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Brian

I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.

Lansing, MI, United States | Member Since 2014

498
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 36 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 88 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
63

  • Heaven's Shadow

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David S. Goyer, Michael Cassutt
    • Narrated By Joe J. Thomas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (92)

    Three years ago, an object 100 miles across was spotted on a trajectory for Earth's sun. Now, its journey is almost over. As it approaches, two competing manned vehicles race through almost half a million kilometers of space to reach it first. But when they both arrive on the entity, they learn that it has been sent toward Earth for a reason. An intelligent race is desperately attempting to communicate with our primitive species. And the message is: Help us.

    Brian says: "Good character based sci-fi"
    "Good character based sci-fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Heaven's Shadow?

    The character development and dialog was good I thought. The narrator's spin on the various voices helped personify them as well.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harley - because he just seemed like one of those guys that act all bad-ass but is really a big softie.


    Any additional comments?

    The plot had a few holes in terms of being realistic and believable. If these creatures are so advanced why can't they directly communicate with us? Why do they even need our help?
    Maybe that will be explained more in the next two books. But, in terms of a character based story it was very entertaining. The astronauts seemed to say the F-word a bit more than I would imagine they would, being professionals; it didn't really bother me (except I always had to have headphones on so the kids couldn't hear.)

    The actual science wasn't bad either. I like how they addressed the fact that there was an 8 second delay in communications back to Earth for example.

    If you can suspend disbelief and roll with the story, it was well written and entertaining. There were many characters but they were all well defined and all entertaining with their own unique personalities (if you can keep track of them all.) Joe J. Thomas did a spectacular job with the narration and added a whole new element to the story that wouldn't have been there if I simply read it myself. I loved his Harley voice.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • And Then There Were None

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Dan Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (400)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (367)

    Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious "U.N. Owen". At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead. Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one...one by one they begin to die. Who among them is the killer? And will any of them survive?

    Jill Johnston says: "One of the best Christie books"
    "my first AG book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    a nice diversion from my favorite genre of SciFi. I liked it and it was fun hearing queer used so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Visitors: Pathfinder Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Emily Rankin, Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (585)
    Story
    (587)

    Rigg’s journey comes to an epic and explosive conclusion as everything that has been building up finally comes to pass, and Rigg is forced to put his powers to the test in order to save his world and end the war once and for all.

    Joshua says: "Satisfying Conclusion to the Acclaimed Series"
    "Better than book 2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I actually didn't realize this was a 3 book arc until I hit the end of book 2 and heard the music and was like,"Hey, what, what a minute!" Book 2 I thought was drawn out. This final book felt that way too a few times but not as much to me. There were some side stories of exploring the wallfolds that really was just padding, but I guess those could be considered stories within a story.

    The time travel aspects are once again well thought out and explained, almost too much. I didn't really care for the mice much. I liked how it ended up for the most part, except the "show down" with mother and General Citizen. That seemed uncharacteristically rushed and unsatisfying. There was also a lot of detail about this great army they were training and I was hoping for an ass kicking battle but alas that was merely a mention.

    So I guess in general I liked the ending but it just seemed he missed some opportunities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16505)
    Performance
    (13753)
    Story
    (13746)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "Not for this guy!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I skipped getting this a few times because of the few bad reviews but I finally gave in because of the good ones. But boy, maybe you have to be a woman to like this - I don't think it is for me. Some reviewers warned about the shallow characters and I should have listened. I haven't even made it to the murder yet.

    I got through two of the narrators (didn't ever hear the 3rd), the first narrator (for Rachel) did a good job, maybe too good! I know some people that are like this in real life and I avoid them like the plague; so why would I subject myself to the inner mind of this main character. Then the second narrator (for Megan) wasn't as good, but the character was just as neurotic and pathetic.

    If you like female drama from neurotic, jealous, spiteful, and brainless women then get this book.

    I'm going out on a limb here, but if you are a straight male then you probably will not like this book.

    I'm not going to say it's a bad book, it all boils down to personal taste. This one did not taste good to my pallet so I'm cutting my losses early.

    21 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Sharp Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4900)
    Performance
    (3980)
    Story
    (4005)

    Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker's troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psychiatric hospital, Camille's first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

    Kelley says: "I agree with Stephen King"
    "A nice diversion from my typical genre of SciFi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A nice clean quick story. Set in a town that I would never want my kids to grow up in. Some said the ending was predictable, and perhaps part of it was, but the actual killer did elude me. Now with hindsight in my favor I'm not sure how I didn't suspect it early on, but I didn't. But I don't do too many mystery/thriller books so maybe that was it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8034)
    Performance
    (7388)
    Story
    (7398)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Joyce says: "Love this style of King!!!"
    "I was ran over by this book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the characters, the plot, and the suspense. Mr. King proved again that he can write more than just horror. This has some horror elements but all believable - as in - no supernatural. It is just a good story about a psychopath, an ex-cop that loved getting drawn back into "the game", and some other interesting characters that round out a well told story.

    This was my first book narrated by Will Patton. I didn't even know he narrated books but he has done a boatload. The first few minutes I wasn't so sure about his raspy voice but now I couldn't imagine it read by anyone else and his character voices were all great. He did a wonderful job IMO.

    Bravo!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6034)
    Performance
    (5428)
    Story
    (5458)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "Gaiman weaves a good tale!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The previous book I listened to took me about six months to get through as it just didn't beckon me to listen at any chance I could get. I would listen here and there but many times music on the radio won out.

    Not with this book!!

    Gaiman hooked me right away and I wanted to listen every chance I could get. American Gods was only a tad shorter than my previous book, but I whipped through this one in about 10 days (and I mainly listen in my car and during workouts.) But I did add a few hours here and there with longer lunches or listening while doing dishes, etc.

    I'm usually more a SciFi guy vs. Fantasy, but I've likes all of Neil Gaiman's book that I've read so far.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Neverwhere [Adaptation]

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Christopher Lee, James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, and others
    Overall
    (2221)
    Performance
    (2085)
    Story
    (2081)

    A BBC Radio six-part adaptation of Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel, starring James McAvoy as Richard and Natalie Dormer as Door. Beneath the streets of London there is another London. A subterranean labyrinth of sewers and abandoned tube stations. A somewhere that is Neverwhere....

    Gayle says: "Superb"
    "Radio production missing what's best about a book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The voice acting and sound production was great and it was a good story but it took a lot of work to visualize it sometimes. It reminded me of driving my SUV with the kids in the back watching a DVD. I could hear the movie but not see it. So I got a sense of the story but sometimes didn't really know what was going on as I couldn't see what was happening.

    I was assuming it was just different voices speaking the parts but that all the narration would be there - it was not. I guess I didn't notice "Adaption" in the title. If you were already familiar with the story that would help, but I was not, so there were times where I just didn't know what was happening.

    After this I moved on to American Gods and gasped when I noticed that it was "a full cast production." I feared the same issue with a 20 hour book. Much to my delight that one had the full narration with the different voices. That was awesome and is what I was expecting here.

    So - I liked the story but I would probably steer clear of a similar production in the future.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Tide of Years

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (279)

    In the years since the Event, the Republic of Nantucket has done its best to re-create the better ideas of the modern age. But the evils of its time resurface in the person of William Walker, renegade Coast Guard officer, who is busy building an empire for himself based on conquest by technology.

    When Walker reaches Greece and recruits several of their greater kinglets to his cause, the people of Nantucket have no choice.

    B. Bozeman says: "I've Finished the entire series"
    "Okay story but it dragged for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is hard to put into words... The story was pretty good but I guess it just dragged on too long. It wasn't interesting enough to make me want to listen to it every chance I could get. It is long to begin with, about 21 hours; but it look me over 6 months to finally listen to the entire book as I would find myself not really caring if I listened to it vs. music in my car.

    This became more evident to me after finishing this book as the next book I listed to (from OSC) I zipped through in a week. Then another, and another, as I was more compelled to listen - and found I wanted to listen to these next books; while driving, doing dishes, late at night, etc. This wasn't the case for Against the Tide of Years unfortunately. So I guess I'm bailing on the 3rd book. The thought and detail that went into the story is amazing and I liked the premise. I'm not saying it's bad, but for me it just didn't keep me on the edge of my seat.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Earth: An Across the Universe Novel, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Beth Revis
    • Narrated By Tara Carrozza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (147)

    Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh - to build a home - on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn't the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who - or what - else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet.

    Brian says: "Male reader in mid 40's"
    "Male reader in mid 40's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked the first book! The second book was a bit of a disappointed. Book three here was better however (but not anywhere near as good as book one.)

    I know this is teen/YA so I've kept that in mind when listening to it. It's a bit hard for me to review because of that. For me... all-in-all I liked the series; but there were just some things that were too silly.

    As I said in my review of "A Million Suns" the tone of the series seemed to change starting with book 2. I wished these final two books followed the tone of the first book which wasn't as silly - but again... I know the series isn't geared towards middle aged men :)

    So for the teen/YA readers I think you will really like this series. For you older readers, the story is good, you just have to remember that it is teen/YA.

    These are the same narrators as book two and I liked the performances a lot more in this book, especially the male narrator. His delivery of Elder was very flat in book 2. It was a little better in book 3 and his other voices were great. I really liked his Lt.Colonel Martin.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Million Suns: Across the Universe, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Beth Revis
    • Narrated By Tara Carrozza
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (202)

    It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed.

    Brian says: "Male reader in mid 40's"
    "Male reader in mid 40's"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Yes, I knew this was teen / young adult going in. I really enjoyed the first book and thought it was extremely well done and crossed beyond the Teen/YA boundary to hold it's own in the more mature market as well.

    I however was not as pleased with this second book. The whole tone changed a little bit making me wonder if an editor worked hard with Revis to make the first book appeal to a larger audience, but didn't work as hard on this second book. Its feel became a lot more teen based and the whole scavenger hunt thing didn't appeal to me that much.

    Again, I know I'm reviewing a teen/YA book, so please bear this in mind with my review. If you are a teen/YA reader, it may very well appeal to you. But for the slightly older crowd (for me anyhow) I did not like this book as much as the first and it seemed to drag on.

    The narrators changed also, which never helps with the flow of a book series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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