LISTENER

Ben Drexl

Spokane, WA
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 101
  • ratings
  • A Feast for Crows

  • A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,524
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,913
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,917

Few books have captivated the imagination and won the devotion and praise of readers and critics everywhere as has George R. R. Martin’s monumental epic cycle of high fantasy that began with A Game of Thrones. Now, in A Feast for Crows, Martin delivers the long-awaited fourth book of his landmark series, as a kingdom torn asunder finds itself at last on the brink of peace . . . only to be launched on an even more terrifying course of destruction.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Jarring change in Dotrice's performance

  • By Pi on 06-21-12

Feels like filler, performance a bit off

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

A perfectly passable entry in the series, but in the end it just didn't come together for me. All the most interesting plot paths get sidelined, and Roy's previously *stellar* voice work gets off to a very rocky restart here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Children of the Sky

  • By: Vernor Vinge
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 27 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 450

Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred children who were in cold-sleep aboard the vessel that brought them. While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them - and among the humans - who seek power. And no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The story isn't over yet

  • By Heidi on 11-03-11

Wow. Skip it.

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

Vernon buddy, what happened here?!

The first two books in this series showed an incredible depth of imagination, and vision of distant reaches of humanity that I found completely captivating.

With exception of a few glimpses into the tech and history of the humans of the High Beyond, this book is a reread featuring recycled villains, themes, and a metric ton of pointless drama. The protagonists are all indecisive, introverted, and downright inept most of the time. Plot feels completely reactionary to the antagonists actions, our heros seem to have no goal beyond surviving the latest predicament. Contrast this to the previous books, and you may be as frustrated as I was while listening to this.

Worst of all though; even after reopening a few chapters we thought closed in the previous book, very few solid conclusions are reached at the end of this rather long listen. So while I gave the first two installments perfect 5-star reviews and will be listening again, this one's a 2.5

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,675
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,162
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,104

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

Short, imaginative, and free!

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

Reviewed: 11-01-16

Very interesting concept & premise. Pacing was excellent, and fit the short format perfectly.

Performance was very capable as you'd expect from Quinto, pacing and delivery fit the characters, and never distracted me from the story.

Content-wise, this has strong language typical of Scalzi's other works.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Good Strategy/Bad Strategy

  • The Difference and Why It Matters
  • By: Richard P. Rumelt
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,219
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,048
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,034

Developing and implementing a strategy is the central task of a leader, whether the CEO at a Fortune 100 company, an entrepreneur, a church pastor, the head of a school, or a government official. Richard Rumelt argues that the heart of a good strategy is insight - into the true nature of the situation, into the hidden power in a situation, and into an appropriate response. He shows you how insight can be cultivated with a wide variety of tools for guiding your own thinking.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Strategy Defined, Finally

  • By Matthew on 05-15-12

The guaranteed cure for hype and hot air!

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

Reviewed: 09-30-16

A how-to manual on critical thinking, level headed analysis, with tons of case studies and personal examples to back it up. So much good stuff here!

  • Heir of Novron

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 3
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 31 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16,502
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,391
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,400

On the holiday of Wintertide, the New Empire plans to burn the Witch of Melengar and force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spectacular fantasy series

  • By Ron on 01-03-13

Need more stars!!

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

Reviewed: 08-02-16

What a saga - I enjoyed all 6 books (3 volumes), of which this is the final act. Did NOT disappoint! :D

  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

  • By: Scott Lynch
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 21 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,342
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,318

An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stupendous, but be warned.

  • By Luke A. Reynolds on 11-30-09

Don't judge by the cover art!

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

Reviewed: 06-07-16

This is a great bit of fantasy, not historical fiction. The world and its lore is consistently and wonderfully well fleshed out. The wide variety of interesting characters, immersive location descriptions, and more than enough intrigue, action, and plot twists make it entertaining all the way through.

Also, this is meant for adults, there's plenty of violence, sorcery, and language throughout.

  • Design Is a Job

  • By: Mike Monteiro
  • Narrated by: Mike Monteiro
  • Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 512
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 512

Co-founder of Mule Design and raconteur Mike Monteiro wants to help you do your job better. From contracts to selling design, from working with clients to working with each other, this brief book is packed with knowledge you can't afford not to know.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good except the lip smacking

  • By Alexander L Parker on 12-13-17

Invaluable advice, amusing anecdotes

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

Reviewed: 08-13-15

Loved this - every chapter felt like a fresh wave of hard-earned experience. Fantastic advice for any type of design contractor. amusing and sincere.

  • Ex-Purgatory

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,925
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,648
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,647

When he’s awake, George Bailey is just an ordinary man. Five days a week he coaxes his old Hyundai to life, curses the Los Angeles traffic, and clocks in at his job as a handyman at the local college. But when he sleeps, George dreams of something more. George dreams of flying. He dreams of fighting monsters. He dreams of a man made of pure lightning, an armored robot, a giant in an army uniform, a beautiful woman who moves like a ninja.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I've been spoiled!!!

  • By phil humphries on 08-15-17

Very imaginative, as usual

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

Reviewed: 04-28-15

A real change of pace; but builds directly on previous books in this series.

This recording is performed by a single narrator instead of the whole ensemble as in earlier nooks. A little jarring at first, but still great. The first act felt drawn out, slow to really get started. Maybe it's because I've read this series back to back, but the violence against zombies starts to feel repetitive.

On the positive side, the author's imagination shines through, and manages to weave a very intriguing plot that kept me guessing until the final chapter. There's more character development and background given for your favorite characters, the nemesis is fun to hate in a very comic-book way, and it wraps up cleanly.

If you've enjoyed the previous books, this one is a must read. If you're new to the series, start with an earlier book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The First Assassin

  • By: John J. Miller
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 118
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 101

Washington, D.C., 1861: As the United States teeters on the brink of civil war, Colonel Charles P. Rook organizes security in the nation’s capital and monitors the death threats pouring into the White House. He surrounds Abraham Lincoln with bodyguards, covers rooftops with sharpshooters, and investigates rumors of conspiracy fomented by secessionists. Yet amid the chaos and confusion, a mysterious killer slips into the teeming city.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • a Brilliant Story

  • By Drew (@drewsant) on 08-27-15

Play it at 1.25x and it sounds normal

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

Reviewed: 03-24-15

Enjoyed it overall; I found the narration a bit to slow, as was the plot, but the narrator handled the accents and characterizations very well, and the author did give a convincing sense of the location, notable landmarks make appearances without feeling forced, and the writing felt reasonably period-appropriate.

My only annoyances were that it felt unfortunately predictable, and developments that seemed obvious were often reiterated without adding anything to the narrative.

Regarding the production; there's a wide dynamic range here, so headphones or a quick volume adjustment might be needed. There's also no pause between chapters, which is jarring but never really confused me since the change was obvious.

  • Storm Surge

  • Destroyermen, Book 8
  • By: Taylor Anderson
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 18 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,280
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,194
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,188

In the Pacific, as USS Walker is repaired and updated after a previous battle and Reddy is healing from his wounds, planning begins for a bold raid on the very heart of the Grik Empire. But time is running out for the Alliance army in India, and the Allied forces in the west must gather in an unprecedented land, air, and sea campaign to destroy the mighty Grik battle fleet and break through to their relief. All other plans go on hold when the attempt proves more difficult - and more heartbreakingly costly - than anyone imagined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can not wait for book 9. Book 8 is Great !

  • By Harry Boyle on 07-09-13

Such a unique series

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

Reviewed: 03-04-15

Other reviewers have commented on the ever increasing scope of these books as a negative, but I really enjoy it - it gives a real sense of the vastness of the world and narrative, and gives the many characters plenty of room to run without feeling repetitive. I personally love watching the continued (and rather plausible) technological and industrial advancements too. This book is one of my favorites of this series, so far.