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Brian

Niagara Falls, NY | Member Since 2015

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 330 reviews
  • 333 ratings
  • 786 titles in library
  • 91 purchased in 2018
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  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
    • Narrated By Claire Danes, Margaret Atwood, full cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17356)
    Performance
    (16016)
    Story
    (15965)

    After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

    ambER says: "WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT"
    "An enjoyable dystopian with a lot of truth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    With the release of the series on Hulu that was based on this book, I decided to give the book a listen before watching any of the episodes. I told my wife to start it without me in case I didn't like the book or couldn't get through it.

    I did have a hard time in the beginning of The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's writing style is the epitome of the books teenagers are "forced" to read in high school that makes them feel like they don't enjoy reading. It was choppy and incredibly descriptive. For every description of something that Offred saw there were up to 5 lines about it in the book.

    Honestly, that is the reason that I gave this a 4 out of 5. The story is awesome, and being written as long ago as I'm alive -- a lot of the main pillars of it are easily seen as coming true sooner rather than later. I believe that Atwood wrote this as an enigmatic "future" tale, not putting a date on it to age it. And it was written well enough that Hulu decided that they wanted to make a series out of it.

    Offred was one of those characters that you both feel bad for and not. I think she was written this way so that you both feel pity for her and a little bit apathetic. By far I would not wish what Offred had to go through on anyone but at the same time, the way her character was written made it more or less blasé.

    The dystopian future that Atwood created was easily what kept me reading this. It was interesting and deep. I would read more books about the lead-up and the start of the entire fall from grace. I absolutely loved her descriptions and the way that she left other things up to the reader's imagination.

    If you're curious if you should pick this book up -- it really depends on how much you enjoy the story (or the writing). Some people enjoy long and over-explained diatribes (millions of Stephen King fans for example). But, don't say I didn't warn you.

    74 of 85 people found this review helpful
  • Lies She Told

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Cate Holahan
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden, Lisa Larsen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (988)
    Performance
    (908)
    Story
    (909)

    Liza Cole has 30 days to write the thriller that could put her back on the best seller list. In the meantime, she's struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth. Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she's home alone caring for their newborn. Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur.

    shelley says: "Truth is stranger than fiction is stranger than fiction is stranger..,."
    "Two For The Price of One!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lies She Told begins with the protagonist, Liza Cole, a suspense writer who is struggling to complete a thriller before her publisher’s quickly approaching deadline while her husband’s best friend and law partner, Nick, is missing. As if that might not be traumatic and distracting enough, Liza, whose marriage seems increasingly strained, is also working with a fertility specialist in hopes of conceiving with her husband.

    Alternating chapters tell the tale Liza is crafting for her own protagonist, Beth, in what seems like real time–as she writes, we read. Beth, a new mother, discovers her husband has been unfaithful and does the unthinkable when she confronts his mistress. Both women question whether their decision making has been influenced by hormonal shifts and both women wonder about their husband’s fidelity.

    In short, this story is a thriller about a thriller writer and her thriller. A bit confused there? You might find yourself similarly perplexed while listening if you decide to give this one a go, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This book initially felt like I was getting two stories for the price of one, which I found especially exciting seeing as I purchased it on sale.

    As I continued to listen, the two stories became more intricately intertwined and, despite the dual narrations for the two female leads, the boundaries between the stories blurred and I found myself confusing what had happened to Liza and what was happening to Beth. While some readers might find this frustrating and consider this aspect of the piece a negative, I think Holahan deliberately created this confusion to highlight just confounded Liza had become. The effect was impressive and heightened my emotional reaction to the characters, increasing my sympathy, particularly for Liza as she struggles to understand what happened to Nick and who might be responsible.

    I’ve given Lies She Told 4 out of 5 stars because it felt a bit cliche and predictable at times but was overall enjoyable. There were enough twists to hold my interest and the use of two narrators, one for Liza and one for Beth, enhanced the dichotomy between the two and helped to reinforce the idea that this story really was “two for the price of one.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An American Weredeer in Michigan: The Bright Falls Mysteries Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By C. T. Phipps, Michael Suttkus
    • Narrated By Arielle DeLisle
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Life is not easy for the world's first weredeer detective. A simple hike turns into a media circus when Jane Doe, her best friend Emma, and a pair of monster hunters find a mass grave. Determined to find the parties responsible, Jane soon discovers a sinister cult leader has decided to make Bright Falls, Michigan the home of his corrupt religion.   

    Steve H. Caldwell says: "Fantastic addition to Series."
    "An EnDEERing Story Full of Awesome Characters"
    Overall
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    See what I did there? If you don't like that, then this book isn't for you.  Though An American Weredeer in Michigan has a lot fewer puns than the original book in the series - they were still there and made me laugh just as hard. I can imagine Phipps and Suttkus chatting with each other trying to come up with the ultimate deer-related pun. I'm also curious which one they each liked the most.

    An American Weredeer in Michigan (man, that's a mouthful - that's what she said... sorry) is one of those stories that you just enjoy.  It was pure enjoyment from beginning to end - Phipps and Suttkus really know how to write characters that you want to follow.  Jane is endearing (yes, I spelled it right this time) and a little doe-eyed at times, but she's also funny and relentless. I just love everything about her.  If she were a real person I could definitely see being friends with her.

    American Weredeer and the entire Bright Falls Mysteries series was one that I jumped into not fully sure what to expect, but I came out a completely changed man.  Phipps and Suttkus have this way of writing that drew me in and won't let me go.  They're all so enjoyable and fun from beginning to end.

    There was more teenage drama in this one, but what do you expect when you have a 19-year-old main character.  There's going to be drama - it's inevitable. And I thought that it was well thought out and appropriate for the amount of drama and stress that Jane and co have had to go through.

    One of my particularly favorite scenes (there shouldn't be any spoilers here) was when Jane pets and nuzzles the Werewolf version of her best friend - to which she replies "you know you're the only one I let do this?" I don't know why I just found that perfect and hilarious.  I think partially because of the character building and dynamic between the two of them, but it was great.

    I thought that Arielle DeLisle was perfect once again for the role of Jane and the overall narrator of the book.  She has a young-sounding voice that lends itself well to the character that was written.  She has an easy to listen to voice that made the story fly by.

    Overall, I think this might have been even better than the first book - and it intrigues me to see what else can happen in Bright Falls. Phipps and Suttkus - you have me hooked!

    I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Kill: A Thomas Caine Novella: Caine: Rapid Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Andrew Warren
    • Narrated By Andrew Tell
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Thomas Caine is being hunted. To protect a friend, the vengeful assassin has taken on a sinister branch of the Russian Mafia. Blood has been spilled, and these ruthless gangsters know better than anyone that revenge is a dish best served cold.... Caine soon finds himself captured in the frozen mountains of Siberia. With no equipment, no supplies, and no weapons, he must survive in this icy wasteland, as a crack team of Russian mercenaries hunts him down.

    cosmitron says: "Step aboard The Siberian Express"
    "A Near-Perfect Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Without giving too much away - Cold Kill is a story exactly as Warren describes: "Thomas Caine is being hunted." Honestly, much more information than that will give the entire story away.

    I found myself really getting into the story and Warren wastes NO time getting into the action. I felt like I was just thrust directly into the driver's seat going 100 MPH (and I loved every moment of it). Caine is as much of a bad-youknowwhat as you remember - reminding me of the Bourne movies/books that I love so much with a little sprinkle of Bond in there.  He always seems to find himself in these situations that you think "there's no possible way he's going to get out of it..." and yet you're proven wrong time and time again.

    The story seems to be a bit of an homage to the great story The Most Dangerous Game - taking someone and hunting them for sport.  The problem is - they don't know just how good Caine really is. I loved the back and forth between the men and Caine (and the men and each other when they realized this wasn't just some other hunt).

    Warren is able to write about the cold in a way that makes you turn the heat up in the car when you're driving.  Of course, when I was listening to this, I was driving home from work, in the snow, in April - so it was cold. He was able to run a chill up my spine numerous times from talking about the cold and from the closeness that Caine would come to disaster. A feat that's not easy.

    Cold Kill was narrated by Andrew Tell. A first-time narrator to this series, but no rookie to narrating excellent titles.  Tell injects something to the Thomas Caine stories that weren't there before.  I liked the series, but with Tell behind the wheel, I have a new found appreciation for the pacing and storytelling ability of Warren. He just breathes life into the story that you don't get with every narrator.

    Overall, Cold Kill is probably my favorite Caine story to date and with the addition of Tell as the narrator - I'm pretty darn happy with this.  I finished it in just about one day and I loved the length of it.  I thought Warren told his story without any extra details needed.

    I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hurricane Crimes: Disaster Crimes, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 17 mins)
    • By Chrys Fey
    • Narrated By Craig Long
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather. 

    Brian says: "A Romance Short Story With Some Suspense Added"
    "A Romance Short Story With Some Suspense Added"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    2.5 out of 5 stars

    Hurricane Crimes tells the story of an unlikely pair who meets under incredible circumstances. Beth is forced to ride out Hurricane Sabrina at her home in Florida. While riding out the storm she happens to find a man knocked out in his car near her house. She saves him, brings him inside and finds out that there may be more to him than meets the eye.

    First and foremost – this is right on the cusp of being a book that I wouldn’t normally read and review. The cover (and the script-y font of the publishing company) tell me that this is going to be a romance novel. I went into it figuring that it wasn’t going to be for me. But I was surprised at the amount of tension that Fey was able to build in just over an hour. There were at least three of four times that you thought something was going to happen and ether the other did or the suspected bad-guy would talk himself out of.

    I may have unfairly judged this book by its cover – but at its heart, it is a romance novel with some thriller aspects and a little mystery. (Spoilers ahead) Strangers meet, they shouldn’t get along, but they do. They fall head over heels for each other due to the dire circumstance that they’re in and.. they do it. Sure, there is an over-arching story of a murder and a cover-up, but the heart of this novel is romance. There weren’t any super dirty or blushingly bad parts to this (I’m not a romance reader, so I don’t know what’s in those books).

    Overall, not for me, but if you enjoy quick hitting short story with some enjoyable suspense parts (and you enjoy Romance novels) then Hurricane Crimes if for you.

    I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Destruction: EMP Lodge Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Grace Hamilton
    • Narrated By Andrew Tell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Megan Wolford is used to handling her own problems, so being part of a makeshift family, and all the responsibilities that come with it, is a new experience. She'll do anything to help protect her newfound love Wyatt and the lodge group - but sometimes events are out of her control.... When a leak in a nearby dam threatens to flood the land they've fought so hard to keep, Megan and her group will have to make a difficult choice: stay or leave?

    Brian says: "Up Against Seemingly Insurmountable Odds"
    "Up Against Seemingly Insurmountable Odds"
    Overall
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    Story

    Sometimes a book cover is what drives me to read a book. For some reason I didn’t look at this cover until I was more than halfway through Dark Destruction (probably because I already like this series and I knew I wanted to read this without seeing the cover) but the cover on this one really gives a nice glimpse into what the Lodge is going to deal with in book four of the EMP Lodge series.

    Megan, Wyatt, and the gang are back at it again. Having survived an attack by crazy bikers and finally settling in (as much as you can) to the Lodge – they hear an explosion and decide to check it out. Upon finding the place where they think the explosion took place they find a crack in the dam protecting their Lodge from being washed away.

    Dark Destruction is an aptly named book in the EMP Lodge series. I really wasn’t sure if everyone was going to make it out of this one alive – and I won’t ruin it for anyone. I thought that Megan’s idea was a little crazy but that’s what it takes to stay alive.

    I also like that the survivors haven’t been out on their own long enough that they haven’t lost all hope. Some prepper/post-apocalyptic books are written in a way where you just know that day 2 the person or people have given up hope of there being any good left in the world. Hamilton has been keeping a little sliver of hope alive in Megan and I can’t tell if it’s going to continue or finally be squashed.

    Andrew Tell is a magician for this series. He takes an already good book and – poof – adds a little bit of his magic to it and it’s even better. I think that his narration in combination with Hamilton’s writing style will have me coming back for more.

    I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Deadly Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Chris Patchell
    • Narrated By Emily Cauldwell, Kevin Stillwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather's cruel abuse. Now, as an adult, Jill's made it - she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle. The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant - until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview - and suddenly it all comes rushing back.

    shelley says: "This author needs a larger Audible audience!"
    "Not The Book I Expected, But Okay"
    Overall
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    The Publisher’s synopsis really drew me in here–I’m a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries and loved both the book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and the movie (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) that Deadly Lies had been compared to. While I didn’t find this book to be quite as gripping as they had suggested it would be, I didn’t hate it. I found it a bit predictable at times and exciting at others. While I had been intrigued to read a book centered upon the lives of a husband and wife duo, where one spouse is a Detective and the other is seeking vengeance, I didn’t expect the degree of separation I encountered between the two characters or their stories.

    Patchell expertly develops two strong main characters with distinct personalities and sprinkles in a supporting cast of coworkers, family members, victims, and villains. A dichotomy of sorts is established from the very beginning, as the book essentially tells two separate stories that sporadically intersect, much like the lives of our two main characters, Alex and Jill. This decision, reinforced by the use of dual narration, emphasizes the couples’ strained relationship and aids in the weaving of Jill’s dramatic ever-growing web of secrets.

    During the first half of the book, we learn about Jill’s childhood traumas and find her husband, Detective Alex Shannon, investigating the disappearance of a teenager (who happens to be the sister of his former significant other) while Jill travels for business and finds herself in some hot water. Her need for revenge surfaces after an unfortunate encounter (no spoilers here) and continues for the remainder of the story, intersecting with Alex’s investigation only by chance, when a colleague asks for his assistance with another case.

    If you’re looking for full disclosure, my frustration comes primarily from how much I really struggled with Jill’s character and a bit with how quickly the book was “wrapped up” at the end. While initially, I was sympathetic to Jill’s childhood traumas and her “always working husband, I didn’t find her character particularly likable for the duration of the story–she shared responsibility for her shaky marriage, made a series of poor decisions, especially for an educated, intelligent, successful woman, was short and snippy with well-meaning relatives, and overall a bit disappointing. Some of the hot water she found herself in would have been avoidable if her ethics were stronger, while some were unavoidable, resulting from the actions of those around her. I really wanted to like her–I wanted to root for her and her marriage, especially when she fell victim to the reporter (I won’t tell you how here) and began planning for some good old-fashioned vigilante justice. There was just something about her that made her hard to like…

    The book’s conclusion was interesting–I felt like it was a bit rushed and would have appreciated a bit more but I also think Patchell carefully balanced the reader’s need for closure with his need to leave them intrigued enough to pick up book number two. Overall, Deadly Lies wasn’t as suspenseful and thrilling as I had hoped it would be but it was a good story with interesting characters and amazing narrators. It left me thinking I might give the second book a shot, especially if Cauldwell and Stillwell return to read it to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gone World

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tom Sweterlitsch
    • Narrated By Brittany Pressley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (187)

    Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In Western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL's family - and to locate his teenage daughter, who has disappeared. Though she can't share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship USS Libra - a ship assumed lost to the darkest currents of Deep Time.

    Veronica says: "What an amazing find!"
    "Just Wow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. Just Wow. Wowwy, wow, wow, wow.

    I don’t know where to start with this magnificent piece of art. The Gone World was good enough for me to say you should put down what you’re reading now and queue it up. The plotline, the setting, the characters, the narrator…every piece of this experience was incredible.

    It almost doesn’t matter what genre you prefer–this book, part criminal investigation, part dystopian, part science fiction, part thriller/mystery, seemingly has something for everyone. Fans of NCIS, the Martian, and All Our Wrong Todays will all enjoy following Shannon Moss through space and time on her quest to solve a murder, find a missing girl, and save humanity.

    Tom Sweterlitsch is extraordinarily talented, a master of imagery, characterization, and suspense, capable not only of developing worlds different from our own but of transporting readers through space and time to experience those worlds.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Coming to You Live: A Newsflesh Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Christine Lakin
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Shaun and Georgia Mason got out. That's the story people tell, anyway. They told the truth and they lived happily ever after, somewhere in the wilds of Canada. But running away is complicated, and when circumstances force them to return to what they left behind, they'll have to face the consequences of their own actions...and the actions of others. 

