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Amul Kumar

Chicago, IL
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 38
  • helpful votes
  • 161
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  • The Way of Shadows

  • Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 21 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,112
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,835
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,853

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art---and he is the city's most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir. For Azoth, survival is precarious, something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums and learned to judge people quickly---and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint. But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shockingly good.

  • By Jake on 08-25-09

Good start, weird finish

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

Fairly interesting initial story about a street kid who is apprenticed to an assassin/sorcerer. The abrupt leap forward in time is confusing, and it's only after this that we're suddenly thrown a few dozen new characters, histories and political situations, all of which could have been developed during the first two acts. The near complete lack of foreshadowing and unexpected romantic plots towards the end were handled gracelessly. Its a pity, because the world building seems like it could have been interesting, but instead, it ends up being incoherent.

  • Elantris

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Jack Garrett
  • Length: 27 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,236

Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What if your body could never heal?

  • By Lore on 09-12-13

This is a terrible first pitch out the door.

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

Hands down the worst thing Sanderson has ever written, which isn't surprising as it's his first. No foreshadowing, a couple thousand made up words that all sound the same, including character names.

The narrator is also terrible, I can't even tell when we switch between characters -- which makes the giant shifts between character states even more difficult to keep track of. There's a scene where all the zombie people have been captured and are to be burned, the protagonist is there, and the next time we cut back to him, his buddies are dragging him away with no explanation of how they got away, and on and on and on.

The only reason I picked this up was because someone gave me a strong reason to reconsider his Mistborn series, and when I did, I had to admit that my initial distaste was because I didn't understand what he was trying to do, so I thought I'd try his other works, but this is just bad.

I'm glad he kept writing, but do yourself a favor and skip this one. Stick with the ones he wrote after he learned how to write.

  • The Oncoming Storm

  • Angel in the Whirlwind, Book 1
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,089
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 994
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 996

In the year 2420, war looms between the galaxy's two most powerful empires: the tyrannical Theocracy and the protectionist Commonwealth. Caught in the middle sits the occupied outpost system Cadiz, where young officer and aristocrat Katherine "Kat" Falcone finds herself prematurely promoted at the behest of her powerful father. Against her own wishes, Kat is sent to command the Commonwealth navy's newest warship, Lightning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator's voices are terrible, story very good

  • By DH950 on 03-22-16

Decent but not amazing

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

Reviewed: 03-12-16

Good enough that I'll try something this author has written later in his career, but the enemies and individuals aren't very nuanced or interesting.

The narrator needs to work on her male voices. They were hard to distinguish between each other and were oddly paced. Other than that, it was a very competent performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fear the Sky

  • The Fear Saga, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,924
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,900
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,858

From the Audie-nominated narrator of The Martian. In eleven years' time, a million members of an alien race will arrive at Earth. Years before they enter orbit, their approach will be announced by the flare of a thousand flames in the sky, their ships' huge engines burning hard to slow them from the vast speeds needed to cross interstellar space. These foreboding lights will shine in our night sky like new stars, getting ever brighter until they outshine even the sun, casting ominous shadows and banishing the night until they suddenly blink out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly Enjoyable

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 01-17-16

Believable Alien Menace

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

A well written story with an alien menace that has realistic flaws and a purpose for attacking Earth, the characters are true to their motivations and the development of the plot follows the premise. It's sad that these qualities count as good writing these days, but this book has been a welcome relief from the crap I've been finding in sci-fi lately.

  • The Magicians

  • A Novel
  • By: Lev Grossman
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 17 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15,855
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,000
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14,021

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not an average book

  • By Kyle on 04-30-11

Excellent Narrator For a Delightful Book

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

Reviewed: 01-28-16

Bramhall applies the perfect amount of inflection, reflection, and emotion in this performance of a thoughtful, intricate, carefully crafted novel.

I prefer my fantasy fiction to explore the human condition by putting humanity into fantastical situations (I feel the same way about sci-fi, too) and seeing what we are still like. Grossman does exactly that in this book.

This is a story about why we yearn for stories, and where that yearning could lead. This is a story about imperfect children growing into imperfect adulthood, even while living in the sort of world we've all dreamed about since we were children.

This is what all fantasy fiction should be like. Or at least, aspire to.

  • A Crucible of Souls

  • The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, Book 1
  • By: Mitchell Hogan
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 18 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,243
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,817

When Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, he is raised by monks and taught the arcane mysteries of sorcery. Vowing to discover for himself who his parents really were, and what led to their violent end, he is thrust into the unfamiliar chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to earn an apprenticeship with a guild of sorcerers. But he soon learns the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that brings the world to the edge of destruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Took a chance, hit a home run!

  • By Mike on 01-14-15

Every. Sentence. Must. Sound. Ominous!

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

Reviewed: 01-29-15

It took me a while to realize that this wasn't a sleepy novel with no plot to speak of, but that it basically is just the first act of a larger story which will be sold as several books. I hate it when authors do that.

Many mysteries are presented in this book and none are answered. There is no rising conflict, just characters dithering about and slowly revealing the questions which the author hopes you will find intriguing. Rather close to the end of the "novel," the author adds an inciting incident from out of nowhere, tossing aside all the foreshadowing that has come before, forcing the little adventuring party to finally assemble and flee. Presumably something will actually happen in the second book, but as for the first, this is one of the most poorly named books I have ever seen. A "crucible of souls" implies character development and testing. nothing like that even vaguely happens.

The narrator destroys any hope the book might have had by insisting on the exact same ominous pacing for every sentence and ALWAYS ending each chapter... with the same ominous..... pause.

37 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • White Witch, Black Curse

  • The Hollows, Book 7
  • By: Kim Harrison
  • Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,039
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,173
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,182

Some wounds take time to heal . . . and some scars never fade. Rachel Morgan, kick-ass witch and bounty hunter, has taken her fair share of hits, and has broken lines she swore she would never cross. But when her lover was murdered, it left a deeper wound than Rachel ever imagined, and now she won't rest until his death is solved . . . and avenged. Whatever the cost.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome back Marquerite Gavin!

  • By Carrie on 10-22-09

Irritating Heroine Still Irritating

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

Reviewed: 07-03-14

What would have made White Witch, Black Curse better?

The only reason I have kept reading this far into the series is because my friend assures me that the main character's incredibly irritating personality grows over time, and her development of basic human skills like Taking Responsibility For Her Actions, or even Not Whining Constantly About How Hard Things Are are actually meta-plot events that allow her character to transform into a more interesting character.

Seven books in, and I'm still waiting for this irritating little wastrel of a protagonist to develop empathetic character traits.

Would you ever listen to anything by Kim Harrison again?

No.

What aspect of Marguerite Gavin’s performance would you have changed?

I understand that the sidekick character is supposed to be a tiny, high-energy critter, but for the love of all fiction, could you use a different voice than that high pitched shrill squeaking?!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The world setting and background is actually quite fascinating. Not that they went into it at all in this particular book in the sequence.

  • Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1

  • By: Kevin J. Anderson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 20 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,890
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,756
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,768

An explosive new science fiction series by New York Times best-selling author Kevin J. Anderson, Hidden Empire is the first volume in The Saga of the Seven Suns, modeled after the Star Wars and X-Files universes. Anderson has become the foremost science fiction writer of the century, bringing to life vivid characters and worlds that delight his fans across the galaxy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Listen

  • By Anonymous User on 01-14-05

Would Rather Be Probed By Aliens Than Read This

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

Reviewed: 04-22-13

What disappointed you about Hidden Empire: The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1?

The horrifically trite, mind-numbingly obvious plot is so predictable that it acts merely as a vehicle to drive you and the characters through an equally mundane and completely redundant sci-fi landscape, completely lacking in any interesting or even novel aspects. If you want to read a sad rehash of every other sci-fi world you've ever read, there are still better choices out there than this book.

What was most disappointing about Kevin J. Anderson’s story?

The author's writing style only served to distract you from the painfully obvious plot by repeatedly telling the audience that tall characters are very tall, that introverted characters don't like parties (because they are introverts) and that spaceships travel in space using Technology.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This narrator should be banned from reading sci-fi literature. He emphasizes all of the wrong words, and makes it sound like the entire universe just discovered pez dispensers yesterday. Only, he'd pronounce them "Mark I Series pez DISPENSERS," because he would assume the fact that they dispense things is far more important than the pez.

Any additional comments?

I bought this book in 2006, and have repeatedly tried to listen to it, telling myself, "It can't possibly be as bad as I remember." I have regretted every single one of those times.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful