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Sarra

SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 25
  • helpful votes
  • 90
  • ratings
  • Too Like the Lightning

  • Terra Ignota, Book 1
  • By: Ada Palmer
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 20 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 462
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 421

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer - a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding story, if a bit inaccessible at times

  • By Ron Lubovich on 10-15-16

A history teacher's thought experiment

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

Reviewed: 02-28-18

A thought experiment that simultaneously has gone too far and not far enough.There are some very interesting aspects of this world, but I couldn't get past the holes in the world building. Tons of philosophical details, but some tricky subjects are simply not mentioned or glossed over, presumably because they don't make sense.

The far-future humanity is supposed to be post-scarcity, but people (in fact, the majority of the planet) still pay rent? So there must be homeless folks somewhere, which means this is definitely not post-scarcity, but they are never mentioned.

The handling of gender is also very confused. Supposedly talking about gender is a big taboo, even if someone states their gender identity. Yet the narrator is constantly equating physical attributes with gender identity, which doesn't make any sense. The book seems to include an argument that equality between genders is only possible inside a bland no-gender world, which is not a premise that I accept, as it reeks of anti-feminist logic.

Clearly a lot of work went into this, but I found that I didn't believe this world. Too bad, since the families made up of like-minded individuals rather than blood relatives is a lovely idea that I'd like to see explored more.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61,426
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 57,632
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57,524

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

White Male Nerd Misanthrope Fantasy Fulfillment

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

Reviewed: 02-28-18

If you are a white male nerd who wants to save humanity while remaining smugly superior to all other people, you might enjoy this book.

The author has taken on the task of describing the wonders of the universe, however he can't seem to imagine that a female character might impact history at all, or even have anything interesting to say. I knew the Bobs would all be male, but so is every other character that does anything or has more than 3 lines of dialog.

The only POC is a fanatic that becomes the instant enemy, the whole population of Africa and China seems to have been forgotten, and the future of humanity is white and very British.

So many failures of imagination.

  • Adulthood Rites

  • Xenogenesis, Book 2
  • By: Octavia E. Butler
  • Narrated by: Aldrich Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,006
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 924
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 924

In this sequel to Dawn, Lilith Iyapo has given birth to what looks like a normal human boy named Akin. But Akin actually has five parents: a male and female human, a male and female Oankali, and a sexless Ooloi. The Oankali and Ooloi are part of an alien race that rescued humanity from a devastating nuclear war, but the price they exact is a high one the aliens are compelled to genetically merge their species with other races, drastically altering both in the process.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Addictive

  • By Lynnette on 10-13-16

Fascinating, if slightly dated

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

Reviewed: 01-04-16

Read these books in order- they build on each other very nicely. The whole serious is a fascinating look at human and alien interactions. The only drawback is that the rigid gender roles of the humans feel very dated. When pregnancy and child rearing are taken out of the equation, it makes little sense for the men to be the only hunters, etc. Those things would have to be handled differently in a modern book. Still, it's a very interesting read, and i enjoyed it a lot.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • A Beautiful Friendship

  • Star Kingdom, Book 1
  • By: David Weber
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 10 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,863
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,654
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,664

Stephanie Harrington had always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home - a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie's explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow, Weber hits the target.

  • By brendanstallard on 04-19-12

Poor writing ruins an interesting world

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

Reviewed: 04-10-14

The world in this book has some interesting elements- specifically the native critters on the planet, which are telepathic and have some interesting tribal dynamics. However, I couldn't get past the poor writing. Repetitive and poorly edited, it pulled me away from the story too much.

  • The Name of the Wind

  • Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60,232
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54,699
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54,796

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Joanna on 05-10-11

Creative fantasy with a rich world

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

Reviewed: 04-10-14

This book is a great example of rich world building, without a lot of exposition. The magic system is fresh and interesting. The world has several different nations, each with unique cultures. However, the author doesn't spend ages telling you the history of all of them, instead allowing the characters' interactions to tell the reader the backstory and hint at deeper details.
The main character is interesting and well-developed. He's a storyteller and bard, and the way he talks about the little flourishes and drama he adds to the story gives us a more intimate understanding of the story. It's a nice touch, and it holds up well throughout the book.

This gives the reader a huge challenge- not only does he have to manage many different characters with distinct accents, but he also has to lend the narrative a storyteller's flair. The reader manages it all, which I found incredibly impressive.

