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Michael

Montclair, NJ, United States | Member Since 2016

220
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 111 reviews
  • 130 ratings
  • 157 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Last Colony: Old Man's War, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5512)
    Performance
    (4841)
    Story
    (4847)

    Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game.

    Michael says: "Excellent But Different"
    "Excellent But Different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. it was an excellent way to tie up the series.I know there is also another book from Zoe's point of view but for the story as a whole i really enjoyed the way Scalzi brought it together.The Last Colony is somewhat diferent that Old Man's War or The Ghost Bigrades...same Scalzi, MUCH less action. If you are expecting big battles (or even a lot of small skirmishes) this is not your book. This book could stand apart fror the Sci Fi genre & be set anywhere in history; I think that is testament to Scalizi's talent!.Once again William Dufris does a wonderful job. I think he really captures the different personalities and tells great story.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The X-Files: Cold Cases

    • ORIGINAL (4 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Joe Harris, Chris Carter, Dirk Maggs - adaptation
    • Narrated By David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, and others
    Overall
    (6050)
    Performance
    (5614)
    Story
    (5595)

    Based upon the graphic novels by Joe Harris - with creative direction from series creator Chris Carter - and adapted specifically for the audio format by aural auteur Dirk Maggs (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Alien: Out of the Shadows), Cold Cases marks yet another thrilling addition to the pantheon of X-Files stories. Featuring a mind-blowing and otherworldly soundscape of liquefying aliens, hissing creatures, and humming spacecraft, listeners get to experience the duo's investigations like never before.

    tatiana says: "New Fan"
    "Pretty Horror-ible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a let down.
    We are huge X-Files fans so I had high hopes, but this audio is terrible.

    I loved hearing Mulder, Scully, Cancer Man & even the Lone Gunmen but it isn't enough to carry the book.

    The entire book is dialog and/or character thoughts; there is no narrative except the occasional description by a character. The rest is them speaking...example: "Oh, you have a gun, and oh no you are pulling the trigger --Ow! You shot me in the arm..." Ugh!

    They try to mix is up by having characters speaking through a phone or radio and there are plenty of sound effects, including growls and squelching oozing aliens but it just doesn't work. Don't waste your time or credits.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Persepolis Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4136)
    Performance
    (3840)
    Story
    (3826)

    The seventh novel in James S. A. Corey's New York Times best-selling Expanse series - now a major television series.

    Michael G Kurilla says: "Beginning of a new story"
    "Another Pay Check book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sad to say this installment of The Expanse was very disappointing... truth be told, the last three books do not stand up to the first four.

    Five and six diverted into whiny character studies and left all of the wonder of the old alien race and the proto-molecule behind.

    This book is just plain boring. Absolutely nothing happens in the first two-thirds of the book. I thought it would be interesting that they jumped thirty years into the future, but the story just devolved into a tale of the French resistance during the Nazi occupation.

    Our authors are too busy writing novellas and minor character tales to focus on keeping their original saga fresh...and yet...duh...I still finished it because Jefferson Mays does a wonderful job and because they kept Christjen Avasarala alive! Ok, and because I have to know what happens... but overall, I was not happy.

    Also, it has a very anticlimactic, boring ending that doesn't exactly tempt me to follow up on the next story. Can't say I recommend this installment.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shogun: The Epic Novel of Japan: The Asian Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (53 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3359)
    Performance
    (3118)
    Story
    (3116)

    A bold English adventurer; an invincible Japanese warlord; a beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love - all brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.

    Ruby Dickson says: "amazingly well done!"
    "Well worth the time!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shogun is well worth the time and credit. I wasn't sure I would like it in the audio version but it is excellent.
    It is true that Ralph Lister takes a little getting used to but you get into his rhythm after 30 minutes or so. I do have one gripe and this is the fault of the director, not Lister, for some reason the vast majority of the Japanese men sound angry all of the time...that took a little more getting used to but after a while it isn't so irksome. what is annoying is the portrayal of the remaining European sailors: They whine incessantly! and EVERY sentence begins with 'Christ Jesus Pilot', I actually fast forwarded through much of their dialog.
    For the most part Lister does a wonderful job with many different sounding voices.

    Other than the annoying crew it was a very entertaining 50+ hours and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    Overall
    (13620)
    Performance
    (10236)
    Story
    (10278)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Erica says: "Possibly The Best Techno-thriller Ever"
    "Ugh, What a Disappointment!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading all those 4 and 5 star reviews I thought I couldn't miss with this book. Man, was I wrong. I am starting to become convinced Audible front loads only great reviews to sell more books.


    Jeff Gruner's narration was like listening to a Dragnet monologue; he has no feel for mood or passion other than to speak a little faster or louder. As for characters, there was so little change in his voice or tone that I often misunderstood who was speaking.

    The story was ludicrous; it had a good concept and an interesting plot theme -- but other than constantly telling us that the antagonist, who released this deadly virus, was a genius, there was no real explanation nor justification of how it would be possible to have accomplished the details and intrigues he invented and planned for. Unless...maybe this book was written for teens and/or the young adult market, then the author would not have to have made sense.

    My last disappointment: Apparently, like so many authors today, Daniel Suarez was in this for the pay check and was dreaming of the eventual movie... after a ridiculous (climatic ?) car chase scene, the book abruptly ends with zero conclusions! I find that such a cheap device -- leave the cliff hangers to television shows! At least wrap up some of the story and not just end it, knowing you have hooked so many readers.

    Don't waste your money and credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Plague of Giants

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels, Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1739)
    Performance
    (1646)
    Story
    (1634)

    Mother and warrior. Scholar and spy. Rebel and hero. Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this audiobook is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these three characters intertwine - and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

    Call of Kthalia says: "It's a tough one to gauge..."
    "Could have been Great, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, there are two major issues wrong with this book:
    1. Read this book in text, do not try to listen to it. This is a very complicated novel; it is being told in the first person about someone else telling tales of several other characters in the first person! That method made it interesting but... the names and the titles and the cities and regions all have difficult names to understand while listening. Especially when Xe Sands is narrating the female voices. For whatever reason her tone is very tough to hear well.
    And Luke Daniels, whom I normally love is using five or six different accents to try to help differentiate the different characters but they were all very close in sound making it difficult to remember which character was speaking.

    It took several hours of listening before I got into it, but once in, I wanted to know what happens and what does Keven Hearne do? He does the 2nd issue that took away from this book: He abruptly ends the story so you have to buy book two! I positively hate that in any series.
    As a result, I cannot really recommend this book.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Private

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
    • Narrated By Peter Hermann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22165)
    Performance
    (19721)
    Story
    (19691)

    Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily - and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

    Wayne says: "Thanks to Audible and Hachette Audio for..."
    "Potential wasted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yeah I know James Patterson is hugely successful but this book was pretty bad.
    It felt like he probably just put his name on it for a paycheck.

    There was an interesting concept, a marginally interesting hero and a lot of potential with the 3 plots weaving their way into the story...it just never developed. Our hero is a whiny, boring character that has little to do with solving any of the cases other than own the business. He mostly looks back and blames himself for everyone's troubles. Side characters were much more interesting and the authors never develop them.

    And then there is this strange narration where Peter Herrmann is speaking in this husky, throaty (often whisper), it's as though he's going for film noir. And OMG when he tries to sound like a young Irish girl it comes off like the Lucy Charms Leprechaun!

    For some odd reason there are over 100 chapters when it could have been 30; they kept breaking up the flow by ending a chapter and starting the next on the same plot thread. Even the epilog had 4 or 5 chapters??

    Don't waste your credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Babylon's Ashes: The Expanse, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6613)
    Performance
    (6116)
    Story
    (6094)

    The Free Navy - a violent group of Belters in black-market military ships - has crippled the Earth and begun a campaign of piracy and violence among the outer planets. The colony ships heading for the thousand new worlds on the far side of the alien ring gates are easy prey, and no single navy remains strong enough to protect them. James Holden and his crew know the strengths and weaknesses of this new force better than anyone.

    Jesse Stevens II says: "lots of filler"
    "Not my Favorite but still loved it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, i admit that i'm hooked on the Expanse Universe (in book form)... so much so that i won't watch the TV version because it deviates so much.

    Anyhow, i did very much enjoy Babylon's Ashes, but there were certainly some issues that stole a star in my rating.
    Even though i hated Cibola Burn, at least there was some Sci-Fi in it, and there were alien things trying to kill everyone (yuck poison slugs!) Babylon's Ashes was a bit of a bore as it continued to deviate these crazy, supernatural and alien ideas from the first few books. Bring back Miller & the Proto-molecule!

    The last three books seem to spend too much time having Naomi helping Jim Holden 'grow' emotionally and this one had way too much introspection... This was just another jilted lover willing to go 'all in' to catch and kill the woman that got away...well after he kills several billion people first.

    Still, you gotta love Bobbi and Amos and Alex -- and now even Clarissa... and of course everyone's favorite: Chrisjen Avasarala! You must find out what happens to them all!

    So, the long and the short of it: Well worth the cost or credit! I kept looking for excuses to get back in the car to listen. I highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Angel of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Caleb Carr
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (1142)
    Performance
    (1040)
    Story
    (1040)

    In The Angel Of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew. It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline.

    6catz says: "Very Entertaining Read"
    "Not as good as The Alienist."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I will begin by saying: This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it!
    Also: Simply put, there is no better performer than George Guidall. I would listen to him read the instructions on how to assemble a grill and still love it.

    The reason I only went with four stars is for two issues: First, the constant lecturing about how women were considered second class citizens is overdone. The point is made over and over to the extent where I lost interest and found my attention wandering.

    The second issue is the trial... no storylines given away here, yes, there is a trial involved. Frankly, if I wanted a court drama, I would have selected John Grisham. I actually fast-forwarded through most of it.

    Those points being made, it is still well worth the cost (or credits). The characters are engaging and always interesting, the dialog is superb, the story and plot move at a good pace (except the trial) and Carr clearly knows New York history better than anyone in the literary world.

    Go get it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Dennis E. Taylor
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34795)
    Performance
    (32608)
    Story
    (32527)

    Bob Johansson didn't believe in an afterlife, so waking up after being killed in a car accident was a shock. To add to the surprise, he is now a sentient computer and the controlling intelligence for a Von Neumann probe.

    ElBob says: "Hooked? No not me, as I sit in a corner holding myself"
    "Take a Star away for the ending!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I love these books; I love the Bob-i-verse...I hate when authors don't resolve an ending just so they can write another book!

    This story is wonderful, (though I admit I could use a whole lot less about the Deltans), but overall I am hooked. The plot and story moves along at a perfect speed, characters are real, interesting and compelling. Ray Porter does a great job at narration...but the book just ends so abruptly I wanted to scream!

    It's a shame that so many authors just want to crank out more books for the paycheck.
    (Still...I highly recommend this book.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob): Bobiverse, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Dennis E. Taylor
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51974)
    Performance
    (48794)
    Story
    (48707)

    Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

    PW says: "Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!"
    "Why Bother reviewing: everyone loves it! One Gripe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book, story, characters, narration, etc., etc., etc.

    There were a couple of boring moments that may have gone too long bit they were easily overshadowed by the rest of the story.

    Actually, if I had a complaint it is that 1: the book is too short. 2) I really do not like when a book ends with an obvious lead into the next book. I wanted some real ending but was denied. Alas, too many talented authors are in it mostly for the paycheck.

    But I still happily recommend this book; I've already downloaded the second.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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