- helpful votes
5* narration 4 1/2* story. Psychic, investigative, humour, probably most enjoyable for a female audience. This escapist fun continues to be the type of great entertainment that's guaranteed to get me out of any book slump. Griping action one minute and gentle humour the next with the narrator playing it for all it's worth and making a difficult job look easy. The story is brilliant either way but you are missing out if you don't get the audio on this one.
Missing books in series now available
Using this space to cheat and let Mercy Thompson fans know that the missing four books in the series are now available :)
This series is still going strong at book 10
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Goodreads choice awards nominee sci fi 2017
I started this expecting a fun listen with a silly plot, well it's fun alright but the plot was so much better than I expected. Murderbot has hacked it's controls and finds itself stranded on a remote planet with terrible things happening all around it and now to top it all off, the latest group of humans it has been assigned to guard, actually want to interact with it. People throw big names around like custard pies sticking to a wall when they are trying to explain (or sell) books like this and they often have very little to do with the actual author or story beyond the genre it's in. Since they've really overdone it with this one I will say that in my opinion the story is most like something I would expect from John Scalzi (the less crude stories like The Dispatcher and Old Man's War - note this is not a judgment, I love most of Scalzi's books, this is for comparison only) with a touch of Ann Leckie. I'm not going to tell you much about the actual story beyond this because I don't see any point in spoiling the plot. 5* story, will be listening to again and can't wait for the next.
Narration is harder to mark. My problem is that I love this narrator's work. I listen to a lot of different stuff and he does one of my favorite series the Holmes and Moriarity books by Josh Lanyon (fun and sarcastic murder mystery/romance, between two men, one of whom has been a previously top selling writer of a long running series/sometimes amateur detective and the other of whom is an ex cop/ current incredibly successful author who thinks things should be left with the police. The point being that Kevin R. Free is very good at over the top and funny, while still managing to make the best of a great plot, so I was surprised that his performance here was a little flat in comparison, particularly when voicing Murderbots' thoughts as opposed to voice (perhaps the editor directed him to do it that way). The narrator has a beautiful voice in my opinion and while it's not immediately apparent he can soften his tone enough for a real range of emotion to come through. This also helps with managing to do distinct voices for the main characters without putting on silly characters for the women, which I always appreciate. 3 1/2* but going up to 4 nearer the end. I hope they keep him for subsequent stories where he can really come into his own.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Fans won't be disappointed
Another addictive series set in this enjoyable universe. At first it just comes across like a movie action sequence but the great plot, characters and storytelling I expect in this universe, soon shine through. While the main character is male I think the story will appeal to both male and female listeners of sci fi, which isn't always the case. I can't be unbiased on the narration because I already love Kafers' work from C.T. Phips' Supervillany series. His interpretation is a bit different from the tone of this authors other artists in the world he has created but I soon got into and found it hard to put the book down. I've listened to both books coauthored with Terry Mixon and hope the pair continue to work together if the results are this good.
5* story mostly 5* narration but a couple of weird accents bring it down to 3, not enough to put me off a great story though. Straight into the action, great female lead love the plot and the world building. Listened to the first two books back to back and I have honest to goodness withdrawal symptoms waiting for the next book to come to audio, it's just that easy to listen to. Rec for fans of Christopher G. Nuttall's Angel in the Whirlwind series.
New life into a favourite series
There's a reason you won't find many spy thrillers in my reading list and it's this simple, I started reading John le Carré in my teens and where as in other genres or cross genres, I could usually at least give you a top ten, in plain unadulterated spy thrillers, no one else has ever measured up. This is up there with this author's best. Not only a new tale but one that weaves around so much of what has been left out of the earlier Smiley adventures. Despite being completely gripped by the story, I wanted to cheer when I heard more information on this character or that characters adventures and perspective. This book breaths new life into one of my favourite series.
There's an amazing performance by the narrator too and with all the different accents and locations that's no small feet.
I do recommend listening to this series in order but you have a choice here between the brilliantly narrated separate books or the alternative of purchasing the collection of really great radio adaptations by the BBC. (The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas: BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatization which, at the time of writing this review, is also available to purchase on Audible UK.) I honestly don't think there's a wrong answer here, with the exception of a Murder Of Quality, which I stuck to the radio play for,as it's not the strongest of the series, I went for both.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
Audible got it right with this one.
Tightly written, beautifully executed by the production team, who were completely on point with atmospheric sound effects that really pulled you into the story without ever impinging on the dialogue, as many of these productions do and of course top notch acting. Not what I'd usually listen too, though I do enjoy some sci-fi but this won me over. I loved that the fast paced horror wasn't overdone, using the sound effects to trigger the listener's imagination, then going straight into the next crisis before you can dwell on the last, which makes the listener feel pulled in with the characters and really plays to the strengths of the medium. This is more an audio movie, than a book and for something like Aliens it really works well. Different but reminiscent of the BBC productions when they were still at their best. Top marks.
I put this in the basket then realised it was free
Zachary Quinto has yet to let me down on any of his acting and that includes his narrative performance here, great character differentiation, brilliantly done female characters which can be really hard for some of the deeper voiced male narrators. I don't know if it just me but John Scalzi just seems to keep getting better. This is another of his main characters who while intelligent, charming and likable, often lives with and has learned from the grey areas in his life and is unapologetic about that. The detective plot really drags you in, Scalzi's mix of cynicism and hope on the human condition, while still producing completely entertaining stories draws me in every time. Buy it while it's free sci fi, isn't usually my favourite genre but scalzi might convert you too.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Funniest St Mary's ever
I love all this series but this one really is a laugh a minute, don't miss out.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Exceptional epic fantasy
Despite listening to over 300 books a year, I've only found two new fantasy authors I'd really recommend in 2016. This is a beautifully narrated story with hints of probably Russian folk tales, though I don't know where or how varied the author's influences. It feels like the literary equivalent or a monsoon in the desert.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful