You no longer follow brendanstallard

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow brendanstallard

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

brendanstallard

ratings
36
REVIEWS
21
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
115

  • And When She Was Good

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (507)
    Story
    (502)

    Heloise considers it a blessing to be a person who seldom attracts attention. In her suburb, she's just a mom, the young widow with the forgettable job, who somehow never misses a soccer game. In the state capital, she's the redheaded lobbyist with a good cause and a mediocre track record. But in discreet hotel rooms throughout the area, she's the woman of your dreams - if you can afford the hourly fee. For more than a decade, Heloise believed she was safe, managing to keep up this rigidly compartmentalized life. But her secret life is under siege. One county over, another so-called suburban madam has been found dead in her car, an apparent suicide.

    kate says: "Thank goodness for Heloise and excellent narration"
    "A curious tale, slow and ponderously boring."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a strange tale. It started out a bit of a feminist rant, which was going to get boring even if true. I don't come to Audible to be morally improved, but entertained. It failed almost utterly to entertain me, apart from the final encounter, which was diverting for a few moments.

    The rest is pretty sordid, as references to prostitution, "the life," tend to be. It is a nasty, brutal, usually short life. Men are pigs, yes they are.

    The book was factually incorrect in that it plays out that there is a lot of money to be made in prostitution. There is, but nowhere near the figures that Heloise seems able to extract from it. The working girls almost _never_ earn what they work.

    Weirdly enough, hearing Linda Emond's wonderful narration use the few cuss words within the text rather sounded like effluvium in a cathedral. Even Emond's talent could not bring the tale to life for me.

    While I agree with the conclusions that Lippman makes overall in the book, and her post book notes, the book wasn't worth the time it took to listen to it.

    I know some will be disappointed in that review, especially Lippman fans, but it was a 2, no more.



    brendan

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Alienated: Alienated, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Melissa Landers
    • Narrated By Madeleine Lambert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (105)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L'eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she'll have inside information about the mysterious L'eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara's blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn't sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L'eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn't seem more alien.

    Eric t says: "cant wait for book two."
    "Loud, LOUD and LOUDER!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was in all reality, absolutely nothing to do with Aliens. It is, at heart, a teen romance. Nowt wrong with that. I bought the Kindle version of it as well, and that is just fine and dandy.

    The audible version, however, leaves quite a bit to be desired. For me, the narrator was too loud, relentless and LOUD. This doesn't mean in DB, I'm sure the producers got the levels correct, but the racket of the voice was so loud I was unable to concentrate on the material. There's no space between the sentences, no room for a breath. Very tiring on the ear. Pity that more care was not taken.

    We read, "Performed," and, "Directed," and, "Produced," when if I were anywhere near this production I would have instructed the narrator to knock the volume and pressure back a TON on hearing the first paragraph. The producer was surely asleep at the wheel during this.

    I'm sorry to be so hard on a narrator. I dislike to be so critical, but Madeleine Lambert needs to read this. Poor narration can ruin even a really good book, and there is plenty of competition out there.



    brendan

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Imperfect Sword: The Lost Stars, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (759)
    Performance
    (701)
    Story
    (700)

    President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon have successfully liberated the Midway Star System - but the former rulers of the Syndicate Worlds won’t surrender the region without a fight. The dictatorial regime has ordered the ex–Syndicate CEOs terminated with extreme prejudice and the system’s citizens punished for their defiance.Outnumbered and led by junior officers hastily promoted in the wake of the uprising, Midway’s warships are no match for the fleet massing and preparing to strike.

    Jean says: "Engrossing Space Battles"
    "Excellent story, beautifully read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have become a little disenchanted with, "The Lost Fleet" and hooked on to this strand of space opera only because of the wonderful front cover. I assume this to be the excellent butt-kicking female flawed character Colonel Morgan. Anyway, it's a great and arresting cover. I dived in and the convoluted and mixed up relationship between Gwen Iceni and Artur Drakon is a tense and first class will they-won't they duo. I love the forward and back. The side characters, Morgan and the new Sub Executive are all to be enjoyed. Marc Vietor is a very fine reader and does another super job on this. I really enjoyed it. More please:)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Catherine McKenzie
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings, Angela Dawe, Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (100)

    While walking home from work one evening, Jeff Manning is struck by a car and killed. Two women fall to pieces at the news: His wife, Claire, and his co-worker Tish. Reeling from her loss, Claire must comfort her grieving son as well as contend with funeral arrangements, well-meaning family members, and the arrival of Jeff's estranged brother, who was her ex-boyfriend. Tish volunteers to attend the funeral on her company's behalf, but only she knows the true risk of inserting herself into the wreckage of Jeff's life.

    E. says: "The Voice of Claire"
    "As others have said"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a perfectly adequate read in the Kindle edition, reading the text. I'm afraid the audio is less acceptable. Claire, read by Amy McFadden-who is perfectly capable of excellent work elsewhere, seems bored with the text and I just don't know how Audible could have released a narration so awful. We often hear that this performance was produced and edited by some character or other, surely someone should have grasped the nettle at page 2 on this and said, "sorry, this simply will not do!".

    The writing, at the beginning is a little confusing, but once you get ahold of the characters, it's an okay story, but the audio edition, save your credits and sanity.





    brendan

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cell

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Robin Cook
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (409)

    George Wilson, M.D., a radiology resident in Los Angeles, is about to enter a profession on the brink of an enormous paradigm shift, foreshadowing a vastly different role for doctors everywhere. The smartphone is poised to take on a new role in medicine, no longer as a mere medical app but rather as a fully customizable personal physician capable of diagnosing and treating even better than the real thing. It is called iDoc. George's initial collision with this incredible innovation is devastating.

    DebaDeb says: "There's an app for that!"
    "Dire, boring."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it is me-maybe it is Cook. I don't know. I really used to enjoy his work. The last two, not so much. This looked like a real slam-dunk, materiel I am interested in and have some serious concerns about.

    I was so bored I fell asleep and lost the thread a whole lot. I had to keep going back. Maybe this type of novel just doesn't interest me any longer. I'm usually fully engaged and my last audiobook was the full set of Robert. A Caro's biography of LBJ. I raced through that, riveted to every single one of the 4,000 pages, over sixty hours in Audible.

    Cell is a snore-fest, and I can't really pick out why. The narrator was his usual excellent self, George Guidall is no dope. It's just the material was staler than week old white bread.

    As I said, maybe it's me. See what the other reviewers say before you spend yer credit.

    I didn't like it one bit.



    brendan

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer: Victor the Assassin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (925)
    Performance
    (844)
    Story
    (846)

    Meet Victor. He's an assassin - a man with no past and no surname. He lives alone. He operates alone. He's given a job; he takes out the target; he gets paid. He's The Killer. Victor arrives in Paris to perform a standard kill and collect for an anonymous client. He completes it with trademark efficiency - only to find himself in the middle of an ambush and fighting for his life.

    Anthony says: "You Can't Help Pulling for the "Bad Guy""
    "Good start, not so good end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book Review
    The Killer by Tom Hinshelwood/Tom Wood

    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS A SPOILER

    I saw this on the front page of Audible one day, and for some unknown reason, I have a bit of a thing for assassin books. I don’t really know why, perhaps because of the left over sadness of years of investigating crime while a UK copper. Perhaps reading histories of the middle and far east whence the lore of hashashin and ninja began.

    It’s the motivation for killing which always escapes me. Yeah, I get that you can get mad enough for revenge or anger purposes to put out someone’s lights. In self-defence, no question, him or me. Killing for money or ideological purpose? Dunno, less clear cut. I’m also pretty certain that it’s a difficult profession, rife with very high risk and there are many fewer hit-folk around than popular fiction would have us believe, thanks be.

    The Killer, Tom Wood’s first novel comes highly recommended by its reviewers on Amazon and Audible. Well written and performed.

    There is quite a lot of Gun-porn, the naming and delineation of qualities of various armaments is mentioned, if not labored over. Fair enough, they are the tools of those who work around guns.

    The writing is good, and the plot and narrative works well for the first half of the book. Character development proceeds apace, although we are not told a single thing about the assassin’s background.

    At about 2/3rds of the way in, a, “Hemingway Death,” occurs, which totally throws off the narrative and the plot. Up to this point, the twin fulcrum of the narrative was the softening of the assassin and a growing bond between him and another. A very humanizing and sweet element.

    The writer, by this death is painted into a corner and any mystery that the book might have had is removed and the reader now knows that we are to be left with a cataclysmic hung-up ending, which will leave us breathless for the next episode in what will be a three part series.

    There’s no question. For an assassin like this, you’ve either got to kill him, or turn his actions into reasonable ones. Otherwise he is utterly without remorse or morals, and writing THAT character is too anti-sympathetic, it won’t carry a book. Who wants to read a tale of endless murders for money? No, people don’t. There has to be a spec of humanity there, and in this book, the writer killed it with the, “Hemingway Death.”

    While I found the book readable and good work up to that point, afterwards it became mundane and the series of men chopping and fighting in Africa were boring and formulaic, the conclusion over-wrought to ridiculousness. Faugh. The direction was wrong, and the second half of the book could have done with some serious editing. There were longeurs.
    Up to 2/3rds of the way through, the book is compelling, vital and interesting. Afterwards, merely serviceable, somewhat boring fare you can read anywhere. For a writer with this talent, a poor outcome.

    Writers, STOP killing your darlings for shock and plot movement! We readers invest in those characters, kill them at peril of losing our interest.

    Disappointing.




    brendan

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Contact

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Carl Sagan
    • Narrated By Laurel Lefkow
    Overall
    (648)
    Performance
    (583)
    Story
    (588)

    The future is here...in an adventure of cosmic dimension. In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who - or what - is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future - and our own.

    A. Ferguson says: "Great book, significant differences from the movie"
    "Wonderful Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I note that some reviewers did not like the narrator, (for a lack of accents?) Astonishing. This was perfectly read. A gentle caress to the ear. Letting the story do the work, beautiful timbre, and every word delivered with clarity. A masterful definition of the art of narration. Laurel Lefkow, thank you, wonderful work.

    The novel, well, it does wander a bit. It addresses questions of science, some of the theories of which were at the point of writing, the shores of the unknown. Putting those questions of existence up against love and faith, an interesting and confusing basket.

    I really liked it, but I admit, 60% of that was because of the beauty of Lefkow's voice. She could read the telephone directory for me.




    brendan

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ashes: Ashes Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ilsa J. Bick
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (852)
    Performance
    (766)
    Story
    (773)

    An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom, a young soldier, and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it's now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

    Aser Tolentino says: "Another Readable Story About the End of the World"
    "Violent, disgusting gore."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is supposed to be for young adults. All I can tell you is that after a lifetime of dealing with the muck, blood, pus and goo of society, I don't need my nightmares added to by a book supposedly for young teenagers. I understand that some folks are just fine with gore, and I don't mind it quite so much in the flesh. Perhaps the pictures are more vivid on audio.

    The first third of this book contains a LOT of egregious and disgusting gore. Be warned.

    I was first drawn to the book by the subject matter. Apocalypse via EMP is always interesting. The cause, reasoning and final outcome of the EMP is left without exposition. The gore and violence lingered on lovingly.

    I missed, don't ask me how, that there were Zombies in this, and sorry, but I am sick to the back teeth of Zombies and Vampires. Authors, GET OFF THE TREADMILL and write something else. Readers, buy something else, or the writers will continue!

    Whole lot of reviews mention Katherine Kellgren's excitable and perhaps shouty delivery. I prefer audiobooks where the reader is completely invisible. Kellgren is no dope and has done plenty of work with Audible. As an amateur reader, I know that she read the book and made a choice to pump up the volume and allow the voice to add drama to the text.

    Some listeners like that form of delivery. I'm not sure it works with YA, which is already drenched with pace. I'm not about to knock it, because I know how hard it can be to get this kind of thing just right for everyone. It didn't work for me, the voice was shrill at times and I could have done without that. Bottom line, the story wasn't good enough to support the reading.

    The book, too violent for me. Too much wandering about while it told its story. The opening was fresh and very interesting, by the end I was frustrated with all the jumping about, re-threading, and the cliff hanging waiting to be hung. Not so great story telling of a great idea.

    Will I read the following instalments? Dunno, unlikely.


    brendan

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Policeman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (671)
    Performance
    (599)
    Story
    (603)

    What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job - but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging.

    Amazon Customer says: "There was trepidation ..."
    "Interesting premise, not so sharp resolution."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a really interesting premise. What would happen as society unbundles during an inevitable, visible and completely relentless apocalypse.

    There are a lot of pre and post-apocalypse stories running around. Few are credible, whereas this scenario is only too frighteningly real. We get hit by objects from space all the time, most are small and do little damage. We don't spend much money researching them or how to deal with 'em if they do home in.

    The murder mystery was yer standard fare. I didn't find that more than mildly diverting. The characters were fairly cookie cutter, good guy, bad guy, girl. What was interesting was the way the society itself wobbled. Cell phones not working, bucket listers, and how the brave, insane and merely resigned attempted to deal with the big rock arrival.

    Beautiful read by Peter Berkrot.


    brendan

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2257)
    Performance
    (1921)
    Story
    (1927)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Starlet says: "Delicious Narration"
    "Wonderful narration, so romantic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Who would have thought that this 62 year old geezah could enjoy YA novels? Turns out, I do. I ripped right through The Hunger Games and bought this one on a whim and the numerous good reviews.

    The narrator just about took my breath away, what a wonderful talent. I don't know how old the reader is, but she sure sounds to my addled old head like a teenager ought.

    There are sections in the second half, where the two lovers are recognizing the pace and power of their passion and melted me right away. Never heard Browning or Cummings quite like that, beautiful.

    The pace tears along a bout de souffle.

    I purchased the second part of what I believe to be a trilogy immediately upon finishing the first.

    A cracking read, and a wonderful narrator.


    brendan

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.