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Peter

Beulah, United Kingdom
  • 74
  • reviews
  • 419
  • helpful votes
  • 241
  • ratings
  • Blackbirds

  • By: Chuck Wendig
  • Narrated by: Emily Beresford
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17

Miriam Black knows when you will die. Still in her early twenties, she’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, suicides, and slow deaths by cancer. But when Miriam hitches a ride with truck driver Louis Darling and shakes his hand, she sees that in thirty days he will be gruesomely murdered while he calls her name. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. No matter what she does, she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hated it at first but then was gripped

  • By Peter on 15-05-12

Hated it at first but then was gripped

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-05-12

I really didn't enjoy this at the beginning and rolled my eyes with the cliched main character and her excessive 'potty-mouth', which usually doesn't offend me in the least. But when I stuck with it with the early intention of writing a scathing review (bad, I know), I got drawn into what is actually a very good story and ended up unable to put it down - I give it five stars for this reason, because there have been few books I have listened to recently that have achieved this level of interest.

So my advice is stick with it, even if you don't like it at the beginning - it is worth it and you do actually discover that the main character is more complex than her initial impression suggests, and her predicament makes for an interesting, well-told and well-narrated story.

If you don't like profanity, then please don't pick this book up - it is chock-full of offensive language. *Cert 15*.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Inside Job

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 2 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 2

Rob, a professional debunker, is watching yet another performance by a supposed psychic. But as she calls forth the spirit entity known as Isus, another voice suddenly interrupts. And this one is so unexpected and so real, even the hardened skeptic finds he can't help but believe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining novella.

  • By Peter on 21-04-11

Entertaining novella.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-04-11

This is the first book I have read by Connie Willis. She writes in an easy style and the story is interesting and keeps one interested. A debunking journalist's beliefs are questioned when one of his deceased debunking colleagues is 'channeled' through one of the charlatans he is trying to expose. All in all it is a short, fun listen which I would recommend.

My only real criticism is that the debunker-couple are so entrenched in their beliefs and there intent to debunk that when all the indications, after extensive evidence and research, point towards a genuine contact with a spirit, they continue to debunk and even conceal the truth. Makes them a bit stupid in my opinion. But this will not stop me looking for other titles by the author as I think she is very good. The narration was excellent too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Time and Time Again
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        H. Beam Piper
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jim Roberts
    
    


    
    Length: 46 mins
    2 ratings
    Overall 2.5
  • Time and Time Again

  • By: H. Beam Piper
  • Narrated by: Jim Roberts
  • Length: 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

Henry Beam Piper was an American science fiction author who wrote many classic short stories and several novels during the "Golden Age" of science fiction in the USA. In this story, a soldier of the future, wounded badly in battle during World War III, loses consciousness. When he opens his eyes again he findsthat he is back in his boyhood past but with all the memories of his adult life intact!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Harmless, dated sci-fi

  • By Peter on 20-04-11

Harmless, dated sci-fi

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-04-11

Bought this on a whim as it is only 46 minutes long and was cheap. This is old Sci-fi, read in a slow, croaky voice reminiscent of Harry Enfield's 'Cholmondley-Warner' character. The characters at times drift into two dimensions but never extend to the heady heights of three. This was the authors first published work (1947) and seems to reflect the collective shock of the dawn of the Nuclear Age. Whereas the synopsis talks of a man returning to his childhood remembering his adult life, it deals predominantly with the opportunity to change the future and avoid WWIII rather than any other 'what-if?' scenario. Although he goes back and tells his father the truth (who takes it all rather well), the author does not address any resulting emotional issues and gets straight on with the business of the two 'men' planning their world-saving strategy!

All-in-all, a harmless 46-minutes which is another example of doom-laden sci-fi following Hiroshima.

Purely as an aside, the author eventually committed suicide, although there was a suggestion that he did this purely to spite his wife, preventing her from collecting an insurance policy! Couldn't he have just canceled it? (courtesy of Wikipedia)



Second Foundation
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Isaac Asimov
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Scott Brick
    
    


    
    Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
    426 ratings
    Overall 4.6
  • Second Foundation

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

The fate of the Foundation rests on young Arcadia Darell, only 14 years old and burdened with a terrible secret. As its scientists gird for a final showdown with the Mule, the survivors of the First Foundation begin their desperate search. They too want the Second Foundation destroyed, before it destroys them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superb conclusion to trilogy

  • By Peter on 05-04-11

Superb conclusion to trilogy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-11

For me this trilogy peaked in the middle with 'Foundation and Empire', but this book is still great and well worth listening to if you have listened/read the others. The conclusion of this original Foundation trilogy is satisfactory, although it is clear that the story can continue and does in the form of the Extended Foundation series which are unfortunately not available on Audible and which do not seem to have been produced by Random House.

Excellently narrated by Scott Brick.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Clementine

  • A Novel of the Clockwork Century
  • By: Cherie Priest
  • Narrated by: Dina Pearlman, Victor Bevine
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Maria Isabella Boyd's success as a Confederate spy has made her too famous for further espionage work, and now her employment options are slim. Exiled, widowed, and on the brink of poverty, she reluctantly goes to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency in Chicago. Adding insult to injury, her first big assignment is commissioned by the Union Army. In short, a federally sponsored transport dirigible is being violently pursued across the Rockies, and Uncle Sam isn't pleased.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining steampunk romp

  • By Peter on 23-03-11

Entertaining steampunk romp

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-03-11

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I had tried another of the authors books and was somewhat underwhelmed by it ('Those Who Went Remain There Still' ***), but decided to give her another go. This one was much better, with a more interesting story and much more likable characters. I only found out after starting it that it is the second of her 'Clockwork Century' books, and that the first one ('Boneshaker' - now on my reading list) was nominated for the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel, amongst other accolades. The fact I have read Clementine out of order did not detract from my enjoyment as they seem to be distinct, unrelated stories.

Apparently, the author calls the series Alternate History books, but they are popularly received as from the Steampunk genre, which seems to be defined by its content of evolved (sometimes steam-based) Victorian technology. Either way, it contains fascinating concepts to play with and the author takes full advantage of it.

The story is told alternately from two perspectives (Maria Isabella Boyd & Captain Croggon Beauregard Hainey), narrated by two excellent performers who do a top job. At under six hours long, it is well worth the journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Foundation and Empire
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Isaac Asimov
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Scott Brick
    
    


    
    Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
    501 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • Foundation and Empire

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 393
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392

The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov are one of the great masterworks of science fiction. Unsurpassed for their unique blend of nonstop action, daring ideas, and extensive world-building, they chronicle the struggle of a courageous group of men and women to preserve humanity's light against an inexorable tide of darkness and violence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than the first book

  • By Peter on 01-03-11

Better than the first book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-11

A magnificent book that surpasses the first in the series, although both books are superb. The Foundation is in trouble and Hari Seldon's prophecies are at risk from a mutant intelligence he could not have predicted. Hope is turned towards the revelation of a second foundation but discovering its location could prove its downfall as dark forces are also interested in it.

This book is different from the first in that it is not so split up into shorter stories (five in the first book) that cover hundreds of years of history. This book consists of two stories ('The General' and 'The Mule') and as such I enjoyed it more since I could get better involved in the characters and longer plot than the fragmented structure of the first book. Both of these books are sci-fi at its best, though.

This book was a real pleasure to listen to, all the more enjoyable for the great narration by Scott Brick.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Consider Phlebas

  • Culture Series, Book 1
  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 16 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,074
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,624
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,626

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction - cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Truly Great Sci-Fi Novel

  • By scotty on 09-04-12

Enjoyable

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-11

This is the first of the Culture novels and the second one I have read after 'Matter'. This book introduces a fascinating universe and I can see why Banks has kept it alive through the series of books he has set in it. the story is pretty easy to follow once you have adapted to the names, characters, technology and politics and it is fast-paced enough not to become bogged down like other space operas I have read. The story is linear and self-contained with a good ending. Well narrated and recommended to those that like the genre - it is a good example of its type.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

Foundation
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Isaac Asimov
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Scott Brick
    
    


    
    Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
    1,021 ratings
    Overall 4.3
  • Foundation

  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,021
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 818

For 12,000 years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Sheldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future, to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last 30,000 years. To preserve knowledge and save mankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire, both scientists and scholars, and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy to serve as a beacon of hope for a fututre generations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • On Audible at last!

  • By Peter on 01-03-11

On Audible at last!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-11

A brilliantly thought out book that was a pleasure to listen to. The story is ambitious in scale to say the least but Asimov is more than up to the task and creates a fascinating world in which to immerse the reader. The format is that of short stories encapsulated within the broader Galactic history. These stories drive the prophecy of Hari Sheldon with glacial inevitability - they are clever and the characters engaging and sharp in their depiction. I will definitely be finishing the trilogy. As always, Scott Brick does a great job of narrating this epic series.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Last Argument of Kings

  • The First Law: Book Three
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 27 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,156
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,752
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,738

The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it’s going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm and there’s only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend and his oldest enemy. It’s time for the Bloody-Nine to come home. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no-one is safe and no-one can be trusted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I miss it already.

  • By John on 18-09-11

Excellent conclusion

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-11

I seem to have used up all the superlatives in my reviews of the previous two books in this series, so suffice it to say that this book is much the same in quality as its predecessors. The author balances tying up the loose ends of all the stories threads to the satisfaction of the reader (which to my opinion he does admirably) with keeping characters he has developed an affection for alive-and-kicking should he need them again! This trilogy was great fun from start to finish and I would recommend them for their blood'n'guts violence, inept romantic hero, wealth of psychotic anti-heroes, humour and underlying intelligence.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Before They Are Hanged

  • The First Law: Book Two
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,245
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,802
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,793

Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons, the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone his elite forces. In the heat-ravaged south, the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An EXCELLENT trilogy, BRILLIANTLY narrated

  • By Tom on 23-08-10

An excellent sequel.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-01-11

This book continues the brilliant form of the first. There are some new characters introduced but mainly it continues the stories of the diverse and varied cast from the first book. It is bloodier than the first, with more battles and action, but retains the intelligence and humour of the first. A remarkable series of books so far, made all the more enjoyable by the narrator. An excellent effort all round!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful