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  • Woken Furies

  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 22 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,835
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,994
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,969

Richard K. Morgan has received widespread praise for his astounding 25th-century novels featuring Takeshi Kovacs, and has established a growing legion of fans. Mixing classic noir sensibilities with a searing futuristic vision of an age when death is nearly meaningless, Morgan returns to his saga of betrayal, mystery, and revenge, as Takeshi Kovacs, in one fatal moment, joins forces with a mysterious woman who may have the power to shatter Harlan's World forever.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • "On Harlan's World...

  • By Danyal on 09-29-08

book is as poor as the narration

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

Reviewed: 08-03-18

Don't blame everything on the narrator. Is he bad? Not great. I agree the echo chamber effects on his memories is a horrendous choice. And those who slight Dufris for mispronouncing Kovac's name (and yes he does) are overlooking the previous narrators multiple mispronunciations of numerous words. Previous narrator was better, yes. But this is not a good book either. Altered Carbon is one of the better SF novels I've read, certainly in recent years. But 2 & 3 are not good and it seems everything Morgan did right in 1, he quickly forgot in his glee to do a trilogy. Everything about this, and #2, are geared around stretching out a thin story idea. the kudos I willingly heaped on 1 as I recommended it to people, have all been squandered. If you want a lesson in how to drag out a story, and keep finding ways to delay forward momentum, and use the smokescreen of graphic sexual encounters to distract the reader/listener, here you go. I'm not a prude, but the sex scenes turn up more frequently in this one to distract you and they become so laughable I just shake my head. In Altered Carbon there is very little that isn't relevant to the story and the character development and the world building and the mystery; in the last 2, very little was compelling and the few great ideas were left unexplored in favor of hyped up hollywood shoot-em up and blow-em up action. #2 went pretty much exactly where I thought it would, rather predictable and verging on formulaic; #3 hasn't gone as I expected, which normally is a good thing, but where it has gone is boring and meaningless, no imagination, & I don't mean in certain story elements, I mean in overall design. Dullsville.

  • Altered Carbon

  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,484
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,224

In the 25th century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Altered Carbon

  • By Jake Williams on 09-22-07

Got it in One

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

Reviewed: 08-03-18

I was very surprised how good this was. Reviews talking Noir aspects and connecting it to Chandler, Hammett, Blade Runner are on target. Throw in a dash of Samuel Delany with regards to some body enhancement aspects of a future society. The world is very well imagined and thought out regarding elements of how this technology would be used and abused by the haves and have nots, and the implications regarding daily life amid lots of little tech devices. Very much Noir with convoluted mystery and side stories that may or may not be connected. But the tech and lingo never seems to be so obscure that you don't very quickly figure out what it is at least in general. And the cyber/alternate reality moments are never overwhelming and grounded with some parameters that I think is lacking in many other novels using cyber stuff. I have no problem recommending this one. And the Netflix show, though it alters a couple things, does it real justice with quality FX and production, and a couple things that I think Morgan had to be saying, "i wish i had thought of that." Now, as for the rest of the trilogy.....to crib a favorite (very overused, to the point of becoming ludicrous) phrase of his from the novels, as you gather from my title, "got it in one". I struggled through #2, and 2/3rds of #3 and don't know if I'll finish. I wish I had stopped after 1 as the others are ruining my enjoyment of 1. I avoid trilogies and series because as a rule the unique idea and style occurs in the 1st and then everything gets watered down and stretched just to get to the magic number of a trilogy. And he's proving me right again, with meaningless un-compelling stories. Do this by all means, but force yourself to stop after #1.

  • Broken Angels

  • By: Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by: Todd McLaren
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,300
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,128

Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private eye, has changed careers, and bodies, once more, trading sleuthing for soldiering as a warrior-for-hire and helping a far-flung planet's government put down a bloody revolution.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gritty, hard-boiled space action

  • By Ryan on 08-23-14

Diminishing returns begins

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

Reviewed: 07-30-18

As unique as 1st book was I had high hopes, but unfortunately it feels like though he had a great vision of what a future with this tech might be like & how it affected people in all walks of life, & had a compelling & convoluted mystery to drive the story—in 2nd one he’s reverted to somewhat standard SF plotting & to be honest the story didn’t stray too far from where I figured it was going. He throws in a lot of technobabble as chaff to fill the air but where in 1 it seemed to add to the story without becoming unintelligible, here it smells more like he’s getting paid by the techno word. A friend & I both thought 1 was great, but were both disappointed with this & for many of same reasons. I have a feeling this book could have been trimmed a lot & got to the unsurprising end quicker & maybe combined with 3, but it’s all about stretching things out for trilogies these days & that’s why I avoid them & series: the unique vision & storytelling style of a first book always suffers when the story is continued. I already predicted to my friend where I thought 3 would go & we’re starting it so we’ll see how close I am. I would not hesitate to recommend 1, but can’t 2.

  • The X-Files: Stolen Lives

  • By: Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
  • Narrated by: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, and others
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,715
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,581
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,582

Out of the ashes of the Syndicate, a new, more powerful threat has emerged. Resurrected members of this fallen group - now shadows of their former selves - seemingly bend to the will of someone, or something, with unmatched abilities and an unknown purpose. As those believed to be enemies become unlikely allies and trusted friends turn into terrifying foes, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully become unknowing participants in a deadly game of deception and retribution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • As much as the show

  • By S. Reese on 11-02-17

Almost

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

Reviewed: 12-15-17

It was ok. Not as good as first set. Everyone in this except Skinner & Cig Man sounded like they were reading it for the first time as they recorded. Mulder especially sounded bored with it. No emotion at all. Actually all of the “extras” sounded good, far more enthused than “stars”. Last story with the mind control & clones was probably best. Too much alien conspiracy which started to be a total mess on TV & they always seem to be trying to fix. I think they all might have been good with better scripts & more emotion. Might all have made for decent TV episodes to see visually the drug dream one & the clones.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Death's End

  • By: Cixin Liu, Ken Liu - translator
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 28 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,804
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,475

Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to coexist peacefully as equals, without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fermi paradox meets first contact.

  • By John S. Robinson on 10-01-16

Boring Era: Year One

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

Reviewed: 02-25-17

You may gather from my title that the novel is divided into parts referred to variously as "....Era: year one," etc, as in "Galactic Era". Sorry but for me it was Boring Era. I forced myself to finish this trilogy since it is all the rage and someone even said this 3rd one is the best of them all. Sorry, I think not.

Overall this trilogy clocks in at about 75 hours and I should have bailed out after the first one's 13. These last 2 (Dark Forest and Death's End) should have been edited, trimmed, condensed, into 2 shorter works if not into 1. Some territory is rehashed but not horribly, I simply got tired of it finding new ways to go off on tangents, belabor certain issues, invent new situations and scientific scenarios simply to drag out the story.

Again the science is fascinating at times, in a text bookish way, but the people just never captured my imagination; I never cared what happened to any of them as they were all clearly pawns of the plot. Not to say that isn't true to an extent of all literary characters, but these never had life for me. And all the episodes, though they do relate for the most part, just kept feeling like one more story element to stick in to relate yet another scientific idea. OK, fine, it's science fiction. But most of the time it reads like an amped up version of Hawking's Brief History or Greene's Elegant Universe, both of which I enjoyed.

There are aspects I like, but too much that bored me. And I became less tolerant of the writing style as I went, noting more often clunky lines or attempts to include as many metaphors as possible which started to smell like desperation (for the most egregious overuse of metaphors check out Dean Koontz). Writing I liked in the 1st one, was far less apparent as we progressed through 2 & 3; at least he was trying harder early on. And I really got tired of the accumulated lucky coincidences, give me a break.

Was I curious to see where it all went? Yes. Was it worth it? No. And again, Clarke is all over the place in this series. And ending is a variation on Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. Also a big cheat to go to all the effort in #1 to outline the Trisolaran world and make them the main alien antagonists and then never show them; I want to see them: if you're going to all that effort, then devise a physiology for them that fits your parameters in some logical way. Clarke gets a pass with his monolith builders because they're "energy" based and it's all symbolic anyway. These guys are not, they need starships to cross space and are subject to time so they have physical bodies, you need to show them.

I did like that the author is well read and alludes to many other works. And for me the best part of the novel is the small stretch near the end where they deal with the fairytale and trying to decipher hidden meanings in it; that small stretch was by far the best writing in the whole novel and the most intriguing.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Forest

  • By: Cixin Liu, Joel Martinsen - translator
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 22 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,438
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,431

This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking listeners to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion - in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-25-15

diminishing returns

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

Reviewed: 02-20-17

Really liked the 1st one for it's big ideas and there are more here, but beginning to feel stretched out to fill the required trilogy aspect.

Again like the first one, there is some nice writing and imagery, but characters get a little lost. Not so much as first one since we follow one main guy through most all of the book as he is a "Wall Facer", part of a cadre of people trying to figure out how to deal with the Tri-Solarins. I liked this element of the book the best as it's a bit like 4 separate murder mysteries, not murders, but the secret planning of each and then the revelation of how each person designed their "defense". This kept things interesting for me though as I say, it begins to stretch a little and perhaps could have been trimmed/condensed carefully. It began to feel lengthy, which it is, and again I found myself more interested in the ideas and plot than in the people.

Had it moved quicker I would be more inclined to go on to 3rd one, but it is even longer (early bit of it seems totally unrelated, ok, I'm sure it will all tie together somehow) but actually Dark Forest felt like an end to 1 & 2 so I don't feel urge to continue except for curiosity sake. & to top that off, I felt end to Dark Forest fizzled and cheated in many aspects.

The different aspects and story elements create a sort of mosaic structure whereby separate stories provide insight into overall theme and if not directly connected at least inform each other.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Three-Body Problem

  • By: Cixin Liu
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,199
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,392
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,397

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hard science fiction

  • By DarthVal on 03-11-16

didn't blow me away

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

Reviewed: 02-20-17

I dip now and then into the supposed SF masterpieces of the new writers, and often I'm disappointed. This is all the rage at the moment, and while it was good and had some interesting ideas and is no doubt well researched, I found myself listening just for the plot and ideas; I didn't connect with any of the characters really. I think again this shows a fundamental problem with current writers of SF and other genres, but especially SF, where the science and ideas are the story, and the writing is at times atrocious (not here) and the characters and human-ness and individuality are at best secondary. Maybe much is lost in translation, I'm willing to concede that possibility. There are some nice moments and writing and imagery here, but over shadowed by plot. There are many references to SF writers (Clarke Asimov) and novels (Fountains of Paradise, Foundation) along the way which was fun in an easter egg type of way.

I'm probably not that helpful here as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Basically there is a bit of a 1984 style opening; there is a Contact type of plot; there is a Gibson-esque virtual reality game element (which normally leaves me cold but worked along with the story to reveal important ideas); there is a bit of a Crichton use of science element which I liked very much. In all there are enough story elements to keep you interested as it shuttles about, I just wish I had been able to attach to the characters better. It may be that part of the trouble for me was that many names sound similar (not being racist here) and our unfamiliarity with Chinese names hinders english speakers a bit. A couple of times a name is given and someone mentions what the name means in Chinese; it may be that all of the names mean something we're unaware of and for Chinese speakers this helps to delineate who is who.

I did go on to the 2nd one, Dark Forest, but may not 3rd.

Again, I like very much the ideas and science and plot and the logical thought processes and the philosophical and buddhist pondering; if I could have really gotten attached to a character I might have given it 5 stars.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Eon

  • By: Greg Bear
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 788
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 710
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 712

Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Am Epic Original SciFi Read Worth Your Time...

  • By Michael on 07-01-12

Too far to slog for no payoff

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

Reviewed: 01-22-17

Sorry but I just don't see what's so great about this one. We'll ignore for the moment the blatant Clarke Rama ripoff. It starts "well", though the Rama aspect is foremost in my mind as it starts, but I would say that after the halfway point, when the obligatory "Hollywood" shootemup military assault happens, too much of interest is shunted aside in favor of dealing with that, and boring political crap.

Were I editor, I would have told Bear, and all writers currently, take the military and political crap out, take the guns out and do something creative and different, and use the time better developing and explaining the really wondrous aspects of the ideas. I'm bored with unnecessary explosions etc. Do something imaginative. So much of import, i.e., Who built it, How, Why, How does it all work, etc., is passed over briefly if at all. Not to mention elements that start to verge on magic. Scrap that crap. I guess we can learn (maybe) some of these answers in next book. NOT Interested.

So many SF writers have great ideas, but they're terrible writers; they need editors not to mention learning some craft. Here's a good example from Eon: "What happened next, happened so fast Patricia could hardly follow it." Don't tell me something is going to happen, just show it, I'll know it happens next, because it happens next. Don't dilute surprise, destroy suspense, let it happen. This is a simple quick fix that so many authors need to learn. This is just one of a plethora of bad writing examples. Describe visually, explain with similes and metaphors. So much of this novel is lacking stylistically. No poetry here. I will be first to admit Clarke's Rama isn't well written stylistically, but at least he keeps revealing wonders.

And the characters in this are just cardboard. And of course there's the obligatory "we have to shut it down immediately" race against time so overused by everyone. And the also obligatory "throw some sex scenes in" are laughable, thankfully there are only a couple.

Just bored with this type of stuff. Could have been mind bending. I'm sure many others will love this one, I wanted more.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Persona

  • By: Genevieve Valentine
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 12

When Suyana, Face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, secretly meets Ethan of the United States for a date that can solidify a relationship for the struggling UARC, the last thing she expects is an assassination attempt. Daniel, a teen runaway turned paparazzi out for his big break, witnesses the first shot hit Suyana, and before he can think about it he jumps into the fray, telling himself it's not altruism, it's the scoop. Just like that,Suyana and Daniel are now in the game of Faces.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • a mess

  • By Darryl on 12-01-16

a mess

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

Reviewed: 12-01-16

I made it to the end and still cannot tell you what of importance happened. It ends as if there's a great revelation to be announced, but I don't see how that's possible. Poor writing actually. No grounding in whatever the parameters of the world of the story are so you have no idea what's really going on: in some amorphous Rollerball-ish way there is a sense that news hawks and paparazzi and "snaps" (photogs) are a major force in some global politics but that's about it. There is little or no delineation of the relationships of the characters, whether to each other nor to the organizations they work for. A friend listens to same books as I do and we discuss them but neither of us followed this story well, (what story there is) and neither of us cared to finish, though I did.

In the interest of trying some of the new authors and current "respected" novels I've looked at various reviews and sites. This is another that was on some list of best SF books of last year or year before and so far from that list we've listened to at least 3 and none of them have been great. I do not understand how some of these things get published for one thing, but then to have someone tout them as best of a year does not speak well of reviewer/listmaker nor does it speak well of the reading public that thinks mediocre writing is phenomenal. Will probably return for refund though it isn't really Audible's fault that it got put out there. To think of all the actual well written, thought provoking SF and lit that I keep hoping will get narrated, and then to come across this dreck.

And I read the other review of this here and don't agree with the Clockwork Orange bit as I had no trouble following that, nor some other far more challenging writing like Stand on Zanzibar or Sometimes A Great Notion, and I could go on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant

  • By: Seth Dickinson
  • Narrated by: Christine Marshall
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 331
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 304
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 303

In Seth Dickinson's highly anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a richly imagined geopolitical fantasy, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire. Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people - even her soul.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A triumph of a debut!

  • By Mimi on 09-25-15

couldn't finish

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

Reviewed: 11-24-16

This was on some list of best SF from last year. Why? Not only is it more of an extremely watered down fantasy world, but up to the half way point if there was anything SF oriented (perhaps some vague societal genetic reproductive restrictions and control) I missed it; and to top it off, little or nothing of interest had nor was happening. Bored and I didn't care about anyone or anything in it. There are a lot of characters with little to differentiate them in your mind so it all blends together. Surely by the halfway point of any novel you should be able to keep some characters straight in your mind, have an inkling of interactions of importance and implications for future of the story, and something, something of interest should have happened. A friend was listening too and he lost interest. Told him I was pulling the plug on it and he didn't care to finish it either. Maybe all the excitement is in last half, but I don't care, not worth my time when there are so many good things to get to. Will return it.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful