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Ken

ratings
116
REVIEWS
44
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
5
HELPFUL VOTES
14

  • A Plague Upon Your Family: Zombie Fallout, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1938)
    Performance
    (1797)
    Story
    (1807)

    The Talbots are evacuating their home amidst a zombie apocalypse. Mankind is on the edge of extinction as a new dominant, mindless opponent scours the landscape in search of food, which just so happens to be noninfected humans. The Talbots have escaped Little Turtle, but to what end? On the run, they find themselves encountering a far vaster evil than the one that has already beset them. As they travel across the countryside they soon learn that there are more than just zombies to be fearful of....

    Teddy says: "An excellent sequel"
    "Not a Horror Fan, But..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started watching the Walking Dead on TV, and found it extremely compelling. So much so I started looking to see what Zombie books I might find interesting.

    The Zombie Fallout books are really, really good. There are a couple of continuity issues early on that are easily forgivable considering the quality of the characters, the action, suspense, and everything else a good Zombie book should be.

    The narration is also top-notch. The characters all have distinctive voices, in addition to personalities, and it’s very easy to follow.

    The only problem is (as of this writing), it’s not finished!

    Finish it, Mark. I need to know what happens next!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10208)
    Performance
    (7681)
    Story
    (7725)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Wow."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There must be vast tracts of this planet completely devoid of imagination for so much to be invested in this single author. The Way of Kings is a slow boil, but it's rarely slow. The characters of Caladan and Shallon are both pretty messed up, and it's a little difficult sometimes to listen to their various tragedies, but it's a massive puzzle being fit together one piece at a time, and like in the Mistborne trilogy things that seem insignificant reappear later in unexpected ways. Brandon Sanderson is a master story weaver, better by far than any I've encountered in a long while.

    Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are are absolutely outstanding as the story switches perspectives between Caladan and Shallon. There's only a couple of places where I didn't immediately know who was speaking, even with a large cast of supporting characters. Both imbue their characters with tremendous humanity. It's a joy to listen to them work.

    I'm nearing the end of book 2 right now, and it is truly amazing. But I must say I'm extremely disappointed to have to wait a year (possibly two) for the next installment (conclusion?), even if that means I'll get another Steelheart installment in the mean time.

    Even unfinished, the Stormlight Archive is already a classic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6249)
    Performance
    (5835)
    Story
    (5857)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It takes great skill to keep a story this fast-paced from beginning to end and still develop solid, dynamic characters. The plot twists were solidly built but still managed to be surprising. The author also managed to build a solid alternate world and make its illogic work by simply acknowledging it. I won't summarize the plot. Suffice it to say it's a fantastic, unique action/sci-fi/thriller that's very accessible.

    Great work from first word to last word.

    My only disappointment: I got through it too fast. But that's on me--I listened at every opportunity, and even made some opportunities to listen. I don't do that with most audiobooks.

    The reading was also outstanding, with each character getting distincting voices and a solid narrative.

    I will definitely be checking out the rest Brandon Sanderson's works.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing the Prophecy: Beyonders, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Brandon Mull
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (324)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (295)

    Jason and Rachel were not born in Lyrian. They did not grow up in Lyrian. But after all of the battles and losses, the triumphs and adventures, and most of all, the friendships forged in this fantastical world, Lyrian has become home to them in a way they never could have imagined. And so, armed now with the prophecy of a dying oracle, they have gone on their separate quests - each surrounded by brave and powerful allies - knowing that the chance for success is slim. But Jason and Rachel are ready at last to become the heroes Lyrian needs, no matter the cost.

    momof6 says: "Perfect closing to an amazing story"
    "Deus ex Orantium"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The time and effort spent getting to the end of the story is untimately rewarded. Not only is the conclusing satisfying, it validates both lead characters and their contributions, and the story could not have reached its conclusion without both of their contributions. It was well-balanced. A few of the sidekicks also turn out to make significant contributions as well, which was a nice surprise.

    One word of warning: If you ever find yourself in Lirian, being a sidekick in someone else's tale can be hazardous to your health.

    The conclusion was a lot better than I was expecting, given the extent to which a single substance began to be the go-to problem-solver. However, it was a clever solution, and the foreshadowing was subtle enough that we didn't see it coming. Rachel's contribution we saw coming, we just didn't quite expect the way it would play out.

    A very satisfying conclusion to a clever story, even if it got a bit slow in the middle.

    Overall: worth the time and credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seeds of Rebellion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Brandon Mull
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (367)

    The second epic installment of Brandon Mull’s #1 New York Times bestselling fantasy series!After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known - yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.

    Katherine says: "Solid sequel"
    "Part 2 - Part 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first book was a complete story. This second book marks the first of a two-part sequel. Both the good and the bad elements of the first book also apply here, save the party becomes more well-defined, and a lot of the threads left hanging from the first book come into focus as the larger story starts to move forward.

    Like all fantasies, there's a lot of travel going on. The biggest difference I think is we finally start to get an idea what Rachel's role in the story is going to be, as she was almost superfluous in the first book. The downside is she appears to have swapped roles with Jason, as he appears to be taking the "usless sidekick" role.

    I almost set the series down by the time I finished this book. Ultimately I was glad I didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A World Without Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Brandon Mull
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (536)
    Performance
    (434)
    Story
    (442)

    Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcmoed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.

    Stephanie says: "Brandon Mull has won me over again!"
    "Clever, but Slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Brandon Mull is certainly in no want of vocabulary. But the world painted in this first book starts off as a pretty middle-of-the-road fantasy. What he does do is lay a solid foundation for the world and the reasons for its unusual inhabitants, even as to why everyone speaks English.

    The cleverness really starts to shine when we meet some of the alternate races that inhabit the land. Their abilities are well-thought-out and employed cleverly within the story.

    The villian, Maldor (really?), is also a step up from the usually-faceless baddies by having some actual character, and some actual interaction with the protagonists.

    The books probably can also win a prize for the cleverest world-transitioning mechanism yet devised.

    The story is a series of puzzles that have to be solved, and some of the solutions are clever, while others are pure luck. I'm still ambivilant about whether that was good or bad.

    The biggest down-side was the performance. The voice-work was very well-done, with each of the primary characters given a distinct voice and manner of speach that made it easy to follow who was talking, especially later on when the party grows in number. However, there is a passive quality to the reading that really shows up in some of the action scenes, that makes it sound like we're listening to a report rather than a story. Some of that can be attributed to the passive language chosen in the writing, but much of it was due to the pacing of the reading.

    But despite that complaint, it was a good, original fantasy, and worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7489)
    Performance
    (6871)
    Story
    (6940)

    What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

    Teddy says: "I hate it when this happens"
    "Unexpectedly Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was waiting with considerable anticipation for this third book in the series. I was initially hooked by the circumstances and characters presented in the first two books, but by the third book, the level of poor decision-making skills manifested by the "heros" was just too overpowering.

    I won't include any spoilers, but any author needs to take a hard look at the consequences of making such a story choice to end their tale. There was no driving need to take the course that was taken. Maybe the characters we too focussed on their internal struggles to realize that there were several optional courses of action available to them that would have resulted in a much more satisfying outcome for the reader.

    The book started off by undermining much of what had been previously presented that made the story so compelling. And while the characters were trying to absorb these changes, they repeatedly took drastic actions based on very little information that ultimately lead to tragic results.

    The book began to feel like the author was using the plot to drive the characters to a place she wanted to them to be when it was all over, rather than the characters driving the plot.

    On a side note, I noticed this series is being made into a feature film (probably 3), but so much of what happens is the internal struggles of these characters (especially in this book), that it's going to be a challenge to put it on a screen.

    The readers' performances were excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Written in Red: A Novel of the Others

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Anne Bishop
    • Narrated By Alexandra Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1026)
    Performance
    (945)
    Story
    (952)

    As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job.

    Angela says: "WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!"
    "Unexpectedly Compellinng"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reading the description I expected I was going to get a human-werewolf romance (I only purchased it after listening to the sample). And while the implications of such a relationship slowly evolve, there is an enormous cultural chasm that must be bridged first. No human (who are not at the top of the food chain within this alternate universe) has ever been able to successfully bridge that gap intentionally.

    But it falls upon the terrified escapee Meg Corbin to accomplish it both by necessity and by accident. Not quite human herself, but certainly not one of the Others, she is forced by her circumstances to seek shelter with them. She is perhaps the only person who could ever have a chance to pierce their hatred of humankind out of pure innocence.

    The collective of the Courtyard (a 300-acre patch of ground in the middle of a human city) houses the requisite werewolves and vampires, but it also secrets beings significantly more powerful and terrifying. Beings no human has seen before. Beings that scare even the other residents of the Courtyard.

    What appears on the surface to be a run-of-the-mill romance turned out to be a compelling clash of cultures where mistrust and misunderstanding can lay waste to an entire city (and have), and one scared girl with no real-world experience can weild the most unlikely power of all: kindness.

    Much, much better than I expected. A compelling listen from beginning to end. I will defineitely be looking at other works from Anne Bishop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Feed: The Newsflesh Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Paula Christensen, Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (928)
    Performance
    (726)
    Story
    (716)

    The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

    susan says: "I laughed, I cried..."
    "Unique Perspective, great story and characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most Zombie novels deal with the actual fall of civilization. This one picks up twenty years later, when a (sort of) equilibrium has been restored and society continues, just with wandering zombies. This is a unique story with a perfect balance of plot, detail, pacing and characterization. I won't spoil it by giving anything away, but this is one of the absolute best Zombie / Apocalypse novels I've read, and I've read a lot of zombie novels (who'd of thought?).

    Kudos to both the author and performer. Great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Survivors: The Morningstar Strain, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht, Thom Brannan
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (725)
    Story
    (730)

    Survivors is the all-new soul-shattering climax to the postapocalyptic trilogy, featuring a deadly virus, military action, global devastation - and zombies. A lot can change in three months: Wars can be decided, nations can be forged...or entire species can be brought to the brink of annihilation. The Morningstar Virus, an incredibly virulent disease, has swept the face of the planet, infecting billions. The infected hosts rampage, attacking anything that remains uninfected.

    Ben says: "Good. But could have been so much better"
    "I can see what all the screaming is about."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hesitant to get this series based on the reviews of other listeners. But the reviews for the first two books were so good I felt I could risk the complaints about the third.

    I understand the complaints now.

    My first concern was: was there an obvious transition between authors? No, not really. The pace and tone and style don't change noticably.

    The disappointment comes from some of the story choices made. There's a fairly large event about half-way through the book that completely defies all logic and sense. Even if the world was in such a state of decline, I can't imagine anyone following those orders without question. The really odd part is that this act was foreshadowed in Book 2, which leads me to believe the orignial author intended the story to go there. But even now I shake my head in bewilderment.

    The second disappointment derives from similar events towards the climax of the story. I know "random" events can befall anyone, but an author knowledgable enough to know the color of a stipe around a particular type of munition should be smart enough to know that two crew members aboads a helicopter are not going to instantly know the exact source location of every round fired at them in the heat of battle.

    At the end it felt a little like logic was taking a back seat to a plot element checklist.


    Overall I think it the entire series was worth the listen. But there are some pretty significant holes in some of the character development, and some minor holes in the plot. That said, there are also some characters whose experiences are explored quite well.

    The narrator was very good throughout. My only issue was his tendancy to give all the minor military characters the same "red neck" accent, which he also gave to one of the major characters, which occasionally caused some confusion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thunder and Ashes: The Morningstar Strain, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1249)
    Performance
    (870)
    Story
    (873)

    Francis Sherman and Anna Demilio want only a vaccine, but to find it, they must cross a countryside in ruins, dodging not only the infected, but also the lawless living. The bulk of the storm has passed over the world, leaving echoing thunder and softly drifting ashes. But for the survivors, the peril remains, and the search for a cure is just beginning.

    Scott says: "The strain continues, for now."
    "Solid Coninuation in Book 2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This second installment carries forwarrd the story from Book 1 with a solid plot and performances. We see some foreshadowing of how it will all come to a climax. Overall a very good listen for Zombie / Post-Apocalypse fiction fans.

    It's the third book where things start to unravel...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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