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Mitchell

U.S.A
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  • The Final Empire

  • Mistborn Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42,482
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,486
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,497

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GREAT TRILOGY!!!

  • By Don Gilbert on 11-12-09

2nd to the Storm-light Archives.....

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

Reviewed: 03-30-18

I started the Mistborn series because I read the Stormlight Archives by Sanderson and wanted more epic fantasy. I was a bit skeptical at first because there were so many similarities between styles and even character names between the two-book series.

The Mistborn Trilogy being a predecessor to Stormlight, I thought I might be disappointed… I was wrong.

It's easy to see why Robert Jordan picked Brandon Sanderson to finish his Wheel of Time series. Although I noticed some distinct similarities in characters between Mistborn and Elantris (another great listen by Sanderson), he has so much imagination in how to make a world unique.

This story is not just another dwarves/elves/orcs story line and magic doesn't just "exist". There's a thought process behind where it comes from and how to use it and the dangers and consequences of doing so. I'm already about halfway through the next book in the series, The Well of Ascension, and it's fun to see how Sanderson left threads for the series to follow yet at the end of Mistborn, there didn't feel like there was anything unfinished.

One remarkable thing about this series is how well the history, politics and overall backdrop of this story is explained. Never once was I bored about learning new things about this fascinating, desolate world.

Also unique is that the protagonist of the book is a woman, and Sanderson does a great job of portraying her realistically. Even though she gains enormous power over the course of the narrative, the author does not forget her origins, and her origins continue to define how she reacts to her circumstances throughout the book. In fact, all of the characters, even the minor ones, display realistic motivations for their actions, and come across as very real.

As for Kramer-
Michael Kramer, once again, did an amazing job with the narration. I'm amazed at how he manages to create a voice, tone, and referent emotion for each character. He really brings the characters to life and adds an immeasurable depth the story. He is an incredible performer and his narration here is “still” flawless.

For those familiar with A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin) and Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan), Sanderson's style fits comfortably between these two tomes. His story is not as "gritty" and "real" as Martin's series and his story is not as fantastic as Jordan's series. The idea behind the magic system is well-thought out an the characters are easy to like.

My “only” gripe is that I found the writing to be a bit heavy handed at times. For instance, I felt there was a lot of repetition that reminds the reader over & over again about the same character points - ex. I found myself often thinking things like "okay okay x has had a hard life, she doesn't trust easily, alright I get it I get it." It's consequently very easy to read & follow; I think I'd just prefer a style that's a bit more subtle. I think this issue also led me to dislike one of the main characters (Vin) more than I otherwise would have - I found myself more often feeling impatient rather than sympathizing with her when hearing narration about her doubts, fears, etc.

38 of 46 people found this review helpful

  • The Blade Itself

  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 22 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,351
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,877
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,858

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies. Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Characters drive the story. The Narrator rocks!

  • By Brian Alsobrook on 11-01-16

Hope it goes somewhere by the 2nd book,,,,,

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

Reviewed: 03-15-18

This entire book seemed to just be a setup for the coming books.The truth is this whole series is not really about the world the characters inhabit, but is more about the characters the author has elected to talk about. They were interesting enough to get me to the end of the book, but personally, I care as much if not more about the fantasy worlds as the characters in them. If you're like me, you will probably have to push yourself to get through The First Law series of books.

The narrators performance kept me listening even when the story seemed to drag. The whole thing seemed to be just a bunch of individual threads that didn't really seem to come together until almost the end and even then they still feel like separate stories working towards something that doesn't come here. I'm looking forward to the next two books to see where things go as I see a lot of potential in where things ended here.

The story had a few angles that eventually tied together nicely. I almost felt like there were two styles of book going for a while. Wild, hack slash, barbarian adventure. Then more civilized where sword play is an art, and the city is more gentrified. The definition between the people split into upper class and lower. Then the author tied the two story lines together.

biggest complaint-
The magic has NO explanation, or almost none. I got use in some of my favorite books like The storm-light archive by Brandond Sanderson or The name of the wind by Patrick Rothfus, that magic gets explained. In the Blade itself, a general reason for magic is explained, but thats it, no details. For me, the details help it feel real, and not just arbitrary. If a point to a rock and it explodes, that is great. But if I explain what I am doing to the rock, that I am trying to convince it to explode, or that I put energy inside, or something, that is much more exiting.


(I saw few reviews intone they had already heard this story with different characters, but this was NOT a Fellowship of the Ring, and the characters were nowhere near as squeaky clean)

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Name of the Wind

  • Kingkiller Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61,467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55,881
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55,969

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

Expected a lot Better...........

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

First, I enjoyed The Name of the Wind. That said, it is far from excellent. It is apparent to a critical reader that this is not the work of a seasoned author. Neither the world, nor the characters, possess the subtle touches of the master which make them truly captivating. Also, it lacks a freshness and originality that is so difficult to create in the fantasy genre, but that distinguishes the exemplary from the rest.

There is, in fact, not a lot that stands out as great. The magic system is not even close to as interesting or original as Sanderson's Mistborn series. The cosmology and legends aren't nearly as believable or compelling as Jordan's Wheel of Time. Neither is the world or characters as vivid as George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire . This isn't to say that I felt they were unacceptably bad, as a few reviewers have, just that they could have been much better.

The story lacked a clear antagonist or a clear challenge for the protagonist (at least not one that was advanced properly). the worst was kvothe's love interest. Denna herself is basically a manic pixie dream girl. she's not entirely useless or feeble, but she is awfully fickle and mysterious in a trite way. but, kvothe's feelings for her are rendered in the stupidest possible language. they portray Kvothe to be brilliant, 15-year old prodigy yet he is an idiot, in is his inability to understand her very obvious signals, even her explicit words. I guess you can forgive a fifteen year old, but the retrospective framing of the narrative makes the lack of awareness really grating to read.

One of the things that is interesting and unusual is the way in which the narrative is relayed. Kvothe is telling the story of his life to a man who collects interesting tales. This presents some neat opportunities and perspectives. For instance: here is a man of whom legends are told, a near mythological figure apparently, living as a simple innkeeper; how did this happen? In the third-person portions of the narrative, we catch glimpses of a future (to the story being told by Kvothe) that we want to have explained.

Unfortunately, this strength is also a big weakness. Rothfuss does a good job of capturing the feel of an oral story told by someone who knows the business. However, this means that there are bits that ramble, detours and characters that are basically irrelevant, and many unnecessary details. Also, Kvothe's story isn't a trilogy in the typical sense. At least in this book, there isn't really a conflict-climax-semiconclusion pattern that is familiar to any series. Instead, he is simply taking three days to tell the story. The Name of the Wind isn't the first sub-story of three interlocking in a single overarching tale, it is a fairly arbitrary stopping point about a third of the way through one story. I have not yet read, and so cannot speak for, the other books in the series; but this one feels like a long and winding road that doesn't lead anywhere. It lacks the, even partial, closure that a book should have.

Thus, my conclusion: this is a book that lacks many things, but a series that has potential. Despite its flaws, I found myself entertained by The Name of the Wind. As a series it may well be interesting, though I doubt it will be exceptional

23 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Wizard's First Rule

  • Sword of Truth, Book 1
  • By: Terry Goodkind
  • Narrated by: Sam Tsoutsouvas
  • Length: 34 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,680
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,458
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,519

In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, Richard Cypher encounters a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, in his forest sanctuary. She seeks his help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book is a blast

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 05-09-12

....Not the best way to start.....

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

Reviewed: 01-17-18

I am a huge Brandon Sanderson fan. This is not that type of writing. The epic feel of Brandon's stories is not present here.

What is present is a very close look at a hero and his journey to defeat an oppressive evil. Every good story makes a promise and then keeps it. A great story surprises you in how it keeps it, or makes you wish with all your heart that it is kept a certain way... and then tragedy or comedy shows you why it must not be kept that way or shows you that you were so right and you didn't understand how much so.

The author, in his effort to show the evil of the opponent, went too far in my opinion and at the same time failed to convince me of the motivations of the enemy. I felt the story wandered far too much. It was more like a reality show, than a movie.

With all that said, the book makes a sneaky promise, and at the end of the book it is kept. I won't tell you what it is. I'll leave it to you to see it. The author also surprised me about a few plot points, but it wasn't done as expertly as other authors have done, such as Brandon Sanderson, Anthony Ryan or even GRRM

As with all audio books, it can be difficult to separate out the writing from the speaker. I feel I can confidently say this reader was solid. A few sections I didn't like his interpretation of the writing, but overall I found him worth the listening. I would say he added something the original book lacks without him.

As a first book, this one was good. Terry Goodkind did a very good job of character development and world creation.

My one complaint is that he set the standard for the rest of his book, he created situations where his characters needed supernatural means to survive. Now a few of those situations were needed to reveal character's hidden talents, but to many in one book just starts to wear down the series if it continues with any frequency. If your main characters are backing themselves into that many corners one of two things are happening. Either your main characters are too stupid to survive, or in way over their heads and you have made your bad guys too good. In the first case it becomes pretty obvious fast if your characters are stupid and that's bad for buying in to the survariability of your characters. Goodkind avoids this by making his characters ignorant but smart. They aren't stupid so when they get into situations because of their ignorance you can buy into them getting out of it by using their brains. Where Goodkind makes his mistake is in the second situation. He makes his bad guys really good, but really dumb in some areas. You have the brains to send a deadly Mord Sith after your main character, but after your main character successfully defeats this same Mord Sith in front of your main bad guy, you give said main character free reign of the grounds for a number of days? Really?

I realize Goodkind was trying to show arrogance in his main bad guy, but that's not arrogance that's stupidity. No bad guy that had amassed as much power as Darkin Raul could be that stupid. This and a few other occurrences in the book are what drop it from a 4 star to a 3 star. This is a good story by itself, but a poor start to a series.

Is it worth buying? Possibly. I don't regret my purchase, but I am not overtly eager to continue the series.

21 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Ascendant: Book 1

  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 17 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,516
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,188

The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard. They were supposed to tell everyone that he is not a jinx, that all the bad things that happen around him are because he can't control the power inside him, power he doesn't know about. The people of his village, even his parents, are afraid of him, afraid he is cursed. That he is a dangerous, evil jinx.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A skeptic entertained

  • By David M on 11-22-17

.....Not Impressed..

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

STORY
First, I did not like the predictability of the story, there was never a twist in the story that made my think "wow didn't see that one coming".

Second major issue is the simplistic 2nd characters. Since the whole story is based on characters misunderstanding what happens around the main character, all the characters come across as complete idiots. A good example is the court wizard. The wizard is supposed to be 180+ years old with vast magical power, knowledge, and cunning intellect. Instead he comes across as a complete fool as he can easily prevent a lot of the misunderstandings that happen to Koran by simply communicating with other characters or using common sense. His actions in the book completely contradict how he is described and presented. This happens with almost all the characters as well. They are described in one manner but then their actions, through simplistic thought processes, contradict their initial description just so the author can easily find a way to blame Koran in an effort to illustrate how his life is unfair

PERFORMANCE
I have never been a real big fan of Tim Gerard Reynolds in the first place,it just drives me crazy how he just always seems to read so slow. Like he always pauses after every sentence or phrase for a few seconds longer than it needs to be. i have listened to many other books that Mr. Reynolds has performed in, including Riyria Revelations, Riyria Chronicles, and The White Tower and only noticed it when i played it along with, or back to back with other readers.

OVERALL
Unfortunately this initial installment kept beating us over the head with just how unfair Koren Blackwell’s life is. Seventeen hours of misunderstandings and lies all to keep one very likable young man from his destiny! This book simply needed a good editor.

It just seamed like The whole premise that a 13 year-old saves the world again in fantasy fiction books is getting very old.

43 of 63 people found this review helpful

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 201,367
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 188,041
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187,635

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

every mans dream....!!!!

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

Reviewed: 01-03-18

Why i delayed listen to this book i will never know, i loved it! the book starts
you out in a post, worldwide, natural disaster. But you quickly come to realize
that the story is not just some predictable apocalyptic themed book, but is more
about the world of the virtual reality in games. unfortunately I couldn't give Wil
Wheaton 5 stars. Now don't get me wrong he has a very nice voice to listen to,
and does a great job of showing emotion in his charterers (when it needs to be).
The only problem i found, was when he would read a female voice it was hard to
distinguish for a male voice, so they both sounded exactly the same.

The story for sure deserves the 5 stars given to it. it was flawlessly written and
always had me on the edge of my seat. Ernest Cline was clearly a deep thinking
writer.

If your any cine of gamer, geek, or nerd you will love it, or if you grew up in the
80s you will especially love it. it talks a lot about video games and the history of
video games in the 80s, witch i fond very interesting.

This story will definitely be moved to my top 3 stores in my library. only one
credit for over 15 hours of escape into an awesome story? very worth it!!!

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • 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 12,587
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,380

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
  • Magical Apocalypse "Lite"

  • By Kitty on 12-07-17

best APOCALYPTIC book yet!!!!

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

Reviewed: 12-08-17

If you like books with apocalyptic themes, then you will love this book. There is no doubt this is a 5 star book. You cant ask for a better narrator, Julia Whelan does a flawless job of reading the large variety of voices. This novel is full of heartbreaking scenes and conflict. So readers/listeners be mindful of this, because Nora Roberts does a fabulous job of emotionally attaching you to the characters.

I would have to say its not necessarily a "new" idea for a series, but still wrote in a different and captivating way. bottom line is buy this book and you will not be disappointed. i will definitely be getting the next book!!!

121 of 143 people found this review helpful

  • Legends of Ahn

  • King's Dark Tidings, Book 3
  • By: Kel Kade
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 16 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,540
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,037
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,007

Rezkin is an elite warrior who aims to restore order in Ashai after Caydean's attack on the King's Tournament transformed former allies and trading partners into enemies. With no army and only a ragtag group of refugees, Rezkin must wrest control of the kingdom from the mad and powerful usurper, who seems bent on destruction, and this may not be the biggest challenge. If he fails, the kingdom will be ripped apart, and Rezkin will have violated Rule 1 - to protect and honor his friends.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Are you kidding me?

  • By Kimberly C. on 12-13-17

if your not a fan of fantasy books.....YOU WILL BE

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

Reviewed: 12-06-17

just like the 1st two books this one if fantastic! Nick Podehls narration was flawless, no question this novel is a five star book. you will find the book starts to unwind and unfold as questions start to be answered and the direction of the series really becomes apparent. it can be a little repetitive at times, and if you could count all of the times one of the characters "blushed fiercely" it would never end. still VERY well wrote and thought out book .

this novel is always keeping you on your toes, i found it impossible to put it down after i started. its very worth the the money/credit spent, and you wont be disappointed that it is in your library of books.

18 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Never Say Die

  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68

Following the events of Scorpia Rising, Alex relocates to San Francisco as he slowly recovers from the tragic death of his best friend and caregiver, Jack Starbright, at the hands of terrorists working for SCORPIA. With Jack gone, Alex feels lost and alone, but then, out of the blue, he receives a cryptic email - just three words long, but enough to make Alex believe that Jack may be alive. Armed with this shred of hope, Alex boards a flight bound for Egypt and embarks on a dubious quest to track Jack down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • VERY ENJOYABLE, BUT CIND OF PREDICABLE.

  • By Mitchell on 12-05-17

VERY ENJOYABLE, BUT CIND OF PREDICABLE.

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

Reviewed: 12-05-17

if you have read/listened to any other books by Anthony Horowitz and like them, then this 1 will not disappoint ether. In the end this novel is really no different then any of his other previous books, once you have listen to 1 you have listen to them all. but still, its by far one of his better books. If you have a 10 to 15 year-old they would really enjoy it. Also, it will take a lot of getting used to Simon Prebbles voce, because his voce has clearly changed from his other earlier narration jobs.

So in summery if i could give this book 4.5 stars i would, but i just rounded up, still, its really enjoyable if you liked any of his previous works. very worth the money/credit if you have young kids, but don't expect a lot.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Oathbringer

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 55 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 28,302
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26,655
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 26,603

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong Storytelling, will upset Kaladin fans

  • By Deana on 11-16-17

WOW!!!!! ITS GOOD TO BE BACK

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

Reviewed: 11-17-17

just like the 1st two books, this one is fantastic! Hands down 5 stars to the story and to Kramer. If you are any kind of fan of fantasy/syfy books, this one will NOT disappoint. The only thing i cant figure out, is who thought it would be a good idea to have Kate Reading perform in this novel. I so pose if she read a book that had only one character, and it was a female at that, she mite do fine. So listeners be warned that you mite find your self putting the story on 2x when it comes to the Shalon Davar parts of the story.

this 3rd book answers a lot of questions about the series, and i found it about impossible to put down after i stated this book. I would purposely take detours to work just so i could listen longer.Its a must read book and if you can just soldier though any Kate Reading parts of the book you wont be disappointed its in your library.

12 of 20 people found this review helpful