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Stephen

BLOOMINGTON, IL, United States | Member Since 2012

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Anno Dracula: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kim Newman
    • Narrated By William Gaminara
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (92)

    With the versatile voice talent of William Gaminara, acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. It is 1888, and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and British spy Charles Beauregard as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

    Leanna says: "Brillant!"
    "I tried"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I love the premise of the book, but just couldn't manage to make my way through it. The performance was fine, but gave up after repeated attempts.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


    Would you be willing to try another one of William Gaminara’s performances?

    Yes.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    A terrific premise. I'm still curious about other works by Kim Newman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5303)
    Performance
    (4947)
    Story
    (4941)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Ken says: "It's all about the codas"
    "Funny, Meta, and So Much More!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't know what I was in for. Sure, the title promised a humorous look at the life of a Star Trek-style "redshirt," and it delivered on that account.

    But REDSHIRTS is also a wonderful look at the tropes of genre TV production. It's easy to get snarky in metafiction like this, but REDSHIRTS maintains its affectionate tone throughout.

    Most surprising was how much heart the book had. With such an overtly funny title and premise, the emotional weight of the book snuck up on me.

    And the choice of Wil Wheaton as narrator added another level of meta to the production!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6637)
    Performance
    (5031)
    Story
    (5111)

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Fun Story, Amazing Production"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seth Grahame-Smith delivers a fun thrill-ride that effortlessly merges historical fact with supernatural fiction.

    But the real star here is the production. Period music is inserted as a backdrop for chapter intros, making the audiobook feel like the soundtrack to a Ken Burns Civil War documentary from an alternate earth.

    Forget about the movie adaptation. The audiobook of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a wonderfully immersive experience!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5188)
    Performance
    (3161)
    Story
    (3173)

    In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
    "A compelling story weighed down by monologues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I remember enjoying Atlas Shrugged years ago, but I must have overlooked the logorrheic speeches at every turn. The story was compelling, and even when one agrees with Rand's ideas, the repetitive, overwrought nature of the monologues brings the book to a crashing halt—and not just the crashing halt that happens within the narrative...


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ayn Rand again?

    Possibly. Anthem or the Fountainhead appear to be of more manageable length (and hopefully are more concise in monologues).


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

    Yes. It's hard to enjoy anyone's performance when they're tasked with so much dense and redundant verbiage.


    What character would you cut from Atlas Shrugged?

    No characters...just wishing editorial had managed to trim/prune about 30–40% of the speeches.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Austin Grossman
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo, Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (940)
    Performance
    (449)
    Story
    (449)

    Doctor Impossible, evil genius and diabolical scientist, has tried to take over the world in every way imaginable, but this time is going to be different. He'll have to contend with Fatale, however, a rookie superhero on her first day with the Champions, the world's most famous superteam. She's a patchwork woman of skin and chrome, a gleaming technological marvel built for the next generation of warfare.

    Brad says: "Now that I have you at my mercy. . ."
    "Paging Doctor Horrible!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I have a number of friends who grew up on superhero stories, and Soon I Will Be Invincible does a great job of paying homage to the genre while poking at some of the tropes, as well. A smart, sharply-written love letter to the idiom


    What other book might you compare Soon I Will Be Invincible to and why?

    Not a book, but SIWBI has a lot in common with Joss Whedon's "Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog" (sans the singing). Both came out around the same time, so it's definitely a case of parallel development.


    What aspect of Coleen Marlo and Paul Boehmer ’s performance would you have changed?

    Paul Boehmer was terrific. Coleen Marlo's take was a bit over the top for my taste. However, that's merely a preference issue, I'm sure.


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

    Definitely!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 5th Wave

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Rick Yancey
    • Narrated By Brandon Espinoza, Phoebe Strole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (430)

    After the first wave, only darkness remains. After the second, only the lucky escape. And after the third, only the unlucky survive. After the fourth wave, only one rule applies: Trust no one. Now, it's the dawn of the fifth wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother - or even saving herself.

    FanB14 says: "Not Your Typical YA Dystopian Fare"
    "Compelling and Intense!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The 5th Wave?

    The World. The 5th Wave built an exciting world that was a blast to watch unfold.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The 5th Wave?

    Watching the separate points-of-view careen toward one another!


    What does Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It's always nice to read different POVs, but hearing them brings an added level of depth.


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

    Absolutely.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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