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  • Bloodlist: The Vampire Files, Part 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By P.N. Elrod
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener

    I've always had a weak spot for strange ladies. One very beautiful girl had even warned me that she was, get this, a vampire. But did I listen? No.

    Joseph says: "A unique perspective on vampire novels."
    "First of an Excellent Series"

    Bloodlist is the first of an eleven book series. I found this first one at Audible, liked it, and read the next ten in the series. I'm looking forward to Audible getting the rest on line. Some of the plot twists can be a stretch, but on the whole the characters and plot lines are great story telling.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Megan says: "Worth it, 10x over!"
    "Another time around the block"
    Any additional comments?

    I started this book after reading only the description - no reviews. I suspected it might be another vampire book, which didn't count in its favor. I did not know it was a zombie book, which I am less likely to read than another vampire book.

    However, zombie or not, once I heard the first few minutes there was no turning back.I was immediately hooked, drawn into the story and found myself looking forward to my commute just so I could listen to more of this story.

    On the negative side, there were a couple of small plot twists that were weak and contrived to move the story in the direction the writer needed things to go, but those few spots are not so noticeable within the larger story.

    Maybe I'm not so familiar with this genre - zombies - but I found the development of all the characters well done and in particular the Melanie main character fascinating. Her growth and her relationships with the Sargent, Ms Justineau, and the slightly mad Dr were believable. I also liked the ending, or endings, for the characters and found them overall satisfying. The elements leading to the end were planted thru-out the story as it unlayered, but the final twist was a surprise when it came.

    This was for me the rare book that left me wanting more maybe a sequel, but I don't think the ending has a real opening for one. However, I would like to see the movie version, or maybe a one season mini-series. The problem and it's a big one is that a large part of the attraction to this story is that it's told from Melanie's point of view - mostly - and it's fascinating as she learn's new facts and puzzles thru to an understanding of what the situation is and where and what she has to do towards the end as she extracts the final puzzle pieces from the slightly mad Dr. The Dr is the character who never gives up on her goal of dissecting little Melanie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crossover: Cassandra Kresnov, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Joel Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman

    Crossover is the first novel in a series which follows the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificial person, or android, created by the League, one side of an interstellar war against the more powerful, conservative Federation. Cassandra is an experimental design - more intelligent, more creative, and far more dangerous than any that have preceded her. But with her intellect come questions, and a moral awakening. She deserts the League and heads incognito into the space of her former enemy, the Federation, in search of a new life.

    Tango says: "Crossover to a Different Book"
    "Highly Recommend the Series"
    If you could sum up Crossover in three words, what would they be?

    Intense Refreshing Gripping

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Crossover?

    The standout scene occurs early in the first book when the title character undergoes vivisection. After that the buy into the main character's point of view is complete and there's no turning back.

    What does Dina Pearlman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I listened to the sample because I saw her name as narrator. And yes the audio version and in particular the Ms Pearlman's talent as a narrator add another dimension to enjoying the book just not available to silent reading of the text.

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


    Any additional comments?

    The quality of the writing is high and sustained through out the trilogy. Often such a fantastic first book is followed by a weak sequel, but that does not happen here. Shepard not only understands his main character thoroughly but has an unusual grasp across a broad range of very real political and philosophical issues. All too often a SF writer will sketch out a simple black and white conflict - political or other issues - and then have the characters run through the plot. Shepard achieves something I've rarely seen in that on both the political dimension and across several softer issues he sets up a very believable universe within which his characters operate. But these background issues are never allowed to dominate. The story is well told and the characters always in the center of the action with the wider issues and setting providing an enjoyable and very realistic background.For example, in the political realm in SF authors often can't help grinding some current axe, but Shepard resists anything like that. The political factions are not reflections of today's, but realistic creations fitting the future world that the main character - Sandy - lives within.The struggle between those people and entities against the creation of artificial life vs those who wish to embrace its potential would seem to set up a very black white background, but that doesn't happen. As the main character moves through the trilogy it becomes clear that this division is nuanced with hidden agendas popping up from unexpected but believable sources. And at no point does Shepard allow some very complex background material to overwhelm his main character(s) or their stories.Shepard could have fallen into the trap of not allowing one side to have of the 'right' on some moral ethical issue. In the third book one android recommends to another to read the book by Shelly 'Frankenstein' in order to understand why the organic humans fear the created artificial life forms so much.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By David Frum, Richard Perle
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From two of the country's arch-neoconservatives, a Bush speechwriter and the influential Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, comes a new book of policy on how to strengthen America. Frum and Perle allege that despite the American conquest of Iraq, Americans are not very safe in the world around them, and that the U.S. government remains unready to defend its people.

    Danioton says: "Excellent Analysis of America's Options"
    "Excellent Analysis of America's Options"

    Well thought out presentation of the terrorist problem and possible solutions facing America. Those who see our terrorist threat primarily as a legal problem will react badly to what the authors have to say (and might even try to score the book low not on its merits, but because they're afraid of its content and want to supress a valid point of view). Those who see a need for solutions with less due process and more direct action will appreciate the analysis. The work is an excellent contribution to the debate over where we go from here.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By John Podhoretz
    • Narrated By John Podhoretz

    George W. Bush arrived in the White House an untested governor with an unfortunate habit of tripping over his own tongue, presiding over an economy slipping into recession, and a nation more obsessed with reality television than with the reality of international terrorism. He was considered by many opinion-leaders a dupe, an illiterate, a cowboy, a preppie, a child of privilege. Now, it is clear to John Podhoretz that Bush has become, and will be remembered, as one of this nation's strongest leaders.

    Danioton says: "Well written, excellent"
    "Well written, excellent"

    As is typical for a book covering a political topic like this one, you will find most reactions are either in the over-the-top-hate-it or over-the-top-love-it category. If you hate Bush and are even more stirred up by the least rumor of some conspiracy, you are not likely to read even part way through this book, which is really too bad. I found the book very insightful on many aspects of Bush. One area in particular that was very good was the author's coverage of Bush's relationship with his Father, which is, I now understand, much more complicated than I had guessed. I found some of the most interesting sections dealt with how and why Bush gets the left so upset because it reminds me of some of my personal reactions to Clinton, the President, when he got the right so upset not too long ago. But I think this is something many of the people so rightously upset by Bush today are going to learn the hard way. If you like Bush already, this book will explain a lot of how the man is able to accomplish so much. Anyway I highly recommend taking the time to listen to it.

    19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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