LISTENER

Leo

  • 29
  • reviews
  • 152
  • helpful votes
  • 103
  • ratings
  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,762
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,723

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Premise Within an Excellent Story

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 07-30-17

A very big story, in more ways than one

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

Reviewed: 07-08-18

This books covers a lot. A lot of time and space, a lot of subjects, a lot of genres, and quite a bit about human behavior and motivation.
Humans have destroyed the Earth and almost all of each other. Ships are sent out with technology to seed other planets with life. Desperate humans follow after, hoping to make a new home after their predecessors have torched the old one. Things get worse, and very desperate. But will they get better? Can the people of Earth learn to be better? What exactly does "people" mean anyway? Do they even deserve a second chance considering our historic behavior?
Are any of the characters we meet something we might recognize as ourselves? Does it matter?
So many questions are explored here.
Fun, exciting, horrifying, depressing, inspirational, thought provoking.
Educational, philosophical, insulting, and funny.
This story will alternate between all of those things.
I highly recommend that everyone should read, think about, and then discuss this book.

  • Pride of Carthage

  • By: David Anthony Durham
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 27 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

This epic retelling of the legendary Carthaginian military leader's assault on the Roman empire begins in Ancient Spain, where Hannibal Barca sets out with tens of thousands of soldiers and 30 elephants. After conquering the Roman city of Saguntum, Hannibal wages his campaign through the outposts of the empire, shrewdly befriending peoples disillusioned by Rome and, with dazzling tactics, outwitting the opponents who believe the land route he has chosen is impossible.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good but not great

  • By Stephen on 01-09-15

Bad voice casting ruined this, better to read it

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

This is a review of the audiobook version of this, not the book itself (which I really enjoyed)
I really hate to say this because Dick Hill always reads perfectly. He always gets the intent, meaning, and pronunciation right on whatever he's reading. Something even many excellent narrators struggle with.
But in this case, he chose to use a very, very enthusiastic Shakespearean British voice with long rolling Rs and tremulous vibrato. You almost picture him standing in tights, holding up a skull in the classic Shakespearean stereotype.
The result is that he sounds like the story is a comedic farce, and it completely ruins what is, at it's heart, a gritty, historical war story.
Don't take this as an insult to this award-winning narrator. But he was definitely miscast. Or at least, directed badly. Because he's actually American. So why THAT accent and voice?
I'm not sure who decided to go with that approach, but it came across as cartoonish.
In this case, I'll suggest the print version.
Skip this recording, for your own sake.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Elantris

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Jack Garrett
  • Length: 27 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,826
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,565
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,615

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

Some of the most unlikable characters ever

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

Reviewed: 02-25-18

Wow, it's obvious that Brandon Sanderson has grown as a person and a writer in the years sense this book came out.
I first read Elantris about 10 years ago. Back then I thought it was kind of predictable, but really liked how the magic played out.
Now, rereading it was hard to get through because of the judgmental, self righteous, passive-aggressive main characters.
They walk through the story making condescending comments on just about everyone they meet.
Every person around them is "foolish", "wretched", "homely", and in need of the wise, benevolent leadership of the two main characters. It's a good thing that they are fated to fall in love and be together because everyone else is just a pitiful mess in their eyes.
And the thing is, pretty much everyone agrees.
No one can think for themselves, figure anything out on their own, or even recognize something they love without the main heroes leading them to it.
Women and dark skinned people really get blasted.
They're all pitiful idiots, waiting for either of the tall, brilliant, self-sacrificing heroes to tell them how sad they are, and lead them to a better way of living.
The fact that the female lead is shown as an Amazon-like genius who's heart is filled with charity for the inferior masses doesn't stop all other women from being brainless fools.
There were a couple of dark skinned "Dulas" who received complimentary descriptions. But even they were basically the classic faithful servants. Basically Gulliver's noble willing slave, Friday. But don't fret: the rest of the people encountered are just as silly in their own sad way.

I still really liked the magic of this world.
But otherwise, I'm glad that Sanderson has improved his character development skills over time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Righteous

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,237
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,082
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,074

For 10 years something has gnawed at Isaiah Quintabe's gut and kept him up nights, boiling with anger and thoughts of revenge. Ten years ago, when Isaiah was just a boy, his brother was killed by an unknown assailant. The search for the killer sent Isaiah plunging into despair and nearly destroyed his life. Even with a flourishing career, a new dog, and near-iconic status as a PI in his hometown, East Long Beach, he has to begin the hunt again - or lose his mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe Ide can write!

  • By 6catz on 10-20-17

An entertaining sequel that can't reach IQ's level

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

Reviewed: 01-04-18

Not much happens in this detective story. The main case is solved fairly easily and quickly. But it's told in snippets that are mixed in with other snippets from the past.
Even minor characters, and some of the bad guys get a mini biography, and those are some of the most entertaining parts.
But really, none of the so called mysteries are hard to figure out, and none of the detective's deductions (or is that "inductions"?) are very clever. Some stuff happens, it get's resolved, and we watch it happen.
If your main character is supposed to be a street level Sherlock Holmes (his Watson is a reformed street hustler named Dodson... get it?) then you've got to have some big reveals. And if his nickname is IQ they better be very clever.
A definite 3 out of 5 on this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,628
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,620

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They create a computer using a 30 million man Army

  • By Josh P on 12-07-14

So many cool ideas in a highly flawed story

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

Reviewed: 01-04-18

I won't spoil anything, but at the very beginning of this story, scientists are faced with some surprising data. As a group, their response to the data is... extreme.
Are we the audience supposed to think that actual working scientists are so fragile, and gullible? Is it just Chinese scientists?
The author presents multiple cool, speculative ideas, but the overarching story feels ridiculous. So many of the characters are clever, but silly fools. Is that comic relief?
Maybe it all comes together better in the sequels?
I sure hope so. Otherwise, I honestly don't get what all the hype is about.

As always, Luke Daniels does a fine job narrating, But the voices he chooses while acting out the characters can be irritating.
He reuses the Goofy Scooby Doo voice from the Iron Druid series for one of the main characters here. It's very distracting.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • IQ

  • By: Joe Ide
  • Narrated by: Sullivan Jones
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,416
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,396

A resident of one of LA's toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores. East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood's high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can't or won't touch. They call him IQ. He's a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IQ way better than OK

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-21-16

Great story that defies expectations.

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

Reviewed: 12-25-17

First of all, I expected this to be a Whodunnit.
It's not.
We do watch an arm chair detective use deductive, I mean inductive reasoning to figure out a crime. Which is fun, but the point of all this was not to keep the big reveal a secret until the last page.
it was more of a coming of age story, for the hero and surprisingly, another character peripherally involved.
A fun read that is tense, violent, funny, and very touching at times.
I'll definitely look for more of Joe Ide's books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Oathbringer

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 55 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 33,643
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31,647
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 31,594

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong Storytelling, will upset Kaladin fans

  • By Deana on 11-16-17

A mixed bag of brilliance, marred by missteps

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

Reviewed: 11-24-17

Brandon Sanderson is one of the greatest story tellers writing today; and this series is his magnum opus. Book 3 is not the strongest of the series. But it still soars in many places, despite some missteps throughout.
Parts of this book left me cheering out loud! Parts of this book are truly awe inspiring.

Other parts had me shaking my head, as long established characters suddenly behaved in ways that contradicted everything the author has told us about them in the past.
For such an immense book, it surprised me how many times an obvious shortcut was taken in order to setup the next scene.

There was one long scene involving a female lead that had no purpose other than comic relief. This bungling, slapstick detour was so jarring, it was hard to return to the rhythm of the story. Worst of all, it felt amateurish, and just wasn't funny.

Almost every competent character had a moment of incompetence so glaring that it became obvious this was a deliberate gimmick. Possibly a recommendation from an editor, but taken too far?

But still, with all of that said, this is still a mostly brilliant story. The action scenes top any blockbuster movie put out this year.
It was filled with many pay-offs from the previous books, some of them setup so expertly that they still surprised me, despite the clues revealed before.

Like all of his books, this was also a vehicle for the author's social, political, and moral view of the world. Presented nicely as part of the story with not-too-much outright preaching.

82 of 116 people found this review helpful

  • On Writing

  • A Memoir of the Craft
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,121
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,371

The prolific, perennially best selling author recounts his early life and writing struggles, gives advice on the crucial aspects of the writing art, and talks about his much-publicized, near-fatal accident.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who needs a print edition when King reads King?

  • By Cather on 11-18-05

A must read for any creative type

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

Part memoir, part writing journal, and part technical manual for how to make time for your creative endeavors when you have a full life to live, and a living to make.
As famous as King is, he sometimes doesn't get the credit he deserves as a master of his craft due to the sheer volume he produces.
He's been referred to as a Hollywood hack, and his output is so prolific, there's no doubt you could find an example of his work that supports that idea.
But his body of work is filled with so many masterpieces that you have to acknowledge that his success is well earned.
The common theme of the anecdotes sprinkled throughout this book is that through all the ups and downs of his life; through poverty, amazing success, addiction, family tragedy, and the lure of fame, he continued to work hard at the job of writing every single day.
Let his fun, fascinating example inspire you to do the same with your own passions.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,971
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,310
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,312

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hours in, restarted so husband could listen too!

  • By Pikay on 12-13-14

This is not a zombie apocalypse story

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

Reviewed: 10-28-17

OK, yes... zombies exist in this world. And definitely, you can say that an apocalypse has happened... but this is not a horror story about the terror of being chased by monsters.
You could almost say that the genre is "post-zombie apocalypse".
The character studies are often fascinating.
When one person after another does something crazy, you are forced to consider what sanity even means in such an environment.
Can humanity survive such an event?
Do we deserve to?
All of this is explored in the tale of one child, and the adults who are tasked to take care of her.
Read it. It's well worth your time.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Children of the Fleet

  • By: Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,404
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,287

Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Reboot? Same old story...

  • By Greg on 11-30-17

No surprises, danger, or excitement here. But...

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

Reviewed: 10-24-17

Orson Scott Card returns to the subject that is uniquely his own: hyper-intelligent children whose minds operate so far beyond "normal"; that they barely qualify as human.

Over the past 4 decades we've seen how kids like Ender, Valentine, Achilles, and especially Bean have dealt with that dilemma. And now we watch Dabeet as he tries to navigate those same waters on his own.
Will Dabeet follow the example of Ender Wiggin? Or will he become another Achilles?
That is the story this book tells.

Unlike all of the previous books in this world, there are no ultra-violent monsters to fight. There is no war to win. There aren't even hateful bullies trying to ruin our hero's self esteem.
If there is a real villain in this story at all, it is a distant and barely implied threat.
And it makes sense. Sometimes, if a person is smart, pro-active, and surrounded by competence, every potential problem gets nipped in the bud before it can get out of hand.

But of course, that doesn't make for a very exciting narrative.
Yes,things happen in this book. Yes, there is conflict. But nothing ever rises to a critical point, because everyone is well trained, and not likely to procrastinate. They get things done.
There are many decades of technological advances that are designed to keep people safe in space, And at this point, it all works very well.

So, all of that leaves us with a scenario where the only interesting thing going on is the main character's internal dialogue as he considers what it means to be human.

Not exciting stuff.
But interesting, in the hands of a master like Orson Scott Card.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful