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Matthew

SEATTLE, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
187
REVIEWS
155
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
93
HELPFUL VOTES
496

  • The Frozen Sky

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jeff Carlson
    • Narrated By Amy H. Sturgis
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (46)

    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 Protocol: James Acton Thrillers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By J. Robert Kennedy
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    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
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    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
    (75)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    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.

    Tracy says: "Narrator is Horrendous!"
    "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
  • The Lost Island: Gideon Crew, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By David W. Collins
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (158)

    Gideon Crew, brilliant scientist, master thief, is living on borrowed time. When his mysterious employer, Eli Glinn, gives him an eyebrow-raising mission, he has no reason to refuse. Gideon's task: steal a page from the priceless Book of Kells, now on display in New York City and protected by unbreakable security. Accomplishing the impossible, Gideon steals the parchment - only to learn that hidden beneath the gorgeously illuminated image is a treasure map dating back to the time of the ancient Greeks.

    Poconos says: "Want my money back! Just plain HORRIBLE!"
    "I love it when a grand conspiracy gets continued"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was a nice background story, not the best of the series, but not the worst. Mildly entertaining.


    Would you recommend The Lost Island to your friends? Why or why not?

    My friends don't listen to these types of stories, likely to their benefit. That said,if a friend was a Preston/Child fan, I likely would.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Performance was very good, with clear characters and accents. Nothing really to dislike.


    Do you think The Lost Island needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes, and it sets it up nicely at the end.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a mediocre extension of the series. Not bad, but not brilliant. Mildly recommended with reservations.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Overlord

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The plans of a million years are finally ready for what has always been coming - Armageddon. Finally, the first move is set in motion and the assassinations begin, eliminating the leadership and consolidating military control of the seas and airspace of the world’s most powerful nations. Only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give the Earth a fighting chance at survival - a tiny being that has already saved the world once in the Arizona desert is now called upon to outthink his former masters.

    Matthew says: "I think I lost my watch down south..."
    "I think I lost my watch down south..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from David L. Golemon and/or Richard Poe?

    Yes, definitely into the Event Group series. The team of Poe and Golemon is ourstanding.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Historical references are well researched.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    Oddly, the rogue president and his crowd. An the Russian commander.


    Did Overlord inspire you to do anything?

    Read more Event Group thrillers.


    Any additional comments?

    This series, performed by Poe, is one of my personal favourites on Audible. Well researched, with enough drama and such that it is as realistic as this kind of stuff can be. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Donzerly Light

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Ryne Douglas Pearson
    • Narrated By Tim Danko
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    If evil shook your hand, would you know it? Jay Grady wakes up in handcuffs. Sitting at a table in an isolated room. Across from him sits a man who wants Jay to recount his life. Every detail of it. If not, he'll kill him. So begins Jay's reluctant journey to a past he's tried to forget. From his days ruling Wall Street as an impossibly intuitive stock picker, to just a few hours before, when he pumped six bullets into a transient outside a dying Missouri town; a drifter he'd once thought was just an ordinary man. But he was far from ordinary. And Jay came to realize he was not a man at all, but something darker.

    Matthew says: "Wasn't sure where this oen was going...but..."
    "Wasn't sure where this oen was going...but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, esp. folks who enjoy somewhat supernatural mysteries. It actually does keep you guessing righ tup to the conclusion.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes,it did. I had no idea where the author was going with this until the extreme end, and even when the reveal occurred, there is still enough ambiguity to keep the listener wondering .


    Which character – as performed by Tim Danko – was your favorite?

    Mr. Right was compelling.


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

    Time allowing, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an odd duck, and some listeners may not find the conclusion compelling. I , on the other hand, really enjoyed the concept and the execution of this somewhat supernatural mystery. It grows on you. I think if you give this one a chance you will enjoy it as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Refuge Omnibus Edition: Refuge 1 - 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jeremy Bishop, Jeremy Robinson, Daniel S. Boucher, and others
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    Refuge, New Hampshire, is a small town. The kind found on postcards. Their biggest concern is the rowdy summertime revelers making their way up from Massachusetts and New York. And with most of the town's residents in neighboring Ashland, for the Fourth of July fireworks show, Refuge is quieter than usual. That is, until the Baptist church's bell starts ringing - on its own. The bell chimes faster and faster, reaching a frenetic pace, as though rung by the Devil himself. But the bell is just the beginning.

    K. Allenby says: "Brilliant"
    "I am still not so sure about this one..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Refuge Omnibus Edition? What did you like least?

    The books spins off in so many ( sometimes wild directions ) that is it hard to find one point either way. This is an at times violent, jarring book, with a number of direction changes, well developed characters and surreal circumstances.
    I enjoyed it for the most part, but it certainly does sound/feel like it was written by many different authors.


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

    Not sure it could be the same book if it was altered. Maybe edited to be more linear, although I think the point is not to do that. It is also somewhat deriviative of some other " small town/altered realities" books I have listened to.
    That said, it is sort of a "greatest hits' of that genre, and well done as such.


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

    Not that I recall, and he does a fine job here.


    Could you see Refuge Omnibus Edition being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    SyFy with no names.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to give this offering a higher rating, but it spins abit too far out of control for my tastes. May just be mine. It sprawls, it's messy, but it is performed well, and on balance I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Secret of the Thorns: Donavan Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Tom Haase
    • Narrated By John M. Perry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    We know what happened to the robe of Christ. We think we know what happened to his cross. What really happened to the Crown of Thorns? A controversial thriller set in modern times solving an ancient mystery.

    Matthew says: "Helpful to study biblical history as well!"
    "Helpful to study biblical history as well!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This is not a great book per se, but it grows on you. I think developing the principal characters more at the beginning would be helpful, as this is clearly the start of what might be a long series.


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

    My first. May not be my last, but I wasn't overly impressed.


    What three words best describe John M. Perry’s performance?

    Not bad. Did the best he could with some clunky scenes and sometimes maddeningly juvenile dialogue.


    Could you see Secret of the Thorns being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Shouldn't be. Maybe on SyFy, with no stars.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the debut of a new series, and is well researched, but it never clicked totally for me. Yet, I did finish it, which says something. It is so so, but for fans of biblical history, it is likely better than my rating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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