You no longer follow JCL

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 JCL

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

JCL

JCL

Coarsegold, CA USA | Member Since 2004

28
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 415 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
9
FOLLOWERS
2

  • The Lions of Lucerne

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Brad Thor
    • Narrated By Armand Schultz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1331)
    Performance
    (1196)
    Story
    (1193)

    On the snow-covered slopes of Utah, the unthinkable has just become a nightmarish reality: thirty Secret Service agents have been viciously executed and the vacationing president of the United States kidnapped by one of the most lethal terrorist organizations in the Middle East - the Fatah Revolutionary Council. But surviving agent and ex-Navy SEAL Scot Harvath doesn't believe the Fatah Revolutionary Council is responsible for the attack.

    Carol says: "Great Scott Harvath"
    "Quick Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is a good beach read. Or perhaps I should say a good quick read in front of the fireplace at Deer Valley after a day’s skiing. Of course, it DOES contain the obligatory evil American capitalist and this made me contemplate downgrading my review. (Are ALL writers socialists?) If you are going to make a plot element an evil capitalist, couldn’t you at least make him a Russian? (Russian capitalists want to protect their petroleum empires, too.) You will not be taxed listening to or following the story of this book, nor particularly regret purchasing it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nightwing

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Martin Cruz Smith
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (158)
    Story
    (160)

    A community in the southwestern United States falls prey to a plague of vampire bats with a virus which compels them to feed on everything in their path. Martin Cruz Smith, author of the best-selling novels, Gorky Park and Polar Star, mixes Indian mythology with virology in this masterful thriller.

    S. Burrows says: "Excellent book."
    "Disgusting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book because author Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko detective stories are good. I was therefore surprised at how awful this novel is. Mr. Smith tries the Tom Clancy technique of detailed descriptions, but in his story, instead of military tech, he describes the chemical and viral details of bat guano! Seriously disgusting. His effort fails to have the Clancy effect, which generates interest. The plot takes place on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, but is nothing like Tony Hillerman’s books. This story involves a lot of Indian myths that are difficult to understand, are not well tied to the plot, and are boring to boot. The penultimate chapter is based on some myth which the hero re-enacts (or something) while under the influence of a hallucinogenic root. Very unbelievable. My wife and I listened to the book on a long drive. I asked her what she thought. She replied, “I hate this book.” IMHO, this book is not worth the money.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1280)
    Performance
    (1191)
    Story
    (1201)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "Boorring!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, the book is narrated in a fake Scottish brogue. Yuck! This leads me to conclude that the producer of this audiobook planned it to be sold to a very narrow and small demographic. Either that or they’re incompetent. Further, the reader puts a full stop between dialogue and cues, to wit: “‘I went downtown,’ [full stop for at least a second], “he said.” Very distracting! Second, the work is mostly told in the first person narrative voice. This is difficult for even master writers to bring off and this author is no master. Third, this story is not sci-fi, but fantasy. The author is not an engineer or techie, so his vision of future gadgets, transportation, etc., has no technological consistency or believable background. They just “are” like in fantasy and sometimes they are anachronistic. For example, people in the cities fly around with anti-gravity boots but also still have car exhaust polluting their atmosphere. In other words, they are advanced enough to have conquered gravity, but still haven’t mastered the gasoline engine. (What, no electric cars in the future?) This sort of writing destroys what is essential for these sorts of stories, which is the suspension of disbelief. Another inconsistency is that the hero is a slave miner who is from the lowest level in their society, an uneducated, hard-working slave. And yet he gives us insightful and even quasi-philosophical comments as he digs ore, etc. What the? Another inconsistency is that the hero and his girl use an abandoned tunnel to go up to an outdoor area for a picnic and get caught. This is a capital offense and both are executed. But later in the story, after the hero is revived, they take an elevator to the surface and stroll around looking at everything. What the…? Makes me wonder if this author even re-read his story after he finished writing it. Fourth, the first several chapters spend their time and text describing Mars as hell: extremely hot in the mine tunnels, very dangerous working conditions, extreme regulation of life by the elites, etc. Set at the beginning of the story, this too quickly gets boring. Fifth, the human society described is extremely stratified and very class-based, something like “Brave New World”, and you can see revolution coming. This idea has been written about to exhaustion and it too quickly gets boring. After a few hours listening, I couldn’t take it anymore. Especially the fake brogue! I got my money back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ascendant: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Drew Chapman
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (159)

    Hidden deep within the figures tracking the ups and downs of the stock market lies a terrifying truth: America is under attack. Our government…our economy…our very way of life are in the crosshairs of a ruthless enemy…and no one knows. Except Garrett Reilly. He has a knack for numbers. He sees patterns no one else can. His gift has made him a rising star on Wall Street. But when he notices that two hundred billion dollars' worth of U.S. Treasury bonds are being sold off at a terrifying rate, his gift makes him the most wanted man alive.

    John S says: "Actually quite entertaining"
    "Exciting story about a very important topic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Ascendant is an exciting story about a very important topic that thoughtful people should make a point of understanding: the use of huge databases and sophisticated software in international financial commerce. Sounds boring, but this story makes this subject-matter quite interesting. The author focuses on this subject-matter well and does a good job of fictionalizing an explanation of how it works and how this phenomenon is affecting business and world governments. However, the author neglects other elements of good novel writing which sadly weakens this important work. The term “ascendant” is defined as a position of dominant power or importance. This refers to the anti-hero is this work and also to the government program sorta built around him. His job is to push world events to a tipping point for the benefit of the United States. This apparently is opposed by American leaders of our military-industrial complex because the Ascendant can avert shooting wars by engaging hidden data manipulations behind the scenes, e.g., computer hacking, currency manipulation, etc. Think of the “Stuxnet” worm that targeted and temporarily ruined Iran’s bomb-making centrifuges. Beyond this, the focus of this story, the Ascendant, can see patterns in staggeringly huge data streams that no one else can perceive. (BTW, this might be the way we humans defeat Skynet. For the problem here, see: Berners-Lee: 'Computers are getting smarter. We’re not' in the UK Telegraph.) All this makes the Ascendant and his team members the target for elimination by a host of individuals from around the world who, for various reasons, profit from war. The work would have been stronger and more gripping if both the villains and the love affair were more pointedly developed. (The love affair is lame.) Nevertheless, the book is well worth the price. It is thought-provoking because, after listening, you will come away with a strong conviction that the plot is more real than fiction. I wonder whom the author really works for….

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10562)
    Performance
    (10048)
    Story
    (10066)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Good Story If You Like Engineering"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel is worth the price if you like engineering steeped in NASA technical details, which I do. You will find it satisfying for the same reason that people liked the MacGyver TV series. However, the story has drawbacks: It has no villain. It also has no romance. Good novel writing, of course, includes these fundamental elements. How does one write these elements into a story that involves only one character trying to stay alive on a barren, cold planet? It’s called creative writing for a reason. For a better-written story also about inherently dull subject matter (computer code and financial commerce) but that includes the foregoing elements woven into an exciting plot, try The Ascendant by Drew Chapman, also available from Audible. The foregoing notwithstanding, if you like to hear about inventive life-and-death engineering solutions and detailed NASA technical specifications, you will enjoy The Martian. I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reamde

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Malcolm Hillgartner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3810)
    Performance
    (3336)
    Story
    (3371)

    Richard Forthrast created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game. But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe - and Richard is at ground zero.

    ShySusan says: "Not perfect, but worth a listen."
    "Waaaay too long!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephenson is a very good author but this work is not at the level of The Diamond Age or Cryptonomicon. A good way to bore readers is to let too long a time go by without intense action. In this story, we learn more about how to operate a pirated ship or how to control its drift in the North China Sea than anyone save a naval academy midshipman would want to know. Same with what it's like to be out hiking and shooting in the North American mountains. The story would have been better if it were half as lengthy. Stephenson needs a good strong willed editor with lots of red pencils! The end is undramatic. Spoiler alert: All the bad guys get shot in various unexciting ways and the family reunion continues. Yawn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Girls of Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Donato Carrisi
    • Narrated By David Doersch
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Sandra Vega, a forensic analyst with the Roman police department, mourns deeply for a marriage that ended too soon. A few months ago, in the dead of night, her husband, an up-and-coming journalist, plunged to his death at the top of a high-rise construction site. The police ruled it an accident. Sandra is convinced it was anything but. Launching her own inquiries, Sandra finds herself on a dangerous trail, working the same case that she is convinced led to her husband's murder.

    JCL says: "Don’t Waste Your Money"
    "Don’t Waste Your Money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is not well written. It is told, not shown. About an hour from the end you learn who’s killing the lost girls of Rome and one other mystery is solved. Then begins a lot of flashbacks to new characters and the story becomes a jumbled mess. The end, which is supposed to be surprising, can be seen coming from about an hour out. This author should be barred from writing any more novels.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1351)
    Performance
    (1254)
    Story
    (1245)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Darwin8u says: "Grief, terror, love, longing"
    "Terrific Book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is great! Terrific! Buy it and enjoy it! Writing is well done and narration well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Virgin Suicides

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Eugenides
    • Narrated By Nick Landrum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (775)
    Performance
    (514)
    Story
    (522)

    This nationally best-selling novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides was adapted into an acclaimed film by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola. A haunting yet wickedly funny tale, The Virgin Suicides has captivated countless readers with its intoxicating portrait of lost innocence. A brilliant fusion of dark humor and tragedy, it is an atmospheric, allegorical masterpiece about five oppressed, suicidal sisters and the boys who dream of rescuing them.

    Lexi Lou says: "Read this if you want to enjoy this audiobook"
    "Depressing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are the type of person who, upon finishing a book, likes to sink back into your chair and sigh, and think that was a great story, and wish it had not ended, then this is NOT the book for you. If, however, you are the type of person who, upon finishing a book, likes to lean forward and hold your head in your hands and think, “Why did this author write this thing and why did I listen to it through to the end?,” then this is the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3189)
    Performance
    (2821)
    Story
    (2820)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Excellent! Well worth the price."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked Agent to the Stars, you will like this novel. Snarky dialogue among characters. Well done and funny!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • WIRED

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Douglas E. Richards
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Kira Miller is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity. But what if this transcendent level of intelligence brings with it a ruthless megalomania? David Desh left the special forces after his team was brutally butchered in Iran. Now he has been reactivated for one last mission: find Kira Miller, the enigmatic genius behind a bioterror plot that threatens millions.

    Tommy says: "Good, but not great."
    "Poor production; poor writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The biggest annoyance with this production by Tantor Audio is that the producer apparently does not know that most audible books are listened to in automobiles that are traveling. This book has a lot of dialogue that is whispered between the characters. In that dialogue, the reader drops the volume of his voice and whispers. The road noise blocks out the whispers. So, if you intend to listen to this work while you commute, you are going to miss lots of passages. Sad. (Can’t Amazon get audio producers who know who their audience is and fix the sound level to accommodate that demographic?) Beyond that, the book is not well-written: the author never met an adverb he doesn’t use rather than showing the reader the action. The work ends with an epilogue where the author disgorges his ideas about quantum physics and cosmology. The sci fi ideas are interesting, but interesting ideas do not make a good book; interesting characters and their story do. When we finished our drive, the audio book ended and I asked my wife what she thought about it. “Blah, blah, blah” was her answer. Exactly!

    0 of 0 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.