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David

Artist living & working in the SF Bay Area

San Jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2004

ratings
765
REVIEWS
31
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
54

  • Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Karen Russell
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey, Joy Osmanski, Kaleo Griffith, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (92)

    In the collection's marvelous title story, two aging vampires in a sun-drenched Italian lemon grove find their hundred-year marriage tested when one of them develops a fear of flying. In "The Seagull Army Descends on Strong Beach, 1979", a dejected teenager discovers that the universe is communicating with him through talismanic objects left in a seagull's nest. "Proving Up" and "The Graveless Doll of Eric Mutis" find Russell veering into more sinister territory.

    Ryan says: "Stylish modern magic realism"
    "What was first quirky - quickly becomes annoying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first the book (and its preview sample) seemed quirky and interesting. The characters are mostly weak and whiny, foolish, but quirky. But much like a trip to an annoying relatives house - its quirky storytelling somehow wears thin and becomes painfully tedious. I went from plain ignoring it to wishing it would shut up, and had to shut it off.

    I really had high hopes - and I do enjoy a wide variety of styles. But because the characters were just so pathetic across the board - I don't think I could sympathize with them. I shut this off with great disappointment.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Necromancer's House

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    Andrew Ranulf Blankenship is a handsome, stylish nonconformist with wry wit, a classic Mustang, and a massive library. He is also a recovering alcoholic and a practicing warlock, able to speak with the dead through film. His house is a maze of sorcerous booby traps and escape tunnels, as yours might be if you were sitting on a treasury of Russian magic stolen from the Soviet Union thirty years ago.

    David says: "Finally - Magic / Fantasy Novel for adults."
    "Finally - Magic / Fantasy Novel for adults."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know about you but I've grown so very tired of looking for magic and fantasy novels. It seems like i'm always Pawing through trite, whiny tween books, and the predictable female power/porn/romance fantasy novels. Blargh.

    Finally! A really good magic/fantasy novel written for adults. The main characters are dysfunctional, sometimes distasteful, but in the end realistic and ultimately interesting. There's real danger and they make mistakes. The writing isn't for kids, and its not all about romance/fantasy daydreams. It feels a lot like Peter Clines "14" with modern characters and classic fantasy mixed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (259)
    Story
    (257)

    A knight of Cygnar follows a strict moral code. His integrity is beyond reproach. He holds himself to the highest standards whether dealing with friend or foe. And he values honor above all. The year is 606 AR, and Cygnar has been sorely pressed by its enemies both at home and abroad. In Caspia, the conflict with the Protectorate is about to erupt into full war with the looming invasion of Sul. The Cygnaran military is desperate for soldiers with the skill, strength, and bravery to take up the devastating galvanic weaponry of the new Storm Division.

    Karen says: "More Madigan's Malcontents!"
    "The "WarMachine" Miniature Wargame - novelized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Larry Correia is a talented, entertaining writer, and Ray Porter (reader of the excellent novel "14") is equally fun to listen to. So this is a really nice combo for some fantasy novel reading.

    The setting of the story is from the table top war game "WarMachine" from Privateer Press. A Warhammer 40K sort of story - 14th century Crusades meet SteamPunk SciFi robots and some fantasy magic tossed in. So this odd setting is taken and given a "Dirty Dozen" story plot. You'd think this would be one to avoid - but Larry Correia pulls it off nicely although its far from 'great'.

    Its sheer pulp fiction with the flaws you'd expect. It's a little stale at times, pushing tired stereotypes and paper characters around the pages. The story is also a little weak in the dialogue with Soldiers sounding like the way civilians sound like when trying to talk like a military person. We hear this "Silly Civie Speak" in Hollywood writers all the time. I'm sure Larry knows what the clipped and abbreviation jammed talk should sound like and chose to dumb it down.

    The WarMachine religious Crusades setting does feel a bit creepy with the wars in many countries with people labeled religious zealots today. This sci-fi veil of 'this is only a fantasy world with no ties to what is happening today' feels pretty thin. Is Larry trying to make this connection and statements while armored in the deniability of SciFi fiction? If so I wish he would have not done that and just engaged in combat with the Goblin races or Mercs, and avoid the whole 'middle east" in turmoil theme. I picked this book up for good fun - not to relive Military service and questions of ethics and war in countries with troubled populations.

    Irregardless of a few flaws that should have been edited, the book is solid entertainment and you can pretty much expect that from Larry Correia. I was able to purchase this story with out a second thought, and have solid good entertainment until the end. Larry has never left me down as a constant reader and a fan.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3532)
    Performance
    (3131)
    Story
    (3135)

    Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on there were things she'd rather not know. And now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things that she knows about, she'd rather not see—like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one. There's a thing or two she'd like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet—Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town.

    pewter says: "Who, What, and Why"
    "Sookie runs out of steam."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Argh - the furthest decline yet in the previously interesting and creative stories of the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Mystery Novel series. I love the earlier novels - they're classic - but these later ones are just so phoned in. I wonder what happened to Charlene's inspiration.

    There is nothing new here - no where to go with the story - the characters do their same old static shtick. (Sookie even makes a joke about this in the story) The only thing left to do is burn out some of the previously interesting characters, add a few poorly flushed out villains and minor characters, and slowly spin towards the final conclusion of the series where presumably something exciting will happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Drew Karpyshyn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1115)
    Performance
    (1046)
    Story
    (1047)

    There’s something out there: a juggernaut of evil bearing down to crush the Republic - unless one lone Jedi, shunned and reviled, can stop it. Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians - and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but his memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares - and deep, abiding fear. What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can’t quite remember, yet can’t entirely forget.

    Ryan says: "Did you play Knights of the Old Republic?"
    "An above average Star Wars dramatization"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this dramatized novel to be a little better than many of the Star Wars novels. I always think the injection of Star Wars sound effects and music to be a little unnecessary, but the writing and narrator are quite good and power on through the goofy sound effects.

    If you've enjoyed Star Wars novels in the past - or if you're a fan of the 'Knights of the Old Republic' then you'll likely find this book an entertaining listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10661)
    Performance
    (9928)
    Story
    (9932)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Best Novel I've listened to In years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I assumed this was a lame Tron/Cyberpunk/Matrix retelling.. Wow! I mistaken about it being just another tired, junky "Tron" or "Cyberpunk" B novel. Its a great surprise - like when I listened to "14" for the first time, only better.

    Bottom line - This is the best book I've listened to in years. There is a sea of trash out there and this is the kind of 'great' story you seek and hunt for among all those other titles.

    The author weaves a bleak future earth - but the story and its characters are all romantically nostalgic and Geeky in a great, fun way. This is a big hook - its always interesting and steers clear of being completely depressing and bleak. I found the novel to be exciting and interesting from the first line - to its last. I even enjoyed keeping Google open in a second window to look up all sorts of fun references made in the book.

    I am an older game developer and professional geek at heart who gets payed to entertain others. So I really 'got' everything being discussed, and I think most people will still follow along easily too and enjoy the story.

    Regardless, this is now on my 'Top 10 favorite Novels'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6987)
    Performance
    (6172)
    Story
    (6167)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Ronn says: "'Men In Black' with a conservative undertone"
    "Pure Entertainment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those B-Novel series that are Good, Simple, sometimes dopey, but fun and addictive. I was as surprised by this as when I first read a Charlene Harris Vampire novel or the Dresden Files or any number of long running series books.

    The character development is good, with enough happening to keep my interest over a long period of time. It was fun and creative, and action packed enough to keep me wanting to read the next book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carnal Innocence

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1187)
    Performance
    (1021)
    Story
    (1032)

    New York Times best-selling novelist Nora Roberts captivates millions of fans with her provocative blend of scorching passion and chilling suspense. With Carnal Innocence, she creates a gripping tale of murder, infatuation, and true love in a small southern town. After beautiful concert violinist Caroline Waverly breaks up with her conductor and lover Luis, she escapes to her late grandmother’s home in Innocence, Mississippi.

    Karen says: "The wait has ended"
    "Better than its title implies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unlike what the title might make you think - its not the typical tedious "mommy porn" romance novels as so many romance books are. This book is a unrepentant romance novel, but it also has much more interesting characters (well most, sadly not all), and a bit more dignity than a lot of its genre.

    This is a good little book. It's a basic, somewhat predictable romance (sorry to say I had it all figured out in the first 15 minutes)- but its still fun and very entertaining with captivating characters that elevate this book above the normal. Its not great - but its definitely better than average and worth the read if you're looking for a romance story set in a dark murder mystery and rural southern American intrigue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Castaways

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Brian Keene
    • Narrated By Maynard McKillen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (13)

    They came to the lush, deserted island to compete on a popular reality TV show. Each one hoped to be the last to leave. Now, with inhuman creatures out to kill them, they're just hoping to stay alive.

    Linda B says: "AWFUL"
    ""B-Movie" Horror Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of his 'mutant/monstrous outsiders' who rape and kill sort of books, who's formula is similar in many way to 'Ghoul' and 'Urban Gothic' (though both of those are superior novels to this).

    Brian does a fair job of setting up a believable 'survivor' reality TV show setting complete with the sort of people you find in such programming- and then mixes it in with his creatures. However he dramatically lessens the effectiveness of his horror story by adding a few paragraphs from the creatures perspective early on in the book which effectively diffuses the tension and mystery with an early creature reveal. From then on its a B Movie 'by the numbers' sort of story. Most of the horror isn't tension but either gross out or uncomfortable graphic scenes of a sexual nature.

    To his credit Brian does throw in a few surprises, and has some interesting characters I grew to like. His reality TV show portrayal is accurate and believable. ( I've actually been on a reality TV show so I can vouch for how that aspect felt right) I grew to sympathize with the characters plight and wanted to see what happened to them, "B movie" story telling and all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dodger

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (814)
    Performance
    (741)
    Story
    (734)

    A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl - not even if her fate impacts the most powerful people in England.

    Snoodely says: "Finally Revealed: Where Dickens Got His Ideas!"
    "No fun - predictable and bland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was Diskworld without the clever fantasy trappings. Same things Pratchett covers in his other books. Dodger feels like Knobby Knobbs from the Diskworld series - only less whimsical. Somehow it felt less interesting and since it was skirting Dickens and other classic tales - bland and predictable.

    This is one of the few Pratchett novels that is just "ho hum" boring. Really, you can find something - anything more clever and interesting than this.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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