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Flavius

Morro Bay, CA, United States | Member Since 2013

318
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 137 reviews
  • 328 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
14
FOLLOWERS
33

  • NPCs

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Drew Hayes
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (508)
    Story
    (506)

    What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters? In the town of Maplebark, four such NPCs settle in for a night of actively ignoring the adventurers drinking in the tavern when things go quickly and fatally awry.

    Jonathan says: "Charming and Cute"
    "Are We What We Pretend To Be?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "NPCs" did exactly what I expect of a book of this type: it entertained me from start to finish.

    The premise is a fun one. When a group of adventurers (player characters) screws up and gets themselves killed, an unlikely group of townsfolk decide to take on their identities. What follows is fun, and not always expected.

    There is more character development in this story than in a lot of stories like it, and in fact, much of the story is built around this development. I enjoyed the blurring of the lines between pretending to be something and actually becoming that thing. The characters are believable, likable and worth rooting for.

    The narrator is great. He manages to do distinct voices for all of the major characters, but is never obtrusive.

    This book is a fun, diverting listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, The Troubles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (308)
    Story
    (308)

    Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

    Top of Mind says: "Another McKinty Gem"
    "Beautifully Broken"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sean Duffy, the protagonist of Gun Street Girl, is so likeable, that it almost comes as a surprise to be reminded that he doesn't like himself very much. Despite being intelligent, witty, kind and charming, there is something deeply broken within him, and this aspect he shares with the 1980s Northern Ireland of McKinty's books. But unlike N. Ireland, which in the novel is beginning to see the first faint rays of hope that will signal the end of the Troubles, Duffy may be more difficult to redeem.

    This is a police novel that mirrors real life--the detectives might be clever and resourceful, but their skill notwithstanding, the mystery is often as not unraveled through human error and weakness, or through pure dumb luck. This does not cheapen the mystery or the story, which is full of rich, believable and lovable characters.

    Gerard Doyle is excellent, as always.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Xom-B

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Jeremy Robinson
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (152)

    Freeman is a genius with an uncommon mixture of memory, intelligence, and creativity. He lives in a worldwide utopia, but it was not always so. There was a time known as the Grind - when Freeman's people lived as slaves to another race referred to simply as "Master". They were property. But a civil rights movement emerged. Change seemed near, but the Masters refused to bend. Instead, they declared war. And lost. Now, the freed world is threatened by a virus, spread through bites, sweeping through the population. Those infected change - they are propelled to violence, driven to disperse the virus.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Zombies + Robots + Dystopia + Sci-Fi = Fun"
    "A Powerful, Pleasant Surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to a couple of Jeremy Robinson's other books and liked them, so I thought I'd give Xom-B a try. I was very pleasantly surprised. Robinson's other books were entertaining and fast-paced, but Xom-B was something else entirely. Robinson has crafted a novel that is not only entertaining, but also moving and thought-provoking.

    This is a layered, multi-faceted book with plenty of action that forces readers to ask themselves hard questions about what it means to be human and how much control we have over our destiny.

    A very enjoyable book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • El Narco: The Bloody Rise of Mexican Drug Cartels

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Ioan Grillo
    • Narrated By Paul Thornley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (102)

    The world has watched stunned at the bloodshed in Mexico. Thirty thousand murdered since 2006; police chiefs shot within hours of taking office; mass graves comparable to those of civil wars; car bombs shattering storefronts; headless corpses heaped in town squares. The United States throws Black Hawk helicopters and drug agents at the problem. But in secret, Washington is confused and divided about what to do. "Who are these mysterious figures tearing Mexico apart?" they wonder.

    Kathy says: "A NOBY Nominee"
    "A Great Primer on the Narco Wars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "El Narco" paints an ugly picture of the situation in Northern Mexico. "El Narco" is nuanced, and resists the temptation to blame the situation on any one source or factor. There are a lot of bad guys here, and a few (usually doomed) good ones, with everybody else trying to go about their lives in the shadow of ever-present violence and possible death.

    The narrator is pleasant, and handles the material ably. "El Narco" is an enjoyable and informative listen that strives to make sense of a nasty, sometimes perplexing subject, but is unable--and doesn't even attempt--to offer at a remedy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood, and Invented Modern Horror

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jason Zinoman
    • Narrated By Pete Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (95)

    Much has been written about the storied New Hollywood of the 1970s, but while Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola were making their first classic movies, a parallel universe of directors gave birth to the modern horror film - aggressive, raw, and utterly original. Based on unprecedented access to the genre's major players, New York Times critic Jason Zinoman's Shock Value delivers the first definitive account of horror's golden age.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Book, Terrible Narrator"
    "A Selective History of the "New Horror""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Shock Value" is an interesting and educational read. In discussing the careers of a handful of directors, Zinoman attempts to trace the various themes running through the "New Horror" films of the late 1960s through the 1980s. He does a pretty good job of this, tying the films to one another, and even occasionally to their predecessors from the Golden Age of Horror. As much as this is about the directors, it is also about their movies.

    The author's access to his subjects and ability to elicit detailed responses (for the most part) keeps the book filled with entertaining anecdotes about the films, the business and the men (and a few women) themselves. This book kept my interest throughout.

    The book is limited somewhat in its focus on a handful of directors, and then, only upon a fraction of their output during the period. I would have liked to have a few more directors added to the mix.

    The narrator is well-suited to the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral - and How It Changed the American West

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jeff Guinn
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (217)

    For the first time ever, the full story of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - not only what really happened but why, and how mythology has led us to completely misinterpret the real history of the frontier. Combining cinematic storytelling with prodigious research, The Last Gunfight upends conventional wisdom about what the West was really like, who the Earps and Doc Holliday really were, and what actually happened in Tombstone on that cold day in October 1881.

    Amazon Customer says: "Better Than Advertised - An Important story"
    "The Gunfight They're Still Talking About"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight. It had remained in my wish list for some time because I wasn’t sure that a thirteen hour book about an event that was over within minutes would hold my interest. TLG more than held my interest—I found myself listening to it every chance I got. It was an enjoyable and educational “read,” and I was satisfied when it drew to an end.

    Guinn depicts an Old West that is at times different from what we’ve seen in movies, but it is every bit as exciting. The author does a good job of bringing his characters to life, and at times clearing up myths. A standout aspect of the work is how skillfully Guinn depicts the web of events which led to the so-called “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” putting them in context, so that the reader can easily understand the motivations of both parties leading to the fight which it appears nobody really wanted. Moreover, the author does a great job of showing not only how history affected events in Tombstone, but also the impact those events had on history.

    As at least one other reviewer has pointed out, the author does take some license with his characters in ascribing them motives and thoughts he could only be guessing at. This seems largely to be even-handed, except in one or two instances where Guinn seems to have taken an active dislike to his subjects, and seems to magnify and dwell upon their foibles.

    This book was a nice surprise. I particularly recommend it for readers interested in American history or the Old West. The narrator was well-suited to the material and delivers an enjoyable, unobtrusive performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Detroit: An American Autopsy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charlie LeDuff
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (336)

    In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city.

    Stacee says: "Great performance, squandered opportunity"
    "The Fall of a Great City"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Returning to the once-thriving Detroit after a prolonged absence, native son Charlie LeDuff , much like the narrator in Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” encounters a ruined wonder, its former glories in tatters and serving now only to mock it. The difference is that the fabled Detroit of yesteryear is not ancient history to LeDuff, but a very real part of his memory (or perhaps social memory, as the city had already been in decline according to LeDuff), and all the more painful for the seeming impossibility of changing its course.
    There are some upbeat moments in “Detroit,” if no real happy ones, but they are few. Mostly, it is a gritty and passionate look at a doomed city, riddled with corruption, cronyism, inefficiency and despair. LeDuff manages to care enough about his subject that reading through this list of tragedies doesn’t feel too lurid The author injects himself liberally into the book, and sometimes it’s difficult (deliberately so, I suspect) to separate the author’s story from the city’s story, but it is in these comingled themes that the book is at its most personal and most powerful.
    Ultimately this book is akin to battlefield reporting. It focuses on skirmish after skirmish in a much larger and altogether more murky war. This is not a redemptive book. There are no answers, only troubling, heartbreaking pictures. LeDuff believes that Detroit is a bellwether for America in general, having signaled the nation’s postwar rise and now serving as a grim harbinger of things to come. As intriguing and provocative as this notion is, LeDuff never explores it in any depth.
    “Detroit” was informative, and kept my interest throughout. Eric Martin’s narration is great.

    0 of 0 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
    (1119)
    Performance
    (1024)
    Story
    (1039)

    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"
    "Post-Apocalyptic Fiction With Character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "The Junkie Quatrain" took me by surprise. The reveiws I read were rather lukewarm, and while I've enjoyed some of Clines' other stuff, he's never wowed me, so I was essentially looking for something which wasn't awful.

    Not only is TJQ not awful, it's pretty damn good. It's composed of four shortish stories, all of which function well enough on their own, but when taken as a whole provide a much richer experience.

    This book features a diverse variety of characters, but they're believable and human, and are the real stars of the story. The infected are merely a facet of the environment and setting (although they're a big facet; never fear). The story remains rooted in people with whom we can, if only in some small way, identify.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sean Howe
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (250)

    Throughout this decades-long journey to becoming a multibillion-dollar enterprise, Marvel's identity has continually shifted, careening between scrappy underdog and corporate behemoth. As the company has weathered Wall Street machinations, Hollywood failures, and the collapse of the comic book market, its characters have been passed along among generations of editors, artists, and writers - also known as the celebrated Marvel "Bullpen".

    Greg says: "It's as if this book was written for me!"
    "The "Citizen Kane" of Comic Book Companies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's been a while since I've been drawn so completely in to a work of non-fiction. "MCTUS" was a wonderful, informative read, and ultimately, for me, a bit of a sad one.

    It's difficult for me to gague how much appeal this book will have for people who aren't comics fans or interested in publishing. It's well-written, and moves quickly, but the repeated rises and falls of a pop-culture phenomenon might not thrill casual observers.

    But this book meant the world to me. I grew up reading Marvel Comics, and so many of the characters and creaters seemed almost like old friends to me. I was suprirsed at how much I didn't know about the behind-the-scenes maneurvering, marketing-driven titles, and revolving editorial mandates.

    This book is a rich tapestry of Marvel history, from its derivative, pulp beginnings just before WWII to the mega-movie franchises of today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Loon

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Michaelbrent Collings
    • Narrated By John Bell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    The isolated, maximum security prison for the criminally insane that houses some of the nation’s deadliest, most frightening psychopaths. But when a freak storm cuts off all communications and causes a massive power outage, the prisoners get loose...and find there is nowhere to go. The blizzard rages outside. The inmates are now in charge and the staff must band together to survive.

    And then they all discover that the inmates aren't the most dangerous thing about The Loon.

    Sarah Seeley says: "Deep and Horrifying"
    "A Fast-Moving, Engaging Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, I'll admit that I'm a sucker for a creepy setting, and an isolated, snow-bound madhouse offers plenty of that. The setting is very much a part of the story, and its effective use by the author, along with a collection of characters we can identify with (or at least recognize) and care about, contributed greatly to my enjoyment of the book.

    Not all of the characters are likable, by any means, but I enjoyed them all, and often, I was a little suprised wihen some of them (no spoilers) were killed, even though I'd been expecting it.

    "The Loon" is a fun, unashamedly B-movie of a read, with equal parts mad-science horror and psycological terror. This was a quick, satisfying listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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