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Marcos

Portland, OR, United States | Member Since 2014

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 299 titles in library
  • 168 purchased in 2014
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  • Cragbridge Hall, Book 1: The Inventor's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Chad Morris
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (573)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (522)

    Imagine a school in the year 2074 where students don't read history, but watch it happen around them; where running in gym class isn't around a track, but up a virtual mountain; and where learning about animals means becoming one through an avatar. Welcome to Cragbridge Hall, the most advanced and prestigious school in the world. Twins Abby and Derick Cragbridge are excited as new students to use their famed grandfather's inventions that make Cragbridge Hall so incredible.

    Douglas says: "Harry Potter meets DaVanci Code -Young Adult title"
    "Interesting setting, poor, lazy story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Maybe female highschoolers, but even they could use a more entertaining "slice-of-life" story.


    What could Chad Morris have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Maybe a bit more acting, aside from just emulating the voices. Too many characters sounded like they didn't even care they were in the story, and his tone as a third-person narrator was too monotonous, specially at the first third of the book.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kirby Heyborne?

    My first thought was Dana Stabenow, though I don't think she ever read anything like this.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cragbridge Hall, Book 1?

    I might trim a bit at the beginning, but the book suffers more from lack of content than excess.


    Any additional comments?

    Took a couple of hours to get hooked on this. All you get for that time is a whiny, stupid protagonist (Abby) that can't stand up for herself and repeatedly acts unreasonably. For two hours, I was listening to a "slice-of-life" in a futuristic high school from the perspective of a character I wound up never caring for. Between that and the uninspired narration, I was about to return this book. After all that time, I still had no reason to care for the story.

    Then the book actually started towards its main plot point, and Abby stopped whining as much. From there to the end, I found just enough to keep me reading. There were some fun moments, but those belonged to Rafael, a brazilian teacher's assistant, and Derek, Abby's twin brother.

    In the end, I felt the book was too straightforward. In spite of all the odds, the immense stakes and the extremely rich, powerful and influential enemy, the only things that really stood between the characters and the conclusion were about a dozen henchmen with half a brain and Cragbridge's challenges. The only student against them only mattered for a bad night's sleep and a couple of blushing moments at the beginning of the book, then she disappeared. It felt like the villain barely even tried to win, or, more practically speaking, the author was trying to keep his own job of concluding the book simple.

    I won't say I regret listening to the book, but I didn't get much out of it. Since I already got through the first book, I might give the sequel a go on account of it supposedly being centered around the avatars, but not anytime soon.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3192)
    Performance
    (2955)
    Story
    (2958)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "Fantastic narration, great tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to NOS4A2 the most enjoyable?

    Kate Mulgrew's talent in coming up with distinct voices, and the great characters she got to use them with.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Some of the characters felt incredibly real, and they weren't just the good guys. Lou grew on me much more than he had a right to, and I was glad to find him evolving throughout the story. The Gas Mask Man, on the other hand, started out gross and creepy, and ended positively scary.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    In my experience, most female narrators try too hard when acting male voices. As a consequence, I'm pulled away from the story to cringe at the result. Her acting, however, felt subtle, effortlessly convincing, even with all the screaming she had to do. Every major character was unique, and in spite of it, I was never reminded that this was a woman acting out the male characters' voices. I have to say she changed everything I thought about female narrators, and I look forward to hear more stories narrated by her.


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

    Quite a bunch, mostly by the last quarter of it. The tale of Nathan Demeter (the real horror story in this book, as far as I'm concerned), the attack on Vic by the lake, Maggie, Lou's struggles, Vic's encounter with her father, and the ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dana Stabenow
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (528)
    Performance
    (457)
    Story
    (452)

    In this mystery series by Dana Stabenow, the Edgar Award-winning author returns to the Alaskan setting she's famous for, with a wonderful character - state trooper Liam Campbell. Liam's just been transferred from Anchorage to the small fishing village of Newenham, Alaska - where a local pilot seems to have lost his head.

    Dr. Daniel Chapman says: "A quick heads up!"
    "Not for everyone, but worth a shot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Maybe. I was about to give up on this. It took a while to get hooked, and quite a lot of resilience to endure that long. Not only does the book start slowly (even though you get a murder scene right at the beginning) and confusingly, filled with mentions of backstory that you'll have to wait at least half the book to know, the narration is specially aggravating at the beginning. Also, the main character isn't very charismatic.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery?

    Probably the first encounter with Cecil Wolfe, the realization of what just happened and Laura's interview.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The introduction to Bill and Moses. Those characters convinced me to stick around for the rest of the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at all. Almost gave it up, but we get introduced to fun characters right around the time the narration gets less forced.


    Any additional comments?

    Marguerite Gavin's voice for Liam had me cringing at the beginning of the book, but it seemed less forced, much more comfortable to hear after the initial investigation of the murder scene, and her ability performing different voices also started shining through. In spite of the beginning, I'd have to say this might be the first performance by a woman that I actually liked.
    The book never really does get too exciting, but it did enough to make me want to know where a few of those personal stories are going, and to give the author the benefit of doubt about her ability to come up with a better case in the second book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22995)
    Performance
    (14343)
    Story
    (14492)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Great narration of a flawed but worthy book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Ender's Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I'm rather new to audiobooks, but I'd wager Ender's Game should be able to hold a top 5 spot for quite a while.


    If you’ve listened to books by Orson Scott Card before, how does this one compare?

    It has proved to me that I can enjoy Sci-Fi in audiobook format.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Most of the story is presented from Ender's perspective, with the occasional shifts from this perspective providing some delightful insights and surprises.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nothing, really. If anything, the narration added much to my overall enjoyment of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    While I liked Ender's Game, I can see why some people are completely turned off by it. To me, good Science Fiction is that which makes you believe a scenario could happen. It did it for me, but that's not to say I could just overlook the book's flaws - mainly the lack of a decent explanation for the hopes placed in Ender, the emphasis given to the batlle room (where zero G mock battles between kids with lasers take place) while on a tight schedule to train a kid to be commander of humanity's fleet of *ships*, the confusing and mostly unnecessary desk game and the poorly explored ventures of Peter and Valentine.

    I started out wanting to give Ender's Game four stars, because that's how I felt after I finished hearing the book. But the truth is, after thinking about it, I can't say that this book has been satisfying enough to earn that much. It's interesting and I would hear it again if I had to, but given the above plot holes' defiance of suspension of disbelief, the overall depressive mood of the book, and the amount of time spent on plot points unrelated to this story with actual payoffs in other books, I would be reluctant to recommend it to someone who wants a world to escape to but is not already into sci-fi and a somewhat mature reader.

    That said, the narration is definitely among the best I've heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By James Thurber
    • Narrated By Ben Stiller
    Overall
    (3381)
    Performance
    (3016)
    Story
    (3046)

    Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies. Stiller's imaginative performance as Mitty is the perfect re-introduction to the classic character and a great preface to the upcoming film, for longtime fans and new listeners alike.

    Dave says: "We Only Live Once. Or Do We?"
    "Great performance, frustrating story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes. 15 minutes are not too much time to waste on a free book.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would allow the scenarios to develop a bit more, and find ways for the interruptions to be less frustrating - either allowing the climax of the stories to come before the break, or eventually resuming where we were left off.


    What about Ben Stiller’s performance did you like?

    Well, he definitively managed to make most of Mitty's dreams sound exciting, and his real life miserable.


    Was Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty worth the listening time?

    Sure. There are much worst ways to waste 15 minutes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2793)
    Performance
    (2558)
    Story
    (2584)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
    "Great cast and a surprisingly great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Dracula [Audible Edition] the most enjoyable?

    The great cast at work here really did an amazing job at making me feel for and with the characters, though the ladies' voices could get annoying at times. That said, I never thought I would actually feel scared from reading a book, much less one with a story everyone thinks they know.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Since vampires are so mainstream in pop culture nowadays, Dracula most of all, it was surprising to learn that I knew very little of the original story, and that today's vampire stories are not really above Bram Stoker's. Matter of fact, it's probably the best vampire book I have ever read.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Van Helsing sure stood out.


    If you could rename Dracula [Audible Edition], what would you call it?

    Draculia.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fear Project: What Our Most Primal Emotion Taught Me About Survival, Success, Surfing...and Love

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jaimal Yogis
    • Narrated By Jaimal Yogis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    An epic adventure full of incredible characters, death-defying athletic achievement, and bleeding edge science, The Fear Project began with one question: how can we overcome our fears to reach our full potential? Who among us has not been paralyzed by fear? In The Fear Project, award-winning journalist and surfer Jaimal Yogis sets out to better understand fear - why does it so often dominate our lives, what makes it tick, and is there even a way to use it to our advantage?

    Marcos says: "Pretty great subject and writing, bad narration"
    "Pretty great subject and writing, bad narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. We all have fears, but from very different things, with which we deal very differently. This book helped me understand a lot about the mechanics of a feeling we never get educated about, but that permeates every decision we make, from whether you ever want to skydive to whether you'll ask the hottest girl you know out or settle for an okay girl who's already into you. I think that after listening to this, I may have learned that I want a lot of things i was keeping away from because of fear, and how working towards confronting those fears, instead of avoiding then, may lead me to enjoying life a whole lot more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably the doc. Damn cool guy.


    What three words best describe Jaimal Yogis’s voice?

    Low, mumbly, jumbled.


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

    His son's birth.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is great, but the narration is a mixed bag. There are a lot of personal experiences in it, which make the fact that the author is the one narrating them great. But throught the book, Yogis prioritizes gravity instead of clarity in his reading, frequently dropping his voice to a mumble, and not just for dramatic emphasys - this happens when explaining relatively simple concepts too. Couple this with his sometimes jumbled speech, and I had to rewind A LOT in order to understand many points, a couple of which I eventually gave up on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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