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Ryan

CA, United States | Member Since 2007

246
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 54 reviews
  • 345 ratings
  • 639 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
44

  • Gil's All Fright Diner

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (257)

    Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley.But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "Occult humor story - works great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've summed up A. Lee Martinez by comparing him to the following canon authors in two other reviews...

    If you like Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams, Robert Asprin, Christopher Moore or Terry Pratchett, then this is a mug of ale or glass of wine from the same brewery my friend. Some good ol' light-hearted fun.

    This book is his cover of the horror / macabre genre set in the southwest United States. Somehow, he makes it work. Incredibly readable - or listenable.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1128)
    Performance
    (1047)
    Story
    (1054)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "Couldn't finish it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I couldn't become interested in the characters, plot or prose. I think this is one of those instances where the high ratings are because of the book's appeal to the lowest common denominator.

    The primary action in the book is around a group of young adults engaged in deadly competition with a sci-fi setting. But it was too thinly drawn to my taste - like 'The Hunger Games' or 'The Giver'.

    Maybe if I hadn't cut my teeth on 'The Running Man' (both the Stephen King novel and the Arnold movie - loved both, even if the latter was camp as all get out) or the film 'Battle Royale'.

    At any rate - if you find we have other positive reviews and negative reviews in common, I'd recommend you give this a pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13314)
    Performance
    (11682)
    Story
    (11732)

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Ryan says: "Enjoyable, but a lot of setup"
    "I'll have to read rather than listen to continue"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Earlier while listening to the series, I remember the narrator switch and finding it disappointing - not because I couldn't adjust to the change, but because the narrator wasn't the right fit for me.

    I kept on though because I was so engrossed in the story. But here, with Book 5, I had a long gap between this and Book 4, enough that my interest had to be rekindled. So take that, the fact that Book 5 is a little slow to start, and the narrator is grating on me.

    To each their own - but I find this particular narrator has such a rigid cadence, lack of inflection, and this habit of adopting a glottal, Irish accent for women characters that it pulls me out of the story.

    Will have to switch to reading hard copy rather than listening if I'm to continue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Douglas Adams
    • Narrated By Martin Freeman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1789)
    Performance
    (1112)
    Story
    (1132)

    Facing annihilation at the hands of the warlike Vogons is a curious time to have a craving for tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his curious comrades in arms as they hurtle across space powered by pure improbability, and desperately in search of a place to eat.

    J. Carpenter says: "awesome... except for the voice of Zaphod"
    "Love Douglas Adams but didn't care for narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    And oddly enough, the narrator was actor Martin Freeman who I've enjoyed on the BBC series 'Sherlock'. But I thought his accents and inflections were all wrong for delivery of Adams' humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1049)
    Performance
    (949)
    Story
    (955)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "Enjoy Peter Hamilton, but this one didn't take"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read many other Peter Hamilton novels: the Commonwealth, Void and Greg Mandel series. Loved those, but this one just didn't take. I suggest any sci fi fans who've read nothing by Peter Hamilton start with those series and in that order. Only consider 'Great North Road' after that.

    At that point, my review to those folks would be that 'Great North Road' has all the elements of those previous efforts, but it was less interesting, developed, exciting and thought-provoking. In addition, it was mired in several large sections. I recommend giving it a pass.

    To end on that first point though - I very much enjoy the many other novels of Peter Hamilton, and look forward to more!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2026)
    Performance
    (1838)
    Story
    (1839)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Unsympathetic protagonist, annoying narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was taken in by the quantity of positive ratings and reviews for this book. I should have suspected there was a low-common-denominator factor in play.

    I knew from the publisher's summary to expect cliches. Those I could forgive. What I couldn't forgive was the logical inconsistencies in the main character's portrayal.

    We're told that before the attempt on her life and her memory loss, she was formidable. What we're handed after is an utter twit.

    Imagine having watched the film 'Bourne Identity', except instead of an intelligent, competent, capable, and driven Jason Bourne, you had a bumbling, cowardly, insecure, stuttering jackass. And I mean literally stuttering - the main character in 'The Rook' is infiltrating a clandestine headquarters, her former self knew in advance this would happen and provided months worth of instructions, files, equipment, etc....and she's now walking around not knowing how to get to her office, saying things like "err, uh, umm" to the people she has to interact with.

    On another note, the narration was awful due to a particular habit on the part of the narrator when reading exposition. Dialogue was fine. But when she had a bit of exposition, she'd routinely employ a sing-song cadence such that it sounded like she was reading aloud to the tune of the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme.

    Sounds a little far-fetched, but listen to the audio sample Audible offers for a preview to see it's as apparent to you as it was to me. Other reviewers have commented on this as well.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Graveyard Book

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6665)
    Performance
    (3433)
    Story
    (3453)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....

    Guillermo says: "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"
    "Made me wish I had a haunted graveyard family!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A lighthearted tale about an orphaned baby who is adopted and raised by the supernatural inhabitants of a graveyard.

    When a secret, occult group learns that a child will spell their doom, they seek to eliminate said child. Though they dispatch the infant's family, through a series of events, the baby boy is found by the spiritual (deceased) inhabitants of an old, local cemetery.

    He is quickly adopted and protected by the graveyard folk. They protect him from the faction that took his natural family while raising and loving him as if they were his living, breathing kin.

    This book invites you to become ensconced in the hamlet where your adopted parents are a kindly, husband-and-wife, Victorian ghost couple, your guardian is an ancient, reformed vampire, your tutor is a matronly werewolf, and your neighborhood is a venerable graveyard with a quaint community of ghosts from here, there, and then. The graveyard's magic keeps you hidden from those who would do you harm, and you must remain until safe. But in the meantime, you find your hearth and heart among the macabre.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5136)
    Performance
    (4736)
    Story
    (4744)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Good, but you gotta know and love Gaiman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I adore Neil Gaiman. To my mind, he's a master wordsmith and storyteller. He can distill wonder from the seminal & archaic: historical events, dated language, orphaned mythoi, places with memory...you name it.

    As a stand-alone book, this one isn't the most engaging, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unfamiliar with Gaiman's body of work. Even I admit that he's got far more powerful pieces in his repertoire. For the rest of us who are familiar though, the operative word here is 'nostalgia'. Listen to this for the nostalgia...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ex-Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3132)
    Performance
    (2816)
    Story
    (2827)

    Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.

    Aser Tolentino says: "Superheroes vs. Zombies? Sure, why not..."
    "Give this a listen if you enjoy Graphic Novels!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've read and loved graphic novels like 'Ex Machina', 'Y: The Last Man', 'Watchmen', or 'The Walking Dead', then this is a pipe-full of tobacco cured, aged and toasted with your palate in mind, my friend.

    If you haven't read any of those, go check them out immediately; they're fantastic!

    Seriously though, this is a great novel for enthusiasts of sci-fi, action, adventure and superheroes. It's also got a bit of grit, a bit of depth, but not so much that the story isn't fun.

    Finally, I like the author, Peter Cline's style. I dig the way he expresses himself in narrative exposition and dialogue of the protagonists. There's a sense of rapport - like spending time with a brother or a life-long friend. It's the same in Cline's two other novels and it makes me hopeful the guy keeps writing!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A World Without Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Brandon Mull
    • Narrated By Jeremy Bobb
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (575)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (478)

    Jason Walker has often wished his life could be a bit less predictable--until a routine day at the zoo ends with Jason suddenly transporting from the hippo tank to a place unlike anything he's ever seen. In the past, the people of Lyrian welcmoed visitors from the Beyond, but attitudes have changed since the wizard emperor Maldor rose to power. The brave resistors who opposed the emperor have been bought off or broken, leaving a realm where fear and suspicion prevail.

    Stephanie says: "Brandon Mull has won me over again!"
    "From the 'Juvenile' library section, but alright"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an okay Narnia-type trope - a moderate fantasy tale with nothing explicit that would make it inappropriate for kids. Imminently forgettable, but not bad.

    I'd recommend it for children listeners. For their adult parents, I'd say give it a listen if you've got nothing else on the ipod and there's a 14 hour road trip in your future.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Red Country

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1003)
    Performance
    (908)
    Story
    (904)

    They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

    Kristina says: "Freakin' Awesome!"
    "Abercrombie + Pacey = Awesome!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Superb modern fantasy. This novel is a successor to Joe Abercrombie's earlier work 'The First Law' trilogy - which is also available as an audiobook and also narrated by Steven Pacey.

    If you haven't read or listened to that trilogy, I highly recommend beginning there. I have a separate review for the trilogy that goes into detail on its virtues.

    If you have read the trilogy, then you'll be familiar with the capabilities of Abercrombie as an exceptional writer, and Pacey as an exceptional narrator. This novel is the pair at their best once again....and more time in the company of Logen Ninefingers, The Bloody-Nine!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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