  • The Privilege of the Sword

  • By: Ellen Kushner
  • Narrated by: Ellen Kushner, Barbara Rosenblat, Felicia Day, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 746
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 678
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 680

Award-winning author, narrator, and screenwriter Neil Gaiman personally selected this book, and, using the tools of the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), cast the narrators and produced this work for his audiobook label, Neil Gaiman Presents. In this exciting new "illuminated production", the author herself reads her own work, supported by a full cast.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Austen-es​que tale (with swordfight​s!)

  • By Ann on 07-27-12

Unusual fantasy, and an unusual audiobook

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

Reviewed: 08-04-13

I enjoyed the story, without having read the previous book. The characters were complex, and I enjoyed how my understanding of them evolved over the course of the story. The main character was relatable, and I enjoyed her passion and strength. The Duke was mysterious, and well voiced.

The audiobook did something unusual by adding some sound effects in, with very mixed results. Some of them were useful in setting the scene, like the party sounds, but I HATED the metal clashing sound that they used at the opening of the sword practice sessions. That sound is what pulled my performance rating down to three stars, since it almost made me stop listening.

However, I did keep up with it and I enjoyed it in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Nexus

  • Nexus, Book 1
  • By: Ramez Naam
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,933
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,949

In the near future, the nano-drug Nexus can link mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it. When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage, with far more at stake than anyone realizes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This guy might be great one day

  • By Daniel on 05-14-14

Exciting, engaging and thought-provoking

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

Reviewed: 08-04-13

Nexus explores the best and worst in humanity, as the characters and organizations struggle to make sense of emerging technologies. Naam's characterizations feel very real- from the sensual joy and emotional fulfillment of connection to the murderous rage or chilling certainty of a soldier doing her job. There are no one-dimensional characters here, which made me connect with all of them, even while I disagreed with some. The story is fast-paced and thought provoking. I couldn't help but wonder what I would do with the technology presented within. The book left me with excitement and optimism for where humanity can go, tempered with a clear understanding of how things can go wrong. Not bad for a sci-fi thriller! I'm eagerly awaiting the next book.

The narrator did an admirable job with an international set of characters. A few of his voices were a bit annoying but it makes for a very diverse world so I think those were actually great choices.

Overall, it was an excellent story combined with a great narrator. Sci-fi fans will love it, and Naam makes the technical details easy for anyone to understand, so I believe that it can have an even wider audience. A great, thought-provoking read, highly recommended!

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Bellwether

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,177
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 839
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 839

Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Initially funny but then got stuck

  • By C. Oneal on 04-04-14

Repetitive

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

Reviewed: 04-02-13

What did you like best about Bellwether? What did you like least?

The characters and setting were interesting. I found the actual story to be incredibly repetitive. The main character repeats the same few phrases over and over and over again. It might be an accurate model of how a scientist puzzles over a problem, but it just sounded to me like she was trying to pad out the length of the story.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Sacre Bleu

  • A Comedy d'Art
  • By: Christopher Moore
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,871
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,881

In July 1890, Vincent van Gogh went into a cornfield and shot himself. Or did he? Why would an artist at the height of his creative powers attempt to take his life... and then walk a mile to a doctor's house for help? Who was the crooked little "color man" Vincent had claimed was stalking him across France? And why had the painter recently become deathly afraid of a certain shade of blue? These are just a few of the questions confronting Vincent's friends who vow to discover the truth of van Gogh's untimely death.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Is Nothing is Sacre'?

  • By Mel on 05-07-12

Oddly Annoying

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

Reviewed: 04-02-13

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

Different story.

What was most disappointing about Christopher Moore’s story?

Normally I am a big fan of Christopher Moore but for some reason the gender dynamics in this story really bothered me. The old boys club of the artists, and the fact that the two main female characters are a muse/succubus and a nasty bitch just made the whole thing feel unpleasant.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger, annoyance. I know that the art world was (and still is) an old boys club, but the way these men talked about women was just frustrating.

  • Etiquette & Espionage

  • Finishing School, Book 1
  • By: Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by: Moira Quirk
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,928
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,674
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,682

Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light, Fun YA Steampunk Novel

  • By Rebecca on 02-11-13

Fun and Smart

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

Reviewed: 04-02-13

Where does Etiquette & Espionage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top! Both the story and the performance are top notch.

What did you like best about this story?

This setting brilliantly gets around the main problem with young adult novels, which is that kids end up hearing and seeing things they never should be involved in while the adults are clueless. Because these children are studying to be spies, it actually makes sense that they snoop in the adult's business and get involved out of pure curiosity.

Which character – as performed by Moira Quirk – was your favorite?

They were all very well done, and I loved Dimmity as the flightly counterpart to Sophronia.

Any additional comments?

The story was engaging and entertaining and exceedingly well read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful