LISTENER

John

  • 3
  • reviews
  • 127
  • helpful votes
  • 3
  • ratings
  • House of Suns

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,463
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,033
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,039

Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Cerebral, Banksian space opera

  • By Ryan on 06-20-14

Big ideas, poor delivery

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

Reviewed: 09-24-18

There’s a good story in this book, but we don’t really get it. The narrative suffers from inconsistent pacing and a plot that can’t seem to decide where it is going. 90% of the book is build-up without any payoff. Some unexplained things that the story spends a significant amount of time on are never mentioned again. The ending is tremendously anti-climactic. Is this a love story? A space opera? A sci-fi philosophical exploration? It seems to be trying to be all of these at once and the narrative suffers for it. It has some great ideas and there are some great moments. As always, John Lee does a fantastic job with the narration.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 198,486
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185,324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184,928

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

The Big Bang Theory of books

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

This isn’t a geek book. This is a book about geeks for people who aren’t geeks. The references say the right words, but there isn’t understanding behind them. It’s as if someone researched about these things and hadn’t ever actually experienced them. Consistently, key points about each game or reference are left out - for instance (minor spoiler) the character at one point talks about a strategy for winning a game, but doesn’t actually ever say what that strategy is. It’s entirely “trust me, it was cool.” That’s almost the entire book. The character refers to various swords as “+5 vorpal” without ever explaining in the slightest what that means in the mechanics of the game. Instances of this are in almost every scene, from the “zero-gravity dance floor” that doesn’t make any sense (how does one dance with no surface to push off of?) to the character reaching “99th level” in a matter of weeks and still somehow being way more powerful than the bad guys who have had far more time and resources. Geeks want to understand mechanics. Geeks want to dive into rule books. The characters in the book like to dive into rulebooks, but the book gives us almost no rules whatsoever. It’s the difference between speaking Chinese and saying random Chinese words - to a non-speaker, these are indistinguishable, but to someone who speaks Chinese one is gibberish. This book is written for non-speakers.

125 of 171 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow's Edge

  • Night Angel Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 20 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,627
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,726
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,749

Kylar Stern has rejected the assassin's life. The Godking's successful coup has left Kylar's master, Durzo, and his best friend, Logan, dead. He is starting over---new city, new friends, and new profession. But when he learns that Logan might actually be alive and in hiding, Kylar is faced with an agonizing choice: will he give up the way of shadows forever and live in peace with his new family, or will he risk everything by taking on the ultimate hit?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • more great action

  • By Charles on 11-30-09

Eh

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

Reviewed: 10-07-17

Wasn't the worst book I've read by a long shot, but also wasn't the best. The whole tedious first half of the book could have been avoided if the characters had talked to each other. Kylar is hopelessly over-dramatic, turning what kind of sandwich to eat for lunch into a painful moral struggle. There's way too much "one conversation sets into motion a complex series of manipulations incorporating information that the character couldn't possibly have known." Dorian at least has an excuse for being a walking plot device.

The second half was better. There was good action. Still waaay too much vivid description of breasts - it makes me wonder about Weeks's frame of mind when he was writing this. The battles were cool and well-described, and I appreciate that. It's hard to write a mass action sequence like that and have it make any sense. Kylar is powerful and cool, which I like in fluff fantasy books, but he invents new powers at a bit too convenient of a rate.

The magic and world continue to make zero sense, and I get the sense that there is a much more interesting and important story happening somewhere else that doesn't involve these characters. It's like The Lord of the Rings told from the perspective of some people in Bree who don't know anything about what is going on.

Overall, it's meh. There are parts that drag, parts that are exciting, characters that I liked, and characters that frustrated me.

Oh, and the narrator consistently mispronounces certain words, for instance "shown" as something like "shawn." That bugged me. He does it several times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful