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John

Powakee

Dona Ana, NM, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
16
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • The Unsung Hero: Troubleshooters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Suzanne Brockmann
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (737)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (346)

    After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the danger as injury-induced imaginings. In a desperate effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorist team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton - the sweet girl next door who has grown into a remarkable woman.

    Luv2Read says: "Romance novel disguised as a thriller"
    "Nice & Sappy"
    Overall

    This book was a romance writing woman doing her attempt at writing an action thriller. At first I was a little put off but then I was reminded that Lee Childs' main character looks at a woman who looks at him; they make love and then it's the next day and they get back to business. Brockmann's book is about the spaces between the words in the second half of the previous sentence. Overall, a little bit sappy, however, I think she pulls it off; the good guys win in the end and everybody is happy. I didn't give it 5 stars because I like a little more blood and guts and shooting and that kind of stuff. But, the lovemaking scenes . . . . wow! They were right up there. And, yes, I am going to recommend it to my wife. :-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Narrated By Terry Tempest Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (122)

    Terry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone." Fans of Williams's iconic and unconventional memoir, Refuge, well remember that mother. She was a member of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah who developed cancer as a result of the nuclear testing in nearby Nevada. It was a shock to Williams that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as what she found when the time came to read them.

    E says: "Amazing Story, Amazing Voice"
    "Not About Birds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice?

    In the context of story telling when the writer discovered 'the secret' she did not dwell so much on what could appear as an obvious disappointment but immediately began a search to understand the meaning of the gift and the meaning of a life as looked at through both her eyes and her mothers' eyes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the many pearls of wisdom dropped by the author along the story line. There are not many people who can write a short book and SLAM the reader with insightful revelations into the human condition and still make the reader want to continue the book to the end. This author did that very thing magnificently!


    What does Terry Tempest Williams bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I always enjoy hearing an author read their own work. Her voice, the speed, emphasis, pauses these interpretations of her own work helped me 'hear' the voice in the story. I found, many times while going through this book, sheer wonderment that the voice I was hearing was the voice of the writer. She wrote this story very nicely and her voice brought out the 'shine' that lay within those words. She was great.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A film would detract from this story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Finisher

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (112)

    Fourteen-year-old Vega Jane lives in the village of Wormwood, where life is nasty, brutish, and short. Villagers have been told that there is nothing outside of Wormwood except for the Quag, a foul forest filled with terrifying beasts. No one comes, no one goes, and Wormwood has stayed this way for generations. Until Vega's friend Quentin Herms disappears. Quentin leaves Vega a secret message hinting that there's a way out of Wormwood and something extraordinary on the other side.

    John says: "Surprisingly Bad for Baldacci"
    "Surprisingly Bad for Baldacci"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have say that I am a Baldacci fanatic. I like his story telling. However, this one just never quite rose to the occasion. The performance was good. The writing ~ by a man telling a story totally from a female perspective was outstanding. Unfortunately, that was about the only fascinating part of this writing. The story took nearly 1/2 the book to get going; i.e., for the story to begin to be interesting - and then it was pretty good for about 3 hours and the last two hours (maybe 90 minutes) just petered out. I got the sense that the author never really knew where he was going or what he intended to do with this story.

    I expected more from Baldacci. I think he went out on a limb here to try and cash in on the 'fantasy story' that is sucking up the interest of the youngsters presently. And, maybe a youngster will like this story but it just didn't carry the day for me. I cannot recommend that anyone spend the time or energy trying to get through this story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Unwind

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Neal Shusterman
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (659)
    Performance
    (542)
    Story
    (538)

    Conner's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance.

    SoCalBonnie says: "It won me over completely"
    "Weird . . . . But, well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author starts out and gives the reader the basis of the story. Over time - he fills in the details. The "fill" does not make the underlying premise any more plausible & I think I just never quite 'bought in' to the story. Be that as it may, I liked the adventure of the story and the movement. It was, in essence, so well told that even though I thought the underlying premise was lame - I kept listening. It was entertaining through and through.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7866)
    Performance
    (7092)
    Story
    (7091)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Cant Wait For The Movie!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I still had Matthew McConaughey in my head when I started listening to this book. Despite the reader 'not quite' sounding like McConaughey that's the only 'real' voice I could hear on this entire book. I nearly had to say - I think Grisham wrote the book w/ one movie actor in mind for this main character. With that said, it is a great story and well told. And I hope McConaughey plays the role in the movie. I'd be disappointed if anyone else played it. To say that Grisham has the role of story teller down pat is sort of like saying the best description of water is that it is wet. But, the story develops and grabs your attention immediately. It only gets better with each passing moment. It was pretty obvious that the Alaska connection was gonna be the clincher but it was still a surprise on how it came out and it emphasized again, how quickly a jury can change (even in real life). I am so glad Grisham has devoted his time to writing. He simply does it so well. And, he has given me years of pleasure. I am sure that anyone who reads or listens to this book will not be disappointed. Grisham has brought so much pleasure. What more can one human do for so many others than that?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Total Control

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By David Baldacci
    • Narrated By Jonathan Marosz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (688)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (585)

    Sidney Archer has the world. A husband she loves. A job at which she excels, and a cherished young daughter. Then, as a plane plummets into the Virginia countryside, everything changes. And suddenly there is no one whom Sidney Archer can trust.

    Rachel says: "Go back to your old narrator!!"
    "Exciting Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My wife and I both enjoy David Baldacci stories. I thought I would have read this one before but the story was unknown to me. And, it was great! Pure and simple - a great story! What was both intriguing and 'quaint' was the characters' use of telephone calling cards and tape answering machines. While listening to this it seemed incredible to me that it was "only 1995" that we still relied so heavily on land lines and telephone calling cards and tape machines. And, there was so much time taken in the story dealing with remembering telephone numbers (not actually mentioned but in there) and then running around and finding "pay phones" to use "the calling card" on. Incredible! The digital revolution has so over taken our society that to go back in time, even a decade, (a little more than less) and see how much time and energy land line communications took. And here, how much time and energy it took just to be part of the story - it was incredible! I think if the author rewrote this story - and without the land lines but with smart cell phones with apps - he'd cut 30 pages out of the story and an hour of reading.

    What was also amazing to me was the thought that the author could modify this story and use smart phones but not really change anything else about the plot or theme of the book. The truly an exciting concept in the late 90's as to the internet and organizing material - what a dream by the author - remains a dream, now, nearly 15 years later. We have different 'gadgets' but the dream is still there. I wonder how long it will so remain?

    Overall, this story gets an A+.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two for Texas

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (157)

    This James Lee Burke novel, featuring Son Holland - the great-grandfather of Burke's Billy Bob Holland - as he flees a Louisiana prison camp with a Native American woman and a fellow prisoner in tow, is now available in audio.

    Tim says: "So Good... and a bonus! Clete is here!"
    "Burke Needs to Slow Down"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My overwhelming sense with this book was that it was another Dave Robecheu novel transported back in time. First, I should say that I listened to any book I can find that Will Patton reads. I particularly like the Dave Robecheu novels. Second, I like the 'gum-shoe' cop books that Burke writes. But, Third, this one was simply and only the same two characters of Cleat or Pete and Dave. Unfortunately, I think Will Patton got caught up in the familiarity of the 'voice' of the book and by a quarter the way in he was using the same exact voice of Dave & Cleat.

    In the end, the same voice, the same style, the same characters and just moving it to the Texas independence fight - it just didn't cut it for me. Basically, this book blew chunks.

    Either Burke needs to take a vacation or he needs to try a little harder and create some new characters or . . . he could just write Dave Robecheu novels.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Flight Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Narrated By Barbara Kingsolver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (1251)
    Story
    (1260)

    Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at 17. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.

    Marcia says: "Tough Message Delivered in Silk"
    "Slow to start but picks up steam just like a train"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The short write up sounding appealing so I got this book. When I started listening the first two to four hours seemed quite tedious. I was nearly ready to give up but I kept pushing forward. Thank goodness I did! I can only go to the end and tell you this was one of the best told stories I have heard in some time. The main character is a little flighty but she is solidly grounded as to her family and is open to the new experiences. Because of my own reaction to her life choices I think I am probably not as open to new experiences as the main character and realizing that made me think I didn't like the opening section so much because of that.

    I liked the "butterfly" doctor. The speech he gave to the "ZNN" reporter was the kind of speech we all wish we could spout off the top of our head. That portion of the story was so realistically told I wanted to go to UTUBE and see if there was an actual video. I do wonder how long it will be before some college art/acting class makes an actual mock video of this part of the book and really posts it on the web. I think that'd be kick @$$ and quite a tribute to Kingsolver.

    All of the characters are most believable and this story made me feel like I was taking a very intimate peek into the lives of these people. At some point I was able to associate with the main character because she had this running dialog going on in her head that sounded very much like the running dialog that goes on in my head . . . . more often than I am sometimes comfortable with.

    I loved the author reading her own work. She was great. I loved her voice. The pace was perfect and she complimented what is otherwise a well told story.

    I did not give this book 5 stars for the story because I am so tired of the American story teller (we see it most often in movies) where at the end of the story everything is destroyed. The destruction seems only to be done for the benefit of the story teller and has little to do with the story itself. The symbol is 'okay, the story is over and now I am going to destroy the set." I don't think that is reflective of anything but our current culture and an inability to simply tell a story and then to let that be it and be over when it is over. But, to be over because the set is now destroyed is just . . . . blase. That said, even before I was finished I gave two copies of this book away as gifts to other family members. I really really liked this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5045)
    Performance
    (3050)
    Story
    (3075)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Not Very Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book never made it out of the classroom for me. It mostly sounded like an (ultra politically conservative) professor trying to imagine the worst about human behavior and then writing it down. It lacked any connection to realism for me. The problem is that my vision of human behavior, altruism, empathy and American behavior in a crisis is simply more positive than that which the author believes, thus, his book was filled with doom and gloom which could only be resolved favorably by the military or military action. His idea of hope for a catastrophe was to have the military come in and save the day.

    I think that Americans have a history of altruistic and empathetic behavior when we are faced with adversity. If anyone looks back at our personal and national response to NY City on 9/11/01 they do not see people abandoning each other, the laws or morality. One can also look back at how we respond to catastrophes when hurricanes, tornadoes or fire destroy large areas. We group together and we help each other out. So, this storyline just never rose to the level of believability for me because this author would have the believe that we all run for our lives forsaking all those around us.

    The only thing I could think about this author is that I hope I never have him, or someone like him, for a neighbor. That would not be my idea of a very good neighbor.

    Overall, the story was flat; it was not compelling; the characters did not have enough depth and it was a struggle to get from one chapter to the next. I listen to a lot of audio books and I have a rule that if I buy it I will listen to the end. This was one of the few times I felt like my rule was punishing me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Middlesex

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Kristoffer Tabori
    Overall
    (5918)
    Performance
    (2114)
    Story
    (2134)

    In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.

    Chris says: "Great Pulitzer Winning novel!"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was ready for a nice compelling story. This was an Oprah book club book. But, basically, the storyline itself is somewhat offensive; the main character is unappealing; and the reader was nearly as unappealing as both the main character and the story overall. I stayed with it through part 1 & 2 but finally gave it up on part 3. I couldn't think of anything to keep me wanting to stay with it to the end. I suspected (but will never know) the end of the book was as crappy as the first part.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Christmas List: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Richard Paul Evans
    • Narrated By John Dossett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    The New York Times best-selling author of The Christmas Box returns with a holiday novel of hope, love, and redemption: "That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear listeners, this Christmas - a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts."

    Gil says: "The good over the bad heart felt life story"
    "Soft Gentle Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not realize I have had this book for such a long time; however, I began listening without knowing anything about the story. The story has an initial grab to pull you in; but, it really doesn't need it. It moves along and sounds realistic. All of the characters feel very believable. They seem real from the beginning. The story feels real. Then, the character has an incident and he changes nearly immediately. As a reader - I didn't believe it; and, neither did anyone else in the story. I think that what makes this story compelling is that I am not even sure the main character believes he has changed. As the story progresses though both the reader and the main character come to realize that he has changed. The story is smooth; i.e., it flows like a gentle river. It is the kind of story I would like to tell if I could tell a story as easy as this one was to read. There is a nice ending and a nice 'moral to the story.' The reader had the perfect voice to read this story.

    I give this the top rating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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