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Michael

Montclair, NJ, United States | Member Since 2008

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 56 ratings
  • 172 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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4

  • Summer Knight: The Dresden Files, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (4985)
    Performance
    (3585)
    Story
    (3585)

    The Winter Queen of Faerie has manipulated Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden into accepting a case to solve a murder and stop a war between the courts of Summer and Winter that could have literally earth shattering consequences. His own soul is up for grabs. Dresden must dig deep to discover that at time a willingness to accept a little help from your friends, be they a cub pack of werewolves, old loves in sheep's clothing, or a battalion of pizza loving dewdrop fairies, is a very good thing.

    Michael says: "Harry & James are one."
    "Harry & James are one."
    Overall

    Anyone who has made it this far LISTENING to the Harry Dresden series has to feel that James Marsters is the perfect Harry and one of the best overall narrators out there.

    Jim Dale move over! James Marsters is the new leader in town...(at least Chicago). His tone, pitch, inflections and a host of different character voices make it seem like he is actually telling HIS story.

    I have been listening to recorded books for decades & i can tell you a bad narration can ruin the experience; a great narration can make it hard to stop listening.
    You probably could not go wrong with Jim Butchers story lines but then i wouldn't be going through them as fast as i am without Marsters.
    The story in Summer Knight is extrodinary. Just when you think Butcher can't be more inventive, he comes up with more spells & monsters to make your pulse fly!

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2173)
    Performance
    (1950)
    Story
    (1988)

    The Return of the King is the towering climax to J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy that tells the saga of the hobbits of Middle-earth and the great War of the Rings. In this concluding volume, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron. In addition to narrating the prose passages, Rob Inglis sings the trilogy’s songs and poems a capella, using melodies composed by Inglis and Claudia Howard, the Recorded Books studio director.

    Natalie says: "Finally!"
    "Return of the King of Fantacy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic, wonderful, perfect! Need more accolades listen for yourself.

    Seriously, I am a life long fan of the Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. I have read them in text 6 or 7 times and I am VERY happy I listened to this version. Tolkien is not on THE master of story telling but a king himself with his flowing descriptive prose. Robert Inglis does an absolutely superb job with the naration and where you may not agree with his choice of tone or timber for a specific character you become so lost in the story you accept them as real and he becomes those characters.

    I recommend this book and this series over anything in the Audible Library. I did not want it to ever end! And i know i will listen again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3007)
    Performance
    (2853)
    Story
    (2857)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "An engineer's dream!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If you want to feel like you are listening to the characters on the "Big Bang Theory" on TV then this book then this is for you. I enjoy sci-fi, but I do not want to have to keep up with something that sound like a 20 page word problem that requires an MIT degree to comprehend.

    When reading (listening) to another/modernized Robinsin Crusoe book, the story and characters better be darn compelling! These are not... well, not enough to get past the monotonous, endless math and science you must endure... (paraphrasing: "the human body requires xxx amount of oxygen to survive 18.765 hours & i can generate yyy litres per day, this leaves zzz that i must come up with..." this goes on & on & on. My mind would start to wander & then i realized i haven't been listening at all. it is as though Andy Weir is just plain showing off with the ability to mathematically devise survival techniues to keep our hero alive.
    We now know how many calories we need to survive 400 plus days, how many litres of water and oxygen are needed for short jaunts and long treks...we now even know how to make the oxygen! really boring stuff.

    Some of the characters are interesting, but most are just part of the back story and you couldn't care less.

    There are some very interesting elements and a few thrilling chapters but through a lot of the trials our hero must endure i found myself sayig;"oh, c'mon now!"

    if you love engineering problems and all the minutia required to solve them, you will love this book. if you are like the rest of us with "B" level math skills, you will want to keep your finger on the fast forward button!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agent to the Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2819)
    Performance
    (2408)
    Story
    (2411)

    The space-faring Yherajk have come to Earth to meet us and to begin humanity's first interstellar friendship. There's just one problem: They're hideously ugly and they smell like rotting fish. So getting humanity's trust is a challenge. The Yherajk need someone who can help them close the deal. Enter Thomas Stein, who knows something about closing deals. He's one of Hollywood's hottest young agents.

    C. Paget says: "excellent"
    "Stars doesn't rate 5 stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Once again John Scalzi almost completely satisfies and yet once agian he disappoints.
    The reason I keep trying is because I loved the first few books in his "Old Man Wars" series... but after being utterly bored by the ending of "Red Shirts" and now somewhat let down by "Agent To The Stars" I may have to give up beliving that Scalzi can maintain my interest.

    Like "Red Shirts", this book have a very interesting premise and an interesting beginning but then just trails off. UNLIKE "Red Shirts", the ending doesn't drag out for a third of the book. But when listening, unlike reading, one often wishies you can skip or skim faster.

    As usual Will Wheaton is wonderful. He really has that sort of snarky, frat boy, devil-may-care but "i'm really a good guy" persona down pat. However, i must say, after you are about half way through you really get tired of the one-upmanship, who-can-be-the-most sarcastic dialog Scalzi seems to thrive on.

    Though it doesn't sound like it, overall I did enjoy this book. Most of the characters are interesting and engaging, the overall story is compelling. I just get frustrated when i see a fabulous idea get over shadowed by other negative issues.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3670)
    Performance
    (3297)
    Story
    (3356)

    The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
    "Perfect. As expected."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this version of this story. I admit i am a bit biased here because htis is one of my favoite books, but i can say i have very high standards as a result.
    This book did not disappoint.
    Rob Inglis does a masterful job with characters coming to life.
    The only negative here is that when listening to a book you must endure all of the poems & songs.
    otherwise i highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steel World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (900)
    Performance
    (850)
    Story
    (856)

    In the 20th century Earth sent probes, transmissions, and welcoming messages to the stars. Unfortunately, someone noticed. The Galactics arrived with their battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined their vast Empire. Swearing allegiance to our distant alien overlords wasn't the only requirement for survival. We also had to have something of value to trade, something that neighboring planets would pay their hard-earned credits to buy. As most of the local worlds were too civilized to have a proper army, the only valuable service Earth could provide came in the form of soldiers....

    D says: "Classic Space Opera"
    "More like Tin World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Most of the story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by B. V. Larson again?

    In a pinch i would.


    Do you think Steel World needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Heck No! Let sleeping dogs lie.


    Any additional comments?

    I was really disappointed. other reviews i read implied this was a great book. i was looking forward to an exciting Space Opera. What i got was a basically silly and boring. you know it isn't worth it when through out the story you keep thinking "oh come-on now!
    some of the characters were a little compelling, and yes, i did finish it but I would only recommend this book as a last resort.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tilt-a-Whirl

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Chris Grabenstein
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1195)
    Performance
    (622)
    Story
    (618)

    There isn't much fun in the sun when a billionaire real estate tycoon is found murdered on the Tilt-a-Whirl at a seedy seaside amusement park in the otherwise quiet summer tourist town of Sea Haven. John Ceepak, a former MP just back from Iraq, has just joined the Sea Haven police department. The job offer came from an old Army buddy who hoped to give Ceepak at least a summer's worth of rest and relaxation to help him forget the horrors of war. Instead, Ceepak will head up the murder investigation.

    A User says: "A Guilty Pleasure"
    "Beach Read (At Best)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is the kind of book i would reseve for reading as i am sitting on the beach...watching the kids, listening to the surf and oh yeah half paying attention to the story. at best it is mediocre.
    I just don't understand how this series keep selling. Being born & raised in NJ, I decided to listen and I suggest you don't bother. Any shore memories this book sparks or happy images you have of the "Jersey Shore" are far outwieghed by a plot line that tries to be tricky & shocking but is actually obvious & almost dopey.

    The naration is poor; i think they are trying to come off as wry & funny but rather, they sound whiny and annoying. Each and every one of the characters are weak stereotypes, the story is contrived and, well actually ridiculous at some points.

    I didn't take away all of the stars because there a couple if moments in the book that kept my interest. in the end i can't recommedn the book and i will surely not contionue with the series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Fall of Hyperion

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dan Simmons
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1955)
    Performance
    (1073)
    Story
    (1093)

    In the stunning continuation of the epic adventure begun in Hyperion, Simmons returns us to a far future resplendent with drama and invention. Onthe world of Hyperion, the mysterious Time Tombs are opening. And the secrets they contain mean that nothing - nothing anywhere in the universe - will ever be the same.

    Darwin8u says: "Hyperion is FALLEN, am I too to fall?"
    "You're not in Kansas anymore!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book and listening experience has to rank in my top 10 Bar None!
    The vision of the future with all of its potential for good and dangers as put for by Dan Simmons can only be described as genius.

    I have always rated audio books by the level of excitemet i feel when getting into my car and by the amount of time i will sit in my driveway when coming home because i want to hear what comes next! when it came to The Fall Of Hyperion i almost lived in my car until it was done. Which by the way was a long, long time. If there is negative concept with this book it is it's length. 3/4 of the way through you wonder if it will ever conclude...and yet, you want to know what happens with each and every character.

    To describe this as an Epic story is an understatement; I think it almost borders on spiritual.

    It is clear that Simmons has a fantatic grasp on some very diverse fields. He lost me about a dozen times with various concepts of quantom physics and time travel; he interjects poetry with excellent timing...he even seems to understand the machinations and theories of the Catholic Church!
    His descriptive prose is so spot-on and yet so flowing and beautiful you really feel you are seeing his visions.

    I highly recommend this book. Please note: you cannot read/listen to The Fall Of Hyperion without first taking on Hyperion...By the way, when you do make sure you look for the Wizard of Oz references!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Legion of the Damned: Legion of the Damned, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By William C. Dietz
    • Narrated By Donald Corren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (306)

    In the future, the terminally ill can prolong life by surrendering their consciousness to a cybernetic life form that is then recruited into the notorious Legion of the Damned, an elite fighting unit charged with protecting humanity.

    Steven says: "Worth the price of admission"
    "Almost Great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have to admit i am NOT a big fan of the fact thet every Sci-fi/fantacy story has to have 30 sequels. So i started off with some expectations that i would not be completely satisfied by a books bearing "Book 1" as part of it's title...By the end that was not a big problem because most of the story is well wrapped up.Overall i enjoyed the book; the story is interesting enough to complel the listener to want to hear more. I was drawn into the characters more than what they were doing, and Donald Corren does a very good jod job af bringing them to life.The reason i deducted "stars" in my rating were more nuanced. I do not feel any author needs to write with so much description that i feel i am reading a technical instruction book but i think Dietz falls rather short explaing the various Cyborgs and some of the science untill too far into the book...i kept feeling like i had skipped a book where things were better set up. Also certain relationships (no spoiler alert needed) border on the ridiculous; one moment we are mortal enemies the next we are...well, lets say improbably enamoured.Once concluded, i realized i did enjoy the book. I did want to find out where things were headed; some very well deserved comeuppances are dealt out and our characters mature nicely...but I do not feel any need to rush out to get book 2.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Storm: Destroyermen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Taylor Anderson
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2120)
    Performance
    (1344)
    Story
    (1346)

    Pressed into service when World War II breaks out in the Pacific, the USS Walker---a Great-War vintage "four-stacker" destroyer---finds itself in full retreat from pursuit by Japanese battleships. Its captain, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Patrick Reddy, knows that he and his crew are in dire straits. In desperation, he heads Walker into a squall, hoping it will give them cover---and emerges somewhere else.

    AudioAddict says: "The cover is a little misleading"
    "Storm a bit of a blow over"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I first decided to try this series because i saw it was performed by William Dufris; i really enloyed him in the Old Mans War series. Here he did not disappoint. it wasn't extrodinary but then neiother is the book.
    Into the Storm is more like into a weak squall. Very vanilla. one or two of the characters are interesting but no one really jumps out and grabs the reader...may be because there are so many charateres (many with very alien names)...
    One thing i found very annoying is that there is absolutley no pause in the narration to indicate a scene change; One minute you are on on island in an important conversation the next breath you are below the deck of the ship with out shkipping a beat...very confusing.
    All in all it is not a bad book and i have to admit i did want to hear what happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (4740)
    Performance
    (4298)
    Story
    (4307)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Hard Magic...Hard to stop listening!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Larry Correia does it again! I loved this book!I didn't think Correia could do better than his Monster Hunter series but this is going to give it a run for his money.And Bronson Pinchot...Wow...i would have never suspected he is that good. His narration was some of the best i have ever heard. His characrterizations and tones were perferct and the accents were spot on! i will listen to anything he reads. I have to admit i ws a little off-put about Jakes deep south accent but it really grows on you & you really enjoy it.The story is well constructed, exciting and suspensfull, the characters are engaging and interesting. There are plenty of twists and turns, though i don't think anyone is really fooled by them, nor do i think anyone cares that they are obvious. And then there is the magic... Correia comes up with some wonderfull magical abilities and their shortcomingsIt is very rare that i would say this in a review but i wholeheartedly recommed this book and I can find no flaws!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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