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Rick

Perth, Australia
  • 11
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • All Systems Red

  • By: Martha Wells
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115

All Systems Red is the tense first science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie's Imperial Raadch series, or Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self-discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Humans arnt.to be trusted

  • By Mark Doyle on 13-12-2018

Good fun, well written, good main character

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

Reviewed: 10-02-2019

So I've been on a bit of a binge of sentient AI stories over the last couple of years - the Bobiverse series by Dennis E. Taylor, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, The Imperial Radch by Anne Leckie, probably others. I wasn't sure I wanted to try another one, but the blurb intrigued me and all the others have been so different I gave it a go. I was glad I did. Not amazing writing, but Martha Wells strength is in her main character and her universe.

There are a few negatives - I dislike when I feel like I'm smarter than the characters and can figure out the mystery (or most of it) ahead of them, but it wasn't too bad this time, I'm trying to avoid spoilers so won't say any more. Most of the supporting characters are very one (or maybe two) dimensional. The strengths are many. There's no unnecessary scenes, the author only gives as much info about her universe as is needed for the story, and I really enjoyed the likeable portrayal of the main character. The action wasn't over the top heroic - all violence had a cost to all involved, and - as I said before - no unnecessary scenes.

I wasn't hooked at first on the narrator, he doesn't do voices well IMHO, but I got used to his voice after a while so no real issues there.

Overall this is a great book if you love the sentient AI genre of sci-fi, and a good book if you're ambivalent. At three hours and 17 min it's a little on the short side, so if you hate it then your suffering won't last long. I'm definitely buying the next one.

  • Record of a Spaceborn Few: Booktrack Edition

  • Wayfarers, Book 3
  • By: Becky Chambers
  • Narrated by: Patricia Rodriguez
  • Length: 13 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Record of a Spaceborn Few: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience. Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened doors for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • More of a soap opera than space opera

  • By Rick on 07-02-2019

More of a soap opera than space opera

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

Reviewed: 07-02-2019

Very different from previous books this one follows the lives of several people choosing to live on spaceships rather than a planet. The stories explore culture while following the lives of the protagonists but not a lot happens. If you're after action this isn't the book for you. It took a bit for me to adjust my expectations but I did it and just enjoyed what was on offer. The narrator was good and I liked her portrayal of the characters. Overall more like a soap opera or reality TV show than previous offerings from this author.

  • Intrinsic

  • By: Philip C. Quaintrell
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 15 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8

Kalian Gaines has a secret; he just doesn't know it yet. He looks like us, he lives like us...but he is not one of us. Kalian knows nothing outside of his mundane life teaching history on 30th-century Earth, until a day like any other triggers a series of events that will tie his fate to that of humanity. A human handprint, embedded into a rock with alien script, is discovered on a moon that mankind has never set foot on. This discovery holds a secret, which will sweep Kalian into the heart of a conspiracy that has corrupted the galaxy for 200,000 years.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fast paced sci-fi

  • By Rick on 17-10-2018

Fast paced sci-fi

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

Reviewed: 17-10-2018

Technically this is not a great piece of writing. The author breaks quite a few writing guidelines - for eg. telling rather than showing - and the character dialogue is so terrible in some parts it made me groan or roll my eyes. The first half of the story I disliked the main character - he was so thick. I get that he was used as a device to explain things to the reader, but we didn't need it spelled out for us so simply that made us think he is a dimwit. He did get better as the story went on, but then it was his love interest that frustrated me. For a soldier she acted extremely emotionally without thought for the greater picture of what they were trying to achieve. And Roland the stereotypical psychopathic soldier. Enough said about him. The three together reminded me of Han, Luke, and Leia. Not keen on the narrator, sometimes he changed voices for the same character in mid paragraph. But for all the story's flaws I followed it to the end which is more than I've done for some books. The plot keeps you engaged and I wanted to find out what happens next, or even if when I figured it out I wanted to find out how they would do it. The background story and universe is interesting, it has loads of potential for development, and there is LOTS of action. If you like your sci-fi in the style of Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy (without the humour) then you you'll probably find there is a lot to like about this book. I think it would likely make an ok movie. I won't be continuing the series, but I'm not sorry that I purchased this novel, it was worth my time.

  • Pushing Ice

  • By: Alastair Reynolds
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

2057. Humanity has raised exploiting the solar system to an art form. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclear-powered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. And they're good at it. The Rockhopper is nearing the end of its current mission cycle, and everyone is desperate for some much-needed R & R, when startling news arrives from Saturn: Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, has inexplicably left its natural orbit and is now heading out of the solar system at high speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, loving Alistair Reynolds so far.

  • By Leonie on 14-05-2016

Good story, great performance

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

Reviewed: 30-09-2018

Enjoyed this story a lot, there's a lot of changes in the plot over decades of time. I liked the pacing, the characters were interesting, capable and flawed. The narrator was great, there was never any doubt about who was speaking. I thought there was some odd editorial choices and it felt in a couple of places some scenes which I would have liked to hear about were cut and mentioned. Maybe it's the author's style, it's the first book of his I've bought. Overall great book and hoping there is a sequel.

  • Provenance

  • By: Ann Leckie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 79

A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artefacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned. Ingray and her charge will return to their home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict. Together they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family and her world before they are lost to her for good.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping story well told.

  • By philschl on 15-05-2018

Slow paced but interesting

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

Reviewed: 29-10-2017

Set in the same universe as the Ancillary Justice books, this story is a change of pace. It's more of a political / mystery story. The characters are interesting and many turn out to be more than they seem as the story progressed. I wasn't enthralled but I was entertained and I certainly have no regrets buying this book.
If you loved Ancillary Justice trilogy you'll probably like this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

  • Wayfarers, Book 1
  • By: Becky Chambers
  • Narrated by: Patricia Rodriguez
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 265

Firefly meets Mass Effect in this thrilling self-published debut! When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past. But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Yawn

  • By simon on 16-12-2017

Great story, awesome performance

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

Reviewed: 22-09-2017

What other book might you compare The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet to, and why?

This reminded me a little of Firefly, a little of Star Wars, but it has its own unique setting, aliens, rules and laws.

Have you listened to any of Patricia Rodriguez’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The performance was great, she does all the voices well - and without using accents to differentiate the characters - so I always knew who was talking and it added a great dimension to the characters.

Any additional comments?

The story is character driven - they all work on a starship that creates wormholes for other ships to use. Each character has their interests, their way of interacting, and their secrets. I've just started listening to the sequel.

  • The Boy on the Bridge

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114

Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived. In The Boy on the Bridge, M. R. Carey returns to the world of his phenomenal word-of-mouth best seller, The Girl With All the Gifts, for the very first time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story with moments of genuine suspense

  • By Rick on 07-06-2017

Great story with moments of genuine suspense

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

Reviewed: 07-06-2017

I bought this audiobook on the strength of The Girl With All the Gifts. At first the story didn't grab me, but as the story unfolded and the pace increased my buy in increased also. There are interesting characters, realistic interpersonal dynamics, and moments of genuine suspense. And there are tie ins to the previous book and a satisfying epilogue. If you loved the first book you will also love this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Babylon's Ashes

  • Book Six of the Expanse
  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 19 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

A revolution brewing for generations has begun in fire. It will end in blood. The Free Navy - a violent group of Belters in black-market military ships - has crippled the Earth and begun a campaign of piracy and violence among the outer planets. The colony ships heading for the 1,000 new worlds on the far side of the alien ring gates are easy prey, and no single navy remains strong enough to protect them. James Holden and his crew know the strengths and weaknesses of this new force better than anyone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another good read

  • By Rick on 13-04-2017

Another good read

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

Reviewed: 13-04-2017

Following on from the previous book Babylon's Ashes is another great book in The Expanse series. Different, in the same way all the books have different settings, it's every bit as good as the others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Cibola Burn

  • Book 4 of the Expanse
  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 20 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 428

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds, and the rush to colonise has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Illus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire. Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Jefferson Mays nails another amazing Expanse Novel

  • By Tias on 16-05-2017

Great story, didn't enjoy the voice performance

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

Reviewed: 11-03-2017

If you have enjoyed the series so far you'll enjoy this book too. New setting, Jim Holden and his crew plus new characters and as a nice surprise some minor characters in previous books are major characters in this one. There is genuine tension and excitement in this story and I lol'd a couple of times. It is science heavy, epecially when talking about biology but that made it more immersive for me.There was one thing I thought let the story down, but only a little and it's too much of a spoiler to name it.
What let it down a lot was the voice performance. The cadence of his reading with a small break in between each word disrupted the flow and really grated on me. Even some dialogue was read the same way. The voices of some of the characters were too similar to my ear and it took context or actual "..he said" for me to know he was talking. I got used to it all but it took me half the book at least.
Overall, still worth a listen if you love the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Caliban's War

  • The Expanse, Book 2
  • By: James S. A. Corey
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 21 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 563
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 519
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 514

For someone who didn't intend to wreck the solar system's fragile balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it.While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. The outer planets and the Belt are uncertain in their new - possibly temporary - autonomy. Then, on one of Jupiter's moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers of Earth and Mars indiscriminately and reigniting the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More of everything

  • By Rick on 09-02-2017

More of everything

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

Reviewed: 09-02-2017

Loved the first book? You'll love this one too. New mission for Jim Holden and his crew that ties into the overall storyline of the series. New and interesting characters and more information about the backgrounds of existing characters. Has some hard science and some magic (because humans don't understand the protomolecule's abilities it seems like magic). You could complain about the stupidity of some of the villains but I let that slide. Voice performance was excellent. Jefferson Mays can do different voices without relying on out of place accents (unless it's warrented). My audible credit arrived just in time for me to get the third book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful