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Sumit G.

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  • Penric and the Shaman

  • The Penric & Desdemona Series, Book 2
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 372
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337

In this novella set in the World of the Five Gods and four years after the events in Penric's Demon, Penric is a divine of the Bastard's Order as well as a sorcerer and scholar, living in the palace where the Princess-Archdivine holds court. His scholarly work is interrupted when the Archdivine agrees to send Penric, in his role as sorcerer, to accompany a "Locator" of the Father's Order, assigned to capture Inglis, a runaway shaman charged with the murder of his best friend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another fun Penric adventure

  • By Jerri C on 12-13-16

Penric does something... I kinda forgot

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

Reviewed: 02-19-17

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

Yes & no. I am a big LMB (author)'s fan. So, it's always great to listen to her main characters.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect is the back & forth between Penric and Des Demona. The least interesting is the story line. Honestly, I barely gave any attention to it, as I was doing busy work when listening, and it really passed me by without really grabbing my attention. Just a very simple storyline.

What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

Grover Gardner delivers a great voice.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not really. The plot line is too simple.

Any additional comments?

Only for LMB fans.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61,680
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 57,878
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,770

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Good Fun in alternate future

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

Reviewed: 02-19-17

So, Bob dies, becomes an AI 150 years later, and then ends up as a very powerful self replicating AI who acts as a hero helping mankind. And has other AI enemies. This is a scene setting book, and I really look forward to future book. The only minor criticism I had was that the voices for other AIs should have been more different, but, other than that, this book is eminently readable. The book does slow down towards the end, and I am assuming this is for preserving material for the next book.

  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,111
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 24,847
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,788

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted

  • By Gary Glenn on 06-27-17

Military sci fi with a twist

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

Reviewed: 02-19-17

Just when it started sounding like military sci fi with no hope. The book comes up with a twist and turns it into a fantasy novel with nuts & bolts (and some humor). It's a good pass time, but it's military (soft) sci fi.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Creeping Shadow

  • Lockwood & Co., Book 4
  • By: Jonathan Stroud
  • Narrated by: Emily Bevan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 636
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 586

After leaving Lockwood & Co. at the end of The Hollow Boy, Lucy is a freelance operative hiring herself out to agencies that value her ever-improving skills. One day she is pleasantly surprised by a visit from Lockwood, who tells her he needs a good Listener for a tough assignment. Penelope Fittes, the leader of the giant Fittes Agency, wants them - and only them - to locate and remove the Source for the legendary Brixton Cannibal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Spooky Stars for The Creeping Shadow!!

  • By Kathy @ My Nook, Books & More on 10-29-16

Excellent book in the series if you are a fan!

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

Reviewed: 09-19-16

Another great addition to the lockwood & co series. Personally I thought it was better than the hollow boy (previous book) as it didn't drag in parts.

Still another solid addition to a good series by Jonathan Stroud. Excellent writing style and interesting characters. The lockwood & co series neatly closes each story in the book but the overarching plot across the series has moved very little and quite slowly. There is some movement there but still quite slow with the plot. Minor unclosed story holes, eg what happened to the winkmans' post escape and why didn't the team try to look more in to the capes meant some threads were left open for future books (hence only 4 stars).

However, it's still a fun read and I recommend the book to anyone following Jonathan Stroud or this series.

  • Time's Divide

  • The Chronos Files, Book 3
  • By: Rysa Walker
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,566
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,421
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,420

The Cyrists are swiftly moving into position to begin the Culling, and Kate's options are dwindling. With each jump to the past or the future, Kate may trigger a new timeline shift. Worse, the loyalties of those around her - including the allegiances of Kiernan and the Fifth Column, the shadowy group working with Kate - are increasingly unclear.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I have mixed feelings about this one.

  • By Bookworm on 11-11-15

Good book, strong emotions

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

Reviewed: 11-30-15

I am emotionally exhausted after reading this book. The book ends the chronos files triology well.

Overall, the readers of the previous two books will get a closing book. Rysa walker left each of the last two books on a cliffhanger, so it's great to finally put it to rest, despite an epilogue into the future. I followed other reviewers advice and read up on the novella Time's mirror to get Prudence's POV. That really helped with getting some context. Other reviewers comments also ring true that one cannot listen to it in one sitting. You have to listen to it in byte sized chunks until you get to the last 3-4 hours.

The postscript to the climax was great, and really showcases Rysa's talent. Time travel is a tricky subject and combing it with human emotions is trickier. It's at this postscript that Rysa's talent with emotional matters really shines through. I think Rysa should next time take a look at conventional fiction because frankly the time travel/scifi in the end is a distraction from her talent with writing relationships.

  • The Hollow Boy

  • Lockwood & Co., Book 3
  • By: Jonathan Stroud
  • Narrated by: Emily Bevan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 592

As a massive outbreak of supernatural visitors baffles Scotland Yard and causes protests throughout London, Lockwood & Co. continue to demonstrate their effectiveness in exterminating spirits. Anthony Lockwood is dashing, George insightful, and Lucy dynamic, while the skull in the jar utters sardonic advice from the sidelines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Right in line

  • By dadinUT on 09-26-15

Good character driven book

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

Reviewed: 10-01-15

Jonathan Stroud writes great characters, and they sometimes overwhelm the story of the book. Not that one notices that much! His Bartemeus series is an example. The Djinn was so much fun that I rarely noticed the relatively shallow story line.

Here too, the characters are so much fun that I rarely notice the story. The story writing style is exquisite, and while JS is no Raymond Chandler, he does have an excellent writing style.

In the third book, the characters are back doing ghost hunting. A new character is introduced and there is tension between the new character and Lucy. We all move along and eventually more haunted mysteries are solved. There you go - that's most of the book (plus a cliffhanger ending). Not much of a story - but the style and each individual haunting is fascinating and I listened to the book flat in 2 days! The book is a definite upgrade on book 2, which I thought lagged a bit.

So, overall, it's a worthwhile book and good addition, but I would really like JS to move the story forward as well.

PS Can we bring back the previous narrator or someone else? Emily Bevan did an adequate job, but her pacing and pronunciation wasn't as fun as the previous ones. Maybe she was trying to be authentic, but pronouncing "skull" as "schaull" (heavy british accented), was just distracting.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Shepherd's Crown

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,873
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,749
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,741

Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, and the fifth to feature the witch Tiffany Aching.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • really Really REALLY going to miss Terry Pratchett

  • By Ruby on 09-05-15

The Last Hurrah!

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

Reviewed: 10-01-15

I've loved almost all the books in the discworld series, and was sad for the series to finish due to Terry's death.

It's a good book worth a solid 4 stars. The characters are funny as they were in the past series, and the dull moments are far and few.

I did shed a tear thinking about Terry Pratchett's death and I did wonder what this book could have been had he been around to tinker to the end. But it is what it is, and it is a good book.

It doesn't reach the lofty heights of the "The Wee Free Men (TWFM)" which I thought was the best of the Tiffany Aching arc in the discworld series - mainly because some of the scenes felt underdone by Terry and TWFM standards. My favourite in the TWFM was the confrontation between the Queen and Tiffany. No scene here reaches the same level of detailed pondering - and it is left to one's imagination of what that scene could have been.

I almost wished this book would have been an ensemble where all the main characters make an appearance and have a closure scene, e.g. Moist Van Lipwig, Sam Vimes, Rincewind, et al. But that was not to be. So many things in our lives we want to be more than what they are, and like Terry's untimely departure, this book is what it is, rather than what it could have been.

  • Beautiful Ruins

  • By: Jess Walter
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,850
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,569
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,563

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • My mind wandered

  • By Ella on 11-25-12

Not quite good enough

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

Reviewed: 03-10-15

What did you like best about Beautiful Ruins? What did you like least?

The best scenes were from the novel that Bender was writing. The rest of the book was an exercise in cynicism. Even the bender's novel scene was cynical - but at least it had an element of despair.

Overall, the whole book shows the world as cynical - nobody's happy and everyone has problems. Then, the ending is provided with a bow tie and candles. Yeah right (see even I've gotten cynical)!

Would you recommend Beautiful Ruins to your friends? Why or why not?

No. Too much cynicism.

Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Never listened to him - but not bad at all.

Did Beautiful Ruins inspire you to do anything?

To write this review.

Any additional comments?

Sometimes, a writer gets a choice. A choice between beautiful prose and simplicity. Sadly Jess Walters chose the prose option rather than simplicity - diluting the impact the same story elements could have had.


I suggest she reads the interpreter of maladies (the kindle/paper edition) - and see how events can be described without perennial and constant cynicism. Just say things as they are.

Also, the constant use of past tense is jarring. Just doesn't work!

  • Terms of Enlistment

  • Frontlines, Book 1
  • By: Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,911
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,899

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid military sci-fi.

  • By DAVE on 02-11-14

Boring, inaccurate and ordinary!

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

Reviewed: 09-08-14

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Military is all about discipline and exacting standards. If you read any military biographies - it talks about how tough the initiation is. Even then - the training continues. Here, the guy goes through boot camp - there it is. He's now a hero :S. I gave up listening after a third of the book in.

Talk about unrealistic...

Would you ever listen to anything by Marko Kloos again?

Not really

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narrator was OK. It's the story that sucked.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment and cynicism

Any additional comments?

not really.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Timebound

  • By: Rysa Walker
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,281
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,874
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,878

When Kate Pierce-Keller’s grandmother gives her a strange blue medallion and speaks of time travel, sixteen-year-old Kate assumes the old woman is delusional. But it all becomes horrifyingly real when a murder in the past destroys the foundation of Kate’s present-day life. Suddenly, that medallion is the only thing protecting Kate from blinking out of existence. Kate learns that the 1893 killing is part of something much more sinister, and her genetic ability to time travel makes Kate the only one who can fix the future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Completely Enjoyed It

  • By Lessa on 06-27-14

Great debut novel! Minor probs w/ scifi & drag.

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

Reviewed: 07-03-14

What did you love best about Timebound?

Complex interwining of emotional as well as sci fi issues. Obviously, I love time travel, and this was done to the hilt.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Interesting aspect was everything. The bit I didn't like was the characters repeated stupid mistakes, and the complicated sci fi. Hats off to Rysa Walker for attempting it, but explaining time travel paradoxes and how they can get resolved was never going to be easy.

What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

Kate Rudd is brilliant and has done some brilliant books. Check out her other work.Obviously, she does old and young characters (particularly female) quite well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Death of a particular character.

Any additional comments?

Good book, although Rysa would do well to cut down on circular scenarios. Clearly, this book could have been shorter, crisper and be even more wonderful.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful