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Matthew

SEATTLE, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

436
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 147 reviews
  • 179 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
12
FOLLOWERS
89

  • Island 731

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jeremy Robinson
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (136)

    Mark Hawkins, former park ranger and expert tracker, is out of his element, working onboard the Magellan, a research vessel studying the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But his work is interrupted when, surrounded by 30 miles of refuse, the ship and its high-tech systems are plagued by a series of strange malfunctions and the crew is battered by a raging storm. When the storm fades and the sun rises, the beaten crew awakens to find themselves anchored in the protective cove of a tropical island...and no one knows how they got there.

    Matthew says: "Beware of your next Pacific cruise"
    "Beware of your next Pacific cruise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If you are into gruesome descriptions of genetic manipulation, this one is for you. If not, then not so much.


    What was most disappointing about Jeremy Robinson’s story?

    It relies upon gore far too much, and some of the suspension of disbelief required is a true stretch. Dragged on abit as well. So so overall.


    What three words best describe R. C. Bray’s voice?

    Strong
    Authentic
    Consistent


    Was Island 731 worth the listening time?

    50/50.


    Any additional comments?

    There are a number of books in this genre of gruesome fantasy, and this one is not the best, The ideas are there, and overall it's ok, but the devil is always in the details, and I fear this one has been left alone in that area.
    Recommended with alot of reservations.

    5 of 5 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
    (71)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (66)

    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.

    0 of 0 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
  • The Devil's Ark

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Stephen Bywater
    • Narrated By Daniel Weyman
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Twelve years after fighting in Mesopotamia in the Great War, Harry Ward returns to the land where he lost his faith, his mind and almost his life. Haunted by bloody visions of bayonets, shrapnel and shells, he takes up the offer of a simple job, working as a photographer on an archaeological dig outside of Mosul. As the dig progresses, Ward begins to realise that what they have uncovered is no ordinary temple; it holds a terrible secret. Now flashbacks are the least of his problems...and he must face a new kind of terror.

    Matthew says: "Please do your ancient biblical homework first !"
    "Please do your ancient biblical homework first !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Devil's Ark the most enjoyable?

    The combination of the sparkling performance by Daniel Weyman which brings to life the crafty writing of Stephen Bywater. A classic matchup in the matking!

    The characters jump off the page ( orally! ) and the skillful dialogue, and suspense with moments of terror, are at once scary and exciting.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Devil's Ark?

    There are many moments, but frankly the epilogue is the most thought provoking IMHO.


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

    Everything. This is one of those books that works best in an audio environment.


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

    Closing up the tomb at the end was scary as hell.


    Any additional comments?

    This book came highly recommended, and I am very glad I followed up on downloading it. Right from the first words, it grabs the listener, and does not let go.

    The performer is very notable for his use of accents, singing, and overall authenticity. He does not just read the words, he lives the book for, and with, the listener.

    One of the best of the year. Get it and enjoy it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Better World: The Brilliance Saga, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marcus Sakey
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (109)

    The brilliants changed everything.

    Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we'd only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person's most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Simply a solid continuation of a great idea"
    "Continues the Brilliance saga..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Better World to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the book version, but this is outstanding.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nick Cooper. Survivor and thoughtful ethical character.


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

    Yes, several, and this performance is outstanding.


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

    The beginning of the battle is excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    This continues a fascinating journey by Sakey and Daniels. This is one of the most intriguing new series to come along in some time, and it is most certainly worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zodiac Station

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Tom Harper
    • Narrated By Piers Wehener
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (37)

    "An extraordinary thriller set at the frozen edge of the world, perfect for fans of Kate Mosse, Michael Crichton and Dan Brown.In the Arctic Ocean, the US Coast Guard icebreaker Terra Nova batters its way through the pack ice. There shouldn't be anyone near them for hundreds of miles. But then a lone skier, half-dead with cold, emerges out of the snow. His name is Tom Anderson, and he is the only survivor of a disaster at Zodiac Station, a scientific research base deep in the Arctic Circle.

    Madeleine says: "Good plot, interestingly told"
    "Hand my jacket, will you please?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Zodiac Station the most enjoyable?

    The performance by Piers Wehener was truly a highlight, but the overall twists and turns in the story arc was compelling. I really didn't see how the story was to resolve until the very end.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Zodiac Station?

    The conclusion has so many angles and asymetric ideas, it grabbed me.


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

    His accents and emotions are very impression.


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

    The internal dialogue by our hero is thoughtful and realistic.


    Any additional comments?

    I was moved by this book , which, for a protypical Arctic thriller, is unusual. Very impressive and well worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Primeval: An Event Group Thriller, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Thousands of years after giant beasts crossed the land bridge into North America and mysteriously disappeared, a rare journal documenting the truth about the Romanovs' execution emerges, triggering an international competition and leading the Event Group to make a baffling discovery.

    Matthew says: "Somehow...it works!"
    "Somehow...it works!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Primeval to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version...nothing to compare to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The development of the characters in the series, and the usual drama they need to withstand.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The conclusion is good, but the early set ups in prehistory, Russia and the US were compelling.


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

    Nothing extreme, but certainly did have some chuckles and was entertained.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sprawling book, combining aspects of the Russian revolution, Sasquatch, the Cold War, Russian gangsters, etc. On the face of it you would think it wouldn't, but it does ( somehow ). I feel this is the best of this series so far ( and, as always, the performance captures the essence of the characters.)
    Highly recommended ( with the caveat that ya kinda gotta like the Event Group.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated By Zara Ramm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (183)

    Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

    Carolyn says: "Book Lovers Nirvana"
    "A female thriller for all listeners"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, maybe not for everyone, but certainly fans of scifi/thrillers with a serious comedic spin. Taylor writes in an almost stream of concious manner, and Zara Ramm brings authenticity and wonderful humour to the narration.
    There is just enough adult themes to temper the humour, and although it does require a bit of a stretched belief model, I do recommend it.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Max ( our hero ) is difficult not to cheer for, and engages us all the way. The bad guys are not very well crafted, at least in this first book of what I hope is a long series.


    What about Zara Ramm’s performance did you like?

    Everything. She sparkles. Humour, drama, authenticity, and consistency. What's not to like?


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

    I am not creative enough to get this one nailed.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first of what promises to be a classic series of funny/serious/scifi time travel thrillers, in classic British style. There is a slight "chick lit" aspect to the offering, but it is highly enjoyable for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and have downloaded the sequel already. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Three: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Sarah Lotz
    • Narrated By Andrew Wincott, Melanie McHugh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

    Lisa says: "Different"
    "Book your ticket now!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If only for the performances alone, I highly recommend this offering. The 2 readers are simply stunning. Even several weeks after listening to it, I think of the characters and the way they were brought to life in the reading.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Three?

    The conclusion, though somewhat contrived, is truly a revelation. I can anticipate ( and hope for ) a sequel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    As above.


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

    True Survivors?


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sprawling, powerful and fascinating book. I can't say enough about the performers . Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lincoln Myth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Steve Berry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (239)

    New York Times best-selling author Steve Berry returns with his latest thriller, a Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely - not only in Malone’s world, but in ours. September 1861: All is not as it seems. With these cryptic words, a shocking secret passed down from president to president comes to rest in the hands of Abraham Lincoln.

    Morrell says: "Painful and Confusing"
    "Torn from today's headlines...or making them!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Lincoln Myth in three words, what would they be?

    Convuluted
    Fast moving
    Clever


    What did you like best about this story?

    Berry does his usual amazing deep history dive, and takes the listened on a complex journey through Mormon and US Civil War and founding fathers history. In some ways, I feel like I was in a classroom, albeit one populated with the usual cast of Cotton Malone etc.


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

    As usual, SB brings the book to life, with his typical bombast and drama. In some parts he may be abit over the top, but his take on the Profet was in particularly powerful.


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

    Actually I came close. Yes, given the opportunity


    Any additional comments?

    How many times can you include the 11 dollar word " devoid " in a novel? At least 4, it turns out!

    So I happened to like this offering by Stevie B alot, but I can also agree with other critics who note the bombast, the preachiness at the end, and the never ending drama between Cotton Malone and Catherina Vitt. PuhLease....let this be!!!! As a fictional plot carrying device, it really is losing it's cache.
    I also think that President Danny Daniels needs to step away gracefully now.

    All this said, if you are a Cotton Malone/Berry/Brick fan, you will definitely enjoy this one. Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Kraken Project: Wyman Ford, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (172)

    NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.

    Jacqueline says: "Kraken Project? Not Really!"
    "Not his best outing..but hey, we all mess up!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A Preston fanatic, or someone of similar ilk.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Douglas Preston again?

    Sure. Preston misses the mark here on several fronts, but hey, not eveything works. Let's give him a break here. ( That said, this book is rather childish and predictable.)


    What about Scott Sowers’s performance did you like?

    All of it.He is a professional.


    What character would you cut from The Kraken Project?

    Dorothy.


    Any additional comments?

    OK I admit this was not ideal, but it passed the time. Maybe not worth a credit, but I enjoyed some of it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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