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Jm

Professional Escapist and Self-Help Junkie. I have a background in the classics, but a love for fantasy, horror and science fiction

Arcata, CA, United States | Member Since 2002

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 647 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
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  • The Mark of Athena: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1773)
    Performance
    (1596)
    Story
    (1621)

    Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy - after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera - it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans.

    Jm says: "Felt like an episode of a weekly tv series..."
    "Felt like an episode of a weekly tv series..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Clearly not Riordan's best work, but not all that bad. The contrivances felt a touch heavy handed, from the quasi-comic insert-a-villain to the plot speeding helpful mortal on the street. It had the aroma of segue all over it.
    That said, there is some interesting character growth from a few or the characters and a nicely executed tie in of the Leo/Sammy conundrum.
    Most importantly it has captivated my interest for the next installment!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Worst Ideas Ever: A Celebration of Embarrassment

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Kline, Jason Tomaszewski
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (581)
    Story
    (581)

    From memorable disasters such as New Coke, the XFL, and Tiger Woods’ marriage to less-remembered failures such as Yugo, Cop Rock, and Microsoft’s BOB, Worst Ideas Ever revisits history’s biggest blunders. Whether it’s a pop culture failure or a political one, Worst Ideas Ever uncovers the ridiculous stories behind mistakes so huge, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself that they actually happened.

    Sara says: "Wears out quickly"
    "This book was okay at best."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book for 99 cents through an Audible promotion. It was worth that much. Had I payed more, I might have been annoyed by what could have been an excellent book. The topic was very well researched in some areas and apparently guessed at in others. The humorous tone, whether a result of the performance or the writing, quickly devolves into snark, causing the suppositions offered in some of the anecdotes to sound like opinion...the kind some people repeat to make them selves sound smarter. If you are looking for well told, well rounded stories of some of society, culture and business's biggest missteps...Keep looking. If what you are looking for is the literary equivalent of pointing at people on the street and calling them dumb, this is your book...if you get it on sale.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Surge: Destroyermen, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (651)
    Performance
    (607)
    Story
    (603)

    In the Pacific, as USS Walker is repaired and updated after a previous battle and Reddy is healing from his wounds, planning begins for a bold raid on the very heart of the Grik Empire. But time is running out for the Alliance army in India, and the Allied forces in the west must gather in an unprecedented land, air, and sea campaign to destroy the mighty Grik battle fleet and break through to their relief. All other plans go on hold when the attempt proves more difficult - and more heartbreakingly costly - than anyone imagined.

    Greg says: "Long in tooth..."
    "The hits just keep rollin' in."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mr Anderson must have been taking writting lessons from George R R Martin because neither ship nor sailor is safe from his war raging pen! Thie one was complex and exciting and brought tears to my eyes at one point. I was concerned that the story would grow too convoluted with all of the new actions and discoveries, but I haven't gotten lost yet.
    How much more can our beloved Destroyermen take?!?!?!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • First Truth: Truth Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Dawn Cook
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (384)

    Alissa doesn’t believe in magic. Her father’s stories about the Hold, a legendary fortress where human Keepers learn magic from the enigmatic Masters, are just that—stories. But her mother insists Alissa has inherited her father’s magical ability, so she must go to the Hold to be trained. On her way, she crosses paths with Strell, a wandering musician from the plains.

    Liz says: "Don't be Mislead"
    "A nicely executed foray into fantasy literature."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an original and entertaining start. There were a few points that I can't figure out. They Felt a little rushed...but it wasn't enough to keep me from thoroughly enjoying tis ride. I find myself looking forwards to the next one already!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany

    • UNABRIDGED (57 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By William L. Shirer
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (3507)
    Performance
    (2545)
    Story
    (2554)

