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Scott

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  • Deceptions

  • Ascendant, Book 3
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,311
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,982
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,955

Koren Bladewell now knows he is a wizard, but he is lost in the wilderness, cut off from help, and unable to use his powers. The enemy is poised at the border with an overwhelming invasion force, and it will take wizards, soldiers and a young, untested princess to hold off defeat long enough for Koren to be trained and grow into his power. But he might not wish to help those who deceived him and destroyed his life. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • First two books; really good!

  • By Johan on 04-29-18

I think the Iron Druid Finale was worse...maybe

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

Reviewed: 06-08-18

I'm very angry about Deceptions. I presumed, incorrectly, though out the hours of goblin fleeing, dwarf assisting and pointless boat travel, that this was going to be a 4 part cycle instead of a trilogy. I presumed, at some point we would actually meet the demon and get a background story about the creature and his powers. I presumed that we would have some powerful moment when Koren arrived at the perfect time and saved everybody from a terrible death. I presumed, that Koren would manage to escape the clutches of evil after he saw how powerful the demon was and would come back in book four kicking ass and taking names! I presumed very wrong.

What I didn't expect, was that we'd have to sit through 14 hours of all that plus two wizards making a worthless journey. That the Regent and future Queen of the realm wouldn't be dragged around to every battle for no apparent reason other than to let her be attacked. We certainly didn't expect a mere ten minutes of finally meeting the so called most evil/powerful creature on the continent (10 minutes! That's all the time Alanson gave us with the Demon!) Plus all the other countless events of lazy writing and the terrible sense of time throughout the book that actually got us to a final showdown that took all of five minutes before it was all over.

I restarted my Audible account because of the Ascendant series. I enjoyed the first two books, even though Alanson relied far too much on chance and circumstance to move his story along in my opinion, and I was looking forward to the next part of the series. And we got this. A book that might possibly be my least favorite ending ever (after the Iron Druid finale (Which we should all burn and pretend didn't happen!)). As aforementioned, I thought for sure that this was all build up for an epic fourth book in the series. There was so much potential. Betrayl, romance, magic and battles. But instead, all we got was running and scheming and the like. It's like Alanson was told by his agent that he was done with this series and they wouldn't publish a fourth book. So he just scrambled to a ending that would kind of fit. (I like to think this, but my presumptions haven't been accurate in regards to this series so far)

In the end, the story isn't the worst, it's just poorly written. And Reynolds does his usual excellent job.

Go a head and finish the series, but don't expect much.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Scourged

  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,322
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,955
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,934

New York Times best-selling author Kevin Hearne returns with the finale to his wildly popular action-adventure series, The Iron Druid Chronicles. Two-thousand-year-old Druid Atticus O'Sullivan travels to Asgard and faces off against the Norse gods to try to prevent Ragnarok in the final battle for the fate of mankind.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not a fitting conculsion

  • By will on 04-04-18

Such a depressing ending

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

The Iron Druid quickly became one of my favorite book series. It had humor, adventure, mythology, love, and so much more. And while I admit that the last few books just didn't quite have the spirit and connection that Hounded, hammered and hexed did, I was truly expecting an absolute epic of a conclusion from Hearne. He disappointed me greatly.

First the good though. Get ready for Sloth paradise! Owen's side stories start to bend this book back towards enjoyable. And SlowMo is probably the 2nd best character introduced in the entire series (Behind Oberon). And yep, that's about it.

Not only was the ending just upsetting for conclusions discussion, but it was also incredibly depressing. Literally nothing seems to go good for Atticus. Sure they win the day and all is well, but the only being on the planet trying above and beyond to stop a world ending event is the one that gets the most shafted in the end. Their are parts of this sob that I see and understand, but dammit if the gods in this series aren't made out to be the worst kind of Assholes and their the ones with their feelings hurt. I kept expecting a grand and final "F" you speech from Atticus about how they should pull their heads out of their butts and be grateful for the effort HE put in. Like he would have done in any and all of the previous books. And we never get it. He just roles over and takes it. The hole ending was so out of character for Atticus that I'm wondering what Hearne's state of mind was when he wrote this.

Over all, the book isn't poorly written and Daniels does his typical fantastic self. Hearns ties up pretty much every loose end from the entire series, and like I said, we get to have some fun with Owen.

But man, for such a like-able character to go out the way he did. I feel like I just watched the show finale of How I Met Your Mother all over again. Disappointing and depressing.

  • Rising Thunder

  • Dynasty of Storms, Book 1
  • By: Brandon Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 83

Elias is no ordinary elf. A giant amongst his kind, he dwarfs not only his fellow elves but the taller, stronger humans as well. Cast out by his own kind, he was sent to live amongst the Northmen at a young age, learning their ways and culture, but never wholly accepted by them. When his oldest friend, King Brynjar, dies in his old age, Elias's position among the volatile men of the Northlands becomes tenuous, and he sets out to make his place in the world. Far to the south, a war is brewing between his homeland of Lonwick and the demonic Felle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good start of a series

  • By JD Davis on 11-08-17

VIVID SEX SCENE

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

Reviewed: 03-01-18

So this is actually a well written book. For the first 6 hours I thoroughly enjoyed it. And then, without warning and because why not apparently, Cornwell throw's in one of the most vivid sex scenes I've ever read/listened too. And I'm not talking like some short snip bit, I mean an all encompassing five minute long section of book with full narration. And while the idea of the scene might be relevant to the story in regards to buying the main character to the cause, it's incredibly unnecessary and terribly surprising in it's length and detail. I honestly would have given this book closer to four stars, but this scene took me completely by surprise and I'm not going to be able to finish the book because I feel awkward now.

Had I known about the scene ahead of time, then I would be fine. But now it just feels weird. And I've seen reviews where the first is not the only of such scenes.

So if you're willing to take the sex in stride and are fully prepared for it, it's a fine book and please enjoy it.

The narration was just fine.

4 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Dragon Hunter and the Mage

  • Wounds in the Sky, Book 1
  • By: V. R. Cardoso
  • Narrated by: Todd Menesses
  • Length: 19 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209

Aric and Fadan are half-brothers. Both sons of the Empress, but only one of them the son of the Emperor. A decade ago, Fadan's powerful father tore the Empire in two by outlawing the use and practice of magic. Forbidden from seeing each other, Aric and Fadan defy the Emperor and wander the vast Imperial Citadel until one night, they stumble upon an ancient Manual of Magic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good listen

  • By John on 12-02-16

Solid but not great

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

First things first, the cover is very misleading. The Hunter and the Mage spend less than 1/10 of the book together. The only thing that connects the two are that they are half brothers. Now, I dare say that it's safe to assume that the two of them are going to meet back up (Probably in book 2), but I originally purchased this book thinking that this was going to be some magical version of Royce and Hadrian. And that was all due to the cover.

Now, to the actual story. You're getting a decent start into a new world. One where magic is on the run (due to the mage's father. A little predictable, but time honored) and dragons are the blood line for the magical community. In reality, there are 2 books going on there. The Hunter goes and faces dragons, gets a team, gets some friends, and saves the girl. The Mage plays politics, learns magic, and gets involved with espionage. Again, let me say that the book is plenty good. World development is a strength and the descriptions are top class. The character development is a little lacking and the plot is highly predictable, but it at least keeps you interested the entire time.

The true downside to the purchase is Todd Menesses. He's definitely not the worst I've heard, but he's on the bottom of the spectrum. His voice changes are mostly jut various degrees of roughness, but the worst part is that he holds on to the last syllable of every sentence. You get used to it, but it really bothered me for a while at the beginning.

Worth a credit.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Besieged

  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,143
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,887
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,866

The ancient gods are alive and well in the modern world in this hilarious, action-packed collection of original short stories featuring Atticus O'Sullivan, the handsome, tattooed, 2,000-year-old Irishman with extraordinary magic powers from Kevin Hearne's New York Times best-selling Iron Druid Chronicles.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Short or full-length, Hearne & Daniels OWN it all

  • By RabidReads on 08-21-17

Just Short Stories

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

So it's fun, i guess. Nothing new and nothing gets added to the story. Seems more like Hearne is just trying to earn a paycheck with this one. All of his scribbles that clearly weren't book worthy, but throw them together, put his name on it and the Iron Druid title on the cover and people will buy it. But like i said, it's fun. Just do yourself a favor and get it from your local library or read it. Not worth the money for the audio version.

Oh, and let us not forget the unforgettable encounter with Bast and the unfortunate Cat Sex/torture part of all of this. Darn Daniels and his talent! Didn't need any of that as a visual!!!

  • Transcendent

  • Ascendant, Book 2
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,305
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,792

Koren Bladewell's future was stolen from him, by wizards who chose to lie, to conceal the fact that Koren is a wizard. Crown princess Ariana Trehayme must find a way to become queen before her 16th birthday - before her indecisive mother allows all of Tarador to be conquered.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can't wait for the next one...

  • By Christopher on 01-08-18

If you like fantasy politics, this books for you

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

So you have the Ariana in politics or people being afraid of Koren. Those are your options in this book. No, we also get great characters and great development of secondary characters. Heck, we even get to see what the bad guys are really all about. And, we get more dwarves, which adds another level to the story. But 3/4 of this book is all about Ariana playing politics to get the thrown away from her mother, and Koren running around thinking he's still a jinx. Then, things get good again.

We finally get battles, which introduces us to the actual bad guys (Which is a nice change of pace). Characters grow and new characters are entertaining. The good guys persevere and overcome while Koren finally finds out he's an actual Mage. The last 1/4 of this book is very interesting and fast paced. You just have to work for it. And the work is easy enough. Great world and character development, and you get a narrator that know's his stuff.

So far, I've enjoyed the series so far and look forward to #3.

  • A Shattered Empire

  • By: Mitchell Hogan
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 21 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,854
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,649
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,638

In a battle of armies and sorcerers, empires will fall. After young Caldan's parents were slain, a group of monks raised the boy and initiated him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. But when the Mahruse Empire was attacked and the lives of his friends hung in the balance, he was forced to make a dangerous choice. Now, as two mighty empires face off in a deadly game of supremacy, potent sorcery and creatures from legend have been unleashed. To turn the tide of war and prevent annihilation, Caldan must learn to harness his fearsome and forbidden magic.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The conclusion that disappointed

  • By Shawn on 11-10-16

The build up was better than the finale

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

Not much really to say. The build up (Books 1-2) was far better than the conclusion. It almost felt like Hogan had given himself too many side stories to fight through and then couldn't get each of them the proper time or conclusion. Or, and this is probably more likely since we had to wait a while for the conclusion, He just got tired with the story and only finished it because he was contractually obligated.

We also get to a point where you're angry at everybody not named Caldon! Nearly everybody else hates him, want's to use him, distrusts him or just want's him gone. I don't know why he decided to help the world he lives in, because it pretty much hates him and would have rather seen him dead rather than save them.

Overall,I enjoyed this book and the series, but by the end, I couldn't help but feel that they should hunt down and kill all magic wielders because they were far too powerful in this story. Sad end to a promising series, but i'd still recommend you give it a chance.

Oliver Wyman was just fine again. A Very good performance.

  • Return of the Darkening Series: Complete Boxset

  • By: Ava Richardson
  • Narrated by: Tiffany Williams
  • Length: 24 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 293

High-born Agathea Flamma intends to bring honor to her family by following in her brothers' footsteps and taking her rightful place as a Dragon Rider. With her only other option being marriage, Thea will not accept failure. She's not thrilled at her awkward, scruffy partner, Seb, but their dragon has chosen, and now the unlikely duo must learn to work as a team.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A new type of dragon rider

  • By Claire on 09-17-17

Actually begging for a love triangle by the end!

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

This is a textbook for books where the main characters are kids and their mad at all the adults because their years of experience tell them differently! The entire book, the MC's are furious because "They know better!" And that never goes away by the way. We have next to 0 character development and growth!

Now that we've emphasized that these are kids and they need to shut up and let adults actually do their jobs...lets talk about the the plot holes. I won't list them, just know that there are many. And they're glaring. So much frustration.

The sad part, is that the story itself isn't all that bad. It's just in desperate need of some TLC. The plot holes were numerous but avoidable. The commoner who becomes a hero, but nobody in the book still ever notices him. The noble who becomes bonded with the commoner and then refuses to ever see him as anything but a commoner (Or even a person! The nobles in the world are just the worst and they never grow out of it!) The bad guy was both literally and figuratively an idiot. The constant mentioning of "The Darkening" like we're supposed to know what the hell that is! And then, we have 3 books of constant hinting at the love triangle between the two MC's and the Prince/King. It just keeps slapping you in the face and then never goes anywhere! I've never been angry about a lack of a love triangle...ever! And what the hell happened to Jensen, his partner and their dragon! They literally disappeared after book 2 without an explanation! Did they die? What's going on! PLOT HOLES!!!!!!!!!

Williams didn't too bad I guess, but there was really no saving this. At least it's a 3 books in 1 package. But save your credit, go somewhere else!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Ascendant: Book 1

  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 17 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,516
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,188

The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard. They were supposed to tell everyone that he is not a jinx, that all the bad things that happen around him are because he can't control the power inside him, power he doesn't know about. The people of his village, even his parents, are afraid of him, afraid he is cursed. That he is a dangerous, evil jinx.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A skeptic entertained

  • By David M on 11-22-17

SO much misunderstandings!

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

Reviewed: 01-18-18

Before purchasing this book, i saw a review mentioning how the author over used the power of the "Misunderstanding" to advance the story. And that review highly undersold what I was getting in to. Every page, or so it seems, has another lie or misunderstanding or etc that affects the characters and forces us down paths that are critical to the story but are just frustrating as a reader. And this fact nearly wrecks a very enjoyable story.

But how we go down the path shouldn't really take away from how enjoyable the path is to walk. The characters are well developed. The world is well developed. The speed is right and the emotion is strong. In fact, and this is the only benefit of the previous paragraph, is that you begin the start getting angry for Koren at all the misleading. Which really creates the bond between you and Koren.

But the other characters are just as like-able, hate-able, and fun to get to know. And Alanson does a great job of connecting you to them. Now, the story is a little predictable and isn't anything all that new, but it's still a highly enjoyable ride that i'll enjoy continuing on.

Waste a credit, don't pay.

Tim Gerard Reynolds is his usual great self. Can't talk him up enough.

  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic

  • Arcane Ascension, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Rowe
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,937
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,076

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess. He never returned. Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great beginning to a series

  • By Bee Fisher on 10-23-17

Pretty Darn Good

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

Reviewed: 10-16-17

There's not much to complain about with this book. We have Magic, magical creatures, a school for magic, sword fighting, and more. Hell, there's practically a dragon in a dungeon full of other puzzle's and treasure to spice things up.

The way he presented all these parts of the book was also so fresh in the world of Fantasy that it made the book even better. He presented it like a game. You get so far up the tower, then you save. Train up, hone your skills and go back into the tower to get higher. And you keep doing this until you've reached the top and you're all powerful! Add in a plot to seize power, a twist you really don't see coming, friendships gained and lost, and some really cocky word play...and you get the start of what could be a true epic.

I'd highly recommend this book and I can't wait for the next in the series.

(5 stars only for the truly greats. This was good, but not a truly great!)