You no longer follow Erik

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Erik

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Erik

Sooke, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 90 reviews
  • 90 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chad Morris
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (414)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (377)

    Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible.

    Douglas says: "Harry Potter meets DaVanci Code -Young Adult title"
    "Well crafted YA fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bottom line up front: This is solid young adult fiction that can be enjoyed by older readers. I can recommend it as I did enjoy the story.

    The book does, however, use many of the tools used in the Harry Potter series. Kids separated from the adults, a grandfather figure, magic (in this case very advanced technology), etc. If you can accept this and not let it impede your experience, then you should be able to appreciate the imaginative aspects of this book.

    The narrator was well matched to the work and put in a solid performance. This series should find a following in it's target audience, and it deserves to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 47 Ronin

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Allyn, Stephen Turnbull (foreword)
    • Narrated By David Shih
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (74)

    For those looking for the real story behind the fictionalized movie account of the 47 Ronin story, this is the definitive, fascinating account of this unforgettable tale of a band of samurai who defied the Emperor to avenge the disgrace and death of their master, and faced certain death as a result. It led to one of the bloodiest episodes in Japanese history, and in the process, created a new set of heroes in Japan.

    Erik says: "A solid rendition of a classic tale"
    "A solid rendition of a classic tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This a great non-European/American classic, which makes it rare in it's own right. The background at the beginning, which outlines the known historical facts that make up the framework of the story, enhances the work that follows. The narrator was a bit flat, and perhaps could have changed cadence more emphatically as the story required, but on the whole his narration was adequate.

    While a great classic, on which many movies have been based, it is not a convoluted tale. It follows the line of Samurai master is ordered to commit suicide, and loyal followers eventually extract revenge. The more interesting aspect of the tale concerns the personalities and deceptions leading to the revenge attack. It also paints an interesting description of Japanese culture 300 years ago.

    So, give this audio book a listen, especially if you are not familiar with the story through movies. You should find it worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soldier of the Horse

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Robert Mackay
    • Narrated By Paul Christy
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Tom Macrae is working on his law degree and enjoying the company of his sweetheart, Ellen. When the call to arms comes, both Tom and Ellen are torn from their secure, settled lives in the prairie city. Tom finds himself hunched in the trenches, amid the mud and horror of the Great War, while Ellen faces an uncertain future in Tom’s absence.

    Erik says: "A uniquely Canadian look at WWI"
    "A uniquely Canadian look at WWI"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hopefully the title of review doesn’t put people off, as many things considered “Canadian” get passed over immediately. Living in the shadow of the US has it’s downside.

    I had a hard time rating this book. I wanted to give the story 3 stars for the fact that it was predictable and without any real surprises and twists. The “surprise” in the story centres on the reason the hero signs up (to avoid jail) and the subsequent resolution of the one sided feud that resulted from the crime that lead him to the army.

    Why I did give the story 4 stars was for the solid writing style and the unique topic covered. There aren’t a lot of fictional books out there covering WWI and Canada’s part in the War. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say this novel rose from a family research project the author was working on. The name of the hero is one syllable removed from the author, and much of the information on Canadian soldiers in WWI is easily researched. Enrolment and service records, as well as unit war diaries, are all available online now through Library Archive Canada. It is from this information that I believe the author shaped a novel.

    In this regard, he did a good job. Lot’s of little details were included, such as equipment, as well as accurate portrayals of the class structure and societal attitudes of the period. There was one area, however, where I think the author applied current Canadian attitudes to the story, and that was fabricating the line that the only reason a white male Canadian of good societal standing would join is if he were forced to by the law. The other members of the book in the army were predominately English immigrants (this is historically accurate, as most English immigrants signed up for the “Motherland”), Métis, and other “undesirables” of the period. Of course, this reflects current Canadian attitudes as Canadians have a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that the profession of arms can be an honourable calling.

    So, in summary I do recommend this novel, especially if you are Canadian and even more so if you have an interest in WWI or had ancestors involved in that conflict. This book will assist in gaining a greater understanding of that period and the impact of the War in our country, all while providing a satisfactory background story as a vehicle for this information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Generation Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Evan Wright
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (145)

    They were called a generation without heroes. Then they were called upon to be heroes. Within hours of 9/11, America's war on terrorism fell to those like the 23 Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam.

    James says: "Interesting and well paced, though poorly narrated"
    "Generation X, Generation Y, and Generation Kill"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book follows a platoon through the invasion of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a lead element of the Marines main thrust, this unit was heavily engaged for the duration of this short conflict.

    While similar to many books on warfare in terms of describing the action, the hardships, and the horrors of war, where this story differs is in the mental state of the warriors. It is this revelation that is truly frightening and makes me wonder where the next generation of the USA is headed.

    Soldiers of the 1st world war and earlier signed up for the romanticism associated war, and were quickly disillusioned. Soldiers in the 2nd world war signed up reluctantly but with a sense of duty, and soldiers of the Vietnam era went only when forced to. Todays society has Generation Kill, which is an apt name given the obvious relish with which these troops executed their mission and, more disturbingly, with the joy they took in wrecking havoc amongst the civilian population and infrastructure.

    Don't get me wrong, I've been in the armed forces for almost 30 years, so I fully understand collateral damage, ROE, and the other myriad of issues that are associated with warfare in areas of civilian populations. What I couldn't understand about these troops was the uninhibited joy in causing destruction. In one example, they go into a school in a city that has been taken and destroy all the computers and infrastructure. Why would anyone do that?

    What is also apparent from this story is that the Marines had some serious junior officer leadership challenges. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, given that this story was written 12 years ago, that the US Armed Forces are now struggling with some fairly serious internal breaches of conduct and behaviour amongst senior officers, as the junior officers and their peers in this book would be the senior officers of today.

    This book is a must read for every American, as it provides great insight into the conduct of warfare in our age. Read it, and reflect upon it. It should give you cause for concern.

    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
    (5859)
    Performance
    (5568)
    Story
    (5578)

    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"
    "McGyver goes to Mars!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Summary up front: This was an awesome book that was well executed by the narrator! Get it before its made into a Hollywood blockbuster and ruined.

    OK, now for some details. The premise of this book, man gets stranded on MARS, could have been a disaster if not executed properly. Kudos to the author for excellent background work and making the story as plausible as possible. If you really are a NASA engineer or a scientist in the fields used in the story, then I'm sure the scenario's and subsequent "fixes" would be too improbable for you to enjoy, but for the average layman like myself, it seemed real enough.

    The narrator really enhanced this book. His cadence and inflections were spot on, and he really used the narrators ironic and sarcastic humour to maximum effect. The combination of narration and humorous dialogue had me laughing at times.

    The one detraction was the shear number of mishaps that had to be overcome. It would have shortened the work a bit, but one or two of the catastrophes' that did occur could have been eliminated. A small quibble, I know, so don't let that keep you away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Maltese Falcon

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dashiell Hammett
    • Narrated By Eric Meyers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (200)

    Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, first serialized in a magazine in 1930, is best known through the iconic Humphrey Bogart film of 1941. But it was the book that created the classic "noir" genre with its tough private detective threading his cool way between the criminals and the law. Sam Spade, the private eye solving the mystery of the Maltese statuette, was the template for Philip Marlowe and a host of others…. but they come no more shrewd and cunning with Hammett peppering the text with one-liners.

    Kathi says: "Outstanding American classic!"
    "Cool noire!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started this book with a the distinct advantage of never having seen the movie or knowing the story line. Perhaps this is why I was so pleasantly surprised.

    Today we tend to look back half a century or more and think of ``Leave it to Beaver`` and other happy thoughts. This book shows the generation that produced this work could be as dark as any author today. This story is dark, and none of the characters could be described as likable.

    That being said, it is a very interesting and well crafted story. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to end and was moderately surprised to see how it ended up for the "heroine", if that is what she can be called.

    The narrator does an excellent job with cadence, tone, and voices. I'll be watching for more of his work.

    In summary, if you haven't seen the movie or read the book, you simply must give this audio book a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wayward: Wayward Pines, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (335)
    Performance
    (314)
    Story
    (312)

    Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amid picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden - except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they're trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise.

    Anthony Moore says: "I'm Hooked!!!"
    "Every bit as good as the first book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's not often that the follow on books in a series are as good as the first one, but Crouch has pulled it off. Although you could follow this story without reading the first in the series, I wouldn't recommend it. The interactions and background laid out in that work enhance the second. Also key is that they have kept the same narrator who did so well in the first book. Garcia nailed that one, and he does so again here.

    I won't describe the book, other than to say it is "future horror", and in this second book, the true villainy of the protagonists come to the forefront. I can't wait to get the final book as the situation the hero is left in at the end of the second book is quite precarious.

    So, if you haven't started this series, what are you waiting for?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • High Adventure: A Narrative of Air Fighting in France

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By James Norman Hall
    • Narrated By Andre Devin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Warfare in the sky for the first time in history! The French Lafayette Espadrille accepts Americans to serve as pilots before America's entry into World War I. James Norman Hall describes his frightening experiences flying over enemy lines and his soul searching when commanded to kill. He recounts his training in a French flight school, his friendships with other trainees and his crash landing in German territory.

    Erik says: "Dated yet still a very good story"
    "Dated yet still a very good story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'll start the review by addressing the 2 star rating I gave for performance. Specifically, the narrator sounds inexperienced. He struggled with cadence, inflections, and in differentiating character voices. To top it off, the attempts to read the French lines were painful. All this was exacerbated by poor sound engineering and editing. The choppy starts and stops made edits very noticeable, especially as recording levels were not adjusted between passages recorded in different sessions.

    OK, now that I got that out of the way, I can get to the important part, and that is the story. As with most of these stories written immediately after or even, like this one, during the conflict of WWI, you will notice they seem too poetic when judged by todays harsh standards of stark realism. Keeping the period in mind and how authors then were predisposed to paint conflict in a romantic and adventurous manner, one can overlook the prose and focus on the hidden gems contained within the text.

    The description of how training was conducted in "penguins", which were aircraft with stubby wing that prohibited flight, is an example of the type of information your average historical account of the war overlooks. If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of WWI aviation, then this work should appeal to you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Denali's Howl: The Deadliest Climbing Disaster on America's Wildest Peak

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Andy Hall
    • Narrated By Jim Manchester
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In 1967, 12 young men attempted to climb Alaska's MountMcKinley - known to the locals as Denali - one of the most popular and deadly mountaineering destinations in the world. Only five survived. Journalist Andy Hall, son of the park superintendent at the time, investigates the tragedy. He spent years tracking down survivors, lost documents, and recordings of radio communications. In Denali's Howl, Hall reveals the full story.

    Marci says: "Disappointing"
    "A study in human behaviour"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've never read any other works of the mountain climbing genre, this work would be a good introduction. As with many of the works, much of the story revolves around the personalities and interpersonal relationships within the teams attempting these extreme challenges.

    What makes this work interesting is the historical nature of the climb and makes for a good comparison of how far technology has come regarding forecasts, equipment, and communications. Much of what occurred in this story could likely be avoided or mitigated by todays technology.

    Technology hasn't, however, changed human behaviour and group dynamics. What is described in this story would apply today from this perspective, and anyone considering an extreme challenge, from long distance ocean passages to mountaineering, would do well to read and study as many of these cases as possible.

    I also liked the follow up work concerning the reactions of the relatives of those lost to the mountain. It makes a good reflection point, specifically about how families have a burning desire to blame others for the decisions and bad luck that killed their loved ones. I guess that's how we've ended up with the litigious society we have today.

    The narrator did a great job with this story. His cadence and inflection was pleasing and enhanced the work.

    Much has been written about Everest, K2, etc. but Denali is often overlooked. This book fills in this void quite nicely and gives the reader a lot to think upon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Dies at the End

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Thorne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1654)
    Performance
    (1510)
    Story
    (1522)

    STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why?

    Amazon Customer says: "Vulgar Funny. 4.95 Sale Win."
    "Shaun of the Dead meets Ghost Busters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a difficult book to review, as it had some downright clever and funny parts and some other areas that were either boring or downright stupid. It is for these last two points that I dropped my rating a bit.

    To sum up the book, 2 stoner/loser type characters do some alien drugs and end up being able to cross dimensions and talk with ghosts and other unworldly creatures. That really sums up the novel. Throw in weird friends and occurrences that eventually lead to....? Well, I don't really know what it lead to.

    Don’t get me wrong, the book was entertaining, but I think the author tried too hard to be funny and weird all at the same time. In the end, he missed the mark. The narrator was quite good and definitively made the story much more enjoyable than it really was.

    Would I recommend this? Yes, but only after your “A-list” is depleted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tarnsman of Gor: Gorean Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John Norman
    • Narrated By Ralph Lister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (255)
    Story
    (257)

    Tarl Cabot has always believed himself to be a citizen of Earth. He has no inkling that his destiny is far greater than the small planet he has inhabited for the first 20-odd years of his life. One frosty winter night in the New England woods, he finds himself transported to the planet of Gor, also known as Counter-Earth, where everything is dramatically different from anything he has ever experienced.

    Craig Walker says: "A good yarn But..."
    "Male teen fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this audio book up from a "daily deal" and I'm glad I didn't pay full price. I recognized the title from my youth, as it was a controversial book and quite popular back then, but I never got around to reading it. Perhaps if I had done so in my youth, I may have enjoyed it more.

    With the benefit of age and experience, however, I can recognize it for what it is; a teen male fantasy. The writing is one dimensional, the situations staged, and the background of how all this came to be is woefully thin. The character is transported by aliens to a alternate earth where women a slinky slave things and, after immediately accepting his abduction, he becomes the best swordsman on the planet, saving sexy females along the way, and ultimately influences the fate of the world.

    To top it off, the narrator, who I can see being better in a lest cartoonish role, destroyed the characters narratives. Every barbarian voice was done in the same angry and stilted voice, and delivered in an enhanced volume.

    So, while I can recommend this to the adolescent crowd, avoid this if you are looking for something less blunt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.