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David

Worthing, United Kingdom
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 41
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  • 160
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  • 12 Rules for Life

  • An Antidote to Chaos
  • By: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,072
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,515
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,455

What are the most valuable things that everyone should know? Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers. In this book, he provides 12 profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to Heaven

  • By Matthew on 04-02-18

Great advice for life plus unfortunate apologia

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

Reviewed: 22-01-18

Would you listen to 12 Rules for Life again? Why?

This is an erudite and clear minded approach to the age old topic of how to live a good life.

That said I personally find the repeated injection of Christian apologia both unnecessary and indeed counter-productive.

While I like (and to some extent admire) Peterson's take on Christianity, specifically as Gnostic and metaphorical I have to question whether he is asking us to drink too much of the bathwater that this very human baby has lain in and why he feels that we cannot find meaningful or beneficial structure outside that box.

Also it may be nitpicking but he seems to have a complete lack of understanding of Taoism and misapplies his dichotomy of order = male, chaos = female to the Yin-Yang polarity of Taoism.

Nevertheless this remains a great work for our times - provided you think for yourself.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Way of the Clan

  • World of Valdira, Book 1
  • By: Dem Mikhaylov
  • Narrated by: Eric Martin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

A world full of adventures, ancient mysteries, and monsters hungering for your demise. A world where anyone can achieve their greatest dream and become who they wish - a successful trader, a wise anchorite, a brave warrior, or a battle mage who can control disastrous elemental powers. But don't expect that the path to your dream will be simple! The path to the top is long, if you can ever reach it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • slow start for hour then good

  • By Mr. M. C. Hackett on 28-05-18

Good story Bad English

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

Reviewed: 22-09-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Way of the Clan to be better than the print version?

I imagine having a narrator could help with parsing the weird use of language but I've not read the print version so I couldn't say.

Any additional comments?

English is clearly not the author's first language and the phrasing can be .. unusual and very Russian. Personally I quite like it as it lends it a folksy fairytale feel, but it might not be to everyone's liking.

  • EverRealm: A LitRPG Novel

  • Level Dead ,Book 1
  • By: Jake Bible
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 9

In the 23rd century, the world is at an end, and a group of gaming and programming friends decide that their only way to survive is to discard their bodies, and send their minds into the quantum matrix of a virtual gaming world. They have created the Domains, and there they plan to reside forever. Except, the nightmares of reality have followed them into their new quantum dimension, and those nightmares threaten to destroy it all!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • level deceased

  • By David on 05-08-17

level deceased

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

Reviewed: 05-08-17

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who accept information without thinking about it - at all

What was most disappointing about Jake Bible’s story?

Well let's see.. 10 minutes in and we have a dog that apparently only needs vocal cords to be able to form complex sentences, a magical computer that can run pretty much forever, a plague of decaying zombies that never decay enough to actually fall apart but which can perform as well as they did while alive and a girl slave who gets put into an expensive, networked virtual simulation by her captors when she gets annoying?! ... Someone didn't bother with the worldbuilding.

What about Jeff Hays’s performance did you like?

He read the words without cracking up

What character would you cut from EverRealm: A LitRPG Novel?

everything between page 1 and the end

Any additional comments?

Writing a book about an RPG that I can only imagine is aimed at a YA audience doesn't excuse you from having to make a believable explanation for why things are the way they are ... and besides Adults like RPGs too. This however reads like the laziest thrown together concept imaginable.. Errm need protagonist to enter a virtual world.. I know it's the Apocalypse! A Zombie apocalypse, but all the tech works.. hell everyone has seen zombie movies no need to have it make sense.. Throw in a damaged girl as a love interest and a non threatening pet and there we go... A steaming pile of litrpg

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Strange the Dreamer

  • By: Laini Taylor
  • Narrated by: Steve West
  • Length: 18 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around - and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shocking Discovery!

  • By graham on 27-10-17

Poetry, Dream & Heart

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

Reviewed: 31-03-17

If you could sum up Strange the Dreamer in three words, what would they be?

A poignant, haunting and beautiful tale

What did you like best about this story?

It's message and theme, the way that there is no evil, only good intention turned sour.

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

Yes

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Jack of Thieves

  • The Master Thief, Book 1
  • By: Ben Hale
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

The Thieves Guild is renowned for their ability to steal anything. Its elite members have robbed nobles of wealth, reputation, and even their honor. The Guildmaster rules them with brutality and fear, yet his name and past are a mystery. From the depths of the Evermist swamp, he seeks a master thief, one who can help him reclaim his lost power. Young and brash, Jack Myst has drawn the Guildmaster's attention. His feats mark his potential, but his audacity and cunning make him dangerous.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Generic and unremarkable

  • By David on 14-03-17

Generic and unremarkable

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

Reviewed: 14-03-17

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

Gods no!
I hate being critical of someone else's hard work, and to be fair the writing isn't terrible, if this is a first attempt at a novel by a young adult writer then I'd say it shows promise.
However.
The story it'self is clunky, the characters two dimensional and ham-fistedly presented, the world building nearly non-existent, the magic system unexplained and uninteresting and the imagery honestly felt as though it was drawn straight from a bad computer game or a dodgy kids cartoon.

Has Jack of Thieves put you off other books in this genre?

It serves as a salutary lesson in being skeptical of any book with a 5 star rating, but I've read plenty of other equally pulpy sci-fi / fantasy novels.

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

A great performance, clear and with consistent characterisation, can't ask for more in a narrator.

Did Jack of Thieves inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to find something more enjoyable to listen to and to write this review.. so yes, yes it did.

Any additional comments?

Ben, do yourself a favor and read "The Anatomy of Story" before plotting your next book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Lord of All Things

  • By: Andreas Eschbach, Samuel Willcocks (translator)
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

They are just children when they first meet: Charlotte, daughter of the French ambassador, and Hiroshi, a laundress’s son. One day in the playground, Hiroshi declares that he has an idea that will change the world. An idea that will sweep away all differences between rich and poor. When Hiroshi runs into Charlotte several years later, he is trying to build a brighter future through robotics.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story about nano technology

  • By Rio Carnival Girl on 12-09-16

Good Concept, solid sci-fi - shame about the end

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

Reviewed: 28-03-14

What did you like most about Lord of All Things?

The scope and vision of this book are impressive. The characterisation is excellent and the love arc for the two protagonists manages to be believably frustrating.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Actually Charlotte to about half way through after which she just seemed to be sidelined to the role of doomed romance love interest.

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

I thought the reading was excellent, loved it.

Any additional comments?

This wasn't without it's flaws and for me the main issues lie with the illogical, easily avoided and ultimately pointless ending, which only seemed worse the more I thought about it.


More importantly was the obvious set-up where Charlotte's psychometric talents, which were obviously intended to be used as a vehicle for some pre-historic exposition, were largely forgotten about after a certain point in favour of a simpler knowledge dump though the main protagonist.

Despite these criticisms I feel it is definitely worth your time, especially if you are interested in high concept sci-fi or nanotechnology.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Simoqin Prophecies

  • Gameworld, Book 1
  • By: Samit Basu
  • Narrated by: Ramon Tikaram
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

The Simoqin Prophecies, first published in 2003 in India, was critically acclaimed and an instant bestseller. It marked the beginning of Indian fantasy writing in English. Written with consummate ease and brimming with wit and allusion, it is at once classic sff and subtle spoof, featuring scantily clad centauresses, flying carpets, pink trolls, and homicidal rabbits.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Avoid

  • By David on 27-03-14

Avoid

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

Reviewed: 27-03-14

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book may appeal to the younger reader - possibly a younger reader with very, very low standards.
On the other hand if you are an aspiring writer (of any age) you will doubtless be heartened by listening to this as it will demonstrate that the stumbling drafts you discarded on the grounds of being overly cumbersome and unsatisfying are at least not this bad.

What was most disappointing about Samit Basu’s story?

This book tries very hard to be witty and clever in the fantasy style of Terry Pratchett... very, very hard.
However I (and I can only speak to my own experience) found it lumbering, disjointed, flatulent and characterless.

In short it was terrible!

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

While I haven't heard any other narrations by Ramon his performance was by far and away the best part of this listening experience.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I can at least say that this book evoked strong emotions in me. On occasion I ground my teeth in anger, at other times I found myself groaning at yet another clunky bit of dialogue, ham handed cultural reference or incoherent rambling plot point.

Now I seldom write reviews, let alone negative ones, but finding this book (audiobook at least) as a highly starred recommendation seemed somehow cruel and unjust.

4 of 5 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 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,733
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4,721

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

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story, well worth a listen

  • By Mir on 01-02-14

Stirring stuff

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-12

Brandon Sanderson really seemed to hit his stride with this book. While his world building is certainly servicable that isn't really his strength. Rather it is his ability to hook you with compelling characters and to keep you invested while gradually build to satisfying conclusions. What more could you ask for in heroic fantasy.
Despite knowing I was being manipulated I still found myself admiring how well it was being done and found this to be one of the most exciting books I've ever listened to.

  • The Name of the Wind

  • The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 28 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,755
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,628
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,620

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the university at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!

  • By Robyn on 31-01-13

Simply superb

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-12

This is a truly fantastic work which really comes to life thanks to a masterful narration by Rupert Degas.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Vengeance

  • The Tainted Realm Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Ian Irvine
  • Narrated by: Grant Cartwright
  • Length: 25 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

In an unjust land, the only law is vengeance. In Cython’s slave camps, it’s the timid and obedient who survive – and Tali is neither, for she has sworn to bring her mother’s killers to justice. Her dramatic escape precipitates Cython’s war on Hightspall and, when Tali is rescued by Rix, heir to Hightspall’s greatest fortune, they flee through a land in turmoil.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By David on 29-04-12

Disappointing

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-12

I seldom find myself in disagreement with the ratings on an audiobook, but this one really brought me up short and I wouldn't be happy if I didn't put voice to this.

Through a combination of sub-par narration, stilted dialogue, ridiculous names and hackneyed prose this audiobook manages something truly unique, being in turns painfully bad, irritating, and on occasion unintentionally hilarious.

I considered giving it a single star but that seemed churlish, besides I'm sure there are worse books, though I've yet to read/hear them.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful