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Neoloki55

Rouge Valley, Oregon
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 70
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  • 117
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  • Dark Eden

  • A Novel
  • By: Chris Beckett
  • Narrated by: Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 916
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 855
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 855

On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say - and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Ripping Yarn

  • By Mark on 04-23-14

Good! good!

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

Reviewed: 10-24-15

Where does Dark Eden rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I enjoyed Dark Eden although I didn't actually love the story or become so immersed and involved that I lost myself in the narrative. None of the characters allowed me to fully emphasize with them. None of the characters had much of an emotional arc nor grew with the story. However, Dark Eden reminded far more of a fairy tale than an actual character study or science fiction trope and It works on that level, as a fairy tale. The language and its presentation in the audiobook also emphasized this the stories quality as a fairy tale.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dark Eden?

I had a difficult time getting involved with the narrative, although it was well written and very creative. It wasn't until John destroyed the circle of stones and then later when they journied across 'snowy dark' that I became involved in the circumstances.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not heard any of these narrators to my knowledge, but the presentation of the audiobook was fantastic and did much to keeping me interested.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Killer Angels

  • The Classic Novel of the Civil War
  • By: Michael Shaara
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 13 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,891
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,074
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,086

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book!!

  • By Joel D Offenberg on 12-27-09

Wow! A profoundly moving novel

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

Reviewed: 05-03-15

The Killer Angels is a truly profound, moving and personal book written as a fictionalized account of the 3 day battle at Gettysburg during The Civil War. I am hesitant to use the word 'fictionalized' seeing as Michael Shaara spent 7 years assimilating the historical documentation surrounding the events and personal exploits of the figures who participated in Gettysburg. However, The Killer Angels is presented as a novel where we get the personal thoughts and perspectives of monumental historical figures like Robert E. Lee, Longstreet and Chamberlain. The novel is historically accurate in every detail but what gives The Killer Angels it's extraordinary impact is being let into the intimate thoughts of the men who created the theatre of this epic battle. Hearing the rebel General Longstreet's personal feelings against slavery or Robert Lee's fears of his growing weakness due to heart disease and Chamberlains' disbelief he used his young brother to fill a hole in the line, these are the moments that elevate what could be an ordinary historical account into a profoundly moving drama.
Gettysburg was a horrifying battle in which whole divisions were lost. A10% loss in battle is considered a blood bath and neither World War in the 20th century exceeded these losses, but at Gettysburg those numbers reached over 30%. When Lee asked of Pickett to rally his division against a possible Union counterattack Pickett answered, "General Lee, I have no division now." The confederate army had almost a mile to march through an open field to get to Meade's center. Cannon balls took out 10 men at a time. The Union artillery couldn't miss. It's impossible now, especially those of my generation, to understand the will it took to march through those fields knowing you will die and having come to terms with that death. The dignity in which those thousands of Confederate Soldiers endeavored to make that stone wall with the Union soldiers chanting "Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!" and the Confederates holding their line in the face of a relentless Union artillery barrage was described by one Union officer as the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.
Michael Shaara won a posthumous Pulitzer for The Killer Angels, but unfortunately his dream to have the book recognized during his lifetime never happened. Jeff Shaara, his son and also historical novelist, writes a moving introduction on the inspiration and creation of his dad's novel that only adds to the intimacy of the reading experience.
On a personal note, The Killer Angels ability to humanize these great historical figures, by showing their fears and self-doubt moved me to tears on a few different occasions. The loss of Chamberlains wise and worldly Irish aid due to a gunshot in the armpit and Longstreet's conviction that General Lee's plan of a frontal assault on Meade's center would prove the death of many many good men and that he would have to give the order of attack and that he would be the one ultimately blamed for the massacre, were but a couple moments of poignant brilliance in such a deep and personal book.
I can't possibly recommend this novel with any more fervor. Regardless of your interest in The Civil War, this novel should be read by any lover of books or anybody who can appreciate a well written character driven story. If you do have an interest in The Civil War, The Killer Angels should be prioritized as a literary necessity. Michael Shaara's book wasn't just a good read, it was a personally enriching experience in which I have become a better person for having digested.

  • Red Rising

  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,887
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,486

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow, what a performance and what a story

  • By Jared G on 08-27-16

A gory-damn great book, my goodman!

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

Reviewed: 03-10-15

Their are many different shades of grey when we judge our cultural preferences. Even the complications that arise from distinguishing good and great can't easily be communicated. Especially when one is reduced to using a system relegated by 5 stars. My own tastes as to what the best books I have read has different sub-categories. Their is the high literature that shaped my youth thus making it personal in my adoration: from Celine's Journey to the End of the Night to Rimbaud's poetry and the counter culture genius of William Burroughs. Nothing can quite touch those books that formed the consciousness I now live in. Then comes the literature that isn't as personnel but nevertheless peerless in its craft and cultural impact: Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment and Nabikov's Lolita even Knut Hamsun's Growth of the Soil. However, at this point in life what I look for is not a read or listen that will shake my critical socks, so to speak, but something I can enjoy, something that can transport me out of my middle age existential malaise, something that will make me smile and maybe raise the hairs on the back of my neck. Mostly, it is fantasy or science fiction that I reach for. The Dark Tower and The First Law being the pinnacle and not because King and Abercrombie are the most skilled writers or that either book is without flaws but they strike a vibration that seems to harmonize with my sensibilities. That's how most of us form our opinions. Certain types of stories move us due to characterization, pacing, mood, language and most importantly narrative identity. It's completely subjective. Regardless of my meager opinion or where exactly I would place Red Rising on my list of favorites, this is a stellar book that works on so many different levels: from the excellent narration to the allegory of class struggle to the wholly entertaining narrative of a young hero sacrificing his future for the betterment of his family, his people and the memory of his lost love.

You might read a few reviews which comment on the books slow start, but people tend to forget it takes time for any reader to occupy the space of a novel. One must adjust to the narrator, the 'voice' of the writer, get familiar with the motivations of the characters and understand the theme(s) the author hopes to communicate. So understanding the adjustment period for any reader starting a new novel and coming to terms with our own responsibilities in engaging the narrative might enable us to be patient with difficult beginnings. A slow start usually just means there wasn't much action, but Red Rising doesn't lack for action in any section of the book. Of course the real drama doesn't start until Darrow becomes a gold and has to fight for the privilege of being the highest class. From here Mr. Brown slams his foot on the accelerator and never lets up.

Red Rising wears its influences on its sleeve. At first glance it could even be judged as derivative. The game that comprises most of the narrative, a type of 'king of the hill' where students vie for territory by killing and capturing other students, will be familiar to readers of Hunger Games (which, by the way, is an unabashed rip off of the Japanese novel Battle Royal) and the societal structure might resemble aspects of Divergent. However, anybody that criticizes Red Rising for these aspects clearly did not read the book with any sort of intelligent perception. It far surpasses both books in its ability to delve deeply into the philosophical implications of how a revolution works: its historical problems, it's human vulnerabilities and its eternal ability to solve very little problems. It also addresses the personal sacrifices the hero, Darrow, must come to terms with on a deeply emotional basis. Divergent had an incredibly adolescent love story that mired its plot in melodrama. Red Rising, on the other hand, presents us with an emotionally complex and adult love story that goes beyond the self indulgent myopic yearnings of a teenager. It is rare to find a book, especially one that some have labeled Y.A., that presents the reader with an interesting love story. One that doesn't succumb to the trappings of adolescence. Here we have a story of lost love and the difficulties of learning to love again, after such a wound, that is tangible and that grows and evolves with the main character. This is the crux of what makes Red Rising such a worthy endeavor, sure it uses many pop fiction tropes, but it manages to create something wholly unique by the sum of its parts. The depth of character, the complexity of societal structure and the diversity of ideological voices all gather into a very interesting and colorful world.

As this review becomes a novella and I still have only scraped the barrel of what makes Pierce Browns book so god damn good, I shall abridge myself and take up the other fascinating complexities of the Red Rising trilogy in the next review for Golden Son. Before I go, I must say a word on the narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds. What a fantastic job he does with the different voices and bringing an emotional impact to Darrow and the narrative, in general. Mr. Reynolds makes such an impact on the tone of the novel and how I am experiencing it that I have to question whether I would have enjoyed the book as much reading it. His Irish accent also fits the story perfectly and it's hard not to make the association with the struggles of Ireland and it's bloody sacrificial rebellion of England. I doubt their could have been a more appropriate voice for this trilogy.

Red Rising was one of the best Audible experiences I have had in the last 4 years. It is an absolutely superb book and the only thing I regret is that the last book in the trilogy is not out already. Do yourself a favor, if you are a fan of genre books, and get Red Rising now and relish the ride.

8 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Departure

  • By: A.G. Riddle
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber, Scott Aiello
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,407
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,873
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,851

En route to London from New York, Flight 305 suddenly loses power and crash-lands in the English countryside, plunging a group of strangers into a mysterious adventure that will have repercussions for all of humankind. Struggling to stay alive, the survivors soon realize that the world they've crashed in is very different from the one they left. But where are they? Why are they here? And how will they get back home?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Sci-Fi Story With Lots of Twists and Turns

  • By Cheri on 09-01-15

Departure never quite gets Lost

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

Reviewed: 03-01-15

I really wanted to like this book. It seemed to contain all the nuances that set my imagination on fire. I read an Audible editorial about a month before the release of Departure that urged all Lost fans to give it a read. He wrote of his involvement in theory making during Lost's glory days and it reminded me how much fun I had watching that show. It was the first T.V. show I could watch over and over again and not get bored. Unfortunately, my love of Lost couldn't withstand the disastrous 6th season where the show literally slide sideways right off a cliff sending up clouds of billowing noxious black smoke that curdled the very memory of John Locke. Sorry, little off topic. Well, I have to say after reading the editorial review I got excited thinking maybe Departure could recapture some of that magic, but good god damn here I am disappointed again.

One aspect of Lost that was extraordinarily successful was the creation of interesting mysteries. They took you by the nose and lead you down the rabbit hole. In the end Lost created too many mysteries, it could be argued, but Departure never quite got the few it introduced off the ground. You have to be given time to get interested in a mystery, time to ruminate and play with the possibilities of how that mystery might effect the story. Mysteries require us to get to know character motivations and a reason to trust or not trust them. Unfortunately, Departure never manipulates our expectations of how each character might be involved in the mysteries of the plane crash, the absence of a rescue party or the lack of available communication with the outside world. The plot points move to quickly and we aren't given a chance to reflect. The characters back stories are not fleshed out so we never really know whether to be surprised or not by a revelation of their involvement. Departure gives us a great example of why mysteries need time to germinate. Answers should not come to quickly or easily. The readers involvement in their solution is mandatory for a compelling story. In this sense Departure suffers from an identity crisis. Is it an adventure story, sci-fi, mystery or just straight forward pop fiction. It's alright to be all those things at once, look at The Dark Tower series, but if you want to cover multi genres you need to take time to flesh out the characters because they become your balancing point.

The problem with time travel. A person could write their graduate thesis on the problem of time travel in contemporary literature. It is a huge subject with many view points on its proper function, how it works and real world science on the possibility of its creation, but I am going to keep it simple lest I never finish this review. When you write a story that involves time travel it is almost mandatory the author gives us the rules of how it functions, it's laws and limitations. Is it possible to change the future or can you go back in time or does the device limit the time periods you can travel to, how do the different types of paradox work within the rules of your story, etc, al., and it's a huge headache. Very little of this is actually addressed in the narrative and what is isn't given enough definition. Unfortunately, I believe this creates a problem with how the story ends. In general not enough details and to many possibilities.

I don't know if I have said anything positive about Departure and to be honest that is more than a bit unfair. Much of my criticism comes from my own expectations about what I wanted the story to be. I am relatively sure if you asked the author what the novel is about at its heart he might say it is a book that deals with people making decisions, personal and professional, important people and common people, and how those decisions, no matter how simple, can have a profound effect on us throughout our lives. Departure works very well on this level and brings up interesting questions about the importance of every life, even if some people don't seem to have value when compared to the whole of society. The book kept my interest and had me curious as to how it would end. It's a definite page turner that ask some thought provoking questions, but in the end it could have been so much more and ultimately felt a little shallow.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Shadow of the Torturer

  • The Book of the New Sun, Book 1
  • By: Gene Wolfe
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,752
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,397
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,400

The Shadow of the Torturer is the first volume in the four-volume epic, the tale of a young Severian, an apprentice to the Guild of Torturers on the world called Urth, exiled for committing the ultimate sin of his profession - showing mercy towards his victim.

Gene Wolfe's "The Book of the New Sun" is one of speculative fiction's most-honored series. In a 1998 poll, Locus Magazine rated the series behind only "The Lord of the Rings" and The Hobbit as the greatest fantasy work of all time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "All of you are torturers, one way or another"

  • By Jefferson on 10-21-12

For lovers of the word

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15


This novel could best be described as a surrealist drama. The antiquated language and the beauty of its articulation defines the story and gives it the feeling of timeless literature. It is both fantastical in its plot and its description of those events. There is a hallucinatory quality to the progression of the narrative, as if everything takes place a few feet above the ground early in the morning while still groggy and walking through a luminescent fog; not so far out there in the dream world that you don't take the story seriously, but the other worldly quality to its description begins to imprint its texture across the back of the eye balls so as to exaggerate the most common place actions. Of course most of this is conveyed through a wonderful manipulation of language, symbols and ideas. Gene Wolfe is a fantastic writer. Shadow of the Torturer is a richly woven tale that works on many levels. It can at once be read as a straight forward heros journey or as a political allegory or you could just enjoy it's beautiful descriptive power and other worldly bent. There is much to appreciate here, but if you're looking for a page turner or a book you can easily drive to work with half an ear you won't get much out of it. This story takes concentration and focus. It demands you listen carefully to every word and ponder the implications both in its relevance to the characters and ones own philosophical constructs. Most readers who enjoy the poetry of symbols and can revel in the surreal and absurd should come away with a sense of wonder upon finishing this book, but even as I am one of these, the true question is, is it worth continuing the series?

I have to admit I am a bit split with my decision on this question. Yes, as has been stated ad nauseam, this series is highly regarded by a few major fantasy writers and in its unique narrative and masterly handling of language I do understand, but it did leave me a bit wanting. The reward could be great by sticking with it and finishing the series or one could end up with a sense of accomplishment but little pleasure. In the end, I think it would be a little short sighted of me not to give the second book a go. There is just too much potential, too much to like about Shadow of the Torturer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Crucible of Souls

  • The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, Book 1
  • By: Mitchell Hogan
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 18 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,828
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,823

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

Old school fantasy done right.

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

Reviewed: 02-04-15



I have to admit I was unsure I would finish this book after listening to the first 10 hours. It wasn't bad by any means, but very watery without much to distinguish its flavor. I became distracted and jumped to trying out Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive. After finishes 6 other audiobooks I decided I didn't want to return this book until I gave it its due: another 10 hours or at least 7. I do believe A Blood of Innocents, the second novel in the series, is an editors select from a few months back. Audibles editors select offerings are usually spot on, so it seemed it would be worth powering through A Crucible of Souls to see if it would be worth my time to move on to the second book. Every once in a while I make a good decision and this was one of them. The novel pays off in spades if you have the fortitude to slog through the slow beginning and I generally don't mind slow novels if the characters are interesting, but this definitely tested those bounds.

I'm a big fan of dark gritty fantasy with The First Law trilogy by Abercrombie as the pinnacle in the genre. A Crucible of Souls is not Grimdark. It actually quite unabashedly borrows from the Robert Jordan/Terry Brooks genre of fantasy that ruled the day for so many years. Orphaned child grows up on a farm, learns he is unique, is taken away by a mentor who teaches him how to use said powers, an evil is trying to find said boy, etc, al. This has been done over and over again in many different fashions. If done right these books can be fun but its dominance of the fantasy genre for so many years lends itself to many books just being cookie cutter copies of what's already been done to death. Fortunately, Mitchell Hogan avoids this pitfall by constructing an interesting magic system, likable and sympathetic characters and a intriguing central mystery around the hero's parents and the trinkets they passed down to their son.

As a first novel Hogan gives us a book with a lot of potential to pay off later in the series. The writing is solid, even if it lacks a unique voice, with dynamic world building making up the difference. The threat to our hero isn't introduced until late in the novel and although we aren't given a clear picture of the culture or politics of the threat the two sorcerers that are pursuing Caladan, our hero, are interesting, unique and malevolent. Their power is great and we worry for the safety of our over matched naïve hero. Speaking of naivety, Caladan is a smart well trained sorcerer apprentice but Hogan plays up his inexperience a little to much. Forcing him into bad decisions that feel more like functions of plot device than actual choices he might make. However, before this becomes detrimental to the the story line, Caladans "craftiness", literally, suitably becomes more representative of the intelligence he will need to realize his full potential.

I really enjoyed the last third of this book. I had become wrapped up in Caladans world and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Hogan juggles a number of story lines throughout the book and not all of them are of equal interest but he never strays to far away from Caladans journey so it doesn't become too distracting. I have a feeling some of these other narratives will pay off later down the road and it was only necessary we knew of their direction at this point. Give this book a try if your a fan of the fantasy genre and take your time, the slow beginning gives way about half way through to a very compelling story of a young mans quest to find himself through his talents and the mysterious artifacts that were handed down from his parents.

  • The Girl on the Train

  • A Novel
  • By: Paula Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131,593
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116,168
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116,038

Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2016. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A festival of personality disorders

  • By Paula Dee on 04-20-15

Addiction, Adultery and Violence

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

Reviewed: 01-29-15

What more could you want from a page turner, really? After difficult beginnings Paula Hawkins first novel turns a deeply intricate cognitive study into a rewarding murder mystery.

I read a tweet recently by Stephen King lauding The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins as a great suspense novel. The amount of commercial push this book has received has been enormous, but to go along with it I have come across few negative reviews. Normally this wouldn't be my kind of thing, however the need to branch out a bit with my reading material has become all too apparent. I believe I have used the phrase "guilty pleasure" a few too many times when justifying my cultural habits. Given this, I took a chance, and honestly the tidbits I read about the plot seemed fascinating. Little did I realize what I was getting myself into.

Unfortunately, I have a very personal association with the character Megan. Her story and personality, reasons for being a unfaithful in her relationships, were spot on to a woman I spent almost 18 years of my life with. Coincidence upon coincidence, Rachel's name for Megan and her partner is "Jess and Jason": yes of course that is our names. Anyway, lest I regret this becoming a confessional biopic instead of a book review, I will keep it to the fact that Paula Hawkins does an amazingly accurate job capturing Megan's personality, her psychological countenance, and the general justification for her actions. These parts were not easy reading for me and at times I wondered why I was even continuing. Compounding this with the very unsympathetic main character Rachel, yes I do realize now we are not supposed to sympathize with her, it was rough going over the first 5 or 6 hours. However, the book pays off in spades by the conclusion and you realize what a masterful job Hawkins does in organizing the story.

The Girl on the Train rises above most mystery novels in its characterization and psychological content. It would still be a satisfying read without the "who dun it" plot device tacked on to the ending. All the characters are so richly devised and fleshed out they feel like real people, warts and all, and this becomes the heart of the novel, its brilliance. Extraordinarily ordinary people fumbling along in a very personal and mundane drama about insecurity, infidelity, loss and the all too human need for warmth and love.

But it's nice to earn a living at what you love to do, because there is almost no chance in hell this book would have garnered the commercial success it has as a complex psychological study of 3 women and the choices they make in search for security and love. Gratefully, Paula Hawkins is such a talent that she was able to weave a intricately rewarding murder mystery into her narrative. It works and it works well. All the puzzle pieces fit nicely together at the end and we are left with an incredibly satisfying conclusion.
If you liked Gone Girl and are...ah hell, actually, just get it. I can't imagine too many people not liking this book or at the very least not coming away satisfied with the ending. If for some reason you absolutely hate it, say you have an unfaithful girlfriend or boyfriend and just can't deal with how well the book captures those thoughts and emotions, Audible has a great return policy so you could always get your credit back, but regardless this is a very well written novel. I am glad I took the time to experience it.

Oh, one last thing, the narration was brilliant. A late bow to Corbett, Brealey and Fisher.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Firefight

  • The Reckoners, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,577
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,695
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,664

Newcago is free. They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand.Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like a cherry on top of a Sundae in the North Pole

  • By Zenpaca on 01-16-15

Sparks! I can't stop eating this popcorn!

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

Reviewed: 01-13-15

Is "The willing suspension of disbelief" your basic truth for dealing with reality? Do you revel in guilty pleasures? Are superheroes a part of your cultural diet? Well, hell, even if none of those things relate to who you are and your reading habits, but you simply want some fine escapism you really can't go wrong with Sanderson's The Reckoners series.
Yea, the dialogue is a bit redundant and simplistic at times. The leaps in logic and the over use of Dues ex Machina to resolve sticky situational problems in the narrative all could be marks against the books and will keep certain readers at bay. None of these, however, overcome the pure entertainment value of what is a really a fun and funny reading/listening experience.
The narrator MacLeod Andrews does a spot on job with the voices and the pacing of his read. His tone fits perfectly in the story and his female characters are some of the best I have heard for a male orator. The most important skill a good reader can express is their lack of presence in the story. Andrews blends beautifully into the listening experience and you soon you're listening to someone read at all and it's just you and the story.
If you don't take Firefight too seriously and just relax enjoying the experience this book is a lot of fun. It has exquisite moments and the bad metaphors never seem to get old. Any fan of Sanderson or the first book in the series, Steelheart, shouldn't hesitate to plunk down a credit. This is some of the best guilty pleasure in the genre. Relax, listen and enjoy.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Well of Ascension

  • Mistborn, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 28 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,438
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 29,424
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,455

The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years - has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slower but worthwhile

  • By Jeff on 01-28-10

The Politics of Mistborn

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

Reviewed: 01-09-15

The second entry into the Mistborn series switches its focus to Élan and the politics of a post-revolution society. Élan being a book learned idealist makes many mistakes as King and we get the frustrating job of watching his slow maturity into a leader. Many of the decisions he makes are not completely believable. Given his acute and worldly advisors plus Elans own self conscious intelligence you wonder would he really make those mistakes in the name of giving power to the people. If anybody understands what the consequences of losing power would be, it'd be a young nobleman who spent his youth criticizing the self indulgent elitism of the social structure he grew up in. In other words, Élan losing his crown would just throw the kingdom back to the caste system that Vin and others had fought so hard and lost so much to over throw. This makes Elans decisions as King seem more like functions of narrative progression rather than actions he might realistically take.
My one other complaint is the love story. Maybe it's my age and my gender but a teenagers love problems are the most redundant, self indulgent and asinine aspect to any YA novel. No exception here. It's handled with a lighter hand than most and doesn't completely take over the book so it is forgivable, but Sazed and Tindwyl affections create a stark contrast in what was a far more interesting relationship. Here was a truly unique love story that spoke of something intimate and enduring. The amount of time spent on each story should have been switched and it would have made the book far richer.
Now given all of that, I very much enjoyed The Well of Ascension and look forward to the last book in the series. These were written at the beginning of Sandersons career so they don't have the richness and complexity in character or narrative that The Stormlight Archives possess but still far surpasses most fantasy novels and deserve a chance by any reader of the genre.

  • The Final Empire

  • Mistborn Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,074
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,087

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GREAT TRILOGY!!!

  • By Don Gilbert on 11-12-09

Great story

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

Reviewed: 12-31-14

Fist book in the Mistborn series was a solid endeavor. I will reserve complete judgement until I have completed the series because it is meant read as a whole. The Final Empire didn't reach the exceptional writing and story telling that The Stormlight Archive has, but was by no means a sub par fantasy novel. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series and hope each book ups the notch in character and world building. Most people who enjoy a good fantasy tale will find this book rewarding. Brandon Sanderson is quite the prolific talent. G.R.R.M. Could learn a few things about staying on task from Mr. Sanderson.