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bswest5

Winters, CA
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 28
  • helpful votes
  • 61
  • ratings
  • Black Infinity

  • Discovery Series, Book 3
  • By: Salvador Mercer
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

The race to Mars is not without its peril. As the world’s superpowers vie for supremacy in space, the true intent of the aliens, and the ultimate destiny for the human species, is revealed. Can the world marshal the will and resources of its people to strike back and take control of its own fate? Can NASA, led by Richard “Rock” Crandon, and America’s adversaries find the ultimate courage to face what lies at Discovery’s End and save the world?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Abrubt Ending

  • By Dustin Custer on 12-15-18

Satisfying if messy ending to a solid series

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

Reviewed: 03-15-19

This book had some excellent plot ideas and did a great job of keeping the story moving forward, but it desperately needed some editing work, more time for character development, and a much more developed conclusion.

Congrats to Mr. Mercer for finishing the series. In all, a fun romp through space with some original ideas.

  • Red Horizon

  • Discovery Series, Book 2
  • By: Salvador Mercer
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183

The truth of discovery is on mankind's horizon, a Red Horizon. For nearly four long years, the world's superpowers have mobilized their people and resources in preparation for the next discovery, Mars. The race against one another pales in comparison to the inherent dangers of travelling through the vastness of the cosmos, going where mankind has never gone before.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not much sci fi

  • By Theo on 05-20-18

Strong ending saves the day

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

Reviewed: 03-05-18

I loved the first book and was ecstatic to see this get an audiobook. It wasn’t quite to the level of Lunar Discovery - it took far too long to get going, and the character development felt much more clunky - but the ending was excellent. I look forward to book 3!

  • Seven Surrenders

  • By: Ada Palmer
  • Narrated by: T. Ryder Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 218
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220

In a future of near-instantaneous global travel, of abundant provision for the needs of all, a future in which no one living can remember an actual war, a long era of stability threatens to come to an abrupt end. For known only to a few, the leaders of the great Hives, nations without fixed location, have long conspired to keep the world stable, at the cost of just a little blood. A few secret murders, mathematically planned. So that no faction can ever dominate, and the balance holds. And yet the balance is beginning to give way.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • AWFUL Performance, Thought-provoking story

  • By Kevin Elliott on 04-28-17

A masterpiece.

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

Reviewed: 04-30-17

For me, a life long lover of the sheer originality and depth that can come out of the SF genre, this will be one of those series that I come back to again and again throughout my life.

An engaging story, fully-fleshed characters, a utterly unique and deep world, and the most complex and directly astounding first-person perspective and thematic presentation style I've read.

Whatever you do next, Madam Palmer, I will be an eager reader for life.

I was slightly disappointed they'd switched narrators between the books, but by an hour in I was already sold on Smith. Make sure you read Too Like the Lightning first!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Arkwright

  • By: Allen Steele
  • Narrated by: Stephen Bel Davies
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 418
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 386
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 384

In the vein of classic authors such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, Nathan Arkwright is a seminal author of the 20th century. At the end of his life he becomes reclusive and cantankerous, refusing to appear before or interact with his legion of fans. Little does anyone know, Nathan is putting into motion his true timeless legacy. Convinced that humanity cannot survive on Earth, his Arkwright Foundation dedicates itself to creating a colony on an earthlike planet several light-years distant.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Simplistic storyline with way too much melodrama

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-12-16

An uplifting take on the full potential of science fiction

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

Reviewed: 02-13-17

This was an enjoyable story with a strong connected narrative and an exciting optimistic view on the potential of science fiction to effect science development. There were some dull parts in the story, and the constant shift in narrators as the years pass leads to some less-than-stellar character-driven storylines, but the ending was well done and enjoyable.

  • Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 22 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10,599
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,880
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9,849

An all-new Stormlight Archive novella, "Edgedancer", is the crown jewel of Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection, the first audiobook of short fiction by number one New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson. The collection includes nine works in all. Originally published on Tor.com and elsewhere individually, these wonderful tales convey the expanse of the Cosmere and tell exciting tales of adventure Sanderson fans have come to expect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where to Find It (chapter #'s for stories)

  • By V. Smith on 07-25-18

Perfect read for big Sanderson fans.

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

Reviewed: 01-25-17

Don't start on this one if you haven't already been absorbed by the great mass of Sanderson's collective works, as these are all short stories with big spoilers for the respective series. But for those who've read them all, this is gold. The sheer scope of the universe Sanderson has crafted is astounding.

  • Lunar Discovery

  • Discovery Series, Book 1
  • By: Salvador Mercer
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 878
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 823
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 823

What lies on the dark side of the moon could change the course of humanity forever. When a Chinese rover discovers an alien technology on the dark side of the moon, it is up to Richard "Rock" Crandon and his NASA team of scientists and engineers to devise a way to return before the Chinese and Russians. Forced to deal with bureaucratic oversight and a complex team of personalities, Rock Crandon pushes his team to their limits.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprising start to a promising series.

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

Fantastic from start to finish.

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

Reviewed: 12-23-16

Fun, hard science fiction that mixes heavy detail and consistent action and drama. Heavily enjoyable throughout and lacks any boring lapses. The only downside was the lack of detailed character development - with its size and the multiple storylines needing to be properly finished, the author didn't have much room for detailed character depth. Not a serious issue though - this one is a gem and shouldn't be missed if you like hard-SF. Can't wait for the sequel.

  • Summer Knight

  • The Dresden Files, Book 4
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,568
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17,114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,051

The Winter Queen of Faerie has manipulated Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden into accepting a case to solve a murder and stop a war between the courts of Summer and Winter that could have literally earth shattering consequences. His own soul is up for grabs. Dresden must dig deep to discover that at time a willingness to accept a little help from your friends, be they a cub pack of werewolves, old loves in sheep's clothing, or a battalion of pizza loving dewdrop fairies, is a very good thing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Harry & James are one.

  • By Michael on 10-28-10

Brilliant delivery, compelling story

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

Reviewed: 10-23-16

Im a fan of the reader, Marsters', inflections and intent with the story delivery. And once again, Butcher captures a modern day Wizards encounters in compelling fashion

  • Too Like the Lightning

  • Terra Ignota, Book 1
  • By: Ada Palmer
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 20 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 463

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer - a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding story, if a bit inaccessible at times

  • By Ron Lubovich on 10-15-16

Best book I've listened to this year.

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

Reviewed: 10-08-16

A masterpiece of plot, world building, narration, and character. Everything about this story was unique, artful, and obviously carefully crafted. The world was very very complex, and I can understand how that mixed with the unusual narration might lose people, but damn, this is the best book I've read this year bar none. Can't wait for more - great work Ms. Palmer!

The narration was also fantastic - hope Jefferson does the sequel as well.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Nightblade

  • By: Ryan Kirk
  • Narrated by: Andrew Tell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,298
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,122
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,125

A quiet child, Moriko is forced into a monastic system she despises. Torn from her family and the forest she grew up in, she must fight to learn the skills she'll need to survive her tutelage under the realm's most dangerous assassin. Young, beautiful, and broke, Takako is sold to pay for her father's debts. Thrust into a world she doesn't understand and battles she didn't ask for, she must decide where her loyalties lie. When their lives crash together in a kingdom on the brink of war, the decisions they make will change both their lives and their kingdom forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a Fantastic Hidden Gem

  • By Michelle @ In Libris Veritas on 12-21-15

Mary Sue character propped up with decent story

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

Reviewed: 08-18-16

There were many enjoyable parts to this book, but much of it felt unpolished. Ryu was annoying perfect, and while both the female leads were in contrast much deeper, there were big parts of both their story which where completely unnecessary and painful to hear. Author couldn't stop torturing the pair of them.

If you like a gritty action, you'll probably like this, but the action went from great in the first half to stale in the second. Too much left to the imagination while the characters "swords flashed faster than anyone could comprehend".

  • Dawn of Wonder

  • The Wakening, Book 1
  • By: Jonathan Renshaw
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 29 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,956
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32,864
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,783

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself. But this is only the beginning of his discoveries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Instant Favorite

  • By Joe on 03-21-16

An invigorating, deep, emotional read

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

Reviewed: 04-14-16

Renshaw has worked magic, and this feels like the beginning of a next great epic.

In his attempts to humanize his main character and avoid the Mary Sue qualities that so many epic fantasy series find themselves mained with, Renshaw crafted Aedan into one of the deepest main characters I've read in a while. This can be absolutely infuriating, because Aedan's weaknesses at times slowed the book to a crawl, and I cursed the name of Jon Renshaw for putting his main character through so much conflict upon conflict upon conflict. Every time I thought the book was lining up for a breakthrough-Aedan-crushes-his-fears moment, it didn't. And that was infuriating beyond words (I had fellow commuters who noticed and wondered why I was screaming in my car - that's how emotional this book got me). But his is a slow, deliberate process, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy having a character feel THIS real, with all the downsides of a real, real person.

There were things I didn't like about the revelations in the end of the book, but they pailed in comparison to just how much fun 95% of this story was. The world feels real, the side characters deep, the conclusion was just solid enough to forgive the set-up for the next one.

Also, Tim Reynolds is a beast of a narrator.

In short, try this. Reynolds has me eager for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful