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Horus Rising audiobook cover art

Insanely epic

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

Reviewed: 06-30-19

It's a lot more compelling than you might assume. There is over the top sci-fi action but also gripping characters, ideas, and story.
The narration is some of the best I've heard and adds a ton of gravitas to the book. The narrator's voice suits the book quite well and has come to define this series for me.
The main characters are a bunch of fascistic conquering space imperials so it's a bunch of anti-heroes taking centre stage. Yet the cracks and doubts that appear in their crusade and worldview make it interesting. There is much heavy handed emphasis on honour and glory, but you see how that leads them astray as the book progresses and how it could become their undoing.
It's one of those books that is actually kind of depressing the more you think about it but I couldn't stop listening. The world-building sets up the tragedy and ultra violence of this universe really well. I somehow ended up really liking it and would recommend to anyone who likes this genre, especially if you appreciate a grimdark tone. To my knowledge these books and this story universe is where the term "grimdark" originally came from, so that basically sums up the kind of book it is. For that type of book, it is excellent.

The Indignities of Being a Woman audiobook cover art

.....well then. Discovered extent of my ignorance.

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

Reviewed: 05-29-19

Prior to this I vaguely understood women face more discrimination and challenges, but after listening I see just how much I never understood and unconsciously had the privilege of never having to think through.
Progress towards unbiased equality is much more recent, much less permanent, and much less to the extent I had assumed existed. Also as events of recent years indicate it's much more under threat than I wanted to believe.

The detailed descriptions of historical and more modern indignities as far as absurd expectations and pressures placed on women by men in multiple areas of life were shocking and scary. Even more so when compared to the double standards of what men were historically (and still are) allowed to get away with despite the many restrictions and expectations on women in the same areas. I knew in a vague way things were unfair, but yeah......it's way beyond just unfair!!

It's worth a listen. The narrators are articulate and easy to listen to and their heavy amount of cynical humour helps. They've also got great chemistry and are passionate about what they're talking about. It's not a boring recitation of historical facts. It feels weird to say I liked it because it's not "fun" to hear about the ongoing and past awfulness but the content was clearly well researched and is presented in a clear and compelling way. I am left wanting to learn more and make sure I'm not assuming I understand gender stuff when I know I don't. There is much to think about and act on.
Audible should clearly give Merrill Markoe and Megan Koester a raise and have them make more content :)

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Proven Guilty audiobook cover art

What is there to say?

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

Reviewed: 05-20-19

What is there to say? If you're here at book 8 of this series you are most likely already going to get it. Definitely do continue! It's worth it. If you haven't started yet, do yourself a favour and go back and give "Storm Front" a listen. The series keeps getting better as it continues, the potentially wobbly things about the first couple books are gone by this point, and it's just a solidly great time to be drawn into these characters and stories.This is a particular favourite. Harry clashes with the White Council and the Merlin in particular. I think a valid comparison could be if a Jedi actually recognized the problems with the Jedi Council's bureaucratic ways and how they were not enough for meeting the challenges of the current times and actively tried to correct that and find loopholes and find justice in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty audiobook cover art

great!

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

Reviewed: 05-20-19

It's a great little story. I got it based on the movie and wasn't disappointed. Very relatable if you tend to daydream for escaping life. I finally found something fitting the "poignant" descriptor. It's very poignant!

Pathfinder Tales: Pirate's Prophecy audiobook cover art

satisfying pirate book

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

Reviewed: 05-20-19

It's a nice finale for the previous two books in the series and largely able to stand on it's own aside from that. There is a new narrator from the previous two books, which I initially disliked, but eventually appreciated how Steve West brings his own talents and I'd listen to him read a book again. The sea battles were a great time and all the good stuff about the characters and crew was back in full swing. I haven't yet been able to try Pathfinder in a tabletop setting but based on time in D&D it felt like the magic had all the rules and limitations the tabletop game would. Although characters, creatures, and magic were challenging nothing felt unreasonably overpowered. It's nothing especially deep story wise but it's a genuine easy fun listen and not superficial or dumb.

Space Knight, Book 2 audiobook cover art

More of everything, mostly better but not always

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

Reviewed: 05-20-19

It has more about what was good about the first book, but also the stuff that was a little cringey is kicked up a notch. The main character is attracted to the 3 most gorgeous women on the ship (also seemingly the only women aside from the commander) and they all kinda like him too, and oh what will he do! It's such a difficult situation for the poor guy!! Bleh. Much mention is made of their various tight outfits, and it's so distracting for our poor hero! Oh no! *gag* . We get to see the women hold their own in a fight which I guess is supposed to be equally significant but as characters they're fairly obviously meant as eye candy for our main dude.

Also, the main character is seriously overpowered. I get that he is a badass, but come on!! It felt like there were little to no consequences or stakes for the hordes of enemies he wades through, which after awhile makes it hard to care. He has seemingly no flaws, which becomes boring. The action scenes were still great, and the one berserker guy especially is still awesome. He gets a bit of backstory, which was nice. We get to see him and the other knights in action again which was a fun ride. The overall backstory is stepped up and layers of interest and intrigue are added as far as the crew's secret mission. It's mostly enjoyable but even if audible has the 3rd book this is where I'd stop.

Space Knight audiobook cover art

Surprisingly fun. Narration elevates it.

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

Reviewed: 05-20-19

Space Knight is an enjoyable ride. Hooray for the simple pleasures of space ship combat, desperate hand to hand battle against hordes of aliens, and magic enhanced sci-fi weaponry and armour. It was the first LitRPG for me and I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly drawn into it. So it's a good jumping on point for trying LitRPGs.

The LitRPG elements were surprisingly fun. The main character comes across various items of gear and it's weirdly enjoyable to vicariously experience his excitement at comparing their statistics, whether he can use them, and coming up with different fighting techniques based on what he finds. You see his weapons and fighting style choices play out in action scenes later. The action scenes are the main strength of the book. There are detailed and well described scenes of space and ground fighting that are suspenseful, intense, and thrilling.

The action is the reason to spend a credit on this. The story and characters serve the action, in my opinion. The story is pretty straightforward but has enough twists to hold your attention. The characters are basic but not boring. The way Nick Podehl reads them is the best example of narration I think I've ever heard. His reading elevates what could otherwise be pretty straightforward people and adds a lot of life that enhances the whole experience.

Master & Apprentice (Star Wars) audiobook cover art

good, better than expected, more than just filler

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

Reviewed: 04-23-19

-It's satisfying on it's own merits! I was half expecting this to be dull padding content leading up to the prequels. It starts moderately uninteresting but gets increasingly better the further you go.

-The characters are written well enough to make the story have impact. The pace of things starts slow but picks up increasingly as the plot unfolds. Planetary and galactic politics are central to the story but don't let that convince you it's boring, because it's written with enough drama and action to be compelling :)

-Spending more time with the relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is good for the most part. There were a couple weak moments in conflicts and misunderstandings between them that didn't land for me as making sense, but luckily they are overshadowed by other things to enjoy.

-I like how it builds up the way politics and bureaucracy have caused the Jedi Council to lose it's true calling. The way it's become a police force for the Republic instead of a spiritual organization is nicely contrasted with Qui-Gon's efforts to connect more deeply with the Force and act morally despite political duties. That whole dynamic is done really well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Uncanny Collateral audiobook cover art

Don't pass this by!!

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

I didn't know I needed this! All of a sudden it was over. Please kind internet strangers, support it so we can have book 2!

It's a strong urban fantasy. The rules and structure of the world are quickly and efficiently set up and right away you get a sense for who the lead character is and what his struggles are. Same for his companion. The writing does a good job showing instead of telling. Alek has an interesting non-detective, non-private investigator, non-shop owner job that nicely sets up enjoyable plot and character dynamics and feels unique. This is a fast paced book and provides many interesting background details about the characters and world that are satisfying as they are but intriguing enough to hope they'll be explored further in future books.

Luke Daniels does more with the character voices than I've heard elsewhere. Initially it was annoying but that didn't last and I quickly came to appreciate his ability to voice each character in such a distinct way. For me it was on par with James Marsters read of the Dresden Files audiobooks.

It is a complete feeling story. Saying "all of a sudden it was over" above was because I liked it enough to wish it were longer, but there is a nice arc that ends in a satisfying way. I can't wait to see what happens next to Alek and Maggie.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Star Wars Episode II audiobook cover art

adds impact and sense of consequence

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

Reviewed: 04-11-19

Like others have said it takes things from the movie that feel overly sentimental, cheesy, awkward, and uncomfortable and turns them around to feel impactful, consequential, and even enjoyable. The romance between Anakin and Padme actually felt real and made some sense in this.
The book allows a more interesting presentation of the character of Anakin. It's an opportunity to see the character without having it be filtered through the actor's take on him in the movie.