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crazybatcow

East Coast, Canada | Member Since 2015

2990
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 374 reviews
  • 496 ratings
  • 657 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2018
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  • Rise Again: A Zombie Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Ben Tripp
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (595)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (540)

    Filled with adventurous human drama-and shocking inhuman horror - Rise Again is a vivid and powerful debut novel of the zombie apocalypse.

    crazybatcow says: "A zombie story that has real people in it."
    "A zombie story that has real people in it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So... you're thinking, yet another zombie book. Well, yes and no. It is another zombie book and zombies are bad, and people are bad when the world falls apart - at least many of them are... but... this one is actually better written than a lot of the more recent zombie schlock out there - particularly in how well the people are written. Of course, there is the standard zombie gore and hack-n-slash, and this part is not very different or unique, but... the characters are distinct and real, and they behave in mostly normal ways. They don't suddenly become super heroes, and the women are not just there to be raped then rescued (or rescued then raped)...

    Sure, the women are rescued then raped - it is still a genre novel and the author relies heavily on the stereotype behaviour of humankind (dare I say "men"?) post-apocalypse - but the women are not ONLY there for that. The main character is a strong woman (non-lesbian too, nice change to see a female lead that isn't portrayed as a pseudo-man). Sure, she is flawed and damaged, but most male protagonists are as well...

    The author actually made me care what happened to the people in the story - this doesn't happen very often in zombie books; normally I just read them for the action and zombie bashing and don't really care which of the "survivors" survive until the end of the book because we aren't usually able to tell them apart. In this case, however, we want at least the main character and her original entourage to survive... because... well, we like them.

    The narration is seamless (you will forget it is being narrated). There is zombie gore but it isn't particularly graphic. There is some swearing and no sex. There is a bit of a twist at the end, but it isn't truly a cliff-hanger: I bought the next book in the series at full price on Audible as soon as I finished this one.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Zero Sum

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (644)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (589)

    Returning to Tokyo in 1982 after a decade of mercenary work in the Philippines, a young John Rain learns that the killing business is now controlled by Victor, a half-Russian, half-Japanese sociopath who has ruthlessly eliminated all potential challengers. Victor gives Rain a choice: kill a government minister or die a grisly death. But the best route to the minister is through his gorgeous Italian wife, Maria.

    shelley says: "Welcome back John Rain!"
    "Have I mentioned I love Eisler?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, I actually search for and buy every book Eisler releases. I particularly like the John Rain series... every one of them. This was no exception. It is a prequel and shows us a John Rain near the start of his career/learning curve.

    The drawback to a prequel is that we lose the suspense of knowing if Rain will 'survive'. But the advantage of it is learning more about him and his character/skills development. And, of course, Eisler has just the right mix of suspense and vigilantism so we do want to see it through to the end to make sure the bad guys got what they deserved.

    There is no graphic violence or detailed sex. I think there might have been a handful of swear words, but... maybe not, it was pretty unobtrusive if so. The narration is very good. Eisler has taken to narrating his own books and each one of them is actually better narrated that the one before.

    As usual, I will buy any new Rain book, or any book by Eisler, as soon as it is released. (oh, FYI, his Livia Lone is also very good)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Strictly Analog

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Richard Levesque
    • Narrated By Steven Jay Cohen
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (541)
    Story
    (544)

    What's a private detective to do in a future where nothing is private? That's Ted Lomax's problem. In the new California, a corporation runs the government, electric cars have drive tones, and a new technology keeps everyone constantly connected to the Internet. Almost everyone.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "I HAD TO WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN"
    "Wow. Reviews are all over the place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I paid for this book. I do not get paid to review. It was a very solid 4 to 4.5 star book. It has a hint of noir, a hint of detective work, and a hint of future fiction. I am not sure why so many familiar reviewers, who normally like similar books to me slammed this so hard.

