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Allen Young

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • The Fellowship of the Ring

  • Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 32,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,797
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 29,892

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • At last - The Definitive Recording!

  • By L. N. on 10-10-12

My favorite book!

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

Reviewed: 04-12-18

Only wish the singing wasn’t so awkward. Its pleasant until he starts singing. Great narrator, though!

  • The Winter King

  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 19 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,850
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,708
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,706

The tale begins in Dark Age Britain, a land where Arthur has been banished and Merlin has disappeared, where a child-king sits unprotected on the throne, where religion vies with magic for the souls of the people. It is to this desperate land that Arthur returns, a man at once utterly human and truly heroic: a man of honor, loyalty, and amazing valor; a man who loves Guinevere more passionately than he should; a man whose life is at once tragic and triumphant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Might be my favorite take on Arthur

  • By Allen Young on 06-12-16

Might be my favorite take on Arthur

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

Reviewed: 06-12-16

Really enjoy Cornwell's ability to humanize these figures of legend. Love what he does with a particular knight who I've always considered to be overrated, and really like that he does not make Arthur flawless.

Some people complain about the story being too exposition-y, but they obviously didn't get past the first couple of hours. Honestly, this world requires exposition, and the rest is so great that it pays off!

Strong female characters too, which is something I love, even as a guy.

All-in-all, I could not put this book down. I questioned picking up another Cornwell series after just finishing a marathon read of his Saxon Stories, but I am so glad that I did. He is my favorite writer of all time, and Jonathan Keeble is the perfect man to narrate these stories.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Kingdom

  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,793
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,424
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,397

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex, Alfred's kingdom and the last territory in English hands, Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cornwell is becoming my current best favorite author

  • By Eyal on 10-20-15

A Great, Rolling Adventure!

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

Reviewed: 04-28-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Kingdom to be better than the print version?

I never read the print version, but the reader's voice is beyond amazing at capturing the feel of this novel. I wish he narrated all of the books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Uhtred, being the PoV character, is interesting, and it is cool seeing him grow up throughout the novels. I've read through them all so fast that I can't remember where one stopped and the other began. This character and the story are just so intriguing!

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is fantastic. I wish I could express how perfect his voice and performance are for these novels. I wish he'd done all of them.

If you could take any character from The Last Kingdom out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Oh lord, probably Briga. I love her fieriness.

Any additional comments?

This is the first series since Game of Thrones that I haven't been able to put down. It has reinvigorated the reader within me. I consider these books to be a blessing, haha. You will not be disappointed.

  • The Banished of Muirwood

  • Covenant of Muirwood, Book 1
  • By: Jeff Wheeler
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,730
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,520
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,518

In a stand-alone series set in the world of Muirwood, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and heir to the throne. As a result of her father's ceaseless need for authority, she was left disinherited and forced to live as a servant in her enemy's home. When the king invites chaos into the land by expelling the magical order known as the Dochte Mandar, Maia finds herself on a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret - despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I Wouldn't Recommend It

  • By Joshua on 03-11-16

An Intriguing Novel

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

Reviewed: 02-14-16

What made the experience of listening to The Banished of Muirwood the most enjoyable?

Well, funny this is the first question. Listening actually almost ruined the book for me. Kate Rudd apparently believes that she needs to do goofy girl-trying-to-sound-like-a-man voices whenever reading for a male character, while reading primarily in her natural voice for female characters.

This almost made me quit the story, because every male character was reduced to like, a children's storybook character by the voices she decided to use.

You don't see male voice actors raise their voices into falsetto to depict female characters, or even necessarily raise their voices at all. The audience understands that it is a female or male character, your job is to convey the feel of the character.

Anyway, after about 5 hours in, I got so used to this that I didn't care anymore. Apart from this very annoying quirk, Rudd has a pleasing and somewhat unique voice that she uses especially effectively when speaking through the main character.

If she got rid of this annoying habit, she might be one of my favorite readers.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that it was not entirely predictable, and there was a grittiness to the world. The "magic" system is somewhat unique.

I confess that I managed to be distracted during important exposition moments that explained the magic system and the world, so I did not really understand everything the whole way through, which was entirely my fault. This was kinda cool though, since he does such a good job at making this world feel lived-in.

Also, it feels like you're dropped into the middle of a larger story. Which is the case if, like me, you pick this book up first. There is an entire trilogy before this book that apparently enhances and explains the world.

So, maybe you should pick up The Wretched of Muirwood first? I enjoyed feeling like I was part of a larger world that needed to be explored, but this happened by mistake, so I dunno.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kate Rudd?

See my first answer. I'll give her a try (to listen to The Wretched of Muirwood). She has a wonderful voice. Just needs to stop giving male characters goofy voices.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, actually, which is very rare. Jeff's primary strength, I think, is making you love the main character. Mia is very engaging and I genuinely wanted her to succeed (in whatever exactly was going on. I'm still not sure. Got distracted at important moments.)

Any additional comments?

Bought this during an Audibles First Series sale on a whim. Started it and finished in like, 3 days, when usually it takes me like a month to finish a comparable book.

He's a surprising little gem. Apparently a self-published author who has made a good name for himself. I wish him all the best and look forward to exploring the rest of his Muirwood series!

  • Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars

  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,790
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,516
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,514

Luke Skywalker's game-changing destruction of the Death Star has made him not only a hero of the Rebel Alliance but a valuable asset in the ongoing battle against the Empire. Though he's a long way from mastering the power of the Force, there's no denying his phenomenal skills as a pilot--and in the eyes of Rebel leaders Princess Leia Organa and Admiral Ackbar, there's no one better qualified to carry out a daring rescue mission crucial to the Alliance cause.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun adventure, but not very deep

  • By Daniel on 07-06-15

Star Wars: Back to Caring About Characters

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

Reviewed: 02-04-16

Where does Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is actually one of my favorites, and I have listened to it twice now. There is such a quaintness to it that is missing from most media in general! Plus, Marc Thompson is amazing at capturing the feel of Star Wars characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars?

Oh, the end, but I can't give that away. You want to read this just for the end.

What does Marc Thompson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The uncanny impression of Mark Hamill. Plus, the fun British voices of Nakari Kelen and her father, whose scenes I laugh about at odd times during the day.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Just about! I really finished it in a few days, which is very fast for me.

Any additional comments?

I love, love this novel for how it deals with Luke's progression between episodes IV and V. He doesn't defeat some secret Sith Lord, and he doesn't encounter anything that breaks with what we learn in the movies.

This book is about Luke coping with the events of A New Hope; Bigg's death, becoming a hero of the Rebellion, and being abandoned by his Force teacher, Ben Kenobi. He is a man trying to teach himself and finding help in unlikely places. This shows how flawed Luke's thinking is in the Force, and also shows how dedicated he is to learning, even if it seems impossible.

Really revitalized my interest in Luke as a character. Loving the new canon.

  • Battlefront: Twilight Company

  • Star Wars
  • By: Alexander Freed
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 13 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,027
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,027

A companion novel inspired by the hotly anticipated video game Star Wars: Battlefront, this action-packed adventure follows a squad of soldiers caught in the trenches of the ultimate galactic war between good and evil.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • It's an OK story....

  • By Bradley A. Saylor on 05-03-16

A Good, Solid Read

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

Reviewed: 02-04-16

What made the experience of listening to Battlefront: Twilight Company the most enjoyable?

The main character is immediately relatable and Jonathan Davis does an awesome job at narrating.

What did you like best about this story?

The relationship between Namir and Chalis, as well as the cast of secondary characters, makes this book feel like you keep returning to old friends each time you listen.

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

He has a good range of voices and, for the most part, allows the text to breathe, without putting too much inflection here or there to portray extreme emotions. Some narrators seem to think that they have to be shouting to convey fear or excitement, but Davis, for the most part, understands that the emotions are written in the text and don't require the narrator to mar the natural flow of his voice.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

- The real heroes of the Rebellion.

Any additional comments?

So, the book concentrates on Twilight Company. But, every now and then it would switch to an Imperial soldier for reasons that really evaded me. She never really interacted with any other character and did not provide much insight into the Imperial side of things. It seemed that for every 10 chapters about Twilight, she had one. Now, her chapters in themselves were interesting, but it felt awkward with almost nothing else relating to her story.

Also, somewhere towards the middle-end of the story, Davis decides to attempt some sort of scratchy, whiny woman's voice with a character that goes on forever. I don't know why he did this. It ruined the interaction with that character because it sounded so horrible.

Those are really my only two nitpicks. I would definitely recommend this novel!

P.S. I am really liking the way that the new canon is focusing on the small, instead of gigantic events in the galaxy. In Heir to the Empire, Luke levitates noodles. Here, we get only a glimpse of Vader, and really I thought that was tacky for a story that otherwise felt very natural.

This goes to show that we don't need five planets exploding or characters levitating starships in order to make good EU. Star Wars has always been best when it is about relationships and personal struggle, and this book definitely nails that.

  • Dark Disciple: Star Wars

  • By: Christie Golden, Katie Lucas - foreword
  • Narrated by: Marc Thompson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,389
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,973
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,958

In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Clone Wars Continues

  • By Troy on 07-07-15

Tear-Jerker

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

Reviewed: 07-30-15

Yeah, I never expected to feel down after a Star Wars book.

This is a great novel. I would say the best I have read of Star Wars fiction.

My only complaint is the obnoxious use of phrases like, "(character) rallied" and "a chill that had nothing to do with the cold night air." These occurred several times and felt pretentious in a novel that was otherwise very natural.