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Elmwood, IL, United States | Member Since 2006

  • 7 reviews
  • 47 ratings
  • 311 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014

  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "A Good Post-appocolyptic Story"

    I have always enjoyed end of the world scenarios and this was a good story. It does a nice job of fleshing out the heros and the villains and creates a believable landscape. Though it leaves a good deal up in the air the story could stand alone.

    Mr. Fontaine has a good speaking voice and does a great job of creating recognizable character voices. I marked it a little low because he jumps between characters in his narrator voice and it isn't obvious to the listener that we have switched venues.

    I recommend this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Winter of the World: The Century Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion.

    Jimmy says: "Epic, Remarkable, Easy & Enjoyable!"
    "WotW Delivers but it's a little over edited"

    Ken Follett always tells a great story but he seemed more interested in character quantity then quality. He ended up with too many threads and seemed in a hurry to deliver the gotcha or point without spending enough time getting us to the same emotional or intellectual point. I said it was overedited because Mr. Follett has always patiently delivered the goods in the past so I am convinced there was a Stalinist editor hovering over this production with the Red Pen from hell and pompously declaring that the public needs this book to be under 1000 pages. It seems like the book needed about 300 more.

    Examples: (Here Be Spoilers)
    He didn't spend enough time developing Chuck D. for me to feel sad when he was killled.
    Commisar Macke seemed due for a Poetic justice end and then he was just ingloriously murdered.
    He races through the last part of the book (post war) where a lot happens very quickly. Which is, of course, setting us up for the next book but leaves a lot of holes and seems like it could have been fleshed out more.
    Ordinarily Mr. Follett has characters that are morally indifferent - Complex characters that are generally good but occasionaly do something evil. In this book the characters were either good or evil. The most morally complex character in the book was Greg Peshkov and he wasn't exactly multifaceted.
    Apparently all Social Democrats (Liberals) are smart and good and all Facists (Conservatives) are stupid and evil.

    Look - It's still a good story and I would recommend it to all of my friends; Hell, I have. But Mr. Follett can do better and he has done better many times: Fall of Giants, Jackdaws, Pillars of the Earth, World without End.

    Please Mr. Follett, Flesh out your Characters, Scenes, and Plots. Be patient in your delivery and it will be worth the wait.

    The audio production does skip - That needs to be fixed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Barbara says: "A feast for the mind and imagination"
    "It's nice but should have a pink cover to warn men"

    The author is intelligent, imaginative and tells a compelling story. She sets you up for a real scholarly mystery that spans the ages. And she was doing great for the first 1/4 of the book and then she introduced us to "Matthew" who is the protagonist's Night in Shining Armor and after that the story got mired down into something I would describe as a Smacked up Twilight. Every once in a while the story would start getting back on track for mystery and intrigue and as soon as she gave me some hope she went back to dwelling on his Broad Shoulders and dreamy eyes (Ugh).

    This is probably a good story for women but it should come with a warning for men (which is why I'm writing this review) that says "Girly Book - Stay away".

    Oh before I close this out - Kudos to the Narator - She did a great job as well.

    Before I get Slammed by other readers as being misogynistic or worse - please not that I rated this a 4 because I think Ms. Harkness is a brilliant author. I just wish I had been warned that it was a Romance novel and not a mystery novel.

    1 of 2 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

    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..."
    "Imaginative plot but an unimaginative story."

    I will give the author credit for coming up with a new way for society to be abruptly terminated. But after that the story went down hill fast.

    1. Apparently the author can't think of any way for people to hunt game except with a gun. He's never heard of Slingshots, bows, snares, pit traps, etc. His characters go so far as to use ammo as currency because it is so important to them.

    2. The dialog is terribly written. His characters spend far too much time worrying about where they can get their next cigarette and very little time trying to restore the infrastructure that they seem so lost without. Like they couldn't find one engineer to get some of the lights back on?

    3. It really is uncomfortably full of right wing Fundamentalist Christian propaganda. The fact that Gingerich the Newt did the foreward should have been my heads up warning that I was treading into a Second Amendment love fest.

    All in All I found this to be an entirely disappointing read.

    6 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Faith of the Fallen: Sword of Truth, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By John Kenneth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A Sister of the Dark captures Richard and takes him deep into the Old World, to the very heart of the Order, while his beloved Kahlan remains behind. Free because of Richard's sacrifice for her, but unwilling to abandon the cause of the Midlands, Kahlan violates not only prophecy but her last pledge to Richard and raises an army against the advancing horde of the Imperial Order.

    Daniel says: "This is the one when he goes Ayn rand on you"
    "Terry Goodkind puts his own spin on Atlas Shrugged"

    Reading this story felt like watching a sitcom that has decided to rework a classic. Terry Goodkind has adapted his characters and their philosophies to Ayan Rand's masterpiece. It's a good story but read Atlas Shrugged first.

    Much like Ayan Rand he constantly bludgeons the reader with the mantra of objectivism. As the D'Harans chant: "Master Rahl protect us, Master Rahl Guide us..." This book chants: "The capable and the achievers should never be shackled by the incapable and the slothful"

    I honestly hope he doesn't keep reworking classics to his own needs.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Soul of the Fire: Sword of Truth, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Now it has become terrifyingly clear that the Chimes have the potential to bring down all that Richard and Kahlan have worked to protect, and even the power of the Sword of Truth may not be enough to stem the tide of their unleashed magical force. But if the Chimes cannot be stopped, first they will ravage Richard and Kahlan, then all of D'Hara, and then the entire world.

    Scarab says: "An unfulfilling end"
    "A marked decline in quality"

    Mr. Goodkind is an imaginative author and the overall series weaves a compelling story. But this book, in particular, showcased some of his shortcomings. While he has always been miserly in his treatment of the disposition of secondary characters he dispatched them with even more rapidity and abruptness in this book. He also had the least impressive end game in this book compared to the previous 4. Like an earlier critique, I was left with the impression that he had come up against a deadline and had to finish the book quickly rather then well. I'm already into the next book and it is better writing but I hope that as he matures as an author he will give more thought and time to the ends of his books.
    Unfortunately, you can't really skip this book without losing track of several story arcs so you'll have to suffer through it as I but you have my empathy.
    Press on fellow readers, the overall storylines are good and your disappointment will pass.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Former naval doctor Peter Crane is summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to help diagnose a bizarre medical condition. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies far below on "Deep Storm", a stunningly advanced science-research facility built two miles beneath the surface on the ocean floor. The top-secret structure has been designed for one purpose: to excavate a recently discovered undersea site that may hold the answers to an ancient mystery.

    Tom says: "Must Read"
    "No Agent Pendegrast"

    This is an ok story. The concept is interesting but the characters are underdeveloped and the science is shaky at best.

    I'm not sorry I bought the book but He's written better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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