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J. Oliver

Indiana | Member Since 2012

34
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 220 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
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  • They Thirst

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    It looked like another ordinary day in Los Angeles. Then night came...Evil as old as the centuries has descended upon the City of Angels - it comes as a kiss from the terrifying but seductive immortals. Slowly at first, then by the legions, the ravenous undead choke Los Angeles with bloodthirsty determination - and the hordes of monstrous victims steadily mount each night.

    Cidney says: "McCammon’s Nudge & Wink"
    "Kept hoping it would get better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ray Porter did an excellent job of narrating, as usual. He's the only reason I was able to finish. He can make even a bad book into a tolerable story it seems. The book got more and more ridiculous as it went on. Rather than get climactic, it got outrageous in an attempt at climax. The story had potential, but never really lived up to it. I can't say I'd recommend spending nearly a day of your life on this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • 299 Days: The Preparation, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Glen Tate
    • Narrated By Kevin Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (258)

    299 Days: The Preparation, the first audiobook in the 299 Days series, depicts the inner struggles Grant must face as he exists in a social system he recognizes as unsustainable and on the verge of collapse, but one in which he has built his life around. What begins as a return to his roots, self-sufficiency and independence, becomes a full blown move to prepare for what may come.

    Jan says: "Planted Reviews - be careful with your purchase..."
    "Right Wing Propaganda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm halfway through it. Considering returning it. The first half has been an anti-government rant focused on blaming Democrats. The author paints them as evil and as being the reason for big government without even acknowledging any programs that came under Republican administrations such as the Patriot Act. I'm not a fan of either party or politicians in general. I think the majority are corrupt. It becomes propaganda when you focus on one to blame, though. He even uses one guy as an example saying something like, "I've been a Democrat all this time and so are all my friends. How could so many people be so wrong?"

    It gets worse. The first part of the book is an intro from an author trying to come off as reasonable and not some nutjob extremist. But, in addition to the above, his lead character has a come to Jesus moment and suddenly (I kid you not) starts hearing a guiding "outside voice". So, we are to believe that he is not a nutjob, but he hears voices telling him to do these things?

    I'm a prepper. The intro made me think that we'd finally have a reasonable book that wouldn't make us all sound like paranoid super religious crazy people that think God is directly talking to them. . . literally. Instead, the book seems to work to cement the stereotype in place. I could have dealt with the Right Winger thinking the Left is evil part considering that just because he left out the bad things on the Right doesn't mean he was far off the mark with the Left. Adding in the hearing voices aspect turned the main character from far Right Winger to paranoid schizophrenic.

    19 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Phillips
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1568)
    Performance
    (1415)
    Story
    (1435)

    In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now....

    Mike From Mesa says: "Terrific story"
    "Surprisingly Great Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was very surprised by this one. I bought it as a daily deal and found it to be very good. The performance was perfect for the book and it was well paced. I definitely recommend this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A New World: Chaos (Book 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John O'Brien
    • Narrated By Christopher John Fetherolf
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (106)

    Jack, a sometimes humorous, sometimes philosophical ex-special operations pilot and soldier is one of the few left to struggle through the desolation left in the aftermath; seeking to survive as a new ferocious species emerges from the rubble, hungry and unrelenting. Will his special-forces training be enough? Will he be able to keep his children safe and guide the few survivors through perils that now roam the world they once knew? Or will the hordes that now own the night prevail, forever removing the last of mankind from existence?

    Amazon Customer says: "Can Narration Kill a Good Story?: Yes."
    "30 minutes in and it is torture. . ."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration is horrible. The guy isn't just boring me, but sounds like he's bored with reading the book. There were a couple of lines so far that I found myself realizing were funny if I said them in my own voice. He just completely ruins it. I'm going to read the book and maybe give it more stars on story and overall, but too high a rating will encourage someone to waste money on the audible version. Do not buy this book in audio unless you are really good at ignoring tone and misplaced emphasis.

    1 of 2 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
    (4192)
    Performance
    (3518)
    Story
    (3512)

    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."
    "Very Pleasantly Surprised"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is not an apocalyptic novel or supernatural. It revolves around anti-terrorism and is almost believable. Maberry does a great job making it seem scientifically plausible to the average reader. I like that. Ray porter does a magnificent job telling the story. His Jack Ledger is awesome and much better than I was reading him when I started reading it on my own on the Kindle. I highly recommend this series. Later books aren't quite as good, but Ray Porter's delivery saves the day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining: Fractured

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1225)
    Performance
    (1149)
    Story
    (1144)

    The Camp Ryder Hub is broken. Lee is nowhere to be found, and his allies are scattered across the state, each of them learning that their missions will not be as easy as they thought. Inside the walls of Camp Ryder, a silent war is brewing, between those few that still support Lee's vision of rebuilding, and the majority that support Jerry's desire for isolation. But this war will not remain silent for long.

    Mike Naka says: "incredible continuation of a great series"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is really good. I like the whole progression on the infected and the different types. I believe that such an infection would have varying results, as well. The story really builds the characters in a realistic way. The people change and have internal conflicts that I'm sure we would all have.

    The narrator is awesome. I found myself searching for more stories he narrates. I just wish A. American's "Survivalist" stories were narrated by him.

    I ended up listening to the entire series. I normally only listen in my car on long drives for work. I listened to these every chance I got. Great listen. You should buy these.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Going Home: The Survivalist Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1678)
    Performance
    (1550)
    Story
    (1559)

    If society collapsed, could you survive? When Morgan Carter's car breaks down 250 miles from his home, he figures his weekend plans are ruined. But things are about to get much, much worse: the country's power grid has collapsed. There is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored - if it ever will be.

    Randall says: "A page turner, if. . ."
    "Fairly good writing but horrible delivery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Going Home?

    The story was engaging.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was incredibly monotone and the little emotion he puts behind his voice at times is completely misplaced. He also makes no pause between sections to let you know the story has shifted to a different group. I often found myself realizing a few paragraphs in that we were no longer hearing about the character we were moments ago.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not here to spoil anything. What's up with these stupid questions?


    Any additional comments?

    The story jumped from first to third person annoyingly. The narrator made it worse by not making appropriate pauses or shifts in his voice. He has a good voice. He just needs to learn to use it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (933)
    Performance
    (774)
    Story
    (789)

    Two men possess vital information on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is Cardinal -- America's highest agent in the Kremlin -- and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other one is the American who can save Cardinal and lead the world to the brink of peace . . . or war. Here is author Tom Clancy's heart-stopping masterpiece -- a riveting novel about one of the most intriguing issues of our time.

    Nancy says: "Previous Reviewers Are Spot On"
    "Should have gone with Scott Brick"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Cardinal of the Kremlin better?

    Better narration.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Nelson Demille books.


    How could the performance have been better?

    They guy sounds like a college professor that doesn't care if he puts the listener to sleep or not. Doesn't fit the genre.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Couldn't get through it since the narration was so bad.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3184)
    Performance
    (2974)
    Story
    (2981)

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Mike Naka says: "bucket full of zombie juice"
    "Good enough story to make me buy the book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Zombie Fallout?

    I wasn't disappointed by Zombie Fallout. I was annoyed with the reader. He didn't fit the character and the timbre of his voice wasn't right for the type of book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was good enough to lead me to buy the books. I read all of them. Couldn't listen to half the audiobook, though.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

    Doubtful. I debated on whether to buy the book or not and am now glad I did. However, I realize it was Runnette's reading that nearly kept me from enjoying a good series. I just don't think this genre is his niche.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Xenocide

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5029)
    Performance
    (2851)
    Story
    (2880)

    Xenocide is the third installment of the Ender series. On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequeninos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought. But Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus which kills all humans it infects, but which the pequeninos require in order to transform into adults.

    Auban says: "If not for the narrator..."
    "Horrible narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Xenocide better?

    Better narrators.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    There were several, but not always for the same characters. It was distracting. The Chinese accents were as bad as black face on a white actor. The melodrama of the females was horrible.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story wasn't bad. I feel that with better performances, I would love it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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