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davidwat

Dallas, TX USA
  • 30
  • reviews
  • 20
  • helpful votes
  • 253
  • ratings
  • Existence

  • By: David Brin
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 32 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 929
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 841
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 832

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Will its universe envelop you?

  • By Andreas Henriksson on 07-20-13

It basically falls apart as a novel midway through

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

Reviewed: 08-13-18

Interesting ideas about space exploration, artificial intelligence, science fiction as literature, and others fall prey to an over ambitious multithreaded story arc that kind of petered out tin the last half. Storylines and characters are left hanging probably because it would take another 200 pages to adequately flesh them out. The author got tired.

  • The Dispossessed

  • A Novel
  • By: Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Narrated by: Don Leslie
  • Length: 13 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,703
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,518
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,524

Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planet of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe. To do this dangerous task will mean giving up his family and possibly his life. Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Anarres, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite novels of all time

  • By Isaac on 10-09-10

Heavy on politics - Anarcosyndicalists unite!

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

Reviewed: 02-20-18

The novel is integral to the Hainish series. It outlines important socioeconomic issues increasingly pertinent to our times and constructs a fascinating if improbable anarchist society the like of which I don't think I've ever run across in literature - but there is a lot of political talk, and it can be a slow read.

  • The Poet

  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Buck Schirner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,406
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,538

Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Villain Mystery

  • By Charles Atkinson on 08-10-14

Not so good.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

Not nearly as good as the Bosch or Mickey Haller books. Plotting alternates between the obvious and the arbitrary. Narration not up to snuff with poorly delineated characters.

  • The Court of Broken Knives

  • By: Anna Smith Spark
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace, Meriel Rosenkranz
  • Length: 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

It is the richest empire the world has ever known, and it is also doomed. Governed by an imposturous emperor, decadence has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion - and only one man can see it. Haunted by prophetic dreams, Orhan has hired a company of soldiers to cross the desert to reach the capital city. Once they enter the palace, they have one mission: kill the emperor, then all those who remain. Only from the ashes can a new empire be built.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sword and Sorcery at Its Best

  • By GPChlorine on 10-03-17

Unredeemingly dark.

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

Reviewed: 09-30-17

Unexplained and unrealistic pychopathology of the murderous protagonist makes it impossible to recommnd this skillfully written bloodbath of a novel. No arc of character development is apparent, and I see no reason to wait for a follow-up volume in hopes of encountering such. The author is talented, however.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,535
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,512

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sums it up nicely

  • By Mark on 05-15-15

Interesting admixture of fact and fancy.

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

Reviewed: 07-06-17

Delightfully narrated, thought provoking, and often clever, the text is unfortunately filled with undocumented speculations and ex cathedra pronouncements about the infinite natures of man. The author is strong on the nurture side of the nature/nurture dispute, but often does not feel obliged to justify his support for an almost unlimited plasticity of human behavior and culture. It would be nice if there were even a slight nod to the arguments of sociobiology.

  • Assassin's Fate

  • Book III of the Fitz and the Fool trilogy
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: Elliot Hill
  • Length: 39 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,331
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,327

More than 20 years ago, the first epic fantasy novel featuring FitzChivalry Farseer and his mysterious, often maddening friend the Fool struck like a bolt of brilliant lightning. Now New York Times best-selling author Robin Hobb brings to a momentous close the third trilogy featuring these beloved characters in a novel of unsurpassed artistry that is sure to endure as one of the great masterworks of the genre.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Heart wrenching

  • By Diane on 05-14-17

It should be to the barber's...

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

Reviewed: 05-31-17

Alac and alas, another epic fantasy trilogy that should have been a duology. Well drawn characters, engagingly written, just too long with consequent stretching of material. Had it been a physical book, I would have skimmed bits to speed it up. Nice descriptions of family dynamics. Sad but lovingly written set piece about a death watch. Recommended.

  • Signature Kill

  • By: David Levien
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,466
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,355
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,355

A young woman's body is found on a side street in Indianapolis, horrifyingly arranged. Meanwhile Frank Behr, who is down on his luck and virtually broke, takes on a no-win case to locate a single mother's wayward daughter who's been missing for months. Suddenly Behr feels the two cases may be connected, but he is years removed from his life as a legitimate police officer and has few friends left on the force. His relentless focus has always been his greatest strength...and his deepest flaw.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling

  • By Tracy P. on 11-29-15

Grossly graphic but otherwise predictable.

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

Reviewed: 04-06-17

Unnecessary graphic detail of killings. Medical details off a bit so I suspect other details are sketchy, too. The psychology of the characters doesn't quite ring true nor are any of them very appealing. I don't trust that this book is telling me anything true about the world it depicts. Nonetheless, I finished it which counts for something.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Spellmonger

  • Spellmonger, Book 1
  • By: Terry Mancour
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,707
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,687

Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval. It was a peaceful, beautiful little fief, far from the dangerous feudal petty squabbles of the Five Duchies, on the world of Callidore. There were cows. Lots of cows. And cheese. For six months things went well. Then one night Minalan is forced to pick up his mageblade again to defend his adopted home from the vanguard of an army of goblins bent on a genocidal crusade against all mankind. And that was the good news.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific Book! A great adult fantasy series.

  • By Eric on 07-27-17

Not so good

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

Reviewed: 03-06-17

Limited by first person narrative format, one dimensional characters, naive (adolescent) approach to sex and gender relations, relatively boring adversaries, and too much exposition of plot. A few good ideas spread too thinly.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Hidden Masters of Marandur

  • The Pillars of Reality, Book 2
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,813
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,799

Someone wants to kill Mari, a young steam mechanic in the guild that controls all technology. She has learned that her world of Dematr is headed for a catastrophe that will destroy civilization and that mages really can alter reality for short periods. Someone also wants to kill Alain, a young mage who has learned that mechanics are not frauds, as his guild teaches, and that mechanic Mari is the only person who can prevent the oncoming disaster.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I enjoyed it even more so then the first!

  • By Pabkins on 03-29-15

Too much teen romance!

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

Reviewed: 02-27-17

Another series that desperately needs an editor 's red pencil. Plot proceeds at a snail's pace as does the romance. Get on with it!. I won't be reading book 3.

  • The Mermaid's Sister

  • By: Carrie Anne Noble
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,112
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,874
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,870

There is no cure for being who you truly are.… In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie's healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara's favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O'Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree. One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister's skin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ASTONISHINGLY GOOD!

  • By I-C Household on 05-08-15

YA fairy tale

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

Reviewed: 02-09-17

Well written relationship driven YA fantasy with heavy romance component. Short on action, long on longing.