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Jake

  • 12
  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 50
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  • Origin

  • A Novel
  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,973
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,542
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36,429

In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Formula over fiction

  • By Evan M Carlson on 11-01-17

Not at the level of earlier Dan Brown novels.

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

Reviewed: 10-12-17

This was pretty standard Robert Langdon adventure, but with much less of the captivating mystery and history that made the earlier novels so compelling. Langdon was much more of a bystander, and much less of the main driving force, which made this book a little less interesting for me. The big reveal at the end wasn't really mind blowing, and I never had a "WOW" moment like I had with all the prior Dan Brown novels I have read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Not Alone

  • By: Craig A. Falconer
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 22 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,258
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,747
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,737

When Dan McCarthy stumbles upon a folder containing evidence of the conspiracy to end all conspiracies - a top-level alien cover-up - he leaks the files without a second thought. The incredible truth revealed by Dan's leak immediately captures the public's imagination, but Dan's relentless commitment to exposing the cover-up and forcing disclosure quickly earns him some enemies in high places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive Book About Aliens & the Hype Industry

  • By Russell on 12-21-16

Don't be fooled, this book isn't about aliens.

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

For me listening to this book was a lesson on the perils of not reading enough Audible reviews. I got caught in that trap of reading the synopsis and a couple of the top 5 star reviews and thinking that was enough to download and listen to the book. I was quite wrong.

As a few other of the lower ranked reviews have already stated, this book IS NOT about aliens, the part of the book that contains aliens is perhaps the last 2 hours.

The bulk of the 22 hours of the book was about the press, mass media, spinning stories and politics. It was about truth, deception, conspiracies, and coverups. As far as the nature of the content of the government cover up... well it could've been anything. Nuclear weapons, secret gay lovers, racketeering, murder, or pretty much anything. 18 out of the 22 hours of this book could've stayed the same the nature of the coverup could've changed. Because all the characters do is talk to media personalities, watch TV programs other media personalities commenting on the leak and the coverup, or preparing their next press conference.

Nearly all the major events in the plot happen not as actual events experienced in person by the main characters, more that the main characters are giving press releases or issuing statements about those events.

You'd expect a book about an alien coverup to have lots of intrigue and action and adventure, but it actually has none of that. Just endless press releases and carefully coordinated and worded media appearances. Also theres a live TV hypnotism!

The author has some sort of fetish with the media, he both thinks that the media is a negative, unfair propaganda machine, and that the entire global population is captivated and motivated by every syllable uttered on TV or in print. It was one of the strangest, most unrealistic takes on a topic I have ever read.

This book could've been 7 hours long and still done the job. The last 15% of the book is the only part outside the first chapter where thinks actually occur to the main characters, and they do something other than watch TV. Speaking of the characters watching TV, it felt like 50% of their dialogue with each other was telling everyone they were with to "Shut up" so they could hear the TV more clearly.

This happened so often and was so bizarre I feel the need to comment here, who tells other people to shut up in real life outside of children? Yet these adults were non stop with it. The language and diction of the characters was so poor, full of endless cliched statements and unintelligible emoting.

The main character had some bizarre social/developmental issues which were kind of a plot point, but I was never sure.

Overall it was a hugely disappointing book and I only barely stayed with it. I mostly did it to feel validated in writing this review, which I don't often do.
The narration was fine, Cronin did as well he could with the terrible dialogue he was given, but even good narration couldn't make the main characters any more likable.

If you're looking for a book about alien encounters, or science fiction, stay away!!
If you want a book with adult themes like emotions, relationships, and psychology, stay away!!
If you want a book with any sort of action, adventure, sex, intimacy, or intrigue, stay away!!
If you want a weird take on the media, government coverups, and some truly bizarre geopolitical theoreticals then this is sort of your book?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Dragon's Path audiobook cover art
  • The Dragon's Path

  • Dagger and Coin, Book 1
  • By: Daniel Abraham
  • Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
  • Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,138
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,149

Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly enjoyable

  • By JoR on 02-23-12

Brilliant narration enhances an already great tale

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

Reviewed: 04-03-16

First of a five book series. It's hard to write a spoiler free review, I am almost done the final book in the series. It's excellent, and worth pushing through a bit of a slow start, and lots of different types of characters. The narration is so very excellent. Some of the key characters throughout the story are incredibly rich due to the quality of the narration though. This book and the series at large deal very closely with the power of the spoken word. It would have only been able to flourish as an audiobook with a keen and capable narrator, and luckily for us it did. Pete Bradbury was brilliant for all 5 books, and only enhanced what was already a very compelling story.

My take: push through the sluggish start, as the majority of the tale is worth the effort to get into.

  • Firestar

  • Firestar Saga, Book 1
  • By: Michael Flynn
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 31 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 465
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 468

It is the dawn of the 21st century, and America is in trouble. Public schools breed apathy and ignorance, and politics has become the art of the quick fix. There is one woman, though, who has both the vision and the money to leverage change. Mariesa Gorley van Huyten, heiress to one of the great American fortunes, is determined to bring America, and the rest of the world, back on track. She founds an educational subsidiary in hopes of raising a new, less cynical generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved it, some might not.

  • By Anne D. on 12-03-14

Very slow and ultimately unrewarding.

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

This novel moves very slowly. VERY slowly. Usually I am prepared to endure slow character and plot development for the greater reward later, and with a long book and long series ahead I didn't mind the aching slowness of Firestar. That was until I realized that it wasn't getting any faster and things weren't getting any better. I couldn't bring myself to go on to the next book in the series because I can only assume it would be the same as Firestar, and I can't endure it again. Things never got going in Firestar. Sure there was plot advancement and character development but it all felt like it was building towards a climax that never came.

Minor spoiler warning

The premise itself was unimaginative and a tad implausible. The entire story is based on a girlhood experience of seeing a comet burn up in the sky, inspiring the main character to develop paranoia about asteroid strikes and start a great corporate effort to develop a defense system against asteroid strikes.

The story plods along the long and complicated path towards manned spaceflight missions as part of the grand scheme of developing orbital defenses. What drew me to this story was the space aspect and the science of it was well developed and detailed, however after 30 hours the entire aim of the book is barely reached and I can't abide by an entire book's worth of buildup.

Aside from the space aspect the book carries a detailed and opinionated social commentary on education among other things. At points it sounds more propaganda then a novel, which I suppose is the author's right.

The other big stumbling block for me were the characters who were almost universally unlikable. I don't know whether the author was trying to show the humanity of the characters, or just has no room for a hero or something to identify with. Each character is complex, but retains almost no redeeming qualities.

Once I got the end I just felt like I was left hanging, with no resolution to the plot at all, which typically makes me eager for the next book, but there was nothing in Firestar that made me want to experience more of the same.

The narration was fantastic, but it wasn't enough to redeem the unrelenting boredom of the plot. Usually its the the misfortune of the audiobook listener to endure the the poor narration for the sake of the excellent story, this time it was the other way around and good narration couldn't save this book.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Dust

  • By: Elizabeth Bear
  • Narrated by: Alma Cuervo
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 94

Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear has been called one of the best science fiction authors of her generation. In Dust she skillfully spins a classic science fiction trope - the lost generation ship - into a complex and compelling tale of fallen angels, secretive family politics, and sexual taboo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A throughly well crafted story

  • By JanaMacEye on 01-21-09

A very, very strange book. Not for everyone

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

What got me to read this is the generation ship/ big ship angle. I am a total sucker for novels in this vein, and that's the only reason I got through this and the second book in the series, Chill.

As strange and otherworldly as the characters are none of them are really likable or well developed. They hang on the strength of their unusualness, aided by a fairly well developed set of technological enhancements that provide enough interesting aspects to keep you going to a point. To the author's credit the setting and various technologies are interesting and mysterious, yet they aren't enough to hide the sheer strangeness of the interactions between characters. There is a sheen of ill-defined sexuality that is hinted at but never well developed enough. The two main characters have a depth and connection that is unwarranted and inexplicable given the background provided.

If, like me, generation ships and arks are your thing, then the draw of this setting and the mysteries the ship holds will be enough to gloss over the unconventional aspects of the rest of the novel.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Aurora: CV-01

  • Frontiers Saga, Book 1
  • By: Ryk Brown
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,811
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,672
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,673

A world recovering from a devastating plague. A brutal enemy threatening invasion. A young man seeking to escape the shadow of his father. A ship manned by a crew of fresh academy graduates. A top-secret experimental propulsion system. A questionable alliance with a mysterious green-eyed woman. What destiny has in store for the crew of the UES Aurora is far greater than any of them could ever imagine. And this is only the beginning....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 90% SciFi, 10% Cheese

  • By John C. on 06-16-14

Better Military Sci-Fi out there.

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

When you get past the slightly confusing timeline established in the beginning chapters, Aurora: CV-01 operates on a fairly basic premise. Earth's first exploratory spaceship/testing vehicle for interstellar travel. There are hints of compelling characters dropped lightly throughout but nothing really develops into something that makes you care about the characters. They felt mostly like caricatures and props for the science and overall story. However, most books or series in this narrow genre get by just fine on the strength of the plot and science. For me though the story got a little carried away too fast without giving anything away, I felt things just advanced too quickly on a shaky foundation.

One is better served checking out the Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell, which has many of the same elements yet presented far better.

The narration was fine barring the atrocious Russian accent of one character. I always cringe when narrators are forced to attempt accents due to the characters they've been given. Nine times out of 10 those accents are terrible and detract from the story and listening experience. On the rare occasion when the narrator has the ability to pull off an accent well, it exponentially enhances the experience, this sadly is not one of those instances.

  • Relic

  • Pendergast, Book 1
  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,817
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,871
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,909

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Non-Perishable

  • By Snoodely on 05-26-10

A good introduction to the Pendergast universe.

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

Reviewed: 01-23-15

Relic as a standalone novel is gripping and very good at keeping one's attention. As others have mentioned, what would normally be an implausible monster story is bolstered by the evidently careful and detailed research by Lincoln and Child. The best thing about it though is that it serves as a great opening into the world of Pendergast. Aside from the man himself a couple characters who feature heavily in later books are introduced here as well. If you intend to dive into the rest of the series you'll recall Relic with fondness during later listens.

The narration isn't anything special but by no means detracts from the story. There're actually some interesting effects thrown in there that I found added to the suspense and realism of the plot.

I had Relic sitting in my WishList for very long time and I'm glad I finally took the plunge. I am now well into the world of Pendergast, and haven't looked back.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • House of Chains

  • Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 4
  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 35 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,466
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,241

In Northern Genabackis, a raiding party of savage tribal warriors descends from the mountains into the southern flatlands. Their intention is to wreak havoc amongst the despised lowlanders, but for the one named Karsa Orlong, it marks the beginning of what will prove to be an extraordinary destiny.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ralph Lister is missed

  • By Hal on 12-28-13

A word or two on the narration situation

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

Reviewed: 04-27-14

So the story itself was great, but as we know as audiobook consumers, narration is key.
First off: Michael Page is a big adjustment from Ralph Lister. Since Lister's unique style took some getting used to for me in the first place, this was even more jarring. There are some distinct differences in pronunciation, but Erikson steps in and makes his desires known for how they "should" sound in future books in the series. Once you get to Midnight Tides, you will notice some changes in pronunciation. Honestly, Page is not a bad narrator by any stretch, there are much worse, he retains a good voice diversity, and is the narrator for the rest of the series which Brilliance has already recorded and is just staggering releases.

You do wish that Fiddler could continue being the wry joke cracker off beat sapper, but Page's rendition of him is just different. Just how it is, personally I like the voice change for some characters like Karsa Orlong.

Since Page is our man for the next 6 books, I am still completely excited for when they are finally all out. Even with the pronunciation changes, I really didn't notice the difference about 20 hours in. You will get used to it, this story is too good to be ruined by a different narration in my opinion.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Deadhouse Gates

  • Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 2
  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 34 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,797
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,477
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,485

In the vast dominion of Seven Cities, in the Holy Desert Raraku, the seer Sha’ik and her followers prepare for the long-prophesied uprising known as the Whirlwind. Unprecedented in size and savagery, this maelstrom of fanaticism and bloodlust will embroil the Malazan Empire in one of the bloodiest conflicts it has ever known, shaping destinies and giving birth to legends.....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Thirsty Book

  • By Benjamin on 08-06-13

Fantastic!

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

Reviewed: 07-22-13

Deadhouse gates was much more fun to listen to, thanks to the grounding in the universe lent by Gardens of the Moon. Then characters and plot lines continue right on, and the scope of the series really becomes clear. I loved every second!

Ralph Lister's narration was great, it takes some getting used to, the first book was hard to get adjusted to his narration style. But once you do, it's a pleasure to listen to.

I really hope audible adds the remaining books quickly!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • In the Garden of Iden

  • A Novel of the Company, Book 1
  • By: Kage Baker
  • Narrated by: Janan Raouf
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 204
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 154

The first novel of Kage Baker’s critically acclaimed, much-loved series, the Company, introduces us to a world where the future of commerce is the past. In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus, Inc. One of these is Mendoza, the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This Is A Wonderful Treat

  • By Anna on 02-04-11

Entertaining, and wonderfully read

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

Reviewed: 02-25-13

The narrator was superb, she really brought the story alive. The premise is interesting, and I would love to see how the rest of the tale goes. Unfortunately audible doesn't have the rest of the books.