    Since its publication in 1960, William L. Shirer’s monumental study of Hitler’s German empire has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of the 20th century’s blackest hours. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich offers an unparalleled and thrillingly told examination of how Adolf Hitler nearly succeeded in conquering the world. With millions of copies in print around the globe, it has attained the status of a vital and enduring classic.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Tale of Momumental Evil, Stupidity and Hatred"
    "The scariest book I have ever read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are an unfortunate number of similarities between the U.S. now and Germany prior to WWII... And I can't help thinking of Santayana's quote, "those who Cannot remember the past..."
    Aside from that, this book was tirelessly researched and attributed, and very well written, making it easy to forget that the book is over a half century old.
    The narration is simply impeccable.
    Think of it as a history book for non-academics, meaning it is clear, easy to understand and very interesting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Man in the Black Suit: 4 Dark Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By John Cullum, Becky Ann Baker
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    A haunting recollection of a mysterious boyhood event, The Man in the Black Suit leads off this masterful collection from Stephen King. Other dark tales include: All That You Love Will Be Carried Away, in which a man checks into a Lincoln, Nebraska Motel 6 to find the meaning in his life; That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French, presents the ultimate case of deja vu; and The Death of Jack Hamilton, a blistering tale of Depression-era outlaws on the run.

    Anthony says: "Not Your Classic Stephen King"
    "I give it a resounding Meh."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not the best work from Sai King. The titular story being the only one with a real scare factor to it, it wasn't that scary.
    The real gem was the story "The Death of Jack Hamilton." It was full of heart and imagery that even card carrying member of the uncle Stevie fan club like me can forget this man is capable of. If anyone wonders if King is more than a contemporary horror writer, have them read this or any of his other little gems like "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and they will know.
    Perhaps it isn't his best work, but it is not bad at all.
    Long live the King!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Needful Things: The Last Castle Rock Story

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (708)
    Story
    (711)

    A new store has opened in the town of Castle Rock, Maine. It has whatever your heart desires...if you're willing to pay the price. In this chilling novel by one of the most potent imaginations of our time, evil is on a shopping spree and out to scare you witless. Presented unabridged and read by the author.

    Jaimie says: "A good book and narration"
    "Creepy as all-git-out!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Uncle Stevie was weaving his manic magic this one! This is a special treat to the lovers of Ka and all it's little connections in time and place. The performance was top notch and kept the headphones glued to my ears!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tricked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5954)
    Performance
    (5497)
    Story
    (5491)

    Druid Atticus O’Sullivan hasn’t stayed alive for more than two millennia without a fair bit of Celtic cunning. So when vengeful thunder gods come Norse by Southwest looking for payback, Atticus, with a little help from the Navajo trickster god Coyote, lets them think that they’ve chopped up his body in the Arizona desert. But the mischievous Coyote is not above a little sleight of paw, and Atticus soon finds that he’s been duped into battling bloodthirsty desert shape-shifters called skinwalkers.

    Nicholas says: "Hooked in an Instant"
    "Another fix for us dedicated Atticus junkies."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was happy to return to the world of Atticus O'Sullivan and friends but at times the story felt rushed. It is often said that the second book or movie of a trilogy is lacking because it is just a glorified segue...on a few occasions that is the way this book felt. I would be hard pressed to call it either forced but some of the developing stories and loosens were handled in a manner I would call...indelicate.
    That being said, it was awesome to see Atticus going up against something that was completely out of his element!
    If you have enjoyed the previous Iron Druid Chronicles, this installment will not disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (325)
    Story
    (317)

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    David says: "A history of the world before the West mattered"
    "Not just history lovers will love this history!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book should be required reading for non-Muslims who are want to learn about the Muslim world. Bringing the major players of Islam together with an historical perspective that will likely be "new" to most westerners.
    One of my old Latin professors once said that he didn't really understand English grammar until he studied Latin...this book reminded me of that in respect to the history of the crusades and the middle ages.
    If you are a lover of history, religion or just perspective challenging materials, this it the book for you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3574)
    Performance
    (3227)
    Story
    (3261)

    Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world....

    Timothy says: "Pleased, yet wanting more..."
    "Annoyingly Satisfying!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    After I discovered this novel wouldn’t be following any of the much beloved Mistborn characters, I became concerned that a relaunch might fall short or even detract from my love of the original books. I actually liked this book more than the originals. Not that it is any better on its own, but as a successor to a reborn world, this story was accessible and interesting and enormously entertaining. Even if you don’t prefer it to its predecessors…I would be very surprised if you don’t thoroughly enjoy it!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I am torn between Wax and Wayne.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

    Wayne...It just sounds like Mr KRamer was having a blast doing this character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I darn near did. I got this novel for a road trip and it didn't disappoint me.


    Any additional comments?

    Sanderson has done it again...but I wish he would stop coming up with such cool new worlds! I'm still waiting for the WoT conclusion and the Stormlight Archive...now I want more stories from this 'verse too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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