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Xavier

I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

136
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 91 reviews
  • 127 ratings
  • 351 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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39

  • The Atlantis Gene: The Origin Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By A. G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Stephen Bel Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (445)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (407)

    Seventy thousand years ago, the human race almost went extinct. We survived, but no one knows how.

    Until now. The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity might not survive this time. The Immari are good at keeping secrets. For 2,000 years, they've hidden the truth about human evolution. They've also searched for an ancient enemy - a threat that could wipe out the human race. Now the search is over.

    january says: "Pretty bad, but not the worst I've ever read"
    "Narrator tranquilizes/story too complex"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At the end of my first listen I understood so little of the story I decided to start all over, and not because I enjoyed it so much. I felt I must not have given enough of my concentration to a novel designed to stimulate the mind of a smart person. I said to myself "I'm smart. I'll listen again but this time I'll try to listen better". I no longer blame myself. I rate the plot and the narrator poor. The plot is not close to linear. The plot jumps from WW1 to WW11 to Cold War era to post 911 to dream sequences to Civil war recollections to more dream sequences to what you may think is a dream sequence but is not one. The author introduces prehistoric anthropology, genetics, global war, theology, nuclear technology all woven in a web of science fiction. The story is crystal clear when it is reverting back to a 1917 scene because the author clearly states "it is 1917". But all the other periods in history, in which the author time warps, you have to continually unravel.

    I imagine the the narrator's tenor voice with excellent diction and mild inflections earned A's in high school and college speech classes, however his tone and only "mild" inflection invite "daydreaming" and no real personality development. If you daydream for even 30 seconds you are lost and have to rewind. The number of times I had to rewind because I was "lost" are countless.

    If you can solve a "Rubik's cube in 30 seconds you may enjoy this book. Personally, after 2 listens, I wondered if the author was self medicating on a mind altering substance while mentally writing a sci-fi novel showing off his knowledge of pre-historic anthropology, physics, biology, genetics, "master race" themes, world and sacred history, and theology. At first I thought it would be mind provoking and thought the reviews I read before my purchase were mostly 5 stars. Now I think I must have been lured into buying a book which only had, at the time, around 100 reviews of 5 stars. Now a lot of negative reviews have brought the average down to 4 stars.

    The story was a great idea but the plot and narrator variables did not do it for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2325)
    Performance
    (803)
    Story
    (814)

    The Executive Board of an exclusive men's club meets to talk about 9/11 and finalize a retaliation plan, known by a code name: Wild Fire. That weekend, a member of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Task Force is found dead. It's up to Detective John Corey and his wife, FBI Agent Kate Mayfield, to unravel a terrifying plot that starts with the Custer Hill Club and ends with American cities locked in the crosshairs of a nuclear device.

    Steven says: "Great Listen"
    "Very enjoyable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    DeMille does a great job on this one. Detailed plot, great characters, lots of interesting action. I enjoyed a lot and will re read again this month.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Marcus Luttrell, Patrick Robinson
    • Narrated By Kevin Collins
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (1335)
    Story
    (1334)

    Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July, 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to have a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive. This is the story of the only survivor of Operation Redwing, SEAL team leader Marcus Luttrell, and the extraordinary firefight that led to the largest loss of life in American Navy SEAL history.

    Jay says: "True Tale of Courage and Honor"
    "Loved the movie, Could not listen to the audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the movie. What an inspiring story of courage, physical stamina, teamwork and love of country and honor. The audiobook on the other hand was impossible to listen to. The narrator had an annoying over exaggerated country drawl and bragged to such a nauseating degree that it was impossible to listen. The U.S. Navy Seals deserve the highest praise this country can offer, but the narrator and writer seemed to be trying to stretch a 4 hour abridged novel into a 14 hour novel on the success of the motion picture. I suspect the motion picture was based on a much shorter abridged version of the book. The movie obviously followed an original shorter book and was a huge box office success. Then, I imagine, the author tried to get another payday by re releasing a longer unabridged version of the original shorter audiobook. I could only tolerate 2 hours of non stop bragging about how tough he and his buddies were while going through training. It was the "style" that was so unpleasant. The writer and narrator made a disaster in this 14 hour version. I will try to get a refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sniper Elite: One Way Trip: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Scott McEwen, Thomas Koloniar
    • Narrated By Brian Hutchison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (220)

    The President of the United States can’t decide how to respond to a classified video showing the Taliban’s brutal treatment of their captive - a female helicopter pilot of the Army’s elite Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Afraid that a botched rescue will further destabilize foreign policy and end his presidency, the Commander-in-Chief falters. But when the Special Ops community learns that one of their own is being tortured and will almost certainly be killed, no executive order will stop them from attempting a rescue mission.

    CyndiB says: "A FIVE STAR READ"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great action. Deserves a longer review but I'm overdue in writing reviews to some really enjoyable listens. Enjoy...worth the money if you love heroes and the sacrifice and discipline of a sniper.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Guilt

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2131)
    Performance
    (1882)
    Story
    (1872)

    Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," and the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. Murder cases have the highest stakes and the biggest paydays, and they always mean Haller has to be at the top of his game. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one. He soon finds out that she was back in LA and back in the life.

    Jane says: "Definitely entertaining. I had some smiles."
    "Another totally enjoyable Connelly novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You won't regret getting this novel if you have enjoyed other "Lincoln Lawyer" type Connelly LA lawyer novels. Thoroughly enjoyed. Great plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debt of Honor: A Jack Ryan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By John MacDonald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (761)
    Performance
    (615)
    Story
    (617)

    Clancy plunges hero Jack Ryan into nonstop high adventure, as two seemingly unrelated occurrences being a chain of events that will stun the world. Called out of retirement to serve as National Security Advisor to the president, Ryan, with the help of CIA officers John Clark and Domingo Chavez, must prepare the untested president to meet the challenges of a new world order.

    Louann says: "Narrator not so great"
    "Loved this long novel flying 14 hours to Manila"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is another long overdue review. Flew to Manila for the XMAS holidays and listened to this audiobook 2 times. Clancy weaves such complex plots that it actually takes me 2 readings to get the most out of his novels. Clancy stands alone when it comes to adding extra's to his counter terrorism novels. Those extras include rich history and political science: be it Asia, Eastern Europe or the Middle East. Clancy also provides wonderful description of military weapons: whether aircraft carriers, submarines, fixed or rotary aircraft, tanks or the latest small arms weapons. His knowledge seems unequaled to all other writers when it comes to military science. I loved this story. Enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Command Authority

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (1145)
    Story
    (1146)

    There's a new strong man in Russia but his rise to power is based on a dark secret hidden decades in the past. The solution to that mystery lies with a most unexpected source, President Jack Ryan.

    David says: "Brilliant but borderline non-fiction!"
    "Dissappointing!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With Tom Clancy and Mark Greaney as the co authors, I knew I was in for a blockbuster of complex plot inspired by Clancy and riveting action provided by Greaney(the author of the Gray man series). Instead it was boring. There was very little action until the last 25% of the 18 hour book. Most of the first half was weaving a inter connected story going back and forth between the past escapades of the father, "Jack Ryan", when he was a budding CIA operative and the present escapades of the son "Jack Jr Ryan, a current "present day" CIA operative. Overall I found the story laboriously full of boring minutia and not enough excitement. I wanted so much to enjoy this novel, but it felt like the estate of the late Tom Clancy decided to get a ghost writer to write the story and put both Clancy and Greaney's name on it. I had to force myself to push to the end hoping for a miracle. I'd skip this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: A Gray Man Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1291)
    Performance
    (1160)
    Story
    (1175)

    Ex-CIA master assassin Court Gentry has always prided himself on his ability to disappear at will, to fly below the radar and exist in the shadows - to survive as the near-mythical Gray Man. But when he takes revenge upon a former employer who betrayed him, he exposes himself to something he’s never had to face before. A killer who is just like him. Code-named Dead Eye, Russell Whitlock is a graduate of the same ultra-secret Autonomous Asset Program that trained and once controlled Gentry.

    Jason says: "Great Continuation of a Great Series"
    "I really love this series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lot's of non-stop action. I have already listened twice. This review is 4 months overdue because I was procrastinating to find the time to write a proper review. Just buy it! If you like a no nonsense anti terrorist hero, then enjoy the gray man series. I hope Mark Greaney keeps it pure. Baldacci was great in the beginning but after he became popular he started to "phone it in". Greaney is fantastic and equally entertaining as the "Mitch Rapp" counter terrorism novels. Highly recommended. Oh...the narrator is first rate as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Full Black

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By Armand Schultz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1534)
    Performance
    (1225)
    Story
    (1238)

    Born in shadow and kept from heads of state, there are some missions so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. so deadly, so sensitive, that they simply don't exist. When one such mission goes horribly wrong, a wave of dramatic terrorist attacks is set in motion. Their goal: the complete and total collapse of the United States. With the CIA's intelligence abilities hobbled, former Navy SEAL Team 6 member turned covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath launches an audacious plan to infiltrate the terrorists' network and prevent one of the biggest threats the U.S. has ever faced.

    Sean says: "More More"
    "OK novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have "read" a number of Brad Thor novels and have to admit that after enjoying other novelists who prepare far more intriguing plots I will have to pass on future reads. In a word, predictability of what unfolds in the plot development makes me want to not finish the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sum of All Fears

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (526)
    Story
    (536)

    Against all odds we have made it into the last half of the 1990s. The Cold War looks solved, Arabs and Jews are talking, confrontation is on the wane. In this new harmony, one discord -- what becomes of unemployed terrorists?

    Ray says: "Thoughts on The Sum of All Fears"
    "I lost too much sleep. What a SUPER THRILLER!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The plot is rich in detail: international espionage, political science, weaponry, tactics, psychology, war strategy and superb story telling. I lost too much sleep, unable to turn off my audiobook after the 30 minute timer on my iPod player shut down the story for the night. Clancy is, in my opinion, the top writer of the most detailed, sophisticated, and knowledgeable espionage novels I've had the pleasure to enjoy. I cannot give this book a higher rating but if I could I would.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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