    Brian says: "The (Almost) Ending We Needed"
    "The (Almost) Ending We Needed"
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    When a book has this many spoilers to pretty much every other book in the Newsflesh series – you just take the description that Grant wrote herself: “Shaun and Georgia Mason got out. That’s the story people tell, anyway. They told the truth and they lived happily ever after, somewhere in the wilds of Canada. But running away is complicated, and when circumstances force them to return to what they left behind, they’ll have to face the consequences of their own actions…and the actions of others. ”

    Warning: this review will contain spoilers to the other Newsflesh book. If you have not read at least the first three – you will have the main plots of the series spoiled.

    Okay, now that I got that out of the way, Mira and Newsflesh is back. Not just that Georgia and Shaun are back… yes you read that correctly. Back from the Great White North. Coming To You Live is easily one of the most satisfying books I’ve read in this series. It had everyone that I knew and loved in it. Shaun, Georgia, and if I list anyone else it will spoil the story. Just the fact that this story bounces back and forth between Shaun and Georgia’s point of views made it a winner to me.

    There is just something about this series that makes it perpetually enjoyable. Grant keeps finding stories that I want to read. She even calls some of the other stories out in this one once we run into one of the old gang. There are obvious call-backs to Deadline but there are some slighter call-backs to probably my favorite novella: How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea.

    I don’t know what else to write about this book other than I really enjoyed hearing Shaun’s point of view again. And hearing from both the “real” and “not” versions of Georgia was both a mind-mess and probably one of the most interesting parts of Coming To You Live.

    I keep asking for more and it sounds like Grant keeps giving it to me – little by little.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Commune: Book Two: Commune Series 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Joshua Gayou
    • Narrated By R.C. Bray
    Overall
    (428)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (404)

    The survivors have come to settle in the mountains of Wyoming, fighting day in and day out to establish a home for themselves in a near-empty world. Things are good at first; scavenging is a workable, short-term solution that seems to be providing all they need. But they know that it’s only a matter of time before the food runs out. They need to scramble to find a sustainable solution before the clock stops, and for a little handful of people up in the mountains, the odds don’t seem very favorable.

    Jason a. says: "Excellent listen"
    "This Will Have You Belly Laughing, Crying, and..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This Will Have You Belly Laughing, Crying, and Everywhere In Between

    Gibbs. Sweet, sweet Gibbs. You might easily be one of the most enjoyable characters I’ve ever had the chance of listening to. You magnificent son of a… I realize now that I can’t write a review anywhere near where I want to AND still have it postable on anywhere outside of my blog. Audible and Amazon would take the review I want to write down in a heartbeat if I wrote it the way that I wanted to. There’s a warning in the opening of this book and I’ll give a similar one here. If you are offended by cursing, especially creative and often hilarious outbursts by an ex-Marine – this book is NOT for you.

    Commune Book 2 had me howling in my car with laughter on numerous occasions. I curse and have no issues with it. But Gibbs made me have a new-found appreciation for cursing in new and unique ways. Seriously, the effort and research that Gayou put into writing a character as ‘colorful’ as Gibbs deserves a standing ovation.

    The story in this was darn near perfection. Seriously, Gayou is able to tell about four different stories (that in some worlds would have been split up into four separate books) and he does it darn well. The opening story recounts the start of the Super Fun Time… Explitive Bus. Even the story about how the bus got its name is hilarious and perfect. That story was utterly fascinating and had me wishing my three-hour drive was longer. Jump from that to the scene in Denver (I won’t spoil it, but it was intense and heartfelt in a way that had me in actual tears while listening). Now the group on the bus meets a stranger – this leads into yet another story and more “retelling” through the eyes of interviews and the book of the Commune. I won’t even get into the final two stories because that would ruin the slow build that Gayou has throughout.

    Seriously, Gayou has this way of sucking you in to his story by making you laugh your face off – then all of a sudden you’re crying actual tears because something happens – then not a few chapters later you’re not sure what’s going to happen to the gang. And then we go back to laughing and anywhere in between. The number of emotions that Commune Book 2 had me go through should win some sort of award.

    And speaking of Awards – R.C. effing Bray deserves one for the telling of this story. Holy, you know what. (Trying not to swear in a review of a book where swearing is nearly a comma is harder than I thought. I feel like a foul-mouthed grandma around her grandkids after stabbing herself with a knitting needle). I loved the first Commune book and I don’t think that I would have ever read it had Bray not narrated it. Now I was prepped and ready for Book 2. I thought for sure it would let me down a little because of how much I loved the first book. The combo of Gayou’s writing style and Bray’s delivery absolutely seals this book for me. Commune Book Two’s narration needs to win some sort of award. Even if it’s the Fun Time Bus Award. I think Bray stepped it up a notch in this story. I don’t know if it was Gayou’s writing or just the passion in the story. This one will be one I don’t forget for a long time.

    I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Borders

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Bobby Akart
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (147)

    American political leaders failed to heed the warnings as two bullies of the world unite. North Korea and Iran - the Axis of Evil - bring the battle to American soil. Most of the country is without power, and the new president must decide whether to retaliate and risk escalation of hostilities or focus on recovery to minimize loss of life. Through careful, prudent planning and protection of their power grid, the state of Texas emerged relatively unscathed from the EMP attack. But what now?

    Brian says: "Just Great (A Love Letter To Texas)"
    "Just Great (A Love Letter To Texas)"
    Overall
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    4.5 out of 5 stars

    I should know the end is coming from the three other series that I've read by Akart, but man - he gets me every time. Right when I think there is going to be more, boom! Much like the EMP he writes about - the story is over.  Darkness. I  have to wait another month until the third book is released.  Upon finishing, I tweeted this:

    "Just finished Beyond Borders by @BobbyAkart and all I can say is... (insert picture of Hank Hill from King of the Hill saying "Dangit Bobby!""

    Beyond Borders is the continued story of a family trying to survive amidst a changing world. Living home on the ranch - trying to protect its massive grounds.  Or trying to get home - thousands of miles away only on horseback.  It also tells of an American, trapped in North Korea who is helped by an unlikely friend.

    Easily my favorite storyline in Beyond Borders was the one featuring Duncan and Sook.  It felt a little different for an Akart book and I can't help but feel like there will be more here (I have some thoughts and curiosities, but I won't air them here in case they are right). But their story felt like it was leading up to something.  I can't tell what yet. I know that in the Pandemic series there was an overarching love story at play but in Beyond Borders it felt like Akart was going to give us a little more emotion.  Open his heart up a little.  Now that I'm writing this I'm extremely scared of what will happen with Duncan and/or Sook. (Akart is no George R.R. Martin, but I can't help feeling like not everyone is safe).

    I follow Akart's Facebook page - and he mentioned that we would have an appearance of Red Rover in this book. But it was even more enjoyable than I expected. I wasn't sure how he was going to weave his baby into it, but he did it and it was in a way that made me smile. I'm also pretty sure that he even brought a version of his pup into the story.

    But, back to my title for this review.  Man, if this isn't a love letter (or a letter of longing?) to Texas, I don't know what it is.  I know I'm reading a series called The Lone Star Series but most of Beyond Borders focuses on Texas and the fact that they have prepared for this for a long time.  Akart is a prepper and I think that the fact that Texas has taken a prepper-mindset to the way they run their state really resonated with him.  As with pretty much every Akart book I've read, I learned a lot of things (and looked a lot more up) that were factual inside of it. Akart has a way of teaching me something while entertaining the heck out of me at the same time. It's hard to do without boring the user or making it glaringly obvious that someone is trying to do it, but Akart pulls it off with ease.

    Beyond Borders might be Akart's most-cliffhanger-esque book to date, but wow was it a blast to read from beginning to end.  I sat here, listening to 50mph winds, watching it snow, then get sunny, then snow (in April), and get sunny with the wind howling and the power flickering on and off wondering... has he taught me enough? Am I prepared? I know I'm not, but I think I might start.

    Overall, a great story with interesting story arc's inside of it.  If you enjoyed book one and wanted a little more action (and a lot more EMP) - Beyond Borders will satisfy that. Just be warned - the ending will leave you begging Audible and Akart to release book three early.

    I was voluntarily provided with a free copy of this book. It has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed this review, please vote for it! Every vote helps.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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