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Dave N

Northants, UK
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  • 31
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  • 6
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  • Fear the Sky

  • The Fear Saga, Book 1
  • By: Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,974
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,706
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,694

From the Audie-nominated narrator of The Martian. In eleven years time, a million members of an alien race will arrive at Earth. Years before they enter orbit, their approach will be announced by the flare of a thousand flames in the sky, their ships' huge engines burning hard to slow them from the vast speeds needed to cross interstellar space. These foreboding lights will shine in our night sky like new stars, getting ever brighter until they outshine even the sun, casting ominous shadows and banishing the night until they suddenly blink out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very Entertaining

  • By stucody on 22-03-15

Lost the plot

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

Reviewed: 24-03-15

Great premise, lousy plot. There were just too many unbelievable coincidences that allowed the protagonists to be successful. Considering much of the action takes place within Government and Military environments, it was surprising how little research the author appeared to have done. The plot was littered with tiny mistakes and errors (e.g. pilots in the RAF are Flight Lieutenants, not Captains; the engineering officer on a RN Destroyer would be an officer, not a Warrant Officer), co-incidences (one of the protagonists partners just happens to be an ex-Mossad agent; the scientist who discovers the invasion gets made White House science advisor) and unbelievable luck (no-one who is told about the invasion ever really seems to doubt it; smuggling special warheads onto a B2). It seems that whatever coin the protagonists toss always comes us heads. Sure, we want them to win, but they need to work a bit harder really. Also, as with many of this genre, far, far, too many POV characters and not enough character development.

A quick word about the narration. The accents were pretty good, but the delivery was too rapid and gruff much of the time. Not so bad I stopped listening, but grating at times.

17 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • The Abyss Beyond Dreams

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 22 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,002

When images of a lost civilization are 'dreamed' by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void - a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ever wonder how Marx would have dealt with aliens?

  • By M on 06-11-14

More of the same, but who cares?!

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

Reviewed: 29-10-14

Another story from the Void with many similarities to the last Void series, but who cares, it's great stuff. Hamilton is hitting his peak as a story-teller with more character development, more plotting and less pure technical detail (but plenty enough for those that love it). The only problem is after devouring it in the week since its release I now have to wait ages for the next one to get some resolution.

The usual excellent narration from John Lee, with my only minor gripe being the slightly arbitrary use of regional accents to discern different characters leads to me wondering why an ANA droid would sound like Sean Connery, and two people from the same city would sound respectively Scottish and Cornish.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Raising Steam

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,231
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,228

To the consternation of the patrician, Lord Vetinari, a new invention has arrived in Ankh-Morpork - a great clanging monster of a machine that harnesses the power of all of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This being Ankh-Morpork, it’s soon drawing astonished crowds, some of whom caught the zeitgeist early and arrive armed with notepads and very sensible rainwear.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Essential for fans, but not the best of Discworld

  • By Andrew John Rae on 19-11-13

The Magic is Fading, Alas

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

Reviewed: 19-06-14

As a lifelong Pratchett fan it pains me to give this such a mediocre review but for me the magic is finally starting to fade. The problem with this book is that, like the one before, the protagonist has such an easy ride (forgive the pun). You just know nothing bad is going to happen to any of your favorite characters - Moist, Sam etc - and that everything is going to turn out OK in the end. Every time a bit of tension builds up (e.g. a fight) you just know the good guys are going to win without breaking sweat and the baddies will become good magically after a telling off from Sam Vines. The good stuff is still good - the puns, the dialog, the characters and best of all, Discworld itself, but the story is starting to suffer as a result.

  • The Undercover Economist Strikes Back

  • By: Tim Harford
  • Narrated by: Cameron Stewart, Gavin Osborn
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161

A million listeners bought The Undercover Economist to get the lowdown on how economics works on a small scale, in our everyday lives. Since then, economics has become big news. Crises, austerity, riots, bonuses - all are in the headlines all the time. But how does this large-scale economic world really work? What would happen if we cancelled everyone's debt? How do you create a job? Will the BRIC countries take over the world?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The perfect book for that business flight

  • By Alistair Kelman on 29-08-13

Good content, dodgy narration

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

Reviewed: 14-10-13

If you are familiar with Tim Harford from Radio 4's "More or Less" then you will almost certainly find the content of this book to be of his usual high standard. Unfortunately, you'll then almost certainly be really disturbed by the bizarre choice of narrator to play his part in the audio book. The content is great - a sweeping overview of macro economics for those of us who are interested in the big picture but weren't totally sure about the difference between fiscal and monetary policy or why money printing might sometimes be a good thing. But the narration jarred so much it detracted significantly from my enjoyment. Why the publisher decided someone sounding like a poor pastiche of Geoffrey Palmer at his poshest and most patronising was the ideal voice replacement for Tim was a good idea is totally beyond me. The stilted, contrived conversation between the overbearing narrator and the middle-class and modern "you" is beyond irritating and spoiled my listening quite dramatically. I finished the book (because the content is excellent) but I doubt I'll be able to listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful