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Matthew

SEATTLE, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

515
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 160 reviews
  • 192 ratings
  • 350 titles in library
  • 54 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
94

  • The Frozen Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jeff Carlson
    • Narrated By Amy H. Sturgis
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (47)

    Something is alive inside Jupiter's ice moon Europa. Robot probes find an ancient tunnel beneath the surface, its walls carved with strange hieroglyphics. Led by elite engineer Alexis Vonderach, a team of scientists descends into the dark...where they confront a savage race older than mankind....

    Trip Williams says: "GREAT story of first contact!"
    "Not as much of a fan as others..however...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jeff Carlson and/or Amy H. Sturgis?

    Definitely, but with the caveat that the story would need to be tightened up . Amy does great work here, owning the wide array of characters that populate this sprawling book.

    Therein lies the issue I have...it sprawls. Carlson clearly has done his research, and his books are historically detailed and plausible. This classic "first contact" offering is no exception, but it does tend to get mired down in minutae.

    That said, it's not a bad listen, if nothing else for Amy's fine work.


    Would you recommend The Frozen Sky to your friends? Why or why not?

    As above. Would have to be to the right ( read Sci Fi first contact fans) but yes, it is worth the recommendation.


    What about Amy H. Sturgis’s performance did you like?

    She owns the proantagonist role. Solid.


    Did The Frozen Sky inspire you to do anything?

    Explore more Carlson works. Already an AS fan.


    Any additional comments?

    Try it...you likely will like it, with the caveats above.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The God Complex: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Murray McDonald
    • Narrated By Adam Verner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    When Cash Harris visits his father for the first time after a 15 year estrangement, things don't go anywhere near as planned. By the end of the night, he finds himself embroiled in a plot to destabilise the government, his father has been assassinated, and he discovers a shocking truth that would have fundamentally altered his life 15 years earlier.

    Matthew says: "Tricky!"
    "Tricky!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The God Complex: A Thriller rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not in the top 10, but maybe the top 25. A tricky, rather interesting and compelling offering, that has several unanticipated plot twists and turns.


    Would you recommend The God Complex: A Thriller to your friends? Why or why not?

    Certainly to other audio book fans.


    What does Adam Verner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Definitely one of the better performances of the years. Brought the characters to life, and owned the story


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not really extreme, but certainly kept my interest, and I did have some chuckles and eyebrow raises.


    Any additional comments?

    This book definitely sneaks up on the listener, and comes with enough wrinkles and twists to keep the story fresh and engaging. Recommended highly

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Iain Rob Wright
    • Narrated By Chris Barnes
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    On a night when it begins snowing in every country of the world, an ordinary group of people gather at a rundown English pub to take shelter from the cold. At first they assume the weather is just some random occurrence, but as the night goes on, strange things happen, and it isn't long before the group begin to realize that something far more sinister is at hand than just the weather. Something that none of them could ever have imagined. By the end of the night, not everyone will make it, and those that do may wish they hadn't.

    Kim Venatries says: "Bring Your Own Blanket and Hot Beverage!"
    "This one will really mess with your head..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, heartily so. For some, the accents may be difficult, and the common language abit difficult to understand as well, but for overall interest and content, it is a wonderful story.

    It is difficult to speak of it without revealing plot details, but needless to say, it will leave the listener thinking, deeply.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nigel, for what will become obvious reasons to the listener.


    Have you listened to any of Chris Barnes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, so no base line.


    If you could take any character from The Final Winter out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Nigel, as noted above.


    Any additional comments?

    There are many layers and movements to this fascinating story. I think it is difficult to comment on it withou revealing details, so all I can tell the prospective listener is to get this book and you will enjoy it as much as I did!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Seeders: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By A. J. Colucci
    • Narrated By Janie Brookshire
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    George Brookes is a brilliant but reclusive plant biologist living on a remote Canadian island. After his mysterious death, the heirs to his estate arrive on the island, including his daughter, Isabelle; her teenage children; and Jules Beecher, a friend and pioneer in plant neurobiology. They will be isolated on the frigid island for two weeks, until the next supply boat arrives. As Jules begins investigating the laboratory and scientific papers left by George, he comes to realize that his mentor may have achieved a monumental scientific breakthrough....

    Matthew says: "I think I will go work out in the garden..."
    "I think I will go work out in the garden..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Seeders the most enjoyable?

    Actually does have some rather interesting twists and turns, featuring characters that, while maybe abit too shallow ( at least intially ) turn out to be more complex and this makes the story that much more enjoyable.


    What other book might you compare Seeders to and why?

    Triffids, anything to do with Pod People, anything to do with plant/human communication.


    What about Janie Brookshire’s performance did you like?

    I had somewhat of a tough time with her at the start ( and, dare I say, she did as well! ) . However, we both warmed to the task, and I was taken by her work in the last 3rd.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Honey, please cut the lawn?!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a very entertaining offering, much more so than I originally thought when I read about it and started listening. Bookshire's teenage girl is excellent, and she brought to life some domestic drama at the start that was truly discomforting.
    Not to be too trite ( but somewhat so ! ) this book does..ahem..grow on you.
    Recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Seven Wonders

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ben Mezrich
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When the reclusive mathematician Jeremy Grady goes missing, it's up to his estranged brother Jack to find out why. His search leads him on a far-flung journey - from Brazil, India, Peru, and beyond - as he unravels the mystery that links the Seven Wonders of the World, and discovers that Jeremy may have hit upon something that's been concealed for centuries.

    Bolio Act says: "Great story, amazing adventure"
    "Yet another archelogist tramping around the world!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Ben Mezrich and/or Luke Daniels?

    Probably. Daniels is a consumate performer, and does alot with the material here, but this story was somewhat lame ( as in, simplistic )


    If you’ve listened to books by Ben Mezrich before, how does this one compare?

    My first.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The conclusion in ( no spoiler here ) the garden rocked.


    Could you see Seven Wonders being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I hope not.


    Any additional comments?

    This offering is mild entertainment. Daniels does his usual fine work with rather simple material ( the concept is cool, the execution, not so much.)

    Recommended mildly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Venus: The Grand Tour Series

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    The surface of Venus is the most hellish place in the solar system, its ground hot enough to melt aluminum, its air pressure high enough to crush spacecraft landers like tin cans, its atmosphere a choking mix of poisonous gases. This is where the frail young Van Humphries must go—or die trying.

    George says: "Hellish Hot"
    "Someone turn on the air conditioning please..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Venus: The Grand Tour Series to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read print version, so N/A.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It was not unexpected, but not so predictable as to be trite. Bova generally does a good job at wrapping things up nicely, and this story is no exception.


    What does Stefan Rudnicki bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Stefan owns the Bova characters, and this one is particularly well rendered. His accents, emotions and rawness are always impressive.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Something to do with Lucifer.


    Any additional comments?

    This story continues the Bova/Rudnicki tradition of author and performer working as a team. If you enjoyed the other offerings in the Planet series, this one will entertain you. It works as a free standing story as well, however.
    Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Protocol: James Acton Thrillers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By J. Robert Kennedy
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    For two thousand years, the Triarii have protected us, influencing history from the crusades to the discovery of America. Descendent from the Roman Empire, they pervade every level of society and are now in a race with our own government to retrieve an ancient artifact thought to have been lost forever. Caught in the middle is archaeology professor James Acton, relentlessly hunted by the elite Delta Force, who are under orders to stop at nothing to possess what he has found, and the Triarii, who are equally determined to prevent the discovery from falling into the wrong hands.

    Matthew says: "A classic conspiracy theory story"
    "A classic conspiracy theory story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Protocol? What did you like least?

    Historical background is reat, performance is strong and the overall story is compelling. There was just some tweaks that I found irksome. If I could give it 3.5 I would have.

    The story got off the rails occasionally, but overall not bad at all.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    More background on the key theory.


    Which character – as performed by R. C. Bray – was your favorite?

    Nothing stood out, but all were good.


    Could you see The Protocol being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    SyFy Network only


    Any additional comments?

    This is a reasonably decent presentation. Nothing awful, but nothing that stood out as remarkable as well. This author will likely get better in this genre i suspect.

    Modestly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghosts on the Red Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Peter David Shapiro
    • Narrated By Paul Fleschner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Commuters see their Departed on Boston's Red Line subway trains. Consultant Harry West is hired to investigate by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. His project turns personal when his ex-wife Alexandra Ben-Tov meets their beloved daughter on the Red Line who looks like the teenager she might have become if she had lived. Are the visitors on the Red Line ghosts or hallucinations? Either way, after Harry's team discovers the source of the visitations, the MBTA declares that it will bring them to an end. Alexandra has a brilliant idea: Build Visitation Rooms that replicate the features of Red Line train cars so that people can continue to meet their loved ones. But not everyone approves. The Archbishop of Boston seeks to get Visitation Rooms banned in Massachusetts. And a gangster who frets that his victims will come back from the dead warns Harry and Alexandra: Cancel Opening Day for the first Visitation Room, or else.

    Matthew says: "Stunning"
    "Stunning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Ghosts on the Red Line again? Why?

    Unlikely, but i was deeply moved by this book. It is truly one of the best audio books I have ever heard. Both content and performance are amazing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The integrity of the scientific defence. An obtuse concept made completely believable. Amazing.


    What about Paul Fleschner’s performance did you like?

    He blew me away with his tone, consistency, and character development. I will look for this reader going forward.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I wish I could.


    Any additional comments?

    I urge you to get this book. I read reviews on Audiofile magazine, and downloaded it as a direct result, and am blown away. You will be as well!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • World of Trouble: The Last Policeman, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank's safety is only relative, and his only relative - his sister Nico - isn't safe.

    Matthew says: "The Last Policeman series surprises yet again!"
    "The Last Policeman series surprises yet again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up World of Trouble in three words, what would they be?

    Clarifying, thoughtful, powerful.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Last Policeman is ont of my favourite Audible characters, and he doesn't dissappoint here. Self aware, honest, principle driven. A memorable fictional character.


    What about Peter Berkrot’s performance did you like?

    He owns this series. All of it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The last sections are amazing, clarifying the series.


    Any additional comments?

    So much to say, so little time and room. All I can say is, if you have tracked this series, this makes it even more worthwhile. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 6th Extinction: Sigma Force, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By Christian Baskous
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (160)

    A remote military research station sends out a frantic distress call, ending with a chilling final command: Kill us all! Personnel from the neighboring base rush in to discover everyone already dead - and not just the scientists, but every living thing for 50 square miles is annihilated: every animal, plant, and insect, even bacteria. The land is entirely sterile - and the blight is spreading. To halt the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must unravel a threat that rises out of the distant past.

    Craig says: "Third Rollins book in a row diminished by Narrator"
    "Sprawls all over the place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Definitely have to be into Sigma Group, and ( of course ) the deeply detailed Rollins school of thriller writing. That said, it's a pretty rollicking thriller.


    Would you recommend The 6th Extinction to your friends? Why or why not?

    Is this not a duplication of the prompt above? Same answer.


    Did Christian Baskous do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Somewhat. I was torn about his narration. In some ways very compelling, in others, over dramatic and somewhat over done. I miss PJ Fernandez doing the Sigma Group, but this was OK. Not my favourite iteration.


    Did The 6th Extinction inspire you to do anything?

    Finish up the series.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the best offering in the series, but likely not the worst. Recommended with reservations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Proof

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Cheryl Colwell
    • Narrated By P.J. Ochlan
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Shrouded in mystery, a precious relic known as Il Testamento, or The Proof, circulated among the early Christians for centuries. Before their deaths, its guardians hid it from their adversaries, leaving only a crude map of its location. For centuries, it lay in darkness. Until now. Reports of its existence have resurfaced, inciting an ancient rivalry between a ruthless group that seeks to destroy it, and a secret association that lusts for its power.

    Matthew says: "If I had only paid more attention...."
    "If I had only paid more attention...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Proof?

    The dogmatic Christian preaching that wound it's way through the book. My own fault however, as I failed to read the publishing company source, which turns out to be a Christian publisher.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not what I expected.


    Has The Proof turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all.


    What aspect of P.J. Ochlan’s performance would you have changed?

    Not much. He did a fine job. Good narration, for what it was.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Proof?

    The final scene is gratutitous, IMHO.


    Any additional comments?

    Listener be ware. Evangelical material here! That said, the basic precept of the book, and it's narration, are pretty damn good. I just don't personally need the preaching, but if you are into that, you likely will enjoy this offering.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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