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David

Woburn , MA, USA
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 57
  • helpful votes
  • 141
  • ratings
  • The Prey of Gods

  • By: Nicky Drayden
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

In South Africa, the future looks promising. Personal robots are making life easier for the working class. The government is harnessing renewable energy to provide infrastructure for the poor. And in the bustling coastal town of Port Elizabeth, the economy is booming thanks to the genetic engineering industry that has found a welcome home there. Yes, the days to come are looking very good for South Africans. That is, if they can survive the present challenges.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • RIP-roaring mash-up of urban fantasy and sci fi

  • By David on 06-14-18

RIP-roaring mash-up of urban fantasy and sci fi

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

Reviewed: 06-14-18

This is a superb book, with great world-building, characters, and action. It’s funny and touching, and in general a tour de force. The amount of inventiveness that went into this book is off the charts. DNA is 70% urban fantasy and 30% sci-fi, but with more than enough ideas to sustain a whole novel in either genre. In terms of energy and exuberance of its action sequences, might compare it to Vinge’s Rainbow’s End. Really fun.

  • The Punch Escrow

  • By: Tal M. Klein
  • Narrated by: Matthew Mercer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,828
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,717
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,716

Joel Byram is an everyday 22nd century guy. He spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980s new wave - an extremely obscure genre - and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems - until he's accidentally duplicated while teleporting. Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible execution of an interesting idea.

  • By alexkazam on 09-07-17

Anodyne

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

Reviewed: 09-09-17

Any additional comments?

I think it will appeal to people who liked Crouch's "Dark Matter". For people who read a lot of science fiction, this is very lightweight in terms of world-building and metaphysical speculation. Some laughs.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • A Little Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Hanya Yanagihara
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 32 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,888
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,896

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had to call in SAD to work

  • By Angela on 10-17-15

Job was a slacker

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

Reviewed: 06-20-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

With great hesitation. There are parts of it that are brilliant and very moving. There are parts of it in which characters you care about suffer appallingly. The main character's sufferings are over the top. I've read books about war zones that are easier to take. The book is an achievement, but it's definitely not for everyone--I'm not sure it was even ultimately for me. Although I listened voraciously to the end, and couldn't have done otherwise, there were times I wished I hadn't started.

  • Theft of Swords

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 1
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,389
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,978
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,958

Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Two books in one - keep listening!!

  • By Magpie on 08-21-12

Corny

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

Reviewed: 04-12-16

Not for fans of edgy fantasy with creative world-building and premises. Lots of people love it, but I really found it pedestrian.

  • Americanah

  • By: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,528
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,768
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,747

As teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love in a Nigeria under military dictatorship. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America, where Obinze hopes to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dazzling, Romantic, and Witty

  • By Anna-Bo-Banana on 04-28-14

Fantastic book, imperfect narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-09-16

This is a beautifully constructed and very affecting novel. All the prizes and praise are richly deserved. It's brilliant, incredibly observed and gracefully written.

The narrator has a gorgeous voice when speaking in her own English accent, and produces Nigerian and other African accents that are pleasant to listen to, though I can't vouch for their accuracy. Her American accent is beyond disastrous, however, bad enough to be seriously distracting. I've heard Dick van Dyke's Cockney accent in Mary Poppins described as so bad it was practically an act of war. Well, now England has its revenge.

Even still, I'm listening avidly. The novel is great, and most of the reading is lovely.

  • Starship Grifters

  • Rex Nihilo, Book 1
  • By: Robert Kroese
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,029
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,903
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,894

A space-faring ne'er-do-well with more bravado than brains, Rex Nihilo plies the known universe in a tireless quest for his own personal gain. But when he fleeces a wealthy weapons dealer in a high-stakes poker game, he ends up winning a worthless planet - and owing an outstanding debt more vast than space itself! The only way for Rex to escape a lifetime of torture on the prison world Gulagatraz is to score a big payday by pulling off his biggest scam.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sometimes you just gotta give a book a chance!

  • By Sad Carlos on 07-08-14

Hits its target

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

Reviewed: 01-17-16

If you think the idea of a prison planet named Gulagatraz is funny, this book is for you. I enjoyed it. It's not subtle, but it made me laugh.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Fifth Season

  • The Broken Earth, Book 1
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,835
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,049
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,022

This is the way the world ends. For the last time. A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great, red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal and long-dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the Earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ORIGINAL AND MOVING, EXCELLENT!

  • By Fantasy on 12-01-15

Incredible world-building

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

Reviewed: 09-24-15

Great, great stuff. Exceptionally interesting magic, heart-wrenching story, spot-on prose. I wish the narrator had made somewhat less obtrusive choices about voicing the narrative sections but I got used to it, and she does have a very nice voice. Not your typical swords-and-sorcery-and-dragons type of fantasy; brilliantly creative.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Blade Itself

  • The First Law: Book One
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 22 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,447
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,137
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,147

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Violent, Ironic, and Absorbing Epic Fantasy Noir

  • By Jefferson on 01-30-13

Amazing performance

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

Reviewed: 04-21-15

Narrator shows incredible dedication and talent. This is a great, fast-moving fantasy story with very well-drawn characters and vivid combat sequences, but the performance was out of this world.

  • Hild

  • A Novel
  • By: Nicola Griffith
  • Narrated by: Pearl Hewitt
  • Length: 23 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 287

A brilliant, lush, sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king's youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'd give it 10 stars if I could

  • By David on 03-27-14

I'd give it 10 stars if I could

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

Reviewed: 03-27-14

Where does Hild rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Probably the best.

What other book might you compare Hild to and why?

It's been described as "Game of Thrones without the dragons" and that's fairly accurate. But the writing is just beautiful, and the women are richly realized.

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

She's got a gorgeous voice, and does a great job with choosing various contemporary UK or Ireland accents for the characters. I particularly enjoyed her performance of the narrator's ditzy friend Begu. She also reads like she admires and enjoys the prose, which is indeed worthy of it.

Any additional comments?

There's no supernatural elements in this book, just people who believe in the supernatural (Christ included), so if you're expecting a fantasy book, bear that in mind. Also, there's a lot of dynastic politics and geopolitical maneuvering, which can sometimes be hard to follow in audio format as one tries to keep track of names and places. Griffith's website has lots of resources, including maps and a family tree. The book felt real and vivid, totally immersing me in its world. What a place to visit!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The White Tiger

  • A Novel
  • By: Aravind Adiga
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,826
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,575
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,571

Balram Halwai is a complicated man. Servant. Philosopher. Entrepreneur. Murderer. Balram tells us the terrible and transfixing story of how he came to be a success in life - having nothing but his own wits to help him along. Through Balram's eyes, we see India as we've never seen it before: the cockroaches and the call centers, the prostitutes and the worshippers, the water buffalo and, trapped in so many kinds of cages that escape is (almost) impossible, the white tiger.

With a charisma as undeniable as it is unexpected, Balram teaches us that religion doesn't create morality and money doesn't solve every problem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great, informative tale

  • By Barry Feinstein on 05-19-09

Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-22-08

Part Dostoevsky, part Frantz Fanon, part Baudelaire, all original. The writing is just great: spare but incredibly evocative. And it's beautifully performed as well.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful