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C. Hartmann

D.C. & St. Croix
  • 69
  • reviews
  • 1,102
  • helpful votes
  • 766
  • ratings
  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,041
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,338

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

A great Deal of Fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

Reviewed: 04-05-19

Many people have mixed the sci-fi and detective genres to greater or lesser success. Scalzi does it as well as anyone. This is too short -- but other than that, it is just about perfect. And the narration was excellent !!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ancestral Night

  • By: Elizabeth Bear
  • Narrated by: Nneka Okoye
  • Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

Halmey Dz and her partner, Connla Kurucz, are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law...usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence - with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big - just once - to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Elizabeth Bear Novel!

  • By Lisa Davidson on 03-09-19

Wow ! Elizabeth Bear Sure Can Write !!!!!

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

Reviewed: 03-13-19

She is a HIGHLY awarded science fiction author (see below) but for some reason I have not connected with her works in the past. This one is a real revelation. The writing is tight and clever -- and the plot is fine sci-fi. There is a ship, a couple of great protagonists and a fun story. It all gets very meta at points....philosophy, human/machine linked memory, personal freedom and cats--BUT the performance is so VERY fine that it works out nicely.

Her bio from Wikipedia: " She won the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Short Story for "Tideline", and the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "Shoggoths in Bloom".[1] She is one of only five writers who have gone on to win multiple Hugo Awards for fiction after winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (the others being C. J. Cherryh, Orson Scott Card, Spider Robinson, and Ted Chiang)."

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Worldship Humility

  • By: R. R. Haywood
  • Narrated by: Colin Morgan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 651
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 618

It’s been 120 years since the 50 or so worldships containing the few million survivors of the human species set off after the planet Earth was destroyed by a meteor. On the Worldship Humility, Sam, a 30-year-old Airlock Operative, is bored. Living in space should be exciting and full of adventure, except it isn’t, and he fills his time hacking 3-D movie posters and holographic adverts outside the stores in the retail zone. Petty thief Yasmine Emile Dufont is also from the WS Humility, but she is not bored....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stupendous narration

  • By Anonymous User on 02-01-19

My 1st "6 Star" Rating in Two Years--fun, smart

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

Reviewed: 02-03-19

Some books are great because they introduce a new sub-genre. This book is about world ships leaving the Earth on a long, long voyage after a cataclysm--so it is not new ground. Some books are great because they touch us with their connection to the plot and characters that stirs deep feelings and thoughts. This is a good, fun plot and has engaging characters, but it will not move your interior world. And then there are the books which hit just the right combination of humor, dialogue, story and performance -- they just feel great. This is a longer book (14 hours) which manages to feel great even though it treads somewhat familiar ground. First, if you enjoy classic science-fiction, the author's insights and voice feel like going home to a well-liked and well-enjoyed place. Second, you will enjoy the characters. Third, while it presents a mystery, an exploration and surprises, it is not too sweet or too dark.

I would also like to note that this book was done to be performed. It is an Audible-Only book. The narrator is perfectly matched to the book -- and pulls off a performance that is almost worth the listen. While being very different, the perfect match between performance and story reminds me of Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton, or some of Charles Stross' earlier books.

49 of 51 people found this review helpful

  • Alias

  • By: Cari Hunter
  • Narrated by: Nicola Victoria Vincent
  • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

A car lies crashed below a Welsh mountain road. One of the young women inside it is dead, the other badly injured with no memory of who she is or what just happened. All she has is a bus pass showing her photograph and a name she doesn't recognize. As she struggles to recover from her injuries, a startling revelation shatters everything she thought she knew, forcing her into an uneasy alliance with Detective Bronwen Pryce. With danger closing in from all sides, the two women must work together to uncover the truth - even if it kills them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Her Best Yet - Highly Recommend

  • By C. Hartmann on 06-22-18

Her Best Yet - Highly Recommend

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

The raw power of the first books has been supplanted by clever, more sophisticated verbal gymnastics. I use the word "verbal" because this is a book that is best heard as a performance -- and Ms. Vincent is the perfect match. This is like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for me, in that I can't really imagine reading it (as opposed to listening to it being performed). The dialogue cascades at you in a wonderful, spontaneous way. (Note the use of the present tense, a tricky bit of business!) I tend to read hard sci-fi, police procedurals and historical biographies. About 5 times a year I stumble on something that compels me to do a review. This is such a book. Don't read it if you can't deal with a lesbian as the lead detective -- do read it (even if you are a older straight male like me) if you are a person who really enjoys a fast-moving, involving mystery with a Manchester/Wales backdrop and an insightful self-awareness that is as enjoyable as it is character-rich. There....an entire paragraph, and not one word about the plot -- which you will just have to read for yourself.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Blood Will Be Born

  • By: Gary Donnelly
  • Narrated by: Stephen Armstrong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

DI Owen Sheen vowed to his father never to return to Ireland. But years have passed, and Sheen needs answers to the questions he has surrounding his brother’s death. He is on loan from the Met under the belief he will be helping set up a new Historical Offences Team. On arrival to Ireland, plans change, and he finds himself partnered with newly promoted DC Aoife McCusker to work on her first appointed murder investigation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unexpectedly Great !!! New Irish Mystery Writer

  • By C. Hartmann on 06-03-18

Unexpectedly Great !!! New Irish Mystery Writer

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

I read technical science fiction (i.e. not fantasy), police procedurals (especially United Kingdom) and historical biographies. A friend told me I "had to" read this new book by freshman author Gary Donnelly -- I would just love it. But when I asked for details, I was less than enthusiastic--because when looking into Irish mysteries try to screen out IRA/The Troubles books and anything to do with the Catholic "laundries" (missing kids where the mystery leads back to abuses in the churches between 1940 and 1980.) Just Too Many. So when I found out it had a large sub-plot surrounding the IRA v. Loyalists (past and present) I sighed. But my friend was relentless. Even through the first two chapters I remained skeptical. But this book is mostly set in the present and turned out to be really good. The plot is intricate but not oblique, there is Irish darkness but not despair, and I really liked the two main characters -- despite the fact that they both (male and female) have their flaws. I would suggest this to you, and I hope there are more from Mr. Donnelly !

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Lyssa's Dream

  • The Sentience Wars - Origins, Book 1
  • By: James S. Aaron, M. D. Cooper
  • Narrated by: Laura Jennings
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Captain Andy Sykes just wants to keep his family in one piece. Once a combat pilot for the TSF, he gave it all up for love and a family. But two years ago, his wife disappeared, leaving him with two mouths to feed: eight-year-old Tim and 10-year-old Cara. Since then, he's managed to scrape a living hauling cargo between the Jovian Combine and InnerSol. When a cargo run to Cruithne Station meets with more than one catastrophe, Andy finds himself accepting an offer a less desperate man would refuse: delivering an illegal AI named Lyssa.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where is the 2nd Audible Book !?!?

  • By M. Haslip on 05-02-18

Excellent series: Increasingly sophisticated plots

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

This is a space-opera / military Sci-fi book with some family sub-issues. I write this having just completed the third book. When I read the first (Lyssa's Dream) I thought is was very well written and extremely well narrated -- but was not overwhelmed. The second book got much better. The third book is really wonderful. It is complex, the characters have been fleshed out, the relationships are intricate and the AI byplay is really sophisticated. I would recommend. Also, I now realize that the narrator is much more nuanced than I initially appreciated. A fun, interesting and engaging series ! Five and a half stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver

  • Middle Falls Time Travel series, Book 1
  • By: Shawn Inmon
  • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258

All Thomas Weaver wanted was death. What he got was time travel. Thomas Weaver, haunted by a teenage tragedy, lived a wasted life. He closed his eyes for what he believed was the last time in 2016, but opened them again in his teenage bedroom and body in 1976. Now a middle-aged man in his teenage body, he sets out to fix everything he did wrong in his first life. A budding serial killer in home room, a possible new romance, and high school algebra complicate his plans. What would you do, if you could do it all again?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Familiar Premise, but Superb !! Great Performance.

  • By C. Hartmann on 05-06-18

Familiar Premise, but Superb !! Great Performance.

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

Reviewed: 05-06-18

There are a lot of books in the time-travel sub-genre about going back to re-live part of one's early life. But there was something about the review I read that encouraged me to take a flyer and try this one. Now, I'd like to do the same for you. The principal character is intentionally problematic, but engaging. The secondary characters are interesting and emotionally engaging. The plot has many unexpected turns. There is a good deal of both thinking and excitement. The writing is well-constructed, well edited and full. And......the narration is REALLY good. Heller voices a number of semi-noir detective novels and his delivery is so unexpectedly spot-on that it is hard to believe. I don't know who selected him for this book -- I wouldn't have thought of it in a million years -- but it is genius. There are several other titles in the series, at least one of which is out in print (though not Audible yet.) I really look forward to more from this author !

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Quantum Space

  • Quantum Series, Book 1
  • By: Douglas Phillips
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323

High above the windswept plains of Kazakhstan, three astronauts on board a Russian Soyuz capsule begin their reentry. A strange shimmer in the atmosphere, a blinding flash of light, and the capsule vanishes in a blink as though it never existed. Daniel Rice is a government science investigator. Marie Kendrick is a NASA operations analyst. Together, they must track down the cause of the most bizarre event in the history of human spaceflight. They draw on scientific strengths as they plunge into the strange world of quantum physics.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • starts like a thriller, goes to wacky land

  • By Ocean State Prime on 04-23-18

Great - Hard Science

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

Reviewed: 04-02-18

"The Martian" is a procedural book about engineering -- set in the near future. It is fairly "hard" engineering. Not a lot of extras. Quantum Space is similar, it is a definitely "hard" nuclear physics story set in the very near future. I enjoyed it greatly -- and the somewhat reserved nature of the narration added to the overall effect of being a fly on the wall as scientists think about a problem. Based on the author's comments at the end, the physics are fair in the sense that although it is an imagined extrapolation, up to the point it departs from the present understanding, it is correct. He also states that it will be part of a series -- which is good.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • A Line of Provenance

  • By: Juliet Cromwell
  • Narrated by: Cathy Conneff
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

Crushed by the betrayal of her husband and best friend, DCI Logan is forced to put her private life on hold while she investigates the remains of an unknown murder victim, buried 25 years earlier. With her new DC, Tristan Fry, who has joined the police force for all the wrong reasons, her enquiries soon lead her to Maggi Drew's door. Maggi, a scrub nurse, readily admits to burying the body along with her partner, Norah, a virtuoso oboist, and their best friend, Jonny, an A+E nurse, though she will not reveal the body's identity until Logan has heard her account of the murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Six Stars British Police Procedural-Great Narrator

  • By C. Hartmann on 03-31-18

Six Stars British Police Procedural-Great Narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-31-18

I generally like complex, hard science-fiction or historical biography. However, I stray into police procedurals occasionally. This book was fresh and, to be honest, startled me. On the surface it begins like many such investigations -- but the level of complexity in the story, and the almost piercing emotional heft make it unusual and a cleverly-textured surprise. To discuss the plot would give too much away. I can recommend this book, and also the narrator -- who seems to be both in the author's head in in the reader's

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Drysine Legacy

  • Spiral Wars, Book 2
  • By: Joel Shepherd
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,248
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,165

The legendary battle-carrier UFS Phoenix is on the run in Outer Neutral Space. Lieutenant Commander Erik Debogande and Major Trace Thakur are determined to use neutral territory to broker a peace between humanity's warring factions, away from Fleet's strong arm. But as machinations in Fleet Command send a legendary warrior from Trace's past on a sworn path to kill her, there arises in the territory of an insectoid foe an ancient enemy from the nightmares of Spiral history, bent on Phoenix's destruction….

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Book 2 in Excellent Space Opera / Military Sci-Fi

  • By C. Hartmann on 10-17-17

Book 2 in Excellent Space Opera / Military Sci-Fi

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

Reviewed: 10-17-17

I always figure that if you are reading a review of Book 2 in a series that you liked the first book, and want to know if the series stays vibrant or just fades away in repetition. I am now on the 4th in the series, and it is improving as it goes.

My review of Book 1 stated "Military space opera with a pretty standard lead in -- junior command officer has to take over valiant ship and fight his way out of big trouble. A slightly slow start but oddly akin to the beginning of Hamilton's Void. I was totally unprepared for this being so much fun. Don't read it for the new ideas, read it because it is well done. The dialogue, pacing and characters are just that.... a lot of fun. I really hope that this is the first in a series." In Books 2-3, the "ideas" begin to become more sophisticated -- so I am modifying that critique. It is not Revelation Space or the Void yet -- but it is inching up on those world-building masterpieces.

Book Two also starts a bit slow (with necessary political background) but like Book 1, builds steadily to an overwhelming, astounding conclusion. The characters mature and become more fleshed out, the narrative becomes more complex, the narration remains perfect -- and the ships and battles are great. I really believe that if you liked the first book, you should keep reading. Can't really get a better review than that !

3 of 3 people found this review helpful