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Jaspal

  • 30
  • reviews
  • 75
  • helpful votes
  • 195
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  • Gnomon

  • By: Nick Harkaway
  • Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
  • Length: 29 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Gnomon, written by Nick Harkaway, read by Ben Onwukwe. Near-future Britain is a state in which citizens are constantly observed and democracy has reached a pinnacle of 'transparency'. Every action is seen, every word is recorded and the System has access to thoughts and memories....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strange, beautiful & wonderful

  • By Michelle on 21-11-18

I thought I was a Harkaway fan...

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

Reviewed: 21-12-18

Hard to describe this book. There are stories within stories, which then overlap each other (it reminded me a bit of the dreams in the film Inception). The scope and imagination on show are awesome, but there are long tracts of the book that I found almost incomprehensible. It starts to become clearer towards the end, but I found it to be a big investment of time for only moderate reward - hence the low rating.

The narrator is good and imbues the characters with plenty of personality and expression, but there are so many characters it is sometimes hard to spot when a new chapter has started and the story is continuing from a different character's point of view.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Ember Blade

  • The Darkwater Legacy
  • By: Chris Wooding
  • Narrated by: Simon Bubb
  • Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He's never questioned it; that's just the way things are. But then his father is executed for treason, and he and his best friend, Cade, are thrown into a prison mine, doomed to work until they drop. Unless they can somehow break free.... But what lies beyond the prison walls is more terrifying still. Rescued by a man who hates him yet is oath-bound to protect him, pursued by inhuman forces, Aren slowly accepts that everything he knew about his world was a lie. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not great..

  • By Texnik on 01-01-19

Really rather good

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

Reviewed: 31-10-18

If anything it drags a little bit in the middle but that can be forgiven for such a long listen.

Great characters and some nice twists. Plot runs along nicely. Not quite game of thrones gruesome but there’s certainly plenty of action on.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow of the Scorpion

  • By: Neal Asher
  • Narrated by: Ric Jerrom
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Ian Cormac was raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race the Prador. In Neal Asher's Shadow of the Scorpion, Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. In the years following the war, he signs up with Earth Central Security and is sent out to help either restore or simply maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Shadow of the Scorpion

  • By David on 18-12-18

Not bad. Not as good as his later polity work

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

Reviewed: 24-09-18

Comparing this to Asher’s more recent books you can tell the difference- this feels a bit more clunky and the plotting doesn’t feel quite so compelling.

Still, not bad, just not as good as other stuff he’s done.

  • Grey Sister

  • Book of the Ancestor, Book 2
  • By: Mark Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 525
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523

The second novel in the brilliant new series from the best-selling author of Prince of Thorns. In Mystic Class, Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy, Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another cracking instalment

  • By Robyn on 16-05-18

Outstanding

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

Interesting characters, a plot that was just twisty-turny enough to confound guessing and excellent narration.

I really liked the preamble: caught me up on the important facts without having characters go through endless and tedious exposition.

I don’t often gush about books but this is a good one.

  • Histories

  • By: Herodotus
  • Narrated by: David Timson
  • Length: 27 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

In this, the first prose history in European civilization, Herodotus describes the growth of the Persian Empire with force, authority, and style. Perhaps most famously, the book tells the heroic tale of the Greeks' resistance to the vast invading force assembled by Xerxes, king of Persia. Here are not only the great battles - Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis - but also penetrating human insight and a powerful sense of epic destiny at work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterpiece

  • By Toby on 06-01-17

Beautifully narrated

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

What did you like most about Histories?

The scope, it covers a broad span of time and topics.

What does David Timson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He just gets it right. I can almost imagine his voice is that of Herodotus reading his own work, albeit in English.

Any additional comments?

Lion cubs destroy the womb as they are born? Hmm Mr Herodotus, you may have wanted to fact check some of those stories you heard!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The March of the Ten Thousand

  • By: Xenophon
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 20

Translated by W. E. D. Rouse, The March of the Ten Thousand is one of the most admired and widely read pieces of ancient literature to come down to us. Xenophon employs a very simple, straightforward style to describe what is probably the most exciting military adventure ever undertaken. It is an epic of courage, faith and democratic principle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Boys Own Adventure

  • By R on 12-08-11

Great story. Let down by the narration

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

What was one of the most memorable moments of The March of the Ten Thousand?

The impact of the weather on the troops, particularly the cold.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Bizarre pronunciation and pacing. At one point I honestly wondered if this was some kind of computer generated voice. It sounds like an American trying to do a posh British accent and his pacing sometimes made it harder for me to follow the story. When I contrast this with (say) the narration of Herodotus (also on audible) it is like chalk and cheese.

Any additional comments?

Really interesting to get a first person account of ancient events.

  • Princeps' Fury

  • The Codex Alera: Book Five
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 17 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270

After bitter fighting, Tavi of Calderon has eventually forged an alliance with Alera's oldest foes, the savage Canim, and he must escort them on their long sea-voyage home. This will strain their fragile accord - but the worst is yet to come.The inhuman Vord have spent the last three years laying waste to the Canim homeland, making it a desolate place indeed. Then the Alerans become stranded there, cut off from their ships.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This series is getting very 'rinse and repeat'

  • By Jaspal on 05-01-17

This series is getting very 'rinse and repeat'

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

Reviewed: 05-01-17

It's just about okay and I'll probably get the last in the series for completeness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Golem and the Djinni

  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,086
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,083

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master, the husband who commissioned her, dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York in 1899. Ahmad is a djinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free - an unbreakable band of iron binds him to the physical world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extraordinary

  • By AnneDriscoll on 29-01-15

Outstanding: believable characters, engaging story

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

Reviewed: 14-08-16

Would you listen to The Golem and the Djinni again? Why?

Maybe. I hardly ever listen to audio books again, but this was well put together, the writing great and the story beautifully told.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Railsea

  • By: China Mieville
  • Narrated by: Tom Lawrence
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 87

On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt. The giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory are extraordinary. But no matter how spectacular it is, travelling the endless rails of the railsea, Sham can't shake the sense that there is more to life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not up to his usual standards

  • By Jaspal on 25-06-16

Not up to his usual standards

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

Reviewed: 25-06-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Plenty of imagination as you might expect but I found I couldn't engage with the characters.
The setting, a 'sea' of rails was difficult to relate to: a clue that the story wasn't particularly engaging is that rather than pay full attention to the story, I found myself trying to work out how a rail-sea might actually work (it's never really explained in a satisfactory way).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fellside

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 841
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 791
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 789

Jess Moulson is convicted of murder. But it's a murder she can't remember committing. Nothing is quite clear from the drug-fuelled night when a blaze set in Jess' apartment killed the little boy upstairs. But when the media brands her a child killer, she starts to believe it herself. Now she's on her way to Fellside, the biggest, most formidable women's prison in Europe, standing in the bleak Yorkshire moors. But Jess won't be alone in her prison cell.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Genre-Hopping Mystery Drama

  • By Simon on 13-04-16

Engaging story, excellent narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-05-16

What did you like best about this story?

I'm starting to like M R Carey a lot, The Girl with All the Gifts was similar in that it gives you what you think is 'the story' then as the narrative develops your perspective shifts and you understand more of what's going on and how it's not what you expected.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful