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Robert

Mississauga, ON, Canada
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 48
  • ratings
  • The Legacy

  • The Darkness Within Saga, Book 1
  • By: JD Franx
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,446
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357

DeathWizards have been the scourge of Talohna for over 5000 years; they are executed at birth or hunted to the death. There are no exceptions. Pulled by magic and blood sacrifice into a world he can't possibly begin to understand, Kael Symes soon finds himself the focus of a Talohna-wide manhunt. Desperate and trying to stay ahead of ArchWizard Giddeon Zirakus's execution squad, Kael soon discovers that Talohna's ArchWizard may be the least of his worries.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting take on Multiverse Fantasy

  • By Sailfish on 04-21-18

Gave up after a few hours

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

The narration is good but the writing is abysmal. The character development is done very poorly, and uses way too many clichés. Concepts, like traveling between worlds are introduced as being enormously difficult, but not much of a problem for anyone it seems. I got 2 hours in and that took some effort and I think that is the heart of the problem. In that time I got so many different ideas and characters rushed at me that I never got to enjoy or get comfortable with any one of them.

I see by the average rating that this puts me in the minority, so please keep that in mind; it just did absolutely nothing for me

  • Age of Assassins

  • By: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150

Girton Club-foot has no family and a crippled leg and is apprenticed to the best assassin in the land. He's learning the art of taking lives, but his latest mission tasks him with a far more difficult challenge - to save a life. Someone is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince's murder. Age of Assassins is the first in an epic new trilogy set in a world ravaged by magic, featuring a cast of assassins, knights, ambitious noblemen, and fools.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really immersive listen!

  • By superstardrifter on 10-03-17

Creative, engaging and very well performed.

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

First of a little note to audible: this is a series of 3 books and they should be linked that way. Small oversight but I mention it because I did end up listening to all 3 and am far to lazy to review them all. They are definitely not stand alone books though and a large part of the power of these books lies in the personal transformation the characters go through in the saga as a whole.
I enjoyed these books a lot. Barker creates a bleak world, ruled by class structures and religions in which magic and sorcery is seen as the cause of much of its downfall. Of course the main character, Girton, whose story is told using first person narrative, also has magic ability and is both a jester and a fine assassin. Although he is handicapt by a club foot, Barker does not make the mistake of making this about Girton overcoming such misfortune, something I was afraid would happen when I read summaries of the story, but the perception of people he comes into contact with does play a role. Barker does a very good job fleshing out characters, is strong in her ability to describe scenes of battle and moves through the story at a nice pace.

As far as narration is concerned, Jameson is one of the true masters out there and he does an incredible job here as well.

  • Galaxy's Edge

  • By: Jason Anspach, Nick Cole
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,236
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,703
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,686

On the edge of the galaxy, a diplomatic mission to an alien planet takes a turn when the Legionnaires, an elite special fighting force, find themselves ambushed and stranded behind enemy lines. They struggle to survive under siege, waiting on a rescue that might never come. In the seedy starport of Ackabar, a young girl searches the crime-ridden gutters to avenge her father's murder; not far away, a double-dealing legionniare-turned-smuggler hunts an epic payday; and somewhere along the outer galaxy, a mysterious bounty hunter lies in wait.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • bit of a disconnect between parts

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-10-18

Good narration wasted on bad writing

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

Basically, this book is simply only an endless scene of hopeless battle with the equally endless series of clichés. The characters are incredibly flat and the writing is of a level that just leaves me wondering who in their right mind thought that this was worth publishing. I bought it for the narrator. Bray is very good, but narration and good production can't save writing this bad. There is more that one book/story here but an hour into the second one I simply gave up.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • The Naturalist

  • The Naturalist, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Mayne
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,582
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,197
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,186

Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop. As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic! I loved this book!!

  • By shelley on 10-02-17

Neat concept but painful

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

Mayne is not really a bad writer but you have to be in to first person narrative stories where the author never stops yammering about his feelings and insecurities. I am not so the book simply didn't do anything for me. The narration is fine; the story isn't even bad but the character development achieved here mainly through endless insights into how the character feels with a heaping serving of both guilt and intellectual infallibility is simply painful. Ended up skipping through large parts because it got too much for me.

  • Commune

  • Commune, Book 1
  • By: Joshua Gayou
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,774
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,539
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,524

For dinosaurs, it was a big rock. For humans: Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). When the Earth is hit by the greatest CME in recorded history (several times larger than the Carrington Event of 1859), the combined societies of the planet's most developed nations struggle to adapt to a life thrust back into the Dark Ages. In the United States, the military scrambles to speed the nation's recovery on multiple fronts including putting down riots, establishing relief camps, delivering medical aid, and bringing communication and travel back on line. Just as a real foothold is established in retaking the skies (utilizing existing commercial aircraft supplemented by military resources and ground control systems), a mysterious virus takes hold of the population, spreading globally over the very flight routes that the survivors fought so hard to rebuild.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • RC Bray as Hispanic Woman - Just Wow!

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 05-03-18

Brilliant narration, good narrative

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

I rate this book high even though the first thing that comes to mind is that the writer really didn't bother much with original concepts. Post apocalyptic world and a community gets rebuild. It has all been done, with some very good result ("the Stand" and "Lucifer's Hammer" come to mind as 2 books I enjoyed a lot) . But it is done seriously well here. I listened to both books in the series that are out on Audible and I think the main strength of the author is that he manages to take you through a whole range of emotions and doesn't over dramatize the despair. There are a lot of violent scenes and he describes them well.
The characters are well developed and using first person narrative on each of them is a technique that works well here.
The narrator is simply brilliant - great voice and an outstanding reader. I will look for him in other books.

  • The Godling Chronicles Omnibus

  • Books 1-3
  • By: Brian D. Anderson
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 35 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,939
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,948

Darkness comes as a new power rises in Angrääl. The Dark Knight has betrayed the gods and stolen The Sword of Truth, trapping them in heaven. With the power of the Sword, he can reshape the world and bring death to all who oppose him. Only one thing stands between the darkness and the light - Gewey Stedding. Only he has the power to stand against the oncoming storm. Only he can mend the world. But only if he can discover his power.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lower your standards if you plan to read this.

  • By Matthew on 10-19-16

The narration couldn't save this

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

One of the best narrators out there is totally wasted on this. The biggest problem with the book is simply that it constantly repeats itself - introduce a new character who is an old friend and you can reliably count on an act of betrayal, everyone gets abducted at least once, every safe space is instantly compromised etc, etc. By the time I got through the first couple of chapters of book three I simply gave up. It all got far too predictable.

It would probably be a good idea for the writer to also learn to flesh out the idea of evil a bit. At times he gives hints that he has the ability to look at motivation; human/elves relationships are far more interestingly described than the dark knight for instance. The latter is just really, really evil as are his minions and after 2 books we still have no idea why - just born that way? He is about the only character that doesn't get abducted though but I may be wrong in that; I never did finish book 3...

On the bright side, and the reason it gets 2 stars instead of the minimum, the narration, production and the value for such an omnibus are all very good. Often an omnibus is a good way chance to take a chance on an author and note that there seem to be many that did enjoy the series.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Battle Mage

  • By: Peter A. Flannery
  • Narrated by: RD Watson
  • Length: 34 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,905
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,567
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,557

The world is falling to the burning shadow of the Possessed and only the power of a battle mage can save it. But the ancient bond with dragonkind is failing. Of those that answer a summoning too many are black. Black dragons are the enemy of humankind. Black dragons are mad. Falco Dante is a weakling in a world of warriors, but worse than this, he is the son of a madman. Driven by grief, Falco makes a decision that will drive him to the brink of despair. As he tries to come to terms with his actions Falco follows his friends to the Academy of War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • loved it.

  • By Chiron on 01-05-18

Brilliant narration and very good writing.

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

Audible suggested this book to me as a "based on your previous purchases" thing several times before they actual got me to bite. The reason is simple. To me, when I read it is about magi and dragons, I immediately think that this is probably a book that used every cliché of fantasy fiction and lacked any creativity.
Well, you can add demons and benevolent queens to that list and yup, I was right.
And yet I truly enjoyed listening to it mainly because although there is very little here that is all that creatively original it is written with tremendous skill. The character development, the pace of the story, the dialog - it is all simply very well done.

Not sure how much of my enjoyment should be attributed to the writer because I also have to say that RD Watson could narrated a phone book and make it work. He is simply that good!

Overal though, a great listening experience and a very good use of a credit.

  • The White Mage Omnibus: Books 1-3

  • By: Ben Hale
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 32 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,457
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,229

The Last Oracle, book one: Forced into hiding, the mages of Lumineia have been forgotten. In their absence the world has become known by another name: Earth. The humans have flourished with time, unaware that The Last Oracle is destined to unite them. At her touch magic will be unbound and known again as truth. But an ancient war harbors a deadly secret. Draeken, the Lord of Chaos, had a second apprentice, one who became trapped with the defeated fiends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW

  • By Corey Wicks on 10-30-15

A well crafted saga, very well narrated.

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

Let me start by saying that purchasing this was a bit of an accident; only after I added it to my library did I see all the references suggesting this was aimed at young adults and should have been marked as such. I am way past that and didn't hold out much hope but things turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Ben Hale is simply a very good story teller. His characters are, despite their magical abilities, recognizable and easy to identify with and the books have great pace.

To round things off, Derek Perkins is easily one of the very best narrators out there and the reason I ended up looking at the book to begin with. The job he does here is once again superb.

A further note should be that you are getting 3 books here for one credit!

  • Free the Darkness

  • King's Dark Tidings, Book 1
  • By: Kel Kade
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 16 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,569
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,975

Raised and trained in seclusion at a secret fortress on the edge of the northern wilds of the Kingdom of Ashai, a young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows. With no understanding of his life’s purpose and armed with masterful weapons mysteriously bestowed upon him by a dead king, Rezkin must travel across Ashai to find the one man who may hold the clues to his very existence.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • What the heck people?

  • By Mbot on 03-12-17

The makings of a good fantasy series but

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

Reviewed: 01-23-18

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it is well crafted and extremely well narrated. Yes, the hero has abilities somewhere north of superman but I don't mind that and at times the naivety he has from his isolated upbringing sets up situations that are cute and funny. My one big warning about the book would be that you are in for a writer who seems to have an odd view of women. Virtually all of his female characters are emotionally insecure, jealous, petulant and smitten with Reskin to a point that after a while gets a bit irritating.
Lots of good action and there seems to be a decent story developing so I picked up the rest of the series anyways.
I will definitely try listening to other books by the same narrator.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Far from the Tree

  • Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
  • By: Andrew Solomon
  • Narrated by: Andrew Solomon
  • Length: 40 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,156
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001

A brilliant and utterly original thinker, Andrew Solomon's journey began from his experience of being the gay child of straight parents. He wondered how other families accommodate children who have a variety of differences: families of people who are deaf, who are dwarfs, who have Down syndrome, who have autism, who have schizophrenia, who have multiple severe disabilities, who are prodigies, who commit crimes, who are transgender.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Gripping Masterpiece

  • By C. Beaton on 12-14-12

An incredibly well written and researched book

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

Reviewed: 03-03-15

Andrew Solomon is the kind of non-fiction writer that is extremely rare these days. He does not set out to force his opinions down your throat nor preach simplified solutions to complex problems. He simply describes the worlds that people with what he refers to as horizontal identities have to deal with and how this world affect those around them. While doing so he devotes chapters to various groups of such identities. A horizontal identity here refers to one not passed down from the parent and can be a physical issues such as deafness, dwarfism, downs syndrome or a social one like criminality. He goes into transgender issues and schizophrenia and you feel listening to it that each of these chapters could have been a book in itself.
The strength of the book is his ability to relate the stories behind the issues; he has an amazing gift for making the people real and through listening to him you really do share in their struggles and triumphs. He rarely judges them but describes many of the ethical issues parents in particular have to deal with.
I would highly recommend this book.