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Nancy A

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  • Out of Spite, Out of Mind

  • Magic 2.0, Book 5
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,232
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,952
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,942

When you discover the world is a computer program, and you figure out that by altering the code you can time travel and perform acts that seem like magic, what can possibly go wrong? Pretty much everything. Just ask Brit, who has jumped around in time with such abandon that she has to coexist with multiple versions of herself. Now, Brit the Elder finds that her memories don't match Brit the Younger's.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A Philip to Remember / A Britt To Forget

  • By harbinger on 07-11-18

I really wanted to like it

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

Reviewed: 07-03-18

I love Scott Meyer's writing, I've listened to every one of his books and I thought the Magic 2.0 concept was a great one and all the other books have used it well. Luke Daniels, as always, reads the material wonderfully. There are times when he reads that I wonder if it's not really a full cast reading, he does voices and personalities that well.

As far as the story goes, I felt like this one fell short. Which made me sad because I've been looking forward to this book. The characters often did things because the plot required it. Usually, when that happened, the characters were acting spiteful, or it felt forced, like they were being mean because the plot demanded it. There were good parts and for the most part, I enjoyed the story, but this didn't hold together as well the other books in the series. The plot just felt forced.

Not trying to give anything away here, but if you're worried, then stop reading... The rest below might have a few spoilers...

These characters have been through a lot and when one of them says, "Hey, something weird is going on with one of our friends", the reaction from the others is to make fun of the guy who's trying to point out a potential problem. I get that's often the case, but I feel like after 4 books, the character in question has earned more respect than what they got. He keeps trying and he keeps getting ignored or laughed at. I get that if they had listened to him, then the story would have been over. So, it felt lazy, the characters were forced to act stupidly to maintain the plot.

And I'll go ahead and say I don't like what happened to Philip. All he tries to do is the right thing and the plot, not him, backs him into a corner for no reason other than to back him into a corner and then punish him for being where the author put him. I don't feel like he deserved what happened to him, again, it felt like the plot demanded he be punished, because the author had something against him. I'm not sure why Mr. Meyer felt the need to go this direction. And because of it, I now hate Brit, and she was a character I liked before and thought was a clever and fun addition. I don't think there's going to be an easy way to redeem her.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Hammer of Thor

  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2
  • By: Rick Riordan
  • Narrated by: Kieran Culkin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,225
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,900
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,890

Thor's hammer is missing... again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon - the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost; it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki - and the price he wants is very high.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • It feels like pandering...

  • By Ryuhi on 10-09-16

Another great addition to the Rick Riordan library

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

Reviewed: 11-30-16

Any additional comments?

I was initially hesitant to listen to this book based on the reviews complaining about the reader... I have to say, those reviewers were wrong. I thought the reader did a great job. I felt like the character was reading the book and he had the right tone.

With that out of the way, I thought the book was great. Another solid book from Rick Riordan. I love his humor and the way he modernizes mythology in a way that makes sense. I look forward to seeing what he does next!

  • The Hike

  • By: Drew Magary
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,807
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,582
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,571

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best ending I can remember

  • By David on 05-08-17

This book... I mean,...

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

Reviewed: 11-30-16

Any additional comments?

This book... I'm not even sure how to describe it. What a great concept! The plot is pretty simple, a man is thrown into an absurd and horrifying, supernatural situation, forced to accomplish several difficult, if not seemingly impossible, tasks in order to find his way back to his family. But that doesn't really do it justice. I don't think a short synopsis could do it justice.

Magary has created a world where anything can happen and often does. Ben, the main character simply has to survive to the end of his journey. And what an ending it is. Wrapped up in a very satisfying conclusion. I loved the "twist" and the call backs to the earlier points in the book. I very much look forward to more books from Drew Magary.

As a note, I listened to the audio book from Audible. Christopher Lane is an excellent reader, each character had their own life and the narration was perfect for the tone of the book.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Forest

  • By: Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen - translator
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 22 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,099
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,662
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,657

This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking listeners to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion - in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-25-15

Great themes and ideas for a future history

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

Reviewed: 11-04-16

Any additional comments?

What an interesting book, full of very well thought out ideas. I love books that make me question the universe and what I know about it, this book does that and leaves me wondering about the various themes it proposes. That's not to say that it's a perfect book, there are problems, but we'll get into that in a minute.

The plot is pretty good. It takes up where the last book lets off. The earth is doomed. The inhabitants of Tri-Solaris have decided that they are going to move in due to the danger their world is in due to the Three-Body Problem that their stars have created. They see it as their only way to survive. They also think that we're just in the way. Using their superior technology, the can monitor every thing we do, there are no secrets from them. They have also blocked our future technological progress, so that we can't advance beyond their ability to destroy us. So, what are we left to do? How do we face this threat.

I think Liu Cixin has done a great job answering those questions. His understanding of political, sociological, and physical science is pretty darn good. He uses that knowledge to great effect, describing how society would handle this over a long period of time. I did think there were a few times where the plot bogged down a bit and I thought about fast forwarding, but I was worried I'd miss something important, so I didn't.

Where he runs into trouble, in my opinion, and it's a minor issue, since it's common with these types of "hard" science fiction books, is with the individual characters. Only a handful of characters gets a true personality. The rest of the characters serve the story and interact with the those few characters who are important. Worse, the female characters are only there to push the main character on. The only life they have is what the main character needs them to have and then they disappear.

That being said, that is a common problem for this genre. I'm not saying that it shouldn't change, just that it's, unfortunately, common.

Anyway, I did enjoy the book for it's themes. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see how he picks things up and the direction he takes things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Where the Hell is Tesla?

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,778
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,596
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,587

I found the journal at work. Well, I don't know if you'd call it work, but that's where I found it. It's the lost journal of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors and visionaries ever. Before he died in 1943, he kept a notebook filled with spectacular claims and outrageous plans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely hilarious

  • By Lomeraniel on 11-08-17

Excellent story, excellent reader!

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

Reviewed: 10-07-16

Any additional comments?

I really enjoyed this book. It was so much fun!

What happens when slacker dude gets his hands on an Inter-dimensional gateway? Apparently, hilarity ensues. I loved everything about this book, except it's length, it could have gone on a bit longer.

The characters were great, they stayed true to who they were and grew as they traveled through the plot. I thought their reactions to the crazy that was thrown at them were very much relatable. Two goofy guys become heroes as they gain new experiences and learn more about what the stakes are.

Yes, there were a lot of deus ex machina's left and right, but that's the nature of these stories and they are used well and to good effect.

In all, this was a quick and easy read. Some people in other reviews complained about the swearing, and there is a lot, but I think the language was well within the range of the characters as portrayed, so it worked for me.

Also, I got the Audible version of the book. It was read by the author. Some people don't like this, I usually do, though there have been several cases where that hasn't worked. In this case, it's perfect. You can tell by listening to the story that Rob Dircks knows his characters, knows their voices and knows how he wants the story told. I found his reading very enjoyable.

I look forward to listening to his other books and new ones in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Spaceship Next Door

  • By: Gene Doucette
  • Narrated by: Steve Carlson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,385
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,050
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,053

When a spaceship landed in an open field in the quiet mill town of Sorrow Falls, Massachusetts, everyone realized humankind was not alone in the universe. With that realization everyone freaked out for a little while. Or almost everyone. The residents of Sorrow Falls took the news pretty well. This could have been due to a certain local quality of unflappability, or it could have been that in three years the ship did exactly nothing other than sit quietly in that field, and nobody understood the full extent of this nothing the ship was doing better than the people who lived right next door.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another fun Sci Fi read with an Excellent Reader!

  • By bluestategirl on 12-30-16

A space-ship lands in a small town...

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

Reviewed: 10-03-16

Any additional comments?

What a fun book. I love books that are full of interesting concepts and ideas.

I expected the usual, spaceship invades, chaos ensues... This was different. Spaceship invades, nothing happens, until it does. The reason nothing happens is both interesting and important. When things do happen, it's also for both interesting and import reasons. I'd give a plot summary, but I don't think I could do better than the one listed without giving something away. I must say that I love the idea of a spaceship that lands and does nothing and it and the accompanying military guard simply becomes a weird footnote in the small town.

The other reason why I like this book is that the characters make sense. They are often forced to deal with difficult and weird situations, but they deal with them in ways that I could see happening. The characters feel real, they each have their personalities and motivations I don't think I ever hit a place where I felt like they acted only to serve the plot. At the same time, the plot was well thought out and moved forward at a good pace (when I read a review or two online, a couple said that the plot bogged down a bit in the middle, maybe because I listened to the audio book version, but I didn't feel that way).

Speaking of the Audible version, Steve Carlson did an excellent job reading this story. The characters were given a lot of life and each had a distinct voice, not always an easy thing to do, especially when the cast of characters include teen aged girls, government agents, space-ship watching kooks and more.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. It's a good read and planted some good ideas to think about.

106 of 114 people found this review helpful