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Mark

Father,Husband,Photographer,Book Fiend. 1st Audiobook was 1776 byDavid McCullough;listened while putting up Xmas lights in snowstorm-Hooked!

Bettendorf, IA, United States | Member Since 2011

43
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 350 ratings
  • 1251 titles in library
  • 94 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
6

  • The Supernaturals

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (725)
    Performance
    (661)
    Story
    (662)

    Seven years ago, Professor Gabriel Kennedy's investigation into paranormal activity at Summer Place ended in tragedy, and destroyed his career. Now, Kelly Delaphoy, the ambitious producer of a top-rated ghost-hunting television series, is determined to make Summer Place the centerpiece of an epic live broadcast on Halloween night. To ensure success, she needs help from the one man who has come face-to-face with the evil that dwells in Summer Place, a man still haunted by the ghosts of his own failure. Disgraced and alienated from the academic community, Kennedy wants nothing to do with it. But Summer Place has other plans....

    Mark says: "a nice find, great read, front runner in its field"
    "a nice find, great read, front runner in its field"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Supernaturals again? Why?

    Yes, I would, and will someday. As someone who reads/listens to 4-5 books a week, I've become a bit jaded to formulaic plots and figuring out the end game well before the end. I've been coming across a lot of great reads lately, though, and this is one of them!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gabriel Kennedy, obviously, but all of his personal friends, too.


    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    I read a review where someone knocks the narrator, but for the life of me, I don't understand why! I thought Mr. Kafer did an excellent job. His vocal talent and reading of various characters never took me out of the story (uber important), and he did a very nice job with consistency. I thought he was superb.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was simply a good ghost story...a good story period! Well plotted, spooky, enough humor to keep the book from becoming utterly gloomy...a very nice find, and I love to come across an author I've never encountered and be so happy with a spent credit.


    Any additional comments?

    The only critical thing I would have to say- and it's a minor point, certainly nothing to take away from a great story- is that based on the time this is taking place( meaning the 21st century, I'm guessing 2010 or 2011), I was surprised not to hear much about the internet being a factor in making this a huge phenomenon. There was very little talk of web stuff at all. Mr. Golemon, I mean absolutely no disrespect and you did a wonderful job. But it did sort of stand out for me. But that is a very minor point. This, like the book "14" by Peter Clines, was just a fantastic find I would highly recommend.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By John Joseph Adams (edited by), George R. R. Martin, Junot Díaz, and others
    • Narrated By J. Paul Boehmer, Cassandra Campbell, Orson Scott Card, and others
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse is a new anthology of postapocalyptic literature from some of the most renowned authors in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres today, including George R. R. Martin, Hugh Howey, Junot Díaz, David Brin, and many more. This eclectic mix of tales explores famine, death, war, pestilence, and harbingers of the biblical apocalypse.

    Mark says: "Jimmy's Roadside Cafe!"
    "Jimmy's Roadside Cafe!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This compilation is chock full of excellent stories. Fantastic narrators, as well. Bought it because it had a Paolo Bacigalupi story, which was as good as expected. But so far, halfway through the book, the story I know will stick with me long after I've moved on to another read is Jimmy's Roadside Cafe by Ramsey Shehedey. I wish I knew the narrator's name because he added a rich layer of depth to this moving, different view from any post apocolyptic story I've come across so far. Overall a great compilation- only one "meh" story so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Resurrectionist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Matthew Guinn
    • Narrated By Jeremy Arthur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    "Dog days and the fresh bodies are arriving once again." So begins the fall term at South Carolina Medical College, where Dr. Jacob Thacker is on probation for Xanax abuse. His interim career - working public relations for the dean - takes an unnerving detour into the past when the bones of African American slaves, over a century old, are unearthed on the campus. Out of the college’s dark past, these bones threaten to rise and condemn the present.

    Mark says: "Phenomenal writing and narration"
    "Phenomenal writing and narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So glad to have come across this book;!ill definitely be seeking out more books by Matthew Guinness. And the narration was excellent. A

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Amber Benson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (926)
    Performance
    (826)
    Story
    (848)

    Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

    Anthony says: "Love Amber's Narration"
    "Excellent story & narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Detective procedural meets top tier science fiction meets political thriller doesn't give nearly enough credit to John Scalzi for the in depth creation of a vast societal shift that seems so plausible. This was one of the
    Most satisfying credits I've used. Narration was excellent! Oh- and the "bonus" story was fascinating on its own, & a wonderful way to complete the story experience. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elantris

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6122)
    Performance
    (4420)
    Story
    (4469)

    Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is "outstanding." Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

    Lore says: "What if your body could never heal?"
    "Cheese fest, a long waste of time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I allowed the cover & a few positive reviews to lure me into buying this book. I don't often write negative reviews but this is not a credit happily spent, for me anyway. Stilted language, very one dimensional characters, & names either too alien or ridiculous (Father Omine stands out) just made this feel like wasted time. I stuck it out. The story had just enough juice to make me think it might get better or have a decent payoff, but for me, it was a slog. And the narration was a bit to overdramatic, too. Any story that doesn't use contractions can get caught up in that overly soap operish feel if the narrator isn't careful and/or skilled...but mostly, it was just the writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Skull Throne

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    Overall
    (688)
    Performance
    (612)
    Story
    (610)

    The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honor and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all. But Arlen Bales, the Warded Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honor refuse.

    Daniel says: "Does little to move the overall story along"
    "Excel continuation of series & fantastic narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Peter V Brett continues to hold my attention with a truly great story - and piss me off with a cliffhanger- one thing I hate is being left with a cliffhanger.

    Still, I'll continue this journey as the characters are so fully formed & unlike many if not most series, there are worthy and honorable characters on both sides, though I prefer the Greenland Hollowers above all others, & I've chosen my "side"....the point is, Brett weaves a tale where the dilemmas are not always black & white, lending real humanity to the telling.

    Fight scenes & magic can sometimes get wearisome in the genre, but Brett stops short of using it so much that I lose interest.

    And Pete Bradbury is astounding. He came make any character come to full being...whether an imperious royal, an sturdy yet less well-spoken Greenlander, or the the Warded Man or Jadir, he comes through with a true voice, and that goes as well for the many strong female characters - Leesha Paper, Inerva, Renna Bales and so many others- throughout the series who could have been destroyed in lesser hands (or vocal chords, as it were).

    Hopefully Bradbury will continue as the story progresses...many other series have been killed or maimed by changing narrators or even, as in the Game of Thrones series, just not reviewing previous voices & continuing with them.

    Anyway/ if you like epic fantasy, magic, war sagas, or just great character development, I recommend the series. But start at the beginning, or you'll lose much in the telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4824)
    Performance
    (4410)
    Story
    (4401)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Janice says: "What does it mean to be human?"
    "So glad I "took a chance" on this wonderful novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book I had relegated to the wish list for that "someday" I'd want to take a chance on it...I'm so glad the day came & now anxiously look forward to another book by Helene Wecker. As for Mr Guidall, he is undoubtably among the best in the business. I always feel like a book is in masterful care when he narrates. Highly recommend The Golem & the Jinni!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, The Troubles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (342)
    Story
    (342)

    Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

    Top of Mind says: "Another McKinty Gem"
    "Adrian McKinty +Gerard Doyle narration=Perfection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Adrian McKinty's first novel worked its way into my bloodstream and though I'm only a third of the way into his latest effort, it's already a five star experience. I've yet to travel to the land of my forebears but having read McKinty's bibliography, at least I'll have a small handle on the slang if I ever encounter paramilitants, the peelers, or anyone from Coronation Road.
    The McKinty novels I've encountered to date are crime fiction, to be sure, but they are also historically close to the bone pieces of beautifully written character studies with sometimes crass, sometimes poetic prose that can stop you in your tracks with wonder.
    And Gerard Doyle does a beautiful job. I'm glad the publishers didn't screw around with the engineering on this series...it's always disappointing to fall in love with the characters in a series only to have every voice dramatically change.

    Highly recommend the author and narrator. Well worth the credit or cash- just plan on reading everything he's written one you buy his first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Norwegian by Night

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Derek B. Miller
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (599)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (547)

    Sheldon Horowitz - 82 years old, impatient, and unreasonable - is staying with his granddaughter's family in Norway when he disappears with a stranger's child. Sheldon is an ex-Marine, and he feels responsible for his son's death in Vietnam. Recently widowed and bereft, he talks to the ghosts of his past constantly. To Norway's cops, Sheldon is just an old man who is coming undone at the end of a long and hard life. But Sheldon is clear in his own mind.

    Sara says: "Don't Miss This Amazing Book"
    "Great listen- fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy a wide range of books, & just came off of a 5 book epic fantasy series when choosing Norwegian By Night as a change of pace. But this is a change of pace from anything I've listened to in some time. Unique, character driven, almost poetic prose at times, and suspenseful...this was a superb audiobook (& the narrator was well chosen- he did a fantastic job).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Fool's Fate: The Tawny Man, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By James Langton
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (651)
    Story
    (658)

    FitzChivalry Farseer has become firmly ensconced in the queen’s court. Along with his mentor, Chade, and the simpleminded yet strongly Skilled Thick, Fitz strives to aid Prince Dutiful on a quest that could secure peace with the Outislands - and win Dutiful the hand of the Narcheska Elliania. The Narcheska has set the prince an unfathomable task: to behead a dragon trapped in ice on the isle of Aslevjal. Yet not all the clans of the Outislands support their effort. Are there darker forces at work behind Elliana’s demand?

    Lisa Hines says: "Review: The Tawny Man #3: Fool's Fate"
    "Robin Hobb is Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought the first book of this trilogy on sale; and was swept away into many consecutive nights of little sleep as I devoured them all. Fantastic storytelling, characters (& character development), and perfect narration. I'm hooked!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Way Down on the High Lonely: The Neal Carey Mysteries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Don Winslow
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (64)

    Neal Carey’s three-year confinement in a Chinese monastery is finally over—but his troubles are just beginning. The elusive financial benefactors who have bought his freedom expect a return on their investment. They want him to find Cody McCall, a two-year-old boy recently abducted by his father in a bitter Hollywood custody battle—a task that will propel Neal from the glittering Hollywood hills to the remote wilds of Nevada.

    Mark says: "Superb- love the series!"
    "Superb- love the series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love this series, as well as the Don Winslow stand alone novels. He's become a top tier, "go-to" novelist for me & I can't recommend his work enough. My only criticism is that soon I'll have plowed through his entire bibliography...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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