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Daniel

Mt. Lawley, Western Australia
  • 5
  • reviews
  • 28
  • helpful votes
  • 6
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  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic

  • Arcane Ascension, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Rowe
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 354
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess. He never returned. Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Name Of The Wind meets The Maze Runner

  • By Daniel on 31-08-2017

The Name Of The Wind meets The Maze Runner

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

Reviewed: 31-08-2017

Rather than swishing a wand and having all sorts of crazy magic spring out of it, this is a world in which magic and the products of this magic are a tradeable resource, and those lucky enough to weild it will inevitably battle to weild larger amounts and more complex versions of it to improve both their wealth and standing within society. It sets up an interesting dynamic at the university, where everyone is not just concentrating on learning how to use their various types of magic, but battling to gain access to more magic than their peers.

As most young adult books tend to, this story has about 40 hours of reading/listening crammed into half of that so as to not lose the attention of the young adult reader/listener. This isn't a terrible thing, but in the end you are left wondering what might have been, had the author fleshed out some of those ideas a little. Still, not everyone is prepared to sit through 40-50 hours of listening to get through a book, and to cut some of the fringe scenes in favour of an action-packed story could be a winning combination. Reservations though I might have, I am sufficiently hooked and will be continuing on with the series.

Nick Podehl narrates the book in his own well known style. He has this elastic, cartoonish voice which means that the lead character is reminiscent of the likes of Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, Hiro from Big Hero Six, or even Jim Lake from Trollhunters. As a result of this, I haven't been able to shake the CGI cartoon imagery from my minds eye, and the whole story plays in my head as a computer generated, animated movie rather than a live-action one. There are worse things that could happen, and there is always a chance that I'm just a crazy person who sees weird things.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

  • By: George R. R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia Jr., Linda Antonsson
  • Narrated by: Roy Dotrice, Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 21 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124

The never-before-seen history of Westeros and the lands beyond. With hundreds of pages of all-new material from George R.R. Martin.If the past is prologue, then George R.R. Martin's masterwork - the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time - warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Tedious. Most avid fans of the subject matter only

  • By Daniel on 21-04-2015

Tedious. Most avid fans of the subject matter only

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

Reviewed: 21-04-2015

As a physical book, with illustrations and all, this book works really well. If you want to read about Dorne, you just thumb through to the 'Dorne' section – it has maps and you can find the bits and pieces that you want to read through, without having to go through everything else as well. With this audiobook, you listen to everything from the dawn of time onwards, through every Aegon, Aemon and Aerys, through where one Aegon kills the other Aegon and so on and so forth. If you are intensely interested in the subject matter, this will be fine and you will have a great time. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I will freely admit that I am the horrible sort of person who goes online and posts in forums regarding the series.

I do not think that the casual reader will get the enjoyment out of this that they would get from the physical copy of the book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Stand

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 47 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 563
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 562

First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil. His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms. For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King's gift.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favourites

  • By Dale on 07-01-2015

Be prepared for it to get a bit supernatural.

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

Reviewed: 21-04-2015

For any Stephen King fan, my headline would induce eye-rolling with a bit of "well what did you expect?". I have never really been a Stephen King reader, and was under the impression that I was reading a plague survival story (and nothing more). I was not really looking for a supernatural story, and while I got a reasonable amount of enjoyment out of it, I wouldn't have purchased it if I had known beforehand. So hopefully this can act as a bit of a warning for the uninitiated.

The story itself was quite good, though at times it seemed a little tedious (you can see why they asked him to trim it by 400 pages from the original published version). Grover Gardner's narration originally got on my nerves, but I grew to really love the way he dealt with each of the characters and their various mannerisms.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Half a King

  • Shattered Sea, Book 1
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Ben Elliot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 73

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great but short

  • By Simon on 29-03-2017

Generic fantasy formula, executed well enough.

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

Reviewed: 12-03-2015

I feel like I'd probably enjoy Abercombie's books a little more if he put more than a couple of months' effort into each.

This is a general tale of betrayal, leading to all the hoops the protagonist must jump through to set things right. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, there are plenty of books out there making a hash of the simple stuff, which this does not.

The narration was a disappointment. Various lands/countries, all with the same accent? I feel like this is a big opportunity missed. Each character more or less had the same voice, but for two or three spotted throughout.

I'm interested enough to check out the rest of the series. This is far from a classic, but worth picking up for a familiar jaunt through familiar fantasy territory.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Wise Man's Fear (Part Two)

  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas
  • Length: 22 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 117

Part Two of The Wise Man’s Fear 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 best fantasy I've ever come across

  • By Daniel on 26-02-2015

The best fantasy I've ever come across

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

Reviewed: 26-02-2015

I have listened to a hundred audiobooks, this is far and away the best (just completed my fifth listen of this one). I have also listened to several versions of this audiobook, and I have to mention that the narration was what made it pop. Often there is a good book which is read by a good narrator, which is nice, but on this occasion Rupert Degas gave the book a life of it's own. Cannot wait for the third installment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful