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P. D. Smith

Huddersfield, UK
  • 32
  • reviews
  • 84
  • helpful votes
  • 122
  • ratings
  • Ark Royal

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 13 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 737
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 684
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 685

Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A reasanbly good yarn, not very well read

  • By George on 27-07-14

Not bad

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

Reviewed: 06-09-14

I'm actually enjoying the story, and I will probably get the sequels. It's quite enjoyable in itself.

The problems are:

- Ralph Lister's narration is absolutely fine - when he's reading the descriptive text. However, when he starts acting as the characters it all goes wrong. and he .. talks .. like .. this. He annunciates every word precisely, rather than as people actually talk. It's strange because he reads the rest of the book absolutely fine.

- I've been spoiled by Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet books. In those, he shows us the vastness of space, and the problems that combat in that environment would have. In Ark Royal, it's a bit more Star Wars-y, and space is very small. So, their ship jumps into a star system, and they get immediate communication from the planets asking who they are. Then, a bit later, an enemy ship arrives from a different direction, and a few minutes later they're in combat. Either they've discovered a way to have FTL travel, sensors and communication within a star system, or space has shrunk a bit.

- Also, there's a few scientific impossibilities (ignoring the normal Sci-fi ones, like FTL travel, etc) - eg the ship was 'orbiting a beacon' - that just can't work, unless the beacon is HUGE.

Apart from those little annoyances, it's not that bad a book. It could do with a bit of editing, and the voice acting is annoying, but, to me, the story's good enough to override that.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Well of Ascension

  • Mistborn, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 29 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,532
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,087
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,081

The impossible has happened. The Lord Ruler is dead. But so too is Kelsier, the man who masterminded the triumph. The awesome task of rebuilding the world has been left to his protege Vin - a onetime street urchin, now the most powerful Mistborn in the land. Worryingly for her, Vin has become the focus of a new religion, a development that leaves her intensely uneasy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Blimey - it's longer than the first one!

  • By Lee Grant on 29-11-14

Awesome

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

Reviewed: 16-09-13

This is an amazing book. I loved the first book in the series, and I was a bit concerned by some of the reviews I'd read about the second book, but I needn't have worried.

This second book was more 'political' and 'scholarly' than the first book, with less emphasis on allomancy than the first one, but it was just as gripping and exciting, while giving us more insight into the characters and the nature of the landscape of the Final Empire.

Michael Kramer reads the books wonderfully and is totally captivating.

I also love the fact that it's child friendly, and hasn't turned into soft porn like some other sequels I've read recently... While it's not aimed at younger children, you could listen to it with them around without worrying. It's a great book for teens and adults.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Imager

  • The First Book of the Imager Portfolio
  • By: L. E. Modesitt Jr.
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 40

Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant in L'Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar, he has spent years becoming a journeyman artist and is skilled and diligent enough to be considered for the status of master artisan - in another two years. Then, in a single moment, his entire life is transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire and Rhenn discovers he is an imager.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Looking forward to the next volume

  • By Jonny on 20-05-09

Very good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-04-10

Great book by a great author. I like all L E Modesitt's books, so I was expecting good things from this new series. I wasn't disappointed.

I must admit that at the start, I wasn't too keen on the narrator's accent, but after a few chapters, I got used to it, and I now hope he narrates the rest of the series as well

I'm downloading the second book in the series now.

If you like Modesitt's Recluse series, you'll love this new series as well.

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • By: Stieg Larsson
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 18 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,884
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,075
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,079

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder - and that the killer is a member of his own family. He employs journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, truculent computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet's disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • By MrsFiddleback on 29-05-09

Excellent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-12-09

This is a very, very good thriller. It does start a bit slow, as others have said, but now I don't want to stop listening. I'll certainly be getting the sequels.

The only thing I would say is - don't listen to it with children around. There are some sex (rape, in fact) scenes described - not in a pornographic or gratuitous way, but I wouldn't want children to hear them by mistake...

  • 8th Confession

  • Women's Murder Club, Book 8
  • By: James Patterson
  • Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 85
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

Behind the closed doors of San Fransisco's grandest mansions, beautiful people party the nights away in a heady mix of money, drugs, drink, and sex. But the rich and famous aren't the only ones with the keys to these most exclusive of addresses; someone else is intent on crashing the party. A rock star, a fashion designer, a software tycoon, and a millionaire heiress: Each is glamorous, stunningly attractive and incredibly rich, but their similarities don't end there. They have something else in common too. They are all dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderfully absorbing

  • By Jean on 26-03-09

Not great

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-06-09

I get the feeling I didn't quite 'get' this book. There were a couple of different threads going on in the story, and they seemed to be totally unrelated, so I'm not sure why they were in the same book...

I didn't like the narrator, and found that she didn't differentiate between the lead characters well, so I lost track of who was doing what.

Maybe I should have read/listened to the other Women's Murder Club books first, and this may have made more sense then, but after listening to this one, I'm not tempted to get the others.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • In the Nick of Time

  • By: Robert Swindells
  • Narrated by: Clare Corbett
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

When Charlie falls off a stepping stone in the woods, her whole world suddenly changes. She stumbles in the 21st century, and picks herself up in the middle of the 20th. She's a pupil at a weird outdoor school. Can she get back to her own time?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a lovely book

  • By P. D. Smith on 10-11-08

What a lovely book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-11-08

I really enjoyed this book, and so did the kids. 11 year old Charlie gets sent back in time from 2007 to 1952 where there's a case of mistaken identity and she finds herself enrolled in an open-air school (for delicate children), and meets up with Jack who is the only person who believes she's from the future.

The book was a good education on recent history for the children, (without them realising they were being educated!) It was excellently narrated and exciting enough that the kids kept asking to listen to more of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Timesnatch

  • By: Robert Swindells
  • Narrated by: Kim Hicks
  • Length: 2 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    0 out of 5 stars 0
  • Story
    0 out of 5 stars 0

Once a creature is extinct, it's gone forever. Isn't it? Not anymore, as a butterfly from the past proves. The physicist mother of Kizzy and Fraser Rye has invented an amazing time machine that can travel back into the past, snatch a plant or animal now extinct, and bring it back into the present. It's a wonderful achievement, a real scientific breakthrough. But the machine has a horrifying potential.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable

  • By P. D. Smith on 25-10-08

Very enjoyable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-10-08

This book wasn't quite what I expected, but it was very good. It wasn't so much 'sci-fi' as an object lesson on the problems of breakthrough scientific discoveries etc.

Our two kids loved it though, and even asked for more books by the same author. I think this was because it was very good at looking at the issues from a child's perspective, with reactions from school-friends and so on, coming into it. It also gave the chance to talk about what 'extinction' was, and to talk about some of the currently endangered species which had become extinct by the time-frame of the book (which is set about 20 years in the future from now).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Just William

  • By: Richmal Crompton
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234

Now as famous on radio and audio as they are in print, the adventures of that irrepressible and ageless schoolboy William Brown have been delighting both young and old for decades. Perpetually scruffy, mud-stained, and mischievous, he is a lovable scamp whose pranks usually end in disaster, for his harassed elders at least. With friends Ginger, Douglas, and Henry (The Outlaws), and the angelic, lisping, thorn-in-his-side Violet Elizabeth Bott, William has rightly joined the literary, and radio, immortals. This volume of Just William features the following stories: William Goes To The Pictures, William The Intruder, William Below Stairs, The Fall Of The Idol, The Show, A Question Of Grammar, William Joins The Band Of Hope, The Outlaws, William And White Satin, William’s New Year’s Day, The Best Laid Plans, Jumble.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Fiona on 25-07-15

Fun!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-10-08

What a fun book. My 7 year old son loved it as well (I just hope he doesn't get any ideas...)

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Historian

  • By: Elizabeth Kostova
  • Narrated by: Joanne Whalley, Martin Jarvis, Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 136

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By A Genealogist on 15-02-07

Very enjoyable

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-10-08

What can I say, I really enjoyed this book. People will obviously draw comparisons between this and the DaVinci Code, but I liked this much more. I must admit that I really liked the fact that this book was based around a myth other than the Holy Grail or similar.

Great book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dissolution

  • A Matthew Shardlake Novel
  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Anton Lesser
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144

Henry VIII has proclaimed himself Supreme Head of the Church, and the country is waking up to savage new laws. Under the order of Thomas Cromwell, a team of commissioners is sent to investigate the monasteries. At the monastery of Scarnsea, events have spiralled out of control. Cromwell's commissioner, Robin Singleton, has been found dead. And Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of reform, has been sent by Cromwell into an atmosphere of treachery and death to investigate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An entertaining historical mystery with depth

  • By Angela on 12-04-08

Nice historical fiction

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-10-08

I've not heard/read anything by C.J.Sansom before, but I will certainly get more of his books in the future.

I was a bit confused at the start by the references to 'Cromwell' at the same time as Henry VIII, but then I worked out it was Thomas Cromwell (not Oliver, but his great-great-uncle).

There were the usual gruesome murders that you can expect from this genre of fiction, and, I'll have to admit, that it was only near the end that I worked out who did it. There was also lots of interesting background about life in the Tudor period, and the dissolution of the monasteries and the Reformation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful