Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow rich

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow rich

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

rich

Inostrancevia - the uber Gorgonopsian.

san jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
52
REVIEWS
46
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
11
HELPFUL VOTES
136

  • Disenchanted

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert Kroese
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    King Boric the Implacable knows death comes to all great warriors. He just didn't expect it to be so damn fickle. Felled by an assassin's blade, he should be spending eternity carousing in the Hall of Avandoor. Instead, his spirit is bound to his decaying body by the enchanted sword of Brakslaagt. And unless he can hunt down the mysterious Lord Brand, who gave him the weapon so long ago, he is cursed to wander the earth forever as an undead wraith.

    Katie says: "Warning, do not listen in public"
    "Will Bad Timing Doom Boric's Power Rankings?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Disenchanted to be better than the print version?

    never read the book, so.......


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Itrith. She is key to the story. She drops a bunch of super funny lines and has no qualms about putting Boric the Implacable in his place. I totally agree with her scorekeeping for Boric's deeds. If this book ever went hollywood whoever played the Itrith would have to be a no excuses rocket. She deserves nothing less.


    What does Phil Gigante bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wide range of unique character voices and good timing. He does a solid job.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. Bought it last night and finished it today. Story keeps a nice pace and doesn't wander.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this book. You will laugh many a time. Totally worth the price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Origins of a D-List Supervillain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Even D-list supervillains have to start somewhere. Follow Cal Stringel's misadventures as he climbs to the lowest levels of supervillany in the prequel to the smash hit, Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Angry that he wouldn't be known as the engineer who made Ultraweapon's force blasters, Cal resigns to chase after a bigger, better paycheck. However, the Promethia Corporation isn't going to let him go that easily and sets out to make his life a living hell.

    rich says: "MechaniCal's Bittersweet Backstory"
    "MechaniCal's Bittersweet Backstory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Origins of a D-List Supervillain to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. In every way imaginable. And when I get around to actually buying the book I will be even more convinced of the audiobook's superiority.


    What other book might you compare Origins of a D-List Supervillain to and why?

    Does anyone really care what I compare anything to? Hell, I'm the one typing this and couldn't give a rodent's rectum about what book I might compare with this one. For the sake of nothing in particular, how about - Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Why? Same author, main character and narrator.


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    Cal gets the vast majority of the time in this audiobook - as it is about him. I dig his sarcasm and jaded outlook on the lot people find themselves in through almost no fault of their own. I also liked that supervillain chick that blew around super fast and talked 1000 mph when excited. I forget her name, but I got a kick out of her part in the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I got kind of choked up when an important character met an extremely undeserved spot of terminal bad timing. Cal's reaction to having that backstabbing son of a bitch known as Fate reach down his throat, yank his heart out of his gullet and then chop it into tiny bite sized pieces and what he did in commemoration for the loss of the best thing that ever happened in his life bucked him up several steps on the ladder of respect. He had something really special going, something clean and totally positive that was ripped from his life that could never be replaced.

    Oh, other than the above mentioned heart wrenching event that destroyed what was left of Cal's belief in the promise of a better tomorrow and all of that bullshit, there are tons of laughs throughout this audiobook. I never knew there could be so many flavors of superhero / villain. The guy who was connected with moss really made me squirm when he talked about his carnal adventures.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish this audiobook was available before Confessions..... came out. I don't know if it was purposely timed in this fashion, but when I listened to Confessions a couple of years ago there was a bunch of scenes that I thought needed some backstory. Well, now I know.

    Good book. Worth your time and your dime. MechaniCal is a supervillain you can root for. Now I am going to press play on Confessions to keep the saga going.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Outcast: Star Force, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson, David VanDyke
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (91)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (83)

    Star Force is called to arms again! Outcast is a new beginning, the first book in a new spin-off series. Many peaceful years have passed since the Macro Wars ended. Most of those who fought against the heartless machines have aged - but not the ingenious artificial construct known as Marvin. His insatiable curiosity is as strong as ever, and he’s brought home fresh perils to humanity’s doorstep.

    Dennis says: "So VERY GLAD it DIDN'T END!!"
    "Captain Marvin Takes Command"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Outcast rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Outcast scores a competitive 9.16 on my Modified Integrated Listening Fun (MILF) Scale. Why? Because it just does. Cody Riggs, Adrienne the Oxford educated fair haired rocket who also is the sister of Cody's murdered girlfriend (nice scenario B.V., you sick bastard) , the Master Sergeant and Marvin - the greatest "artificial construct" in the Milky Way Galaxy all find themselves in deep intergalactic excreta through no fault of their own. Cody told the Captain to go armed to the feast - you will know what I mean very early in the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marvin. He is the driver of the action, the brains of the operation and, when all hell breaks loose as humanity is 9/10's through its collective circling of the toilet flush of extinction, the ultimate savior of Earth based sentient life.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Marvin got the word that his dreams of finally assuming command of a ship were crushed after Cody recited the "Law of Trover" pointing out that Marvin never left the ship. I had a mind camera playing that showed Marvin drooping at what you may call his waist, all of his once flagellating arms limp and his head bowed in a posture of total resignation and defeat. I felt so sad for him. However, as is always the case, Marvin found a way to circumvent the situation and through sheer force of personality and shameless manipulation persuaded Cody to brevet him as Warrant Officer thereby elevating him to de facto Captain Marvin. I felt so proud of Marvin.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I didn't cry. This wasn't really a "get the tissues ready" kind of audiobook. I did laugh a bunch of times whenever Marvin inserted his presence. As I have said before, and I will say it again, Marvin is the greatest non-human character in the history of everywhere. It doesn't matter what he says, I just start smiling and usually end up thrusting both hands in the air and shouting "Marvin!" I guess that is kind of extreme.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this audiobook. New characters, some old ones, conniving homicidal carnivorous panda bears and tons of laser beam firing kill vehicles. Even the smarmy Crustacean professor guy is in the mix. All I can say is thank you Mr. Larsen for keeping Marvin alive as a character. My day got a bit brighter and lighter as I listened to Outcast.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Overlord

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    The plans of a million years are finally ready for what has always been coming - Armageddon. Finally, the first move is set in motion and the assassinations begin, eliminating the leadership and consolidating military control of the seas and airspace of the world’s most powerful nations. Only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give the Earth a fighting chance at survival - a tiny being that has already saved the world once in the Arizona desert is now called upon to outthink his former masters.

    rich says: "I Grieve For Matchstick"
    "I Grieve For Matchstick"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Overlord?

    Even though Overlord was a long listen, the story buzzed along. There are several compelling storylines interwoven with the overall plot. The book is filled with valiant knights in armor and rat faced bastards, plus Matchstick - the hero.


    What other book might you compare Overlord to and why?

    Nothing really comes to mind. I tend to take each book as an original story with its own little functioning world within itself.


    Have you listened to any of Richard Poe’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    First time listener. He did a top notch job. Kept the story moving. I will look for his other narrations.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As much as I have extreme reactions to anything these days - I have slowly, yet inexorably slouched into a rather tiresome jaded state of being over the last 22 1/2 years for reasons I shall not go into, and for the fact that you probably don't really care about in the first place.

    The ending part of the audiobook when one of the rat faced bastards and his MIB posse finally caught up with a group of the good guys saddened me tremendously. I remember uttering a pained "No!", getting a lump in my throat, and, as I looked down onto the ground slowly shaking my head back and forth.


    Any additional comments?

    Purchase Overlord! You owe it to the poor sods in Beijing and Mumbai - you will know why by about the 2/3 mark of the audiobook - and above all others, Matchstick.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Invasion: China: Invasion America, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    A disturbingly realistic vision of war several decades into the future. Invasion: China is as ambitious as it is powerful. Using advanced technologies in military science, the world's superpowers battle on land, sea, air, and space for global supremacy. This controversial tale will keep you sleepless at night as America challenges the new colossus in the East: Greater China and her Pan-Asian allies. Hard-hitting. Vast in scope. And all too possibly real.

    rich says: ""Down Goes China! Down Goes China!""
    ""Down Goes China! Down Goes China!""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Invasion: China?

    This audiobook is loaded with solid action / combat scenes in the sea, land, air and lower Earth orbit. Once I pressed play I couldn't press stop.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Brigadier General Stan "The Professor" Higgins. His grasp of military history and battlefield leadership basically kept the U.S. armed forces from getting their collective asses handed to them by the Chinese. What put him in the top slot was a statement he made to one of his underlings when the lieutenant questioned his decision not to disengage and conserve ammunition during a bombardment of Chinese forces defending a river crossing somewhere in Northern China after there were indications of Chinese starting a "Bugout Boogy" - "No son, We'll remain here to deal death." Needless to say, the bombardment continued.


    What does Mark Ashby bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Solid narration that kept the action flowing. Professional job by a quality narrator.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    My belief in the ability for our species to lower the bar of cynical ruthlessness and depraved inhumanity was confirmed through the Chinese leader's murderous machinations and the counterproductive, myopic, conniving back stabbing act of the American Militia forces.


    Any additional comments?

    This series ended not with a boom, but with multiple radioactive mushroom clouds. Vaughn Heppner's Invasion America series was a joy to listen to. I highly recommend this final book and the rest of the series.

    By the way, my choice of headline was inspired by Howard Cosell's historic call during the Ali v. Frasier fight, but I am sure you already figured that out.....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zoom: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees: How Everything Moves

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bob Berman
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    In Zoom, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an informative and entertaining style and a knack for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.

    rich says: "Fact Filled Fun Listen"
    "Fact Filled Fun Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Zoom the most enjoyable?

    The author wrote the book for people who like to know about the world / universe around them - people like me. He provided 2.38 gazillion factoids about a bunch of different subject areas and didn't clutter up the scene with techno babble or other superfluous speed bumps. I really enjoyed the audiobook.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As this is a book about the speed of a bunch of different things - I guess my favorite character was the 10 snowflakes. Why? Mr. Berman dropped in a golden nugget regarding water molecules and sand that made me say to myself "Wow, I didn't know that. That's amazing!" I found myself saying this or something closely related at least 31 times over the course of this listen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Again, or is it the first time I need mentioning - THIS IS A SCIENCE BOOK, not a character driven fiction piece. Enough of this.... Hey Audible, do me a favor. Can you all at least provide relevant topics for me to work from, as I am doing my damndest to give high props for this wonderful book I am trying to review? All you seem to be doing is tossing roadblocks in front of me for no reason other than laziness, negligence or spite.

    I wish there was someway to have a menu of topic options to pick from that would make reviews more relevant instead of getting needlessly tied up by irrelevant topics that have nothing to do with the work being reviewed. But hey, it's only the year 2014, and it's not like you are owned by some company like AMAZON.COM that can dig in its pockets for some loose change and fork out some dough for an application that is not all that hard to include on your review webpage.......

    Are these topics randomly selected through some bug-infested 1980's era algorithm, or is there some clueless mono-brow mouth breather nephew of the assistant in charge of reviews who needed a summer job picking these topics? I bet it's a combo of both.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A moving moment? Refer to the above typed plea for someone to care about review topics.

    For the sake of anyone still reading this - there wasn't a "moving" moment in which I got all choked up or stopped in my tracks and had that "listen to this, this is really something" moment that comes along every once in a long while, but it is not the fault of the author or narrator - they both did a splendid job. I will say for the last time before I leave, this a science book about how everything that is something, and that includes everything, is moving to some degree. How this movement interacts with us, the Earth, Solar System etc. is an underlying theme throughout this book.

    Maybe a moving moment was when I finished listening to this audiobook. I thought to myself something like, "I just learned a bunch of interesting tidbits about a bunch of different things. I am a better person now than when I woke up this morning because of this audiobook."


    Any additional comments?

    Kudos to Mr. Berman. His astronomy articles are top notch and so is this book. I had an enjoyable day listening to this audiobook and will listen to it again in the near future.

    Buy this audiobook. It won't break the bank and you will learn many interesting things about a wide range of subjects you may not have thought about before.

    At least now I know exactly how high I can jump from and not be "back in the mud," as Logan Nine Fingers, one of the greatest fictional characters in the history of everything everywhere, would say.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Spell or High Water: Magic 2.0

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (180)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (174)

    A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn't be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.

    Charles says: "Fantastic: 2.0"
    "Martin and Philip's Atlantis Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Spell or High Water again? Why?

    Yes, but I'll give it a few. Got to keep the story fresh. This is an easy listen with a funny storyline and likeable characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole Atlantis thing - 100:1 male to female ratio and the whole women wear the pants scene while the guys are fired up to clean and get their hair done. Different take on roles makes the story funny in a kooky way.


    What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Luke Daniels is a flat out pro. He made this book flow. I bought Spell or High Water this morning and just finished it - almost 11 hours of audiobook and I feel refreshed. The author made the right choice in hooking up with Luke Daniels.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Is Martin up to the challenge of winning Gwen's heart? Stay tuned to see what gets stuck in Martin's mouth - Gwen's tongue or his foot!


    Any additional comments?

    Get this book. The price is right, Luke Daniels comes up strong and Philip wakes up next to an "untraditional" vixen and doesn't even think about pulling a coyote.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dust World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (521)

    The Galactics arrived with their Battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined a vast Empire that spans the Milky Way. Our only worthwhile trade goods are our infamous mercenary legions, elite troops we sell to the highest alien bidder. In 2122 a lost colony expedition contacts Earth, surprising our government. Colonization is against Galactic Law, and Legion Varus is dispatched to the system to handle the situation. Earth gave them sealed orders, but Earth is 35 lightyears away.

    D says: "They’re back ready to die; again"
    "Screw the Nerbs!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Bucketfuls of solid military SF action, McGill, the main character, trying to bang every female in the galaxy (and he pretty much succeeds), blood thirsty aliens and so much more!


    What other book might you compare Dust World to and why?

    I don't know, how about Lint Island..... I don't really compare books as such. Instead of wasting valuable thinking time and brain wear, I look upon each new book as a unique story that should stand on its own. This book has action and characters that no other book has.


    What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

    Mark Boyett is a pro. He can belt out a wide variety of character voices. I have a bunch of B.V. Larson's books with Mr. Boyett, so I am familiar with his repertoire. I like his female voices - they all sound like the gal is from the Banat region of western Romania.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the whole Varus Legion is up on some pretty serious charges for some sort of malfeasance or willful destruction of something the Nerbs (at least that is what these asses' name sounds like) hold dear, one of the judges sounded like Marvin - the robot from another B.V. Larson series who is my all time favorite non human character. When I heard that voice I gave a hearty "Marvin!" shout and scared the crap out of some lady and her kid who happened to be walking by about ten yards to the prop side of where I was kicking back under a tree this morning ( I didn't see them walking by..... ). I thought the woman was going to fall over but she merely rocked on her heels and did a swerve. As this gyration was unfolding she gave a spontaneous shriek that sent at least two dozen birds cachooming out of the nearby trees. I calmly watched the two nervous nellies recover, stare at me for about 2 minutes, and then briskly walk away with expressions on their faces I can only describe as fearful indignation. As I was wearing sunglasses, I was happy to take in the whole scene with little chagrin and found it all rather amusing.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. The native gal had me from the first crossbow shot. She was a woman with a definite plan when it came to McGill, and I'm not talking about the 8 or so homicides she perpetrated on this guy throughout their blood-drenched (95% was McGill's), dysfunctional quasi-relationship. Concerning one scene in particular, after the warrior princess's explanation why she bolted out of the water registered, if I was McGill, I would pretty much be toweling myself off in about 2.4 seconds, making sure that damn crossbow is out of reach, and, as the junk is in recharge mode, initiate "Operation Yes, I Totally Agree With Everything You Say" as I suggest that we go kick back under the shade of that tree over there for a bit.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Matter: Star Carrier, Book Five

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ian Douglas
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    The United States of North America is now engaged in a civil war with the Earth Confederation, which wants to yield to the demands of the alien Sh'daar, limit human technology, and become a part of the Sh'daar Galactic Collective. USNA President Koenig believes that surrendering to the Sh'daar will ultimately doom humankind. But when highly advanced, seemingly godlike aliens appear through an artificial wormhole in the Omega Centauri Cluster 16,000 light years from Earth, President Koenig is faced with a tremendous choice.

    Kevin d. says: "5x Same Formula"
    "Another Victory May Spell Doom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, especially if the person is familiar with the series. I dig this saga for its entertainment and its well thought out doses of intelligent surmise about various technical and social matters. It also doesn't hurt that there are some pretty lively human v human and human v multi pieholed live bait eaters with quirky reproductive cycle space duels.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author comes up with different alien races in every book. This book's version had me smiling as I envisioned what these hermaphroditic, motile, heterotrophs would look like sitting across from me at a table in a restaurant. Also, the nasally, squeamish in a fair fight, backstab Euro Confederation gets a healthy dose of beat down for their craven nano attack on Columbus (see previous book). Revenge is always best served cold. Or, in this case, the chill is from the USNA through subconscious memetic subversion through the systematic corruption of the Confederation's AI network. Either way, it left a mark that may not get out in the wash. Operation Luther - nice use of the famously flatulent and chronically constipated old monk's name Mr. Douglas!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The above described beings were in a fur ball of a battle off of one of those god forsaken hellhole planets that seem to fester in every quadrant of our local arm of the Milky Way. As his / her ship was being vaporized around him / her, he / she cursed his / her blood thirsty gods as he / she started to feel the need to start popping out kids from various oral openings. Stress will do strange things, I suppose. The author offered a few choice observations on this noble race's views on reproduction and the not all that comprehensive role of the family unit in bringing up baby. Real "food for thought".


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes. When a holographic facsimile of one of our current scientific A list thinkers is dusted off and carted out at some cerebro-rama get together finished his schpeel about something or other that I must admit got a bit twitchy towards the end, President Koenig has his 12 seconds of "My god, the ramifications of this new reality has such profound........." and then seamlessly slipped into facing a new challenge as old as the forest from which we crawled out of at the dawn of humanity, "How can I get that perky ex-senator Hardbody, or something like that back into my life, back in the sack, back at my shack?" The transition was deftly played and kind of gave me hope for the future of my species.


    Any additional comments?

    Solid addition to a solid series narrated by a pro. Dark Matter is not the end, but a link in the continuing saga of the USNA America - battered, broken but still pissing venom and cracking foreign and domestic enemies with malice aforethought, and executed with extreme prejudice.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Restoration of Rome: Barbarian Popes and Imperial Pretenders

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Peter Heather
    • Narrated By Allan Robertson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    In AD 476, the last of Rome's emperors, known as "Augustulus", was deposed by a barbarian general, the son of one of Attila the Hun's henchmen. With the imperial vestments dispatched to Constantinople, the curtain fell on the Roman empire in Western Europe, its territories divided among successor kingdoms constructed around barbarian military manpower. But, if the Roman Empire was dead, Romans across much of the old empire still lived, holding on to their lands, their values, and their institutions.

    rich says: "Byzantine Empire Stands Tall!"
    "Byzantine Empire Stands Tall!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Restoration of Rome the most enjoyable?

    After purchasing Prof. Heather's earlier two books, I felt I was up for the experience of round three. If you just plug in the earphones, or other device and press play, the narrator's voice will rather quickly fade into the background as your mind drifts into that fugue state of grocery lists or a replay of last night's nonsense. The next thing you know you are jerked back into the present as Mr. Robertson announces, "Chapter 3".

    In order to fully be able to absorb the depth of the human drama and scope of empires competing on the battlefields of Eurasia that this book describes, you must maintain a low to mid level of physical exertion. Try this: get a map and find a hilly trail of some kind that will take several hours to walk. Listen to this audiobook as you meander along and you will quickly get into the story. My method was to go fishing, but I made sure that the spot I was going to fish was on the far side of the lake and required some effort to get to. Anyways, stay active and your mind / attention span will follow along.


    What other book might you compare The Restoration of Rome to and why?

    Probably Prof. Heather's earlier book about the Fall of Rome. As these two book's timelines somewhat overlap to a degree, this book reviewed and added some narrative to the last book's ending chapters.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed Prof. Heather's coverage of the Byzantine Empire. I was amazed at the resiliency of the Byzantines as they responded politically when possible and militarily when necessary to the arrival of westward migrating ethnic groups like the Avars, Bulgars, various Slavs and others I cannot recall at the moment. Meanwhile old adversaries such as the Ostrogoths in Italy, Visigoths all the way out west in Spain, Serraphids (sp.?) in Persia / Mesopotamia in the east constantly trying to wrest Armenia and other Trans-Caucasian territories from Constantinople's rule, were a constant internal and external threat that required troops on the ground and their heads on a swivel. And don't forget the Vandals making mischief in North Africa!

    The Byzantine's were flat out busy as hell trying to keep things together and nobody ever really seemed to want to help. Talk about death from a thousand wounds.

    But through the waves of screaming Avar horse mounted spearmen, the masses of revenge crazed Vandal heavy infantry, and back stabbing, trash talking Serraphid archers the Byzantines dominated the scene with their detachments of uber warrior Varangian Guard studs and, straight out of a Bulgar commander's nightmare, heavily armored mounted cataphract warriors. If I only had a time machine! I would just about give anything to see a detachment of Varangian Guardsmen withstand an onrushing Avar cavalry charge and then once the melee really hots up, systematically "snick" off the hapless dismounted horsemen's helmeted heads with their heavy axes mounted on 5 foot wooden shafts. Sounds rather gory, but welcome to mid 600's world of post Roman Empire southern Europe. It just never seemed to stop, and the Byzantine's were right in the middle of the action with a big bull's eye on their heavily armored cuirasses.

    When the Western Roman Empire went down the Byzantines stood up and stood like a cliff of righteous granite against wave after wave of determined and highly skilled horse peoples. The Byzantine Empire held firm. Their place of honor in the pages of history is forever secured.

    As you by now can see, after listening to this book I have really upped my respect for the Byzantine Empire and what those people accomplished in the midst of a truly chaotic situation on a continental scale. Prof. Heather took this fur ball of information and laid out the story in a fashion I can only describe as masterful.

    Kudos to Prof. Heather for reaffirming to this Cal Poly '92 history major why I chose my course of study! I loved this stuff back then and I still do today thanks to books like this. My Late Antiquity history "batteries" have been recharged.

    I am truly a better person for listening to this audiobook.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Varangian Guards - you want to see what armor and a warrior should look like? Look no further!


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book! I can honestly say that before this review, through the hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands, of pages of various reports and other essay-type endeavors I have written / typed, I never had the opportunity to type the words Varangian Guard before today. These guys, mostly from Denmark, Norway and England by the way, were flat out warriors who were game changers whenever they stepped onto the field. Go online and type in Varangian Guard (yeah! one more time...) go to images and check out the armor package these guys wore in battle. I have seen many variations on the armor theme over the years, and I can truly say that I am impressed x 6 with the protection these soldiers wore. What a sight they must have been!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First Imperium: Crimson Worlds, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Jay Allan
    • Narrated By Jeff Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (78)

    The Alliance and its colonies have called a truce and signed the Confederation Agreement, providing the frontier worlds with guarantees of self-government. No one expects the deal to last, and both sides are preparing for the next showdown. But from the depths of space another challenge is coming, one that will endanger the very survival of mankind and force not just the Alliance and its colonies, but all of the Superpowers, to join forces or face annihilation.

    rich says: "Great Story Butchered By Narrator"
    "Great Story Butchered By Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jay Allan and/or Jeff Bower?

    Jay Allen - Yes. Jeff Bower - No, or at least not until he realizes that narrating a book like First Imperium requires a modicum of professionalism and tact. After a few chapters I honestly started to think, "this guy can't be serious..... he is making these characters into a c rated parody of serious people doing serious things in a serious environment."


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The guy who jammed those explosives down the freshly torn open chest cavity of that bastard who tried to sabotage one of the fleet's cruisers. I could almost feel the gooey, still warm visceral organs thwacking against my face after the timing mechanism went ding. That guy deserved some sort of leave package or at least one of those shiny things to expand his uniform's salad bar.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jeff Bower’s performances?

    No. Refer to answer to question 1. Why does every person in this book at or below the rank of lieutenant sound like a 54 pound 11 year old kid who is still waiting for his sack to drop? At some point the narrator had to realize that this story is somewhat serious in nature. You know, that struggle to save whole planet populations thing and intense firefights with entire squads and even platoons being torn apart by direct hits from pulse cannons? After the fourth book I just don't know if the narrator really cares that almost every character's voice doesn't match what, in my humble opinion, it should be. Where is this production's producer? If there is one, why on earth hasn't he / she sat the guy down and told him to knock off the nitrous oxide bit and get serious?I don't know...maybe it's me and I am taking it all wrong. All I can say is that when I fork out my dough for an audiobook, I expect at least a modicum of narrator attention to how real people talk in various situations. Sadly, I just did not get it here. The book is a damn good piece of military science fiction with tons of action and all the things I like in a book from this genre. I could pick basically any narrator from the 800 or so books I have purchased from Audible and have them narrate this book. Not one of them would come even close to the falsetto or crappy jive smack voices Bower perpetrated on my ears. 3/4's of the way through, after I started to get pissed off for the various characters who, if they were actually real and heard how they sounded in this guy's narration, would probably drop whatever they were doing, hunt him down and snap his neck like a balsa wood chopstick, I gave up on the whole effort and pressed delete.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. As long as Jeff Bower had nothing to do with any voices or narration. As the last movie I saw was March of the Penguins, I wouldn't exactly save a seat for me.


    Any additional comments?

    Jay Allen can write an intergalactic zorchfest of a novel with the best of them. I just wish the audio part of this audiobook was narrated by someone who actually cared about what he was doing. A well written book just got torpedoed by its narration, and that's a shame.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.