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  • 25
  • reviews
  • 262
  • helpful votes
  • 28
  • ratings
  • Icequake

  • By: Crawford Kilian
  • Narrated by: Tim Campbell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

A group of 27 scientists and explorers are stranded in Antarctica. Residing in a station known as Shackleton, they are studying the seismic activity of the region. An eruption of the nearby volcano, Mount Erebus, soon sends quakes throughout the continent with devastating results. All radio communication has been disabled by the breakdown of the magnetic field. Evacuation is unlikely. No one knows whether they survived the icequake, and their station is now moving two kilometres north each day with the strong aftershocks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • If You Like Science In Your Science Fiction

  • By averageconsumer on 01-30-19

If You Like Science In Your Science Fiction

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

It took me a while to warm up to the idea of Antarctica as the scene for such a wildly extreme climate change disaster epic. But it turns out the catastrophes described here are perfectly possible. Even relatively likely under the circumstances, sooner or later. And that makes the cast of "ordinary" scientists unusually provocative protagonists. They are normal human beings with the usual wide variety of personal characteristics. There are no superhuman powers on display: just the ones we humans have always had to rely on in catastrophes.There are no cartoonish people here, but a very realistic and well-described variety of personalities. And I found this aspect of Icequake to be a crucially valuable contrast to the action.

I give extra credit to the unobtrusively excellent narrator. His fluidly intelligent performance makes a great difference in how this long and very complex story is seamlessly and enjoyably knit together.

  • Prelude to Ascension

  • The Assemblies of the Living, Book 1
  • By: Brent Clay
  • Narrated by: Samuel Peery
  • Length: 18 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

John Riley is a physicist who achieves his lifelong dream of unraveling the mysteries of anti-gravity, but along the way, also unwittingly discovers the secret of interstellar communication. When he and a small group of coworkers attempt to respond to an unexpected message, believing it to have originated from somewhere on Earth, they find more than they anticipate. The message is from deep space.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • WAY too much fluff

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-01-19

An Unexpected Treasure of Pure Enjoyment

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

Reviewed: 01-26-19

Here is deeply delightful story-telling of the most unusual kind. This is a new work mysteriously sprung from a very grand, full-blown and glorious imagination. It is charming to the core, and amazingly enjoyable from start to finish.
Assemblies of the Living is therefore not for cynics. It's for those who resonate with striving for greater intelligence, love and courage. It's for those who know that evolution, by definition, is perpetually aiming to refine all forms of life and ways of living.
And for those who understand all too well that so far, "Homo sapiens" is not even remotely wise.

It isn't a perfect book, and an experienced listener/reader will notice some flaws. But I doubt most will care very much. These are as nothing compared to so many hours of real pleasure in following the surprises. I loved the way this story subtly both unfolds and enfolds its hard science fiction charms. And I loved the narrator's equally subtle way with voices. I've never heard anyone more skillful in using small changes to create distinct characters. Together, the author and narrator are simply wonderful. Thank you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Turn of Light

  • By: Julie E. Czerneda
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 34 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

The village of Marrowdell is an isolated pioneer community, but it is also the place where two worlds overlap, and at the turn of light - sunset - the world of magic known as the Verge can briefly be seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie's first foray into fantasy is a home run!

  • By Heather Dryer on 03-26-13

Took 7 years to learn to like it, but then...

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

Bought this in 2013, and tried occasionally ever since to get past the narration. The reason I didn't return it was a good one: I love some of Julie E. Czerneda's other works. I wanted to try to get past my dislike of the narrator's voice, and to enter into the spirited feeling of the tale. All these years later, I finally got the hang of non-resistance. And I was richly rewarded for being so stubborn. Because from that time on, I found this story profoundly fascinating. This is an exceptionally interesting and very cleverly-wrought tale. It is wonderfully intricate as it unwinds, which is a great pleasure when you are enjoying a journey you don't want to end.

I didn't love every single moment, or every little thing along the way. But that was never a problem. Especially since, for me, the only fantasy writer who ever ascended to such perfection was Tolkien. There are plenty of other very fine story-tellers who are thoroughly themselves. But highly intelligent science fiction and fantasy written by women? There is nowhere near enough of it, yet. Here is one.

  • Gate Crashers

  • By: Patrick S. Tomlinson
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

On humanity's first extra-solar mission, the exploration vessel Magellan, or, as she prefers, "Maggie", discovers an alien artifact. Deciding that finding advanced alien life is too important to ignore, Captain Allison Ridgeway chooses to return to Earth while ordering her crew to reverse engineer technology far beyond anything back home. Meanwhile, at mission control, the governments struggle to maintain the existence of aliens a secret while also combating bureaucracy, the military industrial complex, and everyone else who wants a piece of what could skyrocket humanity into a new technological age.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully entertaining!

  • By Vicki L. Smith on 09-25-18

Charming Story, Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

I have bought all of Patrick S. Tomlinson's audiobooks, for the general fun of his foolery and the unusual charm of his characters. As an unexpected bonus with Gate Crashers, I also discovered a new favorite narrator. I thought Alyssa Bresnahan brilliantly captured the quick rhythm and highly elusive subtleties of the writing here. She made the wildly distinctive cast of characters and their extremely witty dialogue come vividly alive for me. I see experiences here differ greatly. But I found this particular partnership of reader and writer a perfect match, and deeply enjoyable from beginning to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mother Moon

  • By: Bob Goddard
  • Narrated by: Bernard Faricy
  • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

2087 - A colony of scientists is stranded on the moon as the Earth faces imminent disaster. 1504 - A wooden sailing ship is navigating the dangerous waters of religious fundamentalism. Two events separated by space and time, yet destined to collide in a simple twist of fate. When a comet changes course and heads for Earth, the finger of blame is pointed at one country. The entire planet is thrown into chaos, while on the moon, a colony of scientists faces the bleak prospect of being stranded...forever.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptionally promising first book, but...

  • By averageconsumer on 08-05-18

Exceptionally promising first book, but...

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Bob Goddard has great talent. This is a rich and thoughtful work, written with care and deep dedication to the intricacies of his complex storyline. Yet I didn't enjoy it very much, for a couple of reasons.

The first big problem is the way some of the main women scientists are constantly depicted as adolescent basket cases. Yes, the stalwart leader of the colony is a woman, and a great one. But all of these women were chosen for the moon colony because they are among the best in their fields. Notable women scientists are not perpetually crippled by the emotional problems of 14-year old girls. This was so jarring I wanted to stop listening early on. But I thought the sobbing must surely stop at some point, and it finally did- but only much later on. And not before leaving a bad aftertaste. Highly intelligent women scientists certainly may have strong emotions and reactions. But they are not ceaselessly whiny cry-babies in the face of common disaster. If you don't believe it, read the environmental news.

The second big problem for me was the ending. I felt cheated by the abrupt failure here of the careful scientific underpinnings of the book. The story's ongoing Earth-science-on-the-Moon is presented so reasonably and coherently it forms a large part of its charm. But after all that, the ending suddenly abandons all previous logic with a glaring omission. And if you see the missing link at the end, you probably won't like it any more than I did.

Re: Bernard Faricy. This narrator is new to me and quite unlike any others. It took a little time, but I learned to appreciate his dry and oddly compelling narrative style. It fits this book nicely.

  • Quietus

  • By: Tristan Palmgren
  • Narrated by: Thomas Judd
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

A transdimensional anthropologist can't keep herself from interfering with Earth's darkest period of history in this brilliant science fiction debut. In medieval Italy, Niccolucio, a young Florentine Carthusian monk, leads a devout life until the Black Death kills all of his brothers, leaving him alone and filled with doubt. Habidah, an anthropologist from an alien world racked by plague, is overwhelmed by the suffering. Unable to maintain her neutrality, she saves Niccolucio from the brink of death.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A very good 1st book

  • By Edward Filistowicz on 04-27-18

Luminous, Intelligent and Captivating

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

This work should be a Hugo nominee this year: it's that good. And as an audiobook- even better.
The description of the story is intriguing in itself. If you are reading this, it was interesting enough to attract your attention. Yet describing the story outline can't even begin to convey the rich enjoyment of listening to the audiobook as it unfolds.This particular quality of literate and fully satisfying science fiction is very hard to come by. And it is never the most highly rated by the public: when everyone has an equal vote, it can't be. But if you relish Kim Stanley Robinson and other equally intelligent science fiction writers, try Quietus.

To Tristan Palmgren,Thomas Judd, and the production team: congratulations, and thanks for the masterpiece. I've been reading mostly science fiction for 50 years, so am understandably bored by its mediocre iterations. By now, only the most deeply enjoyable experiences can galvanize me enough to try to write a review. I hope my fellow hunters-of-excellence will fully understand what I mean to convey. Quietus is a rare marvel, and a sumptuous example of the art of science fiction.

  • Outpost

  • By: W. Michael Gear
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 18 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Donovan is a world of remarkable wealth that comes at a high price. When Supervisor Kalico Aguila's ship arrives, she discovers a failing colony, its government overthrown, the few remaining colonists gone wild. Donovan could make her career - or kill her. Planetside, Talina Perez is one of three rulers of the Port Authority colony - the only law in the one remaining town. With the Corporate ship demanding answers about the things she's done, Perez could lose everything, including her life. For Dan Wirth, Donovan is a last chance. A psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, he will make a desperate play for power. No matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy. Captain Max Taggart is the Corporation's enforcer. But is it too late to seize control of Donovan?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Manifest Destiny

  • By Maine Momma on 03-04-18

Original, Intelligent and Deeply Satisfying

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

Reviewed: 03-15-18

I've been reading science fiction for 50 years- seeking out and enjoying the best this genre has to offer. By now though, I want everything to be "exactly right". There is a Goldilocks Zone for great science fiction, and I found it here in Outpost.

This story is a rare blend of many familiar elements, re-imagined with an unusually deft hand. A colonization story then, but far more interesting than the usual fare.The writing is both sturdy (very good structural elements) and subtle (finer touches everywhere and in everything). Equally vital is the happy fact that the splendid narration is exactly right for the story. Other secret ingredients of Outpost's enormously satisfying journey include:
1. all the characters are drawn economically, yet distinctly, with mysterious clarity and depth
2. an astonishing new kind of planet is presented, with an extremely peculiar- yet oddly believable- ecosystem
3. we are treated to a unique and very deep strangeness concerning ship life and space travel.

The meticulous tapestry of the groundwork laid for a new trilogy comes to a hard point. The difficult accommodations humanity is forced to make, in order to fit an entirely alien world, prove unexpectedly extreme. Outpost isn't a simple-minded story in the least. It is a great one, embodying the spirit of the grandest traditions of space opera. This first book of the Donovan trilogy left me with a very strong anticipation for the next.

Recommended for those who enjoy profoundly human and profoundly alien science fiction. .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Closing Down

  • By: Sally Abbott
  • Narrated by: Neil Pigot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

What would you do if all you held to be familiar was lost? Conjuring a dark future for Australia, Closing Down gives us a glimpse into a world fractured by a financial crisis and the effects of global climate change. The inaugural winner of The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceeds Hardened Reviewers Best Efforts

  • By averageconsumer on 11-13-17

Exceeds Hardened Reviewers Best Efforts

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

From the description: What would you do if all you held to be familiar was lost? More importantly, where do you belong?

I've never had so much trouble trying to review a book before. And I'm not the only one. Why? Because Sally Abbott is a better, wiser and more interesting writer than reviewers. And we know it. The many-layered, multi-colored subtleties within Closing Down cannot be pinned down like butterflies on a cork board. But they will be very deeply enjoyed by appreciative listeners.

The reason this book does not receive more 5 star reviews isn't because it is underwhelming. Quite the opposite! It is because it often overwhelms our powers of description. By the time I had listened to this book for 30 minutes, I already knew:
1.This is one of the most interesting and original stories I've ever encountered.
2. I owe this new writer and Audible listeners the best review I can muster.
3. I will never be able to do it justice, no matter how hard I try.
If you find this audiobook as wondrous and unusual as so many others so-- you will understand the problem. And why we try anyway.

The basic elements here are:
rapid and drastic changing climates, the effects on Australian small town life and in other places, unusually deft magical realism, fine fusions of inner and outer nature, and powerful alterations underway in patterns of human existence. Underlying all these is the great difficulty of maintaining loving connections when self-identities come under increasing pressure.

Extra added attraction:
Neil Pigot's superb skill conveys every subtlety between characters and scenes with consummate ease. His mastery of the fine art of unobtrusive narration sets the listener free to be fully carried away.


  • After On

  • A Novel of Silicon Valley
  • By: Rob Reid
  • Narrated by: Sean Kenin, January LaVoy, Felicia Day, and others
  • Length: 22 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,090
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,957
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,955

Meet Phluttr - a diabolically addictive new social network and a villainess, heroine, enemy, and/or bestie to millions. Phluttr has ingested every fact and message ever sent to, from, and about her innumerable users. Her capabilities astound her makers - and they don't even know the tenth of it. But what's the purpose of this stunning creation? Is it a front for something even darker and more powerful than the NSA?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book with great performances!

  • By Amazon Kunde on 08-11-17

Mind-Nausea

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

Reviewed: 09-14-17

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Not trying it in the first place. I'd give myself 5 stars if I had been sufficiently wise to avoid this one. In case of dire necessity, there really ought to be an option for negative stars.

What could Rob Reid have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Nothing whatsoever. Fortunately, since so many people like this work, neither of us need have the slightest concern about our dreadful relationship. He can write all he likes, people can read and listen to it all they like, and neither of us has to give it another thought. And that is exactly how it should be.

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

No idea. I didn't make it past the first half-hour of this histrionic buzz-saw of a word-slaw. A reviewer here took the trouble to mention the over-the-top melodramatic narration, and that should have been enough. I was warned, but didn't listen- until I listened. And then it was too late.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from After On?

I would have immediately declined to edit this book, and passed it on to someone who could enjoy it. I don't normally review books I dislike. After On is an exception because I didn't merely "dislike" it. Rather, it reminded me of an exotic experiment in using maniacal thoughts and sounds as a technique to dismantle basic mental functioning. The internet being such a literal place, I hasten to add I don't mean this literally. But that is what it felt like: painfully ugly to the mind, to an entirely new degree.

Any additional comments?

Yes. The only reason I wrote this review is for the sake of the minority who will loathe it. I want you to know you are not alone, and there is nothing wrong with you.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Reincarnation Blues

  • A Novel
  • By: Michael Poore
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 526

First we live. Then we die. And then...we get another try? Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to "get it right". Answer all the big questions. Achieve wisdom. And become one with everything. Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn't make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Profoundly Witty and Charming

  • By averageconsumer on 09-13-17

Profoundly Witty and Charming

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

Reviewed: 09-13-17

What made the experience of listening to Reincarnation Blues the most enjoyable?

I've been reading and listening to books for a very long time. But every once in a while, a new book can still knock me over with the feather of unexpected delight. Expect the unexpected, and then forget about expecting anything at all. Pure enjoyment will do the rest.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Reincarnation Blues?

This question essentially asks reviewers to ruin the best surprises. On behalf of the author's most amusing and clever gifts to his audience- no thanks.Instead, I will simply say that my mind smiled all the way home. As a story based on reincarnation, Reincarnation Blues is neither serious nor not serious. This is not a work based on any Buddhist or Hindu text. It is instead a brilliant riff on the concept itself, playing the notes of the most deeply-felt human truths throughout.Because Reincarnation Blues is so richly imagined, it can be equally enjoyable for those who believe reincarnation is true, for those who hope it is- and for those who hope to hell it isn't.

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

The narrator brings the depth of enchantment and laconic humor of this story perfectly to life- and death. A match made in heaven, on earth, and everywhere in between. As an audiobook production, this one has excellent karma.

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

I did and I didn't. I didn't want to stop but I didn't want it to be over either. I have settled for forcing myself to make it last as long as I can. It won't be long enough.

Any additional comments?

Yes. May the author live a very long and productive life this time around, enjoy his work as much as we do, and perform his literary dharma easily and often. As his richly rewarded audience, we will do our part as well.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful