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Heidi

POCATELLO, ID, United States | Member Since 2011

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 269 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
18

  • Mystery Writers of America Presents The Mystery Box

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer (editor)
    • Narrated By William Dufris, Karen White, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (304)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (267)

    With this anthology, best-selling author Brad Meltzer introduces 21 original stories from today’s most prominent mystery writers. In Laura Lippman’s "Waco 1982", a young reporter stuck with a seemingly mundane assignment on lost-and-found boxes unwittingly discovers a dark crime. In Joseph Finder’s "Heirloom", a scheming neighbor frightens the new couple on the block with an unnerving tale of buried treasure. In R. L. Stine’s "High Stakes", a man on his honeymoon gets drawn into a bizarre bet involving a coffin, a bet he may pay for with his life.

    Sharon says: "Worth the Credit"
    "A Mixed Box"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It's hard to rate a mixed bag of stories, since some of them will likely be more to one's liking than others. Such is the case with this book.

    Some of the stories are delightfully clever with happy, triumphant endings. Some of them are humorous, almost like long jokes with unexpected punchlines. Some of them are deeply haunting and socially insightful, and some of them stick with you because they are horrible and ugly, like skunk stink. You wish you could scrub them out of your brain, but you will never be able to. Alas, these are the risks we take when we read new authors.

    Overall, will you like this book? Parts of it. If you're a cozy mystery fan, this book is probably not for you. These mysteries are not cozy. If you're a noir-fan, you'll like this a bit more. If you're up for a fair bit of mind-twisting, then plunge right in.

    Content warning for those who care: Various stories in this book contain extreme profanity, adult content, and troubling themes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darkbound

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Michaelbrent Collings
    • Narrated By Steve Marvel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    There is no light at the end of some tunnels.... The New York subway system has:656 miles of track... 468 stations... 31 thousand turnstiles... and 1.64 BILLION fares yearly.

    For six of those fares, the trip is going to be one they will never forget.

    Six strangers will board a subway. But this subway is unlike the others.

    This subway doesn't take you where you want or where you need. It takes you where you fear.

    This subway...is Darkbound.

    Amy says: "Fast Paced Horror"
    "More Horror than Collings Other Books--A Good Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a huge MbC fan. I particularly love his supsense/supernatural/action stuff. I'm not as big a fan of classic gorey-horror, which this leans more towards.

    What I loved about this book:
    The symbolism. Like all horror, this is a morality tale. I loved the literary symbolism in the various train cars and their occupants' deaths.
    The twists. Of course, you know that what you see is not what you get in a book like this, but even though I was second-guessing everything, there were lots of surprises.

    What I didn't love as much:
    The gore. It was pretty hard for me to keep listening through that. A lot of others would enjoy it, though, and it's a valid artistic decision for the genre and morality lesson of the book.

    Overall, I'd recommend it to fans of classic horror. This is definitely not horror-lite, so be prepared if you decide to dive in.

    1 of 1 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
    (7612)
    Performance
    (7243)
    Story
    (7254)

    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"
    "Not into hard SF, but this book hooked me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'm not a hard SF fan, but this book was recommended by Howard Tayler, a cartoonist whose literary taste I really respect. Upon looking it up, I saw that it had 4.6 stars. Sold!

    What carries this book is the voice. The MC is lovably proactive, incredibly resourceful, and fundamentally--almost pathologically--happy. A few people on Goodreads found his attitude unrealistic, but the fact that he's an astronaut who was selected specifically for his psychological resilience makes his voice very believable to me.

    The ingenuity of the author is the other thing that carries this book. With each setback, I thought, "How in the WORLD is Whatney going to get out of this?" and then somehow--some BELIEVABLE how--he actually did. It was quite impressive. To me, the ingenuity of the problem solving is one of the real pleasures of this book.

    I don't know if I would have enjoyed this book as much in print format. I think some of the scientific explanations would have bored me had I not been able to listen to the lively narrator's voice meditating on them. As it was, however, I was like, "Yeah. Okay. I'm with you. LET'S DO THIS MATH!"

    The two things that almost knocked this book down a star for me were the profanity and the (I felt) curtailed ending. I like cussing to be selective and warranted. I can totally get behind, "I'm stranded on Mars! @#%%!" But I felt that "Those mother$%^#ing rocks were heavy!" was excessive. Also, I would have liked to see more of the ending. The author made a different artistic choice, which I respect even though I think I would have enjoyed a more prolonged denouement. In the end, however, neither of these differences in taste brought my enjoyment of the book below "I loved it," so it gets five stars from me.

    Definitely recommend to those who a) enjoy hard SF or b) enjoy a strong protag voice and c) can stomach a bit of excessive profanity if the story is good enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hidden Falls: Ordinary Secrets: Episode 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 45 mins)
    • By Olivia Newport
    • Narrated By Rebecca Gallagher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    Thirty years of small-town secrets - now the key to the mystery is gone. The small town of Hidden Falls is abuzz. Former students, friends, and loved ones are prepping for tonight's big event to honor Ted Quinn's many years of compassionate service. Quinn is reluctant about a night in the spotlight - but is tenderly prodded by Sylvia, mayor of Hidden Falls and Quinn's dearest friend and confidante.

    LR says: "Where's My Quinn?"
    "A Compelling Start to a Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'm a sucker for small-town mysteries and multiple POVs, so this book was right up my alley. Tons of different characters---which the narrator and author do a good job of distinguishing from each other--and several small mysteries that undergird the overarching story. I'm not a huge fan of buying serial installments because they generally end up costing more than a couple of full-length books, so I can't comment on the rest of the series. I'm eagerly waiting for this book to be released as a single unit. It promises to be a great read! If you're interested in a quick, interesting hook and you don't mind being cliff-hung (or you're willing to spend the money in the serial components), start here!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Colony: Genesis

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Michaelbrent Collings
    • Narrated By John Alexander Brancy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    In under 10 minutes, 99.9% of the world's population will be dead... or changed. Conversion is instant. Headshots just make them angry. And they're getting smarter. Ken Strickland has made it through the first moments. But his family is still out there. Can he survive? Can he find them? Or will he become one more of the creatures that now rule our world?

    Heidi says: "Gripping, fast, moving"
    "Gripping, fast, moving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Basically, I want an audiobook to sweep me away. The more it engages me, the less I think about the boring drive I'm making, the room I'm cleaning, the makeup I'm putting on. Colony SO delivered. There were no dead spots, no slow introspection. Just bam. End of the world. Then bam. Action and adventure. Then bam. Suspense. I loved it.

    The characters are likable and hopeful. Mysterious and secretive and a little weird, certainly, but decent. Sometimes you read post-Apocalpytic fiction, and you think, "Humans are the worst. Why have we not already died en masse like the wretched swarm of cockroaches that we are?" But this book shows humans at their best, or at least at their most decent. I appreciated that. The zombies are freaky-weird (I need to grab the second one and find out wth is going on with this whole uber-bizarre zombie situation), but the humans are still acting like humans, not monsters.

    All in all, if you're looking for a quick-paced, high-action, zombie read that won't make you despair of all hope for mankind, this is the one for you. Or even if you don't mind despairing of all hope for mankind and you just want a good zombie read, this is the one for you as well.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Strangers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Michaelbrent Collings
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    You wake up in the morning to discover that you have been sealed into your home. The doors are locked, the windows are barred. There's no way out. A madman is playing a deadly game with you and your family. A game with no rules, only consequences. So what do you do? Do you run? Do you hide? Or do you die?

    AudioBookReviewer says: "This WILL change how you open your door to strange"
    "Taut, quick, it carried me away."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I follow and sometimes chat with Collings online, and I see him at conferences and conventions sometimes. When an author is this accessible, you sometimes forget that in addition to being an all-around nice guy, he is also a damn fine writer. I was reminded of that as I listened to "Strangers." Strangers has a literary--but not pretentious--writing style: visceral descriptions, deep character penetration, rich verbs that clench the scene. I loved how insightful the descriptions and narrative were--they added a whole other level of depth to the novel.

    The characterization was fabulous. I felt like I really was inside the head of a tired, desperate, lonely, forty-something man. That sounds depressing, but it really wasn't. The character's voice is authentic and active, and even when he's exhausted and terrified, he's fighting, It was easy to follow along with the ride.

    And the pacing was perfect. It grabbed me, it held me. The slow amping of tension as the family grows more desperate. The increased revelation of secrets. The twists on the classic horror tropes. lt was all great. Plus, it had the possibility of a sequel, which would be nice.

    All in all, if you're looking for something to sweep you away while you put miles on the car or treadmill or load the dishwasher or fix the car or put on your makeup for the umpteenth time, this is a good pick! I'm thrilled that Collings has an Audible presence now and I and look forward to scooping up his other works.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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