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AGirlUShouldKnow

Tacoma, WA United States
  • 37
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 40
  • ratings
  • Isis

  • The History and Legacy of the Ancient Egyptian God of the Dead
  • By: Charles River Editors, Markus Carabas
  • Narrated by: Dan Gallagher
  • Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 1

Regardless of her royal attributes, however, Isis was fundamentally a healer and a peacemaker. Nevertheless, as time went on and Egypt became more influenced by the outside world, Greece and Rome in particular, Isis came to be seen as the wrathful protector of Egypt and its kings. According to the sources, she was “[C]leverer than millions of gods” and more capable of protecting the country than “[M]illions of soldiers”. 

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I don't know whats worse, narration or writing.

  • By AGirlUShouldKnow on 09-20-18

I don't know whats worse, narration or writing.

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

Sometimes shorter is not better.

I picked up this book because I wanted to learn more about Isis, the Egyptian Mother Goddess. I thought maybe it would be beneficial that the book was so short, they would cut to the details.

I was wrong...

The book spends more time comparing her to Greek and Roman culture/gods/goddesses that I felt we didn't get any sort of real information. I felt like it was just reading the Wikipedia page, except Wikipedia has more detail on her than this book.

The narration of the audiobook was horrible as well. The droning monotony was very hard to sit through, fortunately it was less than two hours so it only took me about 3 hours to listen as I listened multiple times to portions after realizing had had daydreamed away from the book.

I suspect Charles River Editors are very basic in all their books. They seem to have a lot of short books based on multiple historical subjects. I might try one more to see if I should avoid them at all costs (I ended up picking up their book about the Vandals and Goths).

Either way though this book is bad. Not even entertaining bad. I recommend you save your money (fortunately I got mine for cheap) and just go read the wikipedia page. Less chance of falling asleep or being frustrated.

  • Marines: Crimson Worlds

  • By: Jay Allan
  • Narrated by: Jeff Bower
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 536
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 505
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 501

Erik Cain joined the marines to get off death row. The deal was simple; enlist to fight in space and he would be pardoned for all his crimes. In the 23rd Century, assault troops go to war wearing AI-assisted, nuclear-powered armor, but it is still men and blood that win battles. From one brutal campaign to the next, Erik and his comrades fight an increasingly desperate war over the resource rich colony worlds that have become vital to the economies of Earth's exhausted and despotic Superpowers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refreshing

  • By Jack Brown on 05-30-13

If you are looking for a snooze-fest go here.

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

I don't have real problem with the world that Mr. Allan created, it is a bit bland, filled with tropes and seems unexamined. However this is a common thing so that itself doesn't make me fail it fully.

The character itself is a great example of a male version of a Mary Sue (I believe they are called Gary Stu's). He comes from a family that were middle class or higher whose fate turns and makes them poor. He becomes a hardcore gangmember criminal who is rescued by the Marines.

All of that would be fine, except then the Marines take him in and within two or three years of his life, and within a single book here, he is promoted from grunt to Battalion Commander. The youngest commander, beloved by his commander who saves the day many times.

Even with that story doesn't fully bring this rating down. The writing is the problem in the end. The story is boring, the combat scenes do not evoke anything for me except boredom. His relationships are very flimsy, almost cardboard cutout like settings and it just seems he was pushing to get through the story of Cain becoming commander, instead of actually telling his story completely.

In my opinion, the book is not worth it just on that part. It is long and boring with no payoff.

  • Ancient Ruins

  • Ancient Dreams, Book 1
  • By: Benjamin Medrano
  • Narrated by: Gabriella Cavallero
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 603
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572

Sistina awakened after millennia of dormancy, her memories in tatters and born anew. Residing in the ruins of an ancient city, she finds herself drawn into a war between two elven nations and the slaver kingdom of Kelvanis when she rescues a princess from slavery. With her domain containing hints of forgotten knowledge, Sistina becomes a dungeon, stronghold, and source of hope all at once. And perhaps, just perhaps, she could finally find love in her new life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great premise - Rapey and Unlikable POV characters

  • By Eric on 07-07-17

Another boring intelligent dungeon novel.

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

Reviewed: 09-03-18

Book Type: Audible Book
Length: 12h 53m

Have you ever wondered what would happen to an intelligent dungeon living in part of ancient elven ruins, while slavers and elves fought on and around her property, then this is your book.

Otherwise it is a remarkably bland version of the new trope of intelligent dungeons (see my review for Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests). It is better than Morningwood, but strangely enough while there is a ton of writing about women being enslaved, and forced into sexual bondage (and a whole ton of rapes) there isn't anything consenting except between two of the women characters.

That is where it lost me. It is a tired trope to rely on the horror of slaver villains and what they will do (or rapist generals) to make them a bad guy. Meanwhile there really isn't any positive sexual encounters except one really boring relationship.

I don't think I will pick up the sequels unless they hit the $3.95 or $5.95 sale, it might be ok for that. There has to be better books out there like this, if you find one let me know.

  • Hagakure

  • The Book of the Samurai
  • By: William Scott Wilson (translator), Yamamoto Tsunetomo
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 482
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 438
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 435

Living and dying with bravery and honor is at the heart of Hagakure, a series of texts written by an 18th-century samurai, Yamamoto Tsunetomo. It is a window into the samurai mind, illuminating the concept of bushido (the Way of the Warrior), which dictated how samurai were expected to behave, conduct themselves, live, and die.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Way to Experience the Book Again

  • By WildKarrde on 07-10-17

Sort of an LJ journal but from a samurai.

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

Definitely overrated for those who desperately want to be a samurai.

I had heard about this book from people who take a big interest in Japanese history, especially in bushido. Of course my friends are all Americans and I truly suspect they don’t have quite the knowledge they think they do.

This is a conglomeration of writings. My understanding is that the original writings contained more than 1300 entries, while this book only has a little over 300, so it is missing a lot of the writings to begin with.

The writings themselves are scattered about various things. Ranging from dates and brief descriptions of people to random sayings and anecdotes. Not at all what I was told to expect. Although I don’t blame the writings, they are what they are. A journal from a samurai that wasn’t published until many years after his death.

It is an interesting book, but nothing you either didn’t already know or couldn’t find out easy without reading it.

  • The Left Hand of Darkness

  • By: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,312
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,111
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,112

A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Almost 50 and still amazing

  • By kwdayboise (Kim Day) on 06-07-17

Just not for me.

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

Ms. Le Guin is an excellent author, but I just could not get into the book at all.

I suspect it is partially the same reason as Phillip K Dick, it feels very dated. Maybe I would have really liked it back in the 1970s/80s, but for me the luster has left the building.

Part of my issue is that it is another science fiction/fantasy novel that has to create so many new words, new titles and new ways of saying something that could be said in a more common vernacular. I realize she was going for immersion but it didn't work for me. None of the wording really introduced a new idea or a new meaning so it felt like she was going overboard.

I was also a bit taken back by the gender situation with the alien races. I won't go into detail but I am transgender myself and so it probably just hit me wrong. Ms. Le Guin isn't someone I dislike, but it just wasn't something that felt good or relatable to me.

The other aspect, very much like most 1970s and earlier sci-fi the pacing is incredibly slow, I had a hard time staying interested and while I don't regret reading it, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who has never read her stuff before.

  • At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition]

  • By: H. P. Lovecraft
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,600
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,354
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,349

This Lovecraft classic is a must-have for every fan of classic terror. When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • First Lovecraft

  • By Brian on 02-03-14

It's dry, but worth it.

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

This is perhaps the best example of Lovecraft in his more dry tones. If you are hoping for a first person perspective, down and close to the horror you won't really find it here. This is the retellings of a crazed survivor, a prime example of Lovecraft's tendency for that trope. More of an after action report then the actual tale as it unfolds.

Unlike a lot of his other work, this example of his writings does not contain a lot of his problematic views. Other stories are racists, sexist and xenophobic, however here none of that appeared evident.

The writing style is dry though. It takes a peculiar liking for this kind of work for other readers to appreciate it, but for me it had a lot of good building blocks. He had links to other stories in his mythos, and he definitely had a lot of details in the story itself, maybe too many for some people.

You can see though where he inspired people after him. This story could easily fit in the worlds of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and many newer horror authors.

If you like Lovecraft, or any of his inheritors (Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E Howard, Robert Bloch, and others like August Derleth) then this is something you want to read.

  • Killing the Bismarck

  • Destroying the Pride of Hitler's Fleet
  • By: Iain Ballantyne
  • Narrated by: Traber Burns
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174

In May 1941 the German battleship Bismarck, accompanied by heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, broke out into the Atlantic to attack Allied shipping. The Royal Navy's pursuit and subsequent destruction of the Bismarck was an epic of naval warfare. In this new account of those dramatic events at the height of the Second World War, Iain Ballantyne draws extensively on the graphic eyewitness testimony of veterans to construct a thrilling story, mainly from the point of view of the British battleships, cruisers, and destroyers involved.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but not Spectacular

  • By Will on 03-28-17

Not a bad additional read about the Bismarck.

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

I really wanted to like this book. I have always been interested in World War II books, and the Bismarck is not something I am more than generally familiar with. That being said, I can't really recommend it.

I was very interested on the British side and this was perfect for that. Except it reads less like a historical writing about what happened on the British side, and more some weird personal agenda. I think what threw me off was the forward where the author was really upset that there are die hard supporters of the Bismarck who thought well of the Germans.

I personally don't have a dog in that fight, but the anger and frustration the author had in the forward came through and made me feel less like this is an unbiased look at the British and more like he was trying to prove a point. I absolutely agree the British Navy, especially WWII and earlier was an incredible thing, but you could read the almost propaganda writing as it was.

That made the book hard. The stories were all over the battle, which I did partially expect considering you want to keep it interesting, but it became more of a historical novel and less of a historical documentary that I was hoping it would be. There was no detail on the command of the British forces and it really felt like it was missing a lot of things.

If you have read everything else about the Bismark, I would recommend it. I did give it three stars because it was written well. It was smooth, but just fluffy... too fluffy for me.

  • The Last Wish

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,975
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,349
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,330

Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good...and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love the book

  • By Nicholas Bates on 05-27-15

A great way to get into the Witcher universe.

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

I finally understand the whole wish/shared destiny thing with Yennifer and Geralt and that alone was worth the read.

It is better than that though. A lot of the stories were retellings of common fairy tales (including retelling of Beauty and the Beast). That specific story (and you will know it when you read it) was a fantastic retelling that turned the story on its head, without being too hammer to the head.

It is an anthology series that weaves together and I also may think I like that format for Geralt, The Witcher more than the novel I read. I will read all the other books I think, and I hear I will like them, but this book so far is my favorite.

  • The Fire Next Time

  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: Jesse L. Martin
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,040
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,674
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,655

At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with this eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant and Sadly Relevant

  • By Steve M on 03-20-16

An absolute must read!

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

First off let me make this clear, James Baldwin was perfect in every way in this compilation of his written works.

I cannot "review" it looking for problems in prose, I can't find any issues in the subject matter. All it had was pure heart in it, with a lot of wisdom.

Now, I am about as white as you can get and I have never had to feel the oppression of my race. I cannot compare my experiences in poverty as the same. There were some similarities, but once I got out of the trailer park, people treated me with the white privilege while I saw my best friend who isn't white be treated crappy (and he is the one that came from money).

However, as someone who is married to another guy and in the LGBTQ spectrum this book still speaks to me on so many levels. I realize that Mr. Baldwin was within that spectrum too and maybe I picked up on that part. The struggle for acceptance, the desire for others to treat you as they would themselves, and even down to the part where he disagrees with people who purport to represent is cause (I definitely have seen that in my causes).

I daresay the only problem I have with his writings is that there isn't enough of them. I do plan on reading Giovanni's Room next.

I can't say it enough, everyone should read this, no matter your skin color. Maybe it will give my fellow white people a pause to reconsider what they take for granted and how they view things.

  • Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 552
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 506

Jason Taverner - world-famous talk show host and man-about-town - wakes up one day to find that no one knows who he is - including the vast databases of the totalitarian government. And in a society where lack of identification is a crime, Taverner has no choice but to go on the run with a host of shady characters, including crooked cops and dealers of alien drugs. But do they know more than they are letting on? And just how can a person's identity be erased overnight?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent reading of an amazing book

  • By dnblack on 05-24-16

Not my thing I guess.

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

I cannot tell if what I dislike is that it didn't age well, or if it just was a bad book.

A lot of people quote Philip K Dick as a great author, I have never really liked him. I liked the base ideas of a lot of his books, but they are at the very least incredibly boring, with little pace. The characters are rather uninteresting and just didn't spark my imagination.

A lot of people call him Shakespeare for his genre, and they very well are correct, Shakespeare was a horrible writer himself so it would fit for me.

I realize people might say "but for his time" the story was effective and it had more meaning then, I don't agree with that either. I like a lot of authors from the 1920s through the 1980s that do similar things a lot better. I have not read all of his books (yes I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and it is about as boring as the movie) so maybe there are stuff out there, but I haven't found it yet. I am starting Man in the High Castle as I like the series, maybe the book will be just as good and my opinion will change for Philip K Dick then, but for now it isn't a high opinion.

That being said, I suspect if you did like "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" you will like this book and if that is the case I recommend it for you. If you are at all like me though, I would recommend letting this book sit and collect dust while you go find a more interesting possibility.