Audible for April/May 2017.

So, after a little struggle with my 2 audibooks per month for the last 3 1/2 years, I (finally) really got back into the pace I had in the first 3 years.

In the last month and first 3 weeks of this month, I’ve been on an audiobook binge in various fantasy and scifi genres. I finished up John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire, P.N Elrod’s Blood Circle, Bernard Cornwell’s The Flame Bearer, Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men, Stephen King’s It, Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander, and I’m currently listening to Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys.  I am about half-way through Anansi Boys, which I am really enjoying because of the great story and interesting characters, as well as the excellent narration by Lenny Henry. Henry’s provides a great range of voices and is very consistent with them, it really adds the listening experience and really adds a lot to the story. I picked up Anansi Boys because it was on an Audible Daily deal for 3.95$ USD, about 5.45$ CAD, and it was well worth it. I’m not usually one to buy anything on a daily deal of any sort, especially on a whim, but Anansi/Mr. Nancy in Gaiman’s American Gods was such an interesting and compelling character that I thought it would be worth it. It was also well recommended on the various subreddits I lurk on or comment in.

I’ve already gave my thoughts on Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire in a previous post, however, I will reiterate how much I enjoyed it and how good Wil Wheaton’s narration was.

For Blood Circle by P.N. Elrod, book 3 in the Vampire Files series, there was a change in narrator for this book and it was jarring at first but it grew on my as I finished it. This is a series I will be jumping in and out of, as it is a 10 book series, because there are a lot of other books in my audible wish list that I wish to listen to based on my mercurial listening habits. I’m hooked into anything with a decent story and interesting characters, doubly so when it involves Vampires and Werewolves, and the Vampire files series has a very interesting characters with a good story with vampires. Overall, I enjoyed the book and so far the series hasn’t disappointed me on any front, I look forward to jumping back into the series when I can.

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell was extremely well done both in story and characters, as well as top-notch narration by Matt Bates. I’ve read the entire series since I’ve watched season 1 of the Last Kingdom on Netflix, with season 2 nearly over as well. I can totally see how this series influenced A Song of Ice and Fire in some respects. The series over all is great and well worth listening to as all the books are well narrated despite a couple of change in narrators over the series. I’m probably mistaken in calling this a finished series, but I since I’ve finished in the last book in the series so far, I consider it done for moment. At least until I hear or read something that says otherwise. With the BBC/Netfilx series, The Saxon Stories or The Last Kingdom Series is well worth checking out if you are checking out the TV/Netflix show adaptation. The audiobooks are in the 10-12 hour ranged, something I consider in between light and moderate length.

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, is about 7 and 1/2 hours long, and if you watched the movie you basically got the what the entire book is like. The movie is an extremely well adapted from the novella and manages to get a lot of the book into a 2 hour movie. After listening to this, it made me want to check out Blood Meridian. However, if I didn’t pick this up on an audible daily deal, I probably would not have listened to this audiobook.

Mass Effect Andromeda: Nexus Uprising by Jason M. Hough and K.C. Alexander. This was my first tie in to videogames spawning a book, and I was impressed by it. It had all the elements of what I consider best in a mass effect game, namely good characters and a decent story. Fryda Wolff, who voices Sara Ryder in the game, narrates the story extremely well and proves a good range of voices for the different characters in the book. I thought the book would be a decent one, but impressed me enough to want to check out more of the 2 authors other work. I’ve already was extremely impressed with Hough’s Zero World, so I added his series Dire Earth Cycle books to my audible wish list all of which are narrated by Simon Vance, who has narrated some of my favorite scifi audiobooks (Dune, 13/Blackman.) Unfortunately, I could not find any of K.C  Alexander’s books on Audible.

It by Stephen King narrated by Steven Weber, this was well worth the purchase because it’s a great story with good characters and Weber, aside from a few clipped sentences here and there, did an excellent job narrating. Weber did an amazing job proving a good voice for the dialogue for all the characters.

With my 2 audible credits this month I picked up N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season and Jean Hegland’s Into the Forest, I’ve been looking forward to checking Jemisin’s Broken Earth series because I’ve heard she drew some inspiration from the mage/templar conflict from the Dragon Age Series and Into the Forest because I watched the excellent movie starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood and only realized it was an adaptation a book after watching the movie. I will most likely start listening to both in May because I’m currently listening to the Anansi Boys.

what I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for April 2017.

Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

It’s actually a motto that used to be carved into sundials, but the first time I heard (I listen to audiobooks a lot) it was in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production). I’m gonna dare to be different here and start off with I’m looking forward to, which is the debut of American Gods this month on the 30th.

There are a lot of TV’s shows I’m interested in checking out, too many to be honest. For example, The Expanse, an extremely good scifi show based on, from my reddit lurking, some very good books. I’ve watched 5 episodes and I enjoyed every bit of it but to watch it all means I’m missing out on other shows I’m hearing, or reading, good things about. At the moment, I’m watching the very good season 2 of The Last Kingdom on netflix, I’m extremely glad I read the books because I’m enjoying seeing how effectively it’s being adapted.

There was a lackluster trailer for Game of Thrones season 7, that despite it being lackluster did enough to rekindle my interest, the show has massively overtaken GRRM and the Books, and I’m curious to how it’s gonna play out for the show. I will still most definitely read the books, if/when they are released because GRRM packs a lot of detail and layers into his stories, something the show lacks sometimes.

The trailer for IT was amazing, and it is the reason I used an audible credit to pick up the book. I get a lot of enjoyment in seeing how something is adapted, especially from books, into a movie. And I really wanted to check out this book since I started using audible 4 years ago, and that trailer was what got me to pick it up. Can’t wait to listen the book later this month and I’m hyped to watch the first part of the adaptation for the IT movie later this year.

Last month, I finished the Witcher series by listening to the Lady of the Lake. It is an extremely good book with a good story and great characters. Peter Kenny narrated the series very well and gave all the characters a unique voice, which some narrators have problems doing. After listening to the series, I can see why Sapkowski is kinda salty about his story and his characters being usurped by the CD Projekt RED and the Witcher trilogy of games, and by usurped, I mean that most people will see them as they are from the games and not the books. And for some, surpassing the books.

I think The Witcher series, the books, is one of the better finished series out there, with a great individual stories and an even better overall story. The characters are memorable and compelling, with interesting development throughout the series. The narration by Peter Kenny for the audiobooks is quite good and remains consistently good throughout the series. Lady of the Lake is easily my favorite of the series, with the Last Wish and Sword of Destiny being excellent character stories despite being classified as related short stories. I would definitely recommend to anyone wishing to get into the Witcher series, start off with the Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. I hope the english translation for Season of Storms is quick, as I definitely want to listen to more of the Witcher series.

I also finished the audiobook for The Aeronaut’s Windlass: The Cinder Spires, Book 1, it was a worthwhile purchase because I enjoyed the story and there is just something extremely cool about air ships and air ship battles. Personally, I felt like I was listening a Final Fantasy like story, which is good for me because Final Fantasy is something I spent an inordinate amount of time playing and enjoyed. I liked the characters, which is in my opinion, on of Jim Butcher’s strong suits. I found the story compelling and interesting, I found the Air Ship combat parts exceedingly enjoyable.

I am nearly finished the Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, which is narrated by Wil Wheaton. Wheaton is an excellent narrator and is really adding a lot to an already good and exceptionally compelling story by Scalzi. I was not expecting Collapsing Empire to be this good, the story and characters are great, the world/universe building is also quite good, and I’m loving the dialogue. It’s refreshing, to me at least, that dialogue can be raw and rough in language, yet still be effectively compelling and entertaining. It recalled strong memories and comparisons to the excellent dialogue of Deadwood. In other words, this was an especially fucking good story, with great fucking dialogue, and compelling as fuck characters. If it offended your extremely delicate fucking sensibilities, I am sincerely fucking sorry and I can only hope you managed to survive and fucking grow as a person from this. Some might ask me. why do you casually swear so much and do you have to? I would probably reply with What the fuck are you talking about.

As soon as I’m finished with The Collapsing Empire, I will start on Stephen King’s It. Something that I’m looking forward to for obvious reasons. It was one of the books I wanted to listen to 4 years ago when I started up my subscription to audible but it continually got pushed back due to series like the Dark Tower, The First Law, The Dresden Files, A Song of Ice and Fire, Kingkiller Chronicles, Gentleman Bastards, Old Mans War, Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, The Witcher, The Owner trilogy, The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter. So now I can finally check it out, and when I do see the movie, I can get my weird and inexplicable enjoyment comparing and judging the adaptation from book to movie.

I still have to finish The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell, which I will probably start after listening to Stephen King’s It. Unless something catches my capricious fancy between now and when my audible credits come in.

As you may have guessed from my last few posts, I have played a lot of Mass Effect Andromeda. 116 hours so far, and started my second playthrough with a new game plus, this time with Scott Ryder. I thought it was a remarkable feature to be able to start a new game plus as the other Ryder twin. Another feature done extremely well by Bioware Montreal. Definitely a good game with some flaws, well worth a purchase.

I’m also playing Diablo again, season 10 just started up and since I skipped out on season 9 due to playing WoW super hard-core I decided check it out. D3 is great for listening to audiobooks or podcasts and is fun to play, at least during seasonal play.

Rogue One is out on bluray on the 4th, and I’m definitely picking it up. It is easily my favorite star wars movie, I have written about it in a previous post, and even though this release is screaming a Double Dip, I want to buy it anyways. I’m hearing it’s light on the special features and has no commentary, which is disappointing but since I love the movie, it’s not a deal breaker for me.

I plan on checking out Assassin’s Creed despite the negative reviews and rants, as there are many movies I’ve enjoyed that were either panned by critics or the general public. Movies like Passengers, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and the Last Witch Hunter, just to name a few. So I do plan on watching Assassin’s Creed and judging for myself it was worth it or not. I usually don’t have any expectations when watching or listening or playing something, and because of that very few things are disappointing to me or is something I don’t enjoy.