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Martin

Executive Recruiter 20+ Years, father to six, spouse to one, grandfather to 4; specialist in Bipolar 2, Panic, Anxiety (OCD) & Addictions.

Eastwood, Australia

ratings
12
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Incurable: The Ellie Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By John Marsden
    • Narrated By Mikaela Martin
    Overall
    (67)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (30)

    Ellie has struggled to put the war behind her and lead a normal life. Although what's normal about your parents having been murdered; trying to run a farm and go to school; and bringing up a young boy who's hiding terrible secrets about his past?

    Bev says: "Don't want a cure"
    "The Tomorrow Series and The Ellie Chronicles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    John Marsden has written an engaging and entertaining series - Tomorrow when the War began, kicks off with an invasion of Australia from the north that leaves the country split in two. The story starts at a fast pace and just will not slow down.

    Marsden has an ability to drive compelling images through development of characters - one very amusing image has the heroine, Ellie, crossing a paddock at night and running into a mass of pigs - Ellie describes the sound the pigs made as being just like you would hear from 1,000 pigs baying in unison as they were being readied for the abattoir.

    I just cannot get this sound out of my head.

    There are seven books in the Tomorrow series. A group of teenagers learn how they can form a resistance movement.

    Beyond these seven books are three more that describe how the teenagers re-make their lives after the war. Ellie's parents are murdered. A young lad who Ellie met in the town has no family and he becomes Ellie's surrogate mother.

    The issues with which the teenagers deal throughout both (related) series and sensible parts of continuing tales.

    The narration is excellent - I just cannot imagine another narrator handling the characterizations and plot lines as well as this.

    I had held off reading the Tomorrow series. I thought it wasn't really my "cup of tea". I am immensely glad I broke the drought by listening to all ten books.

    Perhaps the only caveat I have relates to aspects of relationships - in the situations these teenagers find themselves, the explicit sex scenes could have well been left to a reader's imagination - while many may argue that there is nothing here that most teenagers do ot already know, they are still certainly not appropriate for many teen readers. This is not an issue in all of the books. The first couple of volumes in the Tomorrow series is where this matter is developed.

    Overall, a very enjoyable listen! Same recommendation for all ten volumes, the Tomorrow seven volume series and the three volume Ellie Chronicles

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sum of All Fears

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (721)
    Performance
    (597)
    Story
    (608)

    Against all odds we have made it into the last half of the 1990s. The Cold War looks solved, Arabs and Jews are talking, confrontation is on the wane. In this new harmony, one discord -- what becomes of unemployed terrorists?

    Ray says: "Thoughts on The Sum of All Fears"
    "Long story spoilt by weak narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This has been a most disappointing listen. The narrator's voice has a "breathy" quality that I might associate more commonly with a romance novel.

    On too many occasions I thought I would stop, possibly going to the abridged version. This is a really long story split into five parts, four of which are around eight hours each and one, the final, being about five hours. This is a tough listen when you are constantly thinking to yourself that this sentence or that has a quality that is just not appropriate for a Jack Ryan novel.

    I read Clancy novels just about as soon as I could get my hands on them after release. I thought I would renew my acquaintance with Dr Ryan by listening to them. I still have three to go, Debt of Honor, Executive Orders and The Bear and The Dragon. Each of these is as long as The Sum of All Fears. If the narration / performance is similar to that which I am struggling with now, I am not certain I will be able to finish.

    I will let you know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stark's Command: Stark's War, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (487)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (319)

    A mutiny on the moon places Sgt. Ethan Stark in command of the U.S. military forces there - and turns a dream for independence into a reality.

    Jean says: "An interesting military Sci Fi"
    "Catchy story ignites, the pace hots up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wrote a pretty ordinary review of the first volume, Stark's War - but this story really underlined the story-telling skills of Jack Campbell and the narration was excellent. I understand that the three novels in the Stark's series are the first written by the author under the pseudonym of Jack Campbell.

    The underlying theme of this novel is a world where the US has taken control of the moon's mineral resources and corruption in the military and the corporations is widespread.

    Stark has a strong sense of ethics and demonstrates ability to motivate enlisted soldiers operating on the surface of the moon to follow his lead - he has the rank of sergeant combined with exceptional leadership skill.

    I was so engrossed by this volume that I went straight on to Volume 3 and again was very glad I had done so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stark's War

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Eric Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (703)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (458)

    To seize the moon from foreign powers--and keep his men alive - Sergeant Ethan Stark must choose which orders to obey - and which to ignore.

    Greg says: "Heavy-handed"
    "A lightweight novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible productions are judged (by me at least) for the quality and consistency of the story line through multiple volumes (when appropriate) and then by the quality of the narrator. The input of the production unit, which is in the background and not seen or heard by we readers is of course relevant.

    Stark's War is the first novel by this author and the first in a three volume series.

    Elements of the story are quite gripping. The "US" and the "Corporations" have occupied the Moon and the military is often used as cannon fodder.

    Characters are not typically well developed which is a pity as there a number of characters in each novel which seem to lend themselves to further treatment.

    My remarks are made as I conclude the first volume in the series. Maybe later volumes will improve on this first book.

    I am glad that I read the author's seven volume Lost Fleet series first. These are highly readable with many interwoven story lines.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • People of the Book

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    In 1996, Hanna Heath, a rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna discovers a series of artifacts in its ancient binding, she begins to unlock the book's mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed past, tracing the book's journey from its salvation back to its creation.

    K. says: "Excellent book, some narration problems"
    "Geraldine Brooks at her masterful best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read People of the Book several years ago - a borrowed book - and early last year listened to Geraldine's new novel Caleb's Crossing.

    I have gone back to People of the Book as the story is utterly fascinating - now hearing the book all I can say is Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant.

    The story is engaging. The narrator, Edwina Wren, adds deep colour to the story with carefully chosen accents and a light yet entrancing tone that enriches this favourite book of mine.

    The story, what has happened to this Jewish tome over the last 500 years, a story told by the conservator and the characters of the Book's journey since it was prepared, examines an illuminated manuscript when Jewish lore insisted that illumination is not appropriate.

    A rich tapestry, I write this before I have finished Part 2 - I just couldn't wait to encourage others to buy People of the Book.

    Exceptional author and hugely entertaining narrator. This is one of those books where it is fair to say, "a must have".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Caleb's Crossing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Geraldine Brooks
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ehle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    Caleb Cheeshateaumauk was the first native American to graduate from Harvard College back in 1665. Caleb's Crossing gives voice to his little known story. Caleb, a Wampanoag from the island of Martha's Vineyard, seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts, comes of age just as the first generation of Indians come into contact with English settlers, who have fled there, desperate to escape the brutal and doctrinaire Puritanism of the Massachusetts Bay colony.

    Marion says: "Caleb's Crossing a Challenge"
    "Superb story and an exceptional presenter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came to know Geraldine Brooks' works when I had an extended stay in hospital some years ago. I came to know her as a gifted author with a rare gift for bringing history to life. In that same time I have become an Audible fan. I love the overall quality of the presentations I have heard. I note that two of Geraldine's books still are not available in audio formats, I hope that will be rectified soon.

    I was excited to see the new book. I had no inkling at the beginning of what poor Caleb was crossing. I became immersed in the characters particularly Bethenie. I was fascinated by the tales of a very new Harvard - how could anyone then have foreseen what was to become one of the pre-eminent universities in the world. Learning about schooling in a hard land, the place of women, the struggle of life in a hard land for which the characters were not always equipped.

    Through the story written by Brooks and narrated with a fine sense of the place of people throughout - excellent.

    Jennifer Ehle made this story for me. The timbre, the overall quality of her voice and her timing as interwoven stories developed and reached their quite appropriate end, made me sad to be coming to the end of this story. Geraldine Brooks used old English and manufactures native indian language from one or more tribes - if I read this I would stumble. Jennifer Ehle nails the language structures gracefully. These language twists and turns a a very fascinating part of the overall story. And I have since completing the book gone a read-up on the early history of a great university.

    Enjoy this one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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