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Josh P

Honolulu, HI. United States
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  • The Pirates of Pacta Servanda

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 4
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,888
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,614
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,603

Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain have survived every attempt to stop them, but their enemies are determined to kill Mari, the only one who can save her world from a storm of destruction. As armies begin to gather and cities seethe with tension, Mari, Alain, and their friends must prepare to confront the storm in the place it first appeared: the broken kingdom of Tiae.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazingly fast ride while being informative.

  • By Josh P on 01-16-16

Amazingly fast ride while being informative.

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

Reviewed: 01-16-16

Any additional comments?

I assume if your reading this review, you've probably read the previous 3 books. If you haven't I highly suggest you go back to Book 1 "The Dragon's of Dorcastle" as it will greatly improve your enjoyment of this book. There are so many things I enjoyed in this volume.

The first 3 books mainly focused on the Marie & Alain's growing relationship and the reactions from their guild. While others friends appeared in the other books, in book 4 Marie is now truly gaining both friends & followers that will know join Marie & Alain. I am amazed at Jack Campbell's ability to add multiple major characters and introducing their personalities so well. The main group are a bunch of people that Marie grew up with. Even though The author mainly focuses the story being told through either Mariebor Alain's eyes, their friends truly show through the dialogue with witty and sometimes hilarious banter. I really like that these characters growth are even shown a bit.

This book is also a jump from major event/battle at a break neck speed. I usually expect books of this length to have 3-4 major events and battles but in this books 12 hours many more major things happen. I finished this book the same day I downloaded it. As I thought over the book after completing it, I realized that there was a ton for me to digest. So much so that I would have thought, this book was actually closer to 20 hours.

Finally the coming storm that is the lynch pin prophecy of this story, is definitely on its way. While I really enjoyed series like the wheel of time, the fulfillment of the starting prophecies took a great while to take place and we all know how long those books where. This series feels so much faster and while not as detailed as epic fantasy or space opera, this story will keep you interested all throughout. In my opinion, Books 1-3 where mainly about Marie & Alain's relationship, at the end of book 3 some of Marie's friends join them. This book is about the integration of Marie's friends & the starting of the consolidation of her forces.

I am greatly looking forward to Book 5. They could continue to build up Marie's forces or they could start the battles needed to stop the coming storm. Either way we are now probably reaching the meat of this series. It is true that Jack Camobell could try to stretch things out with other matters but as his track work in the released books shows, he seems to be taking this story full speed ahead. I really like this approach. The only other series that I've read that in my opinion ran at a similar pace was David Weber & John Ringo's "Prince Roger" Series which is one my of my personal favorites.

As for the reader Mcloud Andrews, he's never done a book I didn't enjoy. Really looking forward to his up coming reading of Brandon Sanderson's "Calamity" in a few months.

There's only one thing I'm kinda worried about with this Series. Throughout the previous books Marie has made it clear that she doesn't want to kill anyone as much as possible. In this book, her reluctant warrior ideals really come to the front with her contrasting idea of needed to be in the thick of fighting, since she refuses to ask others to do what she would not do herself. I do hope her character figures out how to come to terms with these contrasting ideologies soon. While I think any good moral character will have to face this, if a character doesn't resolve this it can really destroy a book. The Eragon series was ruined in my opinion by this. Books 1 & 2 where great but books 3-4 is where Eragon feels loathing and self hatred over battles he partake a in. It really dulls a book where the hero is fighting in these crazy cool battles, cutting swathes through the enemy, but anytime it turned to Eargons thoughts its some version of "that poor soldiers family" or "I never wanted to kill anyone"... As long as this dilemma is solved for Marie in a relatively quick fashion I will stick with this series to the end.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Star Cross

  • By: Raymond L. Weil
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 205
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 190

Admiral Kurt Vickers is on fleet maneuvers in the Newton System when a heavily damaged Earth light cruiser appears. The captain tells a horrific story. Earth has been invaded, and the defensive fleets in orbit have been annihilated. For decades, humans have been exploring farther and farther away from Earth and Newton searching for signs of intelligent life. Now that intelligent life has found them, it comes as an invader.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Repetitive dialogue and fixation on brothels.

  • By Josh P on 12-31-15

Repetitive dialogue and fixation on brothels.

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

Reviewed: 12-31-15

Any additional comments?

This is the first book I've ever read by Raymond L. Well. The story had an interesting premise. Earth invaded by aliens and a small portion of Earth's fleet is stationed at its single interstellar colony. If I had to compare it to another book, it would probably be John Ringo's book "Live free or Die". I really enjoyed that book by John Ringo and was really expecting to like this book as well.

