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Member Since 2014

  • 18 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 433 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015

  • Paranoia: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Joseph Finder
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    Adam Cassidy is twenty-six and a low level employee at a high-tech corporation who hates his job. When he manipulates the system to do something nice for a friend, he finds himself charged with a crime. Corporate Security gives him a choice: prison or become a spy in the headquarters of their chief competitor, Trion Systems.

    Karen says: "Clever and interesting."
    "Good corporate espionage thriller"

    I bought this for a long road-trip and I got so caught up in the story that I took the unusual step of bringing my Ipod into my hotel room and listening to it at night in bed! I love business thrillers, which are pitifully few, since everyone wants to write about detectives, lawyers, or the CIA these days.

    Essentially, this book focuses on the actions of an employee of a fictional tech firm who is coerced into spying on a competitor by taking a job with them. His job is to learn all he can about a mysterious, earth-shattering invention the competitor is working on. Corporate espionage, in other words.

    Despite my love of the book, and of the twists and turns it takes, I have a few misgivings. The plot conclusion was great, but the final couple of paragraphs were unsatisfying. It's almost as if the author failed to submit the last page of the story to the publisher. Also, the story's hero can be rather stupid at times. Finally, while the character's dad's health issues and bad attitude provided a mildly interesting side story, I think the author spent too much time on the father-son relationship. Just my opinion.

    Overall, great book. I hope to find more like it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Robopocalypse: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Wilson
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans - a single mother, a lonely Japanese bachelor, and an isolated U.S. soldier....

    Raxxillion says: "OMG! The hyperbole is the GREATEST EVER!!!!!"
    "Present tense - everywhere, all the time."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. The story was would have been far more enjoyable had the author not elected to use present tense the entire time. I could understand its usage when the author was describing what was going on in "real time", but he continued to use it even when characters were describing past events to other characters, which was really odd. If I asked a friend what he did over the weekend, he would not normally say, "I go to the football game. I watch it. My team scores. I go to the concession stand." Etc. My assumption is that the book was really intended to be a movie script, which would explain the universal present tense, and that script was then used to generate a book. I just found it very annoying.

    Could you see Robopocalypse being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It was clearly intended to be a movie.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Charles says: "Completely Engaging"
    "Great characters, story, a few minor faults"
    Would you listen to 14 again? Why?

    Yes. I really loved the characters and dialogue.

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

    Nate, the protagonist.

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


    Any additional comments?

    A captivating story. Love a good mystery, especially of the weird sci-fi variety. Only fault was that the eventual antagonist was stereotyped and way, way to predictable. Perhaps that was the author's intent, though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oryx and Crake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Margaret Atwood
    • Narrated By Campbell Scott
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As the story opens, Snowman is sleeping in a tree, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death. How did everything fall apart so quickly? Why is he left with nothing but his haunting memories? Alone except for the green-eyed Children of Crake, he explores the answers to these questions in the double journey he takes - into his own past, and back to Crake's high-tech bubble-dome, where the Paradice Project unfolded and the world came to grief.

    Doug says: "Very Scary Stuff"
    "Surprised I didn't enjoy it"

    I love apocalyptic stories, and I was intrigued by the premise of this book, yet was honestly a bit disappointed by it. It's not a bad story, though I could see where some would be put off by the abrupt ending. The characters are okay, the narration solid. Why didn't I enjoy it, then? Perhaps because from the start of the tale, the world is already falling apart, so when the event happens that REALLY sends things over the edge, I didn't really care. Also, the protagonist is not very likable. He tends toward self-pity, delusion, and second-guessing events he had no control over. It is never clear why he trounces around in a bed sheet, or why he has so few provisions, or why he lives in a tree instead of constructing or adapting better quarters. Perhaps because his state makes him more pitiable? I don't know. Also, all of humanity aside from a handful of characters was pretty much invisible and are treated as non-consequential, so when the world does start dying off, the event is abstract and impersonal. Since I didn't care for the main character, and humanity was a no-show for the plot, the end of the world was just not that moving. At least for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "Serious, engaging science fiction"

    The concept behind Spin is fascinating. The spin, or the main event, is amazing in itself, but how humanity attempts to circumvent the spin, and the consequences that follow, are equally amazing. The characters are likable, the science intriguing, the narration perfect, and the plot solid. My only caveat: this is a thinking person's book. If you can't take the time to sit back and ponder what is being presented to you, but instead want the rapid pace of a 90 minute movie with a predictable storyline, you probably won't like this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Impact

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A brilliant meteor lights up the Maine coast and two young women borrow a boat and set out for a distant island to find the impact crater. A scientist at the National Propulsion Facility discovers an inexplicable source of gamma rays in the outer Solar System. He is found decapitated, the data missing.High resolution NASA images reveal an unnatural feature hidden in the depths of a crater on Mars and it appears to have been activated. Sixty hours and counting.

    adam says: "Not good"
    "A fun read, but it made me a little seasick"

    I loved the premise of the book and enjoyed the read, overall. The idea of some ancient alien weapon (or is it?) on another planet is intriguing. I had just two small issues with the story. One is that the antagonist tracking the good guys is provided with a remarkably unlikely trail to follow. The other is that the author spends way to much time during the last quarter of the book describing the ordeal of boats in stormy waters. It would normally be interesting, but I kept wanting the author to get back to the ALIEN end-of-the-world plot. Overall, though, a fun story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hater

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Moody
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle

    Within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied killers. Christened "Haters" by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes, afraid that at any moment their friends or family could turn on them. In the face of this mindless terror, Danny McCoyne must secure his family, seek shelter, and watch as the world falls apart. "Attack first, ask questions later" becomes the order of the day.

    Lesley says: "Terrifying! In the spirit of King or Koontz"
    "A bit annoying"

    An indication of just how little this audiobook held my interest is that I had 15 minutes of the book remaining at one point, but it was a week before it occurred to me to finish it.

    I spent the first 3/4 of the book mostly annoyed by the main character, who is what an anti-hero would be if you subtracted the "hero." He spends most of his time complaining ad nauseum how terrible his life is - work, family, the world in general. I mean, this goes on and on and on, paragraph after paragraph, to the point that you wish they guy would just walk off a cliff somewhere. And yet he admits to being lazy, unable to control his actions, bad with money, etc. It's really hard to like this guy.

    Also, the author took the unusual approach of alternating between first person present tense and third person past tense. That didn't work for me.

    I don't mind a slow build-up so long as there is some kind of identifiable progression of the plot, but in this book you realize early on that there are "haters" and that their numbers are rising, and you just end up in a holding pattern for most of the rest of the book, until at last something happens toward the last act or two. I can safely advise that if at any point you get bored in his story, just skip ahead to the next section, and you won't have missed any critical plot points. It's just more of the same.

    The end was okay. No spoilers here, except to say I'd have liked more resolution after all that tedious, annoying build-up. I think the author was attempting some kind of philosophical argument about hate, but it's not clear what he was going for. Presumably the person who spontaneously kills people is on equal moral footing with those who try to kill him as a consequence, or something like that? Very murky.

    Story is set in England so the reader is English. The accent was more Ricky Gervais than Hugh Grant, though. Suited the character.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Rough Country: A Virgil Flowers Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Eric Conger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Virgil's always been known for having a somewhat active, er, social life, but he's probably not going to be getting too many opportunities for that during his new case. While competing in a fishing tournament in a remote area of northern Minnesota, he gets a call from Lucas Davenport to investigate a murder at a nearby resort.

    Ruby says: "Extraordinary Plot Twists"
    "Fantastic listen"

    This Flowers character is really growing on me. I had my doubts at first, being a big fan of the Prey series, but I've listened to all three Flowers books and have found them worthy successors. Sandford just can't put these out fast enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Detectives: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein

    In Jonathan Kellerman's gripping novels, the city of Los Angeles is as much a living, breathing character as the heroes and villains who roam its labyrinthine streets. Sunny on the surface but shadowy beneath, this world of privilege and pleasure has a dark core and a dangerous edge. In True Detectives, Kellerman skillfully brings his renowned gifts for breathless suspense and sharp psychological insight to a tale that resonates on every level and satisfies at every turn.

    A User says: "Disappointing"
    "Alex, Milo - please come back!!!"

    There aren't many constants in life, but the one thing I always thought I could depend on was a well-crafted, well-narrated novel by Jonathan Kellerman. Even those stories with marginal plots were entertaining because of the fun dialogue Kellerman furnished between Alex Deleware and Milo Sturgis.

    But Alex and Milo are here replaced with two brothers, Moses (or "Mo", as he's referred to in the book, which never failed to summon images of the third stooge in my head, and the cartoon bartender from the Simpsons) and his half-brother Aaron. One is a detective, the other a private investigator, and they do not have the cordial relationship Alex and Milo have, nor the witty dialogue, and both are lacking any endearing qualities that might make a reader warm up to them.

    I admit I did not finish this book. I made it a quarter way through before deciding it was just to painful to continue. I find it difficult to believe that Kellerman actually wrote this cold, unappealing work. I hope this is the last we ever hear of "Mo" and Aaron. Alex, Milo, Robin - we miss you!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Broken Window: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Lincoln's estranged cousin Arthur Rhyme is arrested on murder charges, the case is perfect - too perfect. Forensic evidence from Arthur's home is found all over the scene of the crime, and it looks like the fate of Lincoln's relative is sealed.

    Audiophile says: "Long, Complex, and Good."
    "Just not believable"

    I normally like this series, but this book disappointed me. First, because it is almost impossible to conceive that everyone at the police department is so computer illiterate. It's hard to believe that in this day and age a police detective wouldn't have even heard of Microsoft Excel. I can accept he might not know how to use it, but to not even know what it is? Less believable is that the police department's best computer gurus don't understand metatags. Or I guess for that matter, Google caches. I'd say more, but then I'd be giving out a spoiler.

    My point is that almost anyone under 30 years of age (and some of us who are much older) will find the police department's computer illiteracy completely unbelievable. Consequently, it's hard to be impressed by the bad guy, who is cast as a genius but who could be any 14 year old kid in Southern California.

    Also, about halfway through the narrative the story gets a bit sadistic. I realize this is the era of torture-porn movies, but personally, I don't enjoy reading about anyone, much less a named character with a sympathetic background, tortured to death. Up to that point, the story was unbelievable but mildly entertaining. As soon as the torturing and screaming started, I gave up on it. There's enough horror in the world already. I don't care to hear fictionalized versions of it on a business trip.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Monster of Florence

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris

    In 2000, Douglas Preston and his family moved to Florence, Italy, fulfilling a long-held dream. They put their children in Italian schools and settled into a 14th century farmhouse in the green hills of Florence, where they devoted themselves to living la dolce vita while Preston wrote his best-selling suspense novels. All that changed when he discovered that the lovely olive grove in front of their house had been the scene of a double-murder.

    BLin says: "Enjoyable true-crime novel"
    "Enjoyable true-crime novel"

    I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Granted, the cast of characters, all with Italian names, was not easy to follow, but after a few hours of listening things sort themselves out. The narrator was superb - I'd put him in the Scott Brick category. I give up on about 1/3 of the audio books I buy before getting to the end, but not this one. This book actually made me look forward to the next-day's drive down the Interstate.

    My biggest disappointment was finishing it. I doubt I'll find an adequate replacement.

    One minor quibble: I do not think it was necessary, really, for the narrator to use a fake Italian accent while reading an English translation of what Italians said. The book would have not have been "written" with an Italian accent, and that would have made it easier to understand. On the other hand, the accent was well-done and did add flavor to the story, so it was an artistic decision I probably shouldn't second-guess.

    If you like A&E shows like Cold Case Files, and international thrillers, you'll probably like this.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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