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Steph Adams

London, England
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 8
  • ratings
  • An Echo of Things to Come

  • The Licanius Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: James Islington
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 26 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 830
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 772

In the wake of a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs - finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra. As the Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, however, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late. His ally in the Capital, the new Northwarden, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous political secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent -but you need to concentrate

  • By Robyn on 19-01-18

Part 2 does not disappoint

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

Reviewed: 17-12-17

The second of the trilogy moved the story on with most of the protagonists well. Caiden is far more in the spotlight for this and Wir is less prominent but they are all essential pieces of the puzzle.

Once again Michael Kramer does a superb narrative. He is clearly very skilled and maintains a compelling pace.

The characters are growing up and have lost their youthful naïveté- but that is only right for this installment.

Immersive, well structured and great for listening to in long chunks, I enjoyed this immensely and look forward to the third part.

  • Hidden Figures

  • The Untold Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
  • By: Margot Lee Shetterly
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125

Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'human computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African American women.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • How did I not know about these women?

  • By Steph Adams on 05-01-17

How did I not know about these women?

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

Reviewed: 05-01-17

This book details the struggles and determination of a group of black women to be recognised for their worth. Brilliant mathematicians, they were housed in their own department and endured humiliating segregation socially despite working alongside white male colleagues.

What's really interesting about this book is that it examines the impact of the women becoming successful- good and bad.

The narrative is provided warmly but the underlying steel of the book shines through the narration and it beautifully brings the story to life.
Highly recommended

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Station Eleven

  • By: Emily St John Mandel
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,254

Day one: The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the Earth like a neutron bomb. News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%. Week Two: Civilization has crumbled. Year Twenty: A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe. But now a new danger looms, and it threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not just another dystopian novel

  • By Rosalynde on 20-07-15

Complex, compelling and consuming

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

Reviewed: 16-09-16

The premise of the story is a sudden pandemic that wipes out 99.9% of the population. We follow the stories of some of the survivors in a complex tale of survival, loss and hope. The genius of this story is just how well the stories are interwoven, and there are surprising connections made.

It jumps around time lines and characters but is never confusing and all the characters become compelling in their own way.

It is also done in a surprising economy of words. This story could easily have been twice as long.

The brevity adds to the pull of the story and keeps it absolutely focused on plot.

I have a feeling I won't be able to stop thinking about this for a while.

Highly recommended for fantasy/drama fans or for someone who wants to try something a bit different.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Dragon Blood - Omnibus

  • By: Lindsay Buroker
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
  • Length: 27 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 272
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248

A thousand years have passed since a dragon has been seen in the world. Science and technology have replaced magic, which has dwindled until it has become little more than an element of myth and legend. There are those who still have dragon blood flowing through their veins, distant descendants of the mighty creatures of old. These rare humans have the power to cast magic, the power to heal, and the power to craft alchemical weapons capable of starting wars...or ending them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Frothy Fantasy

  • By Steph Adams on 07-03-16

Frothy Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 07-03-16

This is a rollicking swashbuckling tale of a sorceress out of time, a rakish pilot, and various sidekicks. The first book tells of Sardelle and her soul blade and how she encounters Ridge and there is quite a heavy emphasis on romantic connection between the protagonists.

Book 2 tells of one of Ridge's squad and her battle to escape prison. Helping her is a pirate with the nickname Deathbringer.

The third book brings them all together on a mission for the King although the emphasis is heavily on Ridge and Sardelle.

This is no Way of Kings. It is an enjoyable romp with just enough background and description to get you into that world but nothing more. It made a nice change of pace from the intense epics of Brandon Sanderson that I had been listening to up till this point.

A nice distracting listen to and I will get the next one in the series if that's any indication.

The author took a little getting used to as she used quite harsh accents for some of the characters but after a while my ear got used to it. She's not the best reader I've heard but she wasn't awful either.

All in all a reasonable series and worth a 'credit' from Audible.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Words of Radiance

  • The Stormlight Archive, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 48 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,515
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,268
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,263

Book two of the Stormlight Archive. From the best-selling author who completed Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series comes a new, original creation that matches anything else in modern fantasy for epic scope, thrilling imagination, superb characters, and sheer addictiveness. Return to a planet swept by apocalyptic storms, a world tipping into war as aristocratic families move to control the shard blades and shard plates, ancient artifacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding - again!…and very much worth the wait.

  • By Robyn on 24-03-14

Outstanding Sequel

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

Reviewed: 27-02-16

Words of Radiance continues the story of Way of Kings seamlessly and at the same compelling pace. Each of the protagonists are further developed and this really makes you invest in them.

Kalladin starts to grow as a man and struggle with his beliefs, Adolin is not the carefree rich boy and Shallan develops into a far more complex character (making her much more interesting and likeable).

The story rumbles on at a good pace and because this is another big volume there is detail and depth.

The world they inhabit is wonderfully described by Brandon Sanderson and he takes the time to imbed it so that you are completely immersed in that world.

Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do a phenomenal narration. I like that the telling switches between them as it accentuates differing viewpoints. They also get the right emotions when describing events.

I originally wanted to listen to this during my daily commute but became so invested in the tale that I have listened at every opportunity I can take.

40+ hours of reading make it huge value for money. You won't get bored or be unable to follow the plot - it's too cleverly woven and narrated for that.

I highly recommend this book and can't wait for the next instalment. 10/10

1 of 1 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 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,632
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,094
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5,081

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 10 angelic Heralds and 10 orders of knights known as Radiants, mankind finally won (or so the legends say).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • good story slightly ruined by Kate reading

  • By lloyd on 09-08-16

Epic storytelling

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

Reviewed: 20-02-16

If you could sum up The Way of Kings in three words, what would they be?

Gripping, immersive, colourful

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

The obvious comparison is the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan but this feels so much more textured

What does Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I like having a male and female reader - it really differentiates points of view. Both narrators add depth to the characters which makes you end up really caring for them. The other big bonus is that this was my accompaniment to work every day so I could maximise my commute.

Any additional comments?

This really is epic fantasy. The books are long at over 1000 pages which means over 40 hours of listening. Because they are long tales there is no rush to get to the principle elements of the story and instead, time is taken to build up characters carefully. This took a little time to get used to and at first I was worried that I wouldn't be able to follow all the detail but there is a sudden realisation that you don't need to hurry the story and it becomes intensely enjoyable. It was at that point (only a few chapters in) that I became addicted to the story. I can't recommend this highly enough.

  • The Shadow of What Was Lost

  • The Licanius Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: James Islington
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 25 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,514
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,416
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,414

It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs - once thought of almost as gods - were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs' fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion's Four Tenets.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The tag line says it all...almost

  • By Mike on 07-07-15

Gripping epic fantasy

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

Reviewed: 22-01-16

What did you like most about The Shadow of What Was Lost?

James Islington has taken the time to develop his lead characters and give them an interesting band of supporting players but he does not clutter up the narrative. Each character has flaws and makes mistakes and he weaves their individual fates into a deeper narrative which meant that every time he cut away from their story, I felt myself wishing to return and find out what happens next.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shadow of What Was Lost?

There are a couple of surprise reveals in this first part that really add to the tension but I can't write about them without giving them away.

Any additional comments?

This was my first 'epic' audiobook in that it is over 25hrs long. I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep track of the plot or characters but I had no need to worry. This book brought pleasure to my hour+ commute each way almost to the point where I wished there was more traffic so I could listen longer. This is a totally absorbing world where you find yourself rooting for all the protagonists for different reasons. The only downside is that I have to wait for the sequel. I really recommend this as a fabulous listen. Superbly read too.