There are two things that really bothered me about this book. The first is that the invading aliens want to take humans and sell them into slavery in back in their worlds and specifically to sell women into sexual slavery. I know that generally an author mentions this type of stuff to show just how evil the aliens are but for 75% of the book, every conversation between aliens ends with them expounding on how they can't wait to either sell these human women to the brothels or to go to the brothels themselves to (well you get the idea). Even when our human main character returns to his family from visiting an alien planet, when they ask him about the wonders he saw there, the conversation devolves into him explaining the differences between brothels and pleasure houses that these human women would be sold too. By the time I reached the half way point, I had lost count of how many times this was brought up. There is really a strange fixation on sexual slavery in this book.

The second issue I had was repetitive dialogue. In one scene, the admiral is mentioning to the captain that the invading aliens cultural reminds him of the Pirates of the Barbary Coast on earth. In the next scene the admiral is speaking with the governor and again uses the Barbary Coast analogy. Then in the next chapter, the captain walks up to the admiral and ask him "Doesn't these aliens remind you of the Pirates of the Barbary Coast?", then going on to explain the history of those pirates. I don't know if you would consider this sloppy dialogue or if this is how you force feed an idea to the reader but I found it to be very annoying. This is just one example of repetitive dialogue and the story is filled with other instances of this occurring.

As for narration. I will say that I personally believe that Liam Owen is an acquired taste. Not that he is bad at all, just different. When I first heard a book by him, I didn't care for his narration but now that I have listened to at least 4 other books he has read, I like his narration. Also in previous Sci-fi books that Liam has narrated, they did this weird voice modulation whenever he narrated an alien. Thankfully in this book didn't do that I really got to hear the wide variety of voices he has in his repertoire. In fact I was surprised that he is able to even do passible accents in his narration.

So to sum it up, if they had removed the sexual slavery or even toned it down and fixed the dialogue, I would have really like this book. The story ends at a good point and there is definitely room for sequels. As to whether I will be reading any of those if they come out, probably not.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Alice

  • Alice Series #1
  • By: Charles Lamb
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,048
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 966
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 966

Captain Jacob Thomas, USMC, is a divorced combat veteran just trying to get his life back on track. Returning to the marine corps after a failed attempt at reconciliation with his estranged wife, Jake volunteers for a DARPA experiment that catapults him into a future where humanity has been stripped of 200 years of technological advancements and more than half its population. With the help of a faceless benefactor named Alice, he escapes the confines of an abandoned lab facility.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 star sci-fi, 1 star lame romance novel

  • By Trudy Owens on 09-27-15

Not deep, or even epic but still enjoyable and fun

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

Reviewed: 09-19-15

Any additional comments?

Lately I've been searching for a good Military Scifi Book like "Old Man's War" or "The Prince Roger Series", when I came upon "Alice". While this book won't be in my top 10 list, I definitely had fun with it...

The author's writing style really reminds me of John Ringo but lacking any technical detail. The setting/world is written in broad strokes with little of the details actually being filled in. Being a rebuilt post apocalyptic world, it's relatively easy for the reader to kinda fill/make up the details for themselves. The big thing in my personal opinion that is missing from making this a great book is the technical details/explanations. Authors like John Ringo, David Weber, Travis S. Taylor know how to add those parts in and create great books. This story is more along the lines of "well we recovered alien power cells that allow us to create ships that can travel over 3,000 miles in 20 minutes". While all Scifi books by there very nature require some suspension of disbelief, this book just kinda ignores that step and keeps plowing along. Normally I'd hate that but the pace of the story makes you wanna keep going. Kinda like John Ringo's Troy Series, starting off with a guy cutting fire wood for odd jobs and following him building a Death Star (cough, cough). This story is very wide encompassing but like I mentioned before, it's missing that technical details/explanations that allow for the reader to have that suspension of disbelief. That being the case the story gets predictable and even campy at times. The book is very formulaic with an interesting but stretched premise, a basic plot and decent spots of action. I do want to emphasize though, I did find this book fun and entertaining. I can't really put my finger on what kept me hooked. I was trying to explain this to a friend and I found movie comparisons worked the best. If you had fun watching movies like "The Core", "Battleship", "Waterworld", Battlefield: Los Angeles", & "Independance Day". I think you will have will have fun with "Alice". Just don't go in expecting "Black Hawk Down" or "Inception" or you will be dissappointed.

Now that I've completed this book it will definitely go into my easy listening category. It will be one of those books I turn on when I need background noise or use to fall asleep since. I will be watching for future books from this author. If he just adds that technical detail he's missing, I think he could become one of my favorite authors. Two things I will add is that while the book does not end on a cliffhanger, it definitely leaves many plot lines incomplete (Like the 1st "Divergence" movie, sorry haven't had a chance to read the book or see the second movie). 2nd the book does deal with the main character being involved in polygamy or maybe a willing harem is more closer description as the protagonist doesn't technically marry anyone. The book does give a explanation for this but it pretty much that after an apocalypse there are more women then men and our protagonist genes are encoded to access secret items and things can't be changed to accept others DNA. It's a little more detailed than that but its supposed neccesities reasonings felt extremely shallow to me. It personally made me a bit uncomfortable and to me it felt like it was something the author wanted to include for their own reasons and kinda just shoe horned it into the story but thankfully the story doesn't contain graphic sex scenes or anything I would consider too explicit neither does he really get to preachy on it in either direction.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The End of All Things

  • Old Man's War, Book 6
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, John Scalzi
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,014
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,014

Humans expanded into space...only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. It was a good arrangement...for the Colonial Union. Then the Earth said: no more.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • why a lower rating on performance?

  • By D. Kassiday on 09-06-15

Drooling over the original draft/alternate version

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

Reviewed: 08-23-15

Any additional comments?

While this book pretty much completes and ties up all the loose ends to the Old Man' War series, there is an alternate version of the story that is added as a supplementary addition to the audiobook. In the authors note he mentions how he first started with the alternate story and then for reasons he doesn't explicitly explain, pretty much decided to re-write the story into the book we have now. I would say this book is a good book but felt rushed to me. Many plot lines felt forced in order to just finish the story. Some characters like General Gao and Hafde Sorval feel completely different from their constructs in the previous books. Also many of the major characters from the human division are relagated to almost background scenery. I kept waiting for one of those great/funny conversations between Hardt Schmit & Harry Wilson but it felt like while Hardt is there he almost never speaks. That's not to say it's a bad book, it is definitely above average when compared to other authors. The real problem arose for me when I listened to original story that got shelved and is incorporated as a supplementary section after the book is done. This original draft / alternate version really felt like the book we were supposed to get. It had the feel of the original trilogy and the spirit of the human division stories. Sadly John Scalzi states in his authors notes that he has no intentions to complete this original draft/alternative version. I honestly found myself much more engaged during the supplement than any time listing to the released book. So just to re-iterate, this is a good book that I enjoyed and I'm sure if your a fan of the Old Man's War series, that you will enjoy it too, but I hope that someday Mr Scalzi changes his mind and completes the original draft/alternate version of this book because that small preview was where I found myself truly hooked.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Forest

  • By: Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen - translator
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 22 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,281
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,829
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,824

This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking listeners to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion - in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-25-15

I am your Wall-Breaker

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

Reviewed: 08-23-15

Any additional comments?

The words "I am your Wall-Breaker" being spoken made me tremble with anticipation. I'll mention a bit more on that later. To begin with, this book is the Sequel to the "The Three Body Problem". Three Body Problem finished with while not exactly a cliff hanger, it was definitely did not complete most of the major plot points. The Dark Forest picks up on right on the heels of its predecessor and introduces both new characters and uses familiar characters. Let me say that if you have it read the Three Body Problem you will probably be lost and confused if you jump directly into the Dark Forest. After listening to the first three chapters of "The Dark Forest", I decided to go back and re-read the "Three Body Problem". Most authors when writing a sequel give a quick summary or explain major plot points of the previous books, this does not happen in the dark forest but jumps directly into major scenes with important characters. Let's put it this way, if you cant remember what a sophont is (hoped I guessed the spelling on that right, since I've only ever listened to the audiobooks) or what it was doing to the world, The Dark Forest expects you to know that information from the first book and doesn't do any recaps or extra explanations, which in my personal opinion was great cause it just left more space for the author to tell this story.

Now while the first book was more of a scifi alien mystery book, this book focuses on mankinds a reaction too the technology lock the earth has been put under. The only safe way to his information from the incoming alien fleet is to keep that information in your own head. So Earth task 4 individuals to become wall-facers, people who are to implement plans and strategies to save mankind while keeping it all in their own heads so that the aliens figure out their plans through direct spying. Hence the creation, of the Wall-Breakers, humans who sympathy lies with the invading aliens and who have taken on the job to observe the wall-facer's and deduce their true plans/strategies and expose these both to the aliens and the world in general before their plans can come to fruition. Hence when the words "I am your Wall-Breaker" appear, this lead to some of the most interesting and thought provoking scenes in the story.

