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Rick Kintigh

Chicago, IL USA
  • 53
  • reviews
  • 49
  • helpful votes
  • 185
  • ratings
  • Pandora's Star

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 37 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,499
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,531
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,547

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Have to resort to headphones to listen

  • By Sue Nami on 10-05-16

Stay on the path.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The story itself is a bit meandering, creating mystery purely through the abundance of side plots, but the aliens are truly alien and that goes a long way. The most intriguing side plot is just left disconnected. I would read a series dedicated to that storyline. I am on board for the next tome in large part because I would like to keep exploring new worlds and unraveling the oddities of Commonwealth Saga's most ephemeral race. This review sounds like a three star, but when it shines it shines. Four stars.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Welcome to Night Vale

  • A Novel
  • By: Joseph Fink, Jeffrey Cranor
  • Narrated by: Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, and others
  • Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,764
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,445
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,439

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • This is so good, but

  • By Christopher on 04-30-16

Directionless.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Absurdist writing leaves ample room for cleverness, which this book has in spades, but does not absolve the writer from need for plot and character development.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Power

  • By: Naomi Alderman
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,807

In The Power, the world is a recognizable place: There's a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power - they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A necessary read

  • By Grace on 11-22-17

Review contains spoilers after the break.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I really enjoyed some of the manifestations of the power and various sociopolitical outcomes. Some of the characters were great, but motivations and personal arcs felt unnatural and malleable. What really kept me from highly recommending it were the frame story and the omniscient disembodied voice. I appreciate the frame story as an homage to The Handmaid's Tale, but felt it was unnecessary and detracted in Atwood's story as well. The "omniscient voice" however was distracting - to delve deeper will take me into mild spoiler territory.

Spoilers:
Initially "the voice" can be seen as mental illness (although occasionally prescient), and kind of works, but then inexplicably passes to another character turning this from science fiction into a fantasy novel. I dismiss the excuse that it is the author from the frame story who is creating the fantasy element because it is unnecessary in his story as well. It might have been just a quirky narrative device, but in science fiction (and mystery) it is traditional that the reader reads actively - participating in the conjecture, making logical extrapolations and weighing the effort and stakes against an established framework. When science fiction injects fantasy it squanders the intellectual partnership of the reader.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Peripheral

  • By: William Gibson
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 14 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,217
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,235

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran's benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC's elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there's a job he's supposed to do - a job Flynne didn't know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly great across the board

  • By Christopher R McLaughlin on 04-27-15

Nearly negative inertia

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The Peripheral has nearly negative inertia if that were possible. There just isn't fluidity to the (author's) voice, dialogue and description (the narrator does fine with what is given). It was hard to manufacture interest in the characters. Most of the ideas here were done better, shorter and with more joy in books like Lock In, Old Man's War, and Altered Carbon (for the consciousness displacement), and the short stories The Plagiarist and Snapshot (for time and/or multi-universe theory). The Peripheral is fine, but not recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Into the Drowning Deep

  • By: Mira Grant
  • Narrated by: Christine Lakin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,012
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 952
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 947

Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a tragedy. Now a new crew has been assembled. But this time they're not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart, this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Excellent book by Mira Grant

  • By SharonNM on 04-13-18

A rare glimpse of non-human cognition.

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

It is rare to read a book with non-human languages, thought and societies which truly feel appropriately alien. Grant offers a thrilling fast read which turns classic fantasy into smart science fiction.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany

  • By: John Irving
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 27 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,319
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,878
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,881

Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys – best friends – are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Painfully nostalgic

  • By Barry on 07-29-15

a story told as a memory

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

Reviewed: 10-08-14

A Prayer for Owen Meany is told like a memory. Out of sequence and not all at once. Memory as fragment intermixed with correlated memories and current observations. Like harmonics. Like arpeggios. It is a story about faith from the point of view of someone without faith. The layer upon layer of odd specificity of actions and characteristics can be somewhat irksome. It's like when reading Atlas Shrugged and each retelling of story doesn't actually add anything, but underlines it again and again. We see the predestination and the all the glaring oddity. It is obvious that these are not just character traits but cogs in a specific machine. A Rube Goldberg contraption which will damage each character in a specific way. Leave familiar scars. But it is our memory so it is perhaps obvious that we would remember the man he would be and underline again and again the harmonics. The omens. I don't know exactly how I feel about this book. I love when a story is told in pieces and I can assemble them and solve the story. But there was nothing to solve here. There are specifics that elude us until the end, but the clues are remembered over and over and underlined again and again. The outcome was never in doubt. We know the end before we ever remember the beginning. I don't think John ever finds faith, but it is obvious he still tries. John is an incomplete man. He was essentially created by Owen and left incomplete. That yearning plagues the reading. It is a little too long, too many memories, then ends all at once. I imagine that is how John feels.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Oryx and Crake

  • By: Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,204
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,931
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,961

The narrator of Atwood's riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he is sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. He searches for supplies in a wasteland where insects proliferate and pigoons and wolvogs ravage the pleeblands, where ordinary people once lived, and the Compounds that sheltered the extraordinary. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Scary Stuff

  • By Doug on 07-21-03

definitely a dark dystopic world

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

Reviewed: 10-08-14

I think I liked this book, or maybe just wanted to like it enough that it kinda stuck. The biology, sociobiology and psychology is interesting. Marget Atwood has some interesting ideas about the psychological pressures behind the shortcomings of mankind and the traits we can graft from other species to overcome our deficiencies. She also has an absolute fixation on transactional sexuality and the myriad ways one can use/abuse sex. I mean she really digs it. We got a taste in The Handmaid's Tale, but here she super-sexualizes a seven year old (say that five times fast) and has a character that obsessively recount the abuse every few pages. Its totally unnecessary for the reader, or maybe once if that is the lever to the abused characters mind and a second time to reveal the narrator's discomfort, but after that it just feels like the author is trying to be "edgy" or confrontational and not in service to the story. Beyond the sexual disfunction most of the characters fall flat. The Crakers are actually kind of great. Their society, ritual and biology is interesting and well described. Oryx (the sexy child) is at her best in our limited observations of her with the Crakers and Crake himself is mostly a sociopathic cardboard cut-out. We are limited in our understanding of the other principal characters because our narrator is helplessly self absorbed. His interest in Oryx and Crake are simply as a reflection of his own needs, doubts and desires. Jimmy (the narrator) does offer some fun word play and all of his best moments are punctuated with his collection of under-utilized or otherwise enjoyable words.

I have a curiosity which may prove enough to continue with the series. This is definitely a dark dystopic world, but the science is interesting and the Crakers have significant potential. Jimmy may not be beyond redemption, but it will require him embracing his role in society. He has shown signs, which is all I can ask.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Amber Benson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,765
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,516
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,534

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scalzi Locks In Another Winner

  • By Bruce Derflinger on 09-22-14

investigation into transferable consciousness

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

Reviewed: 10-08-14

Lock In is sort of a prequel to Old Man's War. It continues Scalzi's fascination with the mind, identity and how humans will begin to physically interface with technology. It is interesting to see how an idea germinates within an author and manifests throughout his career with a multitude of facets. Like all true SciFi Scalzi probes the implications of dislocated/transferable consciousness from many angles. What separates this from The Surrogates or the Matrix is the implication of race, sexuality, gender, and self when a significant portion of the population is disembodied from birth or at least early development. The audio book is sold in two versions. One read by Wil Wheaton and another by Amber Benson. This is possible because the story is told in first person and the gender of the narrator is never revealed in the text. It's a little bit of a magic trick, but not a gimmick. The gender of the character is never pertinent to us or the other characters. The race of our character is not even approached or implied until the final third of the book, and in general race itself is not character trait. This is science fiction done well. They are always telling us gender and race are not important in the societies of the future, but it is in the telling that undermines the point. The omission is powerful and successful.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

Watership Down audiobook cover art
  • Watership Down

  • By: Richard Adams
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,009
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,890
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,914

Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still one of the best!

  • By Bapàrio on 12-05-10

beautifully conceived and crafted folktale

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

Reviewed: 10-08-14

Watership Down is a tremendous work of imagination. All great writing is an exercise in empathy and Richard Adams transforms the reader into the mind, culture and body of a rabbit. There is so much careful work done to keep the physical actions and limitations of the rabbits true while opening up the interior landscape of the characters. They have honor, history, fear, bravery, duty, humor and cleverness. Their social interaction and structure is believable and mirrors how you would expect a warren to work. The myth making and history is pitch perfect; an oral tradition of cleverness and bravery. The language of the rabbits and their patois with the other animals, and the onomatopoeic nature of human and dog naming are another example of rich world-building. Watership Down is beautifully conceived and crafted folktale.

  • Treasure Island

  • By: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Jasper Britton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 399
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400

Treasure Island must be the most enthralling adventure book ever written. As we listen to the voice of Jim Hawkins telling his extraordinary tale, and later that of his companion, Dr. Livesey, we are plunged into a world of pirates, buried treasure, mutiny, and deceit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rousing tale

  • By Jason on 03-11-08

Tremendous fun and a great listen

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

Reviewed: 10-08-14

Any additional comments?

The narration by Jasper Britton is spectacular. He captures the young fresh voice of Jim Hawkins, regal voice of the doctor, measured voice of the captain as effortlessly as he drawls the gravelly melodic tones of Long John Silver and his sea dogs. This is a classic story of murder, mischief, mutiny and daring do all in the name of buried pirate treasure. The pacing is superb, the action thrilling, but never beyond belief. With Jim as our guide we get to experience the best of all the awe and fear while maintaining our sense of adventure. Tremendous fun and a great listen