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Kenton

Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.

Highland Park, IL, United States | Member Since 2007

115
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 31 reviews
  • 262 ratings
  • 535 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Shift Omnibus Edition: Shift 1-3, Silo Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1371)
    Performance
    (1255)
    Story
    (1266)

    In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, a simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity's broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall - and the ability to forget it ever happened.

    Tango says: "Your ears are in for a real treat"
    "A short story painfully extruded to 18hrs. Ughhh."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Full and fair disclosure... I HATE captive hero novels, big brother overlord novels, and prison stories. So the real question is, why in the hell did I buy this book? I don't have a good answer other than to say that, YUP! Still hate 'em.

    That said, I will offer my critique.

    The novel is very well visualized. F'ing painful, but it's very clear what the author wants you to see. But part of this is the exhaustive detail that Howey puts into every moment he chooses to write about. There's no skipping, by god. He writes every detail.

    It's nice that the main character isn't whipped up from the New York Times Best Seller recipe. He's very unique. But god, what a whuss. If he 'cried' and 'the tears streamed down his cheek' one more time, I was going to reach in through my iPhone and slap him. There's got to be an app for that. He's also completely blind to every, single one of the patently obvious ominous warnings of impending doom.

    I just can't get into bottling humanity in a thermos and seeing what happens, so you can tell the threadbare parable of 'free will: good / big brother: bad.' Well, no sh_t. Pretty sure we all know that. Ayn Rand put the cherry on that pie, then shoved every last gooey morsel down our throats, so unless you have something SERIOUSLY compelling to add to that message, please move on.

    I just couldn't do it. I gave it two chances. It finally wore me down when a second, upcoming hero in the book got buried under another mountainous overburden of suspicion that absolutely no human being could ever escape.

    ugh. run.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Gray Mountain

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Catherine Taber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (727)
    Story
    (740)

    The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back. In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about.

    Marci says: "So Disappointing"
    "Relevant, unique, relatable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this title.

    I thought the story was unique yet completely believable.

    I like that Grisham chose (as is his way) a highly relevant environmental issue to anchor his story on, but didn't go overboard with the action. It keeps you on edge, but doesn't resort to unbelievable Hollywood blockbusting. In fact some of the action is actually kind of comedic (intentionally so).

    The narrator. A little whiney and slow at first, but as the book rolled on, I could see why she was chosen for a wonderfully imperfect and prematurely jaded heroin.

    Really fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Road Blues: The Pine Deep Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (683)
    Performance
    (614)
    Story
    (614)

    The cozy little town of Pine Deep buried the horrors of its past a long time ago. Thirty years have gone by since the darkness descended and the Black Harvest began, a time when a serial killer sheared a bloody swath through the quiet Pennsylvania village. The evil that once coursed through Pine Deep has been replaced by cheerful tourists getting ready to enjoy the country’s largest Halloween celebration in what is now called “The Spookiest Town in America.”

    Kathleen says: "Love Joe Ledger Series? Avoid This Trainwreck."
    "Reads like a high school creative writing project"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Nerdy, mundane, cliche.

    Maybe I'm just jaded, but it's really trite.

    The author's voice is awkward and ...nerdy is the best way I can describe it. I just get really tired of being disappointed by hours of suspense for mediocre highlights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (444)
    Story
    (448)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Great start. Fizzle finish."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVED the opening story of this book. One of King's best I've read. But then it just kind of miandered through an average story and a not really very scary bad guy. I didn't think what he was doing was all that bad, so I really couldn't get behind the hero much.

    I was hoping the ending would provide some kind of insight or redemption, but nope.

    Overall, pretty average for one of my favorite writers. Sorry, Steve. LOVED Dr Sleep. LOVED 11/22/63. But this one didn't do much for me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Skink - No Surrender

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    Classic Malley - to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard - he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink - he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

    Johnnie Walker says: "Hiassen Alert for Adults!"
    "Ok. Not his best, though"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was spoiled after Bad Monkey, I guess. LOVED that one.

    I don't know. Just not as much laugh out loud fun as I'm used to Hiassen.

    A PTSD hero who was a former governor? Hmmm. Ok. Just not great.

    The narrator was annoying, though. He's the right age to read this book, but his rhythm is really weird. Sometimes he sounds like Stephen Hawking's voice sythecizer or a Spak-n-Spell. Really irritating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legacy

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    The United States is ready to make a triumphant return to the moon, striking out boldly into the solar system in an attempt to regain the confidence of the heady days of the Apollo program. But a shocking discovery at Shackleton Crater brings the first Prometheus mission to an abrupt halt. Remote robots have uncovered human skeletal remains - and forensic analysis at NASA reveals the corpse to be over 700 million years old.

    Matthew says: "If i hear Frozen one more time..."
    "Remedial"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ugh. Basically, Clive Cussler but on the moon.

    Utterly cliche, worn out, trite and boring. One character actually used the term "Ray Gun." God, really?

    The story structure relies on such spoon-fed convenience, that it's not just unbelievable, but annoying. I hate being 5 steps ahead of the narrator. I'm no prodigy, but I found myself thinking things like "...really?" and "no shit," and "great, can we please get on with it?"

    And the narrator didn't help matters. He'd be great narrating a mid-70s crime novel. SciFi ain't his gig, though.

    I had to quit after 2 hours of eye rolling. Won't be buying anymore Event Group books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Diving into the Wreck: Diving Universe, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (236)

    Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she's an active historian. She wants to know about the past--to experience it firsthand. Once she's dived the ship, she'll either leave it for others to find or file a claim so that she can bring tourists to dive it as well. It's a good life for a tough loner, with more interest in artifacts than people.

    Pascal Scheffers says: "Scubadiving... in space."
    "She's a BADASS... but not really."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first chapters make boss seem like a real tough chick. Cool! This is going to be be fun.

    Then it crumbles. She's over-cautious, over-sensitive, and over-conservative.

    Whatever. Look, either let her be a spit blood pirate chick, or an housewife with a spaceship. But PLEASE don't try to mix the two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fool Moon: The Dresden Files, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8244)
    Performance
    (6259)
    Story
    (6236)

    Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is Chicago's only openly practicing wizard. He is also dead broke. His vast knowledge and magical skills are unfortunately matched by his talent for making powerful enemies and alienating friends. With little more than his integrity left, he accepts an offer of work from Lt. Karin Murphy of Chicago's Special Investigations Unit. He wants to redeem himself in Murphy's eyes and make enough money to quiet his rumbling stomach.

    pterion says: "I'm liking Harry more and more"
    "This narrator kills the series for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually really like the stories, but the narrator reminds me of a fat, tired, late-thirties, self-loathing, dungeon master fanboy from back in the DAY.

    I get it. Dresden comes from that ilk... kinda. But he's also a freekin bad ass, and this guy just can't pull it off for me. It just seems so forced.

    I'm bummed to see the whole friggin series is narrated by him.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Phillips
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1523)
    Performance
    (1377)
    Story
    (1396)

    In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now....

    Mike From Mesa says: "Terrific story"
    "Y A much?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When your heroes are all teenagers, it's pretty hard to tell a grown up story. Honestly, I'm seeing a blatant example of publishers reaching for increased revenue on a Young Adult novel by not marketing it as a Young Adult novel.

    Fun(ish), but not much in the way of new ideas or story devices, and character development of such solid oaken construction, it would be right at home on an Amish-built show floor.

    • Kids smarter than their folks? CHECK.
    • Parents in perfect Mayberry marriages? CHECK.
    • Bosses all A Holes? CHECK.
    • Teachers all bigger A Holes? CHECK.
    • School bullies get meaner and meaner till shown what 'fer by the hero? CHECK.
    • Government officials all idiots not to be trusted? CHECK.
    • Bad guys all self-healing alien zombies who look just like the rest of us? CHECK.

    C'mon guys. Really? I'm sure teens can dig it, but the storyline is so clearly marked, all you have to do in the event of reduced visibility is follow white lights which lead to red lights which lead to the exits.

    Ughhh.

    I quit at 5 hours in.

    48 of 56 people found this review helpful
  • Pathfinder: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Don Leslie, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2915)
    Performance
    (2219)
    Story
    (2236)

    Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him - secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

    Paul from Washington says: "Story OK, Narration Mixed"
    "Absolutely wooden."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My god, really? This is the author everyone fawns over.

    It was my first OSC card book, and likely my last.

    It's like listening to a chess match. UGHGHhhhh. The characters about as real life as Greek theater.

    Honestly thought I was listening to a young adult book. Was I, and just missed it?

    I tried. Really I did. I muscled through 3/4 of this thing, but it finally just wore me down.

    And STUPID character names. LOAF? UMBO? Really? gahhhhh.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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