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review 2015-10-20 06:31
Finished: Locke & Key — Great production, but . . .
FREE: Locke & Key - Tatiana Maslany,Audible Studios,Joe Hill,Gabriel Rodríguez,Kate Mulgrew,Haley Joel Osment,Full Cast

You can tell Audible out a lot of work into producing this audiobook. There is a full cast of actors playing different voices, fully acting out their parts complete with sound effects.


All of this is really great, however, when adapting the graphic novel they did not adapt the action in the panels. So this was very much like listening to a television show. There were a ton of times where action was happening but the listener has absolutely no idea what is going on or what just happened (unless, if course, they are following along in the books or have read them before). I could follow along with the story for the most part but there were big gaps in my understanding. The people adapting the comic should have turned the action panels into exposition. Especially in this case as the authors were involved in the production. 


I can't complain too much, I suppose, as I got a decent amount of entertainment from this free audiobook. Thankfully my library has these in e-comic form so I'll eventually go through them. If you're going to listen to this I'd suggest you check to see if you can get your hands on the books to read along.


I liked the story itself well enough though the resolution of one element at the end didn't make sense to me. I didn't mind that it happened—I expected it to—I just wasn't down with the way it happened. And I really disliked some of the deaths. Speaking of which,

a lot of children die in this thing, haha. Like, I count two adults out of something like 50 deaths.


(spoiler show)


P.S. If you want to try it out, it is still free and will be until November 4th. Can't beat that price, at least.

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review 2015-09-07 19:19
Finished – Armada: The Aliens Were Her Father?!
Armada - Ernest Cline

No, that was Contact. That movie was annoying as hell.


I can't say the alien situation in this book was all that much better.


There is a lot that's enjoyable about Kline's writing. Even with sucky first person and all. He may be headed into overkill with the pop culture references but they are still fun references. And Wil Wheaton's narration is just plain great. He's not the best with accents, unfortunately, but he brings a lot to the characters and sound effects, etc.


There is a lot of preamble before the story actually gets going. It takes place over two days and a lot happens so some of hat beginning could have been cut to get into the action quicker and give more time to areas that need it.


The biggest problem with this book is plausibility. Obviously it's SF/F so you have to suspend disbelief. That's not the problem because everything you question about the alien backstory our protagonist, Zach, questions as well. Still, lampshading something that doesn't make sense without resolution doesn't make it better. It's like when Supernatural admitted to jumping the shark with Papa Winchester's third son in the title of the episode. That doesn't make it okay!!


At the end when

we're told that this whole thing was a test, created by an AI created by a conglomerate of peaceful alien civilizations it's like a giant bullshitometer goes off. What peaceful civilizations would provoke a war with another as a test and kill over 30 million innocents as part of it? Peaceful my ass. Zach questions some of this and it ends with him wanting to keep an eye on them because he doesn't buy into everything they said.

(spoiler show)

Well, okay, good. But that still leaves the reader in a state of WTF!? at the end. I also had a problem with Zach being allowed to make a choice for everyone.


Also, of course, I really hated what went down with

Zach's father. Pretty much everything about that part of the story I called beforehand, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with what happened. You mean he couldn't have come up with a better plan than a Kamikaze end-run as a distraction? With all the genius help they had? They could have set up another distraction. Just seems like a really dick move to reveal you're alive to your family after 17 years and kill yourself in the same damn day. Even if it is to save the world.


Not to mention them being forced to fake their deaths and stay solitary for so long was pretty damn dumb, too.


And can someone please explain to me why the Admiral was allowed to speak at Xavier's memorial a year later? The Admiral is the entire reason he's dead!! There is no way in anyone's hell I'd let the man responsible for my father's death speak at his memorial! WTF?!

(spoiler show)


Sorry this review isn't as helpful to you if you don't want to read spoilers. It's just one of those times it's impossible to talk around what happens.


There are definitely fun aspects to the story but I didn't enjoy it as much as I did Ready Player One.

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text 2015-09-01 06:44
Chapter 11 — I call bullshit.
Armada - Ernest Cline

There is a lot of questionable aspects about this alien invasion story that I don't buy, but thankfully Zach, our protagonist, is questioning everything that doesn't make sense. Humans suck. Of course they could be making this up and it's really us doing the attacking. Too bad he's straight up being manipulated to enlist right now. 


But something that's niggling at me, granted it's very minor but bear with me, is the idea that Star Wars was an anti-alien propaganda film. To us Earthlings everyone in that movie was an alien. The primary conflict wasn't between alien species anyway, but between the Sith and Jedi — multi-alien species groups using different sides of The Force. 


So, it seems to me that as propaganda that film fails big-time. 




P.S. - Safari spellcheck recognizes Jedi but does not recognize Sith. Rude.

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review 2013-09-30 14:15
Series Review: Tales of the Underlight
How Beauty Met the Beast - Jax Garren
How Beauty Saved the Beast - Jax Garren
How Beauty Loved the Beast - Jax Garren

Series Review (no spoilers)

The Tales of the Underlight trilogy is a romance, fairy tale retelling, modern steampunk, magic and mythology all rolled into one - I'm shelving it under UF because it's a more general shelf but it's not really. As you can imagine, something this ambitious was bound to falter and fall apart at the seams but the characters were so compelling and the narration was so well done that I listened to them back to back, something I almost never do. Jax Garren is definitely an author to watch.

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Source: badassbookreviews.com/series-review-tales-of-the-underlight-by-jax-garren
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review 2013-09-14 00:00
Holiday Sparks
Holiday Sparks - Shannon Stacey

I got this as an Audible freebie. The story was nothing special - very pedestrian and not as sexy as the title or cover implies but it was pleasant enough. The best part was discovering the narrator, who has a GREAT voice for male characters. I'm definitely looking forward to listening to another romance narrated by Savannah Richards.

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