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Fantastic Narrator (almost) saves Sophomoric Tale

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

Reviewed: 2020-01-20

*sigh* Such promise.
The Expeditionary Force series cpuld rival the epic spanning SciFi of the James S.A Corey tandem. Instead, Alanson populates his galaxy with furry muppets, scaly muppets, and giant sentient gambling-addict insects.
A group of really cool human Space Marines is wasted with hackneyed clichees, sexual innuendo, needless slang/military jargon (why say 'Communications Security' when you can say 'CommSec'?), and the addition of a Jar-Jar Binks-like character for comic relief.
Alanson writes fascinating, well-thought-out space battles with plenty of action, beleivable twists, and intricate detail that the reader can see with the mind's eye. He fills heart-pounding battle scenes with imaginative, detaed descriptions of alien military technology. Too bad he can't write characters worth a damn. Not one of them is realistic or likable. The book improves as the acton builds, but really drags early on. The good stuff starts at Chapter 15. Keep reading. It improves (somewhat).

R.C. Bray is the best reader in the business. 'Nuff said.

I bought this book as a Daily Deal. Probably should have got a Filet-O-Fish snd some fries.

Maybe other books in the series are better. This one? 3 stars out of 5

A Fascintating (if short) Treatise

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

Reviewed: 2020-01-15

I got this book as a Daily Deal. I am glad I took a chance, but don't think it's worth a credit - all in all.
Anyone who's heard a Sam Harris podcast knows the guy is a thinker. He brings his keen observation and persuasive arguments to a discussion of the ethics/utility of lies. His topic is liberally sprinkled with illustrative anecdotes. Harris comes off as cerebral without being a know-it-all. In fact, the second half of the recording is Sam tackling reader questions, and he actually, to his undying credit, changes his stance on a couple of postulates.

Audio quality is fair at best. Harris is a good reader, but a bit monotone in the delivery of fairly dry writing.

This recording is worth 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Entertaining. Makes me want tl roll some dice

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

Reviewed: 2020-01-14

I got this book as a Daily Deal offer. I'm glad I took a chance. I much prefer Adult Fiction fantasy (RR Martin, Rothfuss, Erickson, even Sanderson), but reviews are pretty good. Why not? Good decision.
This book is excellent at continuing to flesh out Faerun, and includes some scenes on other planes. It has all of the things I love with Fantasy RPGs - goal-oriented action, real(istic) characters, and fantastic monsters and magic.
When I play D&D, I plod through the 'plot", eagerly anticipating the next encounter. This book taught me the utility of good RPG intrigue. The story has plenty of encounters (a few chapters are straight-up battles), but packs the tale with politics/maneuvering by demons, gods, wizards, and kings. Such a story is at risk of being overwhelmed by character motivations and "Historical" events. Rather, 'Archmage' has a great pace, not bogged down with detail.

The biggest drawback is all of the names and places...maybe not so great if you're not familiar with the Forgotten Realms...but Salvatore makes a relatively standard quest plot breathe.

Victor Bevine is a good reader, though nothing special. Professional performance with only a couple of annoying accent choices (Balors shouldn't sound retarded).

I give this book a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. I will be continuing this series.

Fitting Ending to the Trilogy

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

Reviewed: 2020-01-09

This book is very well-written. Jemisin has created a rich, interesting setting...a world as complicated as Middle Earth...if Tolkien was a Sociologist.
Relations between people are integral to the mystical/apocalyptic plot. It has an interesting structure, follows three plotlines (two of which are adventurous quests), eventually bringing them together with an interesting climax. Thought-provoking and entertaining.

This book is completely unable to stand alone. Without Books 1&2, the story makes no sense. But the story is a good one if you invest the time. A little heavy on the social structures and the mystical, but good.

Robin Myles does a decent job reading.

4 stars out of 5.

Weskest of the Trilogu

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

Reviewed: 2020-01-04

This book brings the Stillness into greater detail. Jemisin has envisioned a startlingly realistic fantasy setting. A dynamic, dying planet, social castes, different species, powerful mutations, believable ' human' prejudices. She writes very well, fleshing out her concepts.
This second in the Broken Earth Trilogy follows two plotlines, not degning to bring them together except very superficially. Good set-up for the third novel, but not really able to stand on it's own. The action is too spaced - diluted throughout the novel - a shame given Jemisin's talent for writing with pulse-pounding pace when she wants to.
Unfortunately, this novel starts to suffer from "Battlestar Galactica Syndrome". It gets bogged down in clever metaphysics. I also don't understand her fascination with gay sex, or her insistence on using the First Person Immersive perspective. Telling her reader "You feel angry" or "You think about..." is presumptuous. Just tell us the story...we'll figure out what we feel.
Robin Myles is again an above average reader. She fleshes out some unique dialects - combinations of East Indian, Scottish, and Irish accents. - depending on the character's birthplace in the Stillness. Brilliant She unfortunately has a tendency to lecture rather than relate the story.
I give this installment 3.5 out of 5 stars.

top-notch World- building

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

Reviewed: 2019-12-29

This novel largely lives up to the hype...well worth the awards and accolades. Jemisin writes beautifully, imbuing her characters with realistic humanity. They have fears, ammbitions, and flaws that ring true in a fascinating setting - complete with unique social castes, different species, and mutant powers.

Robin Miles is an adequate reader. A little above average.

The story is not able to stand alone, with really no plot resolution. You will need to get Book 2. It follows three plot-lines which barely interact until the conlusion...but it's quite a conclusion. One of the plotlines following Orogenes is written in First-Person Immersive, which gets annoying. "You" feel this and "You" do that. It gets tired.

This novel establishes a fascinating, original setting, and intriguing characters. Well worth 4 stars out of 5

Fascinating, Informative, and Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 2019-12-21

This book is too short. It ended with me wanting more. Charles McKay's work is peppered with anecdotes which bring to life his conclusions about the nonsensical nature of witch-hunting.
Sam Harris is a good reader. I've listened to his podcast before, and the man knows how to make a point. Unfortunately, his zealous atheism shows through in his foreward and how he edits the work.

3.5 stars out of 5

Promising Fantasy sub-genre falls flat

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

Reviewed: 2019-12-20

If you've ever wondered what it would sound like if Tucker Carlson read a choose-your-own-adventure, this book is for you.

I love RPG games and am a big fan of world-building fantasy. One would think a combination of the two genres would be great. It's not. The book is fun and surely entertaining, but childish. Harry Potter meets Dungeoncrawler is kinda cool, but not exactly edifying. It has a "Hey! We're playing Magic the Gathering" nerdy tone - Makes me want to roll some dice, but my impression is that this type of book sounds like somebody reading a sample encounter out of the DM guide.

Nock Podehl is a below average reader. Not horrible, but some oh his accents are pretty grating (why do all the female chatacters sound like caticaturish gay men?).

If you really like MMORPG games like WoW, this book is worth 3.5 stars out of 5. I can't give it that. An awfully fun diversion, but not worth a credit. Thank you Audible for making available something different to try. At least I now know what I don't like.

Lives up to the Reputation

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

Reviewed: 2019-12-14

This book is considered a classic. Small wonder it's studied in English Lit classes and High Schools.
it's well-written, tackles some pretty deep themes regarding Intelligence and Emotion, and treats the subject of ostracizaton of the mentally retarded with pathos.
Jeff Woodman does a fantastic job reading Charlie. He doesn't play up his character's mental deficiencies with hackneyed "tard" accents, and does New York dialects beautifully.
Keyes does seem to have a strange fascination with Charlie's sexuality. But that's the only noticeable flaw in the book. The shifts in perspective from First Person to Third Person and back again are a little awkward, but help to illustrate Charlie's schizophrenic experience.

This is a great treatment of a great novel. 4.5 stars out of 5.

Frightening. Classic King at it's best

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

Reviewed: 2019-12-11

Several ratings have commented on how different this book is from the movie. I disagree. Kubrick did a remarkable job making a film version of this remarkable book. The differences favor the book. It's better - pretty ambitious to incorporate haunting spirits, extrasensory perception, and a descent into madness into an integrated tale - but the author succeeds with a genuinely creepy story. Too bad King writes such precocious children - tries a bit too hard to write a believable 5-year-old: No way a little kid thinks like Danny Torrance. It's a liitle too implausible.

Campbell Scott is a pretty average reader. Competent, but nothing special.

This recording is worth 4.5 stars out of 5