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Kevin

OMAGH, United Kingdom
  • 18
  • reviews
  • 58
  • helpful votes
  • 42
  • ratings
  • The Witchwood Crown

  • The Last King of Osten Ard, Book 1
  • By: Tad Williams
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 38 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

The Witchwood Crown continues the story of Simon, servant boy made king, and his queen, Miriamele, 30 years after the events of the concluding part of the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy. In To Green Angel Tower, the might of the Storm King was conquered by the League of the Scroll. Now new troubles have come to the kingdom of Osten Ard, a world where humans, Norns and the Sithi can live in peace for only a little time before war raises its head....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Eclipses MS&T

  • By Rhyian on 12-07-17

Can't wait for the next one - absolutely excellent

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18

Wow, what a book! I really enjoyed the original series of Memory, Sorry and Thorn, but this is even better. Much better actually. In the years since writing the original (1988?) he has become a much better writer. The story is more complex and engaging: every chapter is excellent and has great twists and turns. His characters are more detailed and believable. Two of them this time are a comedy double act and the humour is great - he has learned to write comedy since 1988. I laughed out loud at several points. And Andrew Wincott does superb character acting, not missing a single nuance of a sentence - he is really plugged in.

I am counting the days until the next one as this, in my opinion, has been set up with this book as one of the best fantasy saga's of all time, topping just about everything else I have read. And this book in itself is just a joy from start to finish. I wish I could contact the author and reader to say "Superb work guys! Superb." If you like fantasy then you can't go without this in your collection in my opinion.

  • The Rogue Mage

  • Age of Oracles, Book 1
  • By: Ben Hale
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

With all of magic at her command, Alydian is born to power. She and the other oracles serve the people, guiding kings and commoners with their ability to know the future. Yet despite Alydian's power she cannot foresee the coming betrayal, for a rogue mage lurks in their midst, and plots an alliance with the mighty guild of Verinai. Under the guise of benevolence the Verinai offer their magic to all, while their expanding reach is noticed by none. Except the Soldier.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty tedius and one-dimensional

  • By Kevin on 04-07-18

Pretty tedius and one-dimensional

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

I don't know why I keep getting books by this author but they are always the same. By that I mean they are enough to stop me going mad with boredom, but as nourishing as chewing on cardboard. They are pretty standard fantasy stuff and easy to listen to, I suppose. But the characters are hardly even one-dimensional and the plots are never complicated. I have now sworn off Ben Hale.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of the Cold War

  • Brief Histories
  • By: John Hughes-Wilso
  • Narrated by: Philip Franks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105

The Cold War was an undeclared war, fought silently and carefully between ideological opponents armed with the most fearsome weapons mankind has ever seen. Hughes-Wilson takes a cool look at this war, from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR thereafter. He examines the suspicion and paranoia - on both sides - of the greatest stand-off in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifyingly educational

  • By J. Armstrong on 24-09-14

Pretty comprehensive

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

I was wanting to tie up my pre and post-war history understanding and this seemed like a good title to cover it. Although not hugely in-depth, it covers all the key moments and background stories of the cold war. I now have a much better understanding. It was a pretty enjoyable read too.

  • Days Without End

  • By: Sebastian Barry
  • Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 686
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 633

Having signed up for the US Army in the 1850s, aged barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and ultimately the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in, they find these days to be vivid. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful

  • By AnnaJean Hughes on 01-03-17

A rip-your-heart-out romantic novel with twists

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

This is a highly unusual book - very "singular" as Sherlock Holmes would say. I think some people will find this an incredible book and will (like my father did) recommend it highly. I would recommend anyone to read it. I don't know what to say about it so as not to spoil anything. It's not a girly novel and it's not a mans novel - it is something made up of both with a bit extra added on top. I would recommend reading this - you will never forget it.

  • The Battle Mage

  • The Age of Oracles Series, Book 3
  • By: Ben Hale
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

Alydian has shattered her prison and returned to the rebellion, arriving in time to ensure victory at Skykeep. The people now look to her as high oracle, but she is haunted by her escape … and the power she has unlocked. She is not alone in hiding the truth. Her enemies have their secrets, but it’s those of her allies that she should fear. With the Empire’s might at her command, Teriah gathers her forces for a final battle, but her plan is more sinister. With the aid of a hidden master, she has prepared a devastating plague, one that will bring the rebellion to its knees. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Poor ending to the series

  • By CPW on 06-03-19

Tedius

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

I wish I had never started reading this trilogy as I couldn't help but buy the other two books to see how it ended. His characters and plot are so one dimensional and nothing much ever happens. I think I wasted my time staying awake for these books. The narration is grating too.

  • The Society of the Sword Trilogy

  • By: Duncan M. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 31 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,288
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,284

When Soren is plucked from the streets and given a place at the prestigious academy of swordsmanship, he thinks his dream of being a great swordsman has become a possibility. However, with great intrigues unfolding all around him, Soren discovers that he is little more than a pawn to the ambitions of others.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Took a chance on a new author and....

  • By Graham on 27-11-17

Pretty one dimensional

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

This was one of those "He did this, then he went there, then he did that" novels with not very much at all to the characters or the storyline. I am very surprised at the good reviews. I have told myself before not to buy these three in one offers as they are usually drivel, which this certainly was. The only thing going for it really is that the narration was good, Derek Perkins managed to stay awake through it. He writes very cleanly but there really is no depth to the thing. Well, there was for about 30 minutes then he ended the book. Don't waste 30 hours on this.

Gardens of the Moon: Malazan Book of The Fallen 1 - Volume 2
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Steven Erikson
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Ralph Lister
    
    


    
    Length: 13 hrs
    194 ratings
    Overall 4.5
  • Gardens of the Moon: Malazan Book of The Fallen 1 - Volume 2

  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan Empire simmers with discontent. Even its imperial legions yearn for some respite. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners and for Tattersail, sole surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I nearly gave up!

  • By Kevin on 07-06-17

I nearly gave up!

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

Reviewed: 07-06-17

Any additional comments?

This is the hardest book I have tried to read in my lifetime and I have read a lot of books. The reason why is that the story, characters and world are extremely complex. Very important parts of the plot are inferred sometimes by one name or word and if you miss it you are going to fall behind!

But... as I rewound and listened again to some chapters I started to get it. Finding the Malazan wikia online also helped.

Once I got it, I really got it and quickly came to the conclusion that this is a work of absolute genius. The world is breathtaking and interesting, the plot lines are twisted and some very subtle with plenty of intrigue and subterfuge. I just fell in love.

My advice on reading (listening) to this is pay 100% close attention at all times and rewind when you need to. A few chapters in you should get the hang of it, after that it is like riding a bike.

One BIG disappointment for me is that Audible only have the first book in this TEN book series!!!!! This is a travesty for a series such as this and they really need to sort this out. Unfortunately, Amazon run them now and there is no way of ever explaining this problem to anyone that can do anything about it. So I have had to make other arrangements.

To conclude, this is a STONKER! If you like fantasy you have to read this!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Neuromancer

  • By: William Gibson
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 882
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 804
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 806

The Matrix: a world within a world, a graphic representation of the databanks of every computer in the human system; a consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate users in the Sprawl alone. And by Case, computer cowboy, until his nervous system is grievously maimed by a client he double crossed. Japanese experts in nerve splicing and micro bionics have left him broken and close to death. But at last Case has found a cure. He’s going back into the system.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • READ THIS INSTEAD OF THE (RUBBISH) BLURB ABOVE

  • By DjanSeriy2020 on 29-06-12

Failed the test of time, I am sorry to say.

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

Reviewed: 30-10-15

Any additional comments?

I read this when it was first released about 30 years ago and back then it was awesome because of it's (prescient in some cases) imagining of the future.

Unfortunately it has not stood the test of time. The technology feels out of place in a lot of cases (the lack of mobile devices and phones, the including of a bank of payphones). It was a superb effort in telling the future for it's time, but now it is a bit like watching black and white "Rocket Man" or similar funny sci-fi.

Additionally, first time around, I was willing to forgo the lack of character depth and story because I was so bamboozled by the technology he introduced. Now it just feels like too much descriptive prose and not enough of the other elements.

I am very sad to have to write a review like this because my memory of reading it the first time has been somewhat soiled. Some things are just of their time I suppose.

  • Hoodwinked

  • An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the Global Economy IMPLODED - and How to Fix It
  • By: John Perkins
  • Narrated by: David Ackroyd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

John Perkins has seen the signs of today's economic meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiascos, the banking industry collapse, the rising tide of unemployment, the shuttering of small businesses are all too familiar symptoms of a far greater disease. In his former life as an economic hit man, he was on the front lines both as an observer and a perpetrator of events, once confined only to the third world, that have now sent the United States spiraling toward disaster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ethical hammer to predatory capitalism

  • By catherine jeffrey on 18-02-16

Sustainable development for the lobotomized

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

Reviewed: 05-08-15

Any additional comments?

Although I agree wholeheartedly with his opinions I can't help feel that this book is somewhat dumbed down for the American market (and indeed I wish they would read it). Some rehashing of EHM and worth a read if you didn't read his first book.

  • Wrath of a Mad God

  • Darkwar, Book 3
  • By: Raymond E. Feist
  • Narrated by: Peter Joyce
  • Length: 18 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 190
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 188

The third book in the hugely successful Darkwar series from the world-wide bestselling author of Magician. The Darkwar has fallen upon the worlds of Kelewan and Midkemia - a time of heroes, trials and destruction. Following their dangerous mission to the realm of the alien Dasati, Magnus and the other members of the Conclave must now find a way to use what they discovered to help save their own people from the wrath of a mad god.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great End to the Dark War series

  • By Jem on 16-10-17

Back to his best!

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

Reviewed: 05-08-15

Would you listen to Wrath of a Mad God again? Why?

I didn't think much of the original conclave of shadows books, but this trilogy is excellent and this final book is a true finale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful