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I. J. Wylie

Aging hippie

benson, AZ, United States | Member Since 2011

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 186 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Wizard of Dark Street: An Oona Crate Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Shawn Thomas Odyssey
    • Narrated By Shawn Thomas Odyssey
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard's apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind. Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case, she wants to show her uncle - the Wizard of Dark Street - that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of magic. Full of magic, odd characters, evil henchmen, and a street where nothing is normal, The Wizard of Dark Street will have you guessing until the very end.

    I. J. Wylie says: "Great story, great entertainment."
    "Great story, great entertainment."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our protagonist, Oona Crate, is smart but troubled by tragedies in her past. She has clever helpers, a crow who carries all the world's knowledge in it's scattered brain, and an elf.

    She lives on the border between our world and fairyland. She has a dilemma to face - to go on developing her talents as a wizard or become a detective which she dearly desires.

    This is the story of how circumstances force her to face her fears and move forward. A wonderful growing up story, told charmingly.

    The story is fresh, original, and convoluted enough to make it a satisfying mystery.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nightshifted: Edie Spence, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Cassie Alexander
    • Narrated By Tai Sammons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (56)

    Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine - from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond. Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose.

    Yvonne says: "A must read urban fanasty"
    "Intriguing, Gritty, Tastes of Real Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has written a richly detailed mystery that is satisfying (and scary) to read. The narrator sounds like an adult woman, which is rare in audiobooks these days.

    Most of us make life choices for reasons besides what's actually good for us. We compromise and make the best of decisions that seem rather self defeating.

    Rather than explain the plot, let's just say that Edie Spence is doing the best she can with a life that seems to be off the rails. She puts up with a low paying, high stress nursing job in the county hospital because it keeps her junky brother alive. And not only does he not know what sacrifices she's made for him, he still seems determined to destroy himself.

    But this book is not a soap opera. It is well designed urban fantasy complete with vampires, ghouls, shape shifters, and "others". The setup simply serves to put Edie into the path of these creatures. A patient leads to a mystery which leads to much danger and a gripping story.

    And boy does she get involved. From rescuing patients from a syphilitic dragon, to rescuing a vampire princess, she goes deeper into her patient's lives then she ever intended. Edie is not a larger then life heroine. She is a person who makes mistakes, like most of us, but she does try as best she can. She does get by. I am not a nurse, but the details of the daily grind in a hospital ring true to me.

    I highly recommend this book and the sequel (I've listened to it twice already and will return to it again sometime when I can't find something new to listen to).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The True Meaning of Smekday

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Adam Rex
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    When 12-year-old Gratuity (Tip) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on The True Meaning of Smekday for the National Time Capsule contest, shes not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens called Boov abducted her mother?

    Susie says: "Great for young and old alike!"
    "Original, Fun, and Entertaining."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved the alien. Loved the trip to Florida theme parks. Loved the Roswell visit.

    Not wanting to spoil the plot, I'll just say it was the kind of writing that reminds you why you keep reading - to find gems like this.

    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
    (2904)
    Performance
    (2754)
    Story
    (2756)

    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 plainold ""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"
    "Exciting, Fun, and no guns!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hours of on edge of seat excitement with intermittent humor. A joy to listen to. Makes me wish for the good old days of the space race. Too bad, currently it looks like the Chinese will be the first Martian adventurers.

    Only at one point was I yelling at the narrator - "Duck tape, use duck tape." But he finally thought of it.

    If you want to convince someone that math is important, let them read this. The man's life depends on the math he uses to decide how to use his resources and stay alive. Fantastic!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Galactic Mage (Volume 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Daulton
    • Narrated By David Bodtcher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (61)

    Altin Meade is a sorcerer with a curse. Seeking to avoid a looming doom, he sets his magical sights on the stars--a quest that will likely bring about the very consequence he's seeking to escape. Far across the galaxy, Ensign Orli Pewter of planet Earth has a looming doom of her own--one of loneliness, depression and, worse, a race of genocidal aliens known as Hostiles seeking to destroy humanity.

    lum says: "Interesting mix of fantasy & sci fi"
    "Long, very long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is imaginative and interesting but takes a long time to get anywhere. We are looking forward to the point where the spacefaring humans meet the mage and it takes forever! Actually very near the end of the book. Until then we mostly witness the mage's painstaking steps to get into space. At the end is an enemy that is actually not very interesting, even if very powerful.

    Another book that could be reduced to an easier to swallow short story or novella.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4075)
    Performance
    (3738)
    Story
    (3727)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    Magpie says: "Two books in one - keep listening!!"
    "A step backward in storytelling."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Trite characters battle a lackluster plot. Questions are not asked, because if the characters were smarter the story would never happen. How can a man, after being interrogated about a recent murder, not ask ANYONE who died? Or, anything else about the murder - all leading to misunderstandings and lots more bodies? This is just the beginning of a bunch of contrived plot points that leave the listener to shout at the absent writer.

    The cliches mount up, just as the body count, and the reader needs some chemical assistance to enjoy it.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1620)
    Performance
    (1511)
    Story
    (1515)

    Michael J. Sullivan garnered critical raves and a massive readership for his Riyria Revelations series. The first book in his highly anticipated Riyria Chronicles series of prequels, The Crown Tower brings together warrior Hadrian Blackwater with thieving assassin Royce Melborn. The two form a less-than-friendly pairing, but the quest before them has a rare prize indeed, and if they can breach the supposedly impregnable walls of the Crown Tower, their names will be legend.

    Tango says: "Delicious Icing on a Terrific Cake"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a prequel for novels already published. Fans of the swordplay of previous Riyria novels and forgiving of less than sparkling dialogue, may enjoy returning to the Riyria universe.

    In a sort of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" style, two men of opposite types are brought together to form an improbable partnership. It could have been fun but here the story is trite and contrived.

    A number of vignettes are loosely tied together in a disjointed way that never comes together as a satisfying whole. Characters are moved around like chess pieces, maneuvered by a central character instead of allowing natural events to bring them together.

    The result is flat rather than entertaining. The final chapter leaves the reader feeling manipulated. I was looking forward to this story of how the main characters originally met but it did not live up to it's potential.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Necessity's Child: A Novel of the Liaden Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    The kompani see none as an enemy, and yet few as friend. The kompani exist in many places, living quietly in the shadows, thriving off the bounty that others have no wit to secure, nor skill to defend. Their private history is unwritten; their recall rooted in dance and dream. The Clan Korval is in many ways the opposite of the kompani. The interstellar trading clan is wealthy in enemies, and fortunate in friends. Korval protects itself with vigor, and teaches even its youngest children the art of war

    Charlie Russel says: "Excellent addition to the Liaden Universe"
    "Story suffers from poor performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Followers of the Liaden Universe series will be thrilled to have a new installment, but the performance is a real disappointment. Readers may decide they would rather read the print version.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mercury Falls: Mercury, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Kroese
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (100)

    Christine Temetri is at her wits’ end. For years she’s covered the increasingly bizarre activities of End Times cults for the Banner, a religious news magazine. Yet Christine, who once dreamed of being a "real" writer, has nothing to show for the gig other than a regular paycheck and serious doubt that Armageddon will occur in time for her next deadline. But after a mysterious man entrusts her with a locked briefcase and orders to "take it to Mercury", Christine finds herself face-to-face with a ping-pong-playing angel by the name of Galileo Mercury.

    I. J. Wylie says: "Irreverent, inventive, witty."
    "Irreverent, inventive, witty."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's time for the apocalypse, isn't it? All the signs are lining up: wars in the mid-east, the anti-christ has been selected, and six of the seven books about that boy sorcerer and his friends have been published.

    So why is Christine always in the right place, at the right time, to do what? Is she supposed to help or hinder? In fact, it's not really clear who is in charge and what they are trying to accomplish. Angels seem to be operating at cross purposes.

    As Christine bounces around the world to interview the general for Israel, her house is being vandalized. Why would anyone use ketchup to draw a backwards swastika on her carpet? And, because it's backwards it doesn't count as a hate crime? Oh, well, now she has a new linoleum floor in her breakfast nook, thanks to the premature death of a neighbor. At least it is a "welcoming" pattern ...

    Don't miss the apocalyse vs flooring theory of history. Countless times flooring issues are ignored because of the expectation that it won't matter anymore soon, only to have to deal with it after all because the Apocalypse fails to appear on schedule. Again.

    The book has a great assortment of characters, acting rationally and irrationally. Humor abounds and it even all makes sense, in the end, mostly. Don't miss the cherubim who works for tips - tips he insists on giving out such as "ants walking single file means rain".

    The story flows well without slow spots. The reader is well matched to the material to bring the whole squirrely thing to life. It does for the apocalypse what "Caddyshack" did for golf.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fox and Phoenix

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Beth Bernobich
    • Narrated By Michael Sun Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The king of Lóng City is dying. For Kai Zou, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king’s daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost dragons orders Kai to travel across the country to the Phoenix Empire, where the princess is learning statecraft. Kai and his best friend Yún must endure a grueling trek, placate a persnickety griffin, and navigate layers of danger and court intrigue to help the princess escape and return to Lóng City.

    I. J. Wylie says: "Far east style fantasy."
    "Far east style fantasy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't tell you what culture inspired this fantasy, (Vietnamese,Chinese?). The real joy of this book is that it is from the opposite side of the world from western traditions, making for a refreshing new slant on magic.

    Every person has an animal spirit that shows up in their childhood, sort of like The Golden Compass. But the resemblance to that book ends there. (If you read Golden Compass after watching the movie, you will be very sad. The movie ended before the horrible ending inflicted by the author.)

    Kai Zou's animal spirit is a pig, a smelly pig with a smart mouth. He is usually right, which annoys Kai Zou no end. There are lots of other spirit animals, a (dead) stone griffin, and there are dragons - ghost dragons, of the occidental type.

    Kai Zou is a street lord, with a small gang of friends, each of whom have strengths and weaknesses. Kai Zou's mother owns a magic shop and teaches magic; Kai Zou has to help out, creating conflicts between his street life and home life.

    In the previous book, Kai Zou gave the Princess her impossible wish. This book is the fall out from that wish. This book stands on it's own but it would be nice if the prequel was read by this same reader. I give the reader high marks for the accent, as well as the reading, which contributes to the oriental atmosphere.

    And the food they eat sounds great. Wish the restaurants were in Tucson.

    This book is on my list of best of 2012 (that's when I found it) along with "The Wizard of Dark Street", and all time favorite "Fly by Night".

    Here's hoping for sequels or companion books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gil's All Fright Diner

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (202)

    Duke and Earl are just passing through Rockwood county in their pick-up truck when they stop at the Diner for a quick bite to eat. They aren't planning to stick around-until Loretta, the eatery's owner, offers them $100 to take care of her zombie problem. Given that Duke is a werewolf and Earl's a vampire, this looks right up their alley.But the shambling dead are just the tip of a particularly spiky iceberg.

    colleen says: "I loved it!"
    "The best in comic horror. Period."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the standard that all audiobooks should aspire to. Clever story telling and a great performance. The most enjoyable audiobook I have ever heard. Period.

    If you are familiar with A. Lee Martinez then you know that I can not do justice to the story by recapping it. Suffice to say it is one of the author's best books.

    If you are not familiar with the author but know you enjoy horror with an irreverent twist, and total off-the-wall bizarreness, then listen to the clip, and then buy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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