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Phelix_da_Kat

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 264
  • helpful votes
  • 28
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  • Bitter Seeds

  • The Milkweed Triptych, Book 1
  • By: Ian Tregillis
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,002
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 790
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 799

Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of World War II, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him. It wasn’t his imagination; the wired woman can see into the future and use her knowledge to twist the present. In fact, Marsh soon discovers that the Nazis are running missions with people who have special powers....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WW II alternate history: X-men vs Warlocks

  • By Phelix_da_Kat on 08-29-10

WW II alternate history: X-men vs Warlocks

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-10

One of my first alternative history (audible) books. Saw this in hardback, was waiting for the paperback - but to my surprise (even better) it's on Audible!

Basically, the British are losing the war - the US did not join in the war and the Germans have created the ??bermensch (Superman/women) - sociopathic orphans taken from WW I, and endowed with X-menesque power by mad scientists.

In response, a desperate Admiralty establish the Milkweed organisation - British warlocks that use magic to fight back.

I believe this is Tregillis' first novel - stunning piece of work and fortunately there's more to come as this is the first book of the Milkweed Triptych (trilogy).

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Way Station

  • By: Clifford D. Simak
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,736
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,748

In this Hugo Award-winning classic, Enoch Wallace is an ageless hermit, striding across his untended farm as he had done for over a century, still carrying the gun with which he had served in the Civil War. But what his neighbors must never know is that, inside his unchanging house, he meets with a host of unimaginable friends from the farthest stars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very special novel that will inspire you.

  • By Noe on 08-08-10

Viewed from a different perspective..

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-16-08

Summary: The CIA investigate a reclusive "young looking man" who lives in a remote farmhouse in Wisconsin - he claims to be a Civil War veteran and he's called Enoch...
It turns out that there is more to this mysterious man that meets the eye - in fact, in Enoch's backroom - there's a way station for the Galactic transport network - and he one of the station masters!

Insights: A warm and well written book that won a Hugo Award. Although written in the 60's, it's philosophy is that you cannot judge a person (well aliens as well) by it's cover.

A quiet classic.. recommended!




19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Rendezvous with Rama

  • By: Sir Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Peter Ganim, Robert J. Sawyer - introduction
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,348
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,201

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed in the narrator

  • By Brent on 06-01-12

Man's first encounter with alien intelligence

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-04-08

It's set on the 22nd century and starts when astronomers detect an object near Jupiter.

They believe it to be an asteroid and name it after a Hindu God named "Rama". Upon investigation they discover that the orbit is not consistent with a solar orbit and send an unmanned probe to investigate - whilst broadcasting pictures back they learn that its a reflective cylinder 16km x 50km..

An survey spaceship is thus sent out to investigate..

This is a very detail oriented book - with the usual "forecasting" as Clarke does best.

Good physics and descriptions applied. Timeless - Real old school sci-fi, not so hardcore it's unreadable, but definitely absorbing.

Recommended! (Both Hugo and Nebula "Best Novel" award winner)

This series comprises of:

Rendezvous with Rama (1972)
Rama II (1989)
The Garden of Rama (1991)
Rama Revealed (1993)


51 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Flashforward

  • By: Robert J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,862
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,262
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,272

A scientific experiment begins, and as the button is pressed, the unexpected occurs: everyone in the world goes to sleep for a few moments while everyone's consciousness is catapulted more than twenty years into the future. At the end of those moments, when the world reawakens, all human life is transformed by foreknowledge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How would you digest the fruits of knowledge??

  • By Phelix_da_Kat on 07-23-08

How would you digest the fruits of knowledge??

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-08

You know how you sometimes wish you did something different after some event has happened.. well Robert J. Sawyer explores this here.

Based around a group of scientists who are conducting an experiment at CERN (the place where they have a massive collider running thats SO large it spans 3 different boarders/countries) in Switzerland. The results are not as they expect..

What would be your path in life if.. for 2 mins, you could see 20 years in to the future.. would you be with that person you thought you loved? If not, how would that affect you today... with that person you're with now... hhmm.. how does fore knowledge affect your daily decisions in life??

As with his other books - the science behind his stories are not outrageous, indeed they are scientifically sound (reference to SCI-FI weekly). Enjoy it, its a great story..

If you enjoyed this I would recommend one of his other books: Terminal Experiment.

45 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • The Disappeared

  • A Retrieval Artist Novel
  • By: Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 591
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 410
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 419

Retrieval Artists help the lost find their way back home, whether they like it or not. Specialized private detectives, they investigate the most unusual crimes in the galaxy. But Miles Flint isn't a Retrieval Artist. He's just a cop, trying to do his job.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • All the elements of "stellar" fiction

  • By Tango on 03-28-15

Sprint finish..

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-17-08

Ok, I must admit this was actually my 2nd attempt at this book.

On my fist attempt I found the initial 20mins a struggle to get into - but with hindsight it was just the style of writing - with several story lines running in parallel.

Predominately this is a detective novel within a sci-fi framework. The writer twists several threads that come together at the finale.

I thoroughly enjoyed this - right to the end. Am definitely getting the next in the series and looking forward to seeing Flint progress. The narrator Jay Synder is great - reminds me of Scott Brick.





21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • The Merchant of Death

  • Pendragon, Book 1
  • By: D. J. MacHale
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 643

Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal 14-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby: he is going to save the world.

And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVE these books!

  • By smokefan201417 on 08-08-10

Alex Ryder MEETS John Twelve Hawk's The Traveller

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-08

Definitely more fantasy than sci-fi.

After listening to this, (for you dads out there) the storyline reminded me of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" - whereby the main character is transported to a less advanced civilisation - using their wits and brains they save the day.

For the kids, this was more like Alex Ryder crossed with "The Traveller". The boy is a "choosen one" who unknown to him, is being mentored, travels with his "uncle" through different worlds to fight on behalf of good against an evil foe that is present in worlds.

The narration by William Dufris has light and lively pace that is definitely young adult. Something for both father and son to enjoy together..


11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Seeker

  • An Alex Benedict Novel
  • By: Jack McDevitt
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck, Jack McDevitt (Introduction)
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,150
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 624
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 630

Thousands of years after an entire colony mysteriously disappears, antiquities dealer Alex Benedict comes into possession of a cup that seems to be from the Seeker, one of the colony's ships. Alex and his assistant, Chase Kolpath, follow a deadly trail to the Seeker, strangely adrift in a system barren of habitable worlds. But their discovery raises more questions than it answers, drawing Alex and Chase into the very heart of danger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great mix of sci-fi, mystery and adventure.

  • By Pete on 08-20-08

A solid little number..

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-07-08

SUMMARY: archaeologist/antique dealer duo Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath (well, probably better to describe them as salvage team) find an artifact in the form of an old cup, from a lost colony ship. In turn this leads them on a voyage to discover what happened to the ship, its crew and passengers....

On it's on it was a good story, albeit a little sluggish in parts - in the end I was still left wanting more.. due to the bold description that Jack McD is the next Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke.

With the hype it was a close 3 - but I am giving this a 4 out of 5 because I enjoyed the book on its own merits. There's a good level of detail and the narration is what I would call mature and firm.




11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Devil May Care

  • By: Sebastian Faulks
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Northam
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Devil May Care will be published in May 2008 to celebrate the Centenary of Ian Fleming's birth. This new instalment in the adventures of the world's most iconic spy has been written by one of Britain's most admired novelists, Sebastian Faulks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Old School" Bond is back

  • By Phelix_da_Kat on 06-05-08

"Old School" Bond is back

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-05-08

Being a long time Bond fan - I had quite high expectations.. I have listened to some of the original titles.. even tried Silverfin, from the Young Bond series to feed my appetite..

I am quite particular about the narration - so was pleased with Jeremy Northam's reading - it's crisp clear.. and sometimes a little... old school, especially when he does the foreign accents - put a smile on my face.. (He's the chap from that brill BBC series The Tudors and twisted sci-fi Cypher) - and he could even make a convincing Bond...

The author is definitely what some people would say "writing by numbers".. and so faithfully brings Bond back. If you were expecting something different then this may disappoint you.. if like me, you were looking for more of the old school.. then step right up. Brilliant..

To put this in perspective: I see this book more a Sean Connery's Bond.. classic cars.. tennis whites.. a little flawed.. the descriptions of these are wonderful..

Bond is DEFINITELY back..

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Starship

  • Mutiny
  • By: Mike Resnick
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Mike Resnick
  • Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 625
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 301

The date is 1966 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now, and the Republic, created by the human race - but not yet dominated by it - finds itself in an all-out war. They stand against the Teroni Federation, an alliance of races that resent Man's growing military and economic power. The main battles are taking place in the Spiral Arm and toward the Core. But far out on the Rim, the Theodore Roosevelt is one of three ships charged with protecting the Phoenix Cluster.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good Fun

  • By Lars on 04-25-08

You can't keep a good man down

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-22-08

Semi space opera/military.
The lead character is a Wilson Cole, an officer in the Navy of the Republic. The backdrop is an interstellar war with Teronis (and fluid alliances with other parties in the outer rim of the galaxy).
It's not as gung-ho a say David Weber's "Prince Roger" series - but a good start.
Basically, its based around a very quick witted Cole, who has been given a bunch of misfits for a crew, a crap ship and is posted out of the way. Cole came about to this predicament because he was too good and did everything to ensure a successful mission (beyond the call of duty) - in doing so embarrassing his superiors.
We follow Cole, in his journey to transform the misfits in to a fighting force..


15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Diplomatic Immunity

  • A Miles Vorkosigan Novel
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,860
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,285

A rich Komarran merchant fleet has been impounded at Graf Station in distant Quaddiespace after a bloody incident involving the convoy's Barrayaran military escort. But Lord Miles Vorkosigan and his wife, Lady Ekaterin, have other things on their minds, such as getting home in time to attend the long-awaited births of their first children.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • No longer without a net

  • By David on 05-09-11

Honeymoon period...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-23-08

I have been follow the saga for a couple of years now - i have not actually read any of these books so cannot comment on the faithfulness of this audiobook, BUT I do have every audiobook of this series now and do eagerly anticipating each new release.

With this I am glad to say this is another smash hit - I so do feel for Miles' character and love the twists and turns as each mystery has to be solved. Again, there is the development of existing and new characters (in the form of Quaddies).

The narrator is Grover Gardner and this is the icing on the cake - would have to admit I am partial to Scott Brick and Stefan Rudnicki - and have actually picked books up with the narrator being a major fact as they carry you through the tale, adding emotion and a charm to each character.


By the way, if you did not know, the series order is:
"The Warrior's Apprentice"
"The Vor game"
"Borders of Infinity"
"Cetaganda"
"Brothers in Arms"
"Mirror Dance"
"Memory"
"Komarr"
"A Civil Campaign"
"Diplomatic Immunity"

61 of 67 people found this review helpful