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  • Defiance

  • The Spiral Wars, Book 4
  • By: Joel Shepherd
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 16 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 615
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 579
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573

The UFS Phoenix is hunting for the long-lost drysine data-core. Within it lie the secrets to saving humanity from the resurgent deepynine machine-race. To recover it, Captain Erik Debogande must work together with the man who holds his sister hostage - the power-hungry parren leader Aristan. Aristan has sworn he will return Lisbeth Debogande once Phoenix grants him equal access to its prize.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Drifting further from humanity and back in time

  • By Michael G Kurilla on 10-28-17

Strong showing in this excellent series

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

Reviewed: 10-31-17

Though I do enjoy its better practitioners, I'm not a superfan of military sci-fi. But the Spiral Wars series is about as good as this sub-genre gets. Of course, John Lee is a superb reader, making even the characters' names sound mellifluous, and he is consistently great across the entire series to date.

What I find most interesting is that despite some "genre-y" elements - for example, much detail on the aspects of ship leadership and its rather heroic practitioners - for the most part, Shepherd keeps these veering away from cliches, or if he goes there, it's earned and appealing when he does.

The most badass Marine captain (you never learn how to spell names in audiobooks!) comes from a place where the most effective fighters build their strength via deep meditation and obsessive discipline that makes her not JUST a badass, but a pretty interesting human character as well...a sort of elite Zen killing machine but also raised with an ethic that makes lying nearly impossible, and makes trust in her actions unquestionable. Alien species are political and interesting, and a lot of the tension in the books is political and interesting - these are the subtleties that set it apart from the more tedious aspects and growling testosterone of the genre. It's got interesting diplomacy and failures of diplomacy that are often as exciting as the battle scenes.

But: This volume in the series unfolds like one gigantic battle, with incredibly complex alliances, and was so tense that I was forced to binge listen over a weekend. I could not stop listening. So genre or no, this is a great read.

The series would also make for great cinema, and this book really amps up the sweeping scope that has been building over the first few outings of the series. There definitely seems to be room to keep going in and I hope that happens. Soon, please, Mr Shepherd?

Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Jungle

  • By: Upton Sinclair
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 869
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 871

The Jungle is the story of Jurgis Rudkus, a Slavic immigrant who marries frail Ona Lukoszaite and seeks security and happiness as a workman in the Chicago stockyards. Once there, he is abused by foremen, his meager savings are filched by real estate sharks, and at every turn he is plagued by the misfortunes arising from poverty, poor working conditions, and disease. Finally, in accordance with Sinclair’s own creed, Rudkus turns to socialism as a way out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Real. Revolutionary. Powerful.

  • By Holly on 09-17-15

Same As It Ever Was

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

Reviewed: 10-08-17

What is life like for the common laborer in America when Big Business owns the politicians, the police, the judges and the union leaders?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • David Copperfield [Audible]

  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 36 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,036
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,903
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,886

Between his work on the 2014 Audible Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, and his performance of Classic Love Poems, narrator Richard Armitage ( The Hobbit, Hannibal) has quickly become a listener favorite. Now, in this defining performance of Charles Dickens' classic David Copperfield, Armitage lends his unique voice and interpretation, truly inhabiting each character and bringing real energy to the life of one of Dickens' most famous characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A PERFECT narration of an English classic!

  • By Wayne on 09-03-17

Dickens and Armitage: two masters

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

Reviewed: 03-28-17

A better reading experience cannot be conceived. Every nuance and shade of meaning in Dickens words is conveyed by Armitage, who pulls out all the stops when it comes to creating characters through their voices.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Set the Boy Free

  • The Autobiography
  • By: Johnny Marr
  • Narrated by: Johnny Marr
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 236
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 235

An artist who helped define a period in popular culture, Johnny Marr tells his story in a memoir as vivid and arresting as his music. The Smiths, the band with the signature sound he cofounded, remains one of the most beloved bands ever and have had a profound influence on a number of acts that followed - from the Stone Roses, Suede, Blur, and Radiohead to Oasis, The Libertines, and Arctic Monkeys.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best autobiography I've ever read!

  • By Lulu P. on 01-24-17

If you're a fan, a good read

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

Reviewed: 11-19-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you're a fan of Johnny Marr, guitar playing in general, or how an artist integrates influences, this is a worthy read that gives a good solid glimpse of Johnny Marr's world view. Lots of celebrity stories, but you can hear how the man tries hard to overcome hero and celebrity worship. Also, just how much his relentless pursuit of avoiding complacency, personally, artistically, and as a person. I've always suspected JM is a difficult man to work with. He may be. But his passion for music, for the guitar, pushing his own boundaries and taking risks, and his wide open ears across a huge range of pop sub-genres...well, he's had a very cool life so far. Oh, and see his solo band live if you can, too.

What did you like best about this story?

While it doesn't really convey, one feels, all the nuances of events like his separation from The Smiths, it definitely does give you a feel for how these events impacted him, personally and artistically. An enjoyable read with a dark and compelling wit that belies the seriousness of his pursuits and lightens up that impression you might have that his music is mired in misery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Nightmare Stacks

  • Laundry Files, Book 7
  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
  • Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 665

After stumbling upon the algorithm that turned him and his fellow merchant bankers into vampires, Alex Schwartz was drafted by The Laundry, Britain's secret counter-occult agency that's humanity's first line of defense against the forces of darkness. Dependent on his new employers for his continued existence - as Alex has no stomach for predatory bloodsucking - he has little choice but to accept his new role as an operative in training.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Back on Track!

  • By Michael on 06-30-16

I miss Bob and Moe, but still a great series

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

Reviewed: 07-17-16

What did you love best about The Nightmare Stacks?

This is an unassuming series of Lovecraftian homage, but with great wit, lots of geeky inside jokes, self-referential jokes that don't require you've read the series in order, but definitely reward the behavior. Topped off with one of Audible's greatest readers - whose voice is just perfect for the series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Nightmare Stacks?

Only one mention of Angleton, but every time Gideon Emery pronounces that name it makes me smile.

Have you listened to any of Gideon Emery’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

All in this series, and he is the perfect voice for The Laundry Files. He nails that sardonic tone perfectly.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Ran it in 2 days! A page turner. Or, uh, on button tweaker. Or whatever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Defiles

  • A Land Fit for Heroes, Book 3
  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 24 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 390
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 391

Ringil Eskiath, a reluctant hero viewed as a corrupt degenerate by the very people who demand his help, has traveled far in search of the Illwrack Changeling, a deathless human sorcerer-warrior raised by the bloodthirsty Aldrain, former rulers of the world. Separated from his companions - Egar the Dragonbane and Archeth - Ringil risks his soul to master a deadly magic that alone can challenge the might of the Changeling.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • …..NC-17 Sword and Sorcery…..

  • By Doug D. Eigsti on 12-12-14

Great book, great reader

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

Reviewed: 05-09-15

Trilogy ends here with the strongest of the series, and Simon Vance is an Audible rockstar, bringing the book to life.

  • The Rhesus Chart

  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 832
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 758
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760

As a newly appointed junior manager within the Laundry - the clandestine organization responsible for protecting Britain against supernatural threats - Bob Howard is expected to show some initiative to help the agency battle the forces of darkness. But shining a light on things best left in the shadows is the last thing Bob wants to do - especially when those shadows hide an occult parasite spreading a deadly virus. Traders employed by a merchant bank in London are showing signs of infection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I just plain loved this book

  • By Angus on 07-23-14

I just plain loved this book

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

Reviewed: 07-23-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Rhesus Chart to be better than the print version?

Gideon Emery's performance is a major component of the book and it is a bit hard to imagine the book being quite as enjoyable on paper without him.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rhesus Chart?

The book is among the funniest of the Laundry Files series, and very well plotted. For a funny book, however, the ending is surprisingly affecting, deep, and serious. In the best possible way, I mean.

What does Gideon Emery bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Every time Mr. Emery pronounces the name "Angleton" I can't suppress a smile. He is the perfect reader for this series.

Any additional comments?

I wouldn't recommend starting the series with this book, but it is probably my favorite so far. The comedy is refined and funny, but the ending kicks like a mule and left me in a kind of stunned silence for a good half hour. The ending was earned with every word on the way out though...and I appreciate a surprise that after a bit of thought doesn't seem like a surprise.

Highly recommended.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Halting State

  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Robert Ian MacKenzie
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 252
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 254

The year is 2012, and China, India, and the United States are waging an infowar for economic domination. With innocent gamers mere pawns in the hands of electronic intelligence agencies, programmer Jack Reed is tasked with ferreting out the plot of those who would gladly trade global turmoil for personal gain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 2 Smart Books Well Worth the Listen - Great Reader

  • By C. Hartmann on 01-08-12

Great (thickly Scots accented) reader, great read

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

Reviewed: 08-28-13

Have you listened to any of Robert Ian MacKenzie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I wish Robert Ian MacKenzie would read all of Stross's work. The combination is impeccable. His accent is a bit thick, but perfectly tuned to the works. (This, and Rule 34.)

Great voices, great reading.