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Valdis

I craft chainmaille while enjoying audiobooks. My current favorite Authors are: Butcher, Gaiman, Hearne, Correia, Scalzi and Hodder.

ratings
194
REVIEWS
11
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • Zero Day: A Jeff Aiken Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Mark Russinovich
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1042)
    Performance
    (948)
    Story
    (953)

    An airliner’s controls abruptly fail mid-flight over the Atlantic. An oil tanker runs aground in Japan when its navigational system suddenly stops dead. Hospitals everywhere have to abandon their computer databases when patients die after being administered incorrect dosages of their medicine. In the Midwest, a nuclear power plant nearly becomes the next Chernobyl when its cooling systems malfunction. At first, these random computer failures seem like unrelated events.

    Brian says: "Techno-thriller that gets the tech right"
    "Computer Security Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Zero Day again? Why?

    Probably. I'd want to share this with friends and family, and if we were on a road trip, this would be one of my first choices to bring. It's not only a good tale, but also stresses the importance of updating your PC to curtail malicious attacks.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The tech talk throughout the book is spot on. With the author's pedigree, it's no surprise, but to hear is spelled out is both eye-opening and frightening.


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

    Mr. Heller brings an almost news headline feel to the story that stresses the urgency of the subject matter.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Having never really listened to a End of Times / "ripped from the headlines" audiobook before, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book. I also was reinspired to update all aspects of my PC, for fear of infection from malicious software.


    Any additional comments?

    Two qualms with this book:
    1. While most tech terms are defined when brought up, the reading of "code" was too much. The first time was nearly 5 minutes, and there are a few other code readings later in the book. It may be great for a programmer, but not for the average reader.

    2. Too many chapters. This book has nearly 80 chapters, most not even 10 minutes long. Hopefully in the next book, Russinovich condenses the chapters a bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carniepunk: The Demon Barker of Wheat Street

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 4 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (215)

    The ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan gets more than greasy corn dogs and flat soda when he visits a carnival in Kansas to which his apprentice, Granuaile, drags him. He runs across a barker with a strange power over the crowd: attractive women leave their men and disappear into an unmarked tent, never to be seen again, and the men wander away, forgetting that they ever had girlfriends or wives. When Granuaile falls under the barker’s influence and enters the tent, Atticus isn’t about to forget it and move on.

    Desecration980 says: "OMG the narrator"
    "Mispronunciations drive me crazy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I understand the need for a different narrator for this tale, but for the love of Pete he should know the correct pronunciations of key characters. It's a severe pet peeve of mine when narrators don't know the proper way to say words, it pulls me completely out of the world every single time. Thankfully Luke Daniels is perfect every time. This guy, not so much.

    However, the story was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Atrocity Archives: A Laundry Files Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Charles Stross
    • Narrated By Gideon Emery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (972)
    Performance
    (813)
    Story
    (811)

    Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

    Ethan M. says: "A great techno-spy-Lovecraftian-horror-comedy"
    "Great book, unfortunately…"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These two stories are great. Think Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus series meets HP Lovecraft and the IT Crowd. There are two stories here, with The Atrocity Archives taking up the brunt of the book.

    Unfortunately, Audible's chapter breaks do not sync up with the book's. This is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine, and merits the two stars overall. I had hoped the second book would have fixed this problem, but sadly no.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jennifer Morgue: A Laundry Files Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Charles Stross
    • Narrated By Gideon Emery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (541)
    Performance
    (431)
    Story
    (433)

    Bob Howard is a special operative for the British agency called The Laundry, and his task is to stop a rogue billionaire from using an artifact, known as Gravedust, with the power to reanimate the dead. The U.S. Black Agency sends the lethal Ramona Random to aid Bob’s mission, but she seems to have a different agenda.

    Bryan says: "The Laundry as James Bond"
    "Great story and narrator, but…"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These stories are great. Think: OSS meets HP Lovecraft and The IT Crowd.

    Unfortunately, the audiobooks strike one of my greater pet peeves: screwy chapter breaks. Like the previous book the audible chapter breaks do not sync up with the book's chapters. If I cared for this, I would still be using Audible through iTunes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joe Schreiber
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (463)

    It's kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

    Amazon Customer says: "Maul + Prison = Too Much Fun"
    "Most Viceral SW book I've ever heard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Joe Schreiber and/or Jonathan Davis?

    Yes. I have several books narrated by Davis (several other Star Wars books, Earth Abides, and the anthology Stories), and one other Star Wars book by Schreiber (Death Troopers).


    What was most disappointing about Joe Schreiber’s story?

    This is, by far, the most graphically violent, contrived tale from a Star Wars book. With a subject like Darth Maul, I was expecting combat; but the sound effects and graphic descriptions of disemboweling was too much. Two, the narrative of whether Maul is referring to himself as his cover-name or his Sith name kept changing. I understand that other characters refer to him as "Jaganath," but Maul's internal thoughts switched between the two throughout the book. Three, Jabba a misogynist? I can see him as being anti-human, but the Hutts have female crime bosses, so it felt uncharacteristic for him to be sexist. Finally, Schreiber doesn't know the meaning of "decimate," amongst a few other grammatical errors.


    What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

    Davis delivers another fairly solid performance, given what he had to work with.


    Do you think Star Wars: Maul needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Maybe, but only as a prequel/history of the character.


    Any additional comments?

    With most Star Wars books being high sci-fi, something like this atrocity really needs a warning in the description. I would hate to have a youth read this, expecting Star Wars and getting "Hostel / Gladiator.'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3959)
    Performance
    (3518)
    Story
    (3531)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "Life of a hacker"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is great, if you want to learn the basics of social engineering for malevolent purposes.

    Not do great if you're a decent human being.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Con & Conjure: Raine Benares, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Lisa Shearin
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (70)

    Raine Benares is a seeker who finds lost things and people. Ever since the Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that's given her unlimited power, has bonded to her, the goblin king and the elves have wanted to possess its magic themselves. Which means a goblin thief and her ex-fiancé - an elven assassin - are after her. To survive, she'll need the help of her notorious criminal family.

    Rachel says: "This Series just keeps getting better!"
    "Good story, mediocre narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off let me preface by saying I was looking for a sci-fi novel, and a new series. When this books shows up on sale, I figured, "What the heck."

    The plot was pretty good, until the end, when I discovered the climax of this story occurs in the next book. Also, the "romance" is portrayed like a teenager talking to a grown up about sex. In other words, a lot of dancing around the subject with vagueness and euphemisms describing the lovemaking. I would have preferred glossing over the whole sensual scenes to the drivel given here.

    As for the narrator, she did okay for most of the book, and wasn't monotone or boring. Unfortunately, every single male part sounds exactly the same, and goofy to boot.

    To sum up: 1. Story is good. 2. Sensual scene are vague and childish. 3. Narration is amateurish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Narrated By Mirron Willis
    Overall
    (564)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (440)

    In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto out of planethood. Far from the sun, tiny, and eccentric in orbit, it's a wonder Pluto has any fans. Yet during the mounting debate over Pluto's status, Americans rallied behind the extraterrestrial underdog.

    John says: "A Great Value"
    "More of a defense for the reclassification."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really looking forward to an in-depth look at the history of the (now classified as) dwarf planet. Instead only at the beginning and the appendices does he cover the history of Pluto, with both the discovery and cultural significance. The rest of the book is Tyson defending the his and the IAU's decision to reclassify the planet, through reading letters received and media response to the debate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mogworld

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Yahtzee Croshaw
    • Narrated By Yahtzee Croshaw
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (862)
    Performance
    (817)
    Story
    (818)

    In a world full to bursting with would-be heroes, Jim couldn't be less interested in saving the day. His fireballs fizzle. He's awfully grumpy. Plus, he's been dead for about 60 years. When a renegade necromancer wrenches him from eternal slumber and into a world gone terribly, bizarrely wrong, all Jim wants is to find a way to die properly, once and for all. On his side, he's got a few shambling corpses, an inept thief, and a powerful death wish. But he's up against tough odds....

    Alyssa says: "Yahtzee learns to enunciate"
    "Would have been a better to read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a standing belief that fiction authors should not narrate their own work. This is one of those cases.

    I really wanted to like this story, I did. But the monotone narration, mis-pronunciations, and mis-characterizations (i.e. reading "he said excitedly," but not speaking with excitement) was laughable.

    The story was entertaining, and I listed to the end, but it was grueling and painful; and I could only listen for short periods of time.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Click-Clack the Rattlebag: A Free Short Story Written and Performed by Neil Gaiman

    • UNABRIDGED (12 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (2101)
    Performance
    (1928)
    Story
    (1931)

    "Click-Clack the Rattlebag", a subtle, witty, deceptive little tale, is your Halloween treat from Neil Gaiman and Audible, FREE through October 31. It's not available anywhere else, and for a limited time, each download from Audible benefits educational charities at DonorsChoose.org. Lock the doors, turn off the lights, and enjoy!

    Daryl says: "WHY WHY WHY"
    "Surpising fright!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've long been a fan of Mr. Gaiman's writings, and moreso when he narrates is tales. This one's end sneaks up on you so masterfully that a second listen is required, and just as spooky.

    I am thrilled to see Mr. Gaiman continuing to publish new tales that he narrates, and I'm happy to see him still working with charities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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