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Andreas Henriksson

Sweden
  • 29
  • reviews
  • 100
  • helpful votes
  • 99
  • ratings
  • Quantum Night

  • By: Robert. J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by: Scott Aiello
  • Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 537
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 486
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 489

Experimental psychologist Jim Marchuk has developed a flawless technique for identifying the previously undetected psychopaths lurking everywhere in society. But while being cross-examined about his breakthrough in court, Jim is shocked to discover that he has lost his memories of six months of his life from 20 years previously - a dark time during which he himself committed heinous acts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Discombobulated, but interesting

  • By Keith on 03-21-16

Philofun in a nutshell

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

Reviewed: 04-13-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I actually caught myself considering which friends to recommend this book to. On the one hand, I considered those with an academic interest in neuroscience, psychology and society. But then again, some of the novel's premises are really speculative and not based on science, and I suspect some of my scientifically inclined friends would have difficulties looking beyond those faults. Perhaps this is more for those of us who like to speculate more freely about human nature and society; we, the philosophers and private thinkers.

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

The book reads very well and is difficult to pause. It would have been easy to consume in one sitting, if the opportunity had materialised.

Any additional comments?

This is a novel that uses speculative neuroscience and psychology to pose interesting questions about human nature and society. It is one of those books that are difficult to talk about without dropping spoilers.

Of course, if one were to evaluate the scientific "basis" of the novel, it would be found wanting at best. But this is not science, it is entertainment and - I guess philofun would be an apt neologism; having fun with philosophical speculation.

Sawyer is getting better. I have read some earlier novels of his and this is an enhancement without doubt. I would argue Sawyer has particular problems with characterisations; his protagonists tend towards the generic. These tendencies are present in this novel as well, but at the same time Sawyer has succeeded in making the protagonists' personalities part of the plot itself. He is turning his weakness into a strength.

Overall very good story and narration. The ending tends towards the phantasmagorical in my opinion; it is interesting, but not quite as satisfactory as I would have liked. Still, a strong four stars book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

  • Revelation Space, Book 6
  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 440
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 405

The planet Golgotha - supposedly lifeless - resides in a remote star system, far from those inhabited by human colonists. It is home to an enigmatic machinelike structure called the Blood Spire, which has already brutally and systematically claimed the lives of one starship crew that attempted to uncover its secrets.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • not a continuation of any other book :(

  • By A.R. on 08-02-16

Virtuoso sci-fi, but not for RS newbies

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

Reviewed: 03-20-16

Any additional comments?

If one can be a sci-fi virtuoso, Alastair Reynolds is it. You enjoy his work immensely, but you can never figure out how he does it.

Diamond dog, Turquoise days are two short stories/novellas. You should have read one or two books in the Revelation space-series before taking them on, otherwise words like Ultras, jugglers and Chasm City may through you off.

Diamond days is the story about people penetrating an alien and deadly maze. Turquoise days circles on the isolationist planet Turquoise and it's home-grown research on the juggler phenomenon.

The novellas are not as good as the novels in the Revelation space-series, but still fills me with that kind of wonder I am after when reading a Reynolds novel. John Lee is brilliant as ever.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Traveling Vampire Show

  • By: Richard Laymon
  • Narrated by: Bob Barnes
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 43

It's a hot August morning in 1963. All over the rural town of Grandville—tacked to power poles and trees, taped to store windows—flyers have appeared announcing the one night only performance of The Traveling Vampire Show. The promised highlight of the show is the gorgeous Valeria, the only living vampire in captivity. For three local teenagers, two boys and a girl, this is a show they can't miss, but they find much more than they expected!

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • "Breasts"

  • By Eivind on 01-30-11

Watching paint drying

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

Reviewed: 03-20-16

Any additional comments?

Richard Laymon is evidently popular among a certain segment of the population. As I am always interested to find horror authors I haven't read, I looked for the book his fans recommended the most. I came up with The Travelling Vampire Show.

Many have said so before, but I really want to emphasise that this is a novel written for teenage boys. Women's breasts are described in painstaking detail and the main protagonist fights involuntary erections much more often than vampires.

So if you are not a male straight teenager, this book is a tedium. It just goes on and on and on about what teenagers did some decades ago in a rural, American setting. Nothing much. They thought about girls. Washed clothes. Talked to each other about other kids. It's worse than Enid Blyton's Famous Five, where almost nothing happens for about two thirds of the book. Here, nothing much happens till the very end. And its not very well written.

To be honest, for long stretches of time listening to this book was like watching paint drying. I disciplined myself to hang on to the end. Yes, the final revelation is shocking. But it is NOT worth sitting through the excruciatingly mundane nothingness of the preceding chapters! It might have worked as a short story, with the end immediately following the first chapter. The rest is breast-watching and nothing much to do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ilium

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 29 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 692
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 635
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 638

From the towering heights of Olympos Mons on Mars, the mighty Zeus and his immortal family of gods, goddesses, and demigods look down upon a momentous battle, observing - and often influencing - the legendary exploits of Paris, Achilles, Hector, Odysseus, and the clashing armies of Greece and Troy. Thomas Hockenberry, former 21st-century professor and Iliad scholar, watches as well. It is Hockenberry's duty to observe and report on the Trojan War's progress to the so-called deities who saw fit to return him from the dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Achaeans and robots and post-humans, oh my

  • By Ryan on 04-11-14

Great literature, period

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

Reviewed: 02-16-16

Any additional comments?

As most who read Simmons' Hyperion series, I was awed. It was one of my first encounters with sci-fi and it hooked me.

Since then I have read most of Simmons' oeuvre, including his horror novels. In my opinion, none equals Hyperion. Ilium comes close however.

Ilium is a sprawling novel centred on the future battle of Troy. Mysterious Gods from Greek antiquity stage Homer's Iliad on Mars. Human tragedy becomes godly entertainment as Zeus and his entourage look on from Olympus Mons. As we follow a technologically reincarnated 20th century American scholar of Homer, the mysterious situation on Mars is slowly unmasked and we begin to learn the true background to the story.

Meanwhile, we also learn of what has become of life on earth as four friends discover that their planet was not always inhabited by dinosaurs and that humanity's every need was not always tended to by mechanical guardians. Do they dare break free from their artificially pampared lives to uncover the truth? And will the little robots from Jupiter, who always debate Shakespeare, find out what is really behind the Gods of Mars?

Simmons loves classical literature and he often threads it throughout his novels. I suspect I didn't get all of the literary allusions in Ilium. Luckily, being well-versed in classics is not a prerequisite for enjoying the novel - although some knowlege helps.

Simmons' greatest flaw is the length of his books. He seems to love writing and he does a lot of it. Were it not for literary quality, I believe few would list him as a favorite. But Simmons possesses great skill and so we almost always forgive him his lengthy prose. Almost. Ilium (and Olympus) are really thick books. I love them dearly, but I can't believe the length is necessary. It would be interesting to read versions abbreviated by the author - I suspect they would be even better.

All in all - if you love philosophy and classical literature, this is a must-read even if you are not into sci-fi. Simmons qualities as a writer give his books a wider appeal than the sci-fi fans. This is great literature, period.

  • The Exiled

  • By: William Meikle
  • Narrated by: Chris Barnes
  • Length: 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

When several young girls are abducted from various locations in Edinburgh, Detective John Granger and his brother Alan, a reporter, investigate the cases from different directions. The abductor is cunning, always one step ahead, and the only clue he leaves behind at each scene are the brutalized corpses of black swans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Who's riding with the black cob?

  • By Jürgs on 01-04-15

Good standard detective/fantasy hybrid, a bit flat

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

Reviewed: 02-16-16

Any additional comments?

This is a good book, but not a great one. It follows two brothers, Alan and John, who investigate kidnappings in Scotland. They soon realise that something otherworldly may be involved. But how do you travel to a place beyond this world and what do you do about its gatekeepers?

Meikle does a nowadays fairly common thing, connecting the detective genre to fantasy. There are some interesting concepts introduced here, but I do feel many of them are never really explored to the full. In the end, the novel falls a bit flat as it leaves us with too many loose threads. Just an example; apart from a short scene at the book's opening, we never read about the missing girls' parents. It seems they just go through the standard grieving that robs them of any agency in the novel. Coming to think about it, we never really learn anything about the girls themselves - they are merely presented as token evidence that something atrocious is taking place.

Alan and John, and some of the other characters are the book's strength. You do get to know them and they feel "real" - a good thing in a book that pushes us to accept the otherworldly. The antagonists are not as developed however, you never really come to understand why they act as they do; they rarely for example come over as particularly evil and the standard verbal jabs at the heroes make them seem trite. This is an important reason why this book did not work so well for me.

