Posts Categorized: Audiobook

Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of Girl

July 5, 2015 Audiobook, Memoir, non-fiction, Review 20

Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of GirlTitle: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Lena Dunham
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Summary: I found the author’s voice annoying and the focus of her story was on relationships I didn’t find very interesting.

I’d never heard of Lena Dunham prior to reading Not That Kind of Girl, but I’m always up for a memoir read by the author, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, this particular author’s voice really did not work for me. Although I did enjoy hearing the story with the author’s intended inflection, she sounded whiny and childish to me. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday: The Martian

May 24, 2015 Audiobook, Fiction, Science Fiction 26

Soundbite Sunday: The MartianTitle: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Source: Blogging for Books, Bought
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: The narrator, the story, the humor – everything was fantastic!

If someone had to be stranded on Mars, Mark Watney was a great choice. Only someone with his mad botany and engineering skills could possibly stay alive, with no way to communicate with Earth and too few supplies to wait on a rescue mission. And only someone with his phenomenal sense of humor could survive the solitude without going insane. These two traits also made him a wonderful protagonist to read about. Being stranded on Mars could make for a depressing, hopeless story. Instead, I spent the whole book laughing or on the edge of my seat rooting for Mark to survive each new challenge.
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Soundbite Sunday – Embassytown

October 5, 2014 Audiobook, Fiction, Review, Science Fiction 8

Soundbite Sunday – EmbassytownTitle: Embassytown
Author: China Mieville
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

 

Like Mieville’s The City and the City, the world building in Embassytown blew me away. It was a bit hard to follow as an audiobook because the world was complex and there was no exposition, but I loved how the author slowly revealed the world as the plot unfolded. The plot itself took a bit of a backseat (inevitable, perhaps, with world building this good) . I was interested in finding out what happened, but I was far less engaged towards the more action-packed ending than I was at the beginning, when I couldn’t wait to piece together more about the world the author created.

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Soundbite Sunday – Lock In

September 14, 2014 Audiobook, Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller 8

Soundbite Sunday – Lock InTitle: Lock In
Author: John Scalzi
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

Summary: This was a fun, fast-paced thriller which explored interesting ethical dilemmas and fascinating new paths science might take.

Lock In occurs in a not-too-distant future in the aftermath of devastating virus. Most people who get the virus either die or survive with only flu-like symptoms, but some small percentage actually have their brain rewired by the virus. Most of them become “locked in”, still alive but unable to control their bodies. Technological advances allow those who are locked in to control robot-like personal transports or  to borrow the bodies of “integrators”, people whose brains were rewired by the virus in a different way. When new FBI agent Chris Shane discovers a man apparently murdered by an integrator, he must determine if anyone else was using the integrator’s body and whether someone is using integrators’ abilities to get away with an even greater crime. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – The Well of Ascension

September 7, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Review 2

Soundbite Sunday – The Well of AscensionTitle: The Well of Ascension
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Source: Bought
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

 

As always, listening to a Brandon Sanderson book read by Michael Kramer was a fun experience. The character growth was, as usual, a real strength of the book. Some of the characters were a bit angstier than usual, but they always fell just short of becoming annoying. A new character, who became one of my favorite characters in the series, was introduced in this book and brought with him some interesting new hints about the world the story is set in. There was a huge twist at the end which was believable because of previous clues without being obvious or expected. My least favorite thing about this installment in the series is that it did drag a bit. There’s always the possibility with an audiobook that a story feeling slow can be attributed to the format and that might be part of it here. However, I’m also certain that the characters spending the whole book trying to achieve one goal and making very little progress also slowed the story down.

Do you find that audiobooks often seem to drag more than a book you’re reading yourself?

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Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final Empire

August 17, 2014 Audiobook 4

Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final EmpireTitle: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Links: Amazon|Indiebound |Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

 

As with Words of Radiance, I’m probably rating this book less highly because I read The Way of Kings first. Compared to The Way of KingsMistborn seemed like a younger sibling, a scaled down version perhaps intended for a younger audience. There are a lot of similarities between the two books: a world with a tyrannical ruling class; a male and a female narrator; chapters beginning with quotes from books; and similar magical combat. This is a good thing because these were strengths of The Way of Kings, but it’s also a bad thing because Mistborn felt much less novel. Mistborn also had a similarly consistent magic system and great character growth. Unfortunately, the epic scale and impressive world building of The Way of Kings were missing, but hopefully that will come as I read the next two books in the trilogy. Michael Kramer’s narration was spot on as always.

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Soundbite Sunday – Words of Radiance

August 3, 2014 Audiobook 3

9781427233080Title: Words of Radiance
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrators: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

This is a book I would probably give 5 stars if I weren’t comparing it to the first book in the series, The Way of Kings. The plot is similarly complex, interesting, and expansive. There is once again great character growth, with personal plots nested within the overall story. The magic and worldbuilding retain their internal consistency. However, while I wouldn’t say this suffered too much from second book syndrome, I did feel as though less happened than in the first book. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – The Way of Kings

July 27, 2014 Audiobook, Fantasy 7

The-Way-of-Kings-610664Title: The Way of Kings
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrators: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
Rating (Story): ★★★★★
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

Many authors do one thing exceptionally well: world building, character creation and growth, or an intricate plot. Brandon Sanderson does an incredible job at all three. The world is very unique, with creatures and a magic system I never could have imagined. The world and the magical system are also notable for their internal consistency. The creatures described seem like the sort that would evolve together. The magical system follows clear, consistent rules. The world building take place through slow, constant information sharing, in parallel with both an epic, world-wide conflict and moving personal stories. The story wasn’t always straight forward or predictable and I loved the unexpected obstacles which forced every character to grow and change in order to succeed. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday – Mr. Mercedes

July 6, 2014 Audiobook, Fiction, Thriller 13

18775663Title: Mr. Mercedes
Author: Stephen King
Narrators: Will Patton
Rating (Story): ★★★☆☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

About half way through this book, I noticed that many Stephen King fans had written reviews indicating that they were disappointed with it. At the time, I didn’t get why that would be. The writing is standard Stephen King, which is a good thing – he has such a way with words! There was some tension about the characters’ safety which also struck me as classic Stephen King. The bad guy is incredibly creepy and the bits from his perspective freaked me out. However, by the end I found myself a bit disappointed in this book too. The plot was very predictable, the tension King created felt contrived, and the story was full of stock characters. I expected a bit more originality from King.

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