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Nathan

London, Ontario Canada
  • 81
  • reviews
  • 205
  • helpful votes
  • 167
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  • Ghost Talkers

  • By: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 466

Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force. Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence. Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A very atmospheric, fast read!

  • By kara-karina on 09-04-16

Good Historical romance with supernatural element

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

Reviewed: 10-23-16

This is a historical fiction romance tale with a interesting supernatural element. While I don't typically read historical romance novels I found the premise and story entertaining.

Set during World War I, the British army have started a Spirit Corp, a group of mediums who have found a way for solders spirits to report in after dying on the battlefield to provide up to date military intelligence. Ginger, a medium discovers that the Germans, wishing to form their own Spirit Corp, have placed a spy in their midst.

The author has done a very good job blending an interesting supernatural idea into history. How the military would use such a spirit corp is well thought out, believable and she adds some interesting tactics. The setting is refreshing taking place during the first World War instead of the usual second. While I could guess where the premise was going, the eventual reveal did catch me by surprise.

The character and central romance is very well developed and described, this is the authors strong point While she handled social and racial ignorance of the time accurately, it sometimes felt a little too on the nose.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Quiet

  • The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
  • By: Susan Cain
  • Narrated by: Kathe Mazur
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,397

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Confidence booster for introverts their parents

  • By Neuron on 02-28-14

An introduction to introvertism

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

Reviewed: 10-02-16

This book covers how North American society is designed to favour and promote extrovertism, often ignoring or pressuring introverts not to be themselves. This is especially true in the education system, North American culture (Asia is more introvert friendly) and workplace. It does a very good job at showing the advantages an introvert can bring and if you're a parent, how you can identify with, encourage and help your introvert child feel less isolated while still being themselves.

Other than finding the sociological aspect interesting, as a confident introvert I personally didn't find anything new that isn't covered elsewhere and in more detail.

If your a student with introvertism or parent of an introvert child, teacher, or hiring manager I would recommend reading this book. It is a good introduction to anyone not familiar with the extrovert and introvert discussion.

  • Star Wars: Bloodline - New Republic

  • By: Claudia Gray
  • Narrated by: January LaVoy
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,939
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,914

From the New York Times best-selling author of Star Wars: Lost Stars comes a thrilling novel set in the years before the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Circ on 05-26-16

Political thriller & best book in the new cannon.

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

Reviewed: 09-23-16

We finally get to see a main character from Star Wars in the new Canon with a substantial role..

It been 20 years after the collapse of the Empire, and 5 years before The Force Awakens. The New Republic senate faces the same challenge from before, indecision, inaction and faction rivalry withhold affirm action. Senator Leia must fight to ensure the new generation doesn't repeating the mistakes of old. Meanwhile her family's dark secret risk being exposed and contaminating all the good work she's done.

This is a political book but the author knows how to put the 'thrill' in political thriller. Fills in a lot of the missing backstory and lore. Why Leia no longer uses the title Princess, the new political climate.

Unfortunately other familiar characters are only mentioned, one gets more attention near the end, their absence is noticeable. While understandable that they want to keep their history a mystery for now, sometimes it feels like their absence hinders what this book could have been. The ending also seems rushed, like they were trying tie up lose ends and setup the universe as an afterthought..

If you like Star Wars backstory, politics and lore this is worth a read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,859

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They create a computer using a 30 million man Army

  • By Josh P on 12-07-14

Read if you like ideas stories

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

Reviewed: 09-01-16

One of the few science fiction stories to come out of China, The Three body problem gives a hard sci-fi modern day telling of alien first contact, and how earth societies could react.

Trisolaris (Alpha Centauri) is an solar system with 3 stars. The author is imaginative in how this affects the planet, alien species and cultural development. Several human factions discouraged by our history of cultural persecution (like the Chinese cultural revolution) and lack of environmental stewardship are intent on helping prepare the earth to be conquered.

Science fiction stories dealing with advance technology cultures tend to over-utilize the "science appears as magic" trope. For example, if our nearest star system is 4 years away, it would take 4 years for a signal to reach there, another 4 years for a reply signal to get back, and many more years for any space ship to travel that distance. Instead of simply making up some alien tech to avoid this delay, the author embraces these limitation and find clever ways to incorporate them into the story.

Being a Chinese story (translated) I was hoping to see insight into Chinese culture and story telling. We are shown some characters persecuted during the Chinese cultural revolution of the 1960s, but not much difference in modern day from what we see in western literature.

This is an ideas story, characters are given enough personality to service the story's ideas. Details such as radio signals, society social and technical development are given in much detail. This level of detail will put many readers off. The story is also clearly a beginning of a trilogy and offers no satisfying ending other then making you eager to start the next book.

If you like slow ideas stories with intriguing plot and details, give it a read. If you need interesting characters and fast pace this probably isn't for you. Personally I liked it and eager to start the next.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Time of Contempt

  • The Witcher, Book 2
  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,034
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,709
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,694

Geralt is a witcher: guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need; a defender, in dark times, against some of the most frightening creatures of myth and legend. His task now is to protect Ciri. A child of prophecy, she will have the power to change the world for good or for ill - but only if she lives to use it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Steadily rising up my list of favorite series

  • By Joe Chad on 07-17-15

Best so far

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

Reviewed: 06-18-16

I'm writing this having read the next book in the series and currently the one after that.

This is my favourite book in the series so far as it is more action and eventful. We spend time in a relatively central position for most of the story and the inciting incident up close, personal, faster pace and first hand instead of the typical description narrative afterwards.

Politics and social intrigue play a large part of the story. Geralt finds himself in the middle of a power struggle. We get to get to see the rocky relationship of Geralt and Yennefer in a time when it works and understand why Geralt, who isn't suppose to have feelings, struggles so much with it.

The same writing style is present. We are spared no details on how the systems in the world work and can sometimes feel like a history textbook given the details. The female descriptions start to be more tame.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blood of Elves

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,933
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,916

For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf. Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great start to a Promising Series

  • By Joe Chad on 06-07-15

World immersion & character training

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

Reviewed: 06-18-16

I'm writing this review having read this and the next two books in the series, currently reading the fourth.

If you haven't read the previous short story collection you'll be fine but be warned this is not a action pack, high stakes thriller. This is a very slow, character driven tale where the enjoyment is taken from world building escapism. The author spares no expense in his descriptions and details creating a vibrant world and characters, at the expense of pacing. I'm not saying it's boring but if you're use to modern western fantasy stories, you may not enjoy the slow pace.

The first book reads as a training montage. The witcher Geralt brings the orphaned princess Ciri to the witcher's and is trained in the art of combat. Many jokes prevail as a female sorceress arrives and has to explain to the group of male warriors the particulars of female 'issues'. Without giving much away the story advances to magical training.

There is no particular incident or scene that stands out, and there isn't a concluding ending. The story essentially stops expecting you to pick up the next one in the series.

I recommend reading the first two short story collection first to get a feel of the writing style and pacing. If you enjoy those, like character driven stories that have a slow pace, immersing you in the world then give it a try. Remember if you want a satisfying ending you'll have to commit to the next few books as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Four Loves

  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: C. S. Lewis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,276
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 914
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912

 In this remarkable recording, C. S. Lewis shows why millions of readers have acclaimed him the greatest spokesman for Christianity in the 20th century. In a resonant, baritone voice, Lewis explores the nature of the four Greek words that are translated love in English: storge (affection), philia (friendship), eros (sexual or romantic love) and agape (selfless love).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful Views on Love

  • By William on 01-30-05

Short yet more insightful than most longer works

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

Reviewed: 05-24-16

I listened to this over a weekend.

In this short work he covers the four types of love: affection, friendship/companionship, romantic and charity. In his usual rational, clear and easy to follow way he goes over each clarifying their true nature, value, and the dangers to watch out for (natural isn't always right). It should go without say but this is Christian view but I think anyone will benefit from it.

This is one of those reads which everyone can relate to and will relate to different sections based on where they are in life. I tried to bookmark the insightful passages for later review but I practically ended up marking the whole chapter. I will definitely be rereading it in the future.

  • The Jungle Book I & II

  • By: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 508

Tales of Mowgli, the boy raised by animals in the exotic jungles of India; Rikkitikkitavi, a courageous young mongoose who battles the sinister black cobra Nag; Toomai, the boy who works with elephants; and more will delight listeners both young and old. These classic stories brim with adventure and thrills as the lively characters fend off ferocious tigers and deadly snakes, slip through the jungle to watch elephants dance, and seek refuge from dangerous hunters.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Contents

  • By Julia on 03-30-12

Charming collection of animal fables

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

Reviewed: 04-29-16

A collection of stories dealing mostly with the animals in the Indian Jungle, but a few others are mentioned as well, like seals. The author familiarity with the environment and many different types of animals shows and we are sucked into the animal kingdom.

Like good fables they hold moral lessons conveyed in clever anthropomorphic tales. Some of them deal with mature subject matter..

Don't be turned off if you've seen the classic animated movie. Only about two or three of the stories directly relate but you can see where it took the spirit and influences from. It even covers what happens to Mowgli next.

The second Jungle book has additional stories of mostly jungle animals. Except for the Mowgli stories I didn't find them as interesting and was missing the charm of the first book. Still it a good read especially to read tales from different cultural influence.

Read if you like fables and fairy tales with a different cultural influence (non-western)

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

  • By: Bram Stoker
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,604
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,631
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,645

The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well Read, Throughly Enjoyable!

  • By WickedGoodYarn on 03-11-12

Nice journey from where it all began

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

Reviewed: 04-09-16

Despite being an iconic character, I was surprised to realize how very little I knew about the character or the original story of Dracula. I don't read much in the horror genre but found it quite enjoyable. I wouldn't recommend reading certain chapters at night.

Like most classic (Frankenstein, The invisible man) Dracula is not the main or at least is never the point-of-view character. Dracula has decided to leave his home in Transylvania for England and we follow the lives of several different characters in 1800s who are affected by his arrival and dark endeavors. Either by being trapped in his haunted castle, ferrying him across the sea, witnessing the strange illness of a friend, and a patient in an asylum obsessed with eating spiders. They must come together to discover the source of these horrors and if possible defeat it.

Despite falling into 'the men must save the damsel' the author is very aware of this and calls attention to it. The main female character Mina is a strong character who plays a critical role, while staying authentic to the time.

I was hesitant about the narrative style, the story is told through various characters correspondence, memoirs and diaries but it works. The story also uses it to cleverly avoid repetition as it updates characters. The writing style is very literary.

If you like literary fiction (eloquent phrases), classics, or just tired of 'modern' vampires give it a read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sword of Destiny

  • By: Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,198
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,812
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,784

Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: His targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enter the Witcher

  • By David S. Mathew on 09-30-16

Surprised by the depth

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

Reviewed: 02-23-16

I was pleasantly surprised by the literary, emotional and character depth of the stories. This is not the typical action-pack, sword and sorcery you might expect from the games but a slow pace through a well developed world and interesting characters.

The book is a collection of stories and novellas in the style that can easily be considered modern fairy tale, but as one of the character points out these are more 'cruel and realistic' than typical western interpretations. It would often take tropes found in these tales and have fun or turn them around.

The stories are linked by the main character, a monster hunter (Witcher) Gerath of Rivera who struggles with emotions and morality, traits that 'should' have been trained and mutated out of him so he's unprepared on how to deal with them.

Like the main character I'm sick and tired of the 'destiny theme' which plays a big part in the last half of the book, should be obvious from the title. I'm not sure if it a product of the time it was written or being Polish but I did a lot of eye rolling as it describes every female 'feature'. Giving this book a adult content warning is an understatement.

Overall it was a refreshingly different fantasy read.