    It is not deep fiction. It is not traditional sci-fi. It is investigator/detective fiction with a sci-fi tech component that is treated like it is a perfectly normal component of the world the story is set in. Actually, if you like Patrick Lee's Travis Chase series - this is pretty much the same kind of mystery-sci-fi blend.

    The narration is fine. The pacing is good. It is not graphic and there is no sex or swearing. I did check to see if there are other books in this series and if there were, I would have bought them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Body Reader

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Anne Frasier
    • Narrated By Emily Sutton-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3362)
    Performance
    (3048)
    Story
    (3038)

    For three years, Detective Jude Fontaine was kept from the outside world. Held in an underground cell, her only contact was with her sadistic captor, and reading his face was her entire existence. Learning his every line, every movement, and every flicker of thought is what kept her alive. After her experience with isolation and torture, she is left with a fierce desire for justice - and a heightened ability to interpret the body language of both the living and the dead.

    AudioAddict says: "Go Jude!"
    "Decent detective procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did get this book on sale but I think it is worth the non-sale price. It has interesting characters and a decent plot (though I don't think it is particularly complex). The only negative thing I have to say is that the 'body reading' component that is 'advertised' in the book's description is not even a part of the story. Maybe they mention it once or twice, but I kept waiting for this feature to be used in the story, and it never was.

    That is, of course, only a minor disappointment and the story is fine without it. Oh, and the part about her being kidnapped and held hostage is kinda a 'prologue' to the story, it is used to develop/explain her personality and responses, but is not actually detailed much in the story itself.

    There is no graphic content and I don't think there was much in the line of foul language. I will read more by Frasier. The narration is good.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Mission of the Living

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rhiannon Frater
    • Narrated By Kristin B. Allison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (73)

    Vanguard Lindsay Rooney has faced the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge and lived to tell the tale, but she has also suffered horrible losses. Like millions of other civilians, she had hoped that The Bastion would recover after a team of modified soldiers eradicated the undead hordes of Inferi Scourge that infested their valley. Yet the city still crumbles around them, along with any chance of survival.

    crazybatcow says: "Moderately bad followup to first book in series"
    "Moderately bad followup to first book in series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. This author is all over the place. This is the 3rd book of hers I have read. The first one (which was the first book in this series) was actually pretty good - slightly different take on zombies, slightly different world, and female characters who weren't completely useless.

    Then I read a book from a different series by her (The First Days) and... well... we will just say that, at that time, I said I would skip this author in the future, it was that bad.

    So, that brings us to this book. It is moderately-bad. Not bad-bad, just moderately bad. There is nothing about zombies in it, well, other than they exist and are the reason why any of the characters leave the city, but they do nothing in the story other than once they nearly kill the main character but, don't worry, she is saved by the knight in shining armor... I mean, by the male lead character.

    The story, if we can use the word "story" here, consists of a cardboard couple trying to overcome obstacles so they can "be together" and that is about it.

    If the first book in this series was an A, this one is a D, that is how different the quality of the storytelling is. I have returned to the realization that I will not be reading any of Frater's works in the future... one good book out of 3 just isn't enough.

    There is no detailed sex, no gore and only minimal swearing. The narration is fine.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • JET II: Betrayal, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Russell Blake
    • Narrated By Braden Wright
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (122)

    Twenty-eight year old Jet, the former Mossad operative from the eponymous novel JET, must battle insurmountable odds to protect those she loves in a deadly race that stretches from the heartland of Nebraska to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., from the lurid streets of Bangkok to the deadly jungles of Laos and Myanmar. Fans of Kill Bill, the Bourne trilogy, and 24 will be delighted by this rollercoaster of action, intrigue and suspense.

    Jean says: "Monopolizing"
    "It is "okay" if you were looking for YA flavor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bit weaker than book 1 in the series... probably because the time line was "collapsed" here. Instead of writing it as a sequential series of events where the main character works her way through challenges, she just seems to miraculously jet (pun intended) from one locale to another and one urgent event to another.

    And, of course, there was a "true love" hiatus mid-story which was not well done and not believable (but also not detailed or graphic).

    Actually, the entire story is not graphic or detailed, which makes it feel like a young adult action novel. As such, it is a decent book. If you are looking for a mature/dark struggle-filled story line, you won't find it here.

    The narration is fine. There is no sex or graphic violence and I don't recall any swearing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Livia Lone

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1531)
    Performance
    (1401)
    Story
    (1395)

    Seattle PD sex-crimes detective Livia Lone knows the monsters she hunts. Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason; marooned in America; abused by the men who trafficked them...the only thing that kept Livia alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason. Livia has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison. Or, when that fails, by putting them in the ground.

    shelley says: "This is a heartbreaker that makes u want 2 hit someone!"
    "Wishing Livia was real..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To start, I really like Eisler's work... particularly when he focuses on troubled vigilante protagonists who are driven to seek justice (his forays into "political" thrillers are not quite as strong).

    I had a hard time putting this book down. It was disturbing and satisfying at the same time. You hate everyone you are supposed to hate and you don't feel even a twinge of guilt when Livia does "bad" things. The story is based on disgusting and disturbing activities that really happen, and, while Livia was a survivor, I suspect she exists only in this fiction: too bad.

    It is suspenseful, and the story unfolds with "then" and "now" sections, which gradually come together at the end - this was really well done. You become fully immersed in Livia's world and at some points you might find yourself wanting join in with Livia as she doles out some justice.

    The narration is good (Eisler narrates his own works and is decent at it, although you can tell it is not his primary occupation). There is some swearing and sex (not overly graphic but it is violent) and the premise behind the entire story is mature.

    I will be buying any other Eisler books when they come out.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Make Room! Make Room!

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Harry Harrison
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (137)

    In a New York City groaning under the burden of 35 million inhabitants, detective Andy Rusch is engaged in a desperate and lonely hunt for a killer everyone has forgotten. For even in a world such as this, a policeman can find himself utterly alone.

    Joel D Offenberg says: "Excellent book, well read"
    "Neither story nor expectations are realistic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I always seem to expect more from these classics than I get from them. This one is okay... kinda... it is very dry and we don't actually care that the whole world is starving to death (well, all of NYC is anyway)... the characters are all a bit of a jerk and the female character trades on her sex to get by. Oh, sure, this is par for the course for the genre and the era, but I always prefer when authors put some work into character development and have women be something other than independently mobile sex toys, or, perhaps, slothy neglectful mothers.

    I guess Harrison's underlying premise is that overpopulation would starve out humanity (because "someone"/"the MAN" bans birth control) and, while that might have been an issue in the 60s, nowadays it is more likely that we will starve out humanity by virtue of genetic modifications, disease and toxic water contamination... End result = the same, but the process of getting there is mildly different (only mildly though because it is still "someone"/"the MAN" who puts their profits from fracking and oil pipelines ahead of clean water, for example).

    Anyway, I am glad I read it and can accept that it is a product of its era, driven by the concerns of that era. I won't be looking for more books by Harrison though. The narration is fine. There is no swearing, sex or graphic violence.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Orlando

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Virginia Woolf
    • Narrated By Veronika Hyks
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    Virginia Woolf's semi-biographical novel, inspired by her life changing love affair with Vita Sackville-West, takes us on an exhilarating, fantastical roller coaster, tracing 400 years of English history, in the company of her shape-shifting, gender-bending, time-travelling hero Orlando, whose inner conflicts and triumphs challenge our preconceptions of the nature of love, the battle of the sexes, posing socal and metaphysical questions including what we now call climate change.

    Ilana says: "A Strange Inexplicable Tale, Beautifully Narrated."
    "Overwritten and plotless... or trans theory?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another classic I had to read for a research project. And I liked it even less than I thought I would. I have no idea why the "experts" rave about this so much... as a lesbian love letter to someone "in the know" (i.e. they have a clue what Woolf was going on about) maybe it is okay. But as a story?? not so much... there is no plot and no suspense...

    Basically it is a biography of a woman who pretends to be a man so she can have sex with women (and some transgender theorists claim she was transgendered but I didn't see this, I just saw a lesbian trying to live as a man in a world that didn't allow lesbians) and writes page after page about their clothing, their culture, their houses, their roads, their scenery.... ad nauseam.

    Again, I tried to read this in text form but the paragraphs are very very long and it was hard to keep my place without my eyes glazing over in boredom, so I got it in audio... which was better only because my eyes no longer hurt.

    The narrator was fine. It is just an overwritten story that is not nearly as interesting to "regular" readers as it would have been to its target audience (Woolf's lover), or perhaps to theorists interested in lesbian fiction, or transgenderism in fiction, etc... and, of course, it is a classic so there is nothing graphic in it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Spots

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Melissa F. Olson
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1560)
    Performance
    (1406)
    Story
    (1409)

    When LA’s vampires, witches, and werewolves make a mess, they call Scarlett Bernard to clean it up. Her ability as a null erases all magical traces from anything — or anyone — that comes within ten feet of her, and keeps humans in the dark about the city’s paranormal activity. One night when she’s called to a grisly crime scene, Scarlett is spied by the all-too-human LAPD cop Jesse Cruz, who strikes up a deal with her: he’ll keep quiet about the supernatural underworld if she helps him crack the case. She agrees, but the city’s chief vampire, Dash, starts to suspect Scarlett is behind the murders and will reveal all she knows of his shadowy empire. Now it’ll take more than Scarlett’s unique abilities to clear her name, keep the underworld underground, and track down the real killer.

    Jennifer says: "Suprisingly pleased"
    "All around average urban fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Pretty typical urban fantasy, with significantly less graphic sex than usual (none). There is a female main lead with a special power, surrounded by hot males, in a world where vampires and weres and witches exist. Gender stereotypes abound: males protect females, vampires exist in both genders but males are the tough ones, the were are all male and the witches are all female...

    There is a bit of action, and the author put some work into developing a reasonable world with reasonable explanations for the existence of these supernatural creatures. The main character is decently fleshed out, and has an interesting back-story, though has a lot of self-blame for things which I didn't find believable (i.e. I don't think most people, and certainly not males, would blame themselves for the things she blames herself for...)

    Anyway, it was overall okay. The story is wrapped up here, but it is part of series so the character development carries over into the next book. I am not sure I will be reading it though... probably only at a sale price...

    The narration is also just okay - the narrator seems to get her character's "voices" mixed up sometimes and her inflection is definitely female, so the male characters were not distinct from each other. She tried accents, but... really should work on them, or not do them at all. There is some swearing, no described sex and the violence is not detailed or graphic.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Peter Batchelor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (377)

    A young man commits all types of sins, but only his portrait shows the ravages of his life. Oscar Wilde's Faustian classic. Gothic horror at its best.

    Kimberly Sample says: "Loved This One!"
    "Way more bearable in audio than in print"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a classic so... it's as good as a classic ever is. For its era it must have been pretty edgy and dark, and, even in our modern cynical world, it is still kinda dark and surprising. Though I think by now the story "twist" is part of our popular culture so nobody is going to be very shocked.

    This book is very difficult to get through in its print form as it has multiple descriptive tangents which drove me crazy, but as an audio, it was much less boring (guess I phased out during the boring bits)...

    That all being said, I read this for a research project and, as such, it was one of the more bearable books I had to read. Though I would not read it again, nor would I read anything else by Wilde... I just don't care about wealthy gay men and their trials and tribulations as they screw their way across the city.

    The narration is very good - and certainly made the story readable. It's a classic, so there is nothing adult or graphic in it, though there are lots of subtle suggestions of various types of debauchery.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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