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Miss DePlume

England
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 21
  • helpful votes
  • 32
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  • Foreigner

  • Foreigner Sequence 1, Book 1
  • By: C. J. Cherryh
  • Narrated by: Daniel Thomas May
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

The first book in C.J.Cherryh's eponymous series, Foreigner begins an epic tale of the survivors of a lost spacecraft who crash-land on a planet inhabited by a hostile, sentient alien race. From its beginnings as a human-alien story of first contact, the Foreigner series has become a true science fiction odyssey, following a civilization from the age of steam through early space flight to confrontations with other alien species in distant sectors of space. It is the masterwork of a truly remarkable author.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • weird

  • By Saila on 26-09-16

Tedious... Repetitive... Stilted

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

Reviewed: 08-05-17

I wanted to like this story, I really did. It's a first contact story exploring an accidental human colony on an alien planet, mixed with a kind of Woman in Black stately English home/hunting lodge scenario.

Unfortunately, I read a review where someone complained that C.J. Cherryh tells you everything over, and over again - this is not an exaggeration. There is an incident early on with a gun under a mattress. Is there a gun under the mattress? There's a gun under a mattress. Will anyone find the gun under the mattress? Remember the gun under the mattress? There was a gun under the mattress. The mattress, with a gun under it.

Even as a sci-fi/fantasy lover, I find too many far-out made-up names tedious. Foreigner is an unending tedium of made up names and titles. It's just an endless stream of monotonous characters... Munchichi, Bunnichie, Paidie, Mydie, Schmidie, Punchichi - Ok, I am being unkind here and making some names up for dramatic review purposes.

The reader seems to be from the William Shatner school of voice acting. With. Pauses. Punctuating in between. Sentences.

Nope, sorry, didn't like this one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • An Unwelcome Quest

  • Magic 2.0, Book 3
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,683
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,578
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,577

Ever since Martin Banks and his fellow computer geeks discovered that reality is just a computer program to be happily hacked, they've been jaunting back and forth through time, posing as medieval wizards and having the epic adventures that other nerds can only dream of having. But even in their wildest fantasies, they never expected to end up at the mercy of the former apprentice whom they sent to prison for gross misuse of magic and all-around evil behavior.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great take on the quest games of years gone by

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-07-17

A Fun Revisit to Entertaining Characters

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

If you've listened to the other two in this series, this one is a no-brainer. I don't know how these books will stand the test of time with all their pop-culture and gaming references, but as creatures of this time (and gamers ourselves) we certainly enjoyed listening to it. The gaming spin was an interesting place to take the characters. The narration was also great.

  • Perdido Street Station: New Crobuzon, Book 1

  • By: China Mieville
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Oliver
  • Length: 31 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 320

Beneath the towering bleached ribs of a dead, ancient beast lies New Crobuzon, a squalid city where humans, Re-mades, and arcane races live in perpetual fear of Parliament and its brutal militia. The air and rivers are thick with factory pollutants and the strange effluents of alchemy, and the ghettos contain a vast mix of workers, artists, spies, junkies, and whores. In New Crobuzon, the unsavory deal is stranger to none—not even to Isaac, a brilliant scientist with a penchant for Crisis Theory.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Slough of pugnaciously ineluctable ululation

  • By Martin on 21-05-13

Strange, Fascinating, Engaging

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

What a world! This was my first China Mieville book - while strange, surreal and often brutal - I did enjoy being taken along for the ride.

  • The Dragonbone Chair

  • Memory, Sorrow & Thorn, Book 1
  • By: Tad Williams
  • Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
  • Length: 33 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 694
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638

Kitchen-boy Simon is bored, restless and 14 years old - a dangerous combination. It seems, however, that his life has just taken a turn for the better when he's apprenticed to his castle's resident wizard. As Simon's learning to read and write under Doctor Morgenes' tutelage, forces greater than he could possible imagine are gathering: forces which will change Simon's life - and his world - forever. Following the death of Good King John, Osten Ard is plunged into civil war as his sons battle for control of the fabled Dragonbone Chair - the country's throne as well as the symbol of its power.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • You'll need a little patience for this one

  • By Robyn on 26-09-16

Fantasy Classic - Forget GOT, This Came First

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

I have been a fan of Tad Williams and this series since it came out. I can't even remember how many times I read this as a teenager, but it all came flooding back during Andrew Wincott's wonderful performance. Through the lens of time I can also see all the influence this series, which came first, had on Game of Thrones.

This is a classic coming of age, high fantasy (though not too much magic) tale. There are some slow bits, yes - it's a slow starter, but the characters are likeable and as the story gains momentum I feel it's worth the wait. I forgot how much I loved Binabik, it was like meeting an old friend again. A must-listen for high fantasy fans.

  • Wolf's Empire

  • Gladiator 
  • By: Claudia Christian, Morgan Grant Buchanan
  • Narrated by: Claudia Christian
  • Length: 25 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 12

When her mother and brother are murdered, young noblewoman Accala Viridius cries out for vengeance. But the empire is being torn apart by a galactic civil war, and her demands fall on deaf ears. Undeterred, Accala sacrifices privilege and status to train as a common gladiator. Mastering the one weapon available to her - a razor-sharp discus that always returns when thrown - she enters the deadly imperial games, the only arena where she can face her enemies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unusual Concept - Action-Packed - Highly Recommend

  • By Miss DePlume on 10-04-17

Unusual Concept - Action-Packed - Highly Recommend

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

I'll admit it, I initially thought the concept was naff. But having just devoured all of Babylon 5 I was excited to see what Claudia Christian came up with - admittedly I was previously totally unfamiliar with Morgan Grant Buchanan.

We picked this audiobook to be our "commute" listen for the car. After months of listening to another rather tedious fantasy novel we wanted something fun and sci fi.

If you like twists and turns, fight scenes, drugs, sex, seeing your heroes put through the wringer, characters going through 360's - Wolf's Empire has ALL of that. Accala is arguably one of the more beat-up characters I've ever read or listened to. She also goes through more character development than most. Forced between a rock and a hard place and none of her choices are any good. How she could survive, well, you'll just have to listen to find out if she does. There are cheesy moments, and some salty talk - and at times some positively brutal fights. I cannot fault Claudia's performance, either.

I went from thinking "Ok this will be corny, but let's see if it's fun!" to "Actually, I really like this story." Claudia Christian tweeted recently that she and Morgan Grant Buchanan are teaming up for another book and I will definitely be grabbing that one, too!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Silver Screen

  • By: Justina Robson
  • Narrated by: Susie Riddell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

Silver Screen presents an enjoyably different, subversive slant on the science fiction themes of AI and cyberspace. Insecure and overweight heroine Anjuli O’Connell is one of a group of friends who have been hot-housed from an early age to perform in genius-level jobs. But Anjuli worries that her eidetic memory and her friendship with genuine smart boy Roy Croft has been her ticket to success, rather than any real intelligence of her own.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Passable AI Tale

  • By Miss DePlume on 10-04-17

Passable AI Tale

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

Reviewed: 10-04-17

I've read half a dozen or so other Justina Robson books and enjoyed them so I thought I'd give this one a shot. It's a standalone tale which largely ponders the question of whether AI's are living, conscious beings at the heart of it. I'd say it's a decent (though not effervescent) listen, and I have very few grumbles about the reader who generally did a good job (though I did wonder if she didn't have a cold during part of it!).

I fully realize this is petty nitpicking.. but at one point the reader pronounces HAL as "Hach Ay El" and my jaw dropped. Readers can't know everything but I thought anybody recruited to read a sci fi about AI's might at least be familiar with one of the world's most famous/infamous fictional AI's - or at least her editor might be! Ah well, it doesn't actually detract from the story so I forgive her.

  • The Wise Man's Fear

  • The Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 42 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7,891
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,024
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,014

Sequel to the extraordinary The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear is the second instalment of this superb fantasy trilogy from Patrick Rothfuss. This is the most exciting fantasy series since George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and a must for all fans of HBO's Game of Thrones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The problem with a trilogy....

  • By Robyn on 09-01-14

Sociopath, Narcissist - Obnoxious Sonofa - Kvothe

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

Reviewed: 23-02-17

I cannot fault Rupert Degas' performance, likewise I enjoy Patrick Rothfuss from his appearances on Acquisitions Inc and the first Kingkiller book.

However, the longer this tome went on the more I hated Kvothe.... and Denna.... and similies. I don't think I've ever read or listened to anything with more similies than a Patrick Rothfuss book. Audible ate my really clever review so instead let me sum up what you'll be listening to if you decide to get this book:

Kvothe ruins every shirt he's ever owned.

Too many similies. Did I mention that already?

Kvothe acts like an arrogant, cocky jerk to everyone he ever meets. Occasionally he kills people who might deserve it.

Many cringe-worthy hours are spent hearing about Kvothe's eye-rolling sexcapades. And him mooning over Denna. Bloody Denna. In fact, this is probably the majority of the book. It should really be marketed as a romance novel.

Many more cringe-worthy hours are spent hearing about Kvothe learning some kind of fantasy-world Qigong Martial Arts where everyone has totally embarrassing faux Chinese accents. I said I couldn't fault Rupert Degas' performance but actually I found this hard listening.

A weirdly specific but completely nonsensical monetary system - the costs/values of everything is constantly mentioned but nothing seems to actually make sense - 2 shirts cost as much as a year's worth of food. I know this because his ruined shirts feature prominently in the tale.

That's just my 2 Talent's worth - I could have bought a shirt, but instead I wrote this review.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Revelation Space

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 22 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 863
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 586
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 588

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story - Fell out with the narrator.

  • By Peter on 06-07-10

When Am I? What is going on?

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

Reviewed: 20-12-16

What disappointed you about Revelation Space?

Got this on a recommendation from my husband, who is a huge Alastair Reynolds fan. But so help me God I just cannot follow this plot. It jumps back and forth and there are so many Russian and French-type accents, I never know who is talking and when. I told myself if I just stuck with it it would start to congeal in my mind, but I guess I am not smart enough or dedicated enough to make sense of this. I cheated and read the Wikipedia page about it, which helped a lot - but I still haven't finished the story.

What was most disappointing about Alastair Reynolds’s story?

Maybe this story is a little easier to follow on the printed page, because I struggled to keep up with the jumping timeline in audiobook form.

Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

Sure, though preferably with fewer Russian accents.

  • The Elvenbane

  • By: Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey
  • Narrated by: Aasne Vigesaa
  • Length: 18 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

Two masters of epic fantasy have combined in this brilliant collaboration to create a rousing tale. This is the story of Shana, a half-breed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father with a human mother. Her exiled mother dead, Shana was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven or human kind. From birth, Shana was the embodiment of the Prophecy that the all-powerful Elvenlords feared. Her destiny is the enthralling adventure of a lifetime.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mildly Entertaining

  • By Miss DePlume on 31-08-16

Mildly Entertaining

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

Reviewed: 31-08-16

What did you like best about The Elvenbane? What did you like least?

The best "gimmick" of the book would probably be the "evil unicorns" - but what I liked the least was the obsession with breeding - a constant refrain of the tale. We're presented with a world where humans are slaves and treated like cattle - and we're reminded over, and over again about breeding habits of the elves.

Would you be willing to try another book from Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey ? Why or why not?

Mercedes Lackey is usually quite a good one for a comfort read - only because I used to read her as a high school student and when I want something familiar, I know what I'll get. I wasn't completely enamored with this pairing with Andre Norton. I'd definitely be willing to go for another Lackey offering but I don't feel like continuing this series.

Which character – as performed by Aasne Vigesaa – was your favourite?

I thought she did a good job overall, providing unique voices for all the characters, and non-irritating male voices. I do find in some audio books the reader's interpretation of the opposite sex can make or break a performance - this was not an issue for me in this audiobook.

Was The Elvenbane worth the listening time?

Yes, but I did find myself losing interest at various points.

Any additional comments?

I got this one as 'easy listening' after going through some pretty heavy and fairly intense Sci Fi offerings. Unfortunately it didn't drag me in - perhaps it was TOO easy listening? So much time is spent establishing the in's and outs of this world - and while some inconsequential things are described in great detail, major action points (or bits of important dialogue) are glossed over. When a main character reaches a major plot point, where they have the opportunity to make a compelling speech - it's entirely skipped over with what amounted to a "He told them everything and asked, "So, what do you think?" This is the type of thing that ultimately put me off listening to more of this tale.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Spell or High Water

  • Magic 2.0
  • By: Scott Meyer
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,571
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,465
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,458

A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn't be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A less intense, more fun take on the Matrix...

  • By Suzanne on 03-12-15

Another Entertaining Installment

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

Reviewed: 16-08-16

Would you listen to Spell or High Water again? Why?

Yes, probably, it's quite a funny listen.

What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He's excellent with the character voices and comedic timing - great reader!