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BigbobbieK

Columus, OH USA
  • 19
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  • 4
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  • Warlords and Wastrels

  • The Duelists, Book 3
  • By: Julia Knight
  • Narrated by: Angèle Masters
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Finally reinstated into the Duelist's Guild for services rendered to the prelate, who has found himself back in charge, Vocho and Kacha are tasked with bringing a prisoner to justice. But this prisoner is none other than Kacha's old flame, Egimont. The prelate wants him alive and on their side. However, the more they discover of Egimont and his dark dealings with the magician, the more Kacha's loyalties are divided. Soon she must choose a side - the prelate or the king, her brother or her ex-lover.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great entry in the series, but all new plot

  • By BigbobbieK on 10-19-18

Great entry in the series, but all new plot

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

This was a really good novel, with lots of adventure and action though not a lot of mystery, really. The first two did better in that department, but this was very well written in it's own right and didn't really need the mystery aspect.

I wouldn't really say this was a "conclusion" to the trilogy, though. The plot of this novel is more of an "aftermath" story to the events of the first two in the series. It reminded me of Abercrombie's "Best Served Cold" and "The Heroes" in the "First Law" world: The character's story continues after the events of the main story, and major developments take place by the end, but it's not really necessary to the main story. It's there for those who want more after the main series.

Like I said, "Warlords and Wastrels"is every bit as good as "Swords and Scoundrels" and "Legends and Liars", and if you enjoyed those two you'll definitely enjoy this one. If more in the series came out that are like "Warlords and Wastrels", I'd definitely be interested.

  • At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition]

  • By: H. P. Lovecraft
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,679
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,430
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,424

This Lovecraft classic is a must-have for every fan of classic terror. When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • First Lovecraft

  • By Brian on 02-03-14

An all time favorite

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

Reviewed: 03-14-18

One of Lovecraft's best. Many references to other horrors and works give depth to the whole Mythos, weaving interactions between them that is often lacking in their mentions in other works.

  • Machine World

  • Undying Mercenaries, Book 4
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,125
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,735
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,721

In the fourth book of the series, James McGill is up for promotion. Not everyone is happy about that, and McGill must prove he's worth his stripes. Deployed to a strange alien planet outside the boundaries of the Galactic Empire, he's caught up in warfare and political intrigue. Earth expands, the Cephalopod Kingdom launches ships to stop us, and a grand conspiracy emerges among the upper ranks of the Hegemony military.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • McGill's Way

  • By Don Gilbert on 05-16-15

Good, if a little tedious

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

Some of the elements of the series are starting to get a little stale, but it's still good enough to continue the ploy of each book is good, and the meta-plot is developing nicely. It's just that some of the same things happen again and again from book to book, and it does get a little tedious.

We'll see where Book 5 goes.

  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,558
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,583

In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Good Interpretation

  • By Gerald on 10-25-08

Narrator not a good choice

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

Reviewed: 12-09-17

This is not to say that Lloyd James is a bad narrator, I just dont think he was a good choice for this book. The main character, who is also the 1st person narrator, has a Russian accent. This is not in Lloyd James' repertoire. All the other voices are excellent, but the one you spend most of the book listening to was not well done.

  • Ex-Purgatory

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Jay Snyder
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,910
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,633

When he’s awake, George Bailey is just an ordinary man. Five days a week he coaxes his old Hyundai to life, curses the Los Angeles traffic, and clocks in at his job as a handyman at the local college. But when he sleeps, George dreams of something more. George dreams of flying. He dreams of fighting monsters. He dreams of a man made of pure lightning, an armored robot, a giant in an army uniform, a beautiful woman who moves like a ninja.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I've been spoiled!!!

  • By phil humphries on 08-15-17

Just as good as the previous books

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

Reviewed: 11-24-17

Only complaint is that there's only the one narrator. Snyder does a good job as usual, amd he does a fair approximation of the voices done by the other narrators in previous (and the next, apprantely) installments. But the overall experience is different enough to be notable. I dont know why that decision was made, but I will be glad when the others come back.

  • Erebus

  • Sleeping Gods Series #2
  • By: Ralph Kern
  • Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 225
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 204

The sparsely populated moon, Io, is destroyed in a terrorist attack. Hundreds are dead in the cataclysmic explosion. Thousands become refugees as the shattered remnants of the moon threaten the Jupiter Alliance. Billions throughout the solar system are wondering, "Where next?" Those responsible must be found and brought to justice. The explorer ship Erebus is reassigned from its mission and sent to Jupiter to investigate this atrocity with Trent's international team onboard.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Slow to start and good in hindsight

  • By T. DeLong on 03-18-16

Better than book 1

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

Reviewed: 09-12-17

The first book, Endeavor, smacked of "setup" even while I was reading it, with a meandering plot seemingly designed to showcase the setting and lay down concepts for the rest of the story.

Reading Erebus confirmed this; much more plot driven, more action, and a better book overall. I was nervous about Erebus after reading Endeavor, but now that I have read it I'm more interested in continuing the series.

The narrator is unfortunately the weakest point. He speaks clearly and is easy to understand, but his range is limited and anyone with an accent not close to his own is just bad. It's not that he doesn't try to perform other voices, but his natural speaking voice is such that it just doesn't work out with most of the other accents he attempts.

It should be noted he's also a different narrator than the previous book.

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,247
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,182

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

Handmaid in a Strange Land

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

Reviewed: 08-13-17

Throughout "A Handmaid’s Tale", I kept getting struck by the similarities between it and Robert A. Heinlein's “Stranger in a Strange Land”. A set of juxtaposed parallels, if you will. Not as saying that “Handmaid's Tale” copied from “Stranger”, but more that even though there’s many differences between the two, those differences or only skin deep. The two novels compliment each other amazingly.

A quick Google search shows I’m not the only person to notice this, and many articles and essays can be found detailing this inadvertant relationship, so I'll just stick to the main point here as opposed to detailing every little similarity.

In “A Handmaid's Tale”, Offred lives in a nation where a church uses religion as an excuse to oppress her and other women. She has no rights, no freedoms, not even to choose her own sexual partners. Church dogma and ritual is heavily used against her to indoctrinate her into thinking these extremist views are normal and right and are the societal norm.

On the other hand, Valentine Michael Smith -the protagonist of “Stranger in a Strange Land” – starts a religion for the express purpose of expanding the freedoms of its members, including their sexual choices. Using the disguise of church dogma and ritual he frees people from the strictures of religious and social dogma and ritual.

Offred is a victim, and Mike is an instigator, but I feel like both are giving us the same message about personal liberties and freedoms, taking what we have for granted, and the ridiculousness of what can be defined as societal norms. In Offred’a case she didn't really think about what she had until after she loses all of it, In Mike's case he sees people being proud of what they think they have without realizing how constricted they really are. While the approach of Heinlein and Atwood may be different, going in completely opposite directions in fact, the message for me was the same. “Thou Art God” and “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” may have different tones and implications, but their meaning is the same and for me they’re inextricably linked.

I found my reading of “A Handmaid's Tale” to be enhanced by my recent reading of “Stranger in a Strange Land”, and “Handmaid’s Tale made me think about my reading of “Stranger” in ways I hadn’t at the time of that reading. I recommend both to just about everyone, but it is my highest recommendation that both be read together (with maybe a few things between to alleviate what would be a very heavy reading session, lol). If you’ve read one but not the other, I recommend the other. If its been a while since you read one, then I recommend a reread.

Back when “Stranger in a Strange Land” came out, some fans believed that Heinlein was addressing specific societal failures and proposing a solution to them. His response at the time was counter to that notion, is beautiful in its own right, and I think can apply to “A Handmaid's Tale”. He said "I was not giving answers. I was trying to shake the reader loose from some preconceptions and induce him to think for himself, along new and fresh lines. In consequence, each reader gets something different out of that book because he himself supplies the answers . . . . It is an invitation to think -- not to believe."

  • Starship Troopers

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,841
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,205

Join the Army and See the Universe. That is the motto of The Third Space War, also known as The First Interstellar War, but most commonly as The Bug War. In one of Robert Heinlein's most controversial best sellers, a recruit of the future goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe - and into battle with the Terrain Mobile Infantry against mankind's most alarming enemy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Science Fiction Classic

  • By Cather on 11-18-05

Much better the 2nd time around

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

Reviewed: 08-04-17

I first read this in high school right after the "Starship Troopers" movie came out, because I wanted to know more.

Suffice to say, what I got was neither what I expected or - more importantly - wanted.

The negative experience put me off Heinlein until this year, when I finally read "Stranger in a Strange Land". Having long held a bad opinion of "Starship Troopers", I wondered how the same author could write another book that I enjoyed so thoroughly. so I resolved to suck it up and give "Troopers" another chance.

Some combination of differing expectations, 20 years more experience, and a wider literary base from which to draw has turned this novel completely around for me. I very much enjoyed this listen of "Starship Troopers". I liked it more than I did "Stranger in a Strange Land". My memory of the first time I read it is dominated by boring boot camp stories that I thought took up the entire book and the assault on Planet P being the only combat drop he actually made. I don't know how I could so completely not recall the remaining half of the novel. I distinctly remember that opinion being my immediate opinion back then, and I have no idea why.

Whatever deficiency was there in my first read through at 15 is not present know after this read through. This is an excellent novel and Younger Me can shut up and sit down.

  • This Book Is Full of Spiders

  • Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It
  • By: David Wong
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,427
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,143
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,151

Warning: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. This is not a metaphor. You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection - the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like. You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If You're Considering This... Go Ahead!

  • By Tracey Rains on 05-29-13

My wife put it best

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

Reviewed: 07-06-17

She said "It starys out ridiculously funny. Like, funny because its ridiculous. But somehow it seamlessly transitions into a really good horror story, that in turn seamlessly transitions into something ridiculously funny".

  • The Blood Mirror

  • By: Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 20 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,246
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,718
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,697

When does an empire fall? The Seven Satrapies have collapsed into four - and those are falling before the White King's armies. Gavin Guile, ex-emperor, ex-Prism, ex-galley slave, formerly the one man who might have averted war, is now lost, broken, and trapped in a prison crafted by his own hands to hold a great magical genius. But Gavin has no magic at all. Worse, in this prison Gavin may not be alone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • good but not the worst of the 4 books

  • By shahzad on 10-27-16

Everything I told you in the last 3 books?

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

Reviewed: 12-02-16

Just go ahead and forget about that stuff.

Seriously, there's so many plot twists that's be more accurate to describe the book as a plot knot. I think I wore "shocked face" for 3/y it more of the book.

that's not to say it wasn't good, it was fantastic. but so many things get revealed that completely change everything that's happened and everything that we know that it's almost like we don't know this world after all, not after 3 books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful