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crazybatcow

I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

East Coast, Canada | Member Since 2007

1646
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 256 reviews
  • 362 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Max Brooks
    • Narrated By Max Brooks, Alan Alda, John Turturro, and others
    Overall
    (5310)
    Performance
    (3573)
    Story
    (3583)

    The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

    Steve says: "Good but Too Short!"
    "A Fictious "nonfiction""
    Overall

    The book, obviously, is fiction but it is read and presented as if it was non-fiction, and this is done very well. If one didn't know better (i.e. one was from off-planet), it would seem as though these events really did happen, which makes it pretty interesting.

    The reading is very well done - engaging and lively. I didn't realize the story was abridged (never heard of it before seeing it here on Audible) but I can see how whole sections might have been cut out as each "interview" stands alone so there's no way to know what was left out. I don't think the abridgment is bad though because I don't feel like I missed something, and as it was, parts of the story were a bit slow (some of the individual's stories were much more interesting than others). If someone hadn't told me it was abridged, I don't think I'd have known.

    It is definitely worth a credit. I'd have given it 5 stars except, as I said, there a a couple parts (mainly the politicians I guess) where the "interviews" weren't as interesting as some others. The concept (fiction presented as reality) is different and enjoyable.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Undead Haze: Undead, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Eloise J. Knapp
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (83)

    The apocalypse just got worse. When remorse drives Cyrus to abandon his hidden compound he doesn't realize what new dangers lurk in the undead world. He knows he must wade through the vilest remains of humanity and hordes of zombies to settle scores and find the one person who might understand him. But this time, it won't be so easy. Zombies and unpleasant survivors aren't the only thing Cyrus has to worry about. Not anymore.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "It has been worth the wait"
    "As realistic as a zombie book could be..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is actually a bit better than book one. It is a mature, non-hack-n-slash zombie book - well, there is some hack-n-slash, but it is not so much against the zombies as it is against the other survivors.

    In fact... it is almost like the zombies are just a side concern of the book. There is only interaction with them when necessary, and all the 'bad guys' here are other humans. Zombies are sorta treated like mosquitoes: very annoying, you try to avoid them, and kill them when they're close enough, but you won't be digging out the fogger to spray the forest around you.

    Cyrus does spend a little too much time thinking about how sociopathic he is (or is not as the case may be), but I suppose that is also part of his narcissistic nature.

    Is the, err, religous extremism realistic... no, not really, but it is as well written as such a theme could be. And these fanatics are as believable as anything else is in a zombie apocalypse. It is well-paced overall, and the characters are actually pretty well-fleshed.

    The narration is very good, there is some swearing but overall, it is not particularly graphic or gory. I will keep my eyes open for more books by Knapp.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Syndrome E

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Franck Thilliez, Mark Polizzotti (translator)
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (84)

    The classic police procedural meets cutting-edge science in this huge international best seller. Already a runaway bestseller in France, Syndrome E tells the story of beleaguered detective Lucie Henebelle, whose old friend has developed a case of spontaneous blindness after watching an extremely rare—and violent—film from the 1950s. Embedded in the film are subliminal images so unspeakably heinous that Lucie realizes she must get to the bottom of it—especially when nearly everyone who comes into contact with the film starts turning up dead.

    Just Jen says: "Unique and entertaining, an absolute must."
    "Strong beginning, peters out before it concludes."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book on sale and had no idea that it was part of a series, but after some investigation, it turns out that it is: this makes more sense... Sharko did not feel like a 'new' character here, and I kinda wish I had read the back stories before this one.

    That being said, I really enjoyed the tone (dark), the vigilante-feel, and the flawed characters in this book. The first part of the book is better than the latter (and final) parts of the book. The pacing changed from an un-folding story to a 'lecture-style' exposé. And the vigilante component just goes away. In fact, the resolution of the story is based on the description of events by several 3rd parties (some of whom are added in at the last minute) rather than by the detectives discovering clues that lead to the resolution. And I think there are a few too many characters... some just popping in long enough to set the stage for the next scene, and then they disappear (or are killed) .

    Originally, I hadn't realized that it was a translated book, but even that makes more sense now - some of the wording is, ahh... heavier ... than it would be in a North American written novel. And the settings and travel methods are definitely European.

    I am actually going to go read the previous books in the series now... I really like Sharko as a main character - he is so different from the usual detective.

    The narration is very good and there is no graphic violence or sex in the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloodshot

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Cherie Priest
    • Narrated By Natalie Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (223)

    Raylene Pendle (AKA Cheshire Red), a vampire and world-renowned thief, doesn’t usually hang with her own kind. She’s too busy stealing priceless art and rare jewels. But when the infuriatingly charming Ian Stott asks for help, Raylene finds him impossible to resist - even though Ian doesn’t want precious artifacts. He wants her to retrieve missing government files: documents that deal with the secret biological experiments that left Ian blind. What Raylene doesn’t bargain for is a case that takes her from the frozen outskirts of Minneapolis to the mean streets of Atlanta.

    Eivind says: "A notch above"
    "Made me want to go find the next book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book. When I finished it, I immediately did a search to see if there was another in the series, or at least with the same characters. It is uncommon that I enjoy a book enough that I will seek out others by the same author rather than continue through my current reading list...so that might be 'nuff said.

    Naw... I'll add more. The main character is strong and independent and non-whiny (nice change for female leads in urban fantasy) and while there are men in the story, she is not dependent on them being around to save her. There are some decent supporting characters - none of which are stereotypical. In fact, it is almost like Priest thought about what *would* be stereotypical in this genre, and twisted them to something else completely.

    The ending was not as resolved as I would have liked it to be, but it was not a cliff-hanger, and, of course, it is book one (of two at the moment)... so I suppose there has to be something to resolve to warrant book 2. And I will go out now and get it!

    The narration is very good and it was not particularly gory or graphic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trapped: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4531)
    Performance
    (4152)
    Story
    (4173)

    After 12 years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge - but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief.

    Katherine says: "Trapped"
    "You'll keep reading just for Oberon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I took a bit of a break between the previous book in this series and this one. But I am very glad that I came back to it. This was one of my favourite instalments so far...

    There was a bit of romance that I think any series readers would have already seen coming. I don't know that it added anything to the story, however. It was not detailed or graphic and, actually, the sex scenes were treated more like interlude between events... something that was there just to give the sense of time passing.

    There is plenty of Oberon too. Not so much that he got annoying, but enough that it was pretty funny when he did 'speak up'. There was just a bit of mythological history in here; quite a bit less than some of the other books in the series. I liked that Hearne didn't try to turn it into a myth text book.

    The story is told via a series of vingette encounters with the 'bad guys' and I have to admit the overarching storyline that held these little segments together was a little on the sparse side. It felt mostly like: attack A, escape and investigate, attack B, escape and romantic interlude, attack C confront the source and resolve.

    Hah... even saying all that, I still really enjoyed this book. The pacing is terrific, Oberon is terrific, even Atticus has some decent one-liners. I don't think you'd enjoy it nearly as much if you hadn't read the rest of the series. There is no cliffhanger, but I will be reading the next in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ex-Communication

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1160)
    Performance
    (1075)
    Story
    (1072)

    In the years since the wave of living death swept the globe, St George and his fellow heroes haven't just kept Los Angeles' last humans alive - they’ve created a real community, a bustling town that's spreading beyond its original walls and swelling with new refugees. But now one of the heroes, perhaps the most powerful among them, seems to be losing his mind. The implacable enemy known as Legion has found terrifying new ways of using zombies as pawns in his attacks.

    Lore says: "Corpse Girl for the win!"
    "Back to good, which is good too..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book one was good, book two was excellent, and this book is back to good. Overall the series was a great read, but individually, this might have been the weakest book of the three.

    Why? Because nothing really happened. The book was spent exploring the characters' relationships with each other, more than interacting with the outside world. Also... the bad guys seemed like they were tacked on. We start the book with Legion - ohh... very bad - but then we get the demon appearance and Legion just sorta fades to the background. The reason for Legion's end-story acquiesance doesn't ring true, especially considering how focused on rage he was in the first of the book. And I don't really believe the heroes' naivete that led to the freeing of the demon in the first place.

    The existing main characters were still there, and a couple were added, but... some of the previously added heroes (Driver) were just cameos here. There was a little bit of mystery around Corpse girl, but it didn't go anywhere in this story - I am hoping it will be further developed in the next book.

    But, even so, it was a great series and now that I see there is another book in the series, I will go get it!

    Narration is excellent, there is no gore or significant violence, and any swearing was not excessive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sun of Suns: Book One of Virga - Free Version

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Karl Schroeder
    • Narrated By Joyce Irvine
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (48)

    It is the distant future. The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon 3,000 kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and aimlessly floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and "towns" that are in the shape of enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for gravity.

    Maureen says: "A very good... listen."
    "Took a couple tries to get into it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually started this book twice. The first time I got hopelessly lost in the first chapter so put it down. The 2nd time, I stuck it out until the world and setting made sense. This took a little bit of effort, but if you can make it past that initial hiccup with a foreign world, and their measures of space, etc, it is actually quite an engaging story.

    I will likely read more in the series, but they will be lower down on my reading list because, well, there is not really a cliff-hanger here that requires you to pick up the next book. Maybe we are supposed to care about the characters and want to find out what happens to them, but... I don't think they are strong enough, or distinct enough, that we really care. I almost hate to admit it, but it happened more than once that I got Vanera Fanning mixed up with Hayden's love interest. - Oh, and where did that come from anyway?... until the love interest occured, I was sure Hayden was 16... I even attempted to do math to figure out his age.

    The part I did like about the book was the world/reality they inhabit and how it interacts with the "outside" world, and what this outside world actually is. And what Virga is, and why... you get my drift? It was the hard components of the science fiction and not Schroeder's attempt to write characters that made this story worth reading.

    The narration was okay... the narrator has a British accent and is older and female, so it didn't necessarily fit the main character who is young and male. There might have been a tiny bit of swearing, but no graphic anything.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ex-Patriots

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam, Mark Boyett, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1850)
    Performance
    (1643)
    Story
    (1652)

    It’s been two years since the world ended. Two years since the dead rose and the plague of ex-humanity decimated mankind. For most of that time, the superhero called St. George, formerly known to the world as the Mighty Dragon, has protected the people of Los Angeles at their film-studio-turned-fortress, The Mount. Together with his fellow heroes, he’s tried to give the survivors hope and something like a real life. But the swollen population of The Mount is becoming harder and harder to sustain....

    Ryan David Bedford says: "Best worst book ever!"
    "More suspenseful than first book, plus a twist..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is even better than Ex-Heroes (the first book in the series). It is suspenseful, and there is a twist (or maybe even two twists) that I did not expect.

    It is a rather mature zombie book (i.e. there is more to the story than just zombies eating everyone) and, while some readers have complained about the swearing, I didn't find it excessive at all. There are a couple characters who swear, but they don't show up much.

    The heroes just feel like regular people, who have the goal of trying their best to save the remaining people from zombies. We don't really bat an eye at their powers because the powers are seamlessly woven into the story. And the heroes are distinct and we are made to care about them as individuals, not just in how they can save the day.

    I think Clines is becoming a better writer the more he writes. I look forward to the next book in the series because I can't wait to see what the heroes do next, and if they can, indeed, save what is left of the world. There is not a cliff-hanger so you don't *have* to go out and buy the next book immediately, but I did anyway.

    The narration is very good, there is some swearing but no real gore or graphic content.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Junkie Quatrain

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (775)
    Performance
    (715)
    Story
    (726)

    Six months ago, the world ended. The Baugh Contagion swept across the planet. Its victims were left twitching, adrenalized cannibals that quickly became know as Junkies. Civilization crumbled as people created isolated safe havens to hide from the infected... and the possibly infected. Now, as society nears a tipping point, lives will intersect and intertwine across two days in a desolate city.

    Tango says: "An awesome set of vignettes"
    "Yay! Not really short stories after all..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was (sort of ) a collection of 4 inter-related short stories. I am not sure if I knew that fact when I started the book and, if I had, I might have skipped it because I don't normally like short stories. However, this book reads more like a single story, told from 4 different view points. Sure, each of the sections has different characters as the centrepiece, but they are all connected, and the world and happenings in it are all the same.

    So, essentially, it is a novel with 4 different main characters rather than a collection of short stories. And I actually quite enjoyed it. It is a zombie tale, so of course there is the usual death and gore, but it is not a hack-n-slash type, and the characters do behave in normal ways (i.e. the author doesn't make them do stupid things like walk down a dark alley by themselves in order to create an opportunity for "bad things" to happen).

    There is a logical explanation for the zombie breakout because they are not actually the living dead (which would take a greater leap of faith to accept as possible) - they are infected with a virus, which does make the possibility of their existence quite believable. (Don't misunderstand me though, this is a zombie novel, so, of course, there is a whole level of gross behaviour that will require you suspend your disbelief).

    The narration is good, there is no sex, minimal swearing and not much gore, considering it is a zombie book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stray: Shifters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rachel Vincent
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1256)
    Performance
    (641)
    Story
    (642)

    "I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds. Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked."

    Alexis says: "Loved it!"
    "As good as any in the genre..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is not as strong as Armstrong's wolf series, but... it is a decent story, for a were book published by a romance line.

    What I didn't like about it is the misogynistic bent of 3/4 of the story. I assume this is to appeal to the "romance" readers who have been conditioned to think of women as weak, and ready and willing to be saved by the knight in shining armour. Perhaps Vincent was trying to make a point with this: such as how silly it is to treat women this way, but... there was so much time spent covering the same material on how the men in her life controlled Faythe that it became obnoxious to read.

    For example, every time a male character came into a scene, he tried (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much) to control her. It was like not a single male could think of her as a real person, and not a possession.

    The sad thing is that she WAS written as a strong character, and was fully capable and competent. She just wasn't allowed to be so. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if there was less focus on "look how controlling men are" and more focus on how Faythe solved the problems all by her little self.

    But, other than that, I quite liked the storyline, and the main character. I will read more in the series. The narration was good and it is not gory or particularly graphic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Domain of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Iain McKinnon
    • Narrated By Karl Miller, Iain McKinnon
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (107)

    The world is dead, devoured by a plague of reanimated corpses. In a crumbling city, Sarah, Nathan, and a band of survivors barricade themselves inside a warehouse surrounded by a sea of shambling putrefaction. Days in seclusion blur by, and their food is nearly gone. The group is faced with two possible deaths: creeping starvation, or the undead outside the warehouse. As Sarah stands on the edge of the warehouse roof preparing to step out into oblivion she spots a glimmer of hope.

    Amanda says: "CERTIFIABLE ZOMBIE BOOK"
    "Bad, even for a zombie novel..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sorry... if a woman literally just watched a man get killed, turn into a zombie and nearly succeed in biting her, the very next thought in her head WILL NEVER be how hot the guy next to her is. PERIOD. NEVER. If you think it could be, you're obviously 12. Or related to this author.

    Zombie has no bite marks. Zombie has a`"love bite" (aka hickey) on her breast. You have a conversation that the zombie virus is like AIDS and spread by body fluids and is NOT airborn. So the boss concludes: it MUST have mutated and become airborn because he is too stupid to think...hmmm... body fluids... lovebite on breast. wonder if she was having sex with someone?

    How the hell else did a lovebite arrive on her breast you numbskull?!

    Was this the worst scene? Yeah, probably... but it is also representative. And, sadly, to top it off, the book just stops mid-scene...I don't know if this is part of a series and there is another book where the story is finished, but I assure you, I won't be buying it if there is.

    It is poorly written but not particularly gory or violent, for a zombie book. There is some swearing, no sex and no plot to worry about.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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