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Matthew

PRAIRIE GROVE, AR, United States | Member Since 2012

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • Deadline: The Newsflesh Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Chris Patton, Nell Geisslinger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (347)

    Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has. But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life....

    Matthew says: "A Punishing Book"
    "A Punishing Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Initially, I was going to give this book two stars since the first third of the book wasn't bad, if a little odd. However, I reserve one star reviews for books that I cannot finish. Now I did in fact finish this book. but only because I was reading it with someone, and they kept pressuring me to finish it, since if he could, I could too. Now let me try to impart upon you why I hated this book.

    It is hard to decide where to begin, well I guess I'll start with the drinking game I made up (though thankfully did not play) for it so that I could tolerate it more.



    Take one drink if:
    The word "coke" is mentioned (Warning, there are at least 49 instances of this in the book)
    Any time it is referenced that Georgia is dead
    A character gets a blood test and it is described (I do not advise following this rule...you may very well die)
    Kelley is abused for no real reason other than the characters a jerks

    Take two drinks if:
    Mahir is woken up or is half dead exhausted
    It is mentioned that Shaun's parents only thought of him and Georgia as a ratings stunt
    Buffy is described as being a great technological wiz (SHE'S DEAD!)
    Buffy is mentioned as betraying them (she really didn't, not directly anyway)

    Take three drinks if:
    "Mahir is the head of the newsies"
    Any allusion to the [technically not] incestuous relationship Shaun and Georgia had.
    You are given the backstory of a dead character.



    As you can see from the drinking game, this book is repetitive. It is repetitive in the language and word choice. Not only that, it is also repetitive in the plot. Basically you will have a few chapters of them sitting around talking or doing nothing sensible, then something big will happen, then someone will die, then they have to escape. This happens three times, and that is the book.

    As for that repetitiveness, why are half the repetitions about characters that died in the previous book?

    On the topic of the characters, they are still kind of flat like the first book, but they at least start out different. By the end of the book however, I couldn't tell what character was talking at any given time because all their personalities melded into one. Needless to say, I stopped caring about any of the characters left alive.

    The reason I read books is usually for the story, I love stories, and am VERY tolerant of them. But this book was awful. The plot is driven by asinine decisions, stupid reasoning, or just the random will of the author, not the characters, the author. The characters don't ever seem to have any legitimate reason for doing things, and this leads to plot holes. Big, massive, moon swallowing, plot holes. Please direct yourself to the drinking game, I used square brackets incorrectly in it. The thing is, square brackets are best used in news reporting as a way of adding something to clarify a quote that wasn't actually said. This is kind of news media 101. The funny thing is, that even though all the protagonists in this book are somehow linked to reporting the news, they stop doing it. They probably don't know how to use brackets. My only assumption is that the KA virus makes people stupid, manic, or neurotic. They get some huge Earth shattering news that everyone should know about so they can be saved. Do they report it the first time? nah. How about the second bit of news? Nuh-uh. The third or 4th bit of news, how about the bit that could save MILLIONS. Noooope! Really? It is insinuated that that would put them in more danger with the people trying to kill them. THe people that are spying on them. The people that know where they are and have lots of resources to kill them. I ask you, wouldn't telling the world about why they are trying to murder you actually protect you? I mean they couldn't hide your deaths then, and they'd probably be worried about getting murdered themselves.

    Also where are the best buds from book one, you know the ones that are now president and vice president?

    The long story short on what my issue with the book is that nothing changed. This is the middle book of a trilogy. The only things that changed from the end of Feed and the end of Deadline is that the reader knows two small bits of information and the cast is a little different. If I had messed up and read book one then book three, I would not have missed out on anything. In the large scheme of things in the world, absolutely jack happened that couldn't be summed up with an en medias res first chapter of the third book. SIGH

    PS: And the award for the MOST awkwardly written sex scene ever goes to this book.
    flag

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    Overall
    (1576)
    Performance
    (1398)
    Story
    (1396)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Two Parts Space Odyssey, One Parts Noir and Horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Really, this book was fun one. The first half or so of it is a set up that features two different character's points of view from different parts of the solar system. One is a bit of a space action/space opera while the other is a grizzled detective looking for a lost girl.

    And then they meet, and then brown stuff hits the fan, and then the horror enters into the equation. From the point that they meet, things get good.

    The world is neat, it seemed pretty believable, things are similar to how they are today, but slightly skewed. As for the characters, I can see what other reviewers meant about the characters being shallow. But I disagree for the most part. Each character was it's own, while the two protagonists acted as perfect foils for one another.

    I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a space opera. And of special note, this book can act as a stand-alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Off to Be the Wizard

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (395)
    Story
    (395)

    It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

    Charles says: "Fantastic"
    "A Tongue in Cheek Geek Spoof"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am afraid I wasn't nerdy enough to appreciate this book. And I'm fairly nerdy.

    If you have read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, this book isn't like that one. This one does have it's charms and merits, but you will need to know all the references and nods in it. I knew some, or maybe most of them? But since it isn't really my lifestyle, I didn't enjoy it much.

    The one liners and jokes were good though.

    If you have a weekly DnD group (never played myself), you will likely enjoy this book. It is basically a spoof of that. Or if you have ever once said "I put on my wizard hat," give this book a try.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1280)
    Performance
    (1131)
    Story
    (1149)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "A Witty Romp Through the 20th Century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A fun read, a light read.

    And at times funny enough to debilitate me with laughing. This book is essentially a globe trotting, Swedish, highly intelligent Forrest Gump. Numerous events in the man's past and present life are a series of inexplicable events of luck and randomness.

    Not much more to say, if that is up your alley, get this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pandora's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (4063)
    Performance
    (2388)
    Story
    (2425)

    The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

    Devin says: "Great Epic Scifi"
    "The Narrator is Unintelligible."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am sure this book is great. I was really looking forward to listening to it, but I cannot. The narrator starts every sentence at a volume of around 7/10 and ends with the volume at around 1/10. Then at every period he stops for too long. But the main issue, the one that cannot be forgiven is the sound difference. It is like he starts each sentence with the microphone at his mouth, then slowly moves it away, only to reset it again. (maybe that is the pause.) So you can either miss the last three words, or have your eardrums pierced by the first three.

    Don't get this, you can't follow it, or understand the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Elantris

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4036)
    Performance
    (2545)
    Story
    (2587)

    Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is "outstanding." Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

    Lore says: "What if your body could never heal?"
    "A Superbly Pleasant Surprise."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I went into this book, after reading almost every one of Sanderson's other works. I expected, as it was his first novel, that it would be decent, but not great, an over all low 4 star novel. So it was a pleasant surprise when it turned out that I really liked it. I mean, I was right about the writing style being a bit rougher, and less refined than his later works, but I quickly stopped noticing it. One other thing I noticed was that it seemed like pieces of this book were snipped out and elaborated on to create his other works, like Warbreaker, Mistborn, or Stormbreaker. The most notable difference between those and this was the pacing.

    Oh the pacing, it was wonderful and fast. Unlike his other works (I'm looking at you Way of Kings) where a whole lot of nothing happened for 100 pages, the plot was always moving along with every paragraph. It was refreshing and wonderful.

    But this book, though my gut says it was a phenomenal 4 star book, by my own standards and rating system, I have to give it a 5 star. It clicks all things I want. There is mystery. I loved the characters, and cared about them, and ultimately got quite worried for them. I'd love to live in the imaginative world of Elantris. Sure, it is pretty screwed up, but it still just kind of feels, you know, right. And the story was good too, it left me thinking about it when I was away from it. Not to mention the themes and ideas that it brought up....

    Whether you have read Brandon Sanderson before or not, I recommend this book to people who like a good thinking book. It is rich with political machinations, religious discussion, and then just general meaning of life stuff. Unlike most fantasy books (and the author's other works), there isn't a lot of "action" in this. No real sword fights or edge of your seat thrill rides. However, there is quite a bit of tension building and suspense.

    So if that sounds like your kind of book, I recommend this to you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5939)
    Performance
    (5644)
    Story
    (5654)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Realistic Science Fiction for EVERYONE!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I believe all people would enjoy this book, and by extension, all people should read this book.

    Think Swiss Family Martian.

    It is just a fun and enjoyable read. And the funny thing about that is that it isn't because it's a fluff read. It certainly can be, but this book is so scientifically detailed and particular about the story telling that it could be a work of art. Basically, this book is one where you don't have to suspend your belief, since it is all believable, and is about if MacGyver got trapped on mars today, with modern technology (with one exception, that of getting to Mars) and had to survive or die by his own wits.

    Also if Macgyver was a smartass.

    Generally if I wasn't cheering for Mark, it was because I was laughing too hard to breath.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose and the Thorn: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1661)
    Performance
    (1541)
    Story
    (1543)

    For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.

    Cecil says: "Great Series but don't start here"
    "The Riyria Parts Were Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Well, half the book is superb.

    I generally dislike books that are written with multiple Point of View story lines. Sullivan's books tend to be the exception, but sadly not in this case. It is cool that Sullivan is writing about and fleshing out minor characters from the Riyria Revelations. I mean, it really worked out in The Crown Tower, I love Gwen now. This book however featured one of my least favorite characters, the worthless Hilfred, you know, Arista's bodyguard? Yeah, he sucks even more in this book, and takes up half the page count. And unlike in the first book, there is no meeting of Riyria and Hilfred.

    It's a shame that Royce and Hadrian had at most 40% of the page count, because their parts were so much fun.

    Read it if you've read the other ones, just know that half the book sucks.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9579)
    Performance
    (7096)
    Story
    (7144)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Jason says: "Brandon's Best Work Yet"
    "A Beginning to a Grand Epic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I had to sit on this book for a few days after finishing it to decide my true, absolute feelings on it.

    And contrary to what this review may lead you to believe, this was a phenomenal book, that I like more and more the more time I let it stew in my brain. I would certainly recommend it.

    I went into this book with extremely high expectations, and with good cause, I had heard it was Sanderson’s (one of my favorite authors) best work. On Goodreads it has an unprecedented 4.58 rating with 53,000 reviews. Sadly, my expectations were let down, and this is why I had to sit on it for a few days, and so after a few, I have concluded it is worth 4 stars. And so I will try to break it down and isolate why I think it deserves this. (Note: my reviews tend to be proportional to the length of the book)
    The book is roughly three storylines, following three unrelated characters, Highprince Dalinar, Kaladin (the main character is there is one), and Shallan. Each of the five parts limits who gets page time, so parts one and three don’t have Dalinar, while parts two and four do, but no Shallan. Kaladin’s story shows up in all five.

    Kaladin’s story is both the most interesting and fun, but also the worse. The worst of his is his back-story, which is told in flashbacks. These are boring, pointless, and distract from the real story. And this is not just based on my rational hatred of flashbacks. For his main story, a decent amount of it shows him as a really unlikeable character. Thankfully though, most of it makes him a really great guy. And as the most attention was given to his line, as well as page count, by the end I truly cared for him, and especially for the continued welfare of Bridge Four. I mean, the climax nearly had me sweating with worry. This is when a very long book shines, when it can slowly build up a character or set of characters and make you care for them.

    Next is Dalinar’s story. This one is rife with politics and intrigue, which Sanderson is good at. Though because the book was so long, it was all dragged out too much. To the point where I felt that a full chapter of thirty pages could have been cut down to ten pages and been much better for it. Thankfully by the final quarter or fifth of the book, the pace kicked up and became very enjoyable and I began to really like the guy. In fact, Dalinar is the only primary character that I never hated at some point. Though I did hate his sections often.

    Finally Shallan’s story. Shallan was the character I thought had the most potential and I actually really liked at first. Sadly however, she seemed to be an afterthought in this book, not much, if any of her part was memorable, except when you hated her in the middle of the book. Though judging by how it ended, I have the feeling she has a lot more potential for greatness in the next book(s).
    On writing style, I tend to dislike books that change point of view each chapter; this book however is an egregious example of how not to do it. There are cliffhangers, and then there is just cutting off practically midthought like this book did. At times, the cutoff cliffhanger wouldn’t be resolved for several hundred pages since it happened at the end of a part.

    And speaking of parts, the interludes between them made little sense in the greater scheme of things, with the exception of the Assassin in White. I figure they existed for the sake of world building. The world building is the greatest sin of this book. Sanderson created an amazing new world, but it is so different and out there that is felt like a good third of the book was just an info dump. I do hope it is done for after this book, because then the next book will be about stuff that matters!

    And I do plan on reading the next book, because the last quarter or fifth of the book was so amazing that it makes up for most of the bad of this book. So if you like good fantasy, read this one, but be warned, it does not deserve its high rank for the book as a whole, you will have to slough through a lot that isn’t fun to read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of Stars: The Starfolk, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dave Duncan
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Rigel has found a new home and new love in the Starlands, the magical realm responsible for his half-human, half-elfin heritage. But despite ridding the kingdom of horrific monsters and using his unequaled swordsmanship to help a new queen ascend to the throne, he has no time to savor these early victories.

    Matthew says: "A Satisfying End to the Duology, With a Caveat"
    "A Satisfying End to the Duology, With a Caveat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Warning: The audiobook does not have the true ending in it. You have to have the kindle or print book to get the actual ending. There are two or three more chapters after the end of this audiobook that only show up in the actual book. Other than that, it's a wonderful audiobook performance.

    A good popcorn listen and very nice conclusion to the two part series.

    This book, like the first one is just a very light, humorous read. It is campiness at its best. The characters aren't all that realistic or deep, nor do they have much growth (there is some though), but they are great to read about.

    Eh, nothing really to say about this other than if you read the first, read this one, it's a fun read to kill time with. And it goes by quickly

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2263)
    Performance
    (2106)
    Story
    (2113)

    Michael J. Sullivan garnered critical raves and a massive readership for his Riyria Revelations series. The first book in his highly anticipated Riyria Chronicles series of prequels, The Crown Tower brings together warrior Hadrian Blackwater with thieving assassin Royce Melborn. The two form a less-than-friendly pairing, but the quest before them has a rare prize indeed, and if they can breach the supposedly impregnable walls of the Crown Tower, their names will be legend.

    Tango says: "Delicious Icing on a Terrific Cake"
    "An Exception to Typically Bad Prologues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Well, would you look at that, an exception to my rational hatred of prologues.

    This is a 4.5 star rating, that I feel goes ahead and deserves the rounding up. Again, this is a swords and sorcery (light on the sorcery) novel that does nothing new, nothing unique, nothing more than a good vanilla fantasy novel. And it works. I mean it worked for Tolkien and the Hobbit, and this is somewhat in the same vein. It is just a light, entertaining story.

    If you read the Riyira Revelations, then don't be scared off by this being a prologue. Just because you know how it ends won't ruin it one bit. Supposedly there are some nods and easter eggs to those who have finished his original trilogy. I don't think I caught them all, but they are there.

    But if you like reading books chronologically, and haven't read the original series, fear not! Fore there isn't even a hint of a spoiler in this book.

    If you like the genre, start this book, go, go now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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