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Derek

Gage, OK, United States
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  • 3
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  • The Skin Map

  • Bright Empires, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Lawhead
  • Narrated by: Simon Bubb
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 429

Kit Livingston's great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun Book!

  • By Kurt on 03-16-12

meh

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

Reviewed: 08-15-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Could I have been listening to a better book? Yes. If I could go back in time to advise my past self I would say, "Save yourself the time and remove that tripe from your phone right now."

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The climax had a very strong deus ex machina. I thought the protagonists were in trouble and the author might have to come up with something interesting, but no, instantaneous problem solved. How did this come about? We get no explanation in this book. What might have been an interesting problem turns into a "No, you have to press your finger on the sensor" difficulty level problem.

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

Simon has a very calm voice. It would be great for non-fiction or a book with no tension. He could describe to me how I was personally being attacked by murderers at that very moment and my heart rate would not increase.

Was The Skin Map worth the listening time?

The book needed a lot more explanation. It felt like a book that should have taken much longer to get to it's ending.

Overall it felt like having a bad head cold and eating a meal. There was just no flavor. It felt like waiting in the doctor's office waiting room level self-masochism.

Any additional comments?

Willamina is a major Mary Sue. There is no situation she cannot overcome with the greatest of ease. Once she almost had a difficulty, but then she actually tried to do something and changed the future of all Europe. She is the main reason for the asspull (that is a kind of trope if you don't know) climax.

The main male protagonist (I have forgotten his name minutes after finishing the book because it was of so little importance to me) is a no account, non-action guy. He might have developed into a passable semi-hero, but the character just undergoes no meaningful transition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bonobo and the Atheist

  • By: Frans de Waal
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 381
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 379

In this lively and illuminating discussion of his landmark research, esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution. For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Less science and more meditative

  • By Lisa on 06-10-13

Interesting animal research, lackluster philosophy

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

Reviewed: 12-27-15

Would you try another book from Frans de Waal and/or Jonathan Davis?

Frans de Waal's writing in this book just didn't grab me. I do not see myself buying another one of his books.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

While the sections of the book about animal studies are well thought out, using vivid examples to back up de Waal's ideas, the philosophical ideas are often just flat statements and opinions. The people he dislikes are often dismissed with superficial single sentence snipes giving the impression he did not put much effort into understanding their positions.

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

The reading was well done. Davis does a good job adding emotion to his performance for a non-fiction book.

Any additional comments?

Had this been a book solely about animal behavior it would have been a bit shorter and a lot better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Star Corps

  • Book One of The Legacy Trilogy
  • By: Ian Douglas
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 219
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 219

Many millennia ago, the human race was enslaved by the An - a fearsome alien people whose cruel empire once spanned the galaxies, until they were defeated and consigned to oblivion. But a research mission to the planet Ishtar has made a terrifying - and fatal - discovery: The Ahanu, ancestors of the former masters, live on, far from the reach of Earth - born weapons and technology ... and tens of thousands of captive human souls still bow to their iron will.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • OK story, quite different (or weird) in many spots

  • By DocJim on 05-17-14

Narration ruined it for me

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

Reviewed: 06-12-15

Would you try another book from Ian Douglas and/or David Drummond?

I will be staying far away from Ian Douglas from now on. His writing was sub par in a genre with many authors that are not that good.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Imagine an overly enthusiastic news reporter's voice. Now imagine every character sounding just like that.

Any additional comments?

I made two attempts to listen to this book but never made it more than two hours in before disgust forced me to stop.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Black Prism audiobook cover art
  • The Black Prism

  • By: Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by: Cristofer Jean
  • Length: 22 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,447
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2,137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,144

Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Big fan of Brent Weeks but...

  • By Lee on 04-20-11

Avoid this narrator

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

Reviewed: 01-05-11

I liked this book quite a bit, but the narration is horrible. I've heard some bad narrators before and this guy is among the very worst. I can't help but think that an artificial voice would have done a better job. The shame of this performance should drive Cristofer Jean into hiding.

They should have gotten Paul Boehmer, the narrator of the Night Angel Trilogy. He was quite good.