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Erin&Merilee DeSpain

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  • 81
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  • The Spear of Stars

  • The Cycle of Galand, Book 5
  • By: Edward W. Robertson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 20 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,893
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,653
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,633

The White Lich has conquered Tanar Atain. Soon, he means to take the entire world. Dante suspects his next target will be Bressel, where the Tanarians have established their court in exile. The only chance to stop the lich will be to forge a fragile alliance between the bitter enemies of three different lands: Tanar Atain, Mallon, and Narashtovik. The city stands on the brink of rebellion. Yet even if Dante, Blays, and Gladdic can unite it, they still might not have the strength to stand against the army of the lich.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Galand hit!

  • By Carrie on 10-12-18

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

The performance of Gerard Reynolds is, as usual, absolutely amazing. The story in this book moves more ploddingly than the others about 3/4 of the way through I definitely felt like the plot theme of the blighted was wearing thin—I felt like they had besieged the book.

By the end of the book I felt like the plot finally was going somewhere again—then suddenly it ended (to be continued).

I’m probably not the first to say this but this feels like one book which was adulterated to make two. The writing is good and the witty commentary of the characters makes the extension work—but at the cost perhaps of an even better story.

It’s a worthy series, so I’m still reading/listening but this isn’t the best book of a stellar series.

  • The Coming Storm

  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,622
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,921
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,879

Tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis… Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning. Millions of Americans could soon find themselves at the mercy of violent weather if the public data behind lifesaving storm alerts gets privatized for personal gain. In his first Audible Original feature, New York Times best-selling author and journalist Michael Lewis delivers hard-hitting research on not-so-random weather data – and how Washington plans to release it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why you shouldn't ignore the weather forecast

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 09-10-18

Superb—once again!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

This is perhaps Michael’s most important recent work. It is thoroughly researched and entertainingly told in wonderful narrative style.

As with many Michael Lewis books I wasn’t exactly sure where it was going at first—but I was hooked in for the ride in the first few paragraphs.

I wish I could see the happy outcome from this one, but I guess that collectively depends on us and our interactions with our institutions and whether or not we will hold them responsible for protecting our most valuable and endangered treasures: our public scientific work, public scientific data, and free public access to all of this taxpayer-funded work.

If we flinch in defending/protecting these scientific programs and the data they produce for just one moment the game could be lost and we could forever imperil our national economy, critical infrastructure, and national defense by poisoning the well of information on which we all depend for our basic safety, society, and business.

This audiobook does an excellent job explaining why it URGENTLY matters to protect these to an ordinary skeptic who may not think this is their problem, but of course, it is!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Wound of the World

  • The Cycle of Galand, Book 3
  • By: Edward W. Robertson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 21 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,972
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,540
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6,507

Dante and Blays have forced Gladdic from the Collen Basin. But the victory might be only the first battle in a much larger war. With the land on the brink of starvation and politically fractured, Dante and Blays scramble to secure Collen's food, borders, and allies. Before their work is done, rumor arrives from Mallon. The enemy is mustering for another attack. Even if Collen can weather the coming storm, there's no guarantee their independence will last out the year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolute Genius

  • By D F on 05-13-17

Great book & series but can't stand the unnecessary swearing

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

Reviewed: 07-10-17

Love the continuation of the story. These characters are well developed and the story is spectacularly written. This wouldn't be half the audio book it is without Tim Gerard Reynolds. Flawless reading /performance of the book as usual!

The one issue I have with it is the use of actual swear words. It's entirely unnecessary to use these words in the book and their use only ensures I can't recommend it to younger readers. Plenty of authors have been able to not use them--using other terms. This is the first book of this series where I see /hear them. But it means death knell for me recommending it to young reading groups. It's a shame too--because I love the story, plot, and virtually everything about the series except this. Please fix it.

  • Queen of Fire

  • A Raven's Shadow Novel
  • By: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 26 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,793
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,798

After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. Except to accomplish her goals, she must do more than rally her loyal supporters. She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant - those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark - and take the war to her enemy's doorstep. Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named battle lord of the realm. However, his path is riddled with difficulties.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Completion of the Collapse of Potential

  • By Joe Chad on 07-14-15

The end felt clipped.

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

Reviewed: 08-05-15

This series as a whole had everything: great characters, romance, action, intrigue, mystery, suspense, and excellent story telling from soup to nuts--except the very end.

It wasn't bad but very the end wasn't nearly as good as the start and middle. It felt too rushed. It was like it was a sketch draft of the last two chapters that somehow made it into the book mostly revision-free merely because there was a hard deadline.

  • Off to Be the Wizard

  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,716
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,715

It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hang in there

  • By Kelly on 03-04-17

So Good I Made A Fool of Myself

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

Reviewed: 05-16-15

This book was an outstanding blend of clever plot line and spectacular wit. I found myself laughing aloud to the dismay of fellow workmates and bystanders. It was worth every penny. I look forward to the next one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Name of the Wind

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1)
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68,500
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,465
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,561

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Starts off slow but once it gets going...<br />

  • By Dallas on 04-10-18

Excellent Story

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

Reviewed: 03-11-15

The author did an outstanding job weaving the story together. The story within a story concept started a bit slow but gradually the author found his rhythm and it all came together. I'm hooked.

Action, adventure, romance, magic, music, practical jokes...

Reader started a little rough too but pulled things together as the story moved forward. Well done!

  • Zero to One

  • Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
  • By: Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
  • Narrated by: Blake Masters
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,069
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,731
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,694

The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won't create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren't learning from them. It's easier to copy a model than to make something new: doing what we already know how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But every time we create something new, we go from 0 to 1.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Seems Insightful Until You Think A Little Deeper

  • By Mark Brandon on 10-31-14

Founding companies of the future

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

Reviewed: 03-06-15

Opposite of "The Lean Startup". I would recommend both as a pair to understand the different perspectives.

Definitely a visionary view of how to found companies of the future. Provides a stark contrast from other viewpoints that seek gradual, incremental growth. This view of startup almost REQUIRES bold venture capitalists and people with courage and vision to realize huge trancendent leaps over existing and mundane growth.

This book represents more of a U.S. West Coast mentality vs. the more traditional U.S. East Coast mentality.

  • Freakling

  • By: Lana Krumwiede
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Taemon has always known he’s a bit different. But in the walled city of Deliverance, where everyone possesses a form of telekinesis known as psi, being different is dangerous. Being different can get you labeled a freakling. Or worse, see you banished to the Powerless Colony, where even the simplest tasks, like getting dressed or turning on the lights, must be done by hand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Book for Young, Inquisitive Readers

  • By Erin&Merilee DeSpain on 11-15-12

Excellent Book for Young, Inquisitive Readers

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

Reviewed: 11-15-12

Would you listen to Freakling again? Why?

Absolutely. I loved it, but listening with my son was a precious treat he begged me again and again to listen to just 15 more minutes. I relented again and again and was soon halfway through the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Taemon was definitely one of the best characters and his best friend Moke who isn't very talented but manages to show Taemon how to live without Psi

What does Nick Podehl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nick's accents and personality bring the story to life well. He does a great job narrating for young readers.

Any additional comments?

My son loved this book and tried again and again to move things with his mind. Looking for more stories from this author.

  • The Logic of Life

  • The Rational Economics of an Irrational World
  • By: Tim Harford
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom - why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions, and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • enlightening & good fun

  • By Rebecca on 01-28-08

Always Enlightening and Entertaining

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-25-08

I listened to Hartford's other book, "The Undercover Economist" before this and absolutely loved it. This was just as interesting.

Hartford explains a lot of why we do some of the seemingly peculiar things we do. It is well presented, clearly written, and will expose most the reader to many of the most currently accepted ideas in economics. I would recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested in markets, people, or economics.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wealth of Nations

  • By: Adam Smith
  • Narrated by: Michael Edwards
  • Length: 35 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 81

This classic statement of economic liberalism or the policy of laissez-faire was first published in 1776. It is an engrossing analysis of the economic facts of life. Several fundamental principles, many of which are now referred to as axioms, were introduced in this work, the division of labor, supply-and-demand, and free market capitalism being among the most obvious.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the effort

  • By Peter on 09-21-04

Economic Scripture, but not an easy read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-05

This is not a book for the casual reader/listener. This will test the very limits of your endurance when it comes to listening to the many statistics he utters again and again in the listing of prices of various goods and services at various times. That said, this book is still remarkably fresh and useful for being more than 2 centuries old.

If you are looking for the real deal here it is, if you are looking for an easy-to-read summary of economics history look elsewhere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful