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Douglas

Clovis, CA, United States | Member Since 2006

107
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 29 reviews
  • 69 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
29

  • The Dawning of Power Trilogy: Call of the Herald, Inherited Danger, Dragon Ore

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Brian Keith Rathbone
    • Narrated By Brian Keith Rathbone
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Echoes of the ancients' power are distant memories, tattered and faded by the passage of eons, but that is about to change. A new dawn has arrived. Latent abilities, harbored in mankind's deepest fibers, wait to be unleashed. Ancient evils awaken, and old fears ignite the fires of war. In times such as these, ordinary people have the power to save the world...or destroy it.

    CJ says: "Narrator Ruins Book"
    "Too many flaws"
    Overall

    This was the first long new release in fantasy and science fiction in some time so I was eager to listen to it. What a disappointment. The author, Brian Rathbone, is the narrator and does a poor job. His voice does not modulate, making the listen boring. Even if he were a Stefan Rudnicki, his story is predictable and boring. His lead characters are one dimensional and show no moral or emotional growth and the plot line is not exciting or interesting. Why dragons? And the energy from the comets is not powerful enough to boil water. At best, it throws people back on their feet. The lead character, Katerine Volker, should have grown enormously through her trials and adventures. At each new challenge, however, she reverts back to paralyzing fear and then has to dig deep, yet again, to find the courage to overcome. She just doesn't become complex as a young woman. The same is true for her companions. her love interest, developed in the third book, is likewise undeveloped and unbelievable. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this unless you need something really long and boring to pass the time. Entertaining it is not.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Starshine: Aurora Rising, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By G. S. Jennsen
    • Narrated By Pyper Down
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The year is 2322. Humanity has expanded into the stars, inhabiting over 100 worlds across a third of the galaxy. Though thriving as never before, they have discovered neither alien life nor the key to utopia. Earth struggles to retain authority over far-flung planets and free-wheeling corporations while an uneasy armistice with a breakaway federation hangs by a thread as the former rebels rise in wealth and power.

    Douglas says: "Bodice Ripper Meets Hard Science"
    "Bodice Ripper Meets Hard Science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess this book has something for everyone. If you remember the steamy romance novels on check out stands and never read one, you will get your fill here. If you like interesting and speculative science, it's here. If you like the idea of an above-genius level young woman (multiple masters degrees in multiple hard science disciplines) successfully defending her spaceship against an enemy spec op agent who is trying to kill her, this is for you. If you like the same young woman falling in love with her spec op guy, this is for you too. If you like spec op guys who can kill 4 armed guys in under 2 seconds with a knife and his hands, its here for you.The character development is generally excellent. The plot trajectory is predictable while the individual elements are interesting. I did not like the heavy-handed romantic development between Caleb and Alexis (Alex to her friends). I think Ms. Jennsen could have made a good book much better by being more nuanced. In any event, the book is worth the listen. Warning: Do not listen if you do not like being shot off of a cliff at the end. Obviously, there is more to come and all of the plot threads opened here will have to be closed eventually.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Koban: The Mark of Koban, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen W. Bennett
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (146)

    Already faster and more powerful than the last 17 species that they have destroyed or subjugated, the Krall have set their sights on humankind. After testing humans on their future home world of Koban and finding them worthy opponents, the Krall start a war of slow extermination with the rest of humanity. The war is intended to last generations as they apply their own version of "natural selection" to cull their weaker warriors in combat, purifying the Krall gene pool with their finest warriors for breeding.

    mike says: "A light read"
    "One of the best stories in a long time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was intrigued by the first volume of the series although I felt that it dragged in places. The second volume doesn't have that problem at. This is one of the most interesting, imaginative stories I have listened to in a long time. The plot line is pretty standard: bad-ass aliens kick human ass. Humans figure out how to dish it back. Bennett has just made the standard story so interesting. Characterizations are strong too. I really had a hard time stopping to do more constructive things in my life, like work. I strongly recommend this one and can hardly wait for the installment.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Steadfast: The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (787)
    Performance
    (744)
    Story
    (745)

    Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth. But before they can make tracks for home, two of Geary’s key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary on a far-flung chase, ultimately ending at the one spot in space from which all humans have been banned: The moon Europa. Any ship that lands there must stay or be destroyed—leaving Geary to face the most profound moral dilemma of his life.

    rich says: "Black Jack Faces His Toughest Opponent Yet"
    "Much more mature"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the first series and enjoyed it. This series demonstrates much more mature writing, both in characterization and plot. Geary faces many moral dilemmas. Dejani doesn't whine as much. The other starship captains are real humans, not one-dimensional. There are many unanswered questions making life challenging and difficult for the protagonists. And, the events are not predicable. Very good writing and a good listen Strongly recommend if you like this genre.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • To Honor You Call Us: Man of War, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By H. Paul Honsinger
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (380)

    The Terran Union is engaged in a vast interstellar war against the Krag Ruthless aliens intent on exterminating humankind. In 2315, the wily Max Robichaux is given command of the USS Cumberland, a destroyer with state-of-the-art capabilities but a combat record so bad, she’s known as the “Cumberland Gap.” Capt. Robichaux’s first mission: to take his warship to the Free Corridor, where the Krag have secretly been buying strategic materials, and to seize or destroy any ships carrying enemy cargo.

    Connor says: "Good Military Sci-Fi"
    "Fun Space Opera"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Horatio Hornblower on steroids. Totally light, fun, diverting story and a great narrator. Don't look for anything heavy or serious here. I loved it for what it is..classic space opera without the political gravitas of Weber.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Koban, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Stephen W. Bennett
    • Narrated By Patrick Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (272)

    We colonized 700 planets. Humankind enjoyed the benefits of expansion room and the end of wars. We even disbanded our military. Then the Krall found us. The Krall have used thousands of years of combat to select the genes of the strongest and fastest warriors. They are a species determined to dominate the entire galaxy, through destruction and annihilation of every opponent.

    Koban is an uninhabited high-gravity planet with impossibly fast savage animals, which employ organic superconducting nerves. This deadly world is where the Krall tested humans for war capability.

    Laura A Azevedo says: "Great Story, Poor Narration"
    "Fascinating Story and Interesting Premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The publisher's summary generally describes the thrust of the story. The Krall have a spiritual mission to dominate the galaxy through competitive, brutal breeding. Only their very best warriors are allowed to survive and breed in a complex social hierarchy. How do they become the best? By finding other species and battling them. Through battle test, the Krall hope for physical and spiritual perfection. And so, they discover humans. Humans are weak, pathetic prey. The story goes into great detail in many scenes, giving us a rich experience on a hostile, alien planet. The ingenuity, intelligence, leadership, and luck it takes the captured humans to survive is remarkable and realistic. The back story is just as interesting as the main plot. The morality of human gene modification is a central dilemma cast in the history of a devastating clone war in the human past. That war wiped out 98% of all human males, which led to some interesting changes in male-female relationships.

    The downside of this interesting story is the narrator. He has what sounds like a slight Candadian accent. His inflections, pauses, and emphases are all wrong. You just have to get used to it and get past it. Despite that, I had a hard time putting this one down. It pretty much consumed my New Year's holiday. Sounds like there will be a sequel, and I will snap it up if it arrives.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Forging Zero: The Legend of ZERO

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara King
    • Narrated By Liam Owen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (196)

    The oldest of the children drafted from humanity's devastated planet, Joe is impressed into service by the alien Congressional Ground Force - and becomes the unwitting centerpiece in a millennia-long alien struggle for independence. Once his training begins, one of the elusive and prophetic Trith appears to give Joe a spine chilling prophecy that the universe has been anticipating for millions of years: Joe will be the one to finally shatter the vast alien government known as Congress. And the Trith cannot lie...but first Joe has to make it through bootcamp.

    Josh says: "Great book that up till recently was Kindle only"
    "Imaginative and Emotional"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some stories are plot-based, others are character-based. This story is the latter, and it is the characters that make this story shine. Ms. King does an excellent job of creating a universe so alien from Earth that it is truly alien. Humans are the new species on the block, weak, and defenseless. The horrors the protagonists endure, the losses, and the transformations are all part of a compelling listen. This is different and worth listening to.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steel World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1303)
    Performance
    (1217)
    Story
    (1223)

    In the 20th century Earth sent probes, transmissions, and welcoming messages to the stars. Unfortunately, someone noticed. The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined their vast Empire. Swearing allegiance to our distant alien overlords wasn't the only requirement for survival. We also had to have something of value to trade, something that neighboring planets would pay their hard-earned credits to buy. As most of the local worlds were too civilized to have a proper army, the only valuable service Earth could provide came in the form of soldiers....

    D says: "Classic Space Opera"
    "Another Winner!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very creative and entertaining first volume. Boyett does his usual excellent job at narration. This is a bit of a coming of age story of a Recruit in an Earth-based mercenary outtit, but Larson has weaved in a complex and nuanced underplot that slowly reveals the complexity of this universe as the story unfolds. This volume ends well, but we know there is more to come. Bring it on. I hope that we see James Magill mature and grow into the leader that seems foreshadowed. I would hate to see him stuck in early adult immaturity over the trajectory of this series. A mature, nuanced Magill would cope with the intricate complexities of the politics and economics of this galaxy in very interesting ways.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Assault: Star Force, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By B.V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (891)
    Performance
    (830)
    Story
    (830)

    In Storm Assault , the eighth book of the Star Force series, the story moves in a new direction. Massive fleets are built by both Star Force and the Imperials - but there is a third player in the game: the Blues.

    Diane Rivers says: "The Emperor must DIE!"
    "End to a Great Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I went through all 8 books nonstop. Some were better than others and some of the reviews of other listeners criticizing the lack of growth in Kyle Riggs maturity, emotional management, and decision-making are accurate. However, for pure entertainment on long drives up and down California, the series can't be beat. Mark Boyett is pure genius at narration. Don't know if there will be more Star Force books to come, but I will buy them if produced.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Battlenaut Crucible

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Robert T. Jeschonek
    • Narrated By Randy Hames
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The Red Battlenauts show no mercy. Roaring out of the darkness of deep space, these ultra-high tech war machines pound the hell out of both sides in a bloody interstellar civil war. No one can even SEE the Reds - no one except Marine Corporal Solomon Scott. Recruited by the hardcore SEAL-like Diamondbacks, Scott becomes a secret weapon in the ultimate struggle for survival. In battle after battle on perilous alien worlds, Scott and the Diamondbacks fight back against the ruthless Reds, desperately holding the line in furious clashes of muscle and metal.

    Douglas says: "Poor story, poor narrating"
    "Poor story, poor narrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am three hours into this and cannot recommend it. I will probably finish it out of pure stubbornness because I bought it. The story is implausible. The characterizations are superficial. The narration is strained, with inappropriate inflections, emphasis and forced emotion. The whole endeavor sounds like a high school sophomore's first attempt at sci-fi. Maybe this works for teenagers. Looking at the portfolio of this author's work, I see a lot of titles that might be attractive to younger listeners. Obviously, the author is prolific and apparently successful. Not with me, however. I will pass on any more tripe like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brilliance

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1098)
    Performance
    (966)
    Story
    (969)

    In Wyoming, a little girl reads people’s darkest secrets. In New York, a man sensing patterns in the stock market racks up $300 billion. In Chicago, a woman can go invisible. They’re called "brilliants," and since 1980, one percent of people have been born this way. Nick Cooper is among them; a federal agent, Cooper has gifts rendering him exceptional at hunting terrorists. His latest target may be the most dangerous man alive, a brilliant drenched in blood and intent on provoking civil war. But to catch him, Cooper will have to violate everything he believes in.

    Benjamin says: "Predictable Thriller"
    "Excellent thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not really a science fiction story as much as a thriller set in 2013 in a slightly altered world where 10 percent of the children are born with "abnormal" gifts. Great story with interesting characters, unexpected plot twists, and good plot movement. Well-read by Luke Daniels. I enjoyed this book and hope Sakey and Daniels team up for some more.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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