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Sailfish

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  • Off Armageddon Reef

  • Safehold Series, Book 1
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 29 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,462
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,471

When Earth herself lay under siege by an enemy humankind could not defeat, mankind undertook one last throw of the dice: Operation Ark. Earth's final colonizing expedition was meant to build a new civilization, on a planet so distant even the Gbaba might never find it, and without the high-tech infrastructure whose emissions might betray its location.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • David Weber always good

  • By Alison on 09-08-07

Overly repetitive and angst-ridden

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

First, while the series may eventually settle into a Sci/Fi genre, book 1 would more appropriately had been classified as a flintlock fantasy. Then, there were 8 major factions, 6 being monarchs and two being part of the overriding theocratic rule, 7 of which were plotting to overthrow the most benevolent and successful monarch. That, in itself, wouldn't have been bad but David Weber decided to often have each faction repeat strategic ruminations, lamentations and royalty fawning of the others as he cycled through them throughout the novel. This made for having listening through what essentially was the same material aggravating and frustrating.

David Weber is a renowned writer and that had shown through even in this book but his decision to essentially replicate large sections with most name and title changes, workrd against the story.

One bright spot was the excellent narrating performance of Oliver Wyman.

I'll not continue the series.

  • Soulsmith

  • Cradle, Book 2
  • By: Will Wight
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 261

Outside Sacred Valley, ancient ruins rise from the earth, drawing sacred artists from miles around to fight for the treasures within. Lindon has reached Copper, taking the first step on the road to power, but the warriors of the outside world are still far beyond him. To advance, he turns to the arcane skills of the Soulsmiths, who craft weapons from the stuff of souls. But with new powers come new enemies, and Lindon soon finds himself facing an entire sect of Golds. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating

  • By Larry Buckmaster on 12-29-18

With more context comes more enjoyment

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

Reviewed: 01-19-19

Book 2 was more interesting than Book 1 since it expanded the story arc in fascinating ways. We find that Lindon has somehow formed a bond with Yerin through his trustworthiness and keen ability to find way to overcome his severe limitations by using other tools at his reach to defend Yerin at critical points. Yerin, herself, is shown to be a much more interesting character than the one-dimensional warrior as depicted in the previous book.

We are also introduced to two new apex characters, Jai Long an antagonist and Eithan an aloof interloper with mysterious foresight abilities. There are other interesting secondary characters and Will Wight expertly weaves a fascinating narrative that has both Yerin and Lindon barely surviving one confrontation after another mostly driven by Lindon's drive to increase his rank through hard work and an insatiable appetite for learning.

Travis Baldree's narration continues to be a delight to listen to.

As of this writing, I'm begrudgingly on hold for Book 3 in hopes that it will eventually be offered in WhisperSync as the first two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unsouled

  • Cradle, Volume 1
  • By: Will Wight
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384

Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world. Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan. When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must rise beyond anything he's ever known...and forge his own Path.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional Story, entertaining performance

  • By Mike on 08-28-18

A unique and interesting coming of age story

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

Book 1 is clearly a coming of age story of young Lindon who is part of a warrior society that defines one's worth based on their affinity toward one of 4 warrior-oriented attributes referred to as souls; of which his has been measured as null. This has placed him at the lowest of low classes within the society which only values one's excellence in their soul class. The societal culture seems closely to that of what we know of eastern Asian monks in terms of their deference to higher-order soul classes, which makes the telling of the story a definite pleasure as a change.

Poor Lindon, shamed from such a cursed rating, is driven to improve his standing using whatever method available to him, which often revolves around taking chances on relaxing his societal rigid rules along with trickery. This generally fails to impress his betters and earns his the disdain of others. That is, until he happens to be noticed by a supreme deity who takes interest in his tenacity to break down obstacles to become greater than what life has seemingly dealt him.

What follows is an entertaining adventure of him moving forward but having to endure hardships and brutal encounters for every step.

Will Wight's writing style is quite good different enough to keep me from any tendency to skip over any backstory or world building sections. Travis Baldree's performance enhances the telling of the story by providing a definite eastern flavor to it.

Onto Book 2

  • Will of Fire

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 17 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 48

The villainous Drad Redstar has won the favor of king and country after leading a decisive victory over the rebels at Winde Port. Now with a seat on the royal council, he condemns Torsten to a lifetime in the dungeon and invites his militant people to take up residence in the capital. But not all light has been squelched. There is one disgraced King’s Shieldsman left who remains loyal to Torsten, and only he can help free the Glass Kingdom from Redstar and his dark desires to revive the Buried Goddess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of the series. Now with Pirates

  • By Josh R on 01-18-19

Should have been a trilogy

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

A good amount of the story involved two uninteresting characters Torsten and Torsten-lite, Rand. Both were fanatics who were constantly belching out threats against their antagonists that clearly were simply bluster. Worse, these outbursts ended up harming those that they swore to protect, making them come off as impotent fools, rather than any kind of heroic figures, as what the author(s) seemed to want to frame them as. In fact, leaving Torsten imprisoned and Rand in a pitiful drunken stupor would have been less of a joy-kill than the lengthy amount of character play that was afforded them. Sora and Whitney's parts were much better but even those ended up being a lot of meandering time with little story arc movement.

While I'll not be continuing on with this series, I will say that Luke Daniels' skillful performance was what kept me listening through the end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • First Login

  • Chronicle, Book 1
  • By: Kevin Murphy
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 358
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 356

In a not-too-distant future ripe with marvels of technological convenience, wage and work disparity are as rampant as they ever were. A new game makes a claim that's bolder than its competition: So long as players are logged in, they'll have extra time to live. Like most, Corbin has been stunted by the real world. Now that chance has given him a new lease on life in the form of a game, he'll do whatever it takes to pursue it. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great start

  • By Umaros on 12-20-18

Well Written, Interesting Story Arc

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

Kevin Murphy writing is quite good and he provides an acceptable amount of backstory for Corbin, the protagonist of the story. While he has teamed up with and 'friended' several other players, their backstories are left unclear for now. The various encounters and quests are engaging but the continued recitation of player stats becomes distracting very fast. While this is not uncommon with this genre, it still is disruptive and adds little to the story flow since the listener/reader really won't spent much time attempting remember them.

For now, Corbin is still in the early phase of his game play and has shown an uncommon knack for analyzing opportunities and choosing wisely (luckily?) when presented with choices. I've not invested much interest in the various other secondary characters since there really hasn't been any significant personal engagement with them other than when battling on encounters or quests.

Overall, I enjoyed First Login, not the least due to Nick Podehl's youthful voice and excellent narration skills.

Looking forward to Book 2.

  • Storm World

  • Undying Mercenaries, Book 10
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 16 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 672
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 632

In an unprecedented first, Earth sends a message to Mogwa Prime. Unfortunately, the messenger is not met with enthusiasm. Misunderstandings soon threaten all of Humanity. Forced to prove Earth can serve the Empire better than any rival, McGill does his best. Eager to prove our worth to the Galactics, the frontier war between Rigel and Earth is expanded to Storm World. Circled by six moons, the planet is ravaged by wild storms and tides. Battles are fought in raging hurricanes, and death stalks the soldiers on both sides.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love Mcgill

  • By jason kirby on 01-15-19

The Entertainment Goes On

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

Reviewed: 01-13-19

B. V. Larson continues to uncover and explore fresh new veins of gold storytelling in Storm World. McGill and his antics continue to threaten and, somehow, save humankind from destruction; all the while treating us to hilarious situations along with informing us of new insights into the aged but still very dangerous Galactic Empire.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Undead

  • Crucible, Book 2
  • By: Ryan W. Aslesen
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46

Consumed with finding those responsible for the death of his family 10 years earlier, Max is approached by Juno Rey, a seductive CIA agent with a tantalizing offer - information on the killers in exchange for Max's help on a top-secret mission. The target: a covert biomedical research facility located deep in North Korea, where scientists are attempting to reverse engineer the alien life-form discovered in Alaska. An elite team of CIA operatives accompanies him, but even their advanced weapons cannot ensure survival against the murderous abominations created at the facility. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good action but...

  • By Anonymous User on 01-17-19

Too predictable

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

Reviewed: 01-10-19

The entire story comes off as an almost repeat of Book 1, except for different characters. The series story arc really is not moved forward that much and mostly moves in a predictable lateral movement. The protagonist, Max, while portrayed as a military-hardened squad leader loses almost all of that mystic what with his continued tendency to play lapdog to any attractive female who feigns interest in him.

Jeffrey Kafer narration was well done but was hindered by what seemed like a not too distant echo of the first book.

I'll not continue this series.

  • Leviathan

  • Event Group Adventure, Book 4
  • By: David L. Golemon
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 252

The ships of the world are under attack, attacks so sudden and vicious that many ships are lost without a single distress call. Enter the Event Group, the most secret organization in US history. Armed with proof that history is repeating itself, the Group finds themselves in the grasp of an insane genius straight out of the pages of Jules Verne.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Leviathan: A Classic Journey!

  • By Kim Venatries on 05-22-14

A Disappointment

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

'An indoctrination wrapped in a thriller', as Farbeaux might say.

As a thriller, this novel was fairly well-written but fell terribly short when it came to providing facts when discussing environment science.

David L. Golemon published this book in 2009 and has Alex, the acclaimed world's smartest person, proclaiming, 'The polar ice cap is melting above us. It is dying from a global phenomenon many politicians have said is only a cyclical happening. Global warming cannot be stopped, possibly not in our lifetime—that is not an opinion, but fact. The temperature in the past ten years has risen by six degrees.' Furthermore, she prognosticates, 'We are under the direct center of the North Pole. At the rate of the meltdown, in ten years there will be no ice at the top of the world'

It appears the author relied more on a demagogic politician's environmentally-bogus book for his 'facts' rather than the actual data produced by NASA, NOAA and GISS. In fact, between 1999-2009, earth's temperature had only risen 0.1deg.C or 0.18degF. Since the 10 years following the book, there are bunches of ice at the North Pole still; as far and further than the eye can see, in point of fact.

Richard Poe narration was very good, as has been the case in the other novel's in this series that I've listened to.

  • Ancients

  • By: David L. Golemon
  • Narrated by: Richard Poe
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

Eons before the birth of the Roman Empire, there was a civilization dedicated to the sciences of Earth, sea, and sky. In the City of Light lived people who made dark plans to lay waste to their uncivilized neighbors using the very power of the planet itself. As the great science of their time was brought to bear on the invading hordes, hell was set loose on Earth. And the civilization of Atlantis disappeared in a suicidal storm of fire and water.… Now history threatens to repeat itself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Event Group yet ...!

  • By C. Mikulski on 05-23-15

Another action-pack thriller!

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

Mix a little Tom Clancey 'Sum of all Fears', Neil Gaiman 'American Gods' and earth-shattering terror and destruction along with David L. Golemon's literary magic sauce and you get a story that is not only fantastical but bone-chilling frightening. The only thing missing were politicians, religious leaders, UN panels and well-financed government scientists prognosticating that the 'events' were conclusively related to climate change.

The story arc was well crafted and the characters were all made interesting with sufficient and judicious backstories.

Richard Poe continues his excellent narrating performance, making for an even more enjoyable listening experience.

  • Existential

  • Crucible, Book 1
  • By: Ryan W. Aslesen
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 356
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 335

It was supposed to be just another mission. Buried deep in the rugged Alaskan wilderness lies a secret that could alter the future of mankind - a secret that billionaire Elizabeth Grey has invested millions in solving. But when the dig goes silent, an elite team of battle-hardened military contractors is brought in led by former Marine Max Ahlgren. While the mission to make contact and rescue a team of scientists and engineers working on an “archeological” project seems like an easy payday, once on ground, the team discovers the grizzly truth that this is no ordinary rescue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Action Action Action

  • By Ronald on 10-17-18

Solid Military SciFi

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

The story premise, while not completely unique, was novel enough to still make it interesting. The characters were portrayed in a no-nonsense manner, from the mercenary team to their soulless benefactors. The alien creatures were ruthless and brutal and then they started learning. Lots of close calls, tragic ends and plots twists along the way.

Ryan W. Aslesen writing was very good and Jeffrey Kafer narration performance was perfect for this type of novel.

Although I enjoyed the story, I felt that more information should have been provided as to why the alien species was onboard the ship in the first place.

If you like fast-paced, adrenaline-laden action, you should enjoy this book.