • reviews
  • 121
  • helpful votes
  • 43
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  • A Warrior's Knowledge, Book 2

  • The Castes and the OutCastes
  • By: Davis Ashura
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,448
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,223

Rukh Shektan and Jessira Grey struggle to reach the OutCaste city of Stronghold before winter's snow bars all passages. Their travels test Rukh's will and hope as Chimeras hound their footsteps, but the most difficult challenge proves to be Stronghold itself. The city is not as Jessira described.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Enemy of My Enemy is my Brother!

  • By ByEqualMeasure - julie on 12-02-15

Turned into YA

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

I enjoyed the first book but now I feel like I wasted my time. This book is all feelings, feelings, feelings. I tried to get through it but just can’t.

  • Age of War

  • The Legends of the First Empire, Book 3
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,064
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,723
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,692

The epic battle between humankind and their godlike rulers finally ignites in the masterful follow-up to Age of Myth and Age of Swords. The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History re-written

  • By Victor @ theAudiobookBlog on 01-16-19

Great writing, horrible ideas.

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

Two short notes first: 1) Mr. Reynolds is amazing! My absolute favorite narrator and the saving grace of this audio book. 2) all of Sullivan’s Riyria series, as a whole, are among the top three, if not the number one, series I have ever read in my 40 years of reading Fantasy. So much so that I have listened to the Riyria Revelations several times, and recommend it to all readers of Fantasy.

After reading Age of Swords I was hoping the next book would be back to Sullivan’s superior level of writing, but I was sorely disappointed as it only got worse.

*****This review contains spoilers***

With that said, I am very disappointed in what Sullivan has produced. His writing is still excellent but he seems to be having fun with having these wonderfully written characters invent everything. This may be Fantasy, but the reader still needs to be able to feel as if what is happening could be real. Am I suppose to believe that in less than a year two people invent the wheel, leg braces, bow and arrow, and writing (just to mention a few). Then there is the naming of items. Why didn’t someone point out to Sullivan how absolutely ridiculous his idea of naming the arrow was. ‘Give me a row! A row, a row, give me an arrow’. Ridiculous! And sadly it doesn’t stop there. And the big groan came when Roan imagined that with the flip of a switch someone could light a room.

It seems also tSullivan has stepped away from learning from other authors what not to do (such as stringing along readers as Jordon and Martin did) and has decided to kill off major characters. However, unlike George R. R. Martin, who did an excellent job of killing off main characters, Sullivan’s hit jobs fall flat and have no meaning. His idea of creating a Gilarabrywn (another disastrous naming) through sacrifice not only removes beloved characters in a meaningless way, it is absolutely ruining a wonderful character, as the only way for her not to have to kill another person she loves would be to keep everyone at arms length, setting up more awful writing (because relationships is where Sullivan’s strength lies).

Lastly there are many instances where it seems he is not thinking things through and those who are giving him feedback before publishing are not pointing out the obvious. 1) Lets meet secretly under a bridge, yet we will celebrate by having dancing lights and causing the water to do all sorts of fun stuff, 2) name a river Shannarra so your readers immediately think about that book removing them from the story you have created, 3) have a powerful miralyith be able to channel his power at the site of the battle but only use it to bring down one dome, 4) have the Fhrey develop some words, but not writing (there is no word for beautiful, but there are a few words so you can send short messages). Really! They would have stopped there? No need for writing except for short messages? The list could go on.

In closing, I am left reluctant to read the remaining books. I understand that history is written by the victors, and Sullivan May be trying to write from that perspective, but he is totally ruining a wonderful history that he developed in the Haiidrian and Royce books. I was looking forward to getting to know Persephone and Nyphron. At this point I am not liking these two characters; the end of this book left me, not feeling Persephone’s grief, but thinking what an utter ungrateful b***h she was. Perhaps by the end of the sixth book Sullivan will pull it all together, I hope so, but I won’t hold my breath, as a lot of damage has been done to the history I was looking forward to witnessing through these books.

  • The Thousand Names

  • By: Django Wexler
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 22 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 721
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 671

With this stunning series opener, Django Wexler leaps to the upper echelon of today’s best fantasy authors. The Thousand Names opens his Shadow Campaigns series with a tale of bloody rebellion that will reshape an empire -- and a world. Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass see their fortunes rise under the command of military genius Janus bet Vhalnich. But Janus’ obsession with the supernatural portends a dire fate for the realm.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Military Fantasy

  • By Johnathan W. Hill on 04-24-14

Lesbian relationship becomes a focus of 2nd book

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

Reviewed: 03-17-18

If reading about same sex relationships is not your thing then you do not want to start this series. With that said the book is an okay listen. Wexler tries for a deep story told from many viewpoints but does not quite pull it off. The characters are interesting but still seem like that... characters. It also seems that Wexler either has adjectives that he likes and uses over and over or he does not know their synonyms. Hearing a favored word several times becomes jarring.

The failure on the story side is saved by the wonderful narration. The only downfall Poe has is that his female characters still sound like males. I have listened to many male narrators who, while not being able to get the pitch of a female voice are still able to get the feel of a female voice so that they don’t sound male.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Society of the Sword Trilogy

  • By: Duncan M. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 31 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,765
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,435
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,426

When Soren is plucked from the streets and given a place at the prestigious academy of swordsmanship, he thinks his dream of being a great swordsman has become a possibility. However, with great intrigues unfolding all around him, Soren discovers that he is little more than a pawn to the ambitions of others.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Series Overall, but seemed Rushed

  • By Daniel on 10-15-17

Easy read (listen). Good characters and storyline.Not YA

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

Reviewed: 03-13-18

While I enjoy the deeper storylines of Game of Thrones, Best Served Cold, Name of the Wind, Wheel of Time and so on, there comes a point were I look for something that is still epic but not so deep. This is exactly the type of book I am happy to find when I want a break from writers such as Abercrombie, Martin, Sanderson. I still want a good story I just don’t want all of the deep, deep, deep political intrigue and multiple storylines. This book fits the bill. The character behavior is understandable, the politics are easily followed, character interaction is enjoyable.
On a funny side note, I barely got use to the pace before the book was over, and this was the pace I was looking for!! A problem is usually solved within several chapters rather than it taking half of the book. Travel from one place to another can sometimes be as simple as the intent to travel being determined at the end of a chapter and starting in the new location at the beginning of the next. How refreshing not to have to read through travel that does nothing to really move the story forward.
The narrator does a fantastic job with distinctive voices, enunciation, pacing and allows the reader to just enjoy the story.
Highly recommend.

  • Guns of the Dawn

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 21 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308

Guns of the Dawn is a pacey, gripping fantasy of war and magic from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky. The first casualty of war is truth.... First, Denland's revolutionaries assassinated their king, launching a wave of bloodshed after generations of peace. Next they clashed with Lascanne, their royalist neighbour, pitching war machines against warlocks in a fiercely fought conflict.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stand alone book

  • By M. McCormick on 01-27-18

Stand alone book

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

I truly wish more authors would follow Mr. Tghaikovsky’s lead and write strand alone books that did not end with some minor character development left open: which is a sure hint of a future book. This is not YA, not gory, not dark, not full of offensive language or warped minds and deeds. This is an easy listen with interesting character that wraps up nicely in the end. I do not need a continued story for Emily, I need more great stories like this.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Sword of the North

  • The Grim Company
  • By: Luke Scull
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

As Davarus Cole and his former companions were quick to discover, the White Lady' s victorious liberation of Dorminia has not resulted in the freedom they once imagined. Anyone perceived as a threat has been seized and imprisoned - or exiled to darker regions - leaving the White Lady's rule unchallenged and absolute.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great book

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-10-18

Great relationship building.

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

Any additional comments?

I love the relationships and the growth of the characters. The story seemed a bit forced at times, I feel some scenes could have been omitted. It is almost as if Scul feels he has to include the "same old, same old". He just needs to trust himself and move away from the formula, Most of what he writes is amazing, but some parts are predictable and thus irritating.

  • Dead Man's Steel

  • The Grim Company, Book 3
  • By: Luke Scull
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 16 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123

In the City of Towers, former rebel Sasha and her comrade Davarus Cole struggle to keep the peace between the warring mages who vie for dominion. But when the White Lady sends Davarus south to the Shattered Realms to seek allies among the fallen kingdoms, he finds that his hardest battle may be one fought within. The godly essence now residing within him offers power that could be used against the Fade - but with every death that feeds It, Cole risks losing a part of himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Series

  • By G. Floyd on 01-18-17

Everything, plus the kitchen sink

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

Would you try another book from Luke Scull and/or Gerard Doyle?

I will not read a book that continues this story. I may try another book by Scull in hopes that he finds his own footing and stays away from the formula-style writing. I would definitely listen to another book read by Doyle.

What was most disappointing about Luke Scull’s story?

What was most disappointing was that he included everything imaginable in this story. It was just too much. What was equally disappointing is that some of what he did seems to be influenced by George R. R. Martin, but without any real depth to it so it just comes off making me feel like I wasted my time getting to know the characters.. I can't explain without giving major spoilers.

Any additional comments?

I think this would have been a better story had Scull written it as a duology and left out a lot of the formula.

  • Half a King

  • Shattered Sea, Book 1
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: John Keating
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,984
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,814
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,813

Yarvi, second son of the feared King Uthrik and the ruthless Queen Laithlin of Gettland, was born with a useless hand, and cannot hold a shield, or do any of the things expected from a man. Left an outcast, he's surrendered his birthright and been given a woman's place as apprentice to Mother Gundring, Gettland's Minister, training to be an adviser, diplomat, healer and translator. But when his father and brother are murdered by Grom-gil-Gorm, King of neighboring Vansterland, Yarvi is forced to take the Black Chair and become king himself.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Formula is not the opposite of gritty; it's just..

  • By David on 07-25-14

Narrator ruined audiobook

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

Reviewed: 05-15-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would not change anything about the writing. I would change the narrator.
I made it to chapter 7 and just couldn't take the narrator anymore.
My irritation went beyond my limits of endurance for several reasons: 1) narrator used the same voice for the main character and the non-character narration; 2) he also had a habit of reading some statements as if they were questions (he did this most often with the female voices); 3) and most irritating of all he gave one of the elder female characters a sing-song lilting voice that after a while became very distracting as the way her words were read did not match how I think the author intended her to be saying them. It was evident from the writing that she is a wise character yet the voice given by the narrator made her sound flighty.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Keating?

Pretty much anyone else. I can tell John Keating has talent with voices. However, I have never listened to anything he has read other than this book. Therefore I do not know if this is just a matter of his (or the producers) not choosing the correct candence.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the story enough that I am willing to purchase the kindle edition and read it. That is saying a lot since I prefer listening to audiobooks now that I have some issues with my eyes.
I have read from others that this is young adult and I am not a fan of young adult fantasy, but I am looking forward to see how Joe Abercrombie presents a less gritty tale. My question.... Is it really young adult or is it just very light in the grit. Already I could see depth to the characters and the story that I do not usually find in the young adult fantasy that I purchas by mistake (because they are not labeled as young adult by Audible)
If readers are making that determination based on the audiobook I could definitely see how the narrator, with his over the top fairytale voices, could lend to a young adult feel.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Godling Chronicles: The Sword of Truth, Book 1

  • By: Brian D. Anderson
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 935
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 871

Darkness comes as a new power rises in Angrääl. The Dark Knight has betrayed the Gods and stolen The Sword of Truth, trapping them in heaven. With the power of the Sword he can reshape the world and bring death to all who oppose him. Only one thing stands between the darkness and the light. Gewey Stedding. Only he has the power to stand against the oncoming storm. Only he can mend the world. But only if he can discover his power....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More for YA

  • By C.Cottrell on 09-22-16

Young Adult fantasy

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

Reviewed: 04-13-14

What did you like best about The Godling Chronicles: The Sword of Truth, Book 1? What did you like least?

I liked the story, I love the way the characters felt like family to each other. I didn't like how undeveloped the story was. This is why I think it is Young Adult. Great story idea, but it could have been deeper.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Grim Company

  • By: Luke Scull
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 245

The Gods are dead. The Magelord Salazar and his magically enhanced troops, the Augmentors, crush any dissent they find in the minds of the populace. On the other side of the Broken Sea, the White Lady plots the liberation of Dorminia, with her spymistresses, the Pale Women. Demons and abominations plague the Highlands. The world is desperately in need of heroes. But what they get instead are a ragtag band of old warriors, a crippled Halfmage, two orphans and an oddly capable manservant: the Grim Company.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A very good and surprising first novel

  • By Joe Chad on 05-16-15

Not bad, not great.

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

Reviewed: 04-13-14

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

It was not a waste of time.

If you’ve listened to books by Luke Scull before, how does this one compare?

No. I thought he did very well.

Which character – as performed by Gerard Doyle – was your favorite?

Brodar Kayne, Jerek, and Eremul.

Do you think The Grim Company needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes, Kayne has a new, and very important, focus. I am hoping the next book is 90% his story,

Any additional comments?

The premise follows the fantasy recipe. There are some unique aspects to the world. It would have been a better book for me if it would have centered around Kayne, Jerek, Emerul, and Cole. The rest of the characters were just not interesting. I would read any book that was focused solely on Kayne and Jerek with Emerul as a secondary character,

3 of 4 people found this review helpful