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  • Jade City

  • The Green Bone Saga, Book 1
  • By: Fonda Lee
  • Narrated by: Andrew Kishino
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

Award-winning author Fonda Lee explodes onto the adult fantasy scene with Jade City, an epic saga reminiscent of The Godfather with magic and kung fu, set in an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis. Jade is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. It has been mined, traded, stolen, and killed for - and for centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their magical abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion. Now, the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon's bustling capital city.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully realized world, vivid characters; makes you think

  • By Ken Schneyer on 03-24-18

Hong Kong triad wars with magical superpowers

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

"Hong Kong triad wars with magical superpowers" was enough to get my attention, but what really sets this book apart is what it builds on that premise: a well-constructed story about interesting characters. The pacing is just right; consistent enough to keep me always wanting more, but varied enough to not burn me out with non-stop action. The characters are where the book really shines. At first glance they seem fairly archetypical: the old wise one, the gentle one, the hot-headed one, the black sheep; but every major character in the book, and several supporting ones, finds depths that surprise in thought-provoking ways. In short I think this is my favorite book that I've read all year, and I read every 2018 Hugo nominee and most of the 2018 Nebula nominees.

  • Best Seat in the House

  • Your Backstage Pass Through My WWE Journey
  • By: Justin Roberts, Tommy Dreamer - foreword
  • Narrated by: Justin Roberts
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245

Justin Roberts always dreamed of being a ring announcer at World Wrestling Entertainment. From playing with action figures of the Ultimate Warrior, the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels, Bret Hitman Hart and Hulk Hogan to actually announcing these larger-than-life characters to the ring, Roberts lived out the dream of countless, passionate wrestling fans worldwide.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Honest book detailing the life of a WWE performer

  • By Jersey on 06-23-17

A good enough book, sloppily produced

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

Reviewed: 12-17-17

The book its self is an interesting look into not only some of the inner workings and (mis-) management of the WWE, but the unusual personal journey of a serious wrestling nerd (a term I use without derision) who became obsessed with being, of all things, a ring announcer, and stopped at nothing to live that dream.

Unfortunately the audiobook can only be enjoyed if one has a high tolerance for sloppy, DIY production. The sound quality is ok but not great (with the exception of the forward, which sounds like it was record on an iPhone in a locker room), but there are so many places where the reader re-takes a line but the original isn't edited out that I lost count. The only evidence that there was any editing done at all is when he does some bits in "announcer voice" where he clearly overloaded the mic on the first take, because there's an obvious cut and the announcer lines are done by yelling from several steps away instead of properly using compression or somesuch to control the volume.

All that said, while the production foibles and the odd bit of clunky writing made me shake my head at a couple of points, I listened to the book basically in one go while on an all-day house cleaning binge and enjoyed it overall.

  • Born a Crime

  • Stories from a South African Childhood
  • By: Trevor Noah
  • Narrated by: Trevor Noah
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 109,353
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 101,287
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 100,802

One of the comedy world's fastest-rising stars tells his wild coming of age story during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Noah provides something deeper than traditional memoirists: powerfully funny observations about how farcical political and social systems play out in our lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • On and On and On and On

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-15-17

Touching, funny, and powerful

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

Reviewed: 12-03-17

Trevor Noah writes with wit and insight about growing up mixed-race during the end of apartheid. The book's overall tone is as conversational and relatively light as one would expect from something written by a comedian, but its subject matter is, by its nature, heavy and Noah doesn't sugar coat things that shouldn't be sugar coated (it is worth noting that the narrative includes some chilling accounts of domestic violence in addition to racism). Ultimately though it is the memoir of a smart, reflective, and funny man about being raised by an exceptional woman under exceptional circumstances, full of remarkable insights about race and about people in general. It also broadened my horizons by bringing to life a world to which I could never otherwise have access.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Touch

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 637
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 582

Kepler had never meant to die this way--viciously beaten to death by a stinking vagrant in a dark back alley. But when reaching out to the murderer for salvation in those last dying moments, a sudden switch takes place. Now Kepler is looking out through the eyes of the killer himself, staring down at a broken and ruined body lying in the dirt of the alley.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Large volume changes on most sentences.

  • By Nathan on 05-16-18

Masterfully written and read

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

Reviewed: 09-13-17

I read this after reading and loving North's earlier book, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Like it's predecessor, it's hard to say much about Touch without spoiling. Suffice to say the premise is equally original, if thematically similar, compared to Harry August, and on a technical level it may be superior. Some of the action sequences are dizzying in their complexity, and yet North portrays them both clearly and with the urgency they are due. That is not to say that the book is just action. It is a character study first and foremost, and has that most essential quality of the "from the monster's point of view" book of both portraying its protagonist, a ghost who survives by possessing humans, willing or otherwise, sympathetically, and never letting you forget its fundamental otherness, all without hanging a lampshade on either effort. Finally, no review of this could be complete without noting the stellar performance of Peter Kenny, who absolutely outdoes himself here. Every character is given a distinct voice and acted with a conviction that pulls you in without ever upstaging the words themselves.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

  • By: Claire North
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,874
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,377
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,377

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now.As Harry nears the end of his 11th life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An unexpected treasure

  • By Stefanie on 08-24-15

Original and Amazing

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

Reviewed: 08-30-17

There is little I can say about this book without spoiling it. Suffice to say it is a very original premise, executed masterfully in both the writing and the reading. It is an example of speculative fiction that transcends genre to be genuinely excellent literature that should challenge and entertain almost anyone. Highly recommended.

  • The Name of the Wind

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1)
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65,742
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,894
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,984

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Joanna on 05-10-11

Great, if you have a high tolerance for Mary Sues

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

Reviewed: 08-03-17

Given that the main character's whole schtick is basically being good at everything, it's a testament to the quality of the writing that I found him interesting and likable nonetheless, despite feeling like I *should* hate him.

The narrator does some great voice and accent work, but speaks too slowly and with too much (over-)enunciation for my taste. But just speeding him up in the player solves that. I was able to listen to him comfortably at up to 2.5x.