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Steven

Riva, MD, USA | Member Since 2006

52
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Blowback

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1310)
    Performance
    (765)
    Story
    (762)

    Something sinister is brewing. A chilling video has already cast its ominous spell over the White House situation room. Now scientists connected to the top-secret Sword of Allah project are dropping dead. Seeking to unravel the enigma, U.S. anti-terrorist agent Scot Harvath reaches England just in time to rescue British paleopathologist Jillian Alcott from al-Qaeda's top assassin. This expert soon confirms Scott's worst fears and triggers an adrenaline-fueled rush for survival.

    John K Stratmann says: "Thrilling"
    "Decent - not great"
    Overall

    This is the second book I have listened to by Thor. Takedown was the first. I really enjoyed Takedown because the action was absolutely not stop and it kept me on the edge of my seat. This one got pretty slow in the middle and turned a bit Dan Brown-esque with its attempt to weave ancient history into the plot. Thor is good in his genre, but he ain't Dan Brown. The other thing that took away from this book for me was the numerous technical inaccuracies - shotguns don't fire "bullets". Diesel and jet fuel burn - they don't explode (unless warmed and vaporized anyway), etc. An author of this genre needs to do his homework on these kinds of things. I also found the Horvath character to be pretty flat in this one. Not much personality and no real conflict. George Guidall is excellent as always as the narrator.

    In summary, it wasn't a bad book and is worth the listen, but it isn't great either.

    27 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Dark of the Moon

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1764)
    Performance
    (791)
    Story
    (801)

    Virgil Flowers kicked around for a while before joining the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. First it was the army and the military police, then the police in St. Paul, and finally Lucas Davenport brought him into the BCA, promising him, "We'll only give you the hard stuff." He's been doing the hard stuff for three years now, but never anything like this.

    Crystal says: "Great winding road of a story"
    "Another winner"
    Overall

    This was another very enjoyable Sandford ride. The story moved along and kept me guessing who dunnit. Though not nearly as developed yet as Lucas Davenport, Virgil Flowers was an interesting charachter. The only negative for me was the narrator. The should have stuck with Richard Ferrone. Conger was just too flat and it took away from the story. I wondered if they did it in order to give the Flowers charachter his own distinct sound - if so, it was a mistake IMO.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Split Second

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3305)
    Performance
    (1537)
    Story
    (1540)

    Michelle Maxwell has just blown her future with the Secret Service. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight to comfort a grieving widow. Then, behind closed doors, the politician whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

    John says: "Listen again"
    "Don't bother"
    Overall

    This book is silly cliche tripe. Don't waste your time.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Che: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chuck Pfarrer
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    The year is 1967. Vietnam is in flames, and few realize that a firefight on a jungle road in Latin America is the beginning of a new and secret war. In Bolivia, international revolutionary Ché Guevara leads a band of guerillas determined to liberate a continent. Paul Hoyle, a CIA paramilitary officer, joins a team of operatives sent to crush the Bolivian insurgency. When a recovered backpack reveals that Ché Guevara is in command of the rebels, the stage is set for a duel between world ideologies.

    Richard says: "Should be a movie"
    "A solid listen"
    Overall

    The story of this book is very good and the character development is excellent. It is even more compelling because much of the basic story is true, as I understand it, (though I do not know the history well enough to be able to discern which parts were fact and which were fiction).

    The story gets bogged down just slightly at times by the authors needless use of metaphors/simile. I wish he had kept it a bit "cleaner". The narrator is decent, but for some reason felt compelled at times to over-dramatize the reading by exaggerating and stretching the words - "Hoyle mooooooooooved slowwwwwwwwwly toward the door." The story was dramatic enough to stand on its own without this embellishment and this detracted from the listening.

    All told however, this is a well-written book, competently narrated, and worth the time to listen to.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Echelon Vendetta: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By David Stone
    • Narrated By Firdous Bamji
    Overall
    (919)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (103)

    When CIA "fixer" Micah Dalton's friend and mentor turns up dead, he's put on a collision course with a killer who has a penchant for intricate knife-work and Native American mysticism, a sadist who is killing ex-CIA agents. The victims are hard-nosed field men whose only link to one another seems to be a global surveillance operation called Echelon. The murders appear to be acts of retribution. But for what?

    Carmela08 says: "Excellent spy tale"
    "good story - 3 1/2 *"
    Overall

    The story is quite entertaining. A few "but's":

    1) The first hour is very convoluted, but then it smooths out.
    2) I did not care for the narrator at all. He does a good job with the european accents and pronunciations, but I did not like his reading of the two main voices - Micah and that of the third-person narration. He has a very weird inflection that I found very distracting.
    3) The author uses more descriptive similes/metaphors than I care for. I find it bogs the story down a bit.
    4) The main charachter, Micah, is way too willing to "spill his guts" to people about who he is and what he does. I did not find that believable.

    Those criticisms aside, I would buy another from this author, but I hope he finds a different narrator.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Up Country

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1669)
    Performance
    (504)
    Story
    (502)

    In the latest from Nelson DeMille (author of The Lion's Game), Paul Brenner is called out of CID retirement to investigate the murder 30 years ago of an army lieutenant in Vietnam. Brenner's trip up country, with a beautiful American expatriate for company, will lead him to uncover an explosive, long-buried secret.

    James B says: "You Must Read Up Country"
    "Really enjoyable"
    Overall

    Loved it. Demille does an absoluely fantastic job with character development and dialog. You really feel connected to the characters. I feel like I learned a lot from this book as well - both about the war and about vietnam in general.

    I can see why some may have been dissapointed by then ending, but I was not. It seems to me that Demille does not feel compelled to have dramatic endings where all the loose end are wrapped up in a neat clean package and all questions are answered. I am good with that. As he says in the end of the book - it is about the journey. I agree.

    Anyhow - I heartily recommend this book and "The Lion's Game" as well. I just started on "Night Fall" and I am enjoying it so far. Demille is a winner and Scott Brick is an excellent narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Takedown

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1114)
    Performance
    (657)
    Story
    (653)

    Best-selling author Brad Thor has crafted a must-read blockbuster featuring hard-nosed U.S. anti-terrorist agent Scot Harvath. Fiendish al-Qaeda terrorists are planning to rescue their imprisoned WMD expert during the chaos they create with their July 4th destruction of all bridges and tunnels to Manhattan. Now it's up to ex-SEAL Harvath to stop the evil-doers -- and neutralize the diabolical three-foot-tall villain known as "The Troll" who supplies their intelligence.

    Shane says: "Very Enjoyable"
    "Fast-paced & action packed"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It kept me riveted during my commute. If you liked "License to Kill" or other books of this genre, this one is worth your time. The characters were good and not too over-the-top. The non-stop action was well written - I could see it all in my mind like watching a movie.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Faithful Spy

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Alex Berenson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2092)
    Performance
    (738)
    Story
    (732)

    John Wells is the only American CIA agent ever to penetrate al Qaeda. Since before the attacks in 2001, Wells has been hiding in the mountains of Pakistan, biding his time, building his cover.

    Margaret says: "Faithful Spy"
    "Fast Paced"
    Overall

    This book was action packed and fast paced. It was well written and kept me entertained from beginning to end. It went by very quickly. I'm not 100% sure I agree with the narrator's choice of voice for certain of the characters, but it was fairly inconsequential. He did a solid narration job all-in-all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Lisa Unger
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (119)

    If Ridley Jones had slept 10 minutes later or had taken the subway instead of waiting for a cab, she would still be living the beautiful lie she used to call her life. She would still be the privileged daughter of a doting father and a loving mother. Her life would still be perfect, with only the tiny cracks of an angry junkie for a brother and a charming drunk with shady underworld connections for an uncle to mar the otherwise flawless whole.

    Linda Ann Howson says: "Give it a chance"
    "Sloowwwwwww"
    Overall

    This book is slow - slow as a two legged dog with a thick curly black coat of medium length that is starting to grey a bit and whose perfectly round hazel eyes suggest somehow that he is wiser than he lets on. A dog that in his youth could chase a rabbit for nearly a mile with unyielding strength and determination like a hungry prize fighter . . .

    Get the idea? The writer's over-use of descriptives and simile bog this book down to the point of being unlistenable. Detail is good when it paints a scene that is relevant to moving the story line or understanding the characters. Hers don't do either, they just drone on without pupose. Skip it.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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