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Kingsley

Henely Brook, Australia | Member Since 2015

222
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 238 reviews
  • 1165 ratings
  • 1293 titles in library
  • 118 purchased in 2018
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  • Alexander Steele Mystery Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Lawrence Johnson, Sr.
    • Narrated By Alistair Dryburgh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    On a hot, muggy night in Philly a couple was brutally murdered on an isolated rooftop. According to rumors the couple stashed a small fortune in gold that was never recovered. Twenty years later after new clues and another body surfaces Alexander Steele is hired to solve this cold case.

    Kingsley says: "Three enjoyable quick detective stories"
    "Three enjoyable quick detective stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Clocking in at just under three hours, and containing three independent detective stories The Alexander Steele Mystery Trilogy is an enjoyable, quick, and fast paced collection.

    I'm not sure if there are stories set before these ones or if we are just dropped into the middle of the story. The opening story has Steele already set up as a famous detective, with him just having defeated his "nemesis" (which to me sounded a little too Sherlock vs Moriarty. I don't think all detectives have nemeses.) and then being called on by The Vatican to find a missing relic. There is nothing in the three stories that really explains why The Vatican would go to Steele over another detective, it's just taken as fact that they have come to him.

    The next two stories deal with some drug dealers and a drug war, and a small business being pressured by some thugs.

    All are enjoyable stories to following along with, although they aren't the sort that you could solve yourself by working out all the clues (if that's what you are looking for).

    The narrator is promising, although let down by some of the production work. He is well paced and easy to listen to. Certainly able to keep my attention. There is the occasional ambient noise, such as chair movements and squeaking, page changes or the occasional mouth noise. A little more care in removing these would have lifted the work a notch.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fallen Empire: A Science Fiction Superhero Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kevin Michael
    • Narrated By Matt Butcher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    The world is falling apart, and it's Logan's task to put it back together. Logan is a peace-enforcement officer on Earth's flagship space colony of Nova Roma. Every day he fights to put intergalactic scumbags behind bars. But there's an evil growing on the street that threatens to take down Nova Roma. And it may be too big for Logan or anyone else to stop.

    Claire says: "Not as advertised"
    "Not sure where the superhero part comes in"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book, while enjoyable, is not as advertised.

    Fallen Empire is subtitled as a Science Fiction Superhero Thriller. It's not really a thriller. And there is not superhero things in it. I think the subtitle is added to help it come up in online searches. A somewhat false advertising to bring people in.

    The blurb mentions 'But there's an evil growing on the street that threatens to take down Nova Roma. And it may be too big for Logan or anyone else to stop.' And it is there, not in a specific evil, but in a general grounding down of society into lawlessness and crime. But that 'evil' is somewhat a background setting to the story. It's not the point of it. The drive of the story isn't Logan trying to stop the evil.

    Logan is a beat cop, in a dangerous city. His wife fears for his life, especially as the world gets more and more violent. The story is a personal story, a drama, about Logan and his wife. Set on a backdrop of a science fiction setting - a future city on another planet. The sci-fi setting does play into the story, but it's ultimately a story of love and loss.

    Logan as a character is okay. He is fine, but there is a strange backstory that (spoiler free) is related to a large hadron collier that is kinda pointless and has almost no bearing on the story.If that background wasn't in there it wouldn't have made any difference to his actions or character.

    Narration by Matt Butcher is fine. Well paced and easy to understand. Nothing exciting and standout, but a generally solid performance.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endless Worlds Volume II: A Collection of Dark Faerie Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Peter Koevari, Matthew Wright, James Peters, and others
    • Narrated By David Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    A dark faerie tale anthology featuring eight short stories by well-received and upcoming authors, delivering new faerie tales and dark twists on inspired tales. Follow a young soldier trying to rescue his parents from the clutches of city enforcers, a talented young artist who is given a quill with magical properties, a princess who joins a team destined to rid the world of its hidden evils, and more.

    cosmitron says: "For fans of Fantasy a good collection."
    "Better narration, less interesting stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike Volume 1 of these collections, Volume II does not contain any sci-fi or horror, but instead is a collection of fantasy stories. Mainly fairy tail based fantasy too. It contain 8 stories, all varied. Some are in the realm of high fantasy, but most are more Brothers Grimm folk fairly tale types.

    I find fantasy stories much harder to be done well in short stories, as you have to set up the world and it's magic, while also telling the story. At least with sci-fi a lot of that doesn't need explanation.

    The stories here are all enjoyable, some great while some are just okay. The story I enjoyed the most was "Gil And The Mystic Quill" by Peter Koevari (although I wasn't a fan of the coda/meta narrative), about a boy who is given a quill that allows him to draw, and create, anything he wants - provided it is not used for ill gain.

    Narration by David Swanson is a step above his work in the first collection. So will the stories aren't as good, he is much better. He really bring the characters to life here - voices, emotions, action, accents etc. He performs the reading. He is clear, well paced and a joy to listen to. I look forward to hearing other works by him.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Endless Worlds Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ken Mann, Peter Koevari, E. R. Robin Dover, and others
    • Narrated By David Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A fantasy, science fiction, and horror anthology featuring seven short stories by well-received authors. They may scare you, thrill you, and capture your imagination. If you enjoy high-quality short stories that will excite you, then this is for you! E. R. Robin Dover’s “The Trees” (horror): In a remote desert region of southwestern New Mexico, centered along the Rio Grande, is an ancient grove of trees permeated with an evil that has always existed.

    cosmitron says: "A good Anthology of current Science Fiction themes"
    "A great mix of Sci-fi and horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Endless Worlds Volume 1 contains six stories, each abut an hour long. They are varied in style, focus and (to an extent) quality. All are entertaining, although some will be soon fade, while others will stay with you for a long time. The stories are mostly sci-fi in nature although most (if not all) mix genres. Particularly horror. There is a sci-fi setting, but as the story goes on it descends into horror as the situation becomes apparent.

    I think the one that will stick with me most, is S. J. Bryant’s “The Unconnected”. It has a generic "she discovers that nothing is what it seems" in the blurb, yet what she discovers and the implications of it are... horrific. And yet very logical. It's hard to describe without spoilers, but it plays on a similar situation to a very famous sci-fi movie, but with a much, much darker outcome.

    Overall, a great collection.

    Narration by David Swanson is enjoyable. Probably a 3.5/5, but rounded up here. He is clear, well paced and easy to understand. Characters voices, accents and emotions are there in his narration but are generally subtle. So you can tell who is talking and following along without any issue, but ultimately I would have preferred a little more characterisation.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Shortness of Life: Stoics in Their Own Words, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (57 mins)
    • By Seneca
    • Narrated By Joseph Kent
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Why do we complain of Nature? She has shown herself kindly; life, if you know how to use it, is long. But one man is possessed by an avarice that is insatiable, another by a toilsome devotion to tasks that are useless; one man is besotted with wine, another is paralyzed by sloth; one man is exhausted by an ambition that always hangs upon the decision of others, another, driven on by the greed of the trader, is led over all lands and all seas by the hope of gain; some are tormented by a passion for war and are always either bent upon inflicting danger upon others.

    Raissa says: "Life is short..."
    "Stoicism and the allotment of spare time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In his circa 49AD essay Seneca puts forward teaching on the stoic life and how people should live to their utmost. Seneca believes that nature provides enough time to everyone to do what they must and that they must allot their time accordingly.

    The first half is primarily focused on how life is wasted by people on pointless pursuits. The second half focuses on his approach to leisure. He talks about separating ones self for the pursuit of things, not being engrossed in it.

    There is some good teaching in here, about not being caught up with things and money, but to enjoy life instead. They don't value time in the same way, and thus it is wasted. Yet I also felt that often he was talking from a place of privilege. That much of what he teaches he can apply because he has the means to life that way. Those who toil for a living, just to get by, cannot ever have the luxury of life that he seems to think everyone can have.

    Narration by Joseph Kent was good. Well paced and easy to follow. No issues with the voice or production. Not much to work with in the text, but enjoyable work from Kent overall.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Selected Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson With Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 45 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Kristina Fuller Yuen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    A literary celebrity during his lifetime, Stevenson now ranks among the 30 most translated authors in the world, just below Charles Dickens. He has been greatly admired by many authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling, Marcel Schwob, Vladimir Nabokov, J. M. Barrie, and G. K. Chesterton, who said of him that he, "seemed to pick the right word up on the point of his pen, like a man playing spillikins."

    cosmitron says: "A classic for the ages."
    "simple poems, well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Robert Louis Stevenson is best known for Treasure Island and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but he's an enjoyable poet too.

    His poetry is fairly straight forward and easy to understand. While I am sure there is layers to it, most (if not all) can be read an understood without spending a tonne of time deciphering imagery and metaphor. Easy to listen to, follow and enjoy.

    The biography at the end is short (about 20 minutes) but is a interesting, quick overview of the author. He is actually a very interesting person beyond his books.

    Narrator Kristina Fuller Yuen does a good job with the narration. There isn't a huge amount to work with here, but she is clear well paced and easy to listen to.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Celestial Swords: Celestial Empire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By T. A. Miles
    • Narrated By Steve Barnes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Inspired by the rising chaos in Sheng Fan, Xu Liang, mystic and officer of the Imperial Court, leaves his homeland for the barbarian outer lands in search of four magical blades to unite with two sacred weapons already in the possession of the Empire. His plan is to bring all of the blades together and return them to Sheng Fan's Empress as a symbol of unity that will bolster the people’s faith in the Imperial family and assist against the surge of dark forces. Complicating his plan is not the finding of the blades, but finding them with bearers.

    Ray Johnson says: "Finding the swords isn't the hard part"
    "Asian based fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An enjoyable fantasy as our hero, Xu Liang, collects mystical swords (or gathers those holding them) to defeat dragons and save the kingdom.

    I really enjoyed the Asian influence aspects of the fantasy, particularly in comparison to the generally Western Europe inspired fantasy that is most common. It brought a very different element to the story and the characters.

    Many characters has Asian names (like Xu Liang) so it took a bit for me to get used to and tell them apart. It's just not something I am wholly used to.

    Overall the book is well written and enjoyable. A good story.

    Narrator Steve Barnes has me in two minds. I really enjoyed his character work - different voices, actions, emotions etc. Well paced too. But his main narration is done in a whispery, raspy voice that I found annoying and difficult to concentrate on. While it didn't ruin the book, it certainly detracted from my enjoyment of it.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander the Great: Student of Aristotle, Descendant of Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 16 mins)
    • By in60Learning
    • Narrated By Larry G. Jones
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Long before historians added "the Great" to his name, Alexander stated, "I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity." He certainly lived up to this ambition, conquering most of the known world in just 13 years before his death at age 33. Though undefeated in his lifetime, Alexander died unsatisfied - he always wanted more. His ambitious personality comes as no surprise considering his upbringing: born to powerful parents, he studied under Aristotle and grew up believing himself a descendant of the Greek heroes Achilles and Heracles.

    cosmitron says: "Learn new subjects quickly."
    "A great overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To try cover any major historical person in an hour is difficult, especially someone like Alexander the Great. But in60learning does an admirable job at this.

    Starting with his parents and moving through his life, the book gives brief details of all the major events in his life, talks about this personality and looks (as provided by other contemporaries). It hits all the major points and gives you a good understanding of who he was and what he achieved. It doesn't go into much detail on his legacy, but that's not surprising considering the limited length.

    in60learning put out ebooks and audiobooks to cover a topic in roughly 60 minutes. This audiobook comes in slightly above that - 77 minutes - but close enough. A great way to learn something in brief, before deciding if you want to make a deeper dive into other more comprehensive books

    The narration by Larry G. Jones is okay. He is clear and easy to understand, but possibly brings too much energy to the reading. every sentence feels a little too excited and energetic, like everything that is being said is very important.

    When reading quotes, or speaking words by people Jones moves out of this energetic voice into a different one. I really liked this as it makes those section easy to differentiate, that they are quotes or speeches, however it also highlights the general narration.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • As a Man Thinketh

    • UNABRIDGED (51 mins)
    • By James Allen
    • Narrated By Kent Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The aphorism, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he," not only embraces the whole of a man's being but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called "spontaneous" and "unpremeditated" as to those which are deliberately executed.

    EP says: "You are the Captain of Your Soul"
    "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James Allen's 'As a Man Thinketh' is a self-help book from the very early 20th century. With a title coming from the Bible's Book of Proverbs, it's main premise follows that - the way you think is how you will lead your body. A bit of mind over matter, but more around transforming your circumstances through positive thought. If you are positive doesn't mean good things will happen to you, but that you will be able to get through the bad more easily due to your positive attitude.

    The book is about taking charge of your thoughts and using them to guide your body. Rather than letting your emotions or physical ailments etc guide your thoughts. When bad things happen Allen states that 'circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself'. Who you are is already there, it's just bad events bring the person to the fore.

    Allen says 'A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.' and the book is about improving your character.

    His writings is the basis for many many more recent self help books.

    A quick read with some good advice and information. Not all is stuff I agree with, but it is interesting nonetheless.

    Narration by Kent Dixon is good. Well paced and clear, he fits the text well. Nothing outstanding, but there isn't much to the text to allow that. I would listen to more items by him given the chance.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Book of American Trivia: Fun Random Facts & American History: Trivia USA 2

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Bill O'Neill
    • Narrated By Derek Newman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Slept through high school history? Need a more entertaining refresher than a dusty textbook? Want to learn more about America and its interesting history? Pick up The Great Book of American Trivia, the ultimate compendium of American trivia and little-known facts. A quick audiobook packed with information. A novelty among trivia books, here you’ll learn the real stories, the mysteries, and the fascinating tidbits about American history from its first inhabitants to present day.

    cosmitron says: "American History Express"
    "Scattershot but enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is possibly my least favourite of Bill O'Neill's fact books, and I've listened to quite a few now.

    While most of the others have been well structured with things grouped together and a logical flow to the whole thing this one is very scattershot. There is some interesting facts (and some uninteresting ones too) in there, but they are just thrown together any which way. It's like an ADD kid. And it's the worse for it.

    Narration by Derek Newman is good. Clear and easy to follow, he is well paced. Nothing exciting in the narration but good solid, enjoyable work.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Uncle Bob's Red Flannel Bible Camp: The Book of Genesis

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Steve Vernon
    • Narrated By Scott Allen
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Here it is. The whole entire story of the Book of Genesis as told to you by the world's oldest storyteller, Uncle Bob. If you think you know the truth behind the Bible Stories you really ought to pick up a copy of this book. If you are one of those folks who thinks that it is bad manners to giggle a little in church - well, you might want to take a good listen to the sample before you go throwing down any of your hard-earned money. This isn't exactly a solemn retelling of the Bible. In fact, I guarantee a giggle or two along the way. The fact is this is the story of the Book of Genesis as retold by a country gentleman who read the Bible a couple of times and is doing his level best to retell it in his own words.

    Ray Johnson says: "Jean Shepherd sensibilities meets the bible"
    "The Bible as told by hicks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Uncle Bob's Bible Camp is a hilarious retelling of the first book of the Bible. It's told from the perspective of Uncle Bob, as he tells the story to a kid. He's a bit of a hick, and makes most of the characters in the story to be a bit of hicks. He throws in some opinion on why he thinks things happened or what God was thinking, much of the ideas being silly. But mostly, its just a whole lot of fun.

    It tells the complete story - not just the well known parts - which makes it a great, fun, entertaining way to learn the story of Genesis.

    But in it's retelling it carries a strange mix of revent and irreverent. It seems to respect the story in some ways, saying how it is an important story to know, but also doesn't shy away from (and even shines a light on) some of the more strange bits of the book.

    As a believer, but one with a sense of humour about religion, I really enjoyed the book.

    If you enjoyed this, check out 'God is Disappointed in You'. If you enjoyed that book, you will enjoy this - it is similar, just more in depth as it only covers one book, not all 66.

    Scott Allen does wonderful narration. He really get's the humour and the timing of the jokes in his reading. He performs characters through. He is clear and well paced and the recording quality is good. All round a really enjoyable performance that brought the book to life.

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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