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Todd

Orange, Australia
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As a parent, a horrifying story

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

Reviewed: 20-09-2018

I read this book years ago when I was in school. But as a father to a 2-year-old boy now, I found it particularly terrifying this time around. King has an Author’s Note at the beginning. In it, he says that whenever someone asks him the scariest story he has written, he always responds with “Pet Sematary” without any hesitation. The reason isn’t a typical one, and I think you need to be a parent to fully grasp the horror of what happens in the book.

The story is solid, even though it drags a little in some spots. But it contains all the classic King elements of mystery and supernatural horror. And it’s the narration by TV’s Dexter, Michael C. Hall that makes this audiobook stand out. His steady voice oozes character, especially with the character of Jud Crandall. He does a great job of nailing the old man’s Maine accent and makes it seem effortless.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

An awesome story and a return of fan favourites

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

Reviewed: 28-06-2018

The XVI legion is back and in prime focus for this story that centres on Horus and his Sons attacking Molech; a Knight World that guards a secret so powerful that the Emperor erased the memory of it from his Primarchs. It is this gap in his memory that motivates Horus to descend upon Molech. He believes that the Emperor gained his godly powers from the planet and plans to reap the same power for himself. At the same time, Malcador dispatches an elite squad of Knights-Errant to infiltrate the Vengeful Spirit in a potentially suicidal attempt to subvert Horus' march towards Terra.

Anyone who loved the first three books in the Heresy series because of the focus on Horus and his legion will love this book. Old characters return: Abaddon, Aximand, Loken, Qruze. And more, including a Death Guard warrior thought to be dead. There is plenty of dialogue between Horus and Mortarion, who has joined Horus' attack on the planet. But the best part is that we see the inner workings of the Sons of Horus now that a number of years have passed since the Heresy began. They have changed, but still retain similar personalities to what we remember, although they're far more uncaged. The interaction between Horus and his Mournival is also a welcome return.

The White Scars have arrived

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

Reviewed: 07-06-2018

Fans who have been wanting to see a whole book dedicated to the Vth legion will find it here. The White Scars are on full display here, as is the Warhawk himself, their Primarch, Jaghatai Khan. As well as showing the culture of the legion, the book also has a lot of self reflection by the Primarch himself, giving us a great look into his mindset and personality. Other Primarchs make appearances as well. These short interactions between the Emperor’s sons flesh out their characters even more and are a welcome addition.

The main story follows the Scars as they wrap up their conquest of worlds in the Chondax system and seek to establish communication with the other legions. They know nothing of the Heresy due to being blinded by warp storms. When they begin to receive conflicting communiques from both loyalists and traitors, the Khan must figure out who is telling the truth, and ultimately choose a side.

Another great case for Brigance

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

Reviewed: 02-06-2017

This is a great follow-up to "A Time to Kill". It feels comfortable stepping back into the shoes of Jake Brigance as he tackles a new case. The book also sees the return of a few oher colourful characters, namely Harry Rex and Lucian.

The story takes a few unexpected turns and moves along at a good pace. Beck's narration is as good as it was the first time. Definitely one of Grisham's better books recently.

Great story, but somewhat let down by the ending

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

Reviewed: 19-05-2017

I enjoyed this book. It was well on its way to being great, but is let down by both one of its main characters and the ending. Spoilers follow.

If the author had focused on Takeo only, instead of Kaede too, the book would have been way better. The pacing set by Takeo's story is halted whenever the perspective changes to Kaede. Her story is simply not as intriguing as Takeo's. Plus she has personality traits that defy logic. For example, she is abused and is the subject of unwanted male attention for over half her life. She even states multiple times that she "hates men" and that "men are monsters". Yet she instantly falls in love at first sight with Takeo just by looking at him. She also is almost raped for the second time near the end of the novel. And although disgusted and traumatized by this, proceeds to have sex with Takeo IMMEDIATELY afterwards (like minutes afterwards). I mean, come on.

The ending is also a letdown. We have a massive buildup to Iida's assassination and how Takeo trains himself to move silently across the Nightingale floor. But in the end it's all for nothing, because Takeo isn't even the one to kill Iida.

Despite all this, the story is good and the Takeo's journey is intriguing. It's worth a listen.The narration is ok, but being an Aussie, I found the Aussie narrators distracting. Especially Anna Steen. Her accent is jarring at times.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

A horrifically detailed account

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

Reviewed: 02-05-2017

Having known only that Manson was a cult leader who was involved in various murders, this book was a goldmine of detailed information that explained the whole case. It not only goes into the horrific details of the murders and investigations, but also every part of the trial to convict Manson and his followers. At times, it's easy to get lost in all the names that get thrown around, but the end result is as detailed a story as you could ask for.

Scott Brick's narration is engaging and well-paced. His rich voice makes it hard to turn off the audio.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A trudging slog with a copout ending

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

Reviewed: 05-04-2017

The premise is good, but the story never takes off. It starts slow, stays slow, and then ends rather suddenly with no satisfaction for the reader at all. The only redeeming quality is the narrator, who puts in a good performance.

A good story, but feels disjointed at times

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

Reviewed: 23-03-2017

Whilst I mostly enjoyed the premise of the story, I felt that the pace of the book was clumsy. It just didn't flow right. Jumping from one plot point to the next, and back again. Also by the end of the book, some very minor story elements were just kind of left unexplained. For example, one character was being monitored by the villains, and supposedly was killed. But he later shows up alive and well without any explanation as to why they didn't kill him when they had the opportunity.

The narrator does a reasonable job. Nothing too exciting, but not boring either.

The man who is changing the world

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

Reviewed: 09-03-2017

I couldn't stop listening to this book. Musk truly is an all-or-nothing innovator. Yes, it's obvious that he can be a controlling tyrant, but such is the nature of someone who has put everything on the line for a grand vision. Even former employees who left his companies due to his seemingly impossible demands and temperamental nature are still strangely loyal to his ideals.

Not content to swim in his piles of cash, he put every cent of his millions into making enormous leaps in engineering and trying to better the course of mankind. Hearing about how close SpaceX and Tesla came to ruin was awe-inspiring. Even moreso is the way they came out of it stronger and having become major players in both the aerospace and automotive industries.

Whilst the narrator is good, I found his attempts at accents horrible and unnecessary. But this book is an absolute must-have. I now dream of owning a Tesla car one day, and if Musk has his way, just about everyone will.

An action-packed ride

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

Reviewed: 01-03-2017

The Four Legendary Kingdoms continues the adventures of Jack West Jr as he is unwittingly thrust into an ancient contest that yet again puts the fate of the world in his hands. Matthew Reilly has developed a knack for over-the-top action and cheesy dialogue. The comic-style sound effects (BLAM!, THWOP etc.) and the the cringe-worthy "His name is West...Jack West Jnr, callsign Hunstman" prose are still present, but they seem a little more toned down in this book, which is a good thing.

This is perhaps one of the best books in the series. The story is solid, the pace is fast and the characters interesting. There is also a lot of backstory and lore that is introduced that sets up the inevitable yet-to-be-written final trilogy. The narrator is average. His insistence on half-arsed attempts at British accents is stupid though, considering West is Australian and the narrator seems to not even bother trying to use an accent for him. But none of this detracts from the story. The future of the series looks great.