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Sharon Barron

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Women get the power to take over

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

Reviewed: 06-07-20

It is an interesting premise and a fascinating story, narrated absolutely brilliantly, especially by Adjoa Andoh. I was gripped by it, although slightly disappointed by the ending, which seemed to cast the novel as a satire rather than a serious alternative history. Alderman writes superbly, bringing the cast of characters into life with her well crafted prose. My friends have mixed reactions, ranging from outright love to one who couldn't finish because she was bored. I was nearer the "loved it" end of the scale and I enjoyed it sufficiently to investigate other novels by the author.

Good story, but poor ending

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

Reviewed: 23-06-20

I enjoyed this story right up until the last chapter. it invites a follow-up novel, but I think I'll pass.

Excellent as usual

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

Reviewed: 08-06-20

Stableford is a master storyteller, and this is no exception. It is beautifully narrated by Tracksler.

Scalzi is easily my favourite SciFi author...

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

Reviewed: 03-06-20

The Last Emperox is the latest in John Scalzi's world of courtly intrigue in his space empire, "The Interdependency" . It's populated by beautifully realised characters, who drive a simple, but gripping story. It's clever, amusing in a smile all the time way, rather than laugh out loud like HHGTTG, in places it's touching and it is fast paced. I loved it and despite the title I look forward to the next episode, which will no doubt explore Lord Mars and his adventures finding Earth. One small niggle I feel is almost churlish to mention... "Coronated" - REALLY?

Ann Leckie is the best SciFi writer out there

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

Reviewed: 12-02-20

The second book in the Ancillary series sees the action move away from the centre of the Imperial Radch to the backwater of Athoek Station, where Breq, the former Ancillary, now the adopted cousin of Anaander Mianaai, the Lord of the Radch, finds corruption at the highest levels.

As a follow-up to Ancillary Justice, it has continuity of characters, but a complete change of pace, focusing on character, morality and world building. It's a wonderful listen.

As ever, Adjoa Andoh narrates sublimely, with a full range of voices and emotions.

A warm, comforting read

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

Reviewed: 03-02-20

John le Carré is the go to guy for British spy stories - that's a given. He writes in an economical, but sympathetic manner about the strangely normal characters inhabiting the intelligence world in a way that makes every member of the cast seem real. "Agent Running in the Field" is no exception. It drew me in from the first chapter, established my good feelings towards the main protagonists and then took me on a ride through their unexpectedly tumultuous lives. The denouement is a bit deflating and left many questions unanswered, but the best always do. We live in an untidy world, so it's to be expected that untidy endings inviting a new chapter to be opened should result from keen observation of how things really work. I want to know more about Nat, Pru, Ed and Flo. How did they get on after the events of the story. Will they have new adventures? I hope so.

A word about le Carré as a narrator. I'm not usually a fan of authors narrating their own works for audiobooks, but he makes a good fist of it with his Alistair Cooke like tones and added to the pleasure of listening.

Recommended.

Great story, well written and narrated brilliantly

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

Reviewed: 25-01-20

I've given this five stars for performance, story and overall. If I could give it six, I would. This is a stunningly good story, with woven, complex storylines, innovative world building and fantastic characters. The narration is absolutely top notch.

It is the story of a ship's ancillary: human bodies taken over by the ship's AI and conscripted into the service of an ambitious human empire ruled by a single person in thousands of bodies. The tale of divided loyalty, love and the conflicts arising out of this, makes for a heady brew. I couldn't put it down. It's beautifully written, exciting and ultimately satisfying, with a good twist in the tail.

Asher continue to impress

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

Reviewed: 25-11-19

Neal Asher is the master of techno-military SciFi. He populates his books with a bewildering array of technological Marvel's, alien species and AIs. The story is simple and linear, but satisfying enough for my daily commute. His descriptions are complex and sometimes arcane, but they serve to illustrate the universe he portrays perfectly. Looking forward to the next novel.

1 person found this helpful

A very emotional listen

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

Reviewed: 31-10-19

Saul Adler flits between his time as young historian in London and East Berlin and the present day as he slowly succumbs to his injuries from an RTA. He tells of his loves, his losses and his regrets.

This is a beautifully written story, one that ranks in the top twenty of my favourites. It gets confusing near the end, possibly reflecting Adler's morphine induced confusion, but that slightly detracted, hence four rather than five stars.

Enjoyable, but not Nuttall's best

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

Reviewed: 03-10-19

Chris Nuttall does simple, straightforward military SciFi set in a universe where the UK is run by aristocrats and is a significant military power comparable with the USA. His writing strategy is to give Earth an alien enemy with abilities and technology that represents a challenge to humanity's current level of development. Over a series of stories, these challenges are overcome, usually by the heroic actions of a number flawed characters. Doubters are proved wrong and humanity wins out in the end. There is always a shed load of introspection and internal monologue as the protagonists grapple with their demons, lots of right-wing politics and jingoism, and a tendency to pitch the services against the much mentioned "bean counters", who are as much a threat as the aliens. In the series, we have had alien fishmen, cows, foxes and in this sub-series a virus that has a hive-mind and subjugates the will of its host bodies.

Having said all that, his characters are fairly well rounded and generally evoke sympathy, the novels are well paced and gripping, and his storylines uncomplicated and enjoyable.