Tag: audiobook

Soundbite Sunday – Embassytown

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

Soundbite Sunday – EmbassytownTitle: Embassytown
Author: China Mieville
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |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 – 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: Bookshop (affiliate link) |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 – 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. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

July 13, 2014 Uncategorized 19

17155412Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Narrator: Ari Fliakos
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★★

As a geeky, bookish programmer, this book was basically written for me. I love that the author created an exciting mystery with secret societies, codebreaking, mysterious disappearances, hidden vaults, and adventure, all of which revolve around books. I loved the geeky pop culture references, all clearly explained so the less geeky reader won’t feel left out. I loved that the author didn’t shy away from sharing some real details of programming and parallel computing, also well explained.  As a reader and a programmer, the author’s comparison of different programming languages to different writing styles made me incredibly happy. There are also delightful descriptions of books and bookstores and book obsessed people.  There are even book emergencies, which also made me happy because they showed that the characters’ valued books very highly.

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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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Soundbites About Lethal Circuit and Giveaway

November 17, 2013 Fiction, Soundbites, Thriller 8

18694106Title: Lethal Circuit
Author: Lars Guignard
Narrators: Ben Sullivan
Rating (Story): ★★★☆☆
Rating (Narration):★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Although there were a few things I didn’t like about the story, overall this was a refreshingly non-formulaic take on the thriller with a very unique protagonist.

Michael Chase just wants to find his father. Unfortunately, his father disappeared without a trace in China and a little digging reveals that his death was no accident. In fact, it appears his father was involved with a search for a Nazi airplane which various governments and organizations have coveted since WWII. The discovery that a Chinese satellite controlled by the same technology is falling out of orbit makes his search both urgent and a matter of life and death for more than just his father. Read more »

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Redshirts and Portrait of a Spy – Minireviews

September 28, 2013 Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller 4

13055592Title: Redshirts
Author: John Scalzi
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

I loved the premise of Redshirts, in which the characters realize the following: “(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed. Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission” (source). The building of this world is hilarious as Scalzi calls out sci-fi TV shows for all the unbelievable little things they do. Unfortunately, I didn’t think there was much to the plot. It wasn’t especially interesting to me and after the setup, the humor mostly disappeared. The premise was brilliant, the execution largely forgettable. Read more »

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Soundbites About The Scorpio Races

September 1, 2013 Fantasy, Fiction, Soundbites, Young Adult 3

10858437Title: The Scorpio Races
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Narrators: Fiona Hardingham, Steve West
Rating (Story): ★★★★★
Rating (Narration):★★★★☆

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. (synopsis from goodreads). Read more »

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Soundbites About Bossypants

August 4, 2013 Biography, non-fiction, Soundbites 14

9418327Title: Bossypants
Author: Tina Fey
Narrator: Tina Fey
Rating (Story): ★★★★☆
Rating (Narration):★★★★☆

Given how much I loved How To Be a Woman, Bossypants was an obvious choice for my next audiobook. Both are written by a woman who has done well in the entertainment industry; are autobiographies mixed with some strong opinions and advice; and both are narrated by the author. This book was less specifically focused on feminism and being a woman, but that was definitely one of the themes of the book. Read more »

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