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JLM

Oakland, CA, United States | Member Since 2014

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 173 ratings
  • 606 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Dave Donovan
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (106)

    When an elite team of specialists receives a long-awaited first contact from an alien race, it’s nothing like what they’d imagined. The "gifts," from a long-dead but seemingly benevolent alien race, have been sent to help humanity defend itself against an imminent threat. It’s clear that the gifts are intended to help, but at what price? Caught in the middle is Sam Steele, a high-level programmer and veteran with a tragic past, up against the arrogant, intransigent Colonel Eric Web, who considers Steele a loose cannon and is most concerned with giving the United States an edge in the upcoming battle.

    Matthew says: "This Gift is abit of a mess"
    "Very cool story....atrocious narration...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy the premise if this story. A very unusual first contact story that unfolds at just such a pace that you are kept eager to find out what happens next, and often are surprised by the wrinkles when they reveal themselves. Pretty decent character development as well for a relatively 'hard' Sci-fi story.
    But really the worst narration I've heard in a while- it actually makes it hard to listen to. I am so conflicted- excited by the story-and yet irritated by the 'voices'. It's like listening to your iPod while getting your teeth drilled. All the female voices are incredibly whiny, nasally, and just sound like they're a sardonic drag version of women. The 'old man' sounds like a caricature of something out of the Andy Griffith show, gosh n golly! There are issues with the majority of the 'interpretations' of the characters, but these were the worst offenders.
    Anyway- I am not usually sensitive to narration variations-as some of my friends are about narrators- but I couldn't let this one go by.....
    Says something for the story itself as is I am sticking with it, though I have purchased the kindle version to try and finish it up without listening to narration more than I have to.
    Too bad.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Drink Before the War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (466)

    With novels like Mystic River and Shutter Island, Dennis Lehane has dramatically altered the landscape of the crime thriller—while boldly overstepping the boundaries that have long separated mystery from literature. Now two of his sensational early novels have been combined in a single volume—two gritty and mesmerizing masterworks of suspense featuring the private eye duo of Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro.

    L. O. Pardue says: "Great beginning to thriller series"
    "Well written!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. Really well crafted story, compelling character development, interesting and unique. I got it on a sale, but it would be well worth a credit. I had never read anything by him and I immediately went looking for the next Lehane book to read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Perseid Collapse: The Perseid Collapse, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By John David Farrell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (418)

    2019. Six years after the Jakarta Pandemic “decimated” the world's population; life is back to normal for the Fletchers and most Americans. The United States stands at the brink of a complete domestic and international resurgence, with stories of confidence and prosperity dominating the headlines. Appearances can be deceiving. An undercurrent of paranoia and fear still runs strong below the surface; the collective angst spawned by 28 million American deaths forever stamped into population's psyche.

    Denise says: "DON'T BUY THIS BOOK YET...Wait for the 2nd part.."
    "meh..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a very story story, more like a 'how to prepare fore the apocalypse', dressed in a narrative disguise. Not much real character development or other compelling story elements, but I got great prepper ideas :-)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining: Allegiance

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By D.J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (856)
    Performance
    (771)
    Story
    (768)

    This is the fifth novel in the action-packed series following Special Forces Captain Lee Harden and a group of survivors struggling to make their way in a ruined world. After a bacterium has turned 90 percent of the population into a ravenous horde, Lee must complete his mission: SURVIVE, RESCUE, REBUILD.

    JLM says: "Got sucked in..."
    "Got sucked in..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I read the first Remaining book, I almost stopped there. It was bleak and gritty and didn't seem like there was ever going to be any sunshine , ever... But something about the extreme bleakness, the way the zombie apocalypse wore down the protagonist, Lee, how the other humans interacted, that felt more real than most of the genre, and I've read a LOT of zombie books, i'm slightly embarrassed to say. This is no Mark Tufo reluctant hero who saves the ones he loves story, this is a story of loss, betrayal, survival, politics, and of course, zombies....

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • White Fire: Agent Pendergast, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2408)
    Performance
    (2140)
    Story
    (2156)

    Special Agent Pendergast arrives at an exclusive Colorado ski resort to rescue his protégée, Corrie Swanson, from serious trouble with the law. His sudden appearance coincides with the first attack of a murderous arsonist who - with brutal precision - begins burning down multimillion-dollar mansions with the families locked inside. After springing Corrie from jail, Pendergast learns she made a discovery while examining the bones of several miners who were killed 150 years earlier by a rogue grizzly bear.

    G. House Sr. says: "A Grand Slam Tale of Terror"
    "I usually LOVE these but.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was OK. Not the best Pendergast story I've ever read at all. Too predictable, not very engrossing. I didn't believe Cory's actions, her motivations seemed unclear, the supporting characters were not well developed...overall, meh...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clean: A Mindspace Investigations Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Alex Hughes
    • Narrated By Daniel May
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (615)
    Performance
    (549)
    Story
    (552)

    I used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked me out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely my fault. Now I work for the cops, helping Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino put killers behind bars. My ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes me the best interrogator in the department. But the normals keep me on a short leash. When the Tech Wars ripped the world apart, the Guild stepped up to save it. But they had to get scary to do it - real scary.

    Lisa says: "Some good, Some annoying!"
    "So close..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well, not quite what I had hoped, though in the end I stayed and enjoyed the last half much more. As others have said, the protagonist whines quite a lot throughout the book about his struggle with his 'habit', and the fear of losing his job. Oddly enough, it made me feel less empathetic to his addiction issues than I started out feeling. Once it gets going, the plot is very engaging, couldn't figure it out way before the characters, nice little ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Nemesis

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (3350)
    Performance
    (3093)
    Story
    (3101)

    Agent Franks of the U.S. Monster Control Bureau is a man of many parts - parts from other people, that is. Franks is nearly seven feet tall and all muscle. He's nearly indestructible. Plus he’s animated by a powerful alchemical substance and inhabited by a super-intelligent spirit more ancient than humanity itself. Good thing he’s on our side. More or less.

    Bruce Selzler says: "Another Winner"
    "Still Pretty Darn Good...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Usually as a series goes on I find they get predictable, and somewhat worn out. When I first started this 4th installment of Monster Hunter, I was a little, meh... But once I let go and got past the first half hour or so, I started to enjoy it quite a lot. The usual 'stars' from the first books are not the center of this book (no spoilers). But that actually, in the end, worked out for the best. If you liked the first three, you'll like this too I think.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4720)
    Performance
    (4236)
    Story
    (4232)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Spoiler-free review below - Amazing book!"
    "I hardly ever write reviews....BUT"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a wonderfully written and read book. Really, perfect narration in my little mind anyway...I have listened to a lot of zombie, dystopic future, post apocalyptic books ( and yes other Sci-fi genre as well, and I found this to be an amazingly engrossing, unique and utterly human 'zombie' novel. I use quotes because it's not like other zombie novels at all. Well, maybe a little like "Raising Stony Mayhall"' or "NOS4A2" ( I know, that's not a zombie book at all), but what they all have in common is the human-ness of the people and the interactions they undergo in extremely unusual circumstances. So no macho hero with an arsenal saving the day, but a girl, a teacher and a small supporting cast will have you riveted and wanting to know what is happening, how and why throughout the entire narrative. Yes there are zombies, and some of their requisite tearing and rending of flesh, but that's not the focal point of this book-it's not a non-stop action packed zombie against man gore-a-thon, though still some good old icky zombie death scenes, don't worry. Really highly recommend this for a creatIve, ingenious 'end of the world as we know it' read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anathem

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman, Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2185)
    Performance
    (1157)
    Story
    (1168)

    In celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fras and suurs prepare to venture outside the concent's gates - opening them wide at the same time to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fra, Erasmus eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected". But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the perilous brink of cataclysmic change.

    Richard says: "Tour de force"
    "I almost stopped..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    But I'm glad I didn't. At first iI could not get into this book, the narration was a little 'hard'. Not that it wasn't well done, I just found it heavy and somewhat murky. But that's kind of how the narration felt to me. Once I got into world and the flow of the characters, it became mostly interesting. Sometimes I felt that the physics got a little heavy handed, long deep dives into all sorts of real and fantastical physics which, some of I enjoyed greatly, and some of which I found distracting and not needed or helpful to the actual plot. But there was very good character development, very interesting and original heroes and anti-heroes, histories and entire societies were well developed.
    So if you like deep thoughts, learning new words for things like cameras, world creation, long philosophical treatises, then you will probably love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (2040)
    Performance
    (1488)
    Story
    (1491)

    The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn't end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic.

    Big Art says: "Makes my top 10 Zombie Stories of all time!!"
    "Solid Zombies..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    OK, I have to admit I rad a lot of zombie stuff, anyway,and this was overall a ver respectable effort. I don't know why exactly this gets such soaring reviews, but I did enjoy it. I liked it enough to get the second one which was not very zombie-filled, but I digress. Not gore laden, which I'm fine with, pretty decent characters (I don't ask too much from zombie books in this department, but still need something), nice mix of manly men, and yet, some pretty tough babes-who don;t even have to be someone's love interest. Nice plot line, overall I do think it is worth the read, indeed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5463)
    Performance
    (3924)
    Story
    (3959)

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    crazybatcow says: "Perfect example of decent military sci-fi"
    "Stop Explaining..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really wanted to like this. I wanted it to be a rip roaring space adventure-hopefully with some identifiable or with some luck, interesting characters. But not really....'Black Jack' Geary is not lovable, he's completely self obsessed, so you are always hearing him repeating lots of inner dialogue about 'woe is him'...because everyone worships him... We also hear,ad nauseum, how far away everything is in space and exactly what the time lag is for each and every maneuver. Sounds like he's describing a video game screen or trying to 'teach' us about what it would be like, really, to fight at faster than light speeds. These never ending reflections during 'battles' actually makes the fights strangely disjointed: They fire on the enemy and...now let's stop and remember, "they really fired this over 3 minutes ago because they are 3 light minutes away, so it's already happened....and Now -back to the action....
    Didn't work for me- and I love good space opera, give me some Old Man's War, or some Larson over this any day.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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