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The Office Troll

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  • A Natural History of Dragons

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,097
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,964
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,957

You, dear listener, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten….All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastical, Scientific, and Captivating Joy Ride

  • By Abbygail on 03-06-16

Wow

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

Reviewed: 01-24-18

This book is incredibly well written and the education of the author really shines through.

The book is written as the memoirs of a fictional Victorian-equivalent lady with a mind for science and a love of dragons. It follows her struggles with the demands of her family, the norms of society, and her adventures in scientific discovery.

There is an oddness of pace, as the latter portion of the book turns into an adventure novel as opposed to a scientific treatise, but it felt fairly natural as I read it.

For those unfamiliar with this style of writing, it may feel a bit cold and staid, but this feels like the memoirs of scientific minds from the mid and late 19th century with a modern sensibility.

This is another perfect performance by Kate Reading.

  • Rainbow Mars

  • By: Larry Niven
  • Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23

Hanville Svetz was born into a future to match the sorriest predictions of Greenpeace. Most of Earth's original life forms are extinct. It had been Svetz's job to go back in time and retrieve them but he's been transferred. He now must figure out why the Martian canals have gone dry and what that means for Earth's future, because Mars was inhabited. When Svetz learns how the sapient Martian species was wiped out, he realizes that Earth could soon fall victim to a similar fate.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Do NOT listen in the order presented.

  • By The Office Troll on 01-24-18

Do NOT listen in the order presented.

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

Reviewed: 01-24-18

Start with chapter 44. Read until you finish chapter 48.

This will take you through all of the original short stories and give you the background you need before you read the novella.

Once you've finished the short stories, you're ready to start at chapter 1. Once you've read up through 43, then you can read chapter 49, the end notes.




As for the stories themselves, these are ridiculous escapist science fantasy. I personally like the short stories better than the novella, but it was nice to return to his universe :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Video Game Plotline Tester

  • Dark Herbalist Series, Book 1
  • By: Michael Atamanov
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,122
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,017
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,015

Would you be prepared to work for free? How would you like to bust your hump for a large corporation 60-plus hours a week without a wage or a single day off for the vague promise of some mysterious perks in the distant future? You'd refuse point blank, wouldn't you? But what if the job in question was playing a state-of-the-art fantasy MMORPG game? And what if this was the only thing you're really good at? Especially considering that your in-game partner is someone really special to you - and this person already lives a virtual life?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Different and Good LitRPG

  • By Don Gilbert on 06-15-18

Ok for what it is

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

Reviewed: 12-02-17

LitRPG with a good narrator.

Unfortunately, the story is, at best two-dimensional. The female characters are fairly bad, but not much worse written than the male ones.

This book isn't bad so long as you don't think too hard about the bad characterization. If you read it, I STRONGLY recommend against the second book.

  • Stay on the Wing

  • The Dark Herbalist, Book 2
  • By: Andrew Schmitt - translator, Michael Atamanov
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,647
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,576
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,574

When Timothy finally found work as a tester for a popular online MMORPG, his lifelong dream was fulfilled. And now, he earns money (and pretty good money, at that) just for doing what he loves - playing a beautiful and realistic computer game. But he isn't some typical run-of-the-mill player, like the millions of others. Timothy is truly capable and talented, and stands out from the crowd. In fact, the faceless masses consider him far too lucky and successful.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story

  • By Anders on 09-18-17

Misogyny with an unhealthy supply of rape and suicide

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

Reviewed: 12-02-17

The first book was pretty badly sexist. This book was rife with it. This book is disgusting and put the first book in a worse light. Don't read this garbage.

The reader was very good, too bad the book was so bad.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Wizard of Oz Collection

  • All 22 Stories
  • By: L. Frank Baum
  • Narrated by: Eric Vincent
  • Length: 90 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 289

This is the complete Wizard of Oz collection of 22 stories written by L. Frank Baum. This is the only complete collection that includes all the Oz stories. All 22 stories are fully complete. They include the dedication and the introduction of each story/book. In this collection, you will find stories not available in other collections. It even includes stories published after the death of L. Frank Baum.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Audio chapter list below as was missing

  • By MM on 04-09-14

Poorly edited, but a very good price.

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

Reviewed: 05-12-17

I am not yet finished with this and will update it once I have completed all of the stories, but I want to leave a review of my early impressions.

The reader is consistent and fairly accurate, if a bit low energy. If it were edited properly, I'd give the performance a solid 3-4 stars.

Unfortunately, the editing leaves a lot to be desired. In the first 2 books there are multiple instances where the reader made a mistake and re-read a section but the error was not cut out of the recording. The first couple of times I thought it was a problem with chapter chunking, but there have been several which are clear cases of simple bad editing.

Additionally there is a problem of finding beginning and ends of books. The easiest way to locate them is to find chapters with lengths under 20 seconds. But, if you're looking for a specific book you have to guess which part it's in (there are 10, I'll put a list at the end for reference, which I found in another review and reformatted here).

Calling this 22 "books" is misleading, as many of these are actually short works by Baum. But, some of these I've never seen in audio format before, so it's nice to include them. There are really more like 15 books here.

I would like to see this be rereleased with better editing, but I can't really complain about 91 hours of audio with minor problems for the price of one credit :-)

One last little complaint: The cover photo. The slippers are silver in the books. Not ruby.



Part 1:
1-26 : The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
27-40 : The Marvelous Land of Oz (continued in Part 2)

Part 2:
1-14 : The Marvelous Land of Oz (continued from Part 1)
15-17 : The Woggle Bug Book
18-43 : Ozma of Oz

Part 3:
1-27 : The Road to Oz
28-end : The Emerald City of Oz (continued in Part 4)

Part 4:
1-20 : The Emerald City of Oz (continued from Part 3)
21-end : The Patchwork Girl of Oz (continued in Part 5)

Part 5:
1-11 : The Patchwork Girl of Oz (continued from Part 4)
12-18 : Little Wizard Stories of Oz
19-end : Ticktock of Oz (continued in Part 6)

Part 6:
1- 7 : Ticktock of Oz (continued from Part 5)
8-33 : The Scarecrow of Oz
34-end : Rinkitink of Oz (continued in Part 7)

Part 7:
1-21 : Rinkitink of Oz (continued from Part 6)
22-end : The Lost Princess of Oz (continued in Part 8)

Part 8:
1-11 : The Lost Princess of Oz (continued from Part 7)
12-37 : The Tin Woodman of Oz
38-end : The Magic of Oz (continued in Part 9)

Part 9:
1-24 : The Magic of Oz (continued from Part 7)
25-end : Glenda of Oz (continued in Part 10)

Part 10:
1-12 : Glenda of Oz (continued from Part 9)
13-end : The Royal Book of Oz

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Fight and Flight

  • Magic 2.0, Book 4
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9,106
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,583
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,560

Martin and his friends discovered that their world is computer generated and that by altering the code they could alter reality. They traveled back in time to Medieval England to live as wizards. Almost everything they've done since then has, in one way or another, blown up in their faces. So of course they decide to make dragons. It does not go well.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Major stumble in a great series

  • By Lily on 05-11-17

Waiter, there's a dragon in my soup!

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

This entry in the series is a bit transitional, but quite an enjoyable read.

As far as the story itself goes, this is a silly adventure where our wizard friends severely fuck things up and spend the rest of the book making bigger mistakes trying to fix it. We get a lot of closer looks at the wizards, especially paired off, which is where Scott's dialogue really shines.

I felt like the 3rd book, An Unexpected Quest, was a bit weak as it rehashed some less original ideas and was purely adventure based without the struggles of dealing with unanticipated consequences which hallmarks of the first two books.

This book definitely explores unexpected consequences and fixes some of the problems with how the wizards interact with the people of Leadchurch as well as relations between Atlantis and the Leadchurch wizards, which sets up a good set of dynamics for the next two books (as this is book 1 of a set of three the author is writing). We also got several characters fleshed out who aren't wizards, though one (the priest) feels a bit retconny to me.

This book doesn't include anything with Jimmy or the agents. While I enjoy the agents greatly and think Jimmy is an interesting character, the first three relied heavily on them and it's nice to see the series going in a different direction.

There is also a really interesting moment right at the end of the book which is a really good setup for the next book.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Illuminae

  • The Illuminae Files, Book 1
  • By: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
  • Narrated by: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Lincoln Hoppe, Johnathan McClain
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,916
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,914

Audie Award, Multi-Voiced Performance, 2016. The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that's little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra - who are barely even talking to each other - are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Romantic Space Opera

  • By Katherine on 11-30-15

Fuck this

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

Reviewed: 03-11-17

The first third of this book is boring, poorly written, full of flat characterizations and unoriginal plot.

Then there start being brutal murders of children with graphic descriptions for no apparent reason other than to shock the reader with how terrible everything is. That's a bloody stupid way to do it and its amateurishly handled at best.

Fuck this garbage. Don't read it.

The narration was good, at least :-)

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Homeland

  • Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: R. A. Salvatore
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,518

This stunning new release of the classic R.A. Salvatore novel recounts the origins of Salvatore's signature dark elf character, Drizzt Do'Urden. This title kicks off The Legend of Drizzt series, which will showcase the classic dark elf novels in these new audiobook editions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Among the drow, all trust is foolish.

  • By Pi on 04-26-13

Standard epic fantasy

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

Fun, if predictable and having nothing to make it stand out. If you like D&D fantasy novels, you won't be disappointed by the story.

Unfortunately, the narrator appears not to have been given a pronunciation guide as everything unusual is pronounced like he were guessing. And that's not just names and places, there are a bunch of uncommon words that were pronounced inexplicably.

  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

  • By: Chris Grabenstein
  • Narrated by: Jesse Bernstein
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,280
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,099

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative game maker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Instant hit with grandkids!

  • By Kathi on 07-24-16

An insult to book lovers and board gamers

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

Reviewed: 02-22-17

Meh?

Cute book with nice ideas, but flat, one-dimensional, and the writer doesn't seem to share any of the passions which he says that the characters have.

This is basically Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for stereotypes of people who read and play board games.

As an avid board gamer since I was well under 12 years old, I expect a book which is supposed to be about a board game designer to have realistic board games beyond roll and move and trivia board games. The example games referenced are stupid and have nothing to do with modern board gaming.

The 1960s trivia is bizarre and seems extremely out of place unless it's to create a bridge between the young readers and their grandparents.

The puzzles are of the Dan Brown level of either extremely obvious or obtuse enough as to be nonsensical until made clear.

The book references are straight from the recommended reading for elementary and middle school. They show no creativity and are unlikely to drive children to seek out books which are interesting or will have anything appropriate to teach them.

The narration was flat and full of mispronunciation. Not awful, but nothing to be proud of.

This might be fun escapism for a young reader, but it is empty and pandering. I'd recommend giving this a miss.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Almost Infamous

  • A Supervillain Novel
  • By: Matt Carter
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Techosky
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 526
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 488

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Salt isn't a superhero. With his powerful (and unpredictable) telekinetic abilities, he could be one if he wanted to, but he doesn't. He's unambitious, selfish, and cowardly, and he doesn't want to have to deal with all the paperwork required to become a professional superhero. But since the money, fame, and women that come with wearing the cape are appealing, he decides to become the first supervillain the world has seen in more than 20 years: Apex Strike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By Stephen Belikoff on 08-02-17

No thank you

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

Reviewed: 01-03-17

I'm torn between 2 and 3 stars here. It's a long slog of people being awful to each other and doing horrible things. The writing isn't bad enough to call it 2 stars, but the plot and characterizations are.

We don't have a good kid going into a world of depravity, we have a mediocre kid who wants to be bad who is given every opportunity to go down the tubes.

There are a couple of interesting concepts at the core of the story, but nothing new and not presented in a way which I found at all compelling.

I got this book on sale, which means that I can't complain about the price, but also means I can't ask for a refund.

I'd give this one a miss unless you're into poorly written sex scenes and violence.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful