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Rocketboy13

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  • Fool Moon

  • The Dresden Files, Book 2
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,659
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,544
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,491

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of the best books I've read in a long time!

  • By David Ziegler on 05-06-10

The Priduction Quality Went Up

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

Reviewed: 08-04-18

While the story feels a bit cluttered, as there are so many types of werewolves (it is hard to bring variety to werewolves as a concept but this works fine) it is a solid "fine".

I feel that the production quality went up, with fewer mouth noises, fewer awkward pauses, and Marsters is able to act the part a bit more compared to the first book.

I will stick with the series, as I think the production will continue to improve and the writing will get more interesting as the move more into the stranger types of magic and monsters that are not as played out as werewolves.

  • Year One

  • (Chronicles of The One, Book 1)
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,834
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,790

It began on New Year's Eve. The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed - and more than half of the world's population was decimated. Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sub-par fantasy novel written by a great romance author

  • By Nate P. on 02-28-18

It's Boring

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

Reviewed: 07-29-18

I thought this was going to be a mix of Stephen King’s “The Stand” and Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files”, and that is still my go to comparison, but the characters here are not as flawed and interesting as they need to be, the threats don’t feel as oppressive and immediate as they need to, and the philosophy behind the magic is obtuse and dull.

Really falls apart in Act III when things get boring and then end with a cheap and brutal attack by bad guys who are poorly characterized. Act IV is a little better, but should have been the first few chapters in the next book in the series (I am guessing this will be a series, it ends on a sequel hook).

This is the first book by Roberts I have tried, and I have no idea if this is typical of her writing style, I just know that I can't recommend this as a fan of the genres, so if this is typical of her writing style and pacing and you are a fan of her writing on that level, then you may like this.

I think the narrator was fine, but I did lose track of who was talking a couple times, especially with larger group scenes, tho that almost certainly has to do with all the characters being rather flat (with the exception of Fred who has a really distinct voice that is flighty and happy, both in the acting sense and in the writing sense).

  • American Pharoah

  • The Untold Story of the Triple Crown Winner's Legendary Rise
  • By: Joe Drape
  • Narrated by: Aaron Abano
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,782
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,428
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,426

History was made at the 2015 Belmont Stakes when American Pharoah won the Triple Crown, the first since Affirmed in 1978. As magnificent as the champion is, the team behind him has been all too human while on the road to immortality.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Glad I didn't buy it, free download

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-14-18

I hated this deeply and immediately

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

I thought this might be a break from my usual fantasy, science fiction, and crime books, I had never read a sports books before and this was a chance to sell me on a sport that I consider deeply stupid.
NOPE.
The author is annoyingly enamored with a sport and takes as route that it appeals to the listener. Which I guess is a fair assumption to make, why else would someone be reading this thing if they didn't pick it up with at least some affection for the subject matter? I got it for free as part of some promotion by audible, so I seem to lack the requisite mind set.
I not only dislike watching horse racing, I have an actual disdain for gambling, and when this thing started describing the whole thing as quintessentially American... You know, in a book about a horse owned by, Ahmed Zayat, who is Egyptian.

Also, maybe don't start so early with the horse breeding part. That is an odd first footing. I get it, selling horse spunk is kind of the whole point, it is where the money is. But maybe, I don't know, start more with the exciting part, the horse racing part. Maybe rewind to the conception later after you have given the audience a fun opener.
Whatever. I am certainly not the audience for this thing and my review is really for those people who might like the occasional nonfiction title to break things up, but are not invested in the subject matter.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Differently Morphous

  • By: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Narrated by: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,241

A magical serial killer is on the loose, and gelatinous, otherworldly creatures are infesting the English countryside. Which is making life for the Ministry of Occultism difficult, because magic is supposed to be their best kept secret. After centuries in the shadows, the Ministry is forced to unmask, exposing the country's magical history - and magical citizens - to a brave new world of social media, government scrutiny, and public relations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Meddling Muggles Muddle it Up

  • By Dubi on 11-07-18

I am a fan of the Author

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

Reviewed: 03-14-18

I blazed thru this story. It is perhaps the fastest I have gone thru a book of this length.
The book has numerous twists, starting out as a "secret world" narrative and then throwing that out the window, it starts to focus on a particularly fun and funny character and then pushes him to the background in favor of the real plot about a murder mystery, all of the turns keep things moving and I was surprised and entertained by the reveal of the villain.

The comedy is not just silly either. It has silly elements but it also has an edge to it with discussions of social justice and refugees. It is smart with its silly comedy.

If I do have a criticism (and it is not really a criticism), it is the same one I had for his last book "Will Save the Galaxy for Food", it is that this book feels like the start of something much bigger. This feels like the novelization of a TV movie that also serves as the pilot to a TV show. It explores and explains all the rules and how they can be stretched and bent. It is a lot of set up, so I kind of felt let down that it didn't just keep going. Not really a complaint, but if you are the type of person that is looking for a complete story... This doesn't have that.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)

  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,337
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,346

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THANKS AGAIN FOR ANOTHER FREE SHORTY

  • By Randall on 12-30-18

It is exactly what you would want/expect

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

This is a fun little window into an adventure. You start in what is essentially the last chapter of a larger book, that is clever. There is a ticking clock, a mysterious off page adversary, and a clever little puzzle. It is a riddle as a short story.

  • Holding

  • A Novel
  • By: Graham Norton
  • Narrated by: Graham Norton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,897
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,747
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,742

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, but when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be those of Tommy Burke - a former lover of two different inhabitants - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated sergeant PJ Collins struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community's worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Splendidly delightful

  • By John Scott on 12-03-17

I like the Author as a TV Personality

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

Reviewed: 10-20-17

I picked up this title because I saw the author's interview with Stephen Colbert. While I enjoyed it well enough I felt it was missing something. There are plenty of funny scenes and plenty of touching or sad scenes, it got an emotional reaction from me a few times.

I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a more complex mystery, maybe more comedy, but while I enjoyed the book just fine I didn't feel any real "oomph". Maybe I am not the target audience, the way it focuses on romantic elements and vulnerability it would appeal to readers who prefer stories emphasizing those, which is not my thing.

I don't normally read mysteries, I think this is only the fourth or fifth one ever, so I might just be a poor judge of this one.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Storm Front

  • The Dresden Files, Book 1
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,757
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,714

A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • ZERO STARS FOR THE NARRATOR !

  • By Randall on 03-05-19

For a first in a series it is pretty good

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

Reviewed: 10-02-17

For a first book in a series it is fine. Lots of world building happens as part of the story, the action is good and happens regularly, things are set up well and paid off, and Harry is a solid character.

The issue I have comes with the genre tropes, it is a basic noir detective story with magic. Beat for beat. I could see what was going to happen down the line and that is fine... like I said it is the first book in a series, there is time to grow more down the line and he action is creative, but I did not feel too excited by the story itself because it was kind of typical when you strip out all the magic.

I think the director of the voice performance could have had James redo a few lines. 90% of the dialogue and everything is read just fine, but there are other times when a sentence will be read as if a comma is a period and the second half of the sentence will get added awkwardly at the end.

  • The Android's Dream

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,823
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,934
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,929

A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams

  • By James on 07-26-11

The first Scalzi Book I have Disliked

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

Reviewed: 09-20-17

What disappointed you about The Android's Dream?

Any story that is about the intricacies and legalize of an alien race being key to the whole thing starts to lose me fast. While the action scenes work, and I liked the strange parody of religion and politics (at least I like it all in theory) the tone feels off. It feels meaner and nastier than it should.

What was most disappointing about John Scalzi’s story?

The book starts with a protracted fart joke and for some reason I held out hope that it was going to be uphill from there. For the most part it was but the whole thing has a crass and cynical vibe to it that left me feeling gross.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yeah, though I like Wil Wheaton more when he is part of a voice acting cast rather than when he is called to play on things solo.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Android's Dream?

The lynch pin of the whole story is that there is a woman with a particular set of DNA markers that indicates she is a sort of messiah. The story of how she came into possession of that DNA turned my stomach. I don't really need weird bestiality showing up in my sci-fi comedy adventure. That is not black comedy, that is just unpleasant.

Any additional comments?

The plot is convoluted space politics, the humor is crass, there are too many characters, and it also has all of the normal issues I have with Scalzi's writing which I normally shrug off as a style choice that I put up with because I love his content. Of the 5 books by him I have read this is the worst one by a wide margin.

  • The Cold Dish

  • A Walt Longmire Mystery
  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,423
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,804
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,783

Introducing Wyoming's Sheriff Walt Longmire in this riveting novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Dry Bones, the first in the Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. Johnson draws on his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, full of memorable characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)

  • By Dataman on 09-12-12

I guessed the killer

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

Reviewed: 09-04-17

I figured out who the killer was not by seeing clues in the story, but because SO MUCH TIME is spent exploring the character and it is such a boring subplot that I couldn't think of why their scenes would be in the book unless they were the killer.

The narrator is perhaps a good fit for the book, it is mostly older sounding guys, but he reads it so slowly. Listening felt 4 hours longer than what it was.

It is not nothing. there are things to like, but god damn was it too long and the case was solved not by interesting clues aligning, but by me just being up on genre conventions. That is weak.

Also, Indian magic is real in this book's universe? That seems to be more explicit than I expected.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Starship Troopers

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,265
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8,485
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,520

Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite book ever

  • By Michael on 06-28-06

One of the Worst Performances

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

Reviewed: 05-08-17

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, and I almost shut it off forever at numerous points. Whenever I am left thinking, "Well, I already bought it, might as well finish it."

What was one of the most memorable moments of Starship Troopers?

There are several discussions in the book concerning political science. While several do a good job at illuminating their points the one that stood out to me was the one about "value" which misused macroeconomic terms for a microeconomic discussion. It was so flatly wrong that it was distracting.

Would you be willing to try another one of Lloyd James’s performances?

GODS, NO! HE WAS THE ABSOLUTE WORST! How do you make combat with giant alien bugs via power armor boring? He has the habit of pausing. After. Every. Sentence. Often for up to a full second, which doesn't sound like a lot but good lord does it make the whole thing sound even slower and more boring. His reading is the most detached, dry, plodding performance I have ever heard. He should be embarrassed. You might be saying, "just turn up the speed" I did, it just makes his pitch annoyingly high and the pauses are still there and are still long proportionate to the now sped up sentences. AWFUL WORK!

Do you think Starship Troopers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

There have been follow up works, just not by this author. "Starship Trooper" practically spawned the genre of Space Military. With discussions of applied technology, tactics, and the morality of fighting a war of genocide against thinking creatures who are so alien that the idea of seeing them as worthy of moral consideration is difficult if not impossible.

Any additional comments?

In addition to the reader being absolute fail, the recording itself had dozens of errors, as sentences scattered thru the book drop in audio clarity, volume, and are done but what may be a different actor. This is shoddy work. If not for this book's status as a modern classic I could not imagine it receiving a rating as high as it has.