May. 29th, 2010 04:13 am
fiveforsilver: (Doctor Who [teamwork])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
64. *The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Ghost House by Steven Cole, read by Elisabeth Sladen
Young Adult, Science Fiction, audiobook, 1h4m

65. Feed by M. T. Anderson
Young Adult, science Fiction, 320 pages

66. *Doctor Who: The Rising Night by Scott Handcock, read by Michelle Ryan
science fiction, audiobook, 2h16m

67. *Doctor Who: The Last Voyage by Dan Abnett, read by David Tennant
science fiction, audiobook, 2h14m

67 / 160 books. 42% done!
33 / 80 *new books. 41% done!
3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!
18079 / 48000 pages. 38% done!
Audiobooks: 31h51m


Apr. 30th, 2010 02:14 pm
fiveforsilver: (Doctor Who [sonic screwdriver])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
56. Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
Old Man's War series, Book 4
Young Adult, Science Fiction, 336 page

Zoe's Tale is another fantastic book in the Old Man's War universe. Zoe is the adopted daughter of John Perry and Jane Sagan, and this book is a retelling of the timeline of The Last Colony from Zoe's perspective. Because she's a teenager, she isn't privy to everything the adults know and do - and, likewise, they don't know everything that happens to her - so Zoe's experience of that time is quite different from her parents'.

Scalzi writes the Old Man's War books so that each of them is a stand-alone as well as part of a cohesive story, and Zoe's Tale is no exception. And although I found it shelved in the adult science fiction section of the bookstore, this was intended to, and in my opinion does, bridge the divide between adult and YA. It is also hysterically funny throughout much of the book. Scalzi wrote Zoe as a brilliant, sarcastic, irreverent character who talks back to adults (human and alien alike) and uses her wits to save the day, yet still manages to act and sound like an believable teenager.

57. Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper series, book 1
Young Adult, fantasy, 563 pages

Terrier is a fun, fast-paced story about Beka Cooper, a former street urchin who is training for Dog (police) work.

The book is set up as Beka's diary or journal but reads like a first-person novel, and as with many of Pierce's heroines, Beka has special features and abilities which help her on her chosen path. It's an enjoyable book, though not without flaws, and a good set-up for the sequel Bloodhound, which is an excellent book.

58. *Doctor Who: The Story of Martha by Dan Abnett, read by Freema Agyeman
Adult/Young Adult, Science Fiction, Audiobook, 2h27m

It's an account of Martha's travels during the Year That Wasn't, while the Master and the Toclafane ruled the Earth.

Since we already know how it's going to end, it could have been extremely boring and drab, and the first half wasn't particularly exciting. But it picked up in the second half and not only becomes a pretty exciting story but also explains several things that were mentioned in the episode Last of the Time Lords.

59. Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Beka Cooper series, book 2
Young Adult, Fantasy, 538 pages

(Copied from previous review)

As much as Kel (Protector of the Small) is still my favorite Pierce heroine, it is my opinion that Bloodhound is the best book so far in the Tortall series, if not the best Pierce has ever written. I wasn't overly thrilled with the first book in the series, Terrier, but this book more than made up for it. Bloodhound is well-written and the characters are believable and interesting. The plot strong and intriguing, magic is used occasionally and not as a constant crutch, and Pierce is not afraid to put characters in real, even deadly danger as fits the plot and setting.

I do have two minor technical issues with the book. The first is that, as with Terrier, Bloodhound was supposedly written as a "journal", but, again like Terrier, it reads like a first-person novel. I've read journal-style books that are good reads but also are believably journals, and this is not believably a journal. However, it doesn't detract much from the book and is amusing at times.

The second issue is that it's never explained how the coles (counterfeit coins) are being made. One can't simply melt silver and pour it over brass disks to coat them. And what kind of 'silver paint' would match so perfectly with real silver as to fool suspicious people? But as I said, this is a technical issue and it wouldn't have come up if I hadn't studied metalworking, or if I hadn't been so impressed with how she'd dealt with metalworking in the Circle series.

But those are small issues, and those two small issues aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who likes a fun fantasy read with a bit of crime drama mixed in (although you should probably read Terrier first as there are some things that will be pretty confusing otherwise).

59 / 160 books. 37% done!

27 / 80 *new books. 34% done!

3 / 7 ^non-fiction. 43% done!

16495 / 48000 pages. 34% done!
Audiobooks: 23h46m


Jul. 23rd, 2009 06:23 pm
fiveforsilver: (Doctor Who [teamwork])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
96. *Doctor Who: The Last Dodo by Jacqueline Rayner, read by Freema Agyeman (audiobook, abridged) (2:24)

Martha asks the Doctor to take her to see the last dodo, which leads them into unexpected trouble (as usual).

Freema Agyeman (who played Martha Jones on Doctor Who) is an excellent reader. The story was decent and there were some unexpected twists and turns along the way. There was an odd stylistic quirk where sometimes the story was in third person and sometimes the story was in first person with Martha speaking directly to the reader, but it was always clearly stated when it happened. Overall, I enjoyed it.

97. *Doctor Who: Forever Autumn By Mark Morris, read by Will Thorp(e) (audiobook, unabriged) (2:12)

The Doctor and Martha land in a small New England town that is being overrun by aliens. It's Halloween.

Mediocre at best, and I've seen the same kind of story elsewhere. Also, the reader, Will Thorp(e), does a great Ten, an okay Martha, and absolutely awful American accents.

98. *Doctor Who: Peacemaker By James Swallow, read by Will Thorp(e) (audiobook, abridged) (2:08)

The Doctor and Martha find an Old West town that has been mysteriously "cured" of smallpox.

Not bad, overall, except again, Will Thorp(e)'s American accents are rubbish and kept jarring me out of the story.

99. *Torchwood: The Sin Eaters by Brian Minchin, read by Gareth David-Lloyd (audiobook) (2:10)

A corpse appears in the water near a rift spike and the team must figure out how he died, and how to save the rest of the city. Or something like that.

The plot is okay, but what is really great about this audiobook is the characterization, interaction, and most of all Gareth David-Lloyd's reading. Not only is his reading lovely to listen to, but his portrayals of Jack, Gwen, and Rhys (and of course Ianto) are spot-on.

99. *Torchwood: In the Shadows by Joseph Lidster, Read by Eve Myles (audiobook) (2:27)

Slightly predictable, and the characterization is a bit shaky at times, but incredibly creepy. Eve Myles is another great reader.

Why do so many Torchwood books have to do with religious fanatics?

100. *Doctor Who: The Forever Trap by Dan Abnett, Read by Catherine Tate (audiobook) (2:21)

The Doctor and Donna are trapped in an apartment complex with the oddest of neighbors.

This one was kind of fun, although these sorts of stories always lack a certain amount of tension since we know that the main characters are in no real danger. Catherine Tate is an entertaining reader; I've noticed that I prefer the books read by voices from the shows.

100 / 150 books. 67% done!

52 / 75 *new books. 69% done!

3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!

29727 / 45000 pages. 66% done!
Audiobooks: 13h02m


Aug. 9th, 2008 10:10 am
fiveforsilver: (Blood Ties [Vicki/sword])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver

93. *Torchwood: Everyone Says Hello by Dan Abnett, read by Burn Gorman (2h24m)
Wow, fantastically creepy. Really. Wow. And Burn Gorman does a terrific job.

94. *Torchwood: Slow Decay by Andrew Lane, read by Burn Gorman (3h18m)
Seriously, seriously, gross. This is really gross. Glad it was a book and not a real episode. Did I mention it was gross?

95. Blood Price by Tanya Huff (272)
Reread, just as much fun as the first time through. Vicki is a fantastic character.

96. *Doctor Who: The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker, read by Anthony Head (2h27m)
Definitely one of the better Doctor Who audiobooks I've heard. I had no idea what was going on or how the Doctor and Rose were going to fix it. The end was great and there was a scene near the end that made me laugh out loud.

96 / 110 books. 87% done!

46 / 75 *new books. 61% done!

3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!

26429 / 33000 pages. 80% done!
Audiobook time: 25h49m


Aug. 7th, 2008 08:41 pm
blue_ant: (carli [reading])
[personal profile] blue_ant
89. Slow Decay by Andy Lane (read by Burn Gorman)
This audio book was very creepy and more than a little gross. That being said, I quite enjoyed it. It did remind me a little of a one of the new Doctor Who episodes, but it was much, much more sinister. One of the things I really enjoyed was the fact that Gwen and Rhys' relationship was an important part or the book. A lot of the others I've listened to have played down that aspect, but it was nicely done here. Also, Burn Gorman is a fantastic reader. He does voice, to some extent, but it's mostly a good straight read.

90. Everyone Says Hello by Dan Abnett (read by Burn Gorman)
While not as gross as Slow Decay, it certainly is creepy. I think this is probably the best, plot-wise, of all the Torchwood audio books I've listened to so far. Gorman does a great job portraying the fear of the characters that we know they're feeling as well as the urgency in which they act. The plot is very strong and the fact that we focus a lot on other characters, other than the Torchwood folks, really drives the storyline. I found this to be quite good.

91. Mappa Mundi by Justina Robson
I'm a big fan of Robson's newer SF/F books. Mappa Mundi was good, but not great. I think she went into far too much scientific detail (her Earth's science) for my tastes. I'm not big into hard sf, and this was close. But what makes it different, and good, is the tiny twist of magic that our heroine, Natalie must learn to control. It's not really magic, but it could be seen that way. I really enjoyed the characters of Natalie and Jude, but I felt that the book was lacking something while at the same time being just a bit too long.

92. The Nightmare of Black Island by Mike Tucker (read by Anthony Head)
I loved this Doctor Who audio book. Read by Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), this book was fantastic. The author actually works on Doctor Who, so his insights were very good. One of the other things that I liked about this book was how important a role Rose played, unlike the previous titles (with the exception of The Stone Rose). The Nightmare of Black Island not only gave Rose important roles in the plot, but the real heroes of the story were an elderly woman and a young girl. I applaud Tucker for holding up the high standard set by the show. I thought Anthony Head did a great job reading as well, even if he claims in the post-book interview that it was hard. He was exceptional.

92 / 120 new reads. 77% new!


Aug. 2nd, 2008 12:12 pm
blue_ant: (ianto [jack])
[personal profile] blue_ant
83. Another Life by Peter Anghelides (read by John Barrowman)
More audio books. This one is based on the show Torchwood and is read by it's star, John Barrowman. Barrowman is not the best reader, but is quite good and I love listening to him, so that worked out. Another Life is an interesting, if predictable, book. It's the story of an alien warrior who possesses people -- when all he wants to do is go home (in theory, at least). I liked it, mostly because it made my car trip home from Ohio go by much, much quicker.

84. Resurrection Casket by Justin Richards (read by David Tennant)
Steampunk + Doctor Who = this audio book. And oh, I loved it. It's not the best one, but it's simply great. My one complaint is that there should have been more Rose. Other than that, it was so much fun and I really hope that there are some Steampunk episodes of Doctor Who in the future of the show.

85. Border Princes by Dan Abnett (read by Eve Myles)
I loved this book, not just because of the story (which was draining, but very good), but because of Eye Myles. Her reading of this story was completely and totally engrossing. I was caught up in the story and hanging on her words because she knew just how to read them. The story focus on the end of the world, as usual, and Torchwood has a new member, James Mayer, but is he all he seems to be? There's more, but I don't want to spoil it, of course.

85 / 120 new reas. 71% read!


Jul. 31st, 2008 03:18 pm
fiveforsilver: (Doctor Who [Capn Jack])
[personal profile] fiveforsilver
I started listening to Doctor Who and Torchwood audiobooks and apparently I just couldn't stop. Interestingly, I have no desire to actually read any of these books myself.

They're all read by members of the cast. Most if not all are abridged (unfortunately).

82. *Doctor Who: The Feast of the Drowned by Stephen Cole, read by David Tennant (2h28m)
Very creepy. Clearly inspired in parts by the second Pirates of the Carribbean movie. David Tennant is a fantastic reader.

83. *Doctor Who: The Resurrection Casket by Justin Richards, read by David Tennant (2h25m)
The Doctor and Rose land on a planet that is in a area with no electricity (some sort of perpetual EMP sort of thing) and have to get the TARDIS off-planet and out of that field. Everything within it runs on steam, including spaceships and robots. Very steampunk. They get caught up in a space pirate mystery in the process of getting out.

Fairly predictable at times, but fun. It reminded me of a couple of Star Trek episodes at several points. I liked the end very much, and Kevin was definitely my favorite character.

84. *Torchwood: Another Life by Peter Anghelides, read by John Barrowman (1h12m)
An alien warrior starts possessing members of Torchwood. Is it out for conquest or just trying to get home?

The climactic scene with Gwen and Jack is moving, and also very in-character. I wish these books weren't abridged, though, because they all just seem like - well, it's not that the plot isn't there, but it seems like there are things missing. Depth, maybe.

John Barrowman is not my favorite reader. It's probably just be me, though - much as I like him (and Jack), his (American) accent always sounds just a bit off to me.

85. *Doctor Who: The Stone Rose by Jac Rayner, read by David Tennant (2h23m)
I really like this book - and just about the time that I thought it was wrapping up, I looked and it turned out it was only halfway done!

Rose has a bigger part in this than she (or any companion) has in any of the Doctor Who audiobooks I've listened to. I was not surprised to learn it was written by a woman.

86. *Doctor Who: State of Decay by Terrance Dicks, read by Tom Baker (57m)
No, really. Alien vampires. Tom Baker is a good reader, though, with a very pleasant voice.

87. *Torchwood: Border Princes by Dan Abnett, read by Eve Myles (3h30m)
Eve Myles (aka Gwen on Torchwood) is a pleasure to listen to. I liked this book, too. It was not predictable, for the most part, and I enjoyed the story.

86 / 110 books. 78% done!

40 / 75 *new books. 53% done!

3 / 10 ^non-fiction. 30% done!

25416 / 33000 pages. 77% done!
Audiobook hours: 13


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