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  • Ark Royal

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,335
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,041
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,033

Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good solid effort at a Space Opera

  • By Jim In Texas! on 08-05-14

Couldn't finish it

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

Having enjoyed Battlestar Galactica, I get the basic idea. This old boat's got what it takes. This old man's got the right stuff. So I tried. I really tried. Several times. It's not bad, but this book simply didn't hold my attention. Maybe I will try again later. For now, I am going to return to Joel Shepherd's Spiral Wars series.

There is too much internal monologue, not enough dialogue, besides giving military commands, and the occasional conversation. The commodore thinks about having a drink too often (we get it, he's got a problem) and the chief fighter pilot (CAG) thinks about his family problems, including a self-centered wife. He thinks about a brothel. All this stifled the actual plot. Ya know? KIller Aliens? But instead of aliens, the plot gets reporters. Embedded reporters. As if that would matter, when the entire planet / solar system is at risk. Felt false, to me.

The main characters think about the aliens -- internal rumination again -- but they rarely discuss them. When they do, the interchange doesn't feel vivid.

I like James Chesterfield and Charles Pernel.

Lots of people like this book, so maybe it's me. But I did try.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Seventh Bride

  • By: T. Kingfisher
  • Narrated by: Kaylin Heath
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 592
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 541
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 540

Young Rhea is a miller's daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don't turn down lords - no matter how sinister they may seem - Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement. Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative Story

  • By Amber on 03-13-16

Good book, superbly narrated

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

Good story, perfectly told. To pass the time in the family car, you can't go far wrong. But there are some grim scenes. The wizard deals in black blood magic. Necromancy, maybe. But the pragmatic heroine and the loyal hedgehog truly lighten things up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Into the Storm

  • Book One of The Malcontents
  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,508
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,356
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,350

A knight of Cygnar follows a strict moral code. His integrity is beyond reproach. He holds himself to the highest standards whether dealing with friend or foe. And he values honor above all. The year is 606 AR, and Cygnar has been sorely pressed by its enemies both at home and abroad. In Caspia, the conflict with the Protectorate is about to erupt into full war with the looming invasion of Sul. The Cygnaran military is desperate for soldiers with the skill, strength, and bravery to take up the devastating galvanic weaponry of the new Storm Division.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • After 150 titles, first review of a fantasy story.

  • By Niv on 12-16-14

Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 03-06-18

Excellent narration. Entertaining story, easy enough to follow but not totally predictable. Likable characters, some who die. Funny at times. Bloody at times. Fast paced.

Told in third person, the contents are unexceptional. No sex, no cursing, or not that I can recall.

Themes include redemption, sacrifice, friendship, and duty. Also holy wars, religious intolerance, religious fanatics, theocracies.

I will look into the sequel. First I will read the free chapters provided at Baen (dot com) and see if it has the same foundation characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Neogenesis

  • Liaden Universe, Book 21
  • By: Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
  • Narrated by: Eileen Stevens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88

The Complex Logic Laws were the result of a war waged hundreds of years in the past, when two human powers threw massive AI navies at each other and nearly annihilated themselves. Being human, they blamed their tools for this near miss; they destroyed what was left of the sentient ships, and made it illegal to be, manufacture, or shelter an independent logic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent addition to the Liaden Universe

  • By Kindle Customer on 01-19-18

Razzle, dazzle, fizzle, fsst

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

The narrator does a decent job, so that's fine, but she pronounces Shan in two different ways (rhyming with ran and with khan). Also, at times she attempts to infuse a ho-hum scene with profound importance by slowing down and adding emphasis. But in general, I was happy enough with the narration. It's slightly better than average, in my opinion.

I have read the entire series, including the short stories. This story is okay, and some scenes are endearing (Yulie Shaper) but in general I felt impatient while listening. The pace felt too slow. For the penultimate novel in a storyline spanning 20+ books, begun about 30 years ago, I expected a strong sense of urgency and growing tension. Instead, for me, several long-awaited denouements almost fizzled out.

Too much time is spent recuperating on the Uncle's ship Vivulonj Prosperu, so the homecoming scene for Daav and Alli got short shrift, in my opinion.

What happened to the joyful reunion for the long-awaited little tree and faithful Spiral Dance? A scene with amazing fizzle, for me.

On the up-side, Theo Waitley finally brings Bechimo to Surebleak, where Val Con handles the ship's assessment as an independent complex logic. This was a satisfying scene, even though the rationale could have been more profound.

The plot line with the Pathfinders' destiny and secret briefcase also fizzled out for this reader, despite its big build-up in the previous book, The Gathering Edge.

We learn that a survey team from the trade authority will soon be coming to evaluate Surebleak port. Nothing happens yet though.

Uncle is reunited with his sister. An enjoyably comedic scene, set at Jelaza Kazone.

Best part of book: Jeeves' daughter, Tocohl Lorlin, deals with Lyre Institute mentor Inki. A very poignant scene comes to life when Tocohl learns she isn't alone, isn't helpless. Admiral Bunter and Tolly also learn to trust each other, and Hazenthull provides tactical support. Sweet.

There's a shakedown at Tinsori Light. This includes some long-awaited closure with the age-old enemy Shereikas, aka the Iloheen. The closure scene is brief, but I'm glad it was included. I always felt something was needed to address that open portal in Teapot Space / Weird Space.

Ren Zel deals with his addiction. A surprising turn in the plot.

Tree overextends, gets all shook up, and needs a nap. Lol. Good scene, but if Tree had called upon help from Little Tree...Alas, the sapling never even left Spiral Dance. No reunion scene. A major disappointment. Surely not an oversight? Or are we to infer a reunion occurred? But how sad is that?

It's been a while since Shan and Priscilla came back to Surebleak. They played no role in this book, either. Pat Rin and Nova played minor parts.

Once again, as with Necessity's Child, I really enjoyed the scenes with Syl Vor and Kezzi.

Baby Talizea is beginning to walk and talk, so she must be about 16 months old, I'd guess.

Recommended for Liaden readers, but this is not a good place to start the series, even if some reviews say otherwise.

I look forward to the next and last book in this sequence, temporarily dubbed Fifth of Five.

  • Going Postal: Discworld #29

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,974
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,085
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,100

Arch-swindler Moist von Lipwig never believed his crimes were hanging offenses, until he found himself with a noose around his neck, dropping through a trap door, and falling into...a government job? Getting the moribund Postal Service up and running again, however, may be an impossible task. Worse, the new Postmaster could swear the mail is talking to him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally on AUDIBLE!!!

  • By Robert W on 02-06-05

Moist and Adora Bella

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

Very good! This book introduces Moist von Lipwig, a kindhearted con man who shows up again in Making Money and Raising Steam. We also see plenty of the city leader, Lord Vetinari the Patrician. The City Watch also plays a role in several scenes.

  • The Dragon's Egg

  • Dragonfall, Book 1
  • By: David A. Wells
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 797

Seventy-five years ago, the dragons fell from the sky. We thought they were just meteorites - six terrifying explosions rang the world like a bell. When the dust settled, we went on with our lives as though nothing had happened. More than a decade later, five of the eggs hatched. The dragons that emerged were small and weak. They kept to the shadows, working in secret to persuade people to do their bidding, offering magic as payment and reward. Years passed...and still we didn't notice the evil growing in our midst.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A brilliant beginning!

  • By Ryan on 12-23-16

Acting out of character

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

Reviewed: 01-27-18

PG 13: No sex, some cussing, lots of blood and gore. Told in 3rd person, set in modern world /USA in a post-apocalyptic setting, about 65 years after dragons hatched and denotated man-made bombs all over the world. Tyrant dragon and his priests and dragon guards rule the world through dark blood magic, having outlawed technology, electricity, etc. Characters span gender and age, with the young hero Benjamin 16 years old and his wise grandfather Cyril about 80.

Why two stars? Characterization is weak. The characters feel like cardboard. Imogen, an adult woman, cries all the time. No reason is ever given for the horrible way Franklin treats Benjamin, even though twins usually share a bond. Frank is repeatedly stupid (like leaving camp without a weapon) but he’s also depicted as shrewd and calculating.

But the worst characterization breach? No reason is given for wise old Cyril to summon a demon in the presence of two untrustworthy people (Nash and Frank), despite his own dire warnings about what could happen if anyone draws the demon’s attention. So why didn’t he have them bound and gagged before the summoning? Why not use the tranquilizer gun to put them to sleep? Apparently, Cyril is not wise. He’s quite stupid. Careless. Thick as a brick. Despite all the chapters extolling his wisdom. Character breached badly to drive the plot. Grrr.

Derek Perkins is an excellent narrator, but this story doesn’t allow him to shine. He deserves clever dialogue and interesting characters.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Battle Mage

  • By: Peter A. Flannery
  • Narrated by: RD Watson
  • Length: 34 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,867
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,856

The world is falling to the burning shadow of the Possessed and only the power of a battle mage can save it. But the ancient bond with dragonkind is failing. Of those that answer a summoning too many are black. Black dragons are the enemy of humankind. Black dragons are mad. Falco Dante is a weakling in a world of warriors, but worse than this, he is the son of a madman. Driven by grief, Falco makes a decision that will drive him to the brink of despair. As he tries to come to terms with his actions Falco follows his friends to the Academy of War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazing book!

  • By Loyd Simpson on 01-10-18

Awesome narration

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

An amazing narration! Watson’s mello voice is easy on the ears yet has serious gravitas. I’d love to hear more from Watson.

Told in third person, this is a stand-alone fantasy with queens, castles, magic, and a touch of romance. Main characters of both genders span a range of ages and include several physically impaired heroes.

Contents are PG 13: no sex or cursing, but lots of grim suffering and grisly death. Yet the tone isn't totally grim-dark — the characters take care of each other.

Coming of age story. A young man, sickly, fearful, and ashamed, must overcome the past in order to come into his own worth as a Battle Mage and save the world from armies of the possessed, led by demons. He does so with the help of the blacksmith's son and other loyal friends, including some wise adults. Several of his friends also grow into their own. One young man uncovers a longstanding BIG FAT LIE.

The main character is Falco Danté. “Simeon le Roy was the master of the villa on which they climbed. Falco had served him since the death of his father almost fourteen years ago.”
—-(But how old was Falco when his father died? At the end of the book, we finally learn he’s 20 years old).

Good story, but too lengthy for me. With so many pages, we never learn whether all the lost souls are freed from eternal suffering when their demons are killed. After all the sad descriptions of eternal suffering and baelfire, this felt like a major mistake. With 850+ pages, the battles felt repetitive. I began to skim the battles.

The testing and summoning scenes were excellent, though.

Demons and possessions and eternal suffering but no religions, no gods mentioned in this world. Seems unlikely.

Commas are placed where none belong, and the author writes "different to" instead of "different from" but the characters are textured and likable. I especially liked how Meredith developed.

The book has some interesting maps but they need to be larger and of better definition / resolution. And so very many mountains scattered like confetti seems an unlikely topography.

But this book has ... (drum roll) ... Dragons! With character!

Not great, but recommended for readers who gobble up this subgenre of fantasy. It’s an average but entertaining read, similar in quality to The Battlemage: The Summoner book 3.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dragonbone Chair

  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Book One
  • By: Tad Williams
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 33 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,584
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,468
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,471

A war fueled by the dark powers of sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard - for Prester John, the High King, slayer of the dread dragon Shurakai, lies dying. And with his death, an ancient evil will at last be unleashed, as the Storm King, undead ruler of the elvishlike Siti, seeks to regain his lost realm through a pact with one of human royal blood. Then, driven by spell-inspired jealousy and hate, prince will fight prince, while around them the very land begins to die.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than I had dared hope

  • By Tose on 07-30-16

An immersive experience

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

Reviewed: 01-04-18

Contents: PG, with no overt sex, no swearing, but grisly death, sad scenes, some torture, and various gruesome creatures. Quite atmospheric — melancholic, fairly dark and sad, but with some lighter moments.

I read the trilogy, so this review reflects all three books. Told in third person, my favorite POV for fiction. High fantasy with kings, wizards, dragons, trolls, elves (fair ones / Sithi), giants, etc. The theme is grim enough, but the brave fellowship holds together, despite some losses. I especially loved the wolf. The characters are flawed but likable. Simon matures somewhat across the trilogy. Some villains are redeemed. Miriamele grew annoying. Rachel is a favorite. Guthwulf’s character arc is interesting.

The plot twists. Make no assumptions.

There are some parallels with the Bible in some places, but I'm not sure if it's intentional.

These books are quite well written, but they are so long and feel slow at times. I prefer books of 500 or fewer pages. No filler in these books, though, just lots of rich and immersive showing and conversing, which takes longer than quickly telling, summarizing, or info-dumping. However, I frequently wanted to skip ahead, impatient to see what would happen next, but I feared I'd miss out on something important -- like a clue, a revelation, etc.
Some scenes are just too long, like wandering in the tunnels (twice).

We never found out why the body in the barrow wasn't decaying.

Narration is excellent, except I could barely understand the loud raspy whispering voices, which were used every time the fair folk fairies spoke. Ugh! Barely tolerable vocals, utilized during entire conversations! The troll voice was also a little difficult to understand. Given how often fairies and trolls speak across the trilogy, the narration became a problem.

Wincott is a superb narrator. I just didn't like the vocals he used for the fairies and trolls. Everyone else (humans) sounded perfect!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lusam

  • The Dragon Mage Wars, Books 1-2
  • By: Dean Cadman
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,630
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,530

Lusam grew up in the relative safety of the Elveen mountains with his grandmother. She taught him the basics of magic and discovered, quite by accident, that he possessed a unique skill never seen before: the ability to hide his magical aura from the mage-sight of others. Dark secrets surround Lusam's origins, and the dark agents of the Empire will stop at nothing to kill Lusam.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Needs work, but has potential

  • By Skipper on 12-12-17

Needs work, but has potential

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

Reviewed: 12-12-17

Narration is perfect, demonstrating a commitment to excellence. Storytelling is imaginative and vivid, but some plot holes exist. Writing quality is weak. I did read books 3-4 after listening to this 2-volume audiobook, because the books are free with kindle unlimited. There are expected to be six books in the series.

Told in 3rd person through various viewpoints. Set in a fictional world of kings, castles, mages, dragons, and gods engaged in sibling rivalry. Main characters include a 15-year-old homeless boy, a street girl, a warrior paladin, an evil warlord emperor, etc. The main characters form a fellowship, central to the series.

The hero Lusam develops his powers too fast, too easily. Find an ancient book. Absorb its magical gifts. Lather, rinse, repeat. The romance occurs too easily. The kissing and blushing (and implied sex) gets old. As for the marriage proposal, I was almost shocked at the author’s bad timing, given the circumstances.

On the upside, the warrior paladin (Renn) is totally credible.

The story is engrossing at times. However, the writing quality is just mediocre. A bit too much exposition. Misplaced commas and anachronistic language. Renn seems to only know one way to address people: “old friend” crops up several times in short conversations.

The author repeatedly has the comrades roaring with laughter at things that are barely worth a smirk. Laughing until they cry. Nothing wrong with a simple smile. A smirk. A chuckle. Whatever.

Lusam strangely laughs at painful or discomforting accidents, like getting dunked, or getting dragged through the mud by a galloping horse. Saying that characters laugh does not comedy make.

But the big problem is the Empire’s goal, to open a rift to the Netherworld. Are all these mages suicidal idiots?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Michael J. Sullivan, Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,755
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,504
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,488

When Gabriel Winter's daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution - the notorious Duster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • By Mar! A brilliant addition to my favorite Chronicle

  • By Gina on 12-30-17

Enjoyable, if predictable

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

Enjoyable story, and of course it's fun to see Royce and Hadrian again. I enjoyed their interactions with one another, their characterization, and their interactions with the widow Lady Helmsworth.

The main problem is that I have already read the Riyria Revelations, so I knew how the kidnapping plot must end, and how the emotional heartbreak must be resolved. Thus, it fell flat — all those would-be suspenseful scenes that supposedly could have ended in death.

I felt there was a bit too much lengthy meditation, reflection, and introspection dumped right into the middle of action scenes.

It was interesting to learn more about the old empire, the first imperial patriarch, Venlin, and the reign of Glenmorgan.

Granted I bought this audiobook on opening day, but...Why is there no kindle book available? I wanted to read and listen, but alas.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful