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Mairi

Alford, United Kingdom
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 15
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  • The Breakers Omnibus

  • Books 1-3 and Prequel Novella
  • By: Edward W. Robertson
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 42 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285

Books 1-3 and the prequel novella of the Breakers series.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hamming it up

  • By duncan miller on 21-01-16

Post Viral/Apocalyptic page or ear turner!

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

Reviewed: 01-06-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Breakers Omnibus to be better than the print version?

I have not tried reading the print version as I've found that a good narrator can make an audiobook every bit as good as my own internal character voices. I have seen a lot of poor reviews for the written version stating that it can be too 'wordy' or overly descriptive but I did not find that in this audiobook.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Breakers Omnibus?

There are so many story threads in this series that it would be hard for me to pick just one memorable moment. That said each character has a full and very rich story and I believe that when I listen to it a second or third time I'll find more nuggets to keep my interest. The most consistent memorable moment across the piece is once each of the main protagonists realises that their old safe life has gone and how they come to terms with that.

Which character – as performed by Ray Chase – was your favourite?

It started with the relationship obsessed Walt but then quickly became Ray and Mia but as the story progressed I felt the narrator did a good job of keeping each character realistic.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Pretty much as the style jumps from one storyline to another. I think that if you put it down for too long you'd have difficulty remembering the roots of each character/story.

Any additional comments?

There are lots of this type of novel flying around these days but what the author does here is to take plausible, ordinary people and follow them through their successful and sometimes not so clever actions and decisions set against this live or die harsh background.

  • Rendezvous with Rama

  • Rama Series, Book 1
  • By: Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 7 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,151
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,150

At first, only a few things are known about the celestial object that astronomers dub Rama. It is huge, weighing more than ten trillion tons. And it is hurtling through the solar system at inconceivable speed. Then a space probe confirms the unthinkable: Rama is no natural object. It is, incredibly, an interstellar spacecraft. Space explorers and planet-bound scientists alike prepare for mankind's first encounter with alien intelligence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well read with distinctive character voices.

  • By In car listener on 16-01-17

Bigger than 2001 - His Best Series of Books

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

Reviewed: 27-10-15

What made the experience of listening to Rendezvous with Rama the most enjoyable?

I'm writing this review for all of the Rama series really as each is just as enthralling as the other. This series of books is an absolute tour de force from Clarke. Each of the books is masterfully written through the rich characters he creates and their explorations of these alien creations.

What did you like best about this story?

As always Clarke puts normal people, that you can relate to, into a world where they are challenged in every way. Their intelligence, humanity, psychology, emotions are all under strain as they are forced to face and deal with the truth of where humans sit in the scheme of the universe. He also throws in social chaos, violence and a fair old smattering of the seven deadly sins for good measure.The basic premise of the series is that the level of human species technological development has been recognised and our observers would now like to add us to the catalogue of sentient life.

Have you listened to any of Toby Longworth’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Toby is a good consistent reader whose vocal personality adds to the impact of the storyline.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

We Were Never Alone!

Any additional comments?

These are lengthy, absorbing books which cover a massive acreage of the human / alien experience, not all of it easy for humanity to accept. If you like Clarke, if you want to know what it would be like making and living after first contact and if you like epic tales with continuity of the main characters then this RAMA series is impossible to put down.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Starman Jones

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Max Jones, a practical, hard-working young man, found his escape in his beloved astronomy books. When reality comes crashing in and his troubled home life forces him out on the road, Max finds himself adrift in a downtrodden land - until an unexpected, ultimate adventure carries him away as a stowaway aboard an intergalactic spaceship.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Audiobook, we both love it!

  • By Rosie and Duncan on 23-07-09

A Belter in the best Boys Own Annual Tradition

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

Reviewed: 26-10-15

What made the experience of listening to Starman Jones the most enjoyable?

Whilst a bit dated in language and style this remains for me one of Heinleins' best works. Make no mistake this book is the precursor to all of the Star Wars, Lost in Space and Starship Troopers stories. It follows a young mans dream of running away from home to head into space. His story is full of exciting episodes with risk and danger, fun and trickery.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sam the main characters mentor and cheeky rouge who knows how to make anything happen.

Which character – as performed by Paul Michael Garcia – was your favourite?

Max the young man who is the main character was read with the right amount of headstrong naivety and genuine discovery to make him as real as you or I.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

If you like your adventure stories then this one will hit the sweet spot.

  • The Crow Road

  • By: Iain Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238

It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach. Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God, and illegal substances.…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly enjoyable

  • By Rachel on 07-04-13

The Modern Macbeth

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

Reviewed: 26-10-15

What did you like most about The Crow Road?

I not only engaged with the characters but I actually believed in them. The story is tight with enough mystery, jeopardy and misdirection to keep you wanting to hear the next chapter. I really enjoyed the fact that the families are depicted as very normal dysfunctional groups of people that you and I interact with every day.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Crow Road?

Without giving away any spoilers the most memorable moment for me was after the main character lost his bag on the train. It was so important but also so easily done that I had a small rant out loud (before remembering that I was in public wearing headphones) with empathetic frustration on his behalf.

What about Peter Kenny’s performance did you like?

He is a fast talker which in another style of book may be a drawback but for this narrative it was exactly right. He uses intonation well and does not telegraph the many surprises prematurely as so many reader tend to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I did not have the opportunity, however if you did listen to it in one sitting I think you'd be exhausted trying to absorb each twist. This is after all not only a love story but a damn good murder mystery too.

Any additional comments?

This was my fist Banks book and I'm now very keen to read the next - any suggestions what would be a good follow up?

  • Ultima

  • By: Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 21 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 345
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 320
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 321

Fresh from his latest collaboration with Terry Pratchett on the Long Earth sequence Stephen Baxter now returns to the mysteries and challanges first hinted at in his acclaimed novel PROXIMA. In PROXIMA we discovered ancient alien artifacts on the planet of Per Ardua - hatches that allowed us to step across light years of space as if we were stepping into another room. The universe opened up to us. Now in ULTIMA the consequences of this new freedom make themselves felt.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Why, I remember once on campaign...

  • By Alan Nixon on 22-09-16

OMG - Why would you write this drivel?

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

Reviewed: 19-10-15

Would you try another book written by Stephen Baxter or narrated by Kyle McCarley?

Simple answer to this one is no! After working through Proxima and then suffering Ultima I've decided that Baxter has lost not only the plot but any respect that I once held for his talent.

Has Ultima put you off other books in this genre?

No, I will always read good science fiction. Proxima and Ultima however are rambling fantasy stories which Mr. Baxter should submit as his Ancient history thesis as there was more effort put into discourse about Roman/Mayan society than anything else really.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Kyle McCarley?

Not particularly. I'm British and even I found some of the pronunciations peculiar and by the end of 20hrs listening it was still irritating.

What character would you cut from Ultima?

The Author.

Any additional comments?

These books, Ultima and it's predecessor Proxima are really, really dull and lifeless. The main characters do not endear themselves to you in any way and the story limps tediously along in some weird time distorted Roman based tragedy. There are glaring holes all over the plot and if you removed the fixation on all of the social explanations and other non science fiction you could read both books in about an hour. Sorry Mr. Baxter but after your collaborations with Arthur C' I expected way better science fiction than this.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Proxima

  • By: Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 526
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 496

The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous Galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling story, odd accent

  • By Gadget on 24-01-15

Baxters shoots for the epic ..........and misses!

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

Reviewed: 18-09-15

I bought this based upon Baxters collaborations with the late Arthur C. Clarke and after reading a number of reviews regarding as to which of Baxters books are his best.
What I thought I was going to get was an unfolding story of planet/galaxy/timeline hopping via portals built by some ancient race, purpose unknown.
What I actually got was a long winded average story with seemingly no real point. His storylines' base premise of portals is nothing new in sci-fi and he adds nothing to it's use as an enabling technology. The characters are flat, too stereotypical and lead tedious lives with little or no jeapordy but plenty of explanatory, discursive prose spaced between the very few large, story changing events. I really wanted to engage with the main characters but to be honest they all fulfil very predictable functions and are not interesting enough in either character or deed.
The narration, like a number of reviewers have already stated is a bit peculiar with a form of English pronunciation (as a Brit myself) that I've never heard before and with only about 3 character voices between male, female and child.
If you are a fan of the large rambling Lord of the Rings style story then you may think this is for you - but beware! Lord of the Rings was well written with interesting characters and a good mix of discovery and jeapordy, all of which are sadly lacking in this story.
I bought this book and the follow up Ultima at the same time so I'm really hoping the pace, story, characters, discovery etc. etc. really pick up in the follow up or I will not be reading Baxter again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Clash of Kings

  • Book 2 of A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 37 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,942
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,918
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,905

The complete, unabridged audiobook of A Clash of Kings. HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Clash of Kings is the second volume in the series. Throughout Westeros, the cold winds are rising.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant story, cringey narration

  • By Orlaith Holland on 04-09-17

Disappointed by lack of continuity

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

Reviewed: 08-05-13

Ok I admit that I only summoned up the strength to go through this massive 3 part saga due to the ending of A Game of Thrones. Having spent 17 hours working my way through it I was somewhat dubious that I could do the same again but I was left needing to follow my favourite characters, the Stark family.
I had hoped that the '2 hour getting all the characters sorted out in your head' phase would disappear with this read and I was mostly right however, during that initial period, I was significantly disappointed to find that there had been some form of time disconnect between the various character stories in Thrones and Clash. Key characters who had become my favourites from Thrones had suddenly died, been executed or gone off in unexplained directions. I had to work through this trilogy piecing together their stories based upon the remaining character dialogue or new characters recanting tales. Not a happy bunny. This book is almost entirely dominated by the Imp who was a character from Thrones that provided an interesting supporting act or diversion to what I consider to be the main thrust of the story. Unfortunately I do not think that his court intrigues and whoring lifestyle can really sustain most readers for 18 hours.
The writing is as usual massively detailed, the characters well formed but a number of the new character story threads were based upon venal character traits such as petty court rivalries or personal peccadilloes and lacked the meat of the bigger and more inspiring foundations laid in Thrones.
I will buy and digest Swords because I still want some form of resolution for the Stark family who are to my mind the most noble of the characters. I will review it as well (if I can make it through the 24 hours it takes!).
As usual if you are looking for a casual read or some fast paced storyline try reading Alistair McLean and leave George R. R. Martin alone.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Game of Thrones

  • Book 1 of A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice
  • Length: 33 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,611
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,772
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9,784

The complete, unabridged audiobook of A Game of Thrones. HBO’s hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin’s internationally best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A Game of Thrones is the first volume in the series. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A truly brilliant fantasy novel

  • By Qasim on 16-09-11

Promising start but seems to lack a destination!

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

Reviewed: 08-05-13

I like many others got this book (both parts) due to the overwhelming publicity that it has generated. Its a long rambling tale which is highly confusing for the first couple of hours until you get your head around the various characters and realise that the rest of the tale will follow each thread. My partner gave up at this point as she found the concentration required actually interfered with her enjoyment.
I persevered for almost 17 hours and finally reached the end of the two volumes ready to admit that I was now keen to find out what had happened to the Stark family who were to my mind the upcoming good guys.
This first set of volumes is not for the casual reader. Written to obviously challenge the Lord of the Rings for length and richness of both characters and environment, it at times gets a trifle boring. I liken these sections to the endless cut away shots in the Lord of the Rings film saga where the director is showing characters endlessly travelling over the New Zealand landscape via long shot. At times you feel like saying, Ok, thats fine, I get the point, please move the story(ies) along.
All in all if you have nothing to do for 17 hours, enjoy highly detailed and well crafted characters set against a medieval fantasy backdrop then this is for you!
If you are looking for a casual read or a fast paced story avoid this like one of the scourges in the the book, the Red Plague.