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John

Denver, Colorado, United States
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  • 112
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  • Twelve Kings in Sharakhai

  • Song of Shattered Sands, Book 1
  • By: Bradley Beaulieu
  • Narrated by: Sarah Coomes
  • Length: 25 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 250
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 234

In the city of Sharakhai, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape by a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall of the cruel, immortal Kings of Sharakhai. Then on the holy night when the powerful yet wretched creatures known as the Asirim wander the city and take tribute in order to protect the Kings, one of them tells Çeda the origin of their dark bargain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Song of Shattered Sands

  • By Heather Turiello on 09-19-17

Great book!

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

Reviewed: 11-15-15

If you want a story about a pit fighter who must get vengeance against god appointed rulers of a city, then this is a good book to try out. In an effort to keep this short, I'll say that my main qualm is that it seemed that the book switched tracks HARD part way through, almost entirely dropping the character's identity partway through.

1 of 2 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 1,965
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,830
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,822

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

It could have been worse

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

Reviewed: 09-06-15

This book wasn't ready for publication. Not only did it lack the usual level of polish, but it just felt as if scenes were flat out missing. No part of it was *bad,* but it was clear that the story was unfinished by Sir Pratchett at the time of his death and that his trust just finished it up as best they could in as short a time as possible and shipped it. I wish that Rhianna or another author was given the privilege of making the last Discworld novel shine. I wanted more from the last book in the best fantasy series of all time.

Do I regret buying it? No. But do I feel like I more about the human condition after reading it, a facet of all previous Tiffany books? No. I wanted to love it, I loved the concept behind the story, but the book just wasn't done.

Sir Terry, we miss you already.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen

  • By: Garth Nix
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,291
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,297

Award-winning author Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom with a thrilling prequel complete with dark magic, royalty, dangerous action, a strong heroine, and flawless world-building. This epic fantasy adventure is destined to be a classic, and is perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great prequel to Abhorsen trilogy

  • By ciorstan on 10-17-14

Few qualms, but a very good addition to the series

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

Reviewed: 10-28-14

I was very reluctant to buy this book because it was not narrated by Tim Curry, the narrator of the first three books in the series. However I believe that the new narrator did a good job (if not as good as Curry). If you are new to the series start at book 1 because there are minor spoilers in this book.

This is a YA book in a YA series by a YA author, but I have to say that the author did a good job of making this book enjoyable for his older fans. I very much enjoyed that Clariel was not just Sabriel 3.0, being an excellent Charter mage and swordswoman. I was not expecting that she would be a berserker like Touchstone from book 1, and I feel that it did a good job towards diversifying the series. Clariel was a bit whiny for the first half of the book (okay more than a bit) so the author could have reduced the total number of times she wistfully longed for the forest to maybe just once or twice per chapter instead of what seemed like every single paragraph. The other sorta-problem I had with the book was the way that every single adult took Clariel for granted, but I forgive this fact because it's a YA book and that's a theme in the genre. That said I would have liked it if Clariel's mom was a little more approachable/didn't view Clariel as a tool.

The second half of the book spoke more to me as an adult than the first half, being reminiscent in pace of Abhorsen (somewhat rapid fire when compared to the slower pace of Lirael). I liked that Free Magic was viewed as being somewhat not completely evil, just chaotic and freedom seeking, and that Mogget seemed true to form. I did not like that Clariel actually trusted Mogget first thing, but it made sense that she did what she did at the end of the book.

Overall this is a great addition to the series. Not as good as Sabriel, but it was as good as the good bits of Lirael and Abhorsen.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow Ops, Book 3: Breach Zone

  • By: Myke Cole
  • Narrated by: Korey Jackson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101

In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign " Harlequin," becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he' s ever known. In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • even better then the first two

  • By K. Gould on 05-04-17

Easily the best book in the series thus far

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

Reviewed: 09-28-14

I'm going to keep his short. Originally I was never going to read this book because the previous books in the series pissed me off for various reasons. But I heard a sufficient number of good things about this book for me to give this book a chance, and it paid off. It wasn't a spectacular book by any means, but it was quite enjoyable and I can see myself listening to it again (which is something I cannot say for the other books in the series).

  • The Shadowed Sun

  • Dreamblood, Book 2
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309

Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares. A mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up - but Gujaareh has known peace for too long. Someone must show them the way. Hope lies with two outcasts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sequel to The Killing Moon

  • By Blythe on 04-09-16

Great, not spectacular like the first

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

Reviewed: 08-13-14

I really liked the first book better than this one because it had a greater sense of presence than this book. That said I did enjoy this book quite a bit. Start with The Killing Moon then continue to this book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Three Parts Dead

  • By: Max Gladstone
  • Narrated by: Claudia Alick
  • Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 379
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 377

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, a first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethras, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring him back to life before his city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without him, the metropolis’ steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, but the narrator was off

  • By John on 07-27-14

Great story, but the narrator was off

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

Reviewed: 07-27-14

I really liked this book. The story was significantly above average in quality, but not perfect. I will be reading the following books in this series in the months to come despite the imperfections. I could consistently see humor and good story telling in the story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. My one suggestion to the author would be to add more humor in the future, so we had something funny or a joke every two or three pages instead of every ten or twenty.
My main issue was the narrator. She just didn't click with me. I liked 9/10ths of the voices she used, but disliked the voice she used for Tara. She made one of the main characters sound as if she had a lisp, or something. It was super minor, but it bugged me.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Killing Moon

  • Dreamblood, Book 1
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 654
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 599

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt. But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Breathtaking

  • By Jenn on 09-06-12

Super duper good

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

Reviewed: 07-05-14

NK Jemisin is swiftly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her characters are solid, her settings are strong, and everything has a unique taste. I will never look at the word Peace the same again.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Skin Game

  • A Novel of the Dresden Files, Book 15
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 15 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 19,967
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,616
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 18,541

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day.… Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He doesn’t know the half of it… Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains - led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone - to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hold onto your staff; Harry’s back.

  • By Don Gilbert on 05-29-14

A Highpoint in quality for the series

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

Reviewed: 05-28-14

I just finished the book a few minutes ago, and I have to say that I am impressed. I have one or two nitpicks with the story. Overall this is a good book, a very good book. If you got a little tired after the last book, never fear. This story is easily in the top 5 best Dresden books, maybe top 3. Spoilers below.
Nitpicks: 1. I wanted NickyD or Polonious Lartessa to die. They've been baddies in so many books now that their constantly failing makes them seem incompetent. They're no Team Rocket, but seriously they never get ahead. If one of them died it would have progressed the story in an interesting fashion, giving the slayer glory and forcing the remaining Denarians to double down in all future appearances.
2. The twist. I don't mind that their was a twist at the end, but I would have liked better foreshadowing that it occurred instead of on the spot revealing of character motivations. I don't want to describe this too in depth, but one character had an awfully convenient change of heart. More foreshadowing would have helped.
3. For the third book in a row Dresden is still whining about his deal with Mab. GET OVER IT ALREADY. I don't like whiners.
4. Even though a year passed since the last book, everyone recalls it just like it was yesterday. To better explain this, all character relationships seem to have been put in stasis for an entire year, waiting for this story to take place to further develop those relationships. This isn't how people actually work.
5. Why does anyone trust NickyD at all? I mean seriously everyone knows he's a fallen angel. Who would trust him? I certainly don't think the assembled baddies who were hired would have trusted NickyD enough to go on this venture.

Looking past these nitpicks I am extremely pleased with this book. I would have liked the book to be shorter, taking away some pre-bank vault scenes, but besides that it really was great.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Fury of the Demon

  • Kara Gillian, Book 6
  • By: Diana Rowland
  • Narrated by: Liv Anderson
  • Length: 20 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 845
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 780
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781

Demon summoner Kara Gillian bears the scars of Rhyzkahl’s treachery, but she refuses to let them slow her down. She and the demonic lord Mzatal have not rested in their efforts to recover Idris - Mzatal’s summoner protg who was kidnapped by enemy lords - but now their search has brought them back to Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This series gets better and better

  • By EternalBlue on 01-09-14

Fury of the Demon

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

Reviewed: 05-02-14

This book was more of the same as the previous books in the series: nothing a lot better and nothing a lot worse. If you want to hop into the series, do so earlier on. It's a solid series and I do recommend it. Instead of gushing why I enjoyed this book (and I need to insist that I did enjoy it net total) I'm going to list the handful of issues which I had with it.

Semi-spoilers below.
1. I would have liked a few more plot twists. I kept expecting betrayal from within as well as unexpected defenses from Starfire. In the end the good guys just won without anything going wrong/getting worse. It made the badass evil humans seem less competent, which kinda marginalized their coolness. I wanted Sunny, or Paul, or Bryce, or someone to betray the team just cause it would have made for a better ending. With the whole 'Can we trust Elan? Zane?' plotlines suggested at the beginning of the book I assumed that there was going to be some sort of betrayal later on, but it never happened.
2. I would have liked more of a mystery theme to the story. The reason why I was initially attracted to the series was because of the mystery, but it seems that in recent novels the author has turned away from the formula. I like to read mystery books where someone uses modern science with a spritz of magic to solve murders. I'm indifferent to the whole demon-realm sequences/demon-politic plotlines. In the recent "of the Demon" books these plotlines have been brought to the forefront at the expense of mystery. As I'm a mystery reader, this is a big turn off. Furthermore I'm a dude and not appreciative of the increasingly relevant romance components (I don't hate them, but frankly it's like we're tripping over Mizotl every two minutes). That's 2 strikes.
3. The author's voice is improving the more books I've read, but this is slightly offset by the fact that the books are growing. This book took me 20+ hours to listen too, which was too long. I got as much enjoyment out of this book as I would have expected from a 16 hour book, so it was kinda dull in spots for me. Again part of the problem here is that I feel disenfranchised, no longer being this series' target audience. If you are interested in a kickass female protagonist who consorts (in both senses of the word) with demons then this book should be right up your alley. If so that 20 hours might be action packed from top to toe.
4. Everything has a demon name, or weird sigil name, or whatever. It wasn't confusing so much as annoying: I didn't want to expend the effort to learn what everything means. Paiga was the worst offender, mainly because it's used what seems like once every five minutes. Also, wtf is Paiga-ing? Is it meditation, or calming magic? I think it's both, but I'm not quite sure. It happens all the time when the author could just say instead, "I forced myself to remain calm."
Also why does everything have a demon-name, except the demon-realm? Why doesn't Mizotl or the demons call it by it's real name? Is this oversight, or just inattention on my part?
5. Why didn't they just go to the demon realm and start summoning enemy summoners/ Ferush/Jerry/other enemy humans to "interview"? It seems like the most logical method for not only finding Idris but dismantling the enemy army. It was done previously in the series to great effect by Mizotl himself, so we know it can be done. As Kara herself is a summoner I'm surprised this solution didn't occur to her. Sure some of the baddies would be protected, but probably not Ferush. We know he wasn't wearing a magic-blocking anklet simply because he was able to read minds every time he was on screen. Just kidnap the guy and he would have crumbled.
6. So... Tracy? Was he just a kook? If so, how did he get info on Farush? Now that both Tracy and Farush is dead I fear we won't get any answers. Or perhaps inattention caused me to not notice the answer to this question either.

Ruling: I don't think this was worth my audible credit, but honesty it was close. I'm going to wait until future books are on sale before purchasing their e-paper copies. I only buy audiobooks when I am reasonably confident that I will want to listen to it again, and the way this series is going I don't think I can get more than one listen out of a single book.

Also: Would it kill the author to put in another gag-worthy morgue scene?! I mean seriously, I haven't vomited in months.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier

  • By: Myke Cole
  • Narrated by: Korey Jackson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 207
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 194

The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers - summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Overnight the rules changed...but not for everyone. Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. But after he develops magical powers, he is torn from everything he knows and thrown onto the front-lines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting and fast paced.

  • By Andrew on 03-04-13

Not great but solid

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

Reviewed: 04-16-14

I read the first book and it left me hopeful enough to try the second book. Unfortunately for me I was never a huge fan of the first book and this book was more of the same. I didn't like the characters in these books, but I felt that the prose and the plot made up for them to some extent.
I will not be following this series in the future because the characters didn't seize me/were too dense for my taste. Hopefully the author's characterization improves somewhat in the future because his prose is very good. I wanted to like the book simply because of the writing style, but that wasn't enough to carry it for me. I finished it, but was left wanting.
If you want a book with good writing, good fights, and mostly good story and plot this might just be the book for you.