Worthing, United Kingdom
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-01-18

Great advice for life plus unfortunate apologia

Would you listen to 12 Rules for Life again? Why?

This is an erudite and clear minded approach to the age old topic of how to live a good life.

That said I personally find the repeated injection of Christian apologia both unnecessary and indeed counter-productive.

While I like (and to some extent admire) Peterson's take on Christianity, specifically as Gnostic and metaphorical I have to question whether he is asking us to drink too much of the bathwater that this very human baby has lain in and why he feels that we cannot find meaningful or beneficial structure outside that box.

Also it may be nitpicking but he seems to have a complete lack of understanding of Taoism and misapplies his dichotomy of order = male, chaos = female to the Yin-Yang polarity of Taoism.

Nevertheless this remains a great work for our times - provided you think for yourself.

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6 of 12 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-09-17

Good story Bad English

Would you consider the audio edition of The Way of the Clan to be better than the print version?

I imagine having a narrator could help with parsing the weird use of language but I've not read the print version so I couldn't say.

Any additional comments?

English is clearly not the author's first language and the phrasing can be .. unusual and very Russian. Personally I quite like it as it lends it a folksy fairytale feel, but it might not be to everyone's liking.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-08-17

level deceased

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

People who accept information without thinking about it - at all

What was most disappointing about Jake Bible’s story?

Well let's see.. 10 minutes in and we have a dog that apparently only needs vocal cords to be able to form complex sentences, a magical computer that can run pretty much forever, a plague of decaying zombies that never decay enough to actually fall apart but which can perform as well as they did while alive and a girl slave who gets put into an expensive, networked virtual simulation by her captors when she gets annoying?! ... Someone didn't bother with the worldbuilding.

What about Jeff Hays’s performance did you like?

He read the words without cracking up

What character would you cut from EverRealm: A LitRPG Novel?

everything between page 1 and the end

Any additional comments?

Writing a book about an RPG that I can only imagine is aimed at a YA audience doesn't excuse you from having to make a believable explanation for why things are the way they are ... and besides Adults like RPGs too. This however reads like the laziest thrown together concept imaginable.. Errm need protagonist to enter a virtual world.. I know it's the Apocalypse! A Zombie apocalypse, but all the tech works.. hell everyone has seen zombie movies no need to have it make sense.. Throw in a damaged girl as a love interest and a non threatening pet and there we go... A steaming pile of litrpg

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-03-17

Poetry, Dream & Heart

If you could sum up Strange the Dreamer in three words, what would they be?

A poignant, haunting and beautiful tale

What did you like best about this story?

It's message and theme, the way that there is no evil, only good intention turned sour.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-03-17

Generic and unremarkable

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Gods no!
I hate being critical of someone else's hard work, and to be fair the writing isn't terrible, if this is a first attempt at a novel by a young adult writer then I'd say it shows promise.
The story it'self is clunky, the characters two dimensional and ham-fistedly presented, the world building nearly non-existent, the magic system unexplained and uninteresting and the imagery honestly felt as though it was drawn straight from a bad computer game or a dodgy kids cartoon.

Has Jack of Thieves put you off other books in this genre?

It serves as a salutary lesson in being skeptical of any book with a 5 star rating, but I've read plenty of other equally pulpy sci-fi / fantasy novels.

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

A great performance, clear and with consistent characterisation, can't ask for more in a narrator.

Did Jack of Thieves inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to find something more enjoyable to listen to and to write this review.. so yes, yes it did.

Any additional comments?

Ben, do yourself a favor and read "The Anatomy of Story" before plotting your next book.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-03-14

Good Concept, solid sci-fi - shame about the end

What did you like most about Lord of All Things?

The scope and vision of this book are impressive. The characterisation is excellent and the love arc for the two protagonists manages to be believably frustrating.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Actually Charlotte to about half way through after which she just seemed to be sidelined to the role of doomed romance love interest.

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

I thought the reading was excellent, loved it.

Any additional comments?

This wasn't without it's flaws and for me the main issues lie with the illogical, easily avoided and ultimately pointless ending, which only seemed worse the more I thought about it.

More importantly was the obvious set-up where Charlotte's psychometric talents, which were obviously intended to be used as a vehicle for some pre-historic exposition, were largely forgotten about after a certain point in favour of a simpler knowledge dump though the main protagonist.

Despite these criticisms I feel it is definitely worth your time, especially if you are interested in high concept sci-fi or nanotechnology.

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1 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-03-14


If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book may appeal to the younger reader - possibly a younger reader with very, very low standards.
On the other hand if you are an aspiring writer (of any age) you will doubtless be heartened by listening to this as it will demonstrate that the stumbling drafts you discarded on the grounds of being overly cumbersome and unsatisfying are at least not this bad.

What was most disappointing about Samit Basu’s story?

This book tries very hard to be witty and clever in the fantasy style of Terry Pratchett... very, very hard.
However I (and I can only speak to my own experience) found it lumbering, disjointed, flatulent and characterless.

In short it was terrible!

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

While I haven't heard any other narrations by Ramon his performance was by far and away the best part of this listening experience.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I can at least say that this book evoked strong emotions in me. On occasion I ground my teeth in anger, at other times I found myself groaning at yet another clunky bit of dialogue, ham handed cultural reference or incoherent rambling plot point.

Now I seldom write reviews, let alone negative ones, but finding this book (audiobook at least) as a highly starred recommendation seemed somehow cruel and unjust.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-12

Stirring stuff

Brandon Sanderson really seemed to hit his stride with this book. While his world building is certainly servicable that isn't really his strength. Rather it is his ability to hook you with compelling characters and to keep you invested while gradually build to satisfying conclusions. What more could you ask for in heroic fantasy.
Despite knowing I was being manipulated I still found myself admiring how well it was being done and found this to be one of the most exciting books I've ever listened to.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-12

Simply superb

This is a truly fantastic work which really comes to life thanks to a masterful narration by Rupert Degas.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-04-12


I seldom find myself in disagreement with the ratings on an audiobook, but this one really brought me up short and I wouldn't be happy if I didn't put voice to this.

Through a combination of sub-par narration, stilted dialogue, ridiculous names and hackneyed prose this audiobook manages something truly unique, being in turns painfully bad, irritating, and on occasion unintentionally hilarious.

I considered giving it a single star but that seemed churlish, besides I'm sure there are worse books, though I've yet to read/hear them.

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10 of 13 people found this review helpful