Chris Barnes' scottish accent works well and he succeeds in making this book better than I suspect it is on page.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • God’s Demon

  • By: Wayne Barlowe
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 17 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 104

The powerful Lord Sargatanas, Brigadier-general in Beelzebub's host, is restless. For millennia Sargatanas has ruled dutifully over an Infernal metropolis, but he has never forgotten what he lost in the Fall. He is sickened by what he has done and what he has become. Now, with a small event - a confrontation with a damned soul - he makes a decision that will reverberate through every being in Hell.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty epic

  • By Berserk on 05-10-12

Post-ironic hell in artistic rendering

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

Reviewed: 01-10-16

Any additional comments?

When I read that Barlowe is an artist who has worked for films, things clicked for me. This is a text full of images. Barlowe describes a hell that is stiff, stiff to the point of becoming a series of panoramas.

In a sense, this is a post-ironic novel. It might as well have been written hundred years ago, although I doubt authors of that time would have had that much material from popular culture to draw upon when describing hell. Barlowe's demons don't joke. They take on dramatic postures and deliver Shakespearian lines. They are more like Greek Gods than creatures of the pit, albeit Greek Gods with deformed exteriors.

Yes, the novel's cosmology bears resemblance to those found in books like Gaiman's Sandman and Ennis' Hellblazer. But again, the irony is entirely gone. As is, interestingly, the cynicism. Barlowe is a very anti-modern author, who also seems to take his created world very seriously. The best comparison is perhaps with Tolkien, who was similarly devoid of distance to his subject matter.

Now, does this make for a good book? Yes, I think it does. Firstly, it is beautiful to the extent that hell can be beautiful. The book conjures up strange, hellish landscapes where the souls of the damned suffer under the yoke of their demon lords, but where the latter also indulge in aesthetic pleasures and have millenia to perfect their arts and their cities. Secondly, it is an unusually hopeful book that might even be described as anti-cynic. Thirdly, it has a nicely structured drama at its core, that is easy to engage in and follow.

The book reads as a classical tale of empire. I was reminded of the Chinese Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This worked fine for me. However, I suspect it is not a book for everyone, and that some readers may find it slow-paced, dry and demanding. Structure is a keyword. If you are a reader that can discern and enjoy complex structures in the novels you read, you will enjoy Barlowe's work. If you only read what is on the present page, I suspect you will not.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart Goes Last

  • A Novel
  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,597
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,458
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,460

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed, and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in...for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Thoughtful and intriguing

  • By Stephanie on 10-01-15

Atwood is having fun

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

Reviewed: 01-10-16

Any additional comments?

Margret Atwood is angry at consumerist culture and capitalism leaving the American majority behind. She has chosen to channel her anger into a number of dystopian novels, of which The Heart Goes Last is the latest.

But The Heart Goes Last is also a light romance. And a comedy. Atwood is playful with the dystopian and her own critique-of-consumerism tropes. With tongue in cheek, she adds elements from classic romantic literature, such as the love potion, but gives them a futuristic, dystopian tweek.

A couple in their thirties struggles to survive after the American economy goes bust. Precarity haunts everyone in a country that still clings to consumerist ideals and polished surfaces. When they are offered house and jobs by a new, sinister company and its mysterious social project, they can't refuse. But things heat up when romance takes new, unexpected routes.

Yes, it is a nice and fun adventure. But the book compares unfavorably with Atwood's more serious novels in the same genre, such as Oryx and Crake (not to mention The Handmaid's Tale). Those other novels are grander, deeper and more haunting. Which is okay - this book is meant to be light and fun. Not light and fun in the consumerist, entertainment sort of way, mind you. But light and fun in the classical sense, as in using laughter and absurdity to impact its audience.

Still, if a dystopian novel can be too light, this is it. I had expected something with a little more depth than what the reader gets at the end of the novel. Readable and enjoyable though, and possibly suitable to a younger audience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Head Full of Ghosts

  • By: Paul Tremblay
  • Narrated by: Joy Osmanski
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,058
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,913
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,910

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when 14-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Page turner

  • By E.C. on 07-31-15

Old possession in new costume?

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

Reviewed: 01-10-16

Any additional comments?

A Head Full of Ghosts was nominated in the horror genre for Goodread's Choice Awards 2015. That was a list of nominees I decided to read through. Tremblay's book was one of the better entries, but not my favorite.

The book is extremely "meta". It focuses on the possible possession of teenager Marjorie and her family's decision to let itself be on a tv reality show about their experience. So the possession is being filmed and commented upon - and then we also follow the cynical blog posts of a horror fan remembering the show fifteen years on, as well as interviews with Marjorie's little sister at that same later date.

Commentaries within commentaries, like a postmodern Russian doll. In short, the book takes a common trope, the possession, and presents it in a new way.

Yes, I did get a bit tired of all the literary spiel. But some of it has a purpose. It is a bit uncertain whether the author wants you to be scared of the few seemingly unfiltered, haunting facts that drop through the commentaries sometimes, or to be unsettled by the unreliability of the narrators. Both perhaps? In a sense both also work up to a point, but then are offset by the novel's chatter.

Is this a good book? A scary book? - It has a few good scares. Some of them rely vaguely on the meta-character of the narrative. However, I am not sure that they made all of it necessary. It is a good attempt to make something new of an old concept - but then I am not sure that it adds much.

That said, the book reads well and is easily consumed. An average but readable little adventure into the possibly demonic. Very good narration by Joy Osmanski.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fire Spirit

  • By: Graham Masterton
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Cannon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

A mesmerizing new story from the master of supernatural horror - Ruth Cutter juggles family life with her career as a top arson investigator, but a series of horrific fires leaves her baffled. The victims seem to have nothing in common except the unnatural intensity of the fire that engulfed them . . . and the creepy kid who haunts each crime scene. But these are no ordinary fires. Can Ruth overcome her scepticism in time to save her family and avert the coming apocalypse?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not worth your credit

  • By Andreas Henriksson on 06-14-15

Not worth your credit

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

Reviewed: 06-14-15

Any additional comments?

Masterton's older novels are quality hardcore horror. They exude evil and I can sympathise with one reviewer's mother who did not want Masterton's book near her Bible.

In the 1980's, horror went splatter, with blood and guts flying and people being ripped to pieces. Importantly though, the novels and films still remembered from this era, are those that managed to combine splatter with a good sense of human nature/empathy and a great story line. Clive Barker comes to mind, as does several of Masterton's works. Masterton is particularly brilliant in weaving a sense of normalcy and decent human relationships, which makes the brutal horror stand out much more effectively and punch the reader in her/his guts.

BUT Masterton's recent work has dropped the good stories and the empathy. What now remains is brutality and gore. In this book, the horror centres on the rape and degradation of innocent women. That MIGHT work if was part of a really good and empathic story. Instead, I got the feeling that Masterton's story was merely some excuse for being able to describe drawn-out and senseless rape scenes. As those scenes have no logic to them and as you never come to know the victims, the scenes are not horrific, but simply offensive. And repetitive. The book falls flat.

If you can appreciate quality splatter horror, do read Masterton's early works. Don't waste your credits on this.

  • Gorgon

  • Alex Hunter, Book 5
  • By: Greig Beck
  • Narrated by: Sean Mangan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285

An ancient evil awakens ... Alex Hunter has been found – sullen, alone, leaving a path of destruction as he wanders across America. Only the foolish get in the way of the drifter wandering the streets late at night. Across the world, something has been released by a treasure hunter in a hidden chamber of the Basilica Cisterns in Istanbul. Something hidden there by Emperor Constantine himself, and deemed by him too horrifying and dangerous to ever be set free.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting monster, inadequate protagonists

  • By Andreas Henriksson on 03-01-15

Interesting monster, inadequate protagonists

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

Reviewed: 03-01-15

Any additional comments?

I enjoy Lovecraft and think that books using his primordial, uncaring monsters in a modern setting is a great idea. But to enjoy Beck's books about Alex Hunter, liking Lovecraft is not enough. Hunter and his cohorts are taken from more mainstream, American light action fiction, with flexing muscles, contempt for "thinkers" and oneliners about what "must be done". For me, it is extremely frustrating to read how this Hunter exposes his team to risks because he doesn't think things through (and probably because the author needs some nice action scenes).

So if you like Lovecraft AND muscle-packed American soldiers running around saving the day - despite refusing to stop and think - you will love Beck's books. If you enjoy Lovecraft, but prefer his Victorian-style, thinking, although verging-on-the-insane protagonists, you will probably be disappointed. I am a bit surprised about the praise this book gets on Amazon. I guess more people fit the first category than I thought.

I should add that the Gorgon monster is interesting and menacing and that the opening scenes of the book are great. It's when the Americans take over that Beck looses me...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful