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Jan

Galax, VA, United States | Member Since 2002

102
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 47 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
25

  • Graveyard of Memories: John Rain, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Barry Eisler
    • Narrated By Barry Eisler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (263)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (231)

    What makes a legendary assassin? For John Rain, it was the lessons of love, war, and betrayal he learned in Tokyo in 1972. Fresh from the killing fields of Southeast Asia, Rain works as a bagman under the watchful eye of his CIA handler, delivering cash to corrupt elements of the Japanese government. But when a delivery goes violently wrong, Rain finds himself in the crosshairs of Japan’s most powerful yakuza clan.

    Jim says: "The real John Rain returns"
    "Fabulous Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this prequel, we get to meet the young John Rain, and learn how he got his start. In many ways, this is the most likeable Rain, before the physical and mental wear and tear. Eisler's read is nuanced and more enjoyable given that he literally put the words in the character's mouths.

    Probably the best Eisler yet, and a great place to get acquainted with him and Rain if you haven't had the pleasure before.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Cell: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mark Henshaw
    • Narrated By Rob Patterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    Red Cell follows Kyra Stryker and Jonathan Burke, two outcasts in the Agency who are brought together in the Red Cell, the agency’s out-of-the-box think tank. Stryker is a young and beautiful agent who’s struggling to recover from a job gone bad, while Burke is a straight-laced analyst who’s pissed off all his colleagues. When a raid on Chinese spies in Taiwan ends in a shootout, CIA Director Cooke turns to the Red Cell to figure out why China is ready to invade the island nation without any fear of reprisal.

    Jean says: "Good action story"
    "Very good story ruined by an awful reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been an Audible member for over ten years (607 downloads) and I'm hard pressed to think of a worse read than this one. Every conversation sounded the same, whether deciding what to eat for dinner or staring down an incoming missile. Men, women, Americans, Chinese, all sounded the same. This was particularly frustrating when men and women were talking because you had to listen especially hard to figure out who was who.

    I don't know who Rob Patterson is and what he's done before, but it's as if they pulled some random guy off the street and said, "here, read this novel." "Never done it before?" "No problem."

    The biggest shame is that the story is actually quite good. Put in the hands of even a competent reader, and it would have been fabulous. As it was, I put this down three or four times and had to push myself to finish it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eye for an Eye: A Dewey Andreas Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Ben Coes
    • Narrated By Peter Hermann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (570)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (516)

    In Ben Coes' latest, Eye for an Eye, Dewey Andreas faces the toughest odds of his life as one of China's most powerful men has decided to do whatever he must to take down Dewey - and inflicts a horrifying loss. Andreas - former Army Ranger and Delta - is a man of great skills and cunning. His opponent, Fao Bhang, is ruthless, determined, and with no limit to the assets at his disposal. In this conflict, there are only two possible outcomes. And only one Dewey Andreas.

    Anthony says: "Another Impossible Hero"
    "Best Coes Yet, Narration was Outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was the most intricate and involved of all the Coes books, involving a healthy dose of Brits, Chinese and US characters. The narration was very nuanced and full, bringing the characters to life before your ears, with full personalities and excellent differentiation.

    The story? Dewey is a compelling hero, but (like all such heroes) you're going to have to suspend disbelief quite a few times. How many times can you be shot at by machine gun toting pros and not get hit? And the mechanism used near the end to get Dewey close to the protagonist strains credibility; one of the least likely strategies ever formulated.

    But somehow, it all works.The characters are personable and likeable, the story serviceable and the narration just top notch. You'll enjoy yourself so much that you'll just shrug off any deficits and you'll be sad (like I was) that the story had to end.

    If you're unfamiliar with Dewey, where does he fit in in the action hero continuum? Let's assume Jack Reacher is kind of ground zero, super but not superman. Throw Gabriel Allon a bit to his left; even more realistic. At the far right extreme (no political connotation meant) is Mitch Rapp, gone before his time, enjoyable, but not always believable. Scott Harvath is between Reacher and Rapp,

    Dewey is probably on the far side of Harvath, but nowhere close to Rapp. He's more human, more likable, has more personality. No criticism meant, they're all enjoyable, and I've read or listened to every book in all the series. But hopefully, this will help folks unfamiliar with Coes/Dewey understand what they're in for.

    If you like this general genre, you'll love the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The English Girl: Gabriel Allon, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1030)
    Performance
    (888)
    Story
    (891)

    Daniel Silva delivers another spectacular thriller starring Gabriel Allon, The English Girl. When a beautiful young British woman vanishes on the island of Corsica, a prime minister’s career is threatened with destruction. Allon, the wayward son of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a game of shadows where nothing is what it seems...and where the only thing more dangerous than his enemies might be the truth.…

    Janels says: "Gabriel's story takes huge strides"
    "Love the book, Narrator, not so much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I've read or listened to almost every book in the series; this is one of the better ones. Interesting plot twists, intriguing new characters, no miraculous escapes that seem random.

    I am not a George Guidall (the narrator) fan. I don't like him in the Mitch Rapp series, and the narration here, which requires much more subtlety, is deficient. The British accent is nearly indistinguishable from the French, from the Corsican. Basically, all accents sound the same and all characters sound the same.

    For me, Phil Gigante has become Gabriel, and I was looking forward to another elegant read, assuming he was the reader. You know what they say about assuming and the error was mine.

    Would I have bought the book if I looked and saw that Guidall was the reader? Probably not, but having listened to it, the story trumped the narration, and I'm glad I did.

    So I wrote this as a plea to Silva, or whoever makes these decisions. Your characters and stories are far too subtle for Guidall. Please bring back Gigante, or someone with his breadth and depth. Your stories deserve more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chiefs

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1442)
    Performance
    (858)
    Story
    (856)

    In 1919, Delano, Georgia, appoints its first chief of police. Honest and hardworking, the new chief is puzzled when young men start to disappear. But his investigation is ended by the fatal blast from a shotgun. Delano's second chief-of-police is no hero, yet he is also disturbed by what he sees in the missing-persons bulletins. In 1969, when Delano's third chief takes over, the unsolved disappearances still haunt the police files.

    Old Hippy says: "Absolutely Terrific!"
    "Stuart Woods before he Turned Bad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Woods wrote two or three amazing books before he devolved into the James Patterson-like, formulaic book a year for the money-type author (Stone Barrington-drechhhh). This book is a total classic, great characters, intricate and compelling plot line, awesome story telling and a very satisfying long length. An interesting picture of the old south in a small town in rural Georgia.

    I read the book back when it first came out, and bought the audiobook recently on a whim during a down month for new titles with an about to expire credit. I was not disappointed.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Omega Command

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jon Land
    • Narrated By Lance Axt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    A space shuttle is destroyed during flight, and the CIA recalls disgraced agent Blaine McCracken to uncover the people responsible. A space shuttle disappears during a routine repair mission, 180 miles above Earth’s surface. An intelligence operative with a dark secret is murdered, his car set ablaze, while he is in the middle of fulfilling a depraved fantasy. And a reporter receives a message from a dying man that suggests the organization responsible may be one of the world’s most prestigious corporations. The government knows just one man who can untangle this mystery: a throwaway on the deactivated list. Exiled to a desk job in Paris for stepping on the wrong toes, Blaine McCracken is a killer—a ruthless pursuer of truth who will let no one, friend or enemy, stand in his way when civilian lives are in danger. McCracken gets results, and his country needs him now more than ever.

    Jan says: "A Cartoon"
    "A Cartoon"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a cartoon from the clumsy plotline to the ham-handed reader performance. At first I thought it was so bad it was good, but I finally concluded it was just bad. Been with Audible since '01 or so; this was the second book I didn't finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ghostman

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Roger Hobbs
    • Narrated By Jake Weber
    Overall
    (337)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (297)

    When a casino robbery in Atlantic City goes horribly awry, the man who orchestrated it is obliged to call in a favor from someone who's occasionally called Jack. While it's doubtful that anyone knows his actual name or anything at all about his true identity, or even if he's still alive, he's in his mid-30s and lives completely off the grid, a criminal's criminal who does entirely as he pleases and is almost impossible to get in touch with.

    Hassan says: "Authentic And Full of Action!!"
    "Highly engaging listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A unique and interesting character (the Ghost Man) escorts you into the world of high profile bank robbery. A great match of voice and character personality.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Carol Dweck
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1145)
    Performance
    (768)
    Story
    (766)

    Mindset is one of those rare audio books that can help you make positive changes in your life and at the same time see the world in a new way. A leading expert in motivation and personality psychology, Carol Dweck has discovered in more than 20 years of research that our mindset is not a minor personality quirk: it creates our whole mental world. It explains how we become optimistic or pessimistic. It shapes our goals, our attitude toward work, and ultimately predicts whether or not we will fulfull our potential.

    Peter says: "Gems sparsely scattered throughout a desert"
    "Essential Reading for Professionals and Parents"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is lots of repetition, and some since de-valued examples, like Tiger Woods and Roger Clemons. Still, the book delivers invaluable insights to those who frequently face new challenges and opportunities. It's the one book that you wish you could get your teenage children to read (still trying to work that one out myself).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Threat Vector

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Lou Diamond Phillips
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3459)
    Performance
    (3023)
    Story
    (3038)

    Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People's Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Quiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China’s ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missiles endanger the US Navy's plans to protect the island.

    Jean says: "Spies and a counter espionage"
    "Serviceable Clancy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You know how Clancy books (most books) go; someone is attacking the US, it looks bad, gets worse, the tide turns, the good guys win with only minor injuries via displays of brilliance and bravery. Jack Ryan and progeny come out shining like a rose.

    Knowing that going in, this book is serviceable, but not exceptional. Good plot line, fun locations, reasonable action, characters you know and love. Better for old time Clancy fans than for newbies trying their first (start with Patriot Games, or Without Remorse).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Butcher's Boy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (553)
    Performance
    (348)
    Story
    (343)

    Thomas Perry's Edgar Award-winning debut novel follows a professional hitman on the run from both the mafia and the government.

    richard says: "A writer with extreme talents."
    "If you like Jack Reacher, you'll enjoy this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perry does a great job creating a tension between a surprisingly sympathetic mob hit man and the Department of Justice lawyer who is chasing him. First in a series that I've pretty much finished.

    Not your prototypical enjoyable listen. The reader sounds a bit like a 50's film noir detective (just the facts, ma'am) and the hit man guesses right just a bit too often, but it all ... just ... works.

    If you like Reacher, I'm guessing you'll like the Butcher's Boy. Not 6'4", but the same kind of analytical thinking and get 'er done attitude. A total steal at the $4.95 sale price; definitely worth it at full retail.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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