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vanessa

pinole, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 96 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Gun Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Warren Ellis
    • Narrated By Reg E. Cathey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (186)

    After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for 20 years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose. Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil.

    JunkyardMessiah says: "Perfect marriage between writer and narrator"
    "Maybe 3 stars?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Gun Machine again? Why?

    I am ambivalent about "Gun Machine". I won't recount the plot points, because so many other reviewers have done so already, and done it very well. PROS: I really, really liked the writing style, the author is showing his comic book roots and really knows how to plot out a story. And the story starts great, with immediate action and an eerie mystery, and some funny parts too. Finally, without revealing any spoilers, there's a plot twist involving the killer that I rather liked. Not a big surprise or a big deal, but handled in a very matter-of-fact way that just appealed to me. The narrator does a good job and definitely has a way with delivering tricky/conic dialogue. CONS: But it all collapses in the last third of the novel, which is kinda slow. When the ending finally arrives, it is abrupt and flat. Also, most of the characters are common stereotypes. I am particularly tired of the lesbian with the rapacious sexual appetite who can get any beautiful, hot young thing the male protagonist/author desires; she seems to be everywhere lately.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Homeland: Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By R. A. Salvatore
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1422)
    Performance
    (1314)
    Story
    (1333)

    This stunning new release of the classic R.A. Salvatore novel recounts the origins of Salvatore's signature dark elf character, Drizzt Do'Urden. This title kicks off The Legend of Drizzt series, which will showcase the classic dark elf novels in these new audiobook editions.

    Pi says: "Among the drow, all trust is foolish."
    "Performance sinks it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Homeland?

    I listened to about two hours of Homeland then gave up on it. Hated the narration. Every single line was delivered with the same tones of awed wonder. Every single sentence. The monotony was stomach turning.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Knight Awakened: Circle of Seven, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Coreene Callahan
    • Narrated By Suzan Crowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (259)

    Warlord Vladimir Barbu has seized control of Transylvania, but his claim to the throne remains anything but certain. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, his people despise him, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. Refusing to see his ambitions thwarted, he hires an assassin to hunt her down.… Killing is the only life Xavian Ramir knows. But now the elite assassin wants out, vowing to start anew after one last job.…

    CAROLYN says: "BOOK 1 of 7 & A MYTHICAL MASTERPIECE"
    "Misleading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I was fooled by the book's description. This is not a story about assassins, it's a romance. A rather juvenile romance. Derivative, unimaginative, and boring.


    Has Knight Awakened turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Absolutely.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Suzan Crowley?

    Not sure, the book put me in such a bad mood, I'm not sure part of it isn't the work of the narrator.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christ On a Bike

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 32 mins)
    • By Richard Herring
    • Narrated By Richard Herring
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Richard Herring always writes and performs interesting and sometimes controversial sets. This title is about followers of religion rather than the religion itself. Stimulating and food for thought!

    vanessa says: "So disappointing"
    "So disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I loved Herring's "Hitler Mustache" and couldn't believe how unfunny this is. It feels like he was in the early stages of developing this act and it just is not funny at all.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark City: Repairman Jack: The Early Years, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By F. Paul Wilson
    • Narrated By Alexander Cendese
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (34)

    It's February 1991. Desert Storm is raging in Iraq but 22-year-old Jack has more pressing matters at home. His favorite bar, The Spot, is about to be sold out from under his friend Julio. No longer merely reactive, Jack takes the fight to his enemies and demonstrates his innate talent for seeing biters get bit. With a body count even higher than in Cold City, Dark City hurtles Jack toward the climax of this formative New York odyssey in which all scores will be settled, all debts paid.

    vanessa says: "Slooooow"
    "Slooooow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Picks up a bit in the second half, but I'm not sure the payoff was worth it. Actually, I'm sure the payoff was not worth all the hours I put into this. Bottom line, there's way too little of Jack and far too much of the side stories. Too much detail put into characters that are not Jack. Like when Wilson shows us step-by-step how a guy goes about scamming a senior citizen out of her savings. Goes on and on for hours. Literally. Soooo boring. Otherwise well-written and I still count myself a fan.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ground Zero: Repairman Jack, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By F. Paul Wilson
    • Narrated By Christopher Price
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    On September 11, 2001, a man drifts in a boat off lower Manhattan as the twin towers burn. He removes a small box from his pocket and presses a button. As he waits for the south tower to collapse, he thinks: The vast majority will blame the collapse on the crazy Arabs who hijacked the planes and the Islamic extremists who funded them - the obvious choice. A few will notice inconsistencies and point fingers elsewhere, blaming the government or Big Oil or some other powerful but faceless entity. No one - absolutely no one - will guess the truth behind the who and why of this day.

    vanessa says: "Totally forgettable."
    "Totally forgettable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This is part of The Adversary/Repairman Jack/Secret History sequence. And that is the problem. It feels like a "check back later/buy my next book" filler. There's too many plot lines leftover from previous books and this story does absolutely nothing to advance the series; totally forgettable.

    The story has too many new characters, all introduced to little effect. All the characters, including Jack, are pure cardboard. There's way too much chatter and exposition. (This Secret History stuff takes ALOT of telling, not showing). There's way too little of Jack "fixing" stuff. We get a few teases of thrills or horror. But it never really delivers. Although that Fhinntmanchca stuff certainly had some serious horror potential.

    In my opinion, there's too much effort put into one of the author's main conceits of this series: There are no coincidences. So the author struggles to link every single person and every single momentous world event to Jack and the ancient struggle between the adversaries. Only it all really feels lazy here. Each new coincidence/linkage brought on a shrug of "so what" rather than feelings of wonder. So why keep this theme running so relentlessly?

    This summer, I read some of the earlier novels in this sequence: The Tomb, The Keep, The Black Wind, etc., and it seems to me those earlier novels were never conceived as a series. And those stories are so much more satisfying than this later stuff. Wilson is a good writer, so I'd still rather slog through one of his weaker efforts than most of the stuff that's out on the market. Even so, this isn't something I'd recommend to anyone.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Safe House

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (323)

    When Rob Hale wakes up in hospital after a motorcycle crash, he is told that Lena - the gorgeous blonde woman who was on the back of his bike - doesn't exist. The woman he describes bears a striking resemblance to his recently deceased sister, Laura, but has he really only imagined her? Convinced that Lena is as real as he is, Rob teams up with Rebecca Lewis - a London-based PI who has a mysterious connection to Laura - to follow the clues. He learns that even a close-knit community like the Isle of Man can hide dangerous secrets that will not stay safe forever.

    Dave says: "Intriguing twists and turns"
    "Nice mystery, and the characters feel real."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Safe House in three words, what would they be?

    I really liked Safe House. It has a sombre, somewhat depressive mood that is very, very different from the flip tone of Chris Ewan's "Good Thief" books. But the tone is appropriate to this story of a man recovering from a mysterious accident while also investigating the mysterious death of his sister. There's a good amount of action and while the story contains elements (and coincidences!) common to many thrillers, the story still manages to seem fresh and plausible. Everyone feels real and their actions/thoughts are both believable and relatable. Nicely narrated, as ever, but Simon Vance.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pariah

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Thomas Emson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In 1888, five women are brutally murdered in the East End of London. The killer is never caught. In 1996, four women die in similar circumstances, their corpses mutilated. Again, the murderer escapes justice. In 2011, Charlie Faultless returns to the East End after 15 years in exile. His mother and girlfriend were victims of the 1996 killings and he has returned to deal with the demons of his past. But his homecoming coincides with more atrocities, and the reappearance of history's most terrifying serial killer: Jack the Ripper.

    vanessa says: "What's happening here? Don't know or care."
    "What's happening here? Don't know or care."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    After four hours, I gave up. I'm not sure what the story is here, what the author is going for. There's a lot of scenes of cut throats or intestines pulled from gaping bellies and then piled next to corpses. But also, strangely, there's a ton of exposition on "evil" and what is owed to God/Jesus. Perhaps this is some sub-genre of Christian fiction?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drynn: Last of the Shardyn, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Steve Vera
    • Narrated By Alison Edwards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Montana police chief Skip Walkins is hot on the trail of a murder suspect when he witnesses a drifter free the Lord of the Underworld. Seventeen years ago, five knights from Earth's magical twin, Theia, entombed Asmodeous the Pale, Lord of the Drynn, in Skip's town. Now that the dark god is free again, he's anxious to get back home and finish the war he began…to enslave all life. It begins with killing the knights who trapped him. Deprived of their magic, the knights fight back using whatever they can get their hands on, from samurai swords to assault rifles.

    vanessa says: "Stop talking and get to the action!"
    "Stop talking and get to the action!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Drynn?

    I really wanted to like "Drynn." Unfortunately, chapter upon chapter of tiresome exposition ruined the story for me. Characters are forever standing around talking… or meeting in restaurants and talking… or standing in apartments talking… or ruminating in their own heads… frequent, protracted internal monologues. Very little action here, and not a true science fiction, either. Also, have to mention that the author has some weird obsession with eyes, giving endless descriptions of eye colors and facial expressions. One positive: The narration is quite good, although the speaker occasionally struggles with the pronunciation of some fairly common words.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Steve Vera again?

    Probably not.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • To Build a Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (41 mins)
    • By Jack London
    • Narrated By John Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    To Build a Fire is regarded by many as an American classic, one of London's most highly regarded works. We never know the name of the protagonist as he makes his way towards his destination, trekking across the Yukon at 70° below zero. Nature is unforgiving to those who challenge her.

    Anthony Floyd says: "Terrible Performance"
    "Poor narration ruins a great short story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jack London and/or John Michaels?

    Jack London is magnificent and I've read this story before, long years ago. However the narrator reads too fast and oddly emphasizes certain words. The rhythm was too jarring and ruined the story for me.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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