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Paul

United States | Member Since 2010

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 67 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Friday Night Bites: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1035)
    Performance
    (792)
    Story
    (800)

    "Vampires in Chicago! You'd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, 10 months later, we're enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite - fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong. Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle...yet."

    K. Eckert says: "Fun and entertaining read, love the narrator"
    "Friday Nights shouldn't bite!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The second book in the Chicagoland Vampires Series starts just after the conclusion of the first. It does more character building and we get more time spent with Merit's family as Ethan wants to make in-roads with some of the prominent Chicago families. We get to learn more about Merit's past, some about Ethan and some others in the house. These are all good things, but the house is treated almost like a Frat/Sorority house with the way it functions, not like the way decades old + vampires should live and act. It's neat, but it gets silly. The antagonist from book 1 is back, and that would have been interesting except that nothing really gets resolved this time around. Something else threatens the house this time around and it's something we've seen before and it just didn't work for me. I gave it 3 stars because I like the world, and I like the Chicago setting, but the series feels more like a TV show where nothing much happens week to week, or in this case book to book. It's not bad, but there's better Urban fiction/Paranormal romance out there. I'm done with Chicagoland Vampires

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (370)

    In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known. When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.

    Rosemary says: "not with a bang, but a whimper"
    "A thrilling conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Laini Taylor weaves a wonderful story in the final piece of her Smoke and Bones Trilogy. This really should be a five-star book, but she introduces some important characters in this book, that should have had some pages dedicated to them in Days of Blood and Starlight. I won’t say it feels rushed, because it’s a long book and ample time is dedicated to all plots, but if these key people were introduced, it wouldn't have been so jarring. The hubby and I have really enjoyed it, but having these crucial characters introduced so late feels almost like a plot coupon because there wasn't enough plot with the characters introduced before to complete the story with who we had in the last book. I think she did the best she could without the story going completely off the rails or some ret conning.

    We listened to the audio version and Khristine Hvam delivered another spectacular performance. She was right on the button with the usual suspects and all the new characters were also brought to life by the performance. I will say my only issue with the production was point-of-view changes during a chapter. There was no additional pause other than a normal paragraph pause. I don’t expect the break like between chapters, but there were more than a few times where it changes a point-of-view and it took a paragraph or so to understand whose point of view we were focused on. I won’t say it’s the end of the world, but it was distracting more than a few times especially early in the book.

    I really can’t in good conscience not recommend this book. It’s got a lot of great pieces, but the additional important characters introduced in this book, feel a little cheap. If you’re read the first two books in the series, what are you waiting for? Read this! If you haven’t read the first two, this is a great place to start and it’s not the typical teen romance love triangle shtick that’s been making the rounds since Twilight made it big.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4590)
    Performance
    (3120)
    Story
    (3153)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    AudioAddict says: "A hero with a sexy voice!"
    "The start of a long journey home."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is better than the sum of its parts. The story isn't stellar, but it's solid, same goes with the performance. However, it can be seen that Campbell has big plans for how the series can play out. There's a lot of deeper things going on than just the Syndics vs. the Alliance. However, we just were teased about it in this book. One of the things that detracts most from this story is that it doesn't stand alone. It just sort of ends, and we're meant to pick up book 2. I like it when books in a series have a clear stopping point, so that if I don't start the next one right away, I don't feel like stopped in the middle. It's just disappointing because the action is written well, and the dialogue is sharp. I enjoyed this book will pick up the next one in the series, but I wasn't compelled to jump right in to book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kraken Project: Wyman Ford, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (165)
    Story
    (165)

    NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.

    Jacqueline says: "Kraken Project? Not Really!"
    "A disappointing entry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've typically enjoyed the Wyman Ford series, but The Kraken Project was dull. None of the characters were particularly likable including Wyman Ford who felt like he was just along for the ride.

    Melissa Shepherd the female lead was just annoying and really unlikable. She tried to hard to be tough, but when it came to the AI program she was overly protective and does not make a good female lead to Wyman Ford.

    The AI Dorothy was insufferable. She starts off freaking out and threatening to destroy everything in her path, and as she 'evolves' she becomes very childlike in her interactions. Don't turn me off and throws temper-tantrums, and tries to become a benevolent overlord as the book goes on.

    Jacob.. What can I say other than he's useless and the story would be better without him. He really doesn't have any redeeming qualities. From the time we meet him he's just feeling sorry for himself and his parents don't seem to care because of the 'accident' I don't know why he's in the story, he doesn't really serve a purpose except as a plot coupon, but not a very good one.

    Wyman Ford is the main protagonist, but he feels out of place and almost gets led around by Dorothy and Ms. Shepherd. I won't say it's character assassination, but he just didn't do as much in this book as he's done in the past.

    The story has some good hooks, but I just couldn't get excited about them. The antagonists want to use Dorothy for some nefarious reasons which aren't all that interesting. They go through all this to get her copied over and it just sputters out without any meaningful impact. Rogue AI goes crazy and people try to get their hands on her, and be evil. It's not that original, but even with the hooks in the story this didn't work. I'd like to see more Wyman Ford, but not in situations like this.

    Scott Sowers wasn't the best in this story. He usually does a pretty good job with Wyman, but this time around he was unable to make the story engaging. Source material or direction, I don't know, but this was disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lost Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Clive Cussler
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (677)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (377)

    While scuba diving in Tanzania, Sam and Remi Fargo come upon a relic belonging to a long-lost Confederate ship. An anomaly about the relic sets them off chasing a mystery-but unknown to them, a much more powerful force is engaged in the same chase. Mexico's ruling party, the ultranationalist Mexica Tenochca, is intent on finding that artifact as well, because it contains a secret that could destroy the party utterly.

    Joanna says: "Lost Along the Way"
    "Aztec Treasure in Africa!?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a difficult book for me to review. I enjoyed this book more than the first in the Fargo series, but it's far from perfect.

    What I really like about the story are the characters. Sam and Remi are great characters and can really carry a story. Their friends are also really well written from Selma and her staff, to their friends in high places.
    The setting is also fantastic. From the jungles of Africa to their high tech home in California and everywhere in between. They are all awesome settings.
    Treasure hunting was also a lot of fun. The searching for all the different things from diving to digging to using technology to research the artifacts.

    What really drags the book down for me are the antagonists. They feel like cheesy comic book villains. The artifact will destroy everything I have worked so hard to protect and take down civilization as we know it! It gets a bit silly and goes a bit against what Cussler does well with his Dirk Pitt series. Grounded villains. Not all the villains are this way, but the main antagonist is and his number 2 follows orders and never questions them and that takes some of the fun out of what is really a pretty good story.

    I like treasure hunting books. They're a lot of fun for me to read, but I like them to have a complete story with good characters good and evil, a good plot, unique settings and most of all it needs to be fun. This book gets most of it right, but the villains really hurt the story for me,so it gets a 3 in terms of story. Scott Brick orates the story using his great voice and brings the Fargo's to life and has enough different accents for all the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3652)
    Performance
    (3013)
    Story
    (3002)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "Not your typical zombie story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, Maberry keeps the action moving and uses different points of view to keep the readers up to speed as to what all the different plot lines are doing. As the story reaches the climax, he brings all the plots together in some explosive action sequences, which almost feel as frantic as being there. Even the action scenes in the rising action are exciting and make you want to keep listening.


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

    Ray Porter does a great job with this type of book, and he was the narrator in one of my favorite books that we listened to last year 14 by Peter Clines. He does an outstanding job with dry humor and sarcasm and when it's time to be serious, he cuts to the chase. His cadence is perfect and brings excitement and the thrill to the action.


    If you could take any character from Patient Zero out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The titular hero in this case. Ledger has seen some crazy things both as a cop and now as part of the Department of Military Sciences. Hearing some of those stories would be really exciting and terrifying.


    Any additional comments?

    Really enjoyed the start to this series, and we're looking to hearing more of this series in the future and seeing what crisis Ledger and the DMS will try to stop next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Honor of the Queen: Honor Harrington, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1489)
    Performance
    (1068)
    Story
    (1069)

    It's hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards conquest as the only option and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That's why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the Republic of Haven, and the planet Grayson is strategically situated to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office overlooked a “minor cultural difference” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet of Grayson are without rank or rights and Honor’s mere presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.

    Richard says: "Following on in the series - Book 2"
    "Rich Sci-fi World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Second book in the Honor Harrington universe and it's a big step up from the first in the series. This book features Honor and co. visiting the planet Grayson and attempts to sign a treaty to help in the upcoming war against Haven. Haven in the mean time is teaming up with the Masadan's whose arch enemy are the Graysons. Both countries are religious fanatics and believe that women should not be soldiers, much less captains. It's up to Honor to work through the prejudices and get the treaty signed without letting Masada destroy Grayson and try to stop war between Haven and Manticore.

    This is a big step up from the first book. The stakes are higher and there's a much more complete story here. Weber lets us know that no one is safe in the Honorverse, and there are repercussions for everyone's actions. I thought that the story was really fleshed out with the politics of Grayson and Masada and their philosophies around religion, women and politics.

    Allyson Johnson does a great job with her cast, but there's a point where speech patterns change for a character and she doesn't quite hold it together for the rest of the book which is understandable as it would be very difficult to narrate that for a large portion of the story.

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more about Honor Harrington and the world he's created.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Up from the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1553)
    Performance
    (1435)
    Story
    (1429)

    There's always one more grave to dig. Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband, Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war…. A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death…because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences.

    Julius says: "Missed Kat and Bones"
    "The end of a great series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a strange book and while i liked it, there's a plot line that just doesn't really fit. The whole book felt like a lot of fan service. I think that it could have been OK, but I didn't buy it all the way. They start off trying to figure out how to get to Madigan, after a quiet period for Cat and Bones. Things quickly get out of control, and they use their allies to try and save themselves and prevent a war. That's the quick synopsis. There's a lot of characters in this book that get a quick nod or shout out. It's very fan servicey. It wasn't that it was poorly done, but it was just glossed over. The story was a little weak, and I don't know that there was enough for a full book here. It felt rushed and parts weren't fully developed. I gave it 4 stars overall, but Tavia Gilbert's performance was top notch as always, and it does pull everything together. If you've read the other books in the series, this is a must read, but it doesn't break new ground.


    *Spoilers Below*





    The Katie story line was pretty silly. The reaction by Cat felt really over the top. I get the basic concept that she now has a 'daughter' but the whole I must protect her at all costs even though I hardly met her felt very forced. Even my wife rolled her eyes at it. I get the whole parenting situation, but this felt forced because it was a paranormal romance and Cat's mom was a bad mother, so Cat needs a daughter so she can be a good mom didn't work. Having her probably be Tate's kid as well made me really roll my eyes, and I didn't think he was all that likable of a character, but maybe he was? I'm still looking forward to see where she takes her storytelling next.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cabinet of Curiosities: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    Overall
    (685)
    Performance
    (603)
    Story
    (602)

    In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered. Inside are 36 bodies all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago. While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. The nightmare has begun. Again.

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable, but not my favorite"
    "Great story, poor narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Cabinet of Curiosities? What did you like least?

    I really liked the fact that this where Pendergast came into his own and he became the protagonist of the series. It was interesting to get more of the story on some of the other recurring characters in the series and a few sneak peaks as to what is to come. I think my least favorite part of this book was the narration and I think the dream sequence lasted a little too long.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pendergast because we really got to see and experience how he works and comes to his conclusions.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Marosz?

    Scott Brick or Rene Auberjonois. This guy used too monotone a voice to really deliver a good performance. He grew on me over the course of the story, but it still wasn't all that good.


    Do you think The Cabinet of Curiosities needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    A direct follow-up, no, but the series does continue on with more of Pendergast's adventures with his friends.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like the mysteries, this book stands on its own, and is a great starting point for the character, but it's a better read than audio book due to the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ehle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2328)
    Performance
    (1751)
    Story
    (1757)

    When 16-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

    Sam says: "Fantastic book!!"
    "I don't get the appeal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I've gotten through a fair amount of YA, but this is one of the worst. The only people who I can think might like this are die hard Twilight fans.


    What could Cassandra Clare have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The writing is very juvenile. The cadence of the sentences is very choppy and makes for a difficult listen. Her constant use of similes to describe things becomes quite annoying and apparent when at one point i counted around 10 of them in just a few minutes. There are plenty of other ways to describe people, places, things.

    The love triangle is really dumb. It's been played out. It doesn't help that most of the characters are flawed beyond belief. Tessa is conceited and only concerned with appearance. "I don't know why you would want to live so long if you looked like that" Seriously that's what we want to teach our kids? Doesn't society do that enough, why should our fictional characters that girls should look up to. Most of the rest of the characters are pretty boring as well. Flawed characters are great, but these characters are despicable.

    I don't get how people running the institute are in their early 20's at most? That just doesn't make sense. These people are barely out of their teens and running a super secret organization. It's right out of an anime plot. Her use of the setting and proper Victorian England and proper etiquette, only seems to matter when she wants it to, otherwise it just becomes a backdrop for accents and language.


    What didn’t you like about Jennifer Ehle’s performance?

    I do not like the way she reads this story. Her accents and tonality do not fit the story and characters. She has a range of accents, but it doesn't fit this story and characters. It sounds as if it's my Grandmother is reading to me, and that doesn't fit the voices of these characters.


    Any additional comments?

    There's a great setting here, Steampunk, London, and Demon Hunting, but Ms. Clare doesn't bring it to life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ice Princess

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Camilla Läckberg, Steven T. Murray (translator)
    • Narrated By David Thorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (332)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (240)

    Returning to her hometown after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life. Erica conceives a memoir about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their lost friendship. While her interest grows to an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case.

    Paul says: "A Frozen Mystery"
    "A Frozen Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't think this was a particularly great novel, nor do I think it was rubbish. It has the challenges of a writers first novel. I think that the writer weaves an interesting story, but the reader is not really give the opportunity to weave the answers. Too many things are hidden from us. A note, or a discovery that we don't get to see until after the fact. I liked the characters well enough. Patrik and Erica were good, but they weren't perfect. Erica was a little weak, but I do think there is enough to build upon, so I will give the series a second look. There are a few unresolved issues, that I would hope get resolved in the second book, otherwise, it's a big letdown, since it was made a pretty big conflict in the story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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