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Daryl

Houston, TX United States | Member Since 2008

67
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 289 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2015
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  • Distant Thunders: Destroyermen, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (1293)
    Performance
    (888)
    Story
    (888)

    After the battle in which the men of the destroyer Walker and their Lemurian allies repelled the savage Grik, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy is shocked by the arrival of a strange ship captained by one Commaner Jenks of the New Britain Imperial Navy - an island-nation populated by the descendants of British East Indiamen swept through the rift centuries before.

    John M says: "Very enjoyable - could have used more action"
    "Incredibly Detailed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Throughout this series I have thought the details provided by the author regarding all manner of things have alternated between overly tedious to wonderfully enlightening. He gives a complete background on minor characters and gadgets the characters have invented. However, I have come to really appreciate the details. In this installment of the series the destroyermens' relationship with the 18th century Brits is developing into a story of its own. I have written in previous reviews that Audible should make the illustrations and maps that are in the printed books available as PDF files for audio book fans. I went to the Audible website's chat site and made that suggestion to an Audible rep who said he would pass it along. I hope that the suggestion is acted upon for this series and all the other books that Audible sells. But back to this story. I am happy to note that the quality of the writing is just as high in this fourth book as it was in the first. The characters remain a source of inspiration for their courage and ingenuity. The author is now delving into one of life's great questions - what makes us human? This question is reflected certainly in the author's presentation of the Lemurian "people", but now he has opened that box regarding the Grik and other reptilian species as well. I am anxious to see how this plays out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (848)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (746)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Jen says: "Wonderful Wonderful - In Every Way"
    "Five Stars All The Way Around!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was an extremely pleasant surprise for me. It is much in the same vein as "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "A Separate Peace." It is the telling of a middle aged man's look back to a pivotal summer of his childhood. The author has an assortment of colorful and very rich characters that seem to come alive in your mind. The narrator's performance was outstanding and he captured the spirit of the novel perfectly. The author mentions in an interview after the novel concludes that he thought the novel was meant to be read aloud. I agree. There are many audio books that don't translate well to the audio format. They seem a bit confusing and may not have illustrations, charts, or maps to help clarify the story as the printed books have. I totally agree with the author that this is a story that is meant to be told aloud as an oral history. The story does not have a lot of unnecessary detail that has the listener wondering when the author is ""going to get on with it". It may be a bit emotional or sentimental for some people, but I thought it was an outstanding effort overall and well worth your credit and your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Apostle Paul: A Novel of the Man Who Brought Christianity to Western World

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By James Cannon
    • Narrated By J. C. Hayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The iconic Saint Paul - in his lifetime a scholar, prosecutor for the high court of the Jews, accomplice in murder, adventurer, traveler, orator, writer, advocate, and organizer of a new faith - was in fact a Jewish-Hellenistic citizen of the Roman Empire, a man who by the force of his intellect and indomitable will changed the course of history. Eventually he became the leader of the movement that delivered the social and moral authority of Christianity to a pagan world.

    Daryl says: "Nice Fictional Account of Paul's Life"
    "Nice Fictional Account of Paul's Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author does a nice job of weaving the few known facts about Saul/Paul into a good novel. Clearly, the author had to take liberties since there is scant information known about the apostle. The story was enjoyable and the narrator did a good job. I'm sure that the author conducted a lot of research to keep a book based largely on conjecture believable. For that, I applaud this effort. As a Christian, I was looking for something that would further my understanding of the early church movement and the interaction of the apostles. While no one knows for sure how accurate this account could be, it is probably in the ball park. I gave it four stars as it was very good, but not outstanding. I gave the narrator four stars as he did not change his voice as different characters spoke like the very best narrators do. Would I recommend this book to anyone interested in how Christianity spread from inside the walls of Jerusalem to the outer parts of the world? YES!

    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
    (18341)
    Performance
    (17018)
    Story
    (17020)

    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?"

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Macgyver on Mars"
    "Perfect balance of suspense and subtle humor!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. I guess I was expecting something like Extant or 2001 - something in science fiction. This book really isn't science fiction. No monsters or other stuff like that. It's about what happens when an astronaut that has been stranded on Mars survives one day at a time. Think Robinson Crusoe. The story is a perfect balance of suspense, technical resourcefulness, and subtle humor. The narrator is one of the best I have ever heard on audio! I hope the author writes another book - maybe even a sequel to this one. I was not ready for it to be over!! This is the perfect gift for anyone who is an engineer, scientist, or who just likes a great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Adam Makos
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (1253)
    Performance
    (1132)
    Story
    (1145)

    Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

    JerryL says: "An Absolutely Incredcredible Audiobook!"
    "Fascinating and Inspiring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read Unbreakable by Laura Hillenbrand and thought it was a great book. I was looking for something else that might be similar and I stumbled upon this and was not disappointed. This book is incredible and I use that word because had it been a novel, it would not have been believable. The story's focal point is the encounter between a German fighter ace and a young B-17 pilot on his first bombing mission over Germany. The author does eight years of research on the pilots involved and weaves a tale that is not only informative, but exciting and inspiring as well. In order for the reader to appreciate the full story of the one time encounter, ten minutes long, the author creates a context that gives the pilots' background and aviation experience. I loved the story and am very appreciative of the author keeping this event alive. In a world of violence and criminal evil, it is nice to read of decent men with ethics and morality that transcend their own time and place. I gave the performance only four stars. The narrator did a good job with the material and interpreted the voices of the characters nicely. There were times that his breathing was distracting. This surprised me as most of the narrators Audible or the publishers use somehow take out that distracting inhaling. It's not there the entire time, which is why I was even more surprised as to how the director let this slip through. But don't let that keep you from purchasing this book, the story more than makes up for a careless narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (214)
    Story
    (216)

    The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa (the name has since become a by-word for a cataclysmic disaster) was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly 40,000 people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event which has only very recently become properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round the world for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid.

    rwise says: "Great subject, great writing, great voice"
    "History of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has the eruption of Krakatoa as the focal event. However, the author spends most of the time creating a historical context of that day. He gives the history of vulcanism, plate tectonics, telegraphy, journalism, radical Islam, Dutch imperialism, East Indies anthropology, etc. So if you're looking to simply find out what happened on August 27, 1883, you may be disappointed. This book is very much like The Big Burn which also creates a context for the forest fires of the American west. If you like a lot of historical factoids and stories, then you will like this book. If you want a book that is simply about the eruption and the days just before and after, you may not like this book. I liked it because the history that the author weaves is rather fascinating as one can see the story being played out in today's world. I give it four stars, rather than five due to the author's way of running down rabbit trails with stories that don't really have anything to do with the eruption, but were interesting none the less. The author read his own material, and he did a very good job. Of course, there were no voices of different characters like a novel, so he did a good job of reading the material. I am glad that I read it as I know a lot more about that area now than I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Broken Shore

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Peter Temple
    • Narrated By Peter Hosking
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    Shaken by a scrape with death, big-city detective Joe Cashin is posted away from the homicide squad to the quiet town on the South Australian coast where he grew up. Carrying physical scars and not a little guilt, he spends his time playing the country cop, walking his dogs and thinking about how it all was before. But when a prominent local is attacked and left for dead in his own home, Cashin is thrust into what becomes a murder investigation.

    John says: "Dripping With Local Color"
    "Decent Detective Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an all Australian production from the author and setting to the narrator. This author has a nice writing style that uses a lot of short phrases to respond to narrative or environment. I found that pretty funny at times and enjoyed it. The author's sense of humor was subtle, but it was there. I thought the story itself was drawn out and it started slowly. I suppose that it had to start out slow, but it really took a long time as I kept wondering what the dang book was about! But it did pick up and the story unleashed itself in the final few hours of the audio. The story seemed to reflect the main character's outlook on life as a generally burned out detective. The Australian dialect was key to the book, but was sort of hard to get at times. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to explore police procedurals from other countries. The narrator did a very nice job presenting the story and was easier to understand as I got more familiar with the Australian accent. I gave it four stars out of five.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Deadly Shores: Destroyermen, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (621)
    Performance
    (575)
    Story
    (574)

    The long-planned raid on the heart of the Grik Empire has grown more ambitious - and dangerously ill-defined. Only Matthew Reddy, commander of the old destroyer USS Walker, seems focused on its original intent. Many Lemurians see an opportunity to reconquer their sacred homeland, which was stolen long ago, and have no intention of simply striking a blow and then pulling back. Others, Lemurian and human, have their own agendas - which may not be in the best interests of the Alliance.

    Doug says: "Deadly Shores is another brilliant masterpiece."
    "Worthy of Favorite Book in Series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series keeps "sailing" along. I am fascinated by the author's ability to keep it going with no depreciation in quality. This story was very action packed and I thought for a while it might be the last one, but the story will go on it appears. Some reviews complain of repetitions, but there are so many characters and places my memory needs to be refreshed at times. I wish there was a companion book or website that had a glossary of places and names. Maps would help as well. Now I am anxiously awaiting the next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hypothermia: A Reykjavik Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Arnaldur Indridason
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (228)

    Iceland’s best-selling novelist and a winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award, Arnaldur Indridason is an international phenomenon highly regarded for his engrossing crime fiction. In Hypothermia, Inspector Erlendur contends with personal demons while investigating a woman’s suicide. Although there are no signs of foul play, Erlendur gradually exposes a sinister plot.

    Bill says: "More, please"
    "Icelandic Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went to Iceland and toured it recently and I thought this would be a nice complement to that trip. I was right. I don't want to give away the story here - almost anything is a spoiler - but suffice it to say that the author uses seemingly unrelated incidents in the book to resolve the mystery. It's kind of quirky in that regard, but ultimately satisfying. Having been to Iceland it was easy for me to recognize the settings and appreciate the characters. Audible has this book a part of a series, but it seems to be a stand alone story in my opinion. The narrator did a nice job with the Icelandic names and place names. So the bottom line - this book is unusual for a mystery, but satisfying. I gave it four stars because the first half of the book was a bit confusing. I'm not sure if there was another way to write it, but I'm glad I stuck with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Circles in the Snow

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Patrick F. McManus
    • Narrated By Peter Coleman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (19)

    Bo Tully, sheriff of Blight County, Idaho, has dealt with small-town crime throughout his long, storied career. Now, contemplating retirement after years on the job, Tully is faced with perhaps his most perplexing case yet. When area bald eagles start getting picked off by a ghost-like killer, and when a prominent local rancher is murdered by an arrow with eagle fletching, things gets complicated fast. In this fast-paced whodunit, Tully has a vast array of suspects to choose from, including the rancher's gorgeous, bird-loving wife, who mysteriously leaves for a ranch in Mexico the day of the murder.

    Ben says: "I've had better..."
    "Still Good, But Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although another reviewer spoiled the mystery, I read this novel anyway since I enjoyed the author's other works. This book was a bit different in that some of the characters I liked from past books were not in this one. For example, Pap was used as a tracker with no mention of Dave. I suppose the author is retiring the character although there is an opening to continue the series. The book did have the usual humor in it which made it worth reading. I hope Bo Tully returns with a new adventure as I already miss him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Demon Under The Microscope

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Hager
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1931)
    Performance
    (1189)
    Story
    (1190)

    The Nazis discovered it. The Allies won the war with it. It conquered diseases, changed laws, and single-handedly launched the era of antibiotics. This incredible discovery was sulfa, the first antibiotic medication. In The Demon Under the Microscope, Thomas Hager chronicles the dramatic history of the drug that shaped modern medicine.

    Sara says: "A fantastic book"
    "Great Historical Book About Medicine & Chemistry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is not written just for chemists or physicians. It is written in layman's terms and the author simply tells a story. It's more like a novel than a history book. It is a fascinating look at what can only be described as a world spanning saga of the invention of the first antibiotics. The author looks not only at the main characters in the search for a miracle cure for bacteriological infection, but shows it all in the context of the world that we all live in. I really like nonfiction that reads like a novel because I learn so much along the way. I am not a scientist, but I can appreciate the scientific method much more now after this book. The narrator did a superb job and was not dull in the least. If you like nonfiction that really is stranger and more unbelievable than fiction, this book is for you! If you have a friend who is a chemist or physician, then you have a perfect gift!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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