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C. White

So. CA
  • 31
  • reviews
  • 136
  • helpful votes
  • 46
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  • Ancillary Justice

  • By: Ann Leckie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • There is a reason this one has won so many accolades!

  • By C. White on 11-13-18

There is a reason this one has won so many accolades!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I'm not one to pay much attention to the "awards" any particular book has won (after all, awards are a dime a dozen), but damned if this one doesn't have a hell of a pedigree of accolades that actually mean something! Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may not be completely unique, but it does combine a lot of interesting SciFi concepts into a new amalgamation that has something to say. Add in a tangible Jane Austen type influence to the character interactions and you've got something that stands out in modern science fiction. Although the story often comes off as kind of a lone space ronin out for justice, it's more or less framed a bit like a '70s grindhouse film (you did catch my earlier assertion that it's a bit of an amalgamation of stories). Over all I enjoyed the story, but I more so enjoyed the actual mechanics of the writing (it had much more of a mature audience feel to it than the typical modern SciFi fanboy writing that is often touted as great science fiction). As for the narration of Adjoa Andoh. I vacillated back-and-forth on it. At times her silky exotic voice was near pitch perfect for the character, but more often than not, Andoh's narration felt a bit flat to me. Although I may not find myself revisiting Radch Empire many times in the future, I did enjoy the trip while I was there!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Shingles Audio Collection Volume 1

  • Shingles Series, Volume 1
  • By: Robert Bevan, Rick Gualtieri, Steve Wetherell, and others
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Myles, Cal Wembly
  • Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

The collection begins with "The Ghost of Hooker Alley," which introduces listeners to 10-year-old Sarah and six-year-old Tommy. After a quick bus ride into town to buy a gun, Sarah and Tommy think their problems are all but solved. That is, until a creepy weirdo follows them into an alley. But they aren't the only ones in that alley.... "The Monkey's Penis" features Chris, a teenage boy who receives a birthday gift unlike any other. In "Gary's Children," a man's quest for stress relief leads to terror, and an unexpected kidnapping takes place in "Aliens Wrecked Our Kegger."   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From most of the creators of Authors and Dragons!

  • By Greg Hill on 10-23-18

I wish I had a Monkey Penis too!!! ...Maybe not ;)

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

My internal political correctness meter red-lined out and blew a gasket within the first three sentences of this hysterical collection of short "horror stories". Only nominally can you call these horror stories... but you can quite legitimately classify these stories as unapologetic and irreverent romps through off-kilter humor with a nod to the macabre. NOT suitable for younger ears, but a wickedly fun ADULT alternative Halloween treat (not to mention an extra nice treat for all you Drew Hayes fans out there). Not sure how many times I would want to replay this collection, but I did thoroughly enjoy every minute of it the first time around.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Consuming Fire

  • The Interdependency, Book 2
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,400
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,164

The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilization may go with it - unless desperate measures can be taken. Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But nothing is ever that easy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Building upon a collapse, this follow-up exceeds!

  • By C. White on 10-16-18

Building upon a collapse, this follow-up exceeds!

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

Fine... I'll state it up front. I am an unabashed John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton fan boy! BUT there is a reason why, and the Consuming Fire is just another entry onto that long list of reasons. Given that this is the second book of the Interdependency series, I'm assuming that anyone who is reading this review has already made it through the Collapsing Empire, and you are wondering how this seconded entry holds up to the first. Overall, I actually enjoyed this book better. Whereas the first book focused mostly on the political maneuvering between two families and the physics of the flow. This entry dives more deeply into the Church of the Interdependency and how it is the practical glue that holds the Interdependency together. But just when you think this may turn into a plodding exploration of ecclesiastic devotion within the Interdependency, you are thrust into the politics of treason and outright betrayal across ALL the houses of the Interdependency, and stuck in the middle is Emperox Grayland II. Scalzi does a fantastic job in holding a mirror up to our own society to highlight the tendency of humans to ignore or dismiss inconvenient facts in favor lies that maintain the norm, or the lies that allow those in power to position themselves to take advantage of the chaos of the truth. Although I do not think that Scalzi intended to make a direct passion play to reflect our current debate surrounding global warming, throughout this book, I was forcibly reminded of the direct parallels. Before you get too worried that the book is a bit philosophically heavier than the typical Scalzi offering... fear not. The snarky wit and cleaver dialog that is a hallmark of Scalzi's writing is there from the very first sentence to the last. Throw in a bit of action, a few things blowing up and the unexpected discovery of the fate of Dalicia... you have a great Scalzi space opera. Finally... what John Scalzi review be complete without mention of his other half in these endevors: Wil Wheaton. Over the years, the voice of Wil Wheaton has become synonymous with John Scalzi. I have a hard time imagining listening to a Scalzi read by anyone else (sorry William Dufris, you've done a great job on the Old Man's War series, but Wil is still my goto for the voice of Scalzi).

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Hero

  • By: Perry Moore
  • Narrated by: Michael Urie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,088
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,774
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,785

In the story comic book legend Stan Lee calls "spellbinding" and "totally original," Thom Creed has secrets. For one, like his father, he has super powers. Also, he's been asked to join the League—the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. Then there’s the secret Thom can barely face himself: he's gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, Typhoid Larry, and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Give it a listen!

  • By Robert on 10-25-10

YA angst masquerading as a superhero story.

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

Reviewed: 09-21-18

Don't be fooled by the Stan Lee forward. This really isn't a superhero story. It only takes that form in the last 90 minutes of the story. In fact for being a "superhero story" it pretty much ignores all the typical superhero tropes (although it does embrace a lot of typical character clichés). In reality, this book is an exploration into teenage angst and self involved struggles with the oppressive big bad world that seems so overwhelming and important when we are in our teenage years. I know a lot of press has been given to this book regarding the main protagonist's sexuality, but quite frankly that is just a plot device to explore the process we all go through in finding ourselves in this world. Although I did not agree with many of the choices the protagonist made throughout the story, I could still relate to his internal monologues and anxieties he perpetually finds himself struggling through. The bottom line: if you're looking for a superhero story, this really will not be particularly satisfying. Take a listen to Drew Haye's excellent "Super Powered" series. If you find yourself inspired by people working through their own personal demons to come out on the other side with a happy ending, then this would be right up your alley.

  • Willful Child

  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 526
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 527

These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the... And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through "the infinite vastness of interstellar space".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If Zap Brannigan were as intelligent as Picard.

  • By Ohtochooseaname on 11-13-14

Think "James T. Kirk meets Zaphod Beeblebrox"

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Oh sure... I like to be articulate when I write a review, but in the case of Steven Erikson's "The Willful Child", I don't think I can do better than the title of the this reviews. The plot and the technical mechanics of the writing are paper thin, but the dialog is sharp and fun (and at times worthy of a legitimate guffaw). Essentially a series of parodies of Star Trek episodes (and a few other classic SciFi tropes), the Willful Child often feels like a bad meme that has taken too many circuits around the Internet, the "story" (if not the premiss) gets a bit tedious very quickly. The narration of MacLeod Andrews essentially saves the overall story. A lesser narrator would have made the Willful Child unbearable. Like its namesake, the Willful Child is cute at first glance but, but after spending a bit more time with such SciFi-Hummor offspring, you will undoubtably come to the conclusion that it is in need of a good spanking.

  • The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope Robinson Crusoe

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 145

Robinson Crusoe is one of the most enduring adventures of the past four centuries and one of the most well-known works in the English language. Or is it? Recently discovered amidst the papers of the 20th-century writer and historian H. P. Lovecraft is what claims to be the true story of Robinson Crusoe. Taken from the castaway's own journals and memoirs, and fact-checked by Lovecraft himself, it is free from many of Defoe's edits and alterations. From Lovecraft's work a much smoother, simpler tale emerges - but also a far more disturbing one.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Robinson Crusoe is always a tough read...

  • By William J Waite on 09-07-18

A clever hijacked work of adapted fiction... just not a particularly memorable one.

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

Time and again Peter Clines has demonstrated a remarkable ability to conjure unique and interesting ideas in his fiction, yet sadly the initial premise doesn't always hold up to the final reading. Given the source material (which provides a basic outline which Clines follows in this retelling of Robinson Crusoe), that is not as problematic as in some of his other works. Nonetheless, I found that what started as a somewhat clever idea and a very nice piece of literary adaptation (Clines' continuation of the Robinson Crusoe literary style and feel of the narrative is nearly flawless), soon becomes a bit tedious and difficult to digest to the modern ear. If I had not read the publisher's synopsis describing this as a classic "true found diaries", the entire premiss of the story would have been lost to me. The "found diaries" set up for the entire novel is sadly absent in the audio version of the book (I can only assume it is contained in a foreword or note in the print version that never made it to the audio version). I was so curious as to how closely this adaptation adhered to the original text of Robinson Crusoe, I actually pulled the original text from the library's or comparison. Surprisingly great chunks of the original text are preserved here. I'm not sure if this qualifies as brilliance or lazy writing, but it does serve to blend the two stories nicely. As with much of Clines' earlier works, the macabre slowly builds throughout the story (almost too slowly) and once again pays homage to Clines' love of Lovecraft. Possibly due to the period language or the modern reader's over familiarity with Lovecraft-style horror, there should be no fear of sleepless nights in fear of the Dream Lord. It should be noted that the narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds is pitch perfect for this particular period story (although a bit lacking in vocal inflection beyond the narrator's own voice). Overall, although not an overly memorable outing, Peter Clines has crafted a very serviceable entry into his Lovecraft inspired collection of stories.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • A Mouse Divided

  • How Ub Iwerks Became Forgotten, and Walt Disney Became Uncle Walt
  • By: Jeff Ryan
  • Narrated by: J. D. Jackson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

Almost everything you know about Mickey Mouse is wrong: He wasn’t Disney’s first star; Steamboat Willie wasn’t his first movie; Mickey wasn’t a nice guy - and Walt Disney didn’t invent him. In 1928, two very different best friends invented Mickey Mouse. And the success tore them apart. Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks’ friendship is a story of betrayal, love, war, money, power, tragedy, intrigue, humor, despair, and hope. You’ll love them both - when you don’t want to drop anvils on their heads.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • And they all lived happily ever after... Not quite.

  • By C. White on 07-05-18

And they all lived happily ever after... Not quite.

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

Wow... Just when you thought you knew a seemingly public story it's amazing how little we often know. In full disclosure I am a complete Disney fan (heck, in my youth I worked at Disneyland and still live only minutes away), but I found myself completely captivated by this Disney story that has been lost to time and propaganda. Given my lack of familiarity with Ub's story, at first I thought this story was going to be yet another story of the genius of Walt Disney ...but as the complex relationship between Walt and Ub unfolded (often seemingly reflected in the personalities of the characters they created), it became very much a story of an inconvenient truth that never quite fit the narration that Walt wanted to present to the world. Despite the human drama between these visionary men, this is an excellent exploration into the early history and art of animation. The narration of JD Jackson is utilitarian but not outstanding. Given the very dry monologue, this felt like and audio version of a Ken Burns documentary. However, the fascinating seldom told story held my attention with little distraction.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Super Powereds: Year 4

  • Super Powereds, Book 4
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 60 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,150
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,915
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,895

The final year at Lander has finally arrived for the Melbrook students and their peers, and with it comes a whole new set of challenges. Still reeling from the events of their junior year, the remaining students will have to push past their pain - and so much more - if they hope to be one of the 10 to claim the title of Hero upon graduation. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Its finally over....what do I do with my life now?

  • By Jared on 07-11-18

60 hours of Super Powered goodness still ain't enough!

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

Reviewed: 07-03-18

I don't know if you can call this a non-bias review considering, I devoured the hardback edition months ago, I pre-ordered the audio version, downloaded it the moment it became available on its release date, and then promptly put in a marathon listening session to complete the book... To say that I'm a Drew Hayes fanboy would be an understatement. With that said, I did fully enjoy the book. Unlike so many series conclusions, not only was "Year 4" a satisfying conclusion to this series, it was nothing less than epic! The unraveling of the conspiracy was truly a captivating work of inspired and well conceived story telling. As much as I enjoyed the book, it feels a bit odd to say that even at a run time of 60 hours, I still felt that it was a bit rushed (I felt that some of the interpersonal relationship development between some of the characters was sacrificed to keep the story a bit more streamlined). I did really enjoy a few little side plots that were thrown in (diving deeper into the "company" that Mr Transport and Mr Numbers work for was a great touch, and the reveal of yet another secret family connection was a shocker). As with the pervious books, Drew Hayes masterfully crafts witty commentary and logical character actions into a story plot that has clearly been planed since he first put pin to paper way back in "Super Powers: Year 1". I also feel compelled to give a tip of the hat to Kyle McCarley's superb narration. Given the huge number of characters contained within this story, I was continuously amazed by his ability to add a nuanced and unique voice performance to each of the many characters. Simply put... even a casual fan of the "Super Powered" series will be well satisfied with its conclusion, and more than likely will find themselves as much of a raving fanboy as I am. Welcome to the club!

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Super Powereds: Year 1

  • Super Powereds, Book 1
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 26 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,702
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,690

Knowledge is power. That would be the motto of Lander University, had it not been snatched up and used to death by others long before the school was founded. For while Lander offers a full range of courses to nearly all students, it also offers a small number of specialty classes to a very select few. Lander is home to the Hero Certification Program, a curriculum designed to develop students with superhuman capabilities, commonly known as Supers, into official Heroes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Series In Recent Memory

  • By Get Off My Lawn! on 10-08-16

Look past the cheesy cover art... A+ Book!

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

I avoided this series for a long time simply because the cover art was so cheesy. When I finally begrudgingly bought the audio book, thanks to the cover art work, I was expecting something on-par with "Captain Underpants"... I couldn't have been any further from the truth. I now kick myself for not discovering this series much sooner. This is simply one of the best series that I have had the pleasure to listen to (or read) regardless of the genre. You know you enjoy a writer when after listening to the audio editions of their work, you actually go out, buy the printed hardcovers and reread the books as they were originally meant to be enjoyed (and yes... Ive now done this with all 5 books). As I have described to friends, "This is what Harry Potter should have been, if JK Rowling wasn't writing for 12 year olds." Although I've gotten a lot of initial disbelief with that statement once they have taken that leap to engage in Drew Hayes' world of super powered education, they concur with my assessment: Well written, smart, well reasoned and thought out, with a increasingly complex set of characters and motivation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crooked

  • By: Austin Grossman
  • Narrated by: Kiff VandenHeuvel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 120

Richard Milhous Nixon lived one of the most improbable lives of the 20th century. He faced down the Russians, the Chinese, and, ultimately, his own government. The man went from political mastermind to a national joke, sobbing in the Oval Office, leaving us with one burning question: How could he have lost it all? Here, for the first time, is the tale told in his own words: the terrifying supernatural secret he stumbled upon as a young man, the truth behind the Cold War, and the truth behind the Watergate cover-up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm speechless, but I have to write something.

  • By Jonathan on 09-08-15

The narration MAKES this book!

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

Reviewed: 06-20-18

I like to describe this book as Richard Nixon's personal biography as written by Edgar Allan Poe, with additional technical consultation by HP Lovecraft. To be fair... I live in Yorba Linda California (birthplace and home of the Nixon library), so in many ways, it was almost per-destined that I bought this book (that and the fact that I loved Austin Grossman's "Soon I will be invincible"... so maybe it was more likely true destiny). With that disclosure out there, this books is both brilliant and tedious simultaneously. It is expertly written and ponders so well on Nixon's enter monologue that sometimes you begin to forget it is a work of fiction rather than his personal memoirs. Combined with the tone perfect narration by Kiff VanderHauvel (which feels like he is directly channeling Nixon from beyond the grave), three fourths of this book can only be described as brilliant. Unfortunately the last fourth of the book becomes tedious and way over the top. So much so that all the believably carefully crafted in the early part of the book is lost to a feeling of contrived occult ridiculousness. Despite the failings in the latter quarter of the story I truly enjoyed this unique story and alternative to take on history.