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Alex Millender

  • 35
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 39
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  • A Little Rebellion

  • Crimson Worlds
  • By: Jay Allan
  • Narrated by: Jeff Bower
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 279
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259

The Third Frontier War is over, and the Western Alliance is triumphant. All across human-occupied space, colony worlds celebrate the coming of peace. But peace is an elusive dream, and more trouble is brewing. The war was expensive, and the economies of the Superpowers, always fragile, are on the verge of total collapse. The Directorate, the shadowy intelligence organization that has become the true power behind the Alliance government, plans to strip the colonies bare to pay the costs of war.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, awfull narrator.

  • By Björn Natan Bjarnason on 07-27-17

if not for the terrible narration, it might be A+

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

Reviewed: 01-17-19

This is the third book in this series that I've read. I love Jay Allan's Blood on the Stars series and was hoping this would be similarly good. The writing good, but the narration is just terrible. Bower mispronounced words constantly, spelled out military acronyms instead of calling them the "word" those acronyms are usually spoken as, and his cadence was inconsistent and stuttering. He would pause between character voices in the middle of a sentence where one character was being interrupted mid sentence by another character instead of narrating it as it would happen (character one "it's not possible to..." ... ... ... character 2 "...but we have to do it anyway, whether it's possible or not.")
His female character voices were absolutely terrible, too. imagine Robin Williams in the Mrs. Doubtfire movie but nearly satarically intentionally worse "man speaking in falsetto woman's voice."

I bought these on a big discount promotion and at this point have no interest in continuing the series because the narration is so distractingly terrible.

  • Altered Carbon

  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11,308
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,992
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,985

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Altered Carbon

  • By Jake Williams on 09-22-07

Very well written and philosophically aware story

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

Reviewed: 12-22-18

This techno-futuristic story was so well-written that I ould not listen in my typical fashion - dividing my attention between work and listening. The imagery was first rate and the depth of the story, along with the underlying truths subtly laid in layers on top of the primary story were captivating. This was an instant classic.

My only complaint was the timing and cadence of the narration. There were significant pauses in place of lines when a person cut off another during dialog. The tone of the narrator's voice changed mid-paragraph or mid thought all throughout the book. It was a bit distracting, but overall the narration was more than acceptable.

  • The Evaran Origin

  • Book 5 of the Evaran Chronicles
  • By: Adair Hart
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Dr. Albert Snowden and his niece, Emily, never thought they would be able to travel through space and time. Or out of the timeline. Or out of the universe. Or even out of the plane that houses universes. Yet, that is where they find themselves while exploring the origin of Evaran, the mysterious being who rescued them from an alien abduction six months ago. Having to deal with the fact that they are part of a time loop that has not yet been fulfilled is one issue. Learning of another version of Evaran who needs their help in a parallel universe is an additional problem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Adair Hart have done it again !

  • By ODed01 on 04-06-18

great twist on the story

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

Michael Pauley's breathless "shocked" cadence gets annoying at times. It is distracting when it doesn't fit the narrative. Other than that small but significant detail, this book is a great next chapter in the Evaran story arch and had a nice change of pace. I'm interested to see what direction subsequent stories take with the new story arcs created in this book.

  • Mavericks

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 6
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,788
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,920

The remnants of the Expeditionary Force stranded on the alien-controlled planet "Paradise" get a chance to prove themselves, in a simple off-world training mission with a ship full of teenage alien cadets. When the mission goes horribly wrong and the survival of everyone on Paradise is at risk, the Merry Band of Pirates may have to come to the rescue. Unless they get killed first.... 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Alanson teases, and then pulls a 3.5

  • By Andrew on 09-26-18

Very different, but excellent

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

As an Ex Force book, it was very different. Similar in concept to what you'd get if combining books 3 and 3.5. I was disappointed how little of the story was focused on The MBOP, but the book IS called Mavericks for a reason - I won't spoil the story any more than that. Craig Alanson is a master at creating a story I can visualize as it is read to me. As always, Bob is THE master at bringing the wonderful story to life through his exquisite narration.

The book took a new, but anticipated twist in the overarching story. I was excited to find out my interpretation of the foreshadowing CA wrote into the first 5 (6 if counting book 3.5) books was close to the truth.

I died, DIED, laughing at the voice he chose for the sex bot.

I can't believe I'll likely have to wait a year for the next book. Bob is so backlogged in his narration schedule that the next book released in November will be months beyond that before its audio version is released.

  • Ender's Shadow

  • By: Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, a Full Cast
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,262
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,738
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,784

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean, the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Totally Card

  • By L. on 10-10-05

The Enderverse is brilliant, & OSC for building it

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

Reviewed: 09-01-18

This book was as interesting and as unique as Ender's Game. It boggles my mind that it is mostly the same story from a different FPV.

This book also makes the movie, Ender's Game more likeable and make more sense to me.

Whether you've read Ender's Game or not, read this! OSC was dead on - it stands completely on its own.

  • The Circuit

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 696
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 659

Earth is a dying planet. To survive, humanity founds the Circuit, a string of colonies across the solar system, dedicated to mining resources vital to preserving what remains of mankind. Here there are no heroes or villains, only those willing to do what's necessary to survive. The New Earth Tribunal, a powerful religious faction, has risen to rule the Circuit. They believe a Spirit within the Earth will one day appear and welcome humanity back home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Epic Trilogy

  • By Christopher on 07-21-18

The tempo was aweful

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

I rarely avoid a narrator, but Mays may get added to my list of voices to avoid. Only a handful of the voices sounded different. The rest were a jumble of blah.1 His tempo was way too slow and his inflection was flat. He made what could have been a great story barely mediocre.

I give it only a three for the story because even without Mays' narration distracting me, the story was so slow to start that I put it down twice to listen to other books.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The End of Eternity

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,262
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,834
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,852

This stand-alone work is widely regarded as Asimov's best science fiction novel. Andrew Harlan is an Eternal, a member of the elite of the future. One of the few who live in Eternity, a location outside of place and time, Harlan's job is to create carefully controlled and enacted Reality Changes. These Changes are small, exactingly calculated shifts in the course of history, made for the benefit of humankind. Though each Change has been made for the greater good, there are also always costs....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superior Time Travel Story

  • By C. A. T. on 08-27-12

WOW! Just, wow!

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

I'm embarrassed to say that I have not read nor listened to this book, widely held to be Asimov's best work ever, before now.

I am even more embarrassed now that I have finished it in two days and placed it on the top shelf of my favorite fiction books of all times - not just SciFi, all fiction.

Among my favorite SciFi novels sit Infinite, Ring World series and Expeditionary Force series (audio book of ExFor, because after listening to RCB narrate it, reading it just isn't the same).

Just 45 minutes into this book I was already dreading that it is a standalone novel. I am sitting here, having just completed the book, totally shocked at who the protagonist and antagonist end up being, and how the book resolves itself.

I am heartbroken and intrigued at the same time. This was HUGE, and hints at the actions at the end of the book creating the reality we find ourselves in... intriguing in itself.

  • Inheritance

  • Confluence, Book 3
  • By: Jennifer Foehner Wells
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 164

Abducted. Forced to fight against her will. Darcy has a 10,000-year-old secret buried in her genetic code. The Druid Gene makes her a target, but it may also save her. As a second year medical student, Darcy's life revolves around classes, studying, and her boyfriend Adam - until she treks through the desert, touches some mysterious stacked stones, and a network of glowing blue lines radiates under her skin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!

  • By Kevin Harris on 08-05-17

Good book, but barely a side story...

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

As a "Confluence" series book, this annoyed me profoundly.
It does not fit in line with the first two books at all other than a couple of token references to species and concepts from the first two books and a reference to those books' characters on the last page of the book.

It is a good story and was well-read, but calling it book 3 of the Confluence series felt like a cheap way for the author to sell a new story to existing fans of a loosely related one.

Perhaps Wells will tie the stories together in a later book. For now though, this book seems like a tangent.

  • Extinct

  • Extracted, Book 3
  • By: R. R. Haywood
  • Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 887
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 829
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 824

The end of the world has been avoided - for now. With Miri and her team of extracted heroes still on the run, Mother, the disgraced former head of the British Secret Service, has other ideas.... While Mother retreats to her bunker to plot her next move, Miri, Ben, Safa and Harry travel far into the future to ensure that they have prevented the apocalypse. But what they find just doesn't make sense. London in 2111 is on the brink of annihilation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Time-Travel Story

  • By Mike Pluta on 05-19-18

Great time paradox book

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

Reviewed: 05-30-18

This series is mind-boggling. It spends most of the story setting up one line of reality and fact, then shifts direction and contradicts the established "timeline fact" with new events and descriptions. It is true hard sci-fi, but is also an amazing thriller, military and covert ops story. This third book in the series takes the concept to a new level.

The ending is both a cliffhanger and a powerful ending. I can't tell if Haywood means it to be the jumping off point of a 4th book, or if this truly is the end of an amazing trilogy as I originally thought book 3 was supposed to be.

I guess time will tell.

  • Deep Time

  • Star Carrier: Book Six
  • By: Ian Douglas
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 447
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 413
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 414

Once rebels find themselves facing off against the Earth Confederation, the United States of North America is now the dominant force in negotiations with the interstellar Sh'daar Collective. But just as the marines root out the last violent dissenters, an alien ship of unknown origin suddenly flees Earth's orbit. Is it mere coincidence...or a terrifying omen?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No more repeats!

  • By W. M. Barber on 06-08-15

Repetitive descriptions are annoying

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

Reviewed: 05-22-18

This series by Douglas is AWESOME. Yes, my review title sounds like a criticism, and I gave it 4 stars overall. However, in spite of the criticism to follow, this is still one of the best, most addictive hard sci-fi literature series I've ever read.

That said, Douglas tries WAY too hard to allow each book to stand on its own outside of the series. In the attempt, he repeats explanations and back story ad nauseam- not just from one book to the next, but repeatedly within a single novel. I can see the need for some explanation of the most important concepts to the main story arcs in each novel, but not to the level of depth and repetition he takes it.

The criticisms aside, I'm anxious about there only being one more book in the series. I've flown through the first 6 books in under two weeks. I'm going to be in vacuum, searching for my next hard sci-fi fix, after finishing book seven.

I may have to take a stroll down a different literary path for a while after this series, because I have already read most of the best hard sci-fi written in the last 50 years, and not much of the new stuff compares with the quality of this epic series.