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Chula Vista, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 69 reviews
  • 175 ratings
  • 351 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015

  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Fascinating listen"

    It is a very well written book. I am not a history buff, but I ended up learning quiet a bit about Abraham Lincoln's life that book supposedly is very accurate (other than the vampire stuff). It would be a good way to get someone into history as well.

    That aside, I found myself absorbed into the book, and I really felt for the characters. Use of language is also very enjoyable that one would believe that Abraham Lincoln would probably speak in such fashion. I felt for his loss, his triumphed and his struggles.

    Vampire fiction does not overshadow the book, but it is there just enough to keep things entertaining.

    Narrator did a great job and kept it very entertaining.

    I highly recommend this book.

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William Peter Blatty
    • Narrated By William Peter Blatty, Eliana Shaskan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.

    Purdy Oaten says: "Add 3 Hours&40 Years&Let Simmer Till Very Dark"
    "Book brings the horror and chill to this day"

    I find the movie to be one of the all time best horror movie, and I was not sure if book would live up to the expectation. I have to conclude that book brings depth and detail to the story that complements the movie well. Compare to movie, it seems that book takes a long time to get to the conclusion that an exorcist was needed. The banter between the demon and priest during the vetting process was particularly bone chilling. The intelligence shown by the demon was not particularly this evident in the movie. I did feel the hate of an entity that wanted to destroy life. I can only image what impact it would have had on people when book first came out. Book had several shocking scene that I believe were not in book. Also, I think that profanity and hate was toned down in movie compare to the book. Finally, once the exorcism started, book takes it to another level, and all of this has more impact due to the buildup from the beginning.

    This has to be the top narrated book by an author. Narrator was able to depict the malevolence, and hate of the demon as well as gentle care of a mother. I am very impressed with narration. Though, I kept the narration speed at 1.25.

    I recommend this book to anyone looking for supernatural horror. Book brings something new even for readers who have seen the movie.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mountain Man

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Keith C. Blackmore
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Boomstick. Samurai bat. Motorcycle leather. And the will to live among the unliving. Augustus Berry lives a day-to-day existence comprised of waking up, getting drunk, and preparing for the inevitable day when "they" will come up the side of his mountain and penetrate his fortress. Living on the outskirts of a city and scavenging for whatever supplies remain after civilization died two years ago, Gus knows that every time he goes down into undead suburbia could be his last.

    Amazon Customer says: "What?? Its over.......Already??? I want more."
    "Zombie thriller that is more about living"

    In this post apocalyptic settings, book start with describing that world has overrun by zombies. Life for living is very difficult to near impossible that even toothbrush is a luxury. Book mainly described by main character (Gus)'s POV. Gus got lucky and ended up with an empty property that has a very comfortable setup. He has electricity as well as hot running water along with secure walls and food reserve reserves. The property is on a mountain hence the name 'mountain man'.

    First half the book describes the world and day to day activities of Gus. Even with his comfortable settings, what precaution he must take to survive. Along with precaution he pro actively look to keep his food reserves and everyday supplies (such as toilet papers). The details which shows like 'walking dead' look over are discussed, and things are described in very funny manners. Eventually, Gus meets other people and story start to move forward, and even though zombies are in backdrop, book is about living. How good and evil living within people may come out in such settings that when there is no law enforcement. When one can do whatever he/she desires, what people might do to survive. Book discusses the good and worst of humanity.

    Start of the book sounded very much like 'The Martian', but it story moved along beyond that initial similarities. Narration is great and very funny. I got several good laughs out of Gus' inner dialogues.

    I recommend this book and I will be reading the next two book in the trilogy.

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Fated: Alex Verus Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Benedict Jacka
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future-allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success. But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful.

    Jessica says: "Harry Dresden meets the Temple of Doom"
    "Not an Iron Mage, but close enough"

    Book is about a ‘mage’ Alex who runs a store for magical item. Alex has magic to foresee possible variation of future at any given moment allowing him to make very clever choices giving him ability to complete tasks which are nearly impossible for normal humans/mages. Alex reside in London and there are two general factions of mages discussed in book while and dark mages. Alex does not seem to have any allegiances, but has certain history which makes the story interesting.

    At the start of this book it reminds reader of ‘Iron Druid’. Therefore, comparison to iron druid books are inevitable throughout the book. There are few distinct differences worth mentioning. Alex is not immortal (not ancient with a lot of history) and does not has incredible amount of offensive weapons. Alex is not unique in general that there are various type of mages including other mages with same capability as Alex. Furthermore, there are no deities or talking pets involved in the book either.

    Story revolves around investigation of an ancient relic of presumably immense power. All mage factions are interested and want to secure Alex’s services to unlock the relic’s secrets. Story moved at a slower pace for first half of the book, but picks up speed in later half of the book (especially the last several chapters) making up for the slow start. Investigation of relic becomes very interesting and contains several twists.

    My minor gripe about the book is lack of sense of humor (at least it is not at the same level as Iron Druid). Second, Alex’s utilization of power sometimes is slightly confusing, but overall it is clean.

    Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I will be reading the next book in series. Narration of the very well done and captures the characters well. I recommend this book even to Iron Druid fans.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Defiles: A Land Fit for Heroes, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    Ringil Eskiath, a reluctant hero viewed as a corrupt degenerate by the very people who demand his help, has traveled far in search of the Illwrack Changeling, a deathless human sorcerer-warrior raised by the bloodthirsty Aldrain, former rulers of the world. Separated from his companions - Egar the Dragonbane and Archeth - Ringil risks his soul to master a deadly magic that alone can challenge the might of the Changeling.

    Doug D. Eigsti says: "…..NC-17 Sword and Sorcery….."
    "A dense and sharp high epic with lots of twists"

    Richard maintains his sharp and edgy writing on this high epic. I took me few hours to get adjusted to the style of writing that it is dense and demands attention from the reader. Book is fast moving and hits the ground running requiring reader to be familiar with previous book well at the start. So, I recommend doing some reading (wiki page possibly) of previous books before starting this one.

    Book starts with Ringil, Archeth and Egar on a journey to find the Illwark changeling. Journey takes them to various amazing places looking for the changeling where story breaks into two story lines. One follows Ringil where the other story line follows Egar and Archeth. Both are great, but Ringil's experiences are more abstract where he looks to master deadly forces for incoming conflicts. This element of the story is innovative and despite of high use of powers/magic, it remains mysterious and entertaining. During the book Ringil's character starting to remind me a lot of Elric and his sword. It has been a while since I have read the Elric saga, but I kept thinking of it.

    Story line for Archeth and Egar is not simple either that their decisions are riddle with political and historical considerations. Banter between Archeth and Egar is entertaining as well along with mysterious actions of demonic helms. There arw plenty of twists in the plots which kept the book entertaining throughout.

    Overall, book is very entertaining but will require concentration from reader. Like previous books in this series, it is dark edgy and sharp. Simon's narration is top notch as usual. He is able to capture the subtle tones of implications utilized by the character throughout the book. I enjoyed the book and I would highly recommend it to seasoned fantasy readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Age of Iron

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Angus Watson
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett

    Dug Sealskinner is a down-on-his-luck mercenary traveling south to join up with King Zadar's army. But he keeps rescuing the wrong people. First Spring, a child he finds scavenging on the battlefield, and then Lowa, one of Zadar's most fearsome warriors, who has vowed revenge on the king for her sister's execution. Now Dug's on the wrong side of the thousands-strong army he hoped to join - and worse, Zadar has bloodthirsty druid magic on his side.

    R. J. Thorne says: "Gritty and funny, ASOIF fans stop here"
    "GRRM / Joe fans stop here for the Iron Age"

    One of the key thing that author describes at the end of the book could have been revealed at the start. It states that Iron age is not well documented, but author has done his best to capture the life style/ technology/ culture as accurately as possible.

    Author does discusses the Roman's deployment in Britain, but not much known about the invasion except for Julius diary. This is the time frame author used for this fantasy.

    Arch of the story is about a Zadar (a tribal king) who is apparently preparing Britain for upcoming invasion by first trying to unite various tribe by conquering them and as a result putting together a stronger force . Book revolves around three major characters. Low / Doug and Spring. Lowa started as a leader of group of archer working for Zadar. She is a powerful warrior/archer and generally a strong female character in the book. She finds a reason to fled Zadar army first and then tried to extract revenge against him. Doug is a middle age man who has seen fair amount of action and has an appropriate sense of humor to go along with his cynicism and pragmatic thinking. Doug joins Lowa first while running away from Zadar, and then later to extract revenge against Zadar. Spring is around a 10 year old child with remarkable talents. Interaction with characters is heart warming to outright hilarious at times and it made for a great book.

    Story is definitely is an adult fantasy, and told from adult perspective. It is an entertaining and some what educational story that it will make reader think about the iron age which is not known. I like the 'inner commentary' from various characters sometimes full of self doubt and very funny. It is very similar to Joe's characters. Supernatural elements are on the fringes ala Joe and GRRM which made for much more interesting book.

    At the end, reader will get to think about the iron age and how people lived in that age. Character development is great, and there is great sense of humor as well as very serious plot line. I really look forward to reading the next two books in the series.

    Narrator has done a great job, and I would be looking for more books from him.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thinblade: Sovereign of the Seven Isles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By David A. Wells
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When second son Alexander Valentine loses his brother to an assassin's arrow, he discovers that his family protects an ancient secret and reluctantly finds himself at the center of the final battle of a war that was supposed to have ended two thousand years ago. Pursued by the dark minions of an ancient enemy, Alexander flees to the mountain city of Glen Morillian where he discovers that he is the heir to the throne of Ruatha, one of the Seven Isles, but before he can claim the throne he must recover the ancient Thinblade.

    Russell J Fyock says: "WOT and SOT are one."
    "Classic / entertaining fantasy for young adults"

    Story is about a young man, Alexander, who is asked to take on the responsibility of being a savior for a nation against an enemy that woke up after centuries of slumber. Story verge on being classic fantasy where lines for good and evil are well drawn. I am a fan of GRRM and Joe Abercrombie, and this book seemed to be for young adults even though there is enough violence to argue otherwise.

    The book has shades of LOTR and Belgariad in it. References such as 'line has been remade', and 'sword' that is the evidence of succession ideas which were abit close to LOTR. Where protagonist asking himself 'why me' reminded me a lot of Belgariad. As I said book is on the classic fantasy side; therefore, these type of comparison are inevitable.

    World created in this book has high utilization of 'magic'. Magic is well known, there are various type of mages / wizards / arch-mages .. etc. Still, I had a to cringe a bit at times when the word magic was utilized a bit casually. My second gripe with book was that everything fit a bit too neatly that messages that were meant to be delivered to 'chosen or cursed' one were delivered even after centuries / magical gifts were provided and guidance was available readily.

    Regardless of minor gripes, story is fast paced, and delivers entertaining story. Characters are well developed and reader gets a good sense of their motivations and reasons for their actions. Story develops in such a way that reader feels the urgency on various aspect of the story.

    Narrator did a fantastic job, and it was a very enjoyable listen.

    Again, if you are expecting ASOIF type book then look else where; otherwise, it is an entertaining book.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Drop

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Three days after Christmas, a lonely bartender looking for a reason to live rescues an abused puppy from a trash can and meets a damaged woman looking for something to believe in. As their relationship grows, they cross paths with the Chechen mafia; a man grown dangerous with age and thwarted hopes; two hapless stick-up artists; a very curious cop; and the original owner of the puppy, who wants his dog bac.k…

    Adnan says: "Simple yet tightly knit story grounded in reality"
    "Simple yet tightly knit story grounded in reality"

    It does read like a script that there is a lot of dialogue between characters, but book is excellent, and I throughly enjoyed it. It is a very focused book on few characters. Author does a great job developing these characters, and I got to know them very well.

    Story is simple but powerful rooted in gritty reality that I could see these events could take place in rea life. At times, readers are introduced to either very accomplished tough guys, or naive incompetent ones. This books walks a fine line between these characters which are possibly neither. It made a very interesting read. This is my first Lehane book, but it will not be the last. I highly recommend Lehane.

    Narrator did a great job portraying the grittiness of various tough guys. Overall, narrator is able to capture the spirit of the book. Again, I would be looking for other books narrated by from Jim Frangione.

    2 of 2 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

    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"
    "Geeky/humorous/suspenseful and inspirational"

    This is hands down 5 star book.

    This is an amazing book. Book captures the attention of the reader from the start and it does not let go till the end.

    It is a survival story of an astronaut (Mark) who is accidentally abandoned at Mars. It starts it seems hopeless that as a reader I didn't see any hope for a person to survive any long period of time on Mars. But, as book progresses, Mark breaks down his needs and resources that would keep him alive. Book is written/narrated in such a fashion that I felt that I was with Mark on the desolate planet.

    Author did a great job of describing the technical / environmental challenges Mark faced, and then the explanation of how these challenges were solved by Mark with his technical knowledge along with his ingenuity and courage. I really enjoyed how Mark figured out the storm’s direction: ) (trying not to give away too much)
    Sense of humor is great as well. Mark’s comments about 70’s music to DND’s magic spell are outright funny to hilarious

    More than anything, book describes what makes us human. Mark sets an inspirational example of human will to live and not giving up against tremendous odds. There is plenty of narrative about how humanity came together to help him get off the planet. What stand out is that being stranded on Mars was that Mark was not afraid of death, but rather dying alone.

    I was cheering for Mark throughout the book, and I highly recommend this to seasoned listeners to new sci fi readers. Narration is tremendous as well.

    5 of 6 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

    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"
    "Familiar like an old friend"

    Book has a very familiar feel to it, originally set by the trilogy, as author and narrator gets listener back into the same world with ease. Author kept the promise of giving an equally enjoyable experience to listeners regardless of prior reads. I can notice the Easter eggs that I already have read the trilogy where book was still fresh enough for me to enjoy. Book certainly will be a joy to read for the readers who have not read the trilogy already; however, I would recommend picking up the trilogy while waiting for the rest of the prequels to arrive that each prequel still enjoyable even if trilogy is been already read.

    Book mostly about how Hadrian and Royce met or rather forced to work together. This arrangement setup by their mutual friend leads to insight about each of their characters and background giving a lot more depth to both of them. It did seem for little while that their friendship was forced upon them, and for little while it was tiresome to endure the banter between them (which is very small part of the book). For the most of the book, their interaction is very enjoyable.

    Book also get into other characters which are not on forefront in other books. For example, there is a large sections of background story for Gwen’s. At times, it was surprising the amount of details provided for her story.

    I loved the trilogy, and I would highly recommend the prequels as well. Narrator is a natural fit for author’s writing. In fact, I have read other books narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds by searching for other books that are narrated by him.
    I look forward to the next book in the prequel as well a new series (whenever Michael decides to write it : )

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Derek B. says: "A grand literary adventure!"
    "A classic"

    The hobbit needs no introduction. It is a start of a series that changed the face of fantasy in profound way. It starts off as more of a children story than the movie have you believe. Starting with Bilbo, author establishes the characters and their limitations. Tone is lighter at the start of the book, but it steadily grows serious to a point that end of the book deals with serious politics and large scale war. Story is told from third person perspective and it works well with the content of the book. A reader can feel a sense of adventure that it was established because of the limitations introduced by author earlier in the book. Dwarves are funny and entertaining even through sometimes it is difficult to keep track of them and their personalities while listening to the narration. In the end, book has a message positive message of anyone (no matter how small) can make a big difference.

    Narrator did a great job and I really enjoyed the book. There were plenty of songs in this book and they were sang quiet nicely by the narrator. Needless to say that book is highly recommended and will provide great entertainment.

    I will be picking up the Lord Of The Rings narrated by same person.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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