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  • The Burning Shore

  • The Courtney Series, Book 4
  • By: Wilbur Smith
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 52

One of the greatest fighter pilots of the Great War, Michael Courtney is saved by the French noblewoman Centaine de Thiry when he crashes near her home. Soon after, Centaine finds herself alone and carrying Michael's child and must travel across the ocean to join his family in South Africa. But no journey is ever simple, and a pregnant Centaine finds herself shipwrecked in shark-infested waters off Africa's notorious Skeleton Coast, a deadly swim away from the sun-bleached desert that will see her defenceless and alone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must for anyone who has read the Courtney books

  • By Khonsu on 15-02-19

A must for anyone who has read the Courtney books

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

Reviewed: 15-02-19

This story is simply about the journey that Michael Courtney takes to meeting Centaine and then her journeys through life to the point of becoming a member of the Courtney family in Africa.

Sounds very succinct but the depth of story telling is true to Wilbur Smith's unique ability to master surroundings and the impact the world has on the individuals in the book and for the reader.

Excellent narration by Sean Barrett as always.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 2,674
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,504
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,498

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

Great insight into humanities insecurities

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

Reviewed: 15-02-19

Excellently narrated by Ray Porter.

When I started listening to this book it was difficult to see where it was going. What you get is an amazing insight into human psyche from fear, jealousy, anger, friendship, love, greed and ambition.

The journey that you are taken on from the first contact slowly gains momentum as the book progresses.


A great book for any Sci-Fi fan.

  • Leading

  • By: Alex Ferguson, Michael Moritz
  • Narrated by: Alex Ferguson, James Macpherson, Simon Slater
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 746

What does it take to lead a team to world-class success over a sustained period of time?Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the few leaders who truly knows. In his 38 years in management, Sir Alex won an astonishing 49 trophies and helped grow Manchester United into one of the biggest commercial brands in the world. In this inspirational and straight-talking new book, Sir Alex reveals the secrets behind his record-breaking career..

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent and inspiring

  • By Alan M. on 13-01-16

Punches home Sir Alex's no nonsense wisdom

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

Reviewed: 15-02-19

A great audio book, extremely well narrated in all sections.

The book crosses over from Sir Alex's early days entering management through to the heady days of Manchester United.

Pearls of wisdom throughout. Some you may think are obvious on hearing them, and it must be remembered that it's always easier after the fact to think they are obvious. When a leader is faced with issues for the first time, it is then that they know whether they have the ability to be in that position.

Particular areas of interest were dealing with agents, superstars and work/life balance - which Sir Alex really didn't have it appears.

The last section by Michael Moritz is extremely interesting too - don't miss these insights and comparisons between Silicon Valley and successful sports clubs.

  • Battle Scars

  • By: Jason Fox
  • Narrated by: Jason Fox
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,992
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,982

Jason Fox served with the SBS for over a decade, thriving on the close bonds of the Special Forces brotherhood and the ‘death or glory’ nature of their missions. Battle Scars tells the story of his career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service to a battle of a very different kind: the psychological devastation of combat that ultimately forced him to leave the military and the hard reality of what takes place in the mind of a man once a career of imagined invincibility has come to an end. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Life changing

  • By Paul on 05-11-18

Amazing insight to the trauma following deployment

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

Reviewed: 15-02-19

Jason Fox lays his heart and soul onto the pages of this book. The honesty of his character and state of mind is brutal in its ability to show the depths of PTSD on the individual and those around you.


Jason seems to be one of the first to have undergone how the Forces treated this mental issue and it clearly shows, at the time, that they simply weren't ready or qualified to deal with the traumatic experiences these highly trained operatives were going through.

I simply cannot understand why Jason decided to narrate the book himself. The expectation would be that by telling his own story the heart and soul would be in it. All the way through it felt like he was reading from a script that didn't come naturally. Words weren't spoken fluidly as if he was telling his life experiences - it felt more like someone else was just asked to read it out for the first time. A professional narrator would have got the emotions, inflictions and flow correct. Sorry Foxy - you really messed up here.

A great book that should be regulation reading for anyone in the front line. It's just it should be read and not listened to.

  • Elantris

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Jack Garrett
  • Length: 28 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,695
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,522
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,526

Elantris was built on magic, and it thrived. But then the magic began to fade, and Elantris began to rot. Now its shattered citizens face domination by a powerful Imperium. Can a young Princess unite the people of Elantris and lead a rebellion against the imperial zealots? Brandon Sanderson's debut fantasy showed his skill as a storyteller and an imaginer of baroque magical systems to be fully developed from the start.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome!

  • By BM on 19-11-14

A worthwhile use of a long story telling

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Elantris is a dying city a decade earlier home to a people of demi gods. The lands surrounding the city are in both political and religious turmoil as the new, infected, inhabitants of the now isolated Elantris struggle to come to terms with the pain and sufferings of neither being alive or dead (no zombie references at all you may be pleased to hear).

That is the briefest of overviews for a thoroughly enjoyable story. Hour after hour the story unfolds, it is not rushed at any time nor do you feel like time has passed by as you get immersed into the fantasy. The plot is neither complex nor simple.

Brandon Sanderson creates a world of magic and culture that envelops you as the listener.

Jack Garrett talks you through the characters and you instantly start to know who is the current focus by this master narration.



  • Sylvia

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Edwina Wren
  • Length: 19 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

From master storyteller Bryce Courtenay comes a colorful, lusty story set in the 13th century, an epic tale of a Europe torn by religious intolerance. The story centers around Sylvia Honeyeater, who sings like an angel and can literally charm the birds from the trees. The narrative also features the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Francis of Assisi, the Muslim Sultan and his harem, and the fervor that becomes the Children's Crusade and then, later, the Crusades.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Huge Disappointment

  • By Richard on 22-03-09

Probably a personal choice

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

Reviewed: 03-10-18

The trials and tribulations of an 11 year old is not fun listening. Having read nearly all of Bryce Courtenay’s books and knowing that you have to give the characters a chance to develop - I found myself not caring what happens to Sylvia.

A whining 11 year old, with a lot of just cause, is just not my idea of a pleasant read.

I am sure others will really like this book as Bruce Courtenay was a master story teller.

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,217

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tchaikovsky is still writing Symphonies!

  • By Simon on 11-05-17

An extra-ordinary book full of evolutionary twists

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

Reviewed: 27-09-18

This is a stunning piece of Sci-Fi.

From the beginnings of Earth 2 and the evolution of it's species to the evacuation of Earth and what the human race did to it, this book rolls through thousands of years of time travel during "sleep" hops of the last remaining humans.

During this time, you follow what's happening on Earth 2, which was created by advanced humans and is the last hope of a new home for the travelling last of the species.

A short review for such an in-depth book.

Well narrated by Mel Hudson.

  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,088

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jazzed Up Sci-Fi Crime Caper

  • By Simon on 15-11-17

Really enjoyable piece of SCI-FI

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

Reviewed: 27-09-18

When this book started I really didn't expect to like the main character, Jazz, who started as a bit over confident and mouthy.

Then you feel like you get to know her and her humour/strengths/weaknesses and delightful crude attitude to life in general.

A decent plot, some good characters and well narrated by Rosario Dawson.

  • Courtney's War

  • By: Wilbur Smith, David Churchill
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 353
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

Paris, 1939. Torn apart by war, Saffron Courtney and Gerhard von Meerbach are thousands of miles apart, both struggling for their lives. Gerhard - despite his objections to the Nazi regime - is fighting for the Fatherland, hoping to one day have the opportunity to rid Germany of Hitler and his cronies. But as his unit is thrown into the hellish attrition of the Battle of Stalingrad, he knows his chances of survival are dwindling by the day....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • My First Wilbur Smith . . . Not my last!

  • By Simon on 09-09-18

Story Line unlike most other Wilbur Smith books

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

Reviewed: 27-09-18

If you are expecting a typical Wilbur Smith book - this isn't one. As with the previous collaborations you can feel the change in style and content.

Of course being set during the 2nd World War, from all sides within the German/Russian/Allied experiences, is always going to be an intense read. The experiences of one of the characters within the concentration camps is very well written from the political prisoner perspective. The main character, Saffron Courtney, is portrayed very well and isn't a "wonder woman" type superhero despite the harsh training described.

A good read. Extremely well narrated by Sean Barrett.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Predator

  • By: Wilbur Smith, Tom Cain
  • Narrated by: Ben Onwukwe
  • Length: 15 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 156
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 142
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 141

The Hunt Begins…Two men are responsible for the death of Hector Cross’ wife and only one is left alive: Johnny Congo – psychopath, extortionist, murderer, and the bane of Cross’s life. He caught him before and let him go. Now, Hector wants him dead. So does the US government.<

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Usual Smith

  • By noonand on 22-06-16

Doesn't rate along side the previous 2 in series

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

Reviewed: 30-08-18

This book starts so slowly and recapping areas that happened in the previous two books. Not interestingly either - the first hour or two just provide detail that you will pretty much will have guessed.

Parts of the book make you doubt Wilbur Smith's involvement in the detail, it's more like a 2nd rate adventure novel.

Towards the middle of the book the story improves somewhat but with several glaring stereotypes and plot lines.

The end... predictable and dull.

Well read by Ben Onwukwe, lots of accents and characters to provide and he does so in an excellent manner.