LISTENER

Stuart

  • 47
  • reviews
  • 60
  • helpful votes
  • 89
  • ratings
  • 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 2,898
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,495

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

Unsatisfying ending

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

Reviewed: 21-12-18

Just that. The trilogy was great - exciting, well read, with some good twists.
But the ending just didn't work for me. Not really any conclusion or closure on anything, it was as if Abercrombie just got bored writing and thought "ok, that's enough"

  • The Singularity Trap

  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,916
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,806

When Ivan Pritchard signs on as a newbie aboard the Mad Astra, it's his final, desperate stab at giving his wife and children the life they deserve. He can survive the hazing of his crewmates, and how many times, really, can near-zero g make you vomit? But there's another challenge looming out there, in the farthest reaches of human exploration, that will test every man, woman and AI on the ship - and will force Ivan to confront the very essence of what makes him human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Sci-fi with a Modern Style

  • By Simon on 07-06-18

Pity it isn't a series

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

If you liked the Bobiverse books, you'll enjoy this. Ray Porter's narration is spot on as usual and really brings the characters to life.
The only downside for me is that it's a standalone book.

  • The Damage Done

  • Inspector McLean 6
  • By: James Oswald
  • Narrated by: Ian Hanmore
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,090
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,004
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,002

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Damage Done by James Oswald, read by Ian Hanmore. The sixth book in James Oswald's phenomenal Inspector McLean series set in Edinburgh. Inspector McLean is back in the next gripping instalment in James Oswald's best-selling crime series. McLean must investigate the seedy goings-on of an exclusive and secretive society catering to the rich and powerful of the city.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't want it to end!

  • By Louise on 06-06-16

Getting a little repetitive now

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

Reviewed: 28-05-18

I've been enjoying this series so far. I don't know if this book was any worse, or if I'm just getting a bit sick of it.

It's getting both repetitive and predictable. There are only so many times we need to hear how big McLean's stack of paperwork is, or how he doesn't have time to look for a new car, or how he knows he shouldnt do something but does it anyway, or shares a curry with the cat. Or even how he looks at his phone, doesn't want to answer, but "thumbs accept" anyway.

And the "twist" right at the end was obvious from halfway through the book.

I'm interested in what happens, but might have to take a long break before I can face the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Portable Door

  • By: Tom Holt
  • Narrated by: Ray Sawyer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245

Starting a new job is always stressful (especially when you don't particularly want one), but when Paul Carpenter arrives at the office of J. W. Wells he has no idea what trouble lies in store. Because he is about to discover that the apparently respectable establishment now paying his salary is in fact a front for a deeply sinister organisation that has a mighty peculiar agenda. It seems that half the time his bosses are away with the fairies. But they're not, of course. They're away with the goblins.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Alternative!

  • By Amazon Customer on 14-02-12

Less than the sum of its parts

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

Reviewed: 15-02-18

To start with, I want to make the point that I did enjoy this book. It was mostly entertaining, the plot was interesting, there were funny bits, and the narrator was pretty good at narrating.

But.....
Yes there were funny bits, but it seemed to be trying too hard sometimes. Jokes and "funny" comments seemed to be crammed in wherever possible. Sometimes less is more.

The plot was full of inconsistencies. For example, the author seems to change his mind about whether going back in time allows you to remember what happened first time round, or whether it's a reset switch.

The most noticeable annoyance was the discrepancy between the apparent age / era of the main 2 characters (19 or 20 it seems, in early 2000s), and the language they use. They are about the same age that I was at that time, but they speak as if their age is somewhere between my dad and my grandfather.

Having looked it up, it seems they're using words and phrases that exactly match what I'd expect from the age of the author - not the age of the characters. A minor issue, but a constant one, hence quite annoying.

  • The Fold

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,039
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 988
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 988

The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing after 14

  • By Mir on 08-06-15

Read "14" first

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

Reviewed: 25-01-18

if you're considering this book and you haven't listened to Clines's "14" yet then stop and go and buy that one instead. It's not a series as such, but there are some tie- ins and this one is set after 14. You'll either like both or like neither.

As for this book... Well, it's good, and Ray Porter's narration is excellent as usual. But I found myself waiting for a twist that didn't really appear.

The plot is interesting, fun, exciting, and I'm not saying that everything was predictable, because it wasn't. But it felt like something was going to happen that turned my view of something on its head and showed it in a totally new light. Which it didn't quite do.

Nevertheless, a good entertaining and exciting book, with a great performance. Well worth a credit.

  • Oathbringer

  • The Stormlight Archive, Book Three
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 55 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,858
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,694
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,695

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 artefacts from a past civilisation that can win wars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sanderson brewing up a hell of a storm!

  • By Simon on 22-11-17

Good book, not quite ruined by awful narration

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

Reviewed: 26-11-17

As always, the sheer depth and breadth of the world Sanderson creates is staggering. The back story, the details, the way he manages to keep it all consistent is amazing. With a story this involved, the fact that it isn't riddled with plot holes and inconsistencies is an achievement in itself.

The effect of this, is that I'm hooked into the plot, surprised by what happens, and intrigued to know what comes next.

But I really wish I wasn't.

While the plot and world creation is sheer brilliance, the writing itself feels somewhat childish in places, a little melodramatic in others. That's relatively minor though, in the scheme of things.

The narration is just plain bad. I wish I had the time to sit and read this as a book, rather than listen to it, because every time I switch it on, it takes 20 minutes before I begin to calm the urge to throw my phone at something.

Michael Kramer is ok...ish. One you get over the rather robotic intonation and his insistence to sound like he's asking a question when he reaches the first comma in a sentence, it's tolerable.

Kate Reading is appalling. She sounds like a robot that's been programmed to sound as melodramatic as possible while reading a ghost story to a bunch of 5 year olds. Not every sentence is a world-shattering dramatic announcement Kate. Get over it.

Imagine how good these books could be if read by someone like Rupert Degas, Peter Kenny or Ray Porter. Or even MacLeod Andrews who read Sanderson's Reckoners series.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Jennifer Morgue

  • Book 2 in The Laundry Files
  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 222

Some agents have all the fun. Others save the world. Bob Howard is an IT expert and occasional field agent for The Laundry, the branch of Her Majesty's Secret Service that deals with occult threats. Dressed (grudgingly) in a tux and sent to the Caribbean, he must infiltrate a millionaire's yacht in order to prevent him violating a treaty that will start a war with an ancient underwater race.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • oh can we please have some more !

  • By James on 18-10-13

Disappointingly bad and annoying

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

Reviewed: 17-11-17

I enjoyed the first book in this series, despite a few niggles. This book seems to have taken all of those niggles and amplified them a hundred-fold.

The endless techie detail becomes boring very quickly. The repeated use of 'clever' quips such as the 'for (something) values of (something else)' ceases being clever. The attempts to inject supposedly witty observation and smart remarks into every scene are tiring and increasingly annoying.

And ok, you don't like 'management'; or 'processes', or Microsoft. We get it. We got it by half way through the first book. You really don't need to remind us every 10 minutes.

By half way through the book I'd formed the opinion that the main character (Bob) is just a bit of a **** (I doubt Audible would publish what I want to write here).

And then the more I thought about it, the more I realised it's not just the character. There's an increasing sense that the author has a major chip on his shoulder, thinks he's extremely clever and wants to take every opportunity possible to remind us in the most smug, self-congratulating way possible. The Afterward just manages to emphasise this.

I'd hoped for so much more after the first book, but my journey with this series ends here.

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The American Dream

  • By Mark T. on 10-11-17

Pretty good, with the usual time-travel problems.

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

Reviewed: 08-11-17

Ray Porter's narration is excellent, as usual.
The writing is good, the story well told, the characters interesting.

There are a few twists, some that I saw coming, some that I didn't.

But, as is the case with so many time travel stories, there are elements that just don't add up. I accept that there is usually an element of that in this type of book, but it left more holes and contradictions than some other attempts.

Overall, an enjoyable book, but don't think too hard about the details.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Atrocity Archives

  • Book 1 in The Laundry Files
  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Jack Hawkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 359
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 338

Never volunteer for active duty... Bob Howard is a low-level techie working for a super-secret government agency. While his colleagues are out saving the world, Bob's under a desk restoring lost data. His world was dull and safe; but then he went and got Noticed. Now, Bob is up to his neck in spycraft, alternative universes, dimension-hopping terrorists, monstrous elder gods and the end of the world. Only one thing is certain: it will take more than 'control+alt+delete' to sort this mess out...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful books

  • By Marie on 20-01-15

Fun, with some minor niggles

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

Reviewed: 31-10-17

It's a good book, with interesting concepts and a plot with a couple of interesting twists.
The narration was pretty good too. Not good enough for me to make a point of trying to find more books with this narrator, but good enough to enjoy, without any noticeable annoyances.

There are some really interesting historical references too, and it will make you wonder how much is true.

The only real negative for me was the level of maths and tech detail that the author includes. It's clear the author knows what he's talking about (I'm in IT myself, and most of what he writes is accurate / plausible) but it just seems like he was trying to prove something. The level of detail just wasn't necessary most of the time.

  • Emergence

  • The Corporation Wars, Book 3
  • By: Ken MacLeod
  • Narrated by: Peter Kenny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 30

The enemy is out in the open. The Reaction has seized control of a resource-rich moon. Now it's enslaving conscious robots - and luring the Corporations into lucrative deals. Taransay is out in the jungle. Her friends are inside a smart boulder on the slope of an active volcano. The planet is super-habitable - for its own life, not hers. But soon the alien infestation growing on her robot body is the least of her problems.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great build up to an unsatisfactory ending

  • By Stuart on 16-10-17

Great build up to an unsatisfactory ending

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

Reviewed: 16-10-17

I enjoyed this book, I really did. And if you've listened to the first two, then you should absolutely get this one. Peter Kenny's narration is excellent (as always), and 95% of the book is exciting, well written, interesting and gripping.

But I can't help feeling a little short-changed by the ending. I was waiting for a twist that showed what you'd already read in a different light, and had even guessed at a couple of ways it might happen. But it doesn't.

A couple of mildly surprising things happen at the end, but they do nothing to make you think about what has already happened. And with those, one of them isn't really that surprising and the other (pretty much the last paragraph of the book) seems at odds with what we've learned about one of the main characters, and seems to have been put there just to mess with the reader.

The fate of another couple of characters isn't really followed up in any satisfactory way either.

The first 95% of the book is enough reason to go for it anyway though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful