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Jason

Des Moines, IA
  • 29
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 136
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  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,056
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,098
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,106

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They create a computer using a 30 million man Army

  • By Josh P on 12-07-14

Not bad, but over-hyped

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

Reviewed: 12-29-18

It was interesting for me, especially due to the cultural differences. However by the time they go into any real science fiction aspects, it seemed more mystical than scientific. Some aspects seem to be based in science, but when things are explained it detail later on, it becomes a bunch of hand-waving nonsense.

When I think of great science fiction, I think of universes where the rules may be different from our own and of stories that explore those rules and inventions in depth to show how they could affect the universe and the people inside it. When this book finally gets around in the last few chapters to explaining the SF behind some things that have been going on in the book it falls flat. With the rules of this universe finally explained, I'm left wondering why the tools were used in the way that they were and not in some other way.

That being said, I have a couple credits left this month so I'm going to pick up the next in the series to see if it improves, so it's not all bad.

  • Vanguard

  • The Genesis Fleet, Book 1
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,408
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,168

Earth is no longer the center of the universe. After the invention of the faster-than-light jump drive, humanity is rapidly establishing new colonies. But the vast distances of space mean that the old order of protection and interstellar law offered by Earth has ceased to exist. When a nearby world attacks, the new colony of Glenlyon turns to Robert Geary, a young former junior fleet officer, and Mele Darcy, a onetime enlisted marine.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great begining of a new series

  • By Duncan R Campbell on 05-17-17

Not bad, gave Jack another try

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

I loved the first book in the lost fleet series, but I read 5 others and they seemed to be on a constant downward spiral. I had a spare credit and decided to pick this up and am glad I did.

There’s just a little bit of political bull that doesn’t make any sense, but overall was a pretty exciting read.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,034
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,237
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,212

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

What about 'he said/she said'?

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

Reviewed: 05-16-18

I see a lot of reviews mentioning that and think I almost didn't get the book because of it, but I had a spare credit to spend so I got it. By the time I got around to listening I had forgotten all about those reviews and didn't notice that a single time. So don't let those reviews deter you and try to not think about them when listening I guess :)

Overall the story was interesting and kept moving along I thought, and the concept was cool.

One problem I had with the book was the illogical handling of the legal issues surrounding it. Apparently one of the locked-in can borrow the body of an 'integrator' and commit murder, and there's no way to find out who was using their body? No records to search? Confidentiality extends to being a witness while the person using your body murders someone? A priest might not be able to divulge (or be forced to divulge) when someone confesses to murder, but if the priest saw it happen they would have to testify to what they saw. They might make interesting ideas for plot points, but they fall apart under any scrutiny.

  • The Collapsing Empire

  • The Interdependency, Book 1
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,733
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,814
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,769

Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Just feels small - no sense of scale, so why care?

  • By Ron P on 03-29-17

Like politics with plot holes?

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

Reviewed: 04-09-18

The writing is good and there are some good parts, but I'm 40 minutes from the end and I don't know if I want to finish it. I really doubt I'll be getting more books in the series. For the second time the bad guys have gotten one over on the good guys in a completely unbelievable way. They seem omnipotent in their abilities to create varied terrorist attacks on dozens of worlds and frame other people for them without leaving a trace of their own complicity, and the good guys that actually have some evidence against them feel like it's in their best interest to keep their mouths shut for some implausible reasons.

Let a kidnapper and murderer become the governor because you think he MIGHT do the right thing in the end? WHY? Hide the evidence of the bad guys' wrongdoing to get some money and what you think will be enough to check their power when you could have ruined them outright? WHY?

I prefer my books to make sense...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Land: Founding: A LitRPG Saga

  • Chaos Seeds, Book 1
  • By: Aleron Kong
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,786
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,649
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,614

Tricked into a world of banished gods, demons, goblins, sprites and magic, Richter must learn to meet the perils of The Land and begin to forge his own kingdom. Actions have consequences across The Land, with powerful creatures and factions now hell-bent on Richter's destruction. Can Richter forge allegiances to survive this harsh and unforgiving world or will he fall to the dark denizens of this ancient and unforgiving realm? A tale to shake "The Land" itself, measuring 10/10 on the Richter scale, how will Richter's choices shape the future of The Land and all who reside in it?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unbelievable series

  • By George on 04-14-19

Worried about other reviews? Don't be.

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

Reviewed: 10-03-17

I worry when I see a lot of 5* "reviews" that don't mention anything about the book in particular, it makes me wonder if publishers or authors are buying reviews. I had an extra credit though and am glad I spent it on this book and will be buying more in the series.

I have only read this book so far, but I like the premise. While the other LitRPG books I've read have been in actual game worlds, you can tell from the publisher's summary and by the first chapter that this book is different. The MMORPG is only the vehicle that can transport some players into another reality that operates by very similar rules in which almost all of the book takes place. That makes this more of a true fantasy story where the consequences have more weight.

So I'm not sure after reading the book if the protagonist has met any other "players". Since it is its own reality, I believe all the residents are more like actual beings that live out their lives than npcs that are run by a computer.

Nick Podehl does a great job, but I think he could do better with some female characters. It must be difficult to come up with so many voices, but one annoying one in particular was such an exact copy of a character from another book he narrated that I found it a little off-putting. Only a little though, I still gave the narration 4 stars.

  • Sheepfarmer's Daughter

  • The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Moon
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,475
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,056
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,073

Refusing to marry a pig farmer and joining the army, even if it means never seeing her family again, Paksenarrion begins an adventure that enables her to restore an overthrown ruler.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing start

  • By Christopher on 08-12-12

Trilogy should be one book

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

Reviewed: 01-11-17

Minor spoiler, if you don't want to know what Paks becomes, don't read further...

---

I never had an interest in paladins. They just didn't seem like interesting characters. So some poor kid is brainwashed enough that he devotes his life to a god and is granted powers in exchange for worship. They seemed too goody-goody and bland.

Then we start out this series with a book called "Sheepfarmer's Daughter". If you are expecting high fantasy, you'll be disappointed. I found out entirely too much about how armies trained, maintained roads, and dug jacks. When I first read the omnibus version I got half way through this first book and just about quit. The next week I was staying up until 6:00 am reading when I had to work at 9:00 am because I just HAD to find out what happened.

So I wish they would have released the trilogy as a single audiobook, especially since it was originally planned as one story. If you don't want to spend three credits you probably shouldn't get this book, and if you read only this book you will probably disappointed. Looking back after finishing the third book, I appreciated this one more.

So the gods got tired of society basically training and presenting candidates to become paladins and decided to make their own. Some people in the third book seemed to have the same ideas about paladins that I had. What makes a paladin what they are? What makes someone a great paladin? Read these books and find out. A paladin should be trained to fight, after all there is plenty of evil that would do them or innocent people harm in the world and every advantage helps. But fighting isn't the only way to do good, and giving up the ability to fight or even one's life might do more good in the end than any magic or sword...

So if you're looking for something interesting in the fantasy genre and have THREE credits to spend, I would definitely recommend getting these books. This trilogy is one of the few books I regularly go back to and re-read sections of. If you don't want to make the commitment of 3 credits and 50 hours of reading, then you're probably better off not buying this book. If you only read this book it is like reading the first third of a story.

  • Snow Crash

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14,656
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,242
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,333

Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Stephenson

  • By A. Tuck on 10-16-08

Nuclear powered cyborg guard dogs? I'm in!

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

Reviewed: 01-10-17

It's a future with few laws. Some of the most important rules are set by what would seem to be small corporations, like when you order a pizza from Uncle Enzo and he has to personally fly in to give you a pizza if it doesn't arrive in 30 minutes or less, the driver darn well better get the pizza to you in 30 minutes. It doesn't matter what havoc you must cause or how many "rules" you have to break.

So much going on in this book, and so many great moments. When one of those nuclear powered cyborg guard dogs sees the girl that once helped him is in trouble... I just get the chills.

  • Annihilation - Tommy's Tale

  • Annihilation Serie, Book Four
  • By: Saxon Andrew
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138

The Stars Realm is finally at peace and the Algeans are now allies of the Realm. The Gardner's youngest child, Tommy, has made a quest to free the captured Alfont from the Captors that have held them imprisoned for more than sixty million years. The Captors are hundreds of millions of years more advanced technologically than the Stars Realm Military and nothing in the Realm's arsenal can match their ships, some of which are more than 3,000 miles in diameter.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Plenty of Reasons Not To Like This Series

  • By Richard on 01-07-15

Like the first three

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

Reviewed: 12-24-16

The science and possibilities aren't well thought out, but these books are more adventure than sci-fi. There's never been a reason given for instance why races stick to the same area of space or even the same galaxy as it seems just as easy to cross the universe as to jump to the closest star. Or why if you can teleport a whole planet you don't just drop a gas giant in your enemies, teleport their planet into a star, or use the teleportation field as a kind of shield and turn the enemy's weapons against themselves...

These books are more for younger people, but I still find them enjoyable.

  • In Death Ground

  • Starfire, Book 2
  • By: David Weber, Steve White
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 21 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 662
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 655

Five thousand years after Sun Tzu writes The Art of War, his advice is followed during the Fourth Interstellar War between the terrible Bugs and the humans, who are aided by their catlike Orion allies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite all time military sci-fi

  • By T. M on 02-17-16

Half a book

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

Reviewed: 12-05-16

You must need to buy The Shiva Option to hear the conclusion, I personally won't bother. Good military sci-fi gives you characters to root for and battles you can understand. I didn't really care about any of the characters and I spent most of the book thinking a closed wormhole was one way because it wasn't explained well in the beginning. New technologies were brought in but poorly explained. Like near the end the bugs come up with a new thing that can kill fortresses, but the authors don't explain why standard defense would have any problem with it or why it wasn't thought of before.

Some of the major battles end half way through , the narrator going in seconds from talking about a major development in the battle to characters talking about the aftermath in another star system. It was hard to follow in places also because it would switch back and forth between narrating the alliance and the bugs, in battles spanning a half dozen star systems with 8 fleets.

  • Rookie Privateer

  • Privateer Tales, Book 1
  • By: Jamie McFarlane
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,153

When you are old enough to finally become an Earth Mars citizen, everything should be perfect. Right? Not for Liam Hoffen. He's stuck on a mining asteroid called Colony 40, helping his father work a claim that is never going to pay out. His best friend, Nick James is set for life in James' Rental business and Liam just discovered that the girl he's known forever thinks he's pretty great and now she's leaving for the Mars Naval Academy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Solid Storyline well performed

  • By KittJ on 08-03-16

Entertaining read

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

Reviewed: 11-19-16

Not the most demanding book out there, but there are some likable characters and good action scenes. I saw the ebook was free on Amazon and the Audible narration only a $2 add-on so I still have a credit to use on something else. They must be trying to get more people to read in hoping they'll buy the sequels.

This worked for me. Some of the reviews had me worried about aspects of the book, saying it was intended for a YA audience and remarking about how the main character noticed women. For $2 though I thought I'd check it out and found that I liked it enough that I'll be getting the next one.