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AudioBookReviewer

All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com

Madison, WI, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
191
REVIEWS
160
FOLLOWING
8
FOLLOWERS
82
HELPFUL VOTES
589

  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9361)
    Performance
    (8901)
    Story
    (8918)

    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 plain old "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"
    "Hilarious and Realistic Space Travel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Martian is a life or death comedy of errors, that just so happens to take place on the surface of Mars. Andy Weir starts us off with a Mars expedition that suddenly takes a wrong turn and the crew has to evacuate under emergency conditions, leaving one of their own behind presumed dead. I am pretty sure that Mark Watney wished he was dead but he isn’t and no one knows that he isn't, pretty much screwed. A majority of the story is of Watney, a spacecraft engineer, finding a way to communicate to NASA that he is indeed alive and of him finding creative ways not to go completely mad in isolation. I really wish that I had not listened to my head when I decided to not listen to this audiobook, I really really enjoyed all of it and got mad at people when they had the nerve to interrupt me. Here is where Weir won me over, Mark Watney, a NASA astronaut and a spacecraft engineer and the entirety of NASA are working diligently at creating a safe way for Watney to escape the desert of Mars, but continuously make mistakes. Seriously, if it could go wrong it did at some point. Reminding us that sure Watney might be super smart and NASA might be super smart but neither of them are perfect and yes it is true that stuff does happen, even on Mars. And not only once or twice but continuously, helping me relate to everyone as people like as opposed to super geeky scientists. I kind of expected there to be alien creatures or something until I realized that the martian in question was Watney. If you are looking for a space travel science fiction story that is not way out in the future or past or whenever they typically take place, with plenty cursing (not overly done and tasteful), palm of the hand to forehead comedy of errors, with all the technical jargon you can shake a stick at, this is for you.

    Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Sector 64: Ambush

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Dean M. Cole
    • Narrated By Mike Ortego
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A dizzying chain of events thrust US Air Force fighter pilot Captain Jake Giard into a well-intentioned global conspiracy with extraterrestrial roots. However, as Jake finishes indoctrination into the program, it renders Earth a pawn in a galactic civil war. Within and above Washington DC, Captain Giard and two wingmen fight through a post-apocalyptic hell.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "highly imaginative action packed apocalyptic..."
    "highly imaginative action packed apocalyptic..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have found that in a lot of these space alien military stories that the authors can some times get too caught up in the explanations of the new technology. Detracting from character development and story line. I, as usual, have pretty high hopes for this one. As it vould be a stunner or a snoozer.

    Cole creates a parallel world, or is it? Where humans are actually decedents of the most technologically advanced beings in the universe. They came to Earth and integrated with the neanderthals and this is why humans had evolved so quickly.

    Jake Giard and Airforce captain given the, what I will call, promotion of a lifetime. Being chosen to be introduced to and acquainted with amazingly advanced aircraft, or space craft, depending on where you're flying. During his technology tour the arch enemies of our ancestors come to destroy us to hurt them.

    Then there is Giards girlfriend Sandra Fitzpatrick who wakes up under attack from alien creatures. While fighter planes are no match against the advanced race, she has only one thing one her mind. "Are my parents ok?". Thus she must navigate a once familiar landscape that is now war torn, but where are the casualties? Only piles of clothes remain of the citizens caught in the path of destruction.

    As with most apocalyptic scenarios that I am familiar with. Only the really sick and demented seem to survive these situations and are put in Sandy's path.

    SECTOR 64: Ambush was a highly imaginative action packed apocalyptic assault on your mind. Take everything that you think you know about the current military, the knowledge that we are alone in the universe, and flip it upside-down. I will continue to listen to this series.

    Cole uses technology very well and did not bore me with the explanations. Solid character development, something that is often lacking in the genre. A plausible storyline that goes back a millennia or more.

    I am looking forward to the next book in this series as I have to know what happens next. What other alien races are out there and what other adventures are to be had.

    I am a first time listener of Michael Ortego and he now has a life long fan. My first impression was that he was going to perform in a manner that was stiff and cold. I as so glad that within the first hour, he changed my mind.

    Characterizations were on point, especially the enemy lizard like aliens, so creepy. Ortego was able to breath life into the imagination of Cole and bring this story to life. Pacing fluctuations that kept me engaged and interested in all of the goings on.

    Audiobook provided for review by the author.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Ray Bradbury
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (10)

    A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "It's so creepy"
    "It's so creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never read Ray Bradbury before. I don't even know why. I just never got around to him. I'm so excited that I was finally able to listen to this one because it is fantastic from beginning to end!

    This story is about two boys and one of them is intriuged by the carnival and all that a carnival brings while the other is able to see through the glimmer. It's so creepy that I honestly wasn't sure when I should absolutely feel creep-ed out because I was just thinking everyone was a part of the carnival. That is easily recognizable about halfway through the story though. The boys, who are so much alike, start to really differ in what they want also.

    The audio was really pleasing. I loved the narrator, Christian Rummel. He has a way of making you want to listen. Although between the fabulous narration and fantastic writing there is no way I wanted this to come to a stop! The audio was very well done and I think this is definitely one where the audio enhanced the book. I could easily tell the characters apart but Christian Rummel just made the very eerie world come to life. There were times when over emphasizing was needed and Christian nailed it. There were also a lot of really strange parts, where one of the dads is just cracking up like he's mad and that scene was done so well. As were all of them really.

    The characters in both the narration and the book were very well developed. These are not villains that I grew to love. Ray Bradbury had a way of really emphasizing the evil behind the mask, and he does it so well here. I also really enjoyed the story's progression. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

    This was my first but definitely not my last Ray Bradbury. I now see why so many are in love with his writing.

    Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fall of Night: Dead of Night, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (151)

    Officers Fox and Hammond, along with journalist Billy Trout, are calling it the beginning of the end. This is the zombie apocalypse. An insane escaped serial killer is infecting Stebbins County with a deadly virus, and now the whole world is watching while Fox, Trout, and the remaining inhabitants of Stebbins fight for their life against - what? The undead? The President and the National Guard are ready to nuke Stebbins, PA off the map and cut their losses. But the infection is spreading and fast.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Simply Ear Candy"
    "Simply Ear Candy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being the Jonathan Maberry fan that I have turned into over the years and even though I didn't like William Dufris' past performance, I had to give this a listen. I really have no excuse, other than craving an amazingly well thought out zombie story to escape to for many hours.

    First let me say thank you Mr. Maberry, thank you for intertwining all of your series into one extra long tale. And thank you for giving me yet another series to listen to, especially the Benny Imura series.

    Fall of Night picks up almost immediately where Dead of Night left off. All of the characters that we started to love or hate in the previous story are still here. Yet introducing some fairly important new ones. Such as Benny Imura's father.

    This is a pretty standard and self explanatory runs from the zombies type of story. Here is the golden jewel. The parts told from the perspective of those that are turning into zombie are nothing less than ear candy. Totally creeped me out each and every time. I had always wondered what one was thinking about turning this gruesome transition.

    Sorry, no summary here. But if you want to be completely transported to life in the zombie apocalypse. To be surrounded by interesting characters. To follow the escapade of a truly evil villain that is neither human nor zombie. A great telling of a series that is a prequel to another series. You get all of that here.

    Everything that I didn't like about William Dufris' performance in book 1 was not present at all in this book 2. Unless my taste has changed dramatically over the past 2 years.

    I couldn't find any unnecessary over acting, over emphasizing, or anything annoying at all. Trust me I wanted to so I could say, "See I told you so...", but this just goes to show that a narrator that I once didn't like can become a favorite. Never ever judge an audiobook by its narrator, difficult I know, but just don't.

    Audiobook purchased for review by the reviewer.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Botanicaust: Botanicaust, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tam Linsey
    • Narrated By Meghan Kelly
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The only crop left ... is human. After genetically altered weeds devastate Earth's croplands, Dr. Tula Macoby believes photosynthetic skin can save the human race. Her people single-mindedly embark on a mission to convert the cannibals roaming what's left of Earth. But when Levi, a peaceful stranger, refuses alteration, Tula doesn't think the only options should be conversion or death.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "well thought out and unique story"
    "well thought out and unique story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Botanicaust what a title, dredging up so many ideas in my head. A botanic holocaust? What could that entail? So many questions running around in my head.

    Tam Linsey set out to create a unique world where the Earth was decimated by plants, of all things. Destroying anything resembling a society that I am familiar with. This, I am assuming, is set in the far future, after the devastation and humans have reconstructed.

    Leaving three distinct species of humans. Plantfolk or Halvainiens. People that have undergone genetic cleansing and selection and manipulation. To turn them into plant-like humans. Sustaining themselves largely by photosynthesis.

    There are the Fossilites, an immortal race of humans that are plagued by not genetically selecting. Leaving them with a majority of the population having Downs Syndrome. Living deep inside mountains and now they can hardly leave.

    Lastly the cannibals, these are what the previous two call them. but really they are the Old Order. Trying to live in the wastelands.

    We have Tula a plant person who's job it is to convert cannibals into plant people. Starts to develop feeling for Levi a cannibal and helps him escape into the wasteland. This is where Tula's life get turned upside down.

    Botanicaust had more religious references than I normally hear. This didn't really bother me until the council meeting near the end. It fit into the story line, yet wasn't for me.

    All in all Botanicaust is a well thought out and unique story of love, betrayal, racism, adventure and survival. A fun listen that leaves many questions unanswered, to be answered in future installments. I am interested to find out where Linsey will take these characters and look forward to learning more about this world.

    At first Meghan Kelly reminded me of Emma Galvin's, soft spoken, kind of raspy, imperfect voice. She gave very little injection of anything as the narrator. However where she really shined was with the characterizations. Fluctuating her tone and volume to portray the vast array of ages, sexes, and races.

    After listening to this whole story I am now sold on Kelly's skill and look forward to hearing more from her.

    Audiobook submitted for review by the author.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Exoskeleton: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Shane Stadler
    • Narrated By Patrick Conn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (147)

    A convicted felon is given a choice following his sentencing: serve a 25-year conventional prison sentence...or spend 365 days in a new, experimental corrections program. He opts for the experimental program, only to realize he has made a horrible mistake. A dark tale of science spun dangerously out of control, Exoskeleton will leave even the most jaded of listeners quaking in their boots.

    Molly says: "Exoskeleton - now I get it"
    "it doesn’t stop or go down easy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First thoughts about the cover of Exoskeleton? What in the world!? Looks like a warped take on the Vitruvian Man sketch by Leonardo da Vinci. Is this going to be an observation book about the human form? How do those other symbols tie in? Hmm… This should be interesting.

    The main character is Will Thompson. He’s an inmate in an advanced treatment facility. He’s there to do a condensed sentence. Rather than spending the majority of his life in jail, he agrees to this ‘treatment’ to condense his time to one year. In doing so, he unknowingly signs up to be tortured.

    The Exoskeleton is a full body suit designed to go over every inch of the body. It in-cases the person in steel, wires, and tubes. They do nothing without the Exoskeleton’s consent. It makes the person a puppet to the whims of the controllers. It feeds, you, it nourishes you, it tortures you to the brink of madness. In some cases it pushes the wearer past the brink.

    Will is accused of a crime he did not commit, but he is still being punished for it. The corporation that runs the Exoskeleton program has a sinister motive. They are doing human torture testing to try to activate human telekinetic abilities. They want to figure out how to trigger abilities to make people into weapons.

    This story takes awhile to get going, but once it does it doesn’t stop or go down easy. The tortures are in vivid detail. Very descriptive. At times I had to pause the book because it would give me cold chills so bad that it set my teeth on edge. This is not for an easy reader or young audience. Scenes where it describes bending the limbs to the point of breaking the bones made my muscles ache.

    The narrator is Patrick Conn. His voice is smoky, smooth, and with a bit of a southern draw. He pronounced several words oddly at times. Words such as Lived or Whirred. The author is Shane Stadler. This book is 7 hours and 37 minutes long.

    This book left me with the feeling that sometimes bad people will do bad things in the name of justice, for knowledge, and for the gain of power. Sometimes these people look like regular people, but inside they are monsters. Hold fast to what you know is true, what you believe in, what drives you onward. Do not let bad people corrupt you into doing their bad deeds. Be true to yourself, always.

    Audiobook submitted for review by the author.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Descent

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jay Bonansinga, Robert Kirkman
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    In The Fall of the Governor, Part One, classic characters from both the comic and television series, including Rick, Michonne and Glenn, finally made their appearance in the Walking Dead novel series, only to discover that the Governor is a very dangerous enemy. Now, the Walking Dead series of novels continues with more fan favorite characters from the comic book and TV show.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "a subtly tense flight from the zombie horde"
    "a subtly tense flight from the zombie horde"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Now I do not think that it is a coincidence that this fifth book of the Walking Dead Novels came out within days of the new season of the TV show. I have been waiting a long time for both to come out and I really hope it has been worth the wait. As you and I both know hype and anticipation can sometimes kill something from being successful.

    I for see this one to be more about, the Governor’s dead, now what? With Lilly taking the reins. Other than that I am not so sure where the story will go. Rebuilding Woodburry? Venturing out to create a new society? Pretty much wide open for Kirkman to create with a clean slate.

    A zombie horde of hundreds, maybe thousands is what Lilly, Bob and the rest have to deal with. Woodburry is destroyed, the Governor’s dead. Now is the time for our ragtag group to create something new.

    Without going into a summary of the story I will say there were low points and high points. This is definitely a transition book, you the sometimes painfully slow and confusing. Doing little more than to build story lines for future books.

    Kirkman and Bonansinga have mastered the evolution of deep and expansive characters within these several books. Along with that they have been able to create a sense of urgency, despair and terror within my mind. Always thinking I know what is going to happen next and turning left when I thought it was going to go right. Keeping the listener on their toes or ears?

    Decent was a subtly tense flight from the zombie horde. With exquisite action sequences, all the gore that one expects from the novels. Sure there were some sleep and WTF moments, however I will continue to be an fan of this franchise. Just keep them coming.

    Oh Fred Berman how I have missed thee. He is one of the narrators that I love to listen to and he did not disappoint here. I would go as far to say that this is one of if not his best performance I have heard to date.

    Characterizations done to perfection, emotional injection superb. Making be believe that he is in the middle of everything going on. Expressing the torment so well. Berman’s slightly raspy imperfect voice lending so well to the zombie apocalypse.

    Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Pulse

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Eloise J. Knapp
    • Narrated By Michael Bower
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    An unidentified and aggressive illness begins spreading in North Dakota, and the nation panics. People are becoming sick, losing their minds, and murdering each other in disturbing ways. The government is struggling to come up with a solution, but as the epidemic mutates within the civilian population, its grip grows stronger. Dom is thousands of miles away near Seattle, witnessing his city collapse. The pandemic hasn't even reached them, but people are panicking and rioting as though it's already there. Holed up in his apartment with his best friend and girlfriend, Dom fears the worst.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "If you have a weak stomach, this book is not"
    "If you have a weak stomach, this book is not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First thoughts about the cover of Pulse? A contamination symbol over a city? Hmm… Outbreak story! YES! What sort of cataclysmic event will unfold in this story..? I felt chills chase up and down my arms at the prospect of delving into such a story.

    This story starts with bad sickly fish. Yes, fish. Makes me afraid of sea food. I love the idea of this. It brings the idea of something this horrible being possible. The main character is Dom. Dom is your typical male. Silly, sweet, funny, heels over head in love with his girlfriend… There are several stories going on at once, but they all tie in together eventually. One of the other characters to watch/listen is Adam. Adam is a CDC scientist trying to figure out a cure for this infection.

    She stunk of sour milk and dumpsters. That line made my nose snarl up and my stomach clinch. I like that the ‘zombies’ could do rambling crazy talking. This gave the story just that much more horror to it. The end of chapter six was both horrible and awesome. I loved how the crazy zombie lady filleted someone alive.

    These ‘zombies’ are infected with a parasite rather than a virus. The parasite they have affects the brain. More or less making them completely base instinct, no moral compass bonkers. It reminds me of the movie The Crazies.

    What makes this a good book to read/listen to is the fact that it makes this seem simi-plausible. The ‘What if’ lingers. With strange things happening in the world today, the ‘What if’s’ are all to real. It brings to mind of outbreaks like Ebola, the Flu, Encephalitis. Ironically it mentions a general link to Ebola in chapter seventeen or eighteen.

    There seems to be one error about a smart phone and gun in chapters thirty-six and thirty-seven. This is an author error and not a narrator error. It says in chapter thirty-six that the military took Dom’s cell and gun. In chapter thirty-seven he has his cell again. Also, in chapter thirty-six they took Dom’s gun, but in thirty-seven Chelsie has a gun. Why would the military take Dom’s gun and leave Chelsie with her’s?

    Over all I enjoyed this story. It had a new twist to the ‘zombie’ vibe. I liked that. The narrator is Michael Bower. He has a nice voice. Sharp, crisp, and edgy at the right times. Perfect for a story like this. The book is 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 38 seconds long. The author is Eloise J. Knapp.

    Warning - If you have a weak stomach, this book is not for you. There are lots of blood, guts, and horror, exploding stomachs, torture, and creepy parasites that will haunt your dreams.

    This book left me with the feeling that things can change quickly. Sometimes things are completely out of our control. The best we can do is to keep ourselves safe. Try to keep those we love safe. And try to avoid those that would drag us down into their madness.

    Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

    Please find this complete review and many others at audiobookreviewer dot com

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    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Arisen, Book 0.5

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael Stephen Fuchs
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Tucked away in a high-tech Tactical Operations Center, inside an isolated safehouse in the Horn of Africa, sits Agency analyst Zack Altringham. He is Kenyan-born, Princeton-educated, badly burnt-out - and condemned by his language and cultural skills to a lifetime of fighting America's shadow counter-terror wars.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "Fuchs was able to bring me into the band of brothe"
    "Fuchs was able to bring me into the band of brothe"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I devoured Arisen: Genesis like there was no tomorrow.

    But not at first. Not sure what I was expecting the beginning to contain. The first third of the story was the only place where my attention was swayed. Characters have to be built up in the listeners mind for anything to make sense, I get that. Things have to be put into motion for the impeding apocalypse to being, I get that too.

    But I hung in with it and once the action started it didn't stop and I was all in. Slowly the soldiers began to realize that they were dealing with the undead and not simple civil riots or a rebel invasion. Political and civil unrest surrounded a small CIA outpost in Africa. Strange reports of sicknesses started coming in. Zack Altringham, an analyst, didn't think much of it. Until a horde as at his doorstep.

    Suddenly he and a small band of SEALs, thank God for them or he wouldn't have stood a chance, are fight for their lives against zombies and rebels. The thrill ride continues from here on out. Commandeering and armed drone and with all of the supplies and ammo they can carry. They make their way to safety.

    Even though I have never been in a battle nor in the military Michael Stephen Fuchs was able to bring me into the band of brothers. Making me feel as if I were there experiencing everything happening around me. He was able to create dynamic military men not the simple minded stereotypical grunts. I was able to connect with them on a level that only a really good writer can create.

    I was stunned by the performance of R.C Bray. This is a narrator that I really enjoy listening to. Who, in past audiobooks, wasn't the greatest at pulling off a large character base. Yet in Arisen: Genesis he was able to pull off not only several characters interacting. But other languages, and different African accents. Helping Fuchs develop his characters even faster.

    Once again Bray shows what he is made of and delivers a spot on performance. Full of high intensity emotional outbursts and action sequences that kept glue in my ears. Every word clear as day, no clicks, hums, buzzes or anything distracting.

    I will continue to devour Bray's future and past performances with gusto and delight. It brings me comfort knowing that I have many more of his works in my queue just waiting for me to get to them.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead: Toad Witch Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Christiana Miller
    • Narrated By Marie Rose
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (117)

    Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that's what her cards tell her and they've never been wrong. She's evicted from her apartment, loses her job, and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right. Suddenly, an aunt she's never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She's still one pissed-off old lady, even postmortem.

    Susan says: "Not what I expected"
    "This is not the cozy paranormal mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was cute at times, had a few zingers, had a fabulous 'gay bestie', a heavy dose of magic, death, and a dash of romantic interest were all among the high points. They were what saved this book; without Gus (flaming and fun), his friendly banter, and the fantastic set-up my rating would have dropped faster than a skydiver in free fall. I really wanted to like this.

    Buckle up, folks, for the obstacle course. This is not the cozy paranormal mystery it appears to be. I mentioned the toad-licking, right? That's just the tip of the iceberg. Illicit substances, spells that inadvertently kill your unknown family members, plot holes you can stick your head through, more illicit substances, and suddenly towards the end - kinkier than an old garden hose (a very conservative description of the *ahem* 'parties'.) Very old wicked witches apparently have quite the oat to soil. None of this is 'cozy', or PG, or even PG-13, adults only for this quite un-romantic tale.

    Stereotypical characters, hallucinations, toads, and can I remind you once again about the licking of aforementioned toads? *Shudder* Through all this, it must be said, the narrator was instrumental in keeping me reading. Though I ultimately was not fond of the book, I would in no way be scared off from listening to the narrator again. The voices were distinct for the most part, consistent, dramatic, and she played up those zingers and made them shine. The fault lies with the material rather than the performance. The production quality was adequate but unimpressive; it didn't really add or detract from the overall experience.

    Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

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    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Perseid Collapse: The Perseid Collapse, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By John David Farrell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (237)

    2019. Six years after the Jakarta Pandemic “decimated” the world's population; life is back to normal for the Fletchers and most Americans. The United States stands at the brink of a complete domestic and international resurgence, with stories of confidence and prosperity dominating the headlines. Appearances can be deceiving. An undercurrent of paranoia and fear still runs strong below the surface; the collective angst spawned by 28 million American deaths forever stamped into population's psyche.

    Denise says: "DON'T BUY THIS BOOK YET...Wait for the 2nd part.."
    "The story line is excellently executed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The year is 2019 and the populations of the world have already survived (barely) the Jakarta Pandemic. Alex Fletcher and his family and friends, after surviving the Jakarta Pandemic, have planned for the next devastating event. Back packs of survival gear and a safe place to head off to should the unthinkable happen again. But will that be enough? His planning and skills will be drawn upon to save his family and those of his friends.

    The beginning opens in China and an underground bunker with some questionable capabilities being guarded by their military. Then we switch to Alex Fletcher and his family sailing and being miserable because of mosquitos. That’s nothing compared to what’s coming!

    An EMP which sends the U.S. into darkness and a tsunami drive the family to make a dangerous trek, on foot, to their home where they encounter law enforcement confiscating guns and vehicles and some neighbors bent on stealing the one running car in the area. Alex, Carl and Ed map a route to Boston to get Alex’s son and Ed’s daughter from their colleges.

    The wives and children make the trek to Alex’s parents place – the safe house. Before they can get there though, they encounter members of the local militia with some serious and deadly views on ethical and moral behavior.

    Alex, Carl and Ed encounter many different people and deadly situations. Although Alex has planned everything out to a T, there are of course things he could not prepare for – such as a college full of students stranded with no hope of rescue and a flagging military presence. This is where the book ends rather abruptly.

    This chronicles the event 48 hours after it happens. Konkoly does an excellent job of spelling everything out in a way that is clear and leaves little to no doubt in what is happening. The story line is excellently executed and well plotted. The character development is strong and clearly defined – one can almost see each one in their mind as they listen.

    The production of the audio was well done by Steven Konkoly.

    The narrator John David Farrell did an excellent job of projecting emotions of everyone and keeping the reading going smoothly and well enunciated. I cannot wait to read the next one!

    Audiobook provided for review by the author.

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