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Abel

  • 24
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • Spinning Silver

  • By: Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,446
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,225

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father's inability to collect his debts has left his family on the edge of poverty - until Miryem takes matters into her own hands. Hardening her heart, the young woman sets out to claim what is owed and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk - grim fey creatures who seem more ice than flesh - Miryem's fate, and that of two kingdoms, will be forever altered. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite authors. Only 1 small complaint

  • By R. W. Olsen on 11-30-18

There are so many new POVs that pop out of nowhere. The print version probably makes more sense but the narrator made her best!

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

Reviewed: 04-10-19

Regarding world building. This was a fine construct. I bought the book without knowing at all what I was getting into and was slightly disappointed to find out it was set on our own universe, not a problem.
The magic system is a little off. I wish the main character had more limitations and development on this matter.
The first act goes very well, the mid part is a bit slow and the book ends well.
The new characters get a point of view very randomly and some just for a chapter so it’s hit or miss. Some are good, some not so much.
I’m glad this story had ended in a way that closes the threads. I’m not sure how much I’d be willing to continue on a second book (maybe there’s one already, who knows).
It’s less of an epic fantasy as I hoped but it’s a worthwhile book to read/listen. I’m sure I’m just not the target audience but I still finished it!

  • The Song of Achilles

  • A Novel
  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Frazer Douglas
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,519
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,883
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,863

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wasn't Expecting to Like It- BOY! was I wrong!!

  • By susan on 06-11-14

Very slow start, picks up after first half

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

Reviewed: 03-08-19

It was an enjoyable listen overall! The author spends too much time on the young couple. That whole romance could be cut in half while maintaining intensity. I like the details added to the Iliad and when they go to Troy it really picks up and is exciting to listen. Great additions in term of story telling. I did listen at 1.5x speed to the book (or narration) to gent the right mood. That’s why it lost another start in my review.

  • Foundryside

  • A Novel
  • By: Robert Jackson Bennett
  • Narrated by: Tara Sands
  • Length: 19 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 774
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 720

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle. But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic - the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience - have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Fantasy

  • By Michael on 08-22-18

If you know the work of Brandon Sanderson, you’ll enjoy this.

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

Although it could very well be part of the cosmere as it’s so similar in style and magic system. (Set in the Elantris world most likely). I wish the book had developed the “bad” character a bit more. Sometime it feels a bit gratuitous or over-exaggerated. The second and last thing, I also wish the romance part was further developed. It really comes out of the blue although it get better by the end, I’m not sure it should have been delayed to the next book where it could get more pages. Overall great listen, good narrator and engaging story.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time

  • By: Sean Carroll, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Sean Carroll
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,352
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,196

Time rules our lives, woven into the very fabric of the universe-from the rising and setting of the sun to the cycles of nature, the thought processes in our brains, and the biorhythms in our day. Nothing so pervades our existence and yet is so difficult to explain. But now, in a series of 24 riveting lectures, you can grasp exactly why - as you take a mind-expanding journey through the past, present, and future, guided by a noted author and scientist.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Get From Eternity to Here instead

  • By Michael on 07-24-13

Mind bending and eye opening

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

This is the second audiobook I listen to about science, the first one also by Sean Carroll. He’s an amazing teacher and manages to explain to the non-scientist very high level concepts. I’m in awe with the universe and it’s beauty. This is a listen to stretch your imagination and appreciation of the world we live in.

  • Crux

  • Nexus, Book 2
  • By: Ramez Naam
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 18 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 955
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 964

Six months have passed since the release of Nexus 5. The world is a different, more dangerous place. In the USA, the freedom fighters of the Post-Human Liberation Front use Nexus to turn men and women into human time bombs aimed at the President and his allies. The first blows in the war between human and post-human have been struck.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not as good as first book of the series

  • By Neal on 08-09-15

Main character is week and makes story drag.

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

“It’s like going to visit an amazing place with the most boring tour guide one can find.”

On the second book of this trilogy the main character continues to not drive the story. He is thrown into situations and depends on the secondary cast to do everything. Filled with pointless existential crisis we never see him develop enough to deserve the spotlight. The best parts of the book are when he’s not around as the other characters are much more interesting and relatable.
It’s a cool world with interesting setup but I found myself just trying to finish the book. I’m really considering just dropping this and listening to something else.

  • Red Sister

  • First Book of the Ancestor
  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Heather O'Neill
  • Length: 19 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,881
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,621
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,618

From the international best-selling author of the Broken Empire Trilogy comes the first in a brilliant new breakout fantasy series. A searing novel set in a brand-new world, this series follows a young girl who enters a convent where girls are selected to train in religion, combat, or magic. Nona is selected to learn combat and finds herself at the center of an epic battle for empire on the outer reaches of a dying universe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story supported by great narration

  • By jdykes33 on 04-15-17

Very interesting universe and world, slow story development most of times even thought characters are pretty nice.

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

Reviewed: 01-08-18

It’s a nice listen overall. The story feels slow many times and the payoffs aren’t that amazing per se. Very cool world building here and lots to explore in the next chapter for sure.
Since we only see one character point of view the universe is not very well explored. I wish there was at least another character moving the back ground mystery along. Still deciding if I’ll move on to the next book.

  • Sins of Empire

  • By: Brian McClellan
  • Narrated by: Christian Rodska
  • Length: 20 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,865
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,717
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,711

The young nation of Fatrasta is a turbulent place - a frontier destination for criminals, fortune hunters, brave settlers, and sorcerers seeking relics of the past. Only the iron will of the lady chancellor and her secret police holds the capital city of Landfall together against the unrest of an oppressed population and the machinations of powerful empires.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Making a great book: Mystery, magic, and mayhem

  • By Jason Grosch on 03-29-17

Overall a nice listen.

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

Reviewed: 12-26-17

I got this based off Brandon Sanderson’s tag line in the cover. It is well written and the characters are well developed. I feel like it could be better explored and the climax/resolution felt like luck more than on the efforts of the characters. I wish the author had created a side of the story exploring the magic and mystery of the world to compliment the action/war. In spite of the length of the book, it still felt shallow at some points. It’s a great book, hence the 4 starts, I just felt it could be better explored regarding magic, world, environment. I’m definitely going to listen to the next ones! The narrator is quite good!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Language A to Z

  • By: John McWhorter, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,226

Linguistics, the study of language, has a reputation for being complex and inaccessible. But here's a secret: There's a lot that's quirky and intriguing about how human language works-and much of it is downright fun to learn about. But with so many potential avenues of exploration, it can often seem daunting to try to understand it. Where does one even start?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A genious Miscelany of linguistic topics

  • By Jacobus on 05-06-14

Informative and Fun

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

Reviewed: 09-13-17

John McWhorter is a brilliant teacher and manages to communicate all the complexities of language in a simple, fun manner. I'll buy any course from him.

  • Actionable Gamification

  • Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards
  • By: Yu-kai Chou
  • Narrated by: Scott R. Smith
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

The new era of gamification and human-focused design optimizes for motivation and engagement over traditional function-focused design. Within the industry, studies on game mechanics and behavioral psychology have become proliferate. However, few people understand how to merge the two fields into experience designs that reliably increases business metrics and generates a return on investment.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Just a bunch of rules and no source references

  • By Abel on 09-07-17

Just a bunch of rules and no source references

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

Reviewed: 09-07-17

If you wanna learn how Gamification works and how to apply it, read Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal. This book has tried to summarize the theory while implying the author came up with it by himself while giving no one the proper credit. This is not even a simple breakdown, it's 8 core areas, with a bunch of numerical rules inside each. Hardly practical.
Most of it is self advertising. I returned the book after listening to half of it. There are cool points but these are better explained in other literature.
If you want to take a shortcut or just be able to add this topic to your LinkedIn, this book is for you. Just don't go thinking you can apply it to a product.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Across the Nightingale Floor

  • Tales of the Otori, Book One
  • By: Lian Hearn
  • Narrated by: Kevin Gray, Aiko Nakasone
  • Length: 8 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,694
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,741
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,756

A tour-de-force novel set in ancient Japan filled with passion, fantasy, and feuding warlords. The first volume in the highly anticipated Tales of the Otori trilogy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful epic story

  • By Jody R. Nathan on 10-04-03

Great overall, a little too slow at times.

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

Reviewed: 09-06-17

This is a fine listen. I personally enjoyed it in spite of a few slow patches. The sorry feels original and the narration is very good. The female side of the book could be stronger and made more interesting even though it's set at this feudal period. It has a satisfying ending for a trilogy, no cliff hanger of sorts even though I can see there's more of this world to explore.