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John

I enjoy well researched historical fiction where I feel like I've learned something as well as being entertained.

Member Since 2012

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 77 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
3

  • Doctor Sleep: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (6765)
    Performance
    (6274)
    Story
    (6293)

    Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

    D says: "The sequel to the book; not the movie"
    "Entertaining sequel to the Shining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This follow on to the Shining is entertaining if predictable. The life of post Overlook Hotel Dan is actually more interesting than the main plot. Although there are ghosts and supernatural creatures I wouldn't say the book is scary in that way. The main problem is that the bad guys come across as rather silly and end up being done in more by microbes and old age than anything Dan and his posse do. Worth a read/listen but don't expect any chills.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Roads Less Traveled: Murphy's Law

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By C. Dulaney
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (116)

    Kasey and the gang were held together by a set of rules, their Zombie Plan. It kept them alive through the beginning of the End. But when the chaos faded, they became careless, and Murphy’s Law decided to pay a long-overdue visit.

    Mike Naka says: "excellent 2nd book! surpassed my expectations!"
    "Weak follow up to Promising Start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    UGH! After a great start in the first novel Dulaney falls dead in this follow up. High points are the narration by E Rodgers and the fact that Dulaney is actually a very good writer. Her writing quality provides cover for the fact that this seems like a jumble of scenes tossed together for no particular reason. There doesnt seem to be any effort to be creative as everything is old and predictable. Much of the story takes place in a prison (very similar to the WD series) but she makes no effort to make the stay there very interesting or different from the series. Except that there seem to be endless supplies that no one is making any effort to ration. Also, the bad guys are bad for no reason other than thats how they are written. I found myself many times saying "what? - no way." There are huge gaps in the logic of why the characters go from one place to the next. Also, even though they know that noise attracts the zombies they fire off rounds like they live in an ammo factory. The answer always seems to be to waste ammo and make noise when simpler tactics would be much more practical - like how about we create a distraction so the zombie hoard turns before they get to the hide out? And how the heck (spoiler) despite the fact that everyone is on high alert, does the main bad guy steal a horse, cut through two fences and escape right into the zombie hoard without anyone noticing?! There are a few good scenes but overall I found myself drifting and wondering how much longer it was going to go on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roads Less Traveled: The Plan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By C. Dulaney
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (166)

    Ask yourself this: If the dead rise tomorrow, are you ready? Do you have a plan? The dead rose, and the living quickly realized that Hollywood-style tactics were the quickest way to find yourself one of the walking dead. Kasey, a strong-willed loner from West Virginia, and Ben, a college student from Pennsylvania, have shared an unlikely friendship over the years. And their bond is stretched to its limits when society collapses under a tide of zombies. But Kasey has something she likes to call The Zombie Plan.

    Tilo says: "Perfect! Highly Recommended!"
    "One Woman's Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This year I have been on a zombie fiction binge and have read just about everything out there in the genre. The good, the bad and the put it back in the grave smelly. Most of it is written from a male perspective with women playing a secondary or pseudo supporting role. By pseudo I mean that women's characters are not very realistic and either just written the same as men, as sexy screaming victims or over the top super-hero like in their abilities.

    It has begun to annoy me that there is an absence of realistic women characters & writers in genre. I had recently even polled a group of my lady friends as to what they would do in the event of a zombie apocalypse. "The girl with all the gifts" goes a long way with depicting realistic women but in the end... written by a guy.

    Enter C Dulaney. Finally, a lady takes a swinging axe at the walking dead! And slams it squarely in the brain. Dulaney does a great job with the characters - both men & women and backs them up with a great story.

    The set up is your typical zombie beginnings and survival layout but well written enough and with solid enough characters to keep you fully engaged. There is enough mayhem and gore for the most ardent fan, but with a feminine spin (not softer just feminin-er). You'll find no glittering love bird zombies here.

    My only plot complaint is that this particular group of survivors has a ready made zombie apocalypse plan that they put into action as soon as the brains hit the fan. May have been more believable if it had been a disaster survival plan that they quickly adopted. But, its part of the very beginning of the story so its easy to just suspend disbelief on that along with the whole zombie uprising thing in general.

    This first edition is action packed, fun, engaging and scary. Well done C Dulaney! Readers - read this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (775)
    Story
    (781)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Share Faerber says: "Read This Book!"
    "An instant and terrifying classic! Read it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Girl with All the Gifts in three words, what would they be?

    Excellent Zombie Thriller!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I don't know but this would be an excellent book to adapt as a screenplay. I hope Mr. Carey is pursuing that. I'd love to see this as a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    If you only read one horror book this year this should be it! Carey has written a tightly wound classic of the genre and it is scary! Unlike many such thrillers that never explain the science of how the zombie apocalypse occured (or need to) Carey makes it critical to the story and weaves it in as well as Michael Chrichton would have. The science is frightening because it's so real! Finty Williams is wonderful as the narrator and really brings the characters and situations to life... and undeath. My only complaint is that it ended too soon but the conclusion is brilliant and chillingly believable. This and DJ Molles series (The Remaining) are my top picks of all time for this genre. *one last note for us military sticklers and fortunately a very tiny, and in this case easy to forgive, detail. Enlisted military don't salute or come to attention for each other except in formations. Sergeant's are senior to Privates and Corporals but are still classified as enlisted. So, leave that out of the film version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Contamination Boxed Set: Books 0-3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By T. W. Piperbrook
    • Narrated By Troy Duran
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (216)

    The infection has begun, ravaging the American Southwest and leaving chaos in its wake. In this new world, there will be no last meal, no dying wish. The only reward left is to survive another day...

    Casey Skelton says: "Holy Sh@#!"
    "Entertaining filler at the right price"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have to preface this review by noting that I got all three Contamination books for 99 cents in an Audible special. With that in mind, it was well worth the price. On the up side the monsters in the story are novel, the main characters are interesting and the story follows an entertaining if predictable path. Piperbrook is good at depth and back story for his protagonists, unfortunately he tends to add this at odd moments, like right in the middle of action sequences we are taken back to review someones history. There are also several leaps of cognition by the characters that are hard to accept & frustrating since it likely would have made the story better to give them a chance to figure things out on their own. The first sequence, which is overall well done, is tarnished when the main character decides that there is an invasion of monsters based on a single encounter with what would more logically be initially identified as a deranged man in his store. Lots of examples of the "why would they do that?" variety. The main villian has some depth but ends up being more like a Dr Evil charicature. The henchmen end up being more like SciFi movie charicatures (ie although supposedly well trained militia men they can't hit any targets and get themselves killed by idiotic tactics).

    That said, its not a bad listen in the zombie apocalypse vein if you are stuck in the car for a while. Troy Duran as narrator is also a plus.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • DEAD: The Ugly Beginning

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By TW Brown
    • Narrated By Andrew McFerrin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (339)

    The unthinkable has happened. The dead are walking! Humanity's fragile thread may be reaching its bitter end. Individuals and groups struggle to survive...some at any cost. Will there be anybody left? Or, is this just...The Ugly Beginning?

    Mike Naka says: "extremely graphic and brutal"
    "Gripping Story & Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Dont let the pulp like artwork fool you. This series has a very well written storyline with 3D characters, plot development & twists. It is one of the better zombie series available. There are several interesting vignettes that allow us to follow the misadventures of a few doomed characters without letting on that they are heading that way.

    McFerrin does an excellent job with the narration. His voices and accents with the different characters is impressive.

    One word of caution for the squeamish. Aside from the usual blood and gore you would expect from a zombie series there are several instances of sexual abuse that get a bit graphic. It is a bit disturbing but, aside from the scenes themselves, fits well into the storyline. All are used to establish the badness that humans are capable of in a chaotic post apocalyptic world.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Day By Day Armageddon

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By J L Bourne
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3250)
    Performance
    (2339)
    Story
    (2336)

    In your hands is the handwritten journal depicting one man's struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions; choices that ultimately mean life, or the eternal curse to walk as one of them. Enter, if you will, into the world of the undead.

    rob haight says: "Great book! More more more!!"
    "Hard to get through but not without merit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    As other reviews have noted - The first half of this book is difficult to get through. The decision to write it as if in a daily dairy is clunky and for those who are not fans of the genre probably not worth the slog. Making it more difficult the narrator reads it like a grocery list. An interesting experiment in writing/reading styles gone horribly wrong.

    But wait! About half way through Bourne begins to find his pace. His writing gets better and slowly, very slowly, the story follows. In addition the narrator warms up and becomes less robotic. If you can jog your way through the first half the second is a more satisfying run through zombie apocalypse survival.

    The second book continues to improve and is the better of the two but you have get through this one first.

    This is an entertaining series that might be worth the pain if one can get past the author's (J Bourne? Really?) early learning curve.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thieftaker: Thieftaker Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By D. B. Jackson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (250)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (237)

    Boston, 1765: In D.B. Jackson's Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.

    Alison says: "I wanted to like it more..."
    "Brooding Wizard Detective Wanders Old World Boston"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really wanted to like this book and it had lots of potential. The characters, setting and politics are perfectly outfitted. But the book is like a great set and fantastic costumes for a boring play. The main character is a brooding wizard detective who, despite his magic powers, can neither defend himself nor figure out who is behind the crimes he is investigating. In the end the bad guy literally has to tie him up and confess for him to get it. He gets beaten up over and over again and can never think of the right spell to help himself. One minute the bad guys are afraid of his powers the next they don't seem to notice. Good premise with lackluster execution.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining: Fractured

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1118)
    Performance
    (1050)
    Story
    (1045)

    The Camp Ryder Hub is broken. Lee is nowhere to be found, and his allies are scattered across the state, each of them learning that their missions will not be as easy as they thought. Inside the walls of Camp Ryder, a silent war is brewing, between those few that still support Lee's vision of rebuilding, and the majority that support Jerry's desire for isolation. But this war will not remain silent for long.

    Mike Naka says: "incredible continuation of a great series"
    "Dead on zombie apocalypse story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Molles is one of the best writers in the apocalypse/zombie genre. Read this series!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining: Refugees

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1156)
    Performance
    (1088)
    Story
    (1093)

    He has fought the fight, and run the race. But the enemies never stop coming, and the race has no finish line. It has been three months since Captain Lee Harden found the survivors at Camp Ryder. With winter looming, Lee is on the verge of establishing Camp Ryder as a hub of safety and stability in the region. But not everyone agrees with Lee’s mission... or his methods.

    Drew (@drewsant) says: "Great book despite the cliff-hanger"
    "Dead on zombie apocalypse story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Molles is one of the best writers in the apocalypse/zombie genre. Read this series.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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