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Frederick

Irvine, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

39
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 449 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2014
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  • The Snowman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2096)
    Performance
    (1427)
    Story
    (1430)

    Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf. Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother - and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn....

    Anita says: "many layered thriller"
    "Great Story -- Narration a Little Off"
    Overall

    This is a first rate thriller. The characters are all well defined and the antagonist suitably evil. I know there will be comparisons to the Millenium series, which is a bit unfortunate because the only comparisons are the geography and genre. Just plain excellent. I had to ding it a "star" only because of the narration. The narrator has a great voice but sometimes speaks far too fast and I miss several words and his patrician accent is difficult for a born and raised Californian.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • The Eye of God: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By Christian Baskous
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (441)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (403)

    In the wilds of Mongolia, a research satellite has crashed, triggering an explosive search for its valuable cargo: a code-black physics project connected to the study of dark energy...and a shocking image of the eastern seaboard of the United States in utter ruin. At the Vatican, a package arrives containing two strange artifacts: a skull scrawled with ancient Aramaic and a tome bound in human skin. DNA evidence reveals that both came from the same body: the long-dead Mongol king Genghis Khan.

    Patricia says: "Newest Sigma Force is a little off"
    "An Absolute Mess"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Normally, I enjoy Mr. Rollins for what he is -- a good and believable storyteller. It is the adjective that fails miserably in this story. Usually I can suspend disbelief with the best of them. Heck, I enjoy science fiction, fantasy, historical novels and just about every genre there is. But this book just never works for me. You can only pile too many impossible events together until the whole story dissolves into an unintentional black comedy. I will note one scene (spoiler alert) to illustrate my point. Two Sigma operatives join forces with an underworld assassin and a Chinese Triad to raid a North Korean Prison Camp. Huh? I got the feeling that Mr. Rollins was never sure whether he was writing sci-fi, adventure or history. In the end, it just does not work.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3717)
    Performance
    (3114)
    Story
    (3138)

    Will Robie may have just made the first - and last - mistake of his career.... It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable: He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people.

    Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a 14-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway....

    andrea says: "I Hope There's a Sequel!!"
    "Marvelous Mystery. Narration Nyet."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Chekov once wrote: "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there." Baldacci follows Chekov’s advice to the letter. Every character, every plot twist (and there are many) and every adjective is a foreshadowing of things to come. And, in a sense, I just gave away the shocking ending. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It is by no means a perfect book, being too over the top to be considered great. But the careful crafting of a detailed and complex mystery is so good that it should keep you in giddy suspense for the most of the book, at least until Chekov’s words resonate. Now my complaints: the sound effects are, at best distracting, and at worst, mood killers. Moreover, the male and female performances just do not work for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent: A Vanessa Michael Munroe Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Taylor Stevens
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (231)

    Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who’ve searched the longest know where to find her.

    Melinda says: "The Sequel That Isn't Equal"
    "Really Enjoyed A Wild Ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't tell whether it is the fantastic performance by Hillary Huber (I would listen to her read the phone book) or the writing of Taylor Stevens. The story is delicate and the violence often and bloody. I do not like the subject matter (cult abuse of children) or the gratuitous violence and yet the book was hugely entertaining. The central character is compelling, if somewhat of a superwoman. I will read her next book as long as Hillary Huber narrates it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Drop: Harry Bosch, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Len Cariou
    Overall
    (3196)
    Performance
    (2607)
    Story
    (2576)

    Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer, or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics....

    Joanne says: "A completely satisfying listen"
    "Damn I Love Connelly's Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Drop?

    Harry is back. Connelly deals with some very difficult subjects in this book, including ones that makes my skin crawl, pederasty and child abuse in general. However, he does so in a way that is not offensive just difficult to read because of my hardly unique loathing of all things related to child abuse. If you like the character of Harry Bosch you will enjoy the novel. The story will rip you up in parts but the denouement is ultimately satisfying and his observations about the effects of child abuse are graphic and profound.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (815)
    Performance
    (577)
    Story
    (590)

    Deep in the Rocky Mountains, a gruesome discovery - hundreds of mummified bodies - stirs international attention and fervent controversy. Despite doubts to the bodies' origins, the local Native American Heritage Commission lays claim to the prehistoric remains, along with the strange artifacts found in the same cavern: gold plates inscribed with an unfathomable script.

    Sandra says: "Sigma to the rescue - again!"
    "Sorry Mr. Rollins Too Far"
    Overall

    I have read (and enjoyed) a number of the Sigma Force novels. Usually, I enjoy the ride and can ignore the junk science that Mr. Rollins love to throw into his novels. His formula is to take a piece of true history, mix it with some science and a lot of junk science, season it with a little lust and maiming and top it off with a good strong sprinkling of larger than life heroes. This time he just went too far. It seems as if it is more a paen to Mormonism than it is a novel. That's okay, but his own science gets in the way of the what to me was blatant proselytizing. Anyone remotely familiar with anthropology and natural history will simply turn off to his book. It was bad enough that I doubt I will read the next Rollins book. There are a lot better books that give the respect that Mormonism and every religion is due.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Sixth Man

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty, Orlagh Cassidy
    Overall
    (2258)
    Performance
    (1343)
    Story
    (1345)

    Edgar Roy - an alleged serial killer held in a secure, fortress-like Federal Supermax facility-is awaiting trial. He faces almost certain conviction. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's attorney, Sean's old friend and mentor Ted Bergin, to help work the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins-en route to their first meeting with Bergin, Sean and Michelle find him murdered. It is now up to them to ask the questions no one seems to want answered....

    Anthony says: "Somebody needs to be fired..."
    "Distracting Narration"
    Overall

    I agree with the others. The dual narration in this book is jarring and always forced. Good, not great, story hamstrung by the "actors" and the whacked out sound effects. If only for the bad recording, please do yourself a favor and skip this one. Personally, next time I see a dual narration such as this, I will pass.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Altar of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Philip Carter
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Cryptic dying words from a murdered homeless woman in present day San Francisco unlock a decades-buried secret that changed history. Now a pair of ruthless assassins are sent to cut the few living "loose ends." And a young, resourceful woman on the run encounters a determined man with his own connected past and vengeful agenda. Forced to partner for survival and answers, a fast-paced and deadly game of cat and mouse ensues.

    Jack says: "Fast Moving Exciting Read"
    "Perils of Pauline"
    Overall

    Okay. I was vastly disappointed. The concept and multiple plot lines seamed like a winner until the book deteriorated into – yes – the Perils of Pauline. Our poor heroine( just like Pauline in the silent movies) escapes trains, assassins, machine guns fired point blank, ex-KGB operatives and a homicidal witch – err substitute “b”. It’s high/low point is when she and her “partner” race headlong through a seven layer wedding cake (I can’t make this stuff up). This idea had such promise and failed so miserably,.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11004)
    Performance
    (8436)
    Story
    (8486)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Great Fantasy"
    Overall

    I have avoided fantasy for several decades. I just find most fantasy novels rather tedious and not very logical. This book is quite different and quite amazing. Sanderson has created a very believable alternative universe where 21st century America is held up to a prism of discrimination based on eye color, magic that is neither good nor bad, and the echoes of other great fantasies are obvious. If this sounds as if I am criticizing the book, I am not. I also recommend The Passage by Cronin. Both books will make you cheer and cry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Man from Beijing

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (581)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (178)

    January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjvallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene. Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andrns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrn family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the 19th-century diary of an Andrn ancestora gang master on the American transcontinental railwaythat describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers.

    Terry R. Mabry says: "The Man From Beijing is a keeper"
    "Worth a Read or Listen"
    Overall

    Okay -- it does slow down in parts and it does tend to the pedantic. However, I will definitely read or listen to this author again. I learned a lot and though the mystery isn't that much of a mystery, how it is unraveled is worth the read. Give it a go!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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