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Loren

Indiana, USA | Member Since 2005

29
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 26 ratings
  • 686 titles in library
  • 71 purchased in 2014
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  • 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
    (4191)
    Performance
    (3517)
    Story
    (3511)

    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."
    "Don't give up because it's zombies."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As soon as I got to the point in this book where I learned the protagonist would be fighting zombies I almost shut it off and gave up. I really didn’t want to listen to a story about zombies; I wanted action/adventure, not fantasy. I decided to stick with the story for a few more minutes. I’m glad I did.

    The author did create a plausible explanation for the existence of these creatures and then wove a (mostly) believable story around getting rid of them. It’s actually harder to believe that Joe Ledger is as good as he is than to believe in the creation of zombies. Joe seems to have superhuman powers when it comes to any kind of combat, from guns to knives to bare hands. He’s able to bring down his enemies with shots to the head while both he and his target are moving. But I suppose that if Annie Oakley could make such shots there’s the possibility that someone else may be able to also.

    The story was complicated enough to stay interesting and simple enough to follow even though I wasn’t completely focused on it all the way through. It also seemed to be just the right length.

    The narrator is excellent, creating enough different voices that you always know which character is talking.

    All in all, I can recommend this book if you like action and adventure. Don’t be put off by the zombies.

    -- Loren

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4367)
    Performance
    (3739)
    Story
    (3738)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Kelli N. Perkins says: "Still Thinking About This Tale Weeks After"
    "Dismal Ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don’t know which to say first, that this is a chick book or that this story stinks.

    I guess I’ll go with the chick book. There is way too much time taken with the characters discussing or describing their feelings – not nearly enough time spent in moving the story along. Not being a woman, I can’t really say whether or not this would actually appeal to women, but it sure didn’t appeal to me.

    Mostly, though, this is just a terrible story with a downer of an ending. If you liked Arthur Miller’s "Death of a Salesman" you’ll like this. Obviously lots of people DID like that play, but I wasn’t one of them. Like Miller’s play this story has a dismal ending. To make things even worse, the author leaves the reader/listener wondering, "So, who done it?"

    I listen to audiobooks purely for entertainment. I don’t want some deep, Pulitzer Prize story that appeals to the intellectual in me. I’m not listening to this book for a class or to discuss with a book club group. After sitting, stunned, at the ending to this story I felt that I had just wasted over 12 hours of my life.

    Grover Gardner’s narration was okay, although he could have differentiated the voices better. I enjoy him much more in the Andy Carpenter series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hornblower and the "Atropos"

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By C. S. Forester
    • Narrated By Nicolas Coster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (208)
    Story
    (201)

    In the wake of a humbling incident aboard a canal boat in the Cotswolds, young Captain Horatio Hornblower arrives in London to take command of the Atropos, a 22-gun sloop barely large enough to require a captain. Her first assignment under Hornblower's command is as flagship for the funeral procession of Lord Nelson. Soon Atropos is part of the Mediterranean Fleet's harassment of Napoleon, recovering treasure that lies deep in Turkish waters

    John says: "Great book. Poor narrator."
    "I liked the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It just goes to show ya. There's no accounting for taste.

    Many reviewers here have criticized the narrator for this book in the series, but I very much enjoyed his reading.

    I thought the story itself was a bit disjointed, with no real plot running from beginning to end. This may be a realistic representation of wartime events for this single ship, but usually ships are assigned to a fleet and its actions support a planned campaign against the enemy.

    Hornblower’s ship in this story is separated from a fleet and assigned various other tasks. This book is the story of those tasks and reads a bit like a series of short stories or novellas. I didn’t care for the lack of continuity in the story line.

    In spite of that, I am enjoying this series and will continue with the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kevin Mitnick, William L. Simon
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3683)
    Performance
    (3283)
    Story
    (3294)

    Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies—and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable.

    Mikeyxote says: "Great listen for tech fans"
    "Repetitive"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, you probably won't like this book unless you are at least a bit of a geek.

    Given that I AM a bit of a geek, I thought that this would be a fascinating story. I was wrong. The first five or ten times you hear of Kevin Mitnick gaining access, either via computer or a physical presence, to someplace where he is not allowed it's interesting. The next five or ten times, it's just more of the same with the names changed.

    If you need to know if this book has an interesting ending, you'll have to read a different review. I gave up after about the tenth or fifteenth break-in.

    Don't hold it against Ray Porter, the narrator. He did a very good job.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2047)
    Performance
    (1858)
    Story
    (1859)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Unusual premise, even for fantasy. Good story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an unusual story, even for fantasy. The premise that there exists a government-sponsored agency comprised of people with "unusual" powers is new to me. Like all government bodies, this one has a bureaucracy.

    There were two or three scenarios in the story where it was left pretty much unexplained how the protagonist was able to get out of a seemingly hopeless situation, but the story was so good I was able to overlook those parts. The twists and turns in the story aren't so complicated that you wish you had paid better attention to earlier parts, but not so simple that the story is predictable either.

    The narrator, Susan Duerden, is excellent, differentiating voices well for ease in following dialog.

    If you are looking for a superhero story that is well written and well read, you can't do better than this one. Highly recommended for fantasy fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pathfinder: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Don Leslie, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2967)
    Performance
    (2270)
    Story
    (2286)

    Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him - secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

    Paul from Washington says: "Story OK, Narration Mixed"
    "Was this supposed to be a Young Adult book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the beginning of this book, but it became apparent within an hour that it is written from the perspective of the youngster protagonist. Early in the book he manages to intimidate his elders by demonstrating skills and knowledge that are very unlikely to be held by one so young. This unrealistic situation undoubtedly appeals to younger readers, but I like a bit more realism in my fantasy.

    I can suspend disbelief enough to accept the superpowers in stories like these, but I do expect the people to act and react in rational ways. This isn't the case with this book. I gave up after about an hour.

    Still, I expect that younger readers would very much enjoy this book, hence three stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Frog Princess

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By E.D. Baker
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Princess Emma will do just about anything to get out of marrying the self-centered Prince Jorge. So when she meets a frog named Eadric who claims, of course, to be a prince, she decides to give him a kiss and see what happens. Bad idea. The frog stays a frog, and worse still, Emma turns into a frog herself. It turns out only the person who cast the spell can break it, so Emma and Eadric are soon hopping along trying to find the witch who can make them human again.

    Queenoid says: "Enjoyable for the whole family"
    "Enjoyable for the whole family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a story written primarily for children but which is certainly enjoyable even if you are an adult. The story is simple enough for a child to follow, but has enough twists to keep an adult interested. There are occasional sidelong references to common sayings or phrases that adults will find amusing but which will be unnoticed by a younger listener who isn’t as familiar with English’s idioms.

    The narrator is excellent. She differentiates the voices well and tells the story with apparent enthusiasm.

    I think that anyone over the age of five will enjoy this book, and, while an adult will also enjoy it, it really would rate only three stars for folks over 18.

    Listen to this one while on an automobile trip with kids and everyone will have a good time.

    – Loren

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just So Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Palmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    Here is the complete and unabridged collection of Rudyard Kipling's delightful Just So Stories, which he first told to his own children before setting them down on paper: How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Leopard Got His Spots, How the Elephant Got His Trunk, The Butterfly that Stamped, and many others.

    Tea Thyme says: "A wonderful reading of a terrific collection!"
    "Not really written for adults."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I disagree with Tea Thyme’s opinion that these stories are “excellent for both children and adults.” They may be fun to listen to while traveling with your children or grandchildren while you can enjoy the children’s reaction to the stories, but they were way too simple for me to listen to on my own.

    I often enjoy books that are supposedly for children or “young adults”. I think that the “Harry Potter” series is the best piece of fantasy I have read (and listened to). This collection of stories, however is written for a much younger audience.

    The narrator is excellent and of course Kipling’s writing is too, but not for adults.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Aaron J. Klein
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (461)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (175)

    1972. The Munich Olympics. Palestinian members of the Black September group murder 11 Israeli athletes. Nine hundred million people watch the crisis unfold on television, witnessing a tragedy that inaugurates the modern age of terror.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "History of the Israeli Secret Service"
    "Starts well, then gets boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Aaron J. Klein: Striking Back

    This book purports to expose the Israeli response to the massacre of their Olympic athletes while at the games in Munich in 1972. It doesn’t do a good job of that.

    The book DOES do an excellent job of explaining in detail what happened during the attack on the athletes and if that’s what you’re after this book is for you. The author discusses in detail all the incompetence and cowardice shown by the Germans in handling the entire affair, from security for the athletes to failing to execute a good plan that probably would have ended the situation relatively safely. I found the section covering Munich itself to be fascinating. This part rates five stars, but, unfortunately, is only about a quarter of the book.

    After covering the attack on the athletes the book deteriorates into a boring case-by-case accounting of assassinations carried out by Israel around the world. There is very little that explains any relationship between each target and the Munich massacre, and in fact most of the assassinations discussed were not directly related to Munich.

    The book does expose a lot of information that has recently been declassified by Israel, in particular the killing of one terrorist that had been debated for years as to whether he died from natural causes (a disease) or was killed.

    The problem I had with this book was the jumping from one target to another without any attempt to tie all of them together except for the fact that the Mossad thought that all of them were either terrorists or were aiding terrorists. There are so many unrelated assassinations covered in this book that it actually gets boring to hear how agents murdered yet another terrorist.

    The narrator suited me. He read this book as one would read a news article, which is basically what these stories are. He has a deep, authoritative voice that reminds me of Edward R. Murrow.

    I won’t be listening to this a second time, although I did finish it.

    If you are looking for a suspense-filled story of Israeli intelligence and covert operations I suggest that you get “Hunting Eichman” instead. It’s great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trustee from the Toolroom

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    Overall
    (897)
    Performance
    (801)
    Story
    (800)

    Keith Stewart, a retiring and ingenious engineer, could not have been happier in his little house in the shabby London suburb of Ealing. There he invented the mini-motor, the six-volt generator, and the tiny Congreve clock. Then a chain of events sweeps him into deep waters and leads him to his happiest discovery yet.

    Paula says: "Just Simply a Great Story!"
    "Great for the entire family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got “Trustee From the Toolroom” because of the high scores it received from so many reviewers. All those people were right!

    This is a delightful story about the serendipitous events that befall Keith Stewart, our hero. Keith is an unpretentious, middle-aged man who enjoys his hobby of making machines in miniature. He also writes how-to articles about them for an English magazine and earns a bit from them to supplement his and his wife’s meager income.

    He finds himself compelled to go on a quest that leads to some adventures, but always manages to come out okay. The adventures are not swashbuckling affairs involving combat, but rather the ordinary kind that you might run into in travels around the world. The story reminded me of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, “What the Good Man Does is Always Right”.

    I saw that one reviewer complained that “the narrator droned on about nautical details.” She may not have appreciated the details, but I found that the detailed descriptions of some events and procedures made me realize that this author has a good understanding of sailing, machining, and a number of other skills. It enhanced the book for me.

    The closest this book comes to foul language is one (I think) instance of the use of the word “bloody”. There is no lurid sex, nor anything else that would embarrass you if you played this for your mother or for your 10-year-old daughter.

    Frank Muller, the narrator, is excellent, with just enough variation in voices so there is almost never any confusion over which character is speaking.

    I’ll be looking for more books by this same author and narrator.

    A great story for a long automobile trip with the family. Highly recommended.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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