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AudioBookReviewer

All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

Madison, WI, United States | Member Since 2011

1467
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 276 reviews
  • 307 ratings
  • 770 titles in library
  • 136 purchased in 2015
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126

  • Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!: A Very Grimm Tale

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Yuri Rasovsky
    • Narrated By Simon Helberg, Barry Creyton, Kate Burton, and others
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    With the premiere of two new film versions of the Snow White tale, Blackstone enters the fray with its own adult, edgy, and not altogether serious full-cast exposé of fairy-taledom. At last it can be told! Was Snow White really as pure as the driven snow? Did her allegedly wicked stepmother get a bum rap from the Grimm brothers? What went on behind the closed Dutch doors of the dwarves’ cottage? How many handsome princes does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    AudioBookReviewer says: "This is more of a mash up"
    "This is more of a mash up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think that Die, Snow White! Die, Damn You!: A Very Grimm Tale is more of a mash up of many recognizable faerie tales. Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, Hazel and Gretel, and of course Snow White. This audio performance proved to be hilarious at times, and is definitely for adults only as it is full of sexual innuendos, cursing and more than likely offensive to many. Sound effects and music is something that I am not accustomed to, it did make this performance much more enjoyable. All that said it did entertain me, making me wonder where on Earth will it go next.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Fire Sermon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Francesca Haig
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (366)
    Story
    (372)

    Four hundred years in the future the Earth has turned primitive, following a nuclear fire that laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair one is an Alpha - physically perfect in every way - and the other an Omega burdened with deformity, small or large.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "fantastic narration Lauren Fortgang"
    "fantastic narration Lauren Fortgang"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It would seem that if you compare a new book to the Hunger Games my interest will be piqued. Maybe I am a sucker, maybe I simply yearn for another series that will completely transport me to another reality.

    The Fire Sermon did just what I wanted it to, in the beginning that is. The Earth has been transformed by nuclear war or fallout or something to that effect. The remaining survivors have been plagued with an interesting dilemma. There are no more only children, there are only twins being born. What Haig has termed as an Alpha and an Omega. Alpha’s are perfect in every way and the Omega’s are deformed in some fashion and it is not always obvious.

    The Omega’s are driven from the normal society because everyone is afraid of them, or their deformities. Here’s the real kicker. If your twin dies, you die. It is that simple.

    Beyond this interesting take on a post apocalyptic storyline it is a basic rebellion story. The outcasts form their own society and become overcome with hatred for those that shunned them. They rise up to try and smash those they hate and in the process loose many of their ranks.

    I kept listening because I wanted something spectacular to happen. For me, it didn’t. Fairly shallow characters that left some to be desired. There was a love triangle that was contrived by Haig and never really developed.

    I didn’t see the ending coming, right away, and was a good conclusion to the first book in this series. Not sure if I will continue on with it or not.

    If you are craving a young adult post apocalyptic audiobook with fantastic narration, The Fire Sermon will quench it. Even though the story left a little to be desired.

    Where The Fire Sermon really shines is with the performance by Lauren Fortgang. From the first second she was able to grab my attention and wouldn’t let go. There have been only a handful of narrators that I would be happy listening to them read tax law or the phone book, Fortgang is now one of them.

    Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • In the Arms of Family: Adrian's Undead Diary, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Chris Philbrook
    • Narrated By James Foster
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (118)

    In Book Six of Adrian's Undead Diary, no one near Adrian is safe. Many will make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that he can keep his loved ones protected at any cost, and rebuild a new, better world. In the Arms of Family also follows Kevin and Michelle as their stories entwine and bring them ever closer to the horrors that surround Adrian across the vast Atlantic Ocean. How long can they survive before the dead finish what they came to do?

    AudioBookReviewer says: "This sixth book is no different than the rest"
    "This sixth book is no different than the rest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been struggling with how to write a review for the sixth book in a series that I have already gushed all over and about. I mean if you are even considering this book to read or listen to you have probably experienced the first five in the series.

    So I think I am going to keep this one short and sweet.

    The Adrian’s Undead Diary series has become one of my favorite zombie audiobook series. For many reasons including but not limited to the following. Extremely thought out and mostly believable character development, I have been led to believe, in my head, that they are all real people that I care about. I smile when they are happy, get mad when they are, etc. All tied together with a sense of humor that is right up my alley.

    This sixth book is no different than the rest of the series. Adrian’s emotions get played with in more than one way. I particularly enjoyed some of the zombie encounters more so than in others in the series, just grittier. I feel there is a big giant almost unpushable toe pusher coming in the very near future for our gang. If you are not sure what I am talking about and enjoy humor about bodily excretions, read this series.

    James Foster is one of the many reasons why this series is so popular in the audio format. He has been able to find a voice for Adrian and stuck to it unwaveringly. He added all of the subtle pauses and barely audible sounds to the performance that made me, and many others, feel as if we were right there along side of Adrian.

    I will continue to be first in line to get my grubby hands, err ears, on all of the following audiobook with the duo of Foster and Philbrook. If you haven’t had the experience, what are you waiting for?

    Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Beam: Season 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller, Tara Sands, Ralph Lister, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (186)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (161)

    Choose Enterprise and the government stays out of your way, leaving you free to sink or swim - no help for the drowning. Choose Directorate and all are equal, fed, sheltered and entertained by the government, every need provided for, and every man another cog in society's machine.

    Thomas says: "Gritty Dystopian SF at its BEST!!!"
    "The synopsis for this book doesn’t do it justice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The synopsis for this book doesn’t do it justice. It’s only one nano connection in the broad spectrum that is The Beam. Whether the topic is politics, technology, or the backstory of The Beam, the plot is always moving forward. In fact, it’s so chock full of constantly evolving plot lines and subplots that if you stop reading for too long, you need to really take a few minutes to remember where you were. Because of that and its addictive nature, this is a book best read binge-style.

    The characters are varied, ranging from a famous singer to political leaders to hippie rebels and beyond. You won’t find yourself wishing there was more diversity, and the character development is done slowly and carefully. It felt as if the technology introduced throughout the book, including The Beam itself, was its own character, with its own backstory, development, and mysteries. The Beam’s personification put this book well beyond the usual dystopian sci-fi bounds and dips into literary fiction in an unexpected way. I was very impressed with that.

    The one disclaimer I have to give is that there are parts that seem like the authors wrote them separately and didn’t review each other’s work – they seem to overlap in ways that don’t fit. Be patient. At first I thought there was some huge editing oversight, but later on I saw everything come together and make sense.

    The audio talent is good and plentiful with 12 narrators of very different timbres and tones. I’ve seen in many reviews that the voice of Doc is the most criticized, and while I found Doc’s voice to take a little bit of getting used to, I grew fond of him quickly and looked forward to his narrations. I did, however, feel that there were far too many narrators. While I understand the parallel of an epic amount of narrators with an epic technology thriller series, the sheer volume of voice talent confused me, especially as new talent was introduced well into the book, and some voice talent read the same characters in ways different enough from other voice talents that I noticed and concentrated on the difference. Any facet of a book or audiobook that takes away from the writing is less than ideal, in my opinion.

    In true Platt and Truant style, The Beam ends in a way no one could guess and leaves you hanging on an uncertain yet satisfying set of facts. A set of facts that will make you read Season 2, which I’m about to start doing right now.

    Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3012)
    Performance
    (2810)
    Story
    (2809)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Alexis says: "Fun! Things you might want to know:"
    "combination of sci-fi and police procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In Lock In you get a combination of sci-fi and police procedural. The future setting feels real and other than the technology is not so different from today. We follow Agent Shane, who grew up as a poster child for Hayden’s Syndrome and is trying to leave that behind him, on his first day of work for the FBI which also happens to be a the first day of the Haden Walkout in protest of legislation that is going to go into effect taking away much of the government funding/benefits to people with Hayden’s. Agent Shane is paired up with the jaded and rough around the edges Agent Van, she used to be an Integrator for people with Hayden’s, so they each have a fairly unique understanding of each other, even as they get to know each other as partners. Shane’s first real day on the job starts with a murder that involves and Integrator and we get to watch the story unfold as clues are provided. Some of the plot was predictable and some of it very easy to figure out, ultimately it was a very tangled web weaved by the time the “bad guy” is revealed. While the story is wrapped up nice and neat at the end, there is still a possibility of another story for a new investigation. I hope we do see more as the characters were fun and would love to read more.

    This was my first Audiobook narrated by Wil Wheaton, I thought he did a great job and I plan on looking for more books narrated by him. While he did not change his voice much for the different characters, I found I did not have a problem following which character was speaking. I prefer to hear a narrator do this rather than give a voice that does not fit the character, which I find can ruin a good audio. The novella at the end has several different narrators, off hand I recognized Luke Daniels, Tavia Gilbert, and Therese Plummer…, the novella was interesting and helped answer questions I had while listening to Lock In, I like how it is done documentary style.

    All in all this was a good story; good narration and I look forward to reading/listening to more by John Scalzi

    Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Legion

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4541)
    Performance
    (4098)
    Story
    (4167)

    Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion,' is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his 'aspects' are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society.

    Joshua says: "The only flaw..."
    "What do you do when you have 47 personalities"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What do you do when you have 47 personalities who act separately from you and with each other? Solve crimes, of course. Stephen Leeds does not have personality disorder (at least according to him), he is completely aware of his many personalities, knows they are not real, yet interacts with them as people. Essentially they are different aspects of his brilliant mind that each have unique skills. He can call on them to help him with cryptography, handwriting analysis, chemical engineering, even languages, and come in pretty handy to solve the most challenging mysteries.

    Steven Leeds and his several personalities (you don’t meet all of them, about 10) are funny, neurotic, helpful, strange and just fun. Written in the first person, you get a myopic view of Stephen Leeds’ life, but one couldn’t imagine doing this another way.

    The book is very short, not much longer than a lengthy short story, even less than a novella. That is fine, it works, though if you used one credit on Audible, you might be a little disappointed how quickly it goes. The plot and the supporting characters are ridiculous and forgettable. The point of the story is the personalities and how they interact with each other and the world. It’s good fun and worth the two hour listen.

    Oliver Wyman does a fine job with the narration, keeping the characters clearly defined in your ear. His pacing is good and he remains “transparent” throughout the book, leaving the story for the listener to imagine.

    Don’t look for earth shattering revelations or philosophical enlightenment from Legion, just a couple of hours distraction. Overall this is a fun listen and you’ll get through it quickly with a smile on your face.

    Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Elseerian: The Chronicles of Lumineia, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ben Hale
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (533)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (494)

    The assassination of heroes was once a warning... for an invasion that nearly destroyed the world. Nations were slaughtered, cities were erased from existence, and defending armies were crushed into oblivion. In weeks, all life stood on the verge of extinction. But the end did not come. Instead the black horde vanished, leaving terrified survivors... and rumors. As the centuries passed the holocaust faded into legend, and finally myth. Across the southern sea a gifted young man is completing his training.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "This book left me both impatient and content"
    "This book left me both impatient and content"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First thoughts about the cover of Elseerian: The Chronicles of Lumineia, Book 1? A man carrying a knife in each hand being stalked by red glowing eyes and a scythe. Interesting.

    Is the man a hunter? A fighter? A mercenary? Is that death stalking him, or is it a sign that he brings death?

    The main character is Taryn. He is part elf, part something else. He is stronger, faster, and is excellent with several types of weapons. Almost the perfect weapon in human form. What takes away from his perfection? He hesitates on taking a life. That helps make him that much better of a person. Less of an assassin type, more of a person that has faults and fears.

    Liri seems to be the secondary main character. *Spoiler alert* She’s an elf princess. She’s also an absolutely great marksman with a bow. She’s Taryn’s best friend. Her ability to put people at ease and be social help show us how awkward Taryn is in social situations. It’s a lovely contrast. She is strong, witty, and a great partner for Taryn.

    The Narrator is Derek Perkins. He has a lovely accent. It’s soothing and kind of poetic. Think favorite reading spot, warm tea and honey, and whatever favorite reading cookie that brings you comfort. That is his voice. That is how his voice soaks in and soothes.

    And as for his voice being compared to a favorite reading cookie? You can never settle for just a little. The Author is Ben Hale. This book is 12 hours long.The story starts with a nice suspense, but then slows for awhile. Once it gets going again, it picks up the pace and helps hold the attention. Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Pirates, and many more different people are in this story. The back story of Taryn being an orphan and the story having the underlying of him trying to find answers of his heritage help keep the reader and/or listener hooked in and wanting more. Thankfully there are more books in The Chronicles of Lumineia storyline.

    This book left me both impatient and content. Impatient for more of this story. And content because it made me happy. It is a great book. Loads of well written fight scenes, witty banter, and a young love lurking at the edge. Not a lot of gore, perfect for the mid-teen and up reader. Would definitely suggest it to others.

    Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Sub-Human: Post-Human Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By David Simpson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (155)

    Before he was Old-timer, he was Craig Emilson, a young doctor, sucked into military service at the outbreak of World War III. Enlisting to become a Special Forces suborbital paratrooper, Craig is selected to take part in the most important mission in American military history - a sortie into enemy territory to eliminate the world's first strong Artificial Intelligence. The mission is only the beginning of Craig's story, and for the story of humanity as well, as they accelerate towards a world that is post-human.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "X-Men meets Quantum Leap"
    "X-Men meets Quantum Leap"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a familiarity one feels while listening to Sub Human, not in the sense that you may have heard the book before, but that you are in a friendly place. Simpson manages to take many complex technological ideas and simplify them to a state of “oh, yeah, that will certainly happen.” Why shouldn’t we fly or be able to hold our breath for hours, or walk through nuclear fallout unscathed. There are some questionable leaps in science that are simply fun and give the imagination a playground for exploration. Parallel universes moving at different rates; why not? Most listeners will enjoy the ride.

    If one could complain about anything, it would be that some of the ideas are not explored deeper; a kind of hunger for more, but that’s a positive thing that should keep us coming back for sequels. The characters are reasonably well developed, though unfortunately predictable at times, just short of two dimensional. No reason to spoil the plot here, just that, some characters just don’t have the depth one would hope for. Good enough to keep the ride rolling along, but not good enough to care too much when someone gets erased.

    The narration is by Ray Chase, who does an outstanding job. He is good at differentiating the character voices, and generally doesn’t get in the way of the story. He has a kind of affectation to his voice that sometimes took this listener out of the story. But that is more of a personal objection, and most listeners should be more than satisfied with his performance. He is clearly a pro.

    Sub Human is the first book in the Post Human Series. The plot wraps up completely and doesn’t leave the listener hanging at all. You will likely want to continue to the next book in the series, not to find out what happens next, but to hear about your favorite characters in a new situation altogether.

    Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Arsonist

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Victor Methos
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (32)

    A series of deadly fires rages across the cityscape, claiming the lives of entire families. Helpless to stop the fires, the SDPD assigns their most famous detective, Jon Stanton, to the case. The evidence points him to a single arsonist committing the horrendous acts. But with a troubled young girl as his only credible witness, Stanton is running out of time. The San Diego PD's in-house arson investigator does not believe the fires correspond to the work of an arsonist and impedes the investigation into the murders. Stanton is left on his own to find the deadliest, and most powerful opponent he has ever faced....

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Warning – There are some graphic scenes"
    "Warning – There are some graphic scenes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First thoughts about the cover of Arsonist? A naked bald person curled up in a fetal huddle? Odd, very odd. Is this a sign of someone needing help? A mental disorder? Someone being tortured? The red fire lettering of the title give the cover an even more ominous feel.

    The main character is Jon Stanton. He is a police detective with the San Diego Police Department. He is kind, caring, and determined to stop the arsonist from hurting anymore people. He has to struggle to deal with a lousy partner, police politics, and the arsonist focusing his attention onto him when he gets in the way.

    The Narrator is R.C. Bray. He has a very calming voice. I found it to be very soothing with a hint of a deeper rumble in some of the characters’ voices. The Author is Victor Methos. This story is Book Four of the Jon Stanton series. It is six hours and thirty minutes long.

    Warning – There are some graphic scenes in this book. I would not recommend this book for a young or teen audience. The usual suspects of blood and sex. It had several good detailed scenes of fires and fire aftermaths. This book left me thinking about the addictions people have and hide from others. About children being warped and broken by their parents and turning into warped broken adults. And about how people have choices to either become the evil they have been shown or face it and become better persons for having known that darkness.

    Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Monsters

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Peter Cawdron
    • Narrated By Josh Carpenter, Michele Carpenter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Monsters is a dystopian audiobook set against the backdrop of the collapse of civilization. The fallout from a passing comet contains a biological pathogen, not a virus or a living organism, just a collection of amino acids, but these cause animals to revert to the age of the mega-fauna, when monsters roamed Earth.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Cawdron holds our hands through every phrase"
    "Cawdron holds our hands through every phrase"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A large comet passes close to earth and deposits an unknown pathogen into the atmosphere. Most animals mutate into larger versions of themselves, bears, insects, bats, dogs, cats, rats, everything except humans. Civilization shrinks and reverts back to feudal/medieval times. Technology and learning become the enemy. Eventually, ignorance is embraced as people who are able to read are burned as witches. The two main characters are a father, and later, his son, who both fall in love with injured women whom they rescue.

    Unfortunately, Cawdron’s preaching and pedagogy get in the way of what might be a good story. The listener is bashed over the head about how important books and newspapers are. Hello, we’re reading here. It’s difficult to get into the story as Cawdron holds our hands through every phrase, repeating and rephrasing every thought, just in case we didn’t understand something. It’s like being taught physics by a kindergarten teacher. You’ll soon find yourself rooting for the giant animals to quickly eat the annoying humans.

    The narration is by Josh Carpenter and Michele Carpenter. They might be married, brother and sister, or coincidentally have the same last names, we’re not told. There is quite a bit of acting, particularly on the part of Michele Carpenter. If you want a transparent listening experience, you won’t like this. There are some long pauses between commas, which can be quite annoying. If you are listening with good headphones, you’ll hear the occasional page turn and mouth noises too.

    The audience for this book seems to be those who like the idea of fantasy and science fiction, but don’t want to read about hard science. The monsters (the large and dangerous predatory animals for whom the book is named) play a very small part in the story, staying more as a backdrop to what is ultimately a romance novel with just a hint of science fiction.

    Audiobook provided for review by the author.

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Breakers: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Edward W. Robertson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (377)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (350)

    In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter. When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn't the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA.

    Dan says: "Excellent Book 1"
    "Time moves really weirdly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For an apocalyptic where the reader gets to see the devastation and destruction WHILE it is happening, this was a bit slow. Time moves really weirdly. One minute seems like forever and it is difficult to know how much time the characters go through. Months go by but there is no real indication of when or where it went.

    The characters were quite brilliant though. I really enjoyed how they went about surviving. Even knowing that this is probably the apocalypse and getting their stuff together. It’s fabulous. It is also what would happen in the real world. The only downside was that it was difficult to tell the two main characters, Walt and Raymond, apart. So much so that it took me a minute when the story skipped back and forth at the beginning. This does fix itself as the story goes on, fortunately. Or maybe I just got more into the characters and could tell their own stories apart. Either way, it got better.

    The narration was great for this. Ray Chase has a way of really inducing intensity into his voice. It’s entertaining and brings that intensity to portions of the plot that are not even that intense. Deep and gravelly, perfect for this type of story. Audio produciton was perfection!

    I loved the pop culture references and jokes. We would all do it. It’s a huge part of reducing stress for some. That or kill other people, I guess. I’d prefer telling jokes. Sometimes they went a bit too far but I was with the story enough at that point that it did not bother me too much.

    The sci fi portion threw me though. There’s a twist that I did enjoy reading, but I needed a little more. Overall it was good, but not fabulous.

    Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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