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  • Oathbringer

  • The Stormlight Archive, Book Three
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 55 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 537
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506

From the best-selling author who completed Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series comes a new original creation that matches anything else in modern fantasy for epic scope, thrilling imagination, superb characters and sheer addictiveness. Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artefacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I really wanted to like it more than I did.

  • By George on 12-06-17

Twisted tale maybe breaks from too many twists?

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

Reviewed: 12-15-17

I really like Brandon Sanderson's work. I don't think that this is his best work. At least it didn't quite come together for me. It is a very good story in an awesome universe but its not the awesome story I was hoping/longing for.

There are perhaps too many side stories that don't really add to the main plot or to the universe in general to warrant their place in the book resulting in some muddying of the main plot. One of the main protagonists (Kaladin) breaks in a way/through a means which seems inconsistent with the character that's been developed through the series; and the manner in which he comes back should have been with much more resolve like speaking the final oath yet that never happens.

The petty squabbling of the other rulers is overdone by making the nations one dimensional (only one has merchants, only one is good at administration, only one is good at fighting...) and the reasons for the breakdown of the coalition of nations are a bit weak given what they're fighting for.

Too many side questions are held on to for too long like "who are the void bringers?", "what is the real importance of an oath?", "who are these gods?, "what's the difference between lies and truth to shallon's cryptic sprin?", "just who is this wit character?" and the suspense dies a little from exhaustion in a book that's nearly two and a half days of listening time. And some parts of the plot don't make great sense, particularly the climax given that odium is able to foresee (some of) the future. Some parts of the plot could have been left to the readers imagination with a better result - in particular the trek through shadesmar (when you just know they're going to get to place they need to be just in the nick of time) which was little more than a side story around kaladins mental/emotional recovery.

The story seemed to be reaching its climax in the fight for the capitol but abruptly spirals down to start building up again in another twist. I think that plot construct wasted too much energy and the story was a bit tired afterwards.

As for the narrators, I wish they would spend some time together getting pronunciation identical and giving similar types of accents for the same character so its less jarring when a character speaks using a different narrator. This book isn't particularly bad but its still there so perhaps I'm overly sensitive to it from past experience.

These observations do not detract from a very good story that is well worth the price and well worth the listen, although I think its about 20% too long. They just stop it from being an awesome story. Sorry Brandon, you set the bar very very high and didn't quite get there this time. You gave me a dream that wasn't quite fulfilled in this story.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Quest of Heroes

  • The Sorcerer's Ring, Book 1
  • By: Morgan Rice
  • Narrated by: Wayne Farrell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 988
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 886
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 893

A QUEST OF HEROES (BOOK #1 IN THE SORCERER’S RING) revolves around the epic coming of age story of one special boy, a 14 year old from a small village on the outskirts of the Kingdom of the Ring. The youngest of four, the least favorite of his father, Thorgrin comes to learn he has mysterious powers he does not understand, that he has a special gift, and a special destiny. An epic tale of friends and lovers, of rivals and suitors, of knights and dragons, of intrigues and political machinations, of coming of age, of broken hearts, of deception, ambition and betrayal.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Hackneyed, *and* repetitive

  • By Samuel on 01-12-14

A bit too simplistic

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

Reviewed: 07-30-14

The book started off really well. I was looking forward to a good listen, but it didn't really live up to the expectation.

I think that the problem I discovered was the simplicity of the story line. The line is too thin and too straight. There's no real branching. Nothing much happens in parallel. There's not too many twists. The plot develops simply. The main character suddenly and inexplicitly rises to the next level after each challenge.

There are holes in the plot which just leaps ahead without much in between and there is a rush of events. For example the protagonist arrives at court and is suddenly the centre of attention. Everything seems to happen within a handful of days, with almost no intervening time for thoughts or emotions to develop. Just struck me as odd

The story had a lot more potential which could have been realised with just a bit more attention. I'm glad that it only cost me half a credit. Not sure that I would pay a full credit for others in the series.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Koban, Volume 1

  • By: Stephen W. Bennett
  • Narrated by: Patrick Freeman
  • Length: 25 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,887
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,758
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,759

We colonized 700 planets. Humankind enjoyed the benefits of expansion room and the end of wars. We even disbanded our military. Then the Krall found us. The Krall have used thousands of years of combat to select the genes of the strongest and fastest warriors. They are a species determined to dominate the entire galaxy, through destruction and annihilation of every opponent.

Koban is an uninhabited high-gravity planet with impossibly fast savage animals, which employ organic superconducting nerves. This deadly world is where the Krall tested humans for war capability.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Story, dreadful narration.

  • By Nate on 05-14-15

Too many committees

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

Reviewed: 07-21-14

The storyline is interesting. It is hampered because the mechanism used to convey information to the reader is discussions between the various protagonists. Unfortunately there are way too many of these and the entire discussion is portrayed sometimes in agonising detail causing the story to drag.

The performance makes this even worse because different people are identified by accents even though they all speak the same language natively (apparently). Unfortunately every person with an accent is spoken much slower than others and causes the conversations to be drawn out even more.

If you can overlook these major failings then the story is reasonably entertaining.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Out of the Black

  • Odyssey One, Book 4
  • By: Evan Currie
  • Narrated by: David deVries
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,044
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,872
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,869

The wreckage of the starship Odyssey, once Earth's greatest guardian, lies strewn across New York City. Abandoned by all but its captain, Odyssey's sacrifice covered the withdrawal of countless troops as the Drasin assault ravaged the planet. When Captain Eric Weston finally emerges from the rubble, impossibly alive thanks to the mysterious "Gaia", he knows with the Drasin it's kill or be killed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I was expecting!

  • By Marcus A on 07-15-14

Huge turn of the tables

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

Reviewed: 07-11-14

This is the fourth in the series about the crew of the odyssey though since that starship has been destroyed perhaps a different name is appropriate for the ongoing series.

If you don't know the series then you shouldn't listen to this book (until you listen to the earlier ones) because it won't make sense and is not intended as a stand alone book. What was really confusing in the third book [the battle of sol] was how the drasin who were formidable foes as single ships suddenly were destroyed en masse by the same ships that were lucky to take on or two - new weapons aside.

Anyhow the battlefield has moved to the earth and initially new york city. Strangely the drasin don't seem to be trying hard to win and the reason that is eventually given is not exactly convincing. Afterall if the goal of the drasin is to wipe out all non drasin life in the universe then it I for one don't get why they wouldn't just do that one star system at time starting with the one at hand. But then they're aliens and who knows how they think...

As you can guess fortunes wax and wane so that there are ever increasing difficulties for the terrans to counter and overcome - and that's the whole plot. At the end there is some more space battles and like previous books in this series those battles are lacking realism. In space travelling at relativistic speed (significant fractions of the speed of light) it seems reasonable over the huge distances involved that some of the shots would miss. In fact it seems likely that in general most shots fired at distances measured in light seconds or minutes would miss unless you could aim and track your laser with a precision that could be measured in fractions of a degree to fifty or a hundred decimal places. Other flaws in the science part of the fiction include the fact that you can use tachyon cannons within a gravity well but not the transition drive... not sure why not since its the same technology. And the fighters seem to be able to arc and get back to the ship extraordinarily quickly when they've been travelling away for significant periods.

From a plot point of view it didn't really make sense that the ships returning knew that there were of the order of 1500 drasin ships in the system when they left and only come prepared to deal with about a third that number on return.

Despite these limitations I did enjoy the book. I didn't see the point of the gaia gestalt who played little or no part in the story of any significance. In fact the story would have been no different if she wasn't there at all. But I suppose the best commendation I can give the book is that I would buy the next one in the series so if you listened to the previous books in this series and liked them then this is more of the same with a focus on planet based skirmishes.

  • Words of Radiance

  • The Stormlight Archive, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 48 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 890
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 830
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 830

Book two of the Stormlight Archive. From the best-selling author who completed Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series comes a new, original creation that matches anything else in modern fantasy for epic scope, thrilling imagination, superb characters, and sheer addictiveness. Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great books are the ones that make you THINK

  • By Sally Howes on 09-07-14

Not the best point of view

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

Reviewed: 07-11-14

The ideas behind the stormlight archive are really interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series. I was very excited to read this one as well and am eagerly looking forward to others. Each book is written from the point of view of several characters with one of those characters being the pre-eminent one in the book. In the first book that was Kaladin and in this one it is Shallan.

I found Shallan to be an unimpressive character - overly self absorbed and tiresome coming across somewhat pathetic. I was continually waiting for the sections from her point of view to conclude so I could become enthralled again in what Kaladin was up to. Perhaps the female narrator didn't help to make her seem worthwhile.

The story is awesome and well worth reading for anyone who enjoys fantasy. The world is rich and complex and well thought out. So much so that even though the sections of Shallan leave a lot to be desired, the rest of the book more than makes up for it.

  • 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 18,040
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,825
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,827

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
  • AN EXCELLENT TRILOGY

  • By Randall on 12-24-18

Concluding the adventure

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

Reviewed: 05-05-14

The main ingredient (it seems) for an adventure story is a bit of missing information. That might be something misunderstood (or rather poorly explained by the author) or confusing and protagonists and antagonists rush around trying to figure out what that missing piece of information actually means. This story is no different. The hidden information is not particularly well hidden (or surprising) giving the story a bit of blandness - it would help if there was some significant meaning behind the actions of the elves. There is little complexity in the characters - they are all true to (a very simple) form. There is a grand adventure (to find out the truth) wherein most of the characters that we have come to know are regarded as expendable. Every one of the long line of bad guys meet their demise during the story. And since their characters are not well developed its a bit hard to shed any tears. This is not a book for those who want a well developed story and characters. But not a bad listen if your expectations are not too high.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Theft of Swords

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 1
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,858
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,345
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,326

Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GOOD START TO A SERIES

  • By Randall on 12-24-18

A tale of two books

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

Reviewed: 05-05-14

This audio book is two books in one. I have read reviews of the novels being too boiler plate and predictable. To some extent that is true, but I think those critics are too harsh. Make no mistake, the people in the stories are very one-dimensional and they struggle to escape from a predictable outcome. However the story is easy to listen to and while not rollicking, a pleasant adventure. Certainly this is not a book for people who want complexity and intrigue but less fussy listeners can enjoy this book without too much trouble.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Rise of Empire

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 2
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 26 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,125
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,856
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,844

Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of the first book. Tons of fun!

  • By Adnan on 05-30-12

A tale of two more books

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

Reviewed: 05-05-14

Two more books in one. The characters in these novels develop a bit more complexity than the previous pair of novels but still there is not a lot of development. It surprises me how the author assumes so much naivety on the part of the people to allow massive conspiracies to take place in complete ignorance. Of course there are only two people that can be turned to fight the conspirators. The plot doesn't twist too much and the outcomes are fairly predictable. Completely new people groups and lore are invented on the fly as necessary to add coherence to the story. There is still a lacking depth and those who want complexity and intrigue will want to pass over this novel. For others its still a good read and the exploits of our favourite heroes is interesting as they plod through a "not too challenging" adventure.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Emperor of Thorns

  • The Broken Empire, Book 3
  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191

Lawrence brings the Broken Empire series to its devastating conclusion. The path to the throne is broken - only the broken can walk it. The world is cracked and time has run through, leaving us clutching at the end days. These are the days that have waited for us all our lives. These are my days. I will stand before the Hundred and they will listen. I will take the throne no matter who stands against me, living or dead, and if I must be the last emperor then I will make of it such an ending. This is where the wise man turns away. This is where the holy kneel and call on God.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Verry good

  • By Anonymous User on 05-29-17

Good listen but disappointing ending

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

Reviewed: 02-05-14

Any additional comments?

The story follows from the previous books. Sometimes the flipping back between the present and the past seems excessive. Most of the loose ends are tied together. The ending was broadcast well in advance. It didn't quite happen as I would have expected (which was that Jorg's convictions were manipulating reality to produce the dead king, especially since the guilt of hanging in the thorn bush and not saving his brother/mother is an underlying issue throughout the series). In the end the actual ending was a bit deficient. and the equality of dream and reality doesn't quite explain how the link between conviction and reality is 'fixed' at the end.

In any case the book is worth listening to, especially after the other books.

  • When the Gods Slept

  • The Timuras Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Allan Cole
  • Narrated by: John Hough
  • Length: 19 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

King of Kings, Lord over Men and Demons Alike: Only one ruler had ever held that title, and now Iraj Protarus, an orphaned prince exiled to a small village high in the Valley of the Clouds, dreamed of being the next great conqueror. The key to his destiny would be Safar Timura, a youth with an awesome gift for sorcery, whose visions foretold Iraj's rise to power. And in those visions, Safar stood at Iraj's side, his soul-blasting spells enabling his friend to attain his dreams.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good listen

  • By Jonathan on 08-31-10

A good listen

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-31-10

The problem with the narration is that everything is emphatic. There's barely a conversation (seemingly) that is less than 'full on'. Also there are curious pauses (like the narrator loses track of the text) and some odd emphases which distract from the content. But it isn't as hard as other reviews to suggest to ignore those deficiencies.

The story itself is good and immersive. The characters and world that the story is set in is also fairly well developed. There are a number of situations that could be developed further even warrant novels of their own (such as the flying circus). I personally don't like the way the time line jumps back and forward at times. Several times a past event is referred to and later on the narrative jumps back to that event instead of leaving it mysterious. Some ideas could be fleshed out a little better.

Otherwise the story is compelling. Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful