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J. Hall

prplhart

Los Angeles, CA | Member Since 2005

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 413 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Extinction Machine: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1100)
    Performance
    (1040)
    Story
    (1032)

    The president of the United States vanishes from the White House. A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds. All over the world, reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate. And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth.

    Karen says: "Another Amazing Entry in the Series"
    "My favorite of the series. Mr. Porter is awesome."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was, for me, the best of the series. Brief moments of extreme exposition but I prefer that to the sappiness of a couple of the earlier Ledger books. Ray Porter's performance is one of the elements that makes this series... But the plot had me completely hooked as well. I definitely recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Forged in Fire: A Red-Hot SEALs Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Trish McCallan
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (464)
    Performance
    (415)
    Story
    (411)

    Beth Brown’s dream feels so real: a mysterious stranger is gunned down during a violent airplane hijacking, and there’s nothing Beth can do to stop it. But Beth doesn’t believe in premonitions - or does she? How else can she explain the intense connection she feels to the gorgeous man in her dream whom she’s never met? A man she’s determined to save....

    Angela says: "A fantastic listen!"
    "Action plot: Loved it; Romancy stuff: Ack!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it's because I'm in an action mood right now. (Have been really enjoying the Joe Ledger books and most recently The Grey Man books.) Or perhaps because I am not a romance novel reader. Some of the issues I had with this book are why...

    The action plot (foiled hijacking, rescue etc.) really worked for me. It was the romance part of the novel I found lacking. I was looking forward to the soulmate aspect of a "love story" unfortunately, I didn't get a love story. Zane is so excited about getting "excited" by a woman that this navy seal supposedly trained for high pressure combat situations can't keep his priorities straight. For example, they're on a clock to rescue three children and two woman and, on the way to find the only possible clue to their whereabouts and he can't help but stop to make out. These moments made me insane.

    The other problem I had with this "romance" was the handling of Beth's character. She is rightly thrown off base by this guys declaration that she is his soul mate. She repeatedly declares to herself that they need to talk. She says all of the smart things *to herself*. But every time starts the conversation she never gets to the point. Then, to make it worse, he pulls a caveman move on her, declares she's *mine*...wha? Then a few minutes later she's puts her foot down when THE MENFOLK dare to tell her what to do?

    These elements made me want to scream. I do not like stupid women and Beth's inability to have a conversation made her seem vapid to me. And Zane didn't fare much better given his inability to look at her without getting hard. Maybe this just isn't my genre. I prefer a mix of lusy and respecg and all I got was ludg.


    I still haven't decided if I will give the second book in the series a try. If I do it will be with the sincere hope that experience will have brought more balance to the plotting.. The end seemed a bit rushed...I found myself wondering if the publisher forced the ajthor to split a longer book.

    As to the performance. Unfortunately, I enjoyed this one better reading the book. The reader wasn't very believable with her male voices and I found it a bit distracting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • FREE The Gray Man

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mark Greaney
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (1236)
    Performance
    (1092)
    Story
    (1113)

    Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man - a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness. Now, he is going to prove that for him, there's no gray area between killing for a living-and killing to stay alive.

    Rollin says: "Gripping, unremitting action"
    "Just my cup of tea!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If the goal of giving away this book for free was to hook new readers. Goal well met!

    I'm only about 4 chapters in (so I may raise or lower the story score when I finish) and am having an extremely good time so far. I really hope the security expert gets a moment to tell the arrogant lawyer 'I told you do.'

    This book is just what I'm looking for right now...unabashed violent action to wile away my hour long daily commute. I was surprised to find a good belly laugh buried in there as well.

    The Grey Man is joining Joe Ledger on my popcorn action book list.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Red Pyramid: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Kevin R. Free, Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3428)
    Performance
    (2280)
    Story
    (2284)

    Since his mother’s death six years ago, Carter Kane has been living out of a suitcase, traveling the globe with his father, the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane. But while Carter’s been homeschooled, his younger sister, Sadie, has been living with their grandparents in London. Sadie has just what Carter wants — school friends and a chance at a “normal” life.

    Heather says: "Rick Riordan does it again..."
    "Extremely Pleasant Surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't generally read YA books. My nephew read and loved the Percy Jackson books, but I hadn't read those and wasn't overly fond of the movie. I decided to take a chance on this book because of the Egyptian Mythology. And i was completely surprised at how witty, exciting and fun this book was.

    The readers were terrific (despite the fact that Kevin R. Free cannot do a British or Southern accent. :-) I highly recommend this book. Now, i'm off to get the next book in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3698)
    Performance
    (3057)
    Story
    (3047)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "I had an insanely good time listening to this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Over the past couple of years I've expanded my reading genre to include crime thrillers and urban fantasy. This book was a perfect combination of the those two genre, but better. The crime thrillers have leaned more toward cop show type stories. Long on detective work and short or action. Patient Zero bumps up the action level, keeps the detective work and adds zombies. I thought I'd like it, but I didn't expect to have as much fun as I did. A lot of the credit goes, for me, to Ray Porter's performance.

    I liked the pacing of the story, the characters, and even the science. Joe is a great hero. He's smart, tough, and I loved the fact that none of the warriors were presented as completely untouched, emotionally, by the situations they found themselves in.

    That said, I can't call it a perfect book. I had a few issues.

    The psychiatrist character (Rudy) had a couple of dissertations that slowed things to a grinding halt. I might have been happier if they'd just been a little shorter.

    As 'macho' as most of this book is I was surprised by the number of soap opera elements it contained. Only one of these elements annoyed me enough to fast forward. One story thread relied so heavily on some pretty tried and true cliches that I was kicked out of the story for a bit. We actually got an Evil Overlord speech.

    For any other female action lovers, like me, who are driven crazy when female characters have no backbone. That is NOT an issue here. There are only two significant female characters and neither is weak or a wilting flower.

    Even as I was ranting to my friends about the cliches I was having a gloriously good time. I can't think of anything better from my various forms of entertainment. I recommend the book and am headed for book two in the Joe Ledger series.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6659)
    Performance
    (6035)
    Story
    (6036)

    Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully - he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona....

    Hallie says: "Love this series!"
    "Unexpectedly Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, was I disappointed with this book. I loved books 1 and 2 and was looking forward to this one. The last thing I expected was to be bored.

    The first major problem with this book for me was that it was heavily plot driven but there was no through line to that plot. It was a set of sequences that didn't feel like they tied together. The sequence where Atticus stole the apple. {A sequence that I found completely uninteresting. I began to wonder if all my favorite characters (Oberon and Mrs. MacDonagh in particular) were going to appear at all.} The sequence where Atticus prepared to abandon Tempe. {My favorite sequence because of time spent with the above mentioned favorite characters.} And finally the sequence where Atticus led a bunch of people to attack and try to kill Thor.

    The second major problem was that there weren't any real stakes for Atticus. This section should have been heavily character driven...we were told that Gunner and Lief had very strong personal reasons to try and kill Thor and we should have felt it. But the story was told first person by the one character that had zero personal stakes in the outcome.

    Atticus was like the only guy in the group with a car that promised to give his buddies a ride so they could rob a bank. He promised to 'give them a ride' (so to speak) and that's what he did. He never really seemed to care about what he was walking into, so why should I?

    Jesus and The Morrigan both said....killing Thor is a bad idea, but there weren't any immediate consequences set forth for Atticus himself. The warnings didn't matter to Atticus enough for him to try to *do* anything to change the outcome. There was a lame discussion discussion with Lief, but that was it. "Hey, lets not do this. " "No, I have to" "Okay, fine we'll do this." Then the author stopped the story. He literally parked all the characters by a fire so he could introduce us to three brand new characters we'd met a page or two previously. At a point where the story should have been steam rolling in to a battle that had me on the edge of my seat and unwilling to put the book down I got several chapters, told in an emotionally detached way, telling us why these guys were there. It killed the momentum of the story and killed what little emotional connection I had begun to build with the story. Sadly the biggest joy to listening to this book in audio format was the fact that I could hit the fast forward button.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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