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Mertaal

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  • Heart of Darkness

  • By: Joseph Conrad
  • Narrated by: Alan Munro
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Although Heart of Darkness was one of the first literary texts to provide a critical view of European imperial activities, it was initially read by critics as anything but controversial. While the book was generally admired, it was typically seen either as a condemnation of a certain type of adventurer who could easily take advantage of imperialism’s opportunities, or else as a sentimental novel reinforcing domestic values: Kurtz’s Intended, who appears at the novella’s conclusion, was roundly praised by turn-of-the-century reviewers for her maturity and sentimental appeal. A classic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible narration

  • By Pippa on 06-04-17

Avoid Alan Munro

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

Reviewed: 03-11-17

I really don't understand why this narrator is so regularly employed. This book is close to unlistenable. He sounds very much like he is reading the words without any sense of comprehension whatsoever.

It's like listening to a Korean pop singer mouth English lyrics they obviously do not understand.

Awful. Avoid anything narrated by Alan Munro. Sadly, he's been employed to read a large amount of classics.

  • Merkiaari Wars Series

  • Books 1-3
  • By: Mark E. Cooper
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 41 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133

Sixteen billion dead. In humanity's last brush with the Merkiaari, it was nearly wiped out in a war that spanned decades. When survey ship captain Jeff Colgan discovers a new alien race, he's required to investigate. But what if the life form is as deadly as the Merkiaari? As the aliens discover Colgan's ship and begin to hunt him down, the captain's mission changes from one of study to one of survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good and Gripping Series

  • By Rogeraee on 08-12-16

Good content, well written... Story lacking

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

Reviewed: 17-08-16

I bought this because I listen to audiobooks while I work, and this set represents a whole lot of bang for your buck.

All fairly standard sci-fi tropes. First contact, AI, supersoldiers, nanotechnology, galactic war against hostile aliens etc.

It's well written, but the author is clearly more in love with elucidating on his world and in particular, the technology therein, than telling a good story.

That isn't to say the stories are bad, but I certainly wasn't gripped. The writing is decent, most of the characters are a little thin but have plausible motivations. Overall I'm a little luke warm and won't rush to continue the series.

  • Cibola Burn

  • Book 4 of the Expanse
  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 20 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 928
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 878
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds, and the rush to colonise has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Illus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire. Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Narration truly awful.

  • By Mertaal on 15-09-15

Narration truly awful.

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

Reviewed: 15-09-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

So, full disclosure. I am not a fan of series which change narrators mid way. However, I try to get over that. In this case I just couldn't.

How could the performance have been better?

You know that style of speaking that American Journalists and voiceovers for film trailers employ? Like they're talking to a child? This guy was kind of like that. At least 50% of the time his intonation has absolutely nothing to do with the words he is speaking. His dialogue is stunted and weird, and does not follow the speech patterns of a normal human being.

Perhaps he's a very fine actor, but his narration was awful.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

They're making the Expanse in to a TV series.

Is this a useful way to analyse a book?

Any additional comments?

Luckily in book five they are returning to the previous, excellent, narrator.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • The Way of Kings

  • The Stormlight Archive
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 45 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,633
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,152
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,140

According to mythology mankind used to live in The Tranquiline Halls. Heaven. But then the Voidbringers assaulted and captured heaven, casting out God and men. Men took root on Roshar, the world of storms, but the Voidbringers followed. The Almighty gave men powerful suits of armor and mystical weapons, the Shardblades. Led by ten angelic Heralds and ten orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won (or so the legends say).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip from Winchester

  • By Philip on 08-06-11

Slow burner, but interesting.

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

Reviewed: 23-07-15

What did you like best about The Way of Kings? What did you like least?

The pace is slow, but it builds well.

What other book might you compare The Way of Kings to, and why?

I'm not sure really. It's fairly unique.

What three words best describe Michael Kramer and Kate Reading ’s voice?

Rather write properly.

Could you see The Way of Kings being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Is this in any way a meaningful tool for reviewing a book?

Any additional comments?

This isn't one of the most riveting fantasy books I've read but there's a lot of good content here, moral decisions and interesting characters and back story. However, you wouldn't describe this book as a page turner. By the end of the book the story is really starting to come together, and then it ends!

However, I listen to audiobooks while working, and so this is really excellent value time wise. I look forward to listening to the rest of the series.

  • EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged)

  • By: Conn Iggulden
  • Narrated by: Paul Blake
  • Length: 17 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 387
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277

Julius Caesar has taken his legions north into mighty battles with the Gallic tribes. But as his successes mount, overwhelming ambition and new alliances begin to threaten his friendship with Marcus Brutus, brother-in-arms and fellow warrior. Although the conquest of Gaul has made Caesar a hero all over again, his victories on the battlefield cause still more rivalries at home. And ultimately Caesar and Brutus will have to choose whether to cross the Rubicon - together or singly - and to take the fight to Rome itself.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Extra word on previous review

  • By Alex on 12-09-10

Annoying change of narrator.

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

Reviewed: 21-01-15

What made the experience of listening to EMPEROR: The Field of Swords, Book 3 (Unabridged) the most enjoyable?

There really is nothing wrong with Paul Blake, but why OH WHY can a new narrator in an ongoing series not listen to at least a small extract of the previous books, and attempt to emulate the pronunciation of names?

Who is Octawiun? (previously the more common Ocvavian)
Who is Serwillia? (previously the more common Sevillia)
Who is Carbora? (previously pronounced Caberra)

I have no idea if Iggulden uses something other than the standard Anglicisations of these common Roman names (the first two at least), but either way, consistency is important in a series of audiobooks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful