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Sailfish

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  • Web of Eyes

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 187

Self-proclaimed “World's Greatest Thief", Whitney Fierstown, has yet to find a trinket or treasure he couldn't steal. He nearly pulls off the heist of the century by snatching the Glass Crown off the dying king's head until rotten luck throws him into the path of Torsten Unger, a steadfast knight determined to save his vulnerable kingdom. Torsten offers this ultimatum: rot and die in a dank cell or join him on a dangerous expedition and put his skills to good use.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this book!

  • By Joliet Jill on 11-15-18

What an enjoyable story

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

The combination of authors Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle along with the always superb narrator Luke Daniels combine to make this novel among one of the most enjoyable I've listened to this year. There are elder dead gods, a vainglorious thief, an honorable knight who drank the realm's righteous Kool-aid, good and evil blood mages and armies massing to bring down the kingdom with only the fellowship of a thief, a knight and a blood mage quest's to find a way to hold it together.

If you're looking for a fantasy that has interesting characters and unique adventures all interspersed with hilarious irreverent humor, this novel won't disappoint.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • King of Assassins

  • The Wounded Kingdom, Book 3
  • By: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

Many years of peace have passed in Maniyadoc, years of relative calm for the assassin Girton Club-Foot. Even the Forgetting Plague, which ravaged the rest of the kingdoms, seemed to pass them by. But now Rufra ap Vthyr eyes the vacant High-King's throne and will take his court to the capital, a rat's nest of intrigue and murder, where every enemy he has ever made will gather and the endgame of 20 years of politics and murder will be played out in his bid to become the King of all Kings. Friends become enemies, enemies become friends, and the god of death, Xus the Unseen, stands closer than ever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Best of the Series and a Satisfying Conclusion

  • By Avid Books and TV on 09-14-18

A good ending

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

The author was able to create new twists as he spun his way to the end of the trilogy which kept my interest level high throughout. Even so, there were a few areas that were glossed-over in such a way that while providing closure on some primary characters relationships, didn't provide a plausible explanation for it. Also, the title didn't seem to match what transpired in the novel.

Still, it was a solid book and I'd recommend it and the series for those who might be interested in a woeful and somewhat dark story.

  • Blood of Assassins

  • By: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55

In a desperate bid to escape the bounty on his head, assassin Girton Club-Foot has returned to Maniyadoc, but the kingdom he knew no longer exists. Three kings battle for supremacy in a land ravaged by war-and one of them is his old friend Rufra. With threats inside and outside the war encampment, Girton races to find the traitor behind an assassination plot. But his magic can no longer be contained and Girton may not be able to save even himself. It's assassin versus assassin for the life of a king.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • enjoyable

  • By Nathan on 07-27-18

Girton becomes less interesting

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

With Merela incapacitated due to a poisoning and unable to provide him council, Girton becomes much more distrustful of those around him and almost completely loses his prior ability to offer any friendly and comical rejoinders to even the least criticisms or disagreements. He is almost always sullen and, at times, finds himself musing on some of the darker sides of his magical abilities.

Throughout this book's story arc Girton reasoning and actions are that of a man-child and his untethering from Merela's council due to her comatose state causes him to make decisions based on his feelings rather than on deliberated reasoned judgement. Almost all of these makes matters worse for him and those around him. While this makes him a less sympathetic character, it seems that RJ Barker intentionally wanted to convey that twisting within him. In a very real way, he illustrated how young adults forced to shoulder unbearable responsibilities will more often than not make tragic mistakes by grasping for convenient solutions.

I was a bit disappointed that while the whole theme of the book is centered on assassins and, in particularly, Girton and Merela skills, neither of them exercised much stealthy blood work most commonly attributed to that skill.

Joe Jameson continued to provide a stellar narration performance.

Onto book 3.

  • Age of Assassins

  • By: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 122

Girton Club-foot has no family and a crippled leg and is apprenticed to the best assassin in the land. He's learning the art of taking lives, but his latest mission tasks him with a far more difficult challenge - to save a life. Someone is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince's murder. Age of Assassins is the first in an epic new trilogy set in a world ravaged by magic, featuring a cast of assassins, knights, ambitious noblemen, and fools.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really immersive listen!

  • By superstardrifter on 10-03-17

Excellent Start of a Series

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

Ostensibly, this book is a coming of age story revolving around a young crippled slave boy, Girton Clubfoot, who was purchased by an unknown woman, Merela Karn, and then trained in the fine arts of an assassin. There is an aura of the arcane arts throughout the telling but, in this book at least, magic doesn't get exercised all that often. There is little backstory on either of them provided in the beginning but the author skillfully introduces these essential story elements in the form of dream interludes along the way.

At a young age he has learned to be an adept learner and is totally dedicated to Merela every instruction. Eventually they are hijacked into an assignment to root out an assassination attempt on the queen's son and from there forward the reader/listener is enmeshed into the unsavory and often brutal episodes played by different factions of court politics. Along the way there are betrayals, real and feigned friendships, plots of deadly encounters and even a burgeoning romantic relationship for the young and naive assassin.

RJ Barker is a very good writer and Joe Jameson narrating skillful performance makes listening to the story easy what with his excellent ability to provide distinctive voices to the many characters both male and female, young and elderly.

Now, onto book 2.

  • Earth Strike

  • Star Carrier, Book One
  • By: Ian Douglas
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,439
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,297
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,307

There is a milestone in the evolution of every sentient race, a Tech Singularity Event, when the species achieves transcendence through its technological advances. Now the creatures known as humans are near this momentous turning point. But an armed threat is approaching from deepest space, determined to prevent humankind from crossing over that boundary - by total annihilation if necessary.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Forget the Characters, Just Bring on the Action!

  • By Joshua on 05-29-13

Too Much Chaff, Too Little Plot Arc

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

The first third of the story focused on astrological objects and speed of light distances. It seemed like every paragraph was stuffed with Angstrom units this and percent of C that. While these may have been scientifically correct, it was like spewing out distances and arrival times across several international metropolises before getting on with the actual story. Once the story arc began to emerge, even that became entangles with lots of acronyms and futuresque military jargon regarding command structures, ordinance, &c. So much so that one soon gave up even attempting to make sense of it all.

The story itself was somewhat pedestrian as space operas go, humankind being threatened by an galactic alien hegemony. This, in itself, would have been fine if the author had spent more time creating more of a backstory for the primary and secondary characters involved. Instead, except for Lt. Gray, the others were just introduced in the story as Admirals, Generals and CAGs, with barely any backstory associated with them.

I'll not continue this series.

  • Paternus: Rise of Gods

  • The Paternus Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Dyrk Ashton
  • Narrated by: Nik Magill
  • Length: 15 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111

Even myths have legends. And not all legends are myth. When a local hospital is attacked by strange and frightening men, Fiona Patterson and Zeke Prisco save a catatonic old man named Peter - and find themselves running for their lives with creatures beyond imagination hounding their every step. With nowhere else to turn, they seek out Fi's enigmatic Uncle Edgar.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant Story Revolving Around Myth and Legend

  • By Spirited on 07-30-17

Gods Behaving Badly

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

First third of novel overly didactic and overflowing with too many wordy metaphors, even given how well they are written. All the extra wordiness interferes with providing a cohesive flow to the story arc. Still, near the middle, the story begins to coalesce and pick up the pace as the action between the opposing forces starts to kick in.

For those who are interested in blending of many cultural mythological deities, and I do mean many, into an Infinity War type battle, they may find this novel fulfilling. However, while the author's writing skill is quite good, along with the narrator's performance, the story arc itself came across too fractured and somewhat superficial for my liking.

  • Rebel Stars: Books 0-2

  • By: Edward W. Robertson
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 19 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

A thousand years ago, an alien invasion set humanity back to the Iron Age. Slowly, we recovered, colonizing the Solar System in peace. And discovered that an unknown force is stopping us from exploring any farther. But before the cause can be discovered, a slow-burning conspiracy threatens to explode into System-wide war. With enemies at home and in the darkness beyond, a team of unlikely heroes-a janitor, a mercenary, an asteroid miner, and a pirate-are the only ones who can avert a second apocalypse. This set includes the first three books of the newly-finished REBEL STARS series. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun and entertaining.

  • By Shirley on 01-04-18

Enjoyed the inclusion of a complete Rada backstory

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

After ordering this, I quickly realized that I had previously purchased Books 1&2 of this series. While I could have requested a refund, I decided to listen to Book 0, Rebel, based on the strength of Edward W. Robertson's writing skills and enjoyed it so much that I decided to continue to listen to books 1&2 and forget the refund, it was that good.

If you haven't listened to this series previously, I highly recommend it if you are interested in s skillfully written and engaging story and having the pleasure of a top-tier narrator in Ray Chase performance.

  • Kingdoms and Chaos

  • King's Dark Tidings, Book 4
  • By: Kel Kade
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,239
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,057
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,050

The future of the Ashaiian haven, the newly founded Kingdom of Cael, is anything but secured. Rezkin must seek recognition from the King of Gendishen if his people are to maintain possession of their island home and the enchanted secret it contains. In an unexpected twist, events overtake Rezkin, and he is thrust into a frustrating adventure to seek a worthless prize. He finds that his carefully constructed reputation as an indomitable foe has consequences as others seek to use his strengths for their own gain. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • When does the whiny stop

  • By David sprenkle on 12-04-18

Excellent continuation to the series

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

Reviewed: 11-26-18

Rez continues his perilous quest to gain clear title to the land to protect his friends and the hundreds of refugees he invariably encounters along his bloody path. There are an interesting number of turn of events between Rez and his core group of friends and Rez continues to patiently keep an even keel as his friends constantly bicker and berate him, mostly due to his unconventional and unpredictable ways of handling adversity along the way.

A lot more is revealed in the book as to his lineage, backstory and other secrets.

Frisha's and a few other noble women's voices continue to come across a bit too bimbo-ish but Yserria's character and story arc more than makes up for it.

Anyone who has liked this series before will not be disappointed with the recent addition.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Sellsword's Compassion

  • The Seven Virtues, Book 1
  • By: Jacob Peppers
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 189

If life has taught the jaded sellsword Aaron Envelar anything, it’s that hope is for fools and causes are a sure remedy for breathing. But when his latest job leads him to the corpse of a prince and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the entire realm, Aaron is forced to choose sides in a war he doesn’t want, between forces he doesn’t understand. Thrust into a world of mythical assassins, a madman with superhuman strength, and a nagging ball of light with a superiority complex who claims to be the embodiment of compassion, Aaron takes on his hardest job yet - staying alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful collaboration between author&narrator

  • By Roger & Jean Fauble on 08-22-18

Mostly Staging for the Follow-on Books in Series

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

The novel contains magic but so far mostly centered on persons who have acquired one of the 7 Virtues spirit-form traits. Our protagonist, Aaron, unwantedly acquired that of Compassion or 'Co' for short. Co instills her compassion trait onto Aaron along with the ability to deaden pain for a short period of time. While Aaron makes good use of the nerve-deadening ability, he is troubled by the compassion trait.

Aaron is a recluse but is not without friends and the ability to acquire new ones and Jacob Peppers provides sufficient backstory for each along the way; likewise for the various antagonists he encounters. All of them are written in such a way to make them interesting.

There are two main plot arcs revolving around Aaron, one, his quest to save a kingdom along with one of its princesses and the other defending himself and Co from a madman driven to kill him and tear Co from him.

The various encounters during his two pursuits are interesting but involved a bit more philosophical navel-gazing dialog than seems necessary. Still, the tale unfolds in an interesting fashion. While there were many encounters, by the end of the book nothing had been fully realized and, essentially, ended with the listener/reader having a clear understanding of who the major characters are and their roles for the follow-on books in the series.

There are a few instances of sexual content but none of it graphic nor hardcore.

Steven Brand's narration is very good and enhances the listening pleasure.

The was a solid book and I look forward to continuing the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Street Rats of Aramoor

  • Street Rats of Aramoor, Book 1
  • By: Michael Wisehart
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

Ayrion has been training to fight since he was old enough to walk. As far back as he can remember he’s always had one dream - to be the youngest warrior of his clan. Unfortunately, Ayrion learns the hard way that being the best isn't always a good thing. After a tragic accident rips away his dreams and leaves him without a home, Ayrion heads south to the capital city of Aramoor in hopes of starting a new life. That journey will test him in ways he had never expected, forcing him to use every ounce of his training just to stay alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Immensly entertaining throughout

  • By Sailfish on 11-22-18

Immensly entertaining throughout

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

Reviewed: 11-22-18

This is a coming of age novel about an extremely talented teenage boy, Ayrion, from an Assassin clan who seems to have an uncanny knack for being a bad luck magnet. So much so, that it eventually leaves him exiled from his homeland with nothing but his father's recommendation to travel to distant Aramoor where he might be able to find a decent life by being able to hide his identity. Most of the first half of the book is about his tumultuous misfortunes along the way, all the while befriending almost all who he meets.

The remainder of the book takes him through one travail to another barely escaping with his life on multiple occasions and, while these encounters keeps the excitement level high, it's the sudden outbursts of his junior apothecary savior and new found friend, Reaves, that provide the unexpected comedic interludes. As an example, Reaves is the healer of a tribe of street urchins and so is deemed necessary and knowledgeable for his first aid and herbal skills. During one occasion in the tribe's mess hall when everyone was eating some thin gruel, he became excited about some unrelated incident and exclaimed, 'BLACK VOMIT!', to which all who were seated promptly stopped eating, stared at their soup and slowly backed away.

There are many episodes involving and revolving around Ayrion and in each instance Michael Wisehart has an uncanny talent of making almost all of them interesting. I felt the same way with his other series, The Aldoran Chronicles and look forward to the subsequent books in each of these series.

Lastly, while by now my joy at listening to Tim Gerard Reynolds narration performance would sound repetitive, I at least need to mention that his continues to deliver superbly.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful