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D. BLAND

Gadget Freak

Columbia, SC | Member Since 2005

ratings
8
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Gibraltar Earth: Gibraltar Earth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Michael McCollum
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (176)

    It is the 24th Century and humanity is just gaining a toehold out among the stars. Stellar Survey Starship Magellan is exploring the New Eden system when they encounter two alien spacecraft. When the encounter is over, the score is one human scout ship and one alien aggressor destroyed. In exploring the wreck of the second alien ship, spacers discover a survivor with a fantastic story.

    Richard says: "I couldn't have asked for more!"
    "Great Journey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this up on a recommendation of Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte from Security Now.

    It reminds me of a "superhero" film or story, where the first part of the story is the "gathering of the heroes" for the coming crisis. This portion of the story was a bit slow, and he almost lost me.

    But when the assembled team ventures out into the galaxy to investigate stories they've been told of the "Broa Overlords", the story really takes off. There is a sense of mystery as the team seeks to answer some critical questions, and the tension builds. In a paperback, I often cheat and look ahead for spoilers, but with an audiobook, there's no good way to do that. But this book created suspense for me that really made me want to cheat.

    The narrator is fantastic, and is able to suggest numerous characters with his voice. Overall a great read, and I'm plowing into part 2!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Gibraltar Sun: Gibraltar Earth, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael McCollum
    • Narrated By Ramon De Ocampo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (129)

    The expedition to the Crab Nebula has returned to Earth and the news is not good. Out among the stars, a million systems have fallen under Broan domination, the fate awaiting Earth should the Broa ever learn of its existence. The problem would seem to allow but three responses: submit meekly to slavery, fight and risk extermination, or hide and pray the Broa remain ignorant of humankind for at least a few more generations. Are the hairless apes of Sol III finally faced with a problem for which there is no acceptable solution?

    Richard says: "Keeps getting better!"
    "Slow start that builds to a riveting climax!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gibraltar Sun spends the first 3 chapters recapping the events of Gibraltar Earth. This is great for readers joining the series at book 2, but a bit tedious for those of us who read the first book. And the author includes just enough new information so that you can't skip these chapters.

    The story takes some time to build. There are 3 "institutes" vying to sell their solutions to the Broa Problem, and the detailed political intrigue is interesting, but I was chomping at the bit to get to the action!

    When we return to "Brinks Base", humanity's Forward Operating Base in Broa Space, things really pick up. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say the climax is a nailbiter. McCollum did a great job of building to a tense situation! Will humanity be discovered, and the plans fail? Will they get away with their prize, so they can fight another day? Well done!

    The narrator is great, I hope to listen to other performances by him.

    I'm heading into Gibraltar Stars immediately!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Dick Winters, Cole C. Kingseed
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (533)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (180)

    They were called Easy Company, but their mission was never easy. Immortalized as the Band of Brothers, they suffered huge casualties while liberating Europe in an unparalleled record of bravery under fire. Dick Winters led them through the Battle of the Bulge, the attack on Foy, where Easy Company reached its breaking point, and finally into Germany, by which time each member had been wounded. Outside Munich, they liberated an S.S. death camp and captured Berchtesgaden, Hitler's alpine retreat.

    Tom says: "A decent listen"
    "Fantastic Companion to Band of Brothers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to this book several times. Since it chronicles the same events as Band of Brothers, it had potential to be tedious, but it is not. It amplifies and clarifies Ambrose's book. It helps you "get into the head" of MAJ Winters.

    It is well written and performed. I'm retired Army myself, but I was a "fobbit" -- I rarely had to do anything dangerous. These guys lived with danger, did their jobs and saved the world. I am glad there is a record of their deeds.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    Overall
    (2882)
    Performance
    (1707)
    Story
    (1729)

    In what is considered one of Heinlein's most hair-raising, thought-provoking, and outrageous adventures, the master of modern science fiction tells the strange story of an even stranger world. It is 21st-century Luna, a harsh penal colony where a revolt is plotted between a bashful computer and a ragtag collection of maverick humans, a revolt that goes beautifully until the inevitable happens. But that's the problem with the inevitable: it always happens.

    Peter says: "Heinlein's Masterpiece"
    "A Hard but Rewarding Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This listen is "middle of the pack" for me. The performance was amazing, but I found the political maneuvering a bit tedious by the end of the book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress?

    I enjoyed the early interaction between Mannie, the main character, and the self aware computer. I remember as an adolescent reader being turned off when Mike, the computer, also had feminine characteristics. (girls, ugh!). As an adult, those interactions become very amusing.


    Have you listened to any of Lloyd James’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    The books ending was a bit unexpected for me. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it left me in a reflective mood.


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was amazing. The narrator is able to use a variety of accents, doing feminine characters, and a computer. I really enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1868)
    Performance
    (1407)
    Story
    (1403)

    When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue, and counterinsurgency. In this dramatic, behind-the-scenes chronicle, Howard Wasdin takes listeners deep inside the world of Navy SEALs and Special Forces snipers, beginning with the grueling selection process of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL - the toughest and longest military training in the world.

    Allan says: "unique among these books"
    "Compelling -- Couldn't Stop Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of SEAL Team Six to be better than the print version?

    I didn't have the print edition.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Wasdin recognized his strengths and weaknesses. I enjoyed how he brought his abusive childhood full circle -- how it made him a better Seal, and how he reconciled with his dad.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    The narrator made me feel like he was in the author's head! Great job.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I am retired military, but never had the level of training, risk or responsibility that these SEALS have. This book gave me a tremendous respect for these guys.


    Any additional comments?

    Many reviewers seem to think that the book quality declines after Wasdin describes the battle of Mogadishu, but I really enjoyed hearing his struggles and eventual success in reintegrating into the real world. He shares elements of his faith that helped him survive coming home. It was nice to hear the end of the story, and I'm glad things turned out well for him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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