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Ryan

CA, United States | Member Since 2007

210
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 50 reviews
  • 327 ratings
  • 609 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
36

  • Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Scott Aiello
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (818)
    Performance
    (758)
    Story
    (759)

    Emperor Mollusk. Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth. Not bad for a guy without a spine. But what's a villain to do after he's done... everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel aliens invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course. Retirement isn't easy though.

    Kat Hooper says: "Hilariously wacky!"
    "Worthy sci-fi / pulp trope humor. I loved it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wrote a remarkably similar review for one of this author's other novels, but the same holds true here...

    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.

    17 of 17 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
    (1777)
    Performance
    (1611)
    Story
    (1611)

    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.



    1 of 1 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
    (6021)
    Performance
    (2824)
    Story
    (2840)

    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.

    2 of 2 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
    (3711)
    Performance
    (3438)
    Story
    (3446)

    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
    (2479)
    Performance
    (2211)
    Story
    (2221)

    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.

    Don says: "A great read if you like heroes or zombies!"
    "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
    (451)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (371)

    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
    (709)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (639)

    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
  • Swarm: Star Force, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2988)
    Performance
    (2735)
    Story
    (2742)

    Kyle Riggs is snatched by an alien spacecraft sometime after midnight. The ship is testing everyone it catches and murdering the weak. The good news is that Kyle keeps passing tests and staying alive. The bad news is the aliens who sent this ship are the nicest ones out there.

    Katie Johnson says: "If Micheal Bay Wrote a Sci-Fi Novel..."
    "Pretty good little scf-fi story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this to be an enjoyable little listen. Not 5 star worthy but I got hooked nonetheless.

    The premise is a bit like the 'The Last Starfighter'. A small fleet of advanced alien ships arrive on modern-day Earth. Each one chooses a human pilot - one per ship. The ship and the pilot are interfaced with nano-technology and human pilots find they're equipped with devices of incredible power.

    Just as they begin to contemplate who sent these ships and why, the reason is thrust at them....another armada arrives, and it is hostile. Earth quickly realizes that the arrival of the first fleet was a gift to help combat the second adversarial fleet - which is fortunate because the level of technology they're facing means they'll need all the help they can get.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Angels

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Richard K. Morgan
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1603)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (650)

    Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private eye, has changed careers, and bodies, once more, trading sleuthing for soldiering as a warrior-for-hire and helping a far-flung planet's government put down a bloody revolution.

    crazybatcow says: "Very very good story, very very "adult""
    "More pulp sci fil with Takeshi Kovacs!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great successor to the first novel, 'Altered Carbon'.

    In this book, mercenary-for-hire, ex Envoy special agent Takeshi Kovacs has left Earth after his noir detective stint and proffered his talents to an elite paramilitary private contracting unit. He's serving in an engagement off-world when he gets an offer to lead a very dangerous and very secret archaeological expedition in the war-torn region to recover advanced, ancient alien relics.

    Bottom line - if you liked the first novel, you'll like this one as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: The Skinwalker Conspiracies

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (163)

    "My name is Mike Ross and I'm a Ferryman - like in the Greek myth. I didn't ask for, or really want, the job, but I'm trying to make the best of it. Most ghosts are okay and just need a little help to get where they need to go. Unfortunately, there are lots of exceptions, like power-mad psychopaths, spirits still trying to fight battles long since lost, and the worst of the lot - the Skinwalkers. They live vicariously by possessing people and controlling them like puppet masters. Then they toss them aside when they've outlived their usefulness."

    Professor says: "UNDERAPPRECIATED Masterpiece!!!"
    "Nice to spend more time with Mike Ross...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The supernatural mystery and adventure continues. I'll be looking out for more work by Jim Bernheimer.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (250)
    Story
    (252)

    "My name is Mike Ross. I'm a Ferryman. I help people with ghost problems, or ghosts with people problems. Funny thing, no one ever helps me with my problems. Civil War ghosts bent on killing me, Skinwalkers who just want my body, and a vindictive spirit linked both to my bloodline and my destiny... It turns out the dead still hold a good deal of influence over the world, and they don't want to give it up. I'm in way over my head. Fortunately, I'm too stubborn to quit."

    DonNel says: "Like Harry Dresden? You will love Michael Ross!"
    "He can see ghosts, and he's handling it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just a good vanilla story. The protagonist is a vet home from the Middle East after suffering a severe injury. Not crippling, but enough that he can't soldier any longer.

    Mid 20's, he's going back to college, finds he can see and interact with ghosts. He doesn't lose his mind, he doesn't find it's a curse, he isn't beset by horror - no pretentiousness - it's just a new perception and it gets him into a new way of life. Like anything in life, there are benefits and costs that balance.

    The story is about the odd jobs his new ability earns him and the misadventures that follow. He handles it with an everyman attitude and dry sense of humor.

    Overall, a fun read that I recommend to someone who enjoys a light tale with a supernatural twist.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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