As for narration, losing Luke Daniels was quite disheartening. While P.J. Ochlan does a fine job in narrating, his rendition/reading of characters is very different from the way they were portrayed in the first book. For me the biggest, disconnect was with the Police Officer Da Shurr. Due to the fact that Mr. Ochlan voices him so diff entry from Mr. Daniels, I found that I had to keep reminding myself that this was the same character from the first book, not a new character. That being said P. J. Ochlan does a good job with his reading but be prepared that you probably won't recognize characters by voice anymore. While this detracts from the overall enjoyment of the listening experience it is still a decent narration.

For my final thoughts on the book. I personally was a little disappointed at how things wrapped up at the end. A little to fast and anti-climatic for my personal taste. I can't say anymore without spoiling anything. I give it a 4/5 which is still great. I still give it 4/5 stars so please read it for yourselves and decide. I honestly think it just comes down to personal preferences when you reach the end and how much you enjoy it.

Now I thought that this book was the 2nd in a trilogy, yet the way it ends it pretty much clears up all questions and plot threads. It really reminded me of Ben Bova's writing style, enough to either answer the question or enough to where the question may not be completely answered but in those cases it's pretty much left to your interpretation. No glaringly open hanging plot threads left behind. Which leads me to wonder about the third book in the trilogy. With "The Dark Forest" ending I considered the story done, in fact I had to actually double check that this was indeed a trilogy and not a 2 book series. If/when book 3 is released I have no idea what the plot will be or what direction the story could or would take but I enjoyed book 1 & 2 so much that I wouldn't hesitate to purchase book 3. So in summary of you enjoyed "The Three Body a Problem", then "The Dark Forest" is a must read. If you haven't read book 1, I would almost say that it's impossible to start with this Book and understand what's going on, so if it sounds interesting give Three Body Problem a try. Lastly I hope Cixin Liu continues to write and translate any future books into english.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Star Runners

  • By: L E Thomas
  • Narrated by: Donald R Emero
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 402
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 367
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 369

With average grades, less than stellar play in baseball, and a single mother struggling to make ends meet, it looks as if Austin's only way to continue his education would be through some kind of miracle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Overall Story... But Predictable. Easy Listen

  • By Striker on 03-05-15

Could've been great. Nostalgic for Space Sim fans

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

Reviewed: 06-30-15

Any additional comments?

I probably would've thought that this book was the greatest novel ever written during my early teen years. Even though I'm a decade past those years, I still enjoyed most of the book for what it was. If you played space / flight simulation PC games during their heyday in the 90's (Not to say they're aren't any good space sims now, but the doesn't seem to be nearly as prolific), then being the protagonist of this story would've been a dream come true. If you come into that way, I think you'll enjoy some parts of it. Its definitely young adult, campy, and cliched but it's still a fun ride. If your were are space sim gamer, it will probably bring up a lot of nostalgia and make you want to find your games. If your expecting the harder scifi/mifi like you might get from Orson Scott Card, Travis S. Taylor, or John Scalzi, you'll probably be disappointed.

I did feel the book had issues though. For example, it seemed like the author was trying to use cliches but add something to them so they would feel like there was a twist, but instead it just drags out a seen even longer which you know will be resolved a certain way since it's a cliché. An example I can use is the without spoiling anything since it's mentioned in the summary is the whole recruitment process. Our protagonists best friend gets recruited into the "Star Runners" school early on in the book, you know from the summary, this is what is gonna happen to our protagonist but instead of him getting his invitation to the school it takes almost another 9 months for it to happen. During those 9 months we virtually just listen to how the protagonist is losing all his friends who are going off to college, how he can't find anyway to pay for college or get a scholarship, and finally how he doesn't want to get stuck living a normal boring life of daily work. Some might argue this as character building but when you could have done the character building at the school where we knew he was going to end up anyways, it just felt like a 2 hour self pity party you had to endure. Additionally our protagonist is extremely wishy washy, he comes into school driven, to learn and follow directions to the best of his ability so he won't be cut from the program and also his desire to be the best of the best, I was expecting the next Ender Wiggin at this point, but all of a sudden weeks of time are skipped in the book where our protagonist learned nothing since he decided that he was going to do things his own way... Usually I could chalk up something's like that to teenage angst but this really felt like the author lost sight of what kind of character he was creating.

Another part that felt the same was cliched clash when pitted against a cocky/punkish group of older recruits. When our Hero stands up for his class and teacher he is punished. Now I though this would be a great character building seen but instead, when he is counseled by his captain, the captain keeps giving conflicting instructions. You are to be a leader, all the other classmates look up too you, your classmates are family they are the most important, you need to show them loyalty, but when he stands up for one of his classmates that is attacked by older recruits and he stand up for them that same instructor tells him how he is too headstrong. I'm not sure what the instructor wanted him to do. Let his classmate suffer, be picked on and humiliated? (Cause just sitting there doing nothing shows real leadership & loyalty to his friends). It's almost like the author forgot what the point of the seen he was writing was for.

It also seemed like the author found hundreds of ways for the characters to say "I don't know". As they are thrust into the "larger reality" and the teacher won't answer any questions until he's ready, the students keep asking each other what's going on and replying I don't know in multiple different ways. I lost count after the 20th one student "looked at another student as if to ask what is going on and the other student just looks back and shrugs", all in the exact same scene... It's like common the students regress from college level back to elementary school students in their behavior.

Maybe I sound like I'm hating on the book but I'm just frustrated cause it could have been so much better. It has the makings of a great story. Good premise, interesting setting, nostalgia for those that like space sim games, exciting dog fights and much more but misses the mark. I'm gonna guess that this might have been a early work by the author and really would love to see this re-written when the author has a bit more writing experience. It really has the potential to become a best seller, the way Harry Potter was for the fantasy genre or how Hunger Games where for the YA dystopian genre. I will continue to check L E Thomas's future books because I really think he/she has potential and hopefully someday they will return to and polish this book some more.

As for narration Donald R Emero, this was my first book listening to him. He does a decent job. Doesn't have the range of voices the more seasoned narrator's have, but I think again it will come with time. One thing I will mention is I don't know if he made mistakes during the reading or if the actual manual script just had bad grammar. Some sentences definitely used words that were not meant to be used that way. Some words were completely incorrect. Also I noticed terminology used in the book is not uniformly enforced. I have heard the term "furball used, when fighters are in a dogfight" but the another scene it's read as the fighters closed to engaged in a "fireball". I don't know who to fault for those problems. If it was written that way, then their is nothing the narrator could do. In any case I would be willing to try another book narrated by him.

I don't think I've ever given a book a solid set 3's across the board for a score. This book has so much potential that I desperately want to like it but the faults I mentioned before I can't mark it at hire. If it wasn't a subject that I find so interesting and nostalgic I probably would've given it a lower score. That being said I really do hope both the narrator and author continue to make audiobooks because with some more experience I'm sure they'll produce something great in the near future. As far as recommendations, if you are really on the need for a YA scifi book give it a shot or if you were every a space sim game addict.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fold

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,501
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28,454

The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fun premise, great performance, weak story

  • By J. Klinghoffer on 08-06-15

Especially good if you've already read "14"

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

Reviewed: 06-03-15

Any additional comments?

Peter Clines is quickly becoming my favorite thriller / mystery / horror writer. While "The Fold" is a stand-alone novel much of mysteries that where solved in "14" are revisited in this book and serve as a foundation for the new mysteries in this book. You don't have to read "14" to understand "The Fold" but I believe you will find the solutions to the mysteries of this book more satisfying with that back ground. At first I thought "the fold" was completely new standalone novel that had no connections to his other works. Then I read what I thought was a cameo/shout out to some green iridescent roaches. That put a grin on my face. I don't want to say anything further so as not to spoil anything but I really suggest reading "14" if you haven't done so. As a note of warning, I would not read "The Fold" 1st and the "14". Some of the things discussed in "The Fold" are answers to the main mysteries the protagonist and his friends are trying to solve in "14".

Neither though is this book a true sequel to "14". Maybe it could be considered a spin-off Though as a stand alone book and you could enjoy it by itself. The closest experience I've had with something like this was watching Stargate Atlantis. I had never seen the original Movie or StarGate SG1 series before watching season 1 of Stargate Atlantis. I really enjoyed Stargate Atlantis so while I waited for season 2 to premier I went back and watched SG1 and the original movie. Doing that made Atlantis at the more enjoyable for me as I started to pick up on a lot more background things that I wouldn't have noticed without watch the earlier show. "The Fold" and its predecessor "14" bring out that extra information and world building in that same way.

Unlike "14", "The Fold" starts of with a more thriller vibe. To me the book really felt like I was listening to a Lincoln Child / Douglas Preston type novel for the beginning 2 hours.Our protagonist "Mike", who is blessed/cursed with a high IQ & Idetic memory being sent to investigate a secretive project being funded by DARPA, (unlike our everyday day joe hero of 14 just falling into the middle of a mystery). After those first 2 hours, the mystery kicks into high gear and all the things I loved about the way "14" was wrote started to appear. The character development and character relationships appear and you slowly see it change from the protagonist curiosity being the driving force to the entire group becoming interested working together.

This book is in my personal opinion a lot rougher than "14". If your expecting the same formula as "14", the core elements of it is there but there are also many changes. This time your even working with a governmental oversight viewpoint right from the start rather than just a group of friends. Does this make it better or worse than "14"? To answer I would go back to the StarGate analogy. I know some people really loved Atlantis & others where die hard SG-1 fans. IMHO, they where both good and I while I did have my own favorite of the two, both shows complimented each other so well that I could enjoy either show. That's what "14" & "The Fold" are in a sense. Two stories that compliment each other. You'll probably having a favorite among the two but having already read "14" will make you enjoy "The Fold" all the more, especially if you go in with the knowledge that it will feel quite different at least to start with, but all core elements that made "14" so good will eventual find a way into the story.

As for narration/voice acting. Ray Portor continues to give a stellar performance. If I see his name as narrator and it's a genre I like it's nearly an automatic buy. I can't think of anybody I've listened to with his narration that was a disappointment. It's kinda like Micheal Kramer and epic fantasy. I've been willing to purchase epic fantasy 20+ hour books whose authors I've never heard of and their plot summary I only find vaguely interesting, just because they do such a good job with narration, I'm willing to take a risk. Ray Portor is easily in my top 5 narrators and he does his gives his regular outstanding performance in this book.

So if you haven't read "14" I suggest you read that and then come back and read "The Fold" to maximize your enjoyment of the story. If you didn't like "14", I also suggest you give the "The Fold" a chance because it's just different enough from 14 that whatever you may not have like from "14", might have been replaced with a different writing style that you may enjoy more. Finally if you were expecting a "14" continuation/clone may I suggest you read at least halfway through before giving up. I believe all the things that made "14" such and enjoyable book are in "The Fold" in some form or another even if it's not immediately obvious. I do hope that Mr. Clines eventually picks something to put in the titles of these books to show that they are connected so future titles that occur in this "world" will be easy to spot. I do apologize if I rambled a bit in this review or came across as vague but found it extremely difficult to talk about any similarities between both books or make direct comparisons without spoiling any of the story/mystery. To give you an idea of how much I enjoyed "The Fold", I finished it in one non-stop binge and as for "14" I think I read it at least 6 times in the past year. All I can say is that I hope you will give both "The Fold" & "14" a try and that you enjoy it as much as I did.

105 of 135 people found this review helpful

  • The Forgotten Room

  • A Novel
  • By: Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,932
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,738
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,741

New York Times best seller Lincoln Child returns with a riveting new thriller featuring the charismatic and quirky Professor Jeremy Logan, renowned investigator of the strange and the inexplicable, as he uncovers a long-lost secret experiment only rumored to have existed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Felt like some Chrichton style was channeled in.

  • By Josh P on 05-16-15

Felt like some Chrichton style was channeled in.

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

Reviewed: 05-16-15

Any additional comments?

I have always enjoyed Lincoln Child's works and of course his collaborations with Douglas Preston. This new Jeremy Logan entry was fun in all the usual Lincoln thriller ways. Great atmosphere creation, eerie mysteries to be solved, A good amount of science for plausibility, and action to round out the thriller. Beyond the usual fun of Lincoln Child's works, two things in this particular novel made it all the more enjoyable.

First we get a lot more of Jeremy Logan's history shown to us as the story takes place at a think tank he was attached to about 10 years ago. I always love it when Lincoln Child does this with his characters. Similar to how Agent Pendergast eccentricities become almost endearing when we find out his back story, Logan's history with his start at Yale and current work seem to become become a sort of natural evolution of his character as we learn more about his time at the Lux think tank. Definitely one of the highlights of the book for me.

Second, the mysteries and sciencetific explanation while of course still being fiction are top notch. Mr. Child must have done a serious amount of scientific research to create this story. This particular book felt very reminiscent of Micheal Crichton's Andromeda Strain & Congo. Not that the storyline or setting is similar in anyway to those two books but rather how well the science is fleshed out for us. I found myself repeatedly getting sidetracked by looking up Wikipedia articles to understand some of science or history that is referenced in this book. Every so often in his books ("Utopia" for example), it feels like Lincoln Child is channeling a bit of Chrichton's style into this work. I was expecting a Lincoln Child story which I masterfully got and it feels like the Chrichton gap in left by his passing was partially filled by this book as well. This has been my personal favorite of the Jeremy Logan stories so far. I do hope Lincoln Child continues to use this particular talent of his every once in a while.

As for Narration, Johnathan McClain did another great job, just as he did in the Third Gate. Just as Rene Auberjonois is the voice of Pendergast and Ray Porter is the voice of Joe Ledger, Jonathan McClain is now the voice I hear even when physically reading Jeremy Logan. Getting used to his reading may have taken a bit longer for me since I was used to hearing Scott Brick in the other two novels Mr Logan appears in.

If your a fan of Lincoln Child this book is a must read. If not, i dare say this book will make you one.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Dragons of Dorcastle

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 1
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,301
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,782

The Mechanics and the Mages have been bitter rivals, agreeing only on the need to keep the world they rule from changing. But now a Storm approaches, one that could sweep away everything humans have built. Only one person has any chance of uniting enough of Dematr behind her to stop the Storm, but the Great Guilds and many others will stop at nothing to defeat her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book with some issues, still enjoyable read.

  • By Wesley on 02-08-15

Too really judge this book, you need the sequel.

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

Reviewed: 04-22-15

Any additional comments?

Originally I read this book and was so irritated at the ending that I was going to give up on the series. I couldn't believe both the way and how this Book ends. Just when everything is getting really interesting, you've become attached to the characters, and the deeper overall theme is starting to show, the book ends and in a way I personally hated. After reading this book, I thought that I would never go touch it again, especially since I guessed that any following books would at least a year away. Then book 2 was released 4-6 months later and the picked up the story a few weeks after book 1 ending. Book 2 is really the story that we are hoping, book 1 is really just the setup for book 2. I think if they had released books 1 & 2 together, it would have been an fallen in to the "epic" sub genre of scifi/fantasy.

This Book, is a story of boy meets girl from rival guild houses but it's no futuristic Romeo and Juliet. Mage Elaine of the Mage/Magic Guild is purged of basic emotions and taught that all the world is an illusion so nothing and no one matters except following the rules of his guild. Master Mechanic Marie is a prodigy of engineering whose talent and ambition is being suppressed by the elders of her guild. She is taught that only other Mechanics are worthy of respect, all mages are liars and frauds, and common people are nothing but ignorant masses who are incapable of higher learning.

The story starts with Marie and Elaine meeting while coming under attack while traveling in a caravan. Their traing from their respective guilds tells them to leave the other to die but Marie's forceful personality and personal conscience doesn't allow her to leave the Mage. After traveling together to safety and going through other events together, they both learn that their guilds have not been telling them the truth about the other guilds and even the world in general. As the two spend more time together you can really see their characters grow in both amusing and heart warming ways. Towards the end of Book 1 the hidden theme / the true secret of their world starts to makes its appearance and some truly epic things are going to need to occur for that theme / secret to be resolved. Then it just ends in a most unsatisfying conclusion. From the tone of the conclusion I had suspected Book 2 would take place years, even decades later, but thankfully it picks up a few weeks after book 1 and even explains exactly what happened in between.

Some of my friends who have read this book said it felt like a Young Adult book. I can understand why especially since book 1 is all about the characters growing into themselves and dealing with the issues that come with truly opening your eyes to the world in your late teens and early twenties along with a healthy dose of teenage angst. Yet when you take Book 2 into account this story takes on a much more epic quality. I can't really say more without running into spoilers but I implore you to read book 2 before you make a judgment on this series.

As far as comparisons it's really hard to think of a match. I would liken it to Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharing Knife series. That book is purely fantasy, but is about two people from two very different backgrounds teaching each other about the dangers of the world they live in and how they both grow as people from their experiences. This book follows a very similar vein of thought and while the characters in the Sharing Knife series are older (at least Dag definitely is), their character growth and perceptions of the world really start to change as they learn. Theirs even a hidden theme / the true secret of their world that they are trying to find in that series. I'd say "Dragons of Dorcastle" is very similar except it's a scifi setting and since both protagonist are teenagers, they also have to deal with the teenage angst that's common the world over. That may be another reason that some readers attribute a YA feeling to this book but instead of that angst being a worrying unvoiced issue just waiting to rear its ugly head as in other YA novels, our heroes actually talk about these issues, realize at times they will act irrationally under the force of that angst and instead of trying to hide it, they ask each other for help to recognize when this is happening to one or more of them. That's when for me personally the book went from generic scifi to something much more epic because you now have characters who can deal with their youthful faults in a mature way and won't require a Dues Ex Machina from the author to reach a true conclusion.

Book 3 or even further is gonna be needed to finish this series and I am eagerly awaiting any new books. I would put my anticipation on this series with the same eagerness I await the next Steel Heart / Firefly entry. So please if you read book 1 and didn't really get attached to the series I ask you to try Book 2 before you miss out on a truly great series. If your on the fence about trying this Book please make sure you continue to read Book 2 as well before making your judgement. I almost missed out on this great series because I was too wrapped up in my own preconceived ideas of how the series was gonna play out that I nearly walked past this gem and missed out.

Almost forgot about the narrator "Mcleod Andrews". I loved his reading of Alexy Pehov's "The Chronicals of Sciala". He was great then and now a few years later I see him name everywhere which pleases me. He does just as great a job on Dragons of Dorcastle as he does with Brandon Sanderson's Reckoners Series. In my opinion, they are good narrators that are verging on greatness like Oliver Wyman, Luke Daniels, & Ray Porter and their are truly great like Stefan Rudnicki, Scott Brick, & Micheal Kramer. I personally think "Mcleod Andrews" is close to being the next Micheal Kramer and that just makes Dragons of Dorcastle all the better for his narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eye of the Moonrat

  • The Bowl of Souls, Book 1
  • By: Trevor H. Cooley
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,382
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,285

Justan was raised on the outskirts of the Dremaldrian Battle Academy. He watched his father ascend the ranks within the academy to become one of the most respected warriors in the kingdom. The only thing he has ever wanted is to become an academy student and follow the path of his father. Unfortunately, only the best can enter the academy and Justan is a horrible fighter. Everyone tells him that he is more suited to scholarly work than swordplay.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Welcome Addition to the Genre

  • By Matthew on 06-17-15

Not YA Fantasy or Epic but in between and great!

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

Reviewed: 02-09-15

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book. Some people compare it to YA fantasy but while at first it may feel a bit light, there really is some depth to this book. While I wouldn't call it epic fantasy, the author does a fine job of world building. Instead of creating and describing a huge history of this world, you get the sense it is set in a medieval setting with magic. Then as time goes on and the character's are introduced to other places and races, we are then given a more detailed description of that race or place. I'm very happy that the information details are given in pieces and not an info dump. For example, when the character runs into a village of elves, the book takes a few minutes to describe how that particular village settlement was built. Later during a healing session, it then dives a bit into the differences between elven and human magic. Just enough to wet the appetite and answer some major questions without it detracting from the stories current events and leaves room for more information to be given at the appropriate times.

As far as the characters, they have that young adult optimism to start with but it the author never uses it as an excuse to blind them to the consequences of there actions. Character's don't just run off doing the same foolish things again and again. If it seems like the character is going to do something foolish again, the author takes you through the character's though process and gives you actual reasons for their actions. One thing I really enjoyed is the action of the Sword and Sorcery, while being brutal during the battles and fights is not overly gory. There are loped off heads and dripping blood but not horrible disturbing descriptions. Think Star Wars Violence with swords that don't cauterize the wounds. One thing I really like so far is the character growth who wants to become a warrior. He really grows in the book and comes to understand that war and battle is both brutal and terrible. Yet he also understands that it has its place. I really like this. If you read the Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini, you might know what I'm talking about. By the 3rd and 4th book of the Series the protagonist seems to spend more time lamenting about how wasteful war is and how much he hates fighting after longing his entire life to become a warrior. I don't mind a character having to come to the realization that what he is doing is destructive and sometimes innocents will be hurt, but when you have chapters were the character grumbles about this being longer than the battle itself and the character constantly bringing this up before every swing of his sword, it feels like sermon more than a fantasy book. So far the author has gracefully avoided this pitfall and the character grows, while not being blind to the destruction, is able to find a ways to cope with it without whining.

As far as Narration, James Foster does a very good job with the voices and its pretty easy to differentiate between characters by his voice. I would have given him 5 stars but some pronunciation of words seemed pretty strange. Words like Chitin and Swathe, and a few more. The way he pronounced them is very different from every other audio book I've listened too that use those words. I don't truly know if he is pronouncing them wrong or if maybe the words can be pronounced different ways (tomato / tomatoe) kinda thing. If he is pronouncing them correctly, I apologize and would say he deserves 5 Stars, but if the pronunciation is wrong then I feel that more preparation should have been done or at least it should have been caught in editing/quality control.

TL;DR - Feels like YA Fantasy in the beginning but quickly proves that it has great depth to it. Fun, action packed story with characters that grow and mature as the story progresses. Great fight scenes while still being brutal are light on the gore. Narration is good except for some pronunciation issue I mentioned in the previous paragraph, they are quite few and far between so you might not even notice it. I would liken this to books like Eragon, Eldest, Circle of Reign or The Sharing Knife Series. If you liked any of those books I highly suggest you give it a try.

I am currently in the 2nd book of this series and so far that is all that is available on Audible. Apparently there are 8 Books in the series including a Book 0 prequel and another book being written by the author right now. I hop you enjoy this book as much as I did I highly suggest you submit a content request to audible to get the other books in the series made available on audible.com.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful