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Marcus

Willy Wonka of it

SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 52 reviews
  • 89 ratings
  • 308 titles in library
  • 51 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Arcadia Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Carol Goodman
    • Narrated By Jen Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (403)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (259)

    In debt after her husband's unexpected death, Meg Rosenthal secures a job as a teacher at an upstate New York boarding school. Leaving suburban Long Island, Meg and her teenage daughter, Sally, embark on a new life in Arcadia Falls, a beautiful but isolated small town and the inspiration for a number of magically eerie fairy tales.

    Lenne says: "Decent book...horrible reader"
    "Past and present tameet in a great mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, some reviewers have noted the annoying teenager and the voices used. I'll have to concur here. The book could have existed without the daughter, and it's possible it could have been better without her. The voice used for her (and most other characters) was definitely annoying.

    That said, it doesn't get in the way of the tale which grips you almost from the beginning. A few chapters in, and it got easy to ignore the nasal and irritating tones the narrator used for various characters. I deducted a star for this.

    On to the story: A widow and her daughter move to an art boarding school in upstate NY to restart their lives. The school and town have a rich history which is slowly revealed through characters, stories and a long-lost diary.

    The "mystery" was great in my opinion and kept you guessing. The story had an eerie supernatural feel to it that only added to the charm for me.

    They say a story is about the journey and not the destination. Often, that's true, and I can live with it. I didn't have to this time around. Not only was the journey thoroughly enjoyable, but the destination was as well.

    The story wraps in such a way to not only bring closure to the adventure, but to leave you replaying major plot points in your head to see how it all "fit". It DOES "fit" too, bringing everything full circle and leaving you wholly content.

    Absolutely recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Revival: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By David Morse
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1032)
    Performance
    (975)
    Story
    (985)

    In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

    Thug4life says: "Not fit for a King"
    "Not bad, but not King's best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Revival in three words, what would they be?

    A confusing journey


    If you’ve listened to books by Stephen King before, how does this one compare?

    This book has the same "pull" as most of King's other books -- that is to say that you don't want to put it down. It's easy to listen to, and the various scenes are very interesting. As a whole though, I think the story's concept and execution fell a bit flat.


    What about David Morse’s performance did you like?

    Excellent narrator. He's able to properly handle male and female voices and none were annoying.


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

    Yes, the first time the Antagonist entered the cabin at the top of the mountain with his special someone. I feel like that was his crowning moment. It was a perfect segue from his early to late life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Warbound: Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3252)
    Performance
    (3046)
    Story
    (3039)

    Only a handful of people in the world know that mankind's magic comes from a living creature, and it is a refugee from another universe. The Power showed up here in the 1850s because it was running from something. Now it is 1933, and the Power's hiding place has been discovered by a killer. It is a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. Earth is next. Former private eye Jake Sullivan knows the score. The problem is, hardly anyone believes him.

    D says: "Started Strong-Finished Strong"
    "A neat wrap to the Grimnoir Chronicles"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book wraps up the trilogy neatly, and while it is very satisfying, I feel it was rushed in the last half.

    The book exposes some new truths which are quickly assimilated as fact and pushes on past them to meet its deadline (the end of the series). Much of what was revealed could have made for more interesting development if the book had room to breathe. With it, the series could have easily been 4 books long.

    That said, it does the characters I have come to love justice, and we are treated to some pretty epic battles along the way. There were few moments where I felt OK putting the book down. Good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Far West

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (369)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (340)

    Eff is an unlucky 13th child...but also the seventh daughter in her family. Her twin brother, Lan, is a powerful double seventh son. Her life at the edge of the Great Barrier Spell is different from anyone else's that she knows.

    Marcus says: "A Mostly Satisfying Conclusion"
    "A Mostly Satisfying Conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've listened to the first 2 books in this series, then you won't be too surprised by this one.

    As usual, the story plods along, with remarkable scenes littered amongst the pretty mundane. Oddly though, it's enjoyable. You never feel like you're rushing anywhere; you're just along for the ride, taking in Eff's daily life as we meander to the end game. It's a bit similar to some of the earlier Harry Potter books in that way.

    The downside of this type of story telling (aside from it being slow, which can be a pain if you're not enjoying taking it all in), is that there is much discussed and revealed during the story (indeed, the entire series) that never gets resolved.

    In most stories, most of what you hear about is fairly important. In these types of stories though, you hear about so much that it can be hard to figure out just what's important and what is just a tidbit. Sadly, many of those tidbits that seem to be going somewhere never do, and you're left to fill in the blanks in your mind. A shame for such a wonderfully-crafted universe.

    Overall however, I enjoyed it. For the shippers, Eff finally "settles down" in this book, and thankfully those parts of the story aren't mushy or annoying. In fact, it doesn't interfere with the story at all; it adds to it.

    I'd hoped this wasn't the end, but given that there's an epilogue, I guess it is. Great series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Monday: Frieda Klein, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Nicci French
    • Narrated By Beth Chalmers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (433)

    Frieda Klein is a solitary, incisive psychotherapist who spends her sleepless nights walking along the ancient rivers that have been forced underground in modern London. She believes that the world is a messy, uncontrollable place. The abduction of five-year-old Matthew Farraday provokes a national outcry and a desperate police hunt. And when his face is splashed over the newspapers, Frieda cannot ignore the coincidence: one of her patients has been having dreams in which he has a hunger for just such a child.

    William says: "Terrific!"
    "Not horrible, but I'm not on board for the series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is written by two people. The intro makes that clear, and then listening to the first half makes that somewhat clear as well.

    The first half of the book seems intent on establishing Frieda as a (n uninteresting) character. We are treated to several interactions and threads that have zero bearing on the main plot. They aren't even small side things either, they take up large parts of the tale, are often annoying (the niece) and go absolutely no where later on.

    What makes the above worse, is that in the first half of the book, the scenes are often abruptly ended with little resolution and we move on to something completely unrelated. It's not only jarring, but also leads you to wonder just what is actually important in what you hear. That would be great if things were cleverly written to incorporate bits and pieces of all the little situations you're forced to endure, but, as mentioned, they have pretty much zero bearing on the main story.

    The narrator is pretty good, though she does all male voices in an annoying nasal tone which can be distracting at first.

    As for the actual plot of the story: I doubt you'll be surprised by the revelations, but it's an interesting ride in any case -- especially once the book starts to maintain focus in the second half.

    If this book were edited down to, perhaps not remove, but streamline some of the random bits from Frieda's life, then I'd give it more stars. As it stands, it's sadly the first book I've ever played at greater than 1x speed.

    Not interested in enduring the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joe Ledger: Special Ops

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (320)
    Story
    (317)

    Captain Joe Ledger - former cop, former Army Ranger, and currently the top-kick of Echo Team, an elite squad of first-class shooters who roll out to face down the world's most dangerous terrorists. Not fanatics with explosive vests or political hostage takers. Joe and his team square off against terrorists who have the most advanced and exotic weapons of mass destruction, designer bioweapons, cutting-edge transgenics…real mad-scientist stuff.

    Tracy says: "If you have already read Missing Files"
    "Great additions to the Ledger universe!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A few of the tales in this book were in the last collection, and some others appeared elsewhere. That threw me off at first since I started skipping through stories and ended up missing half of one I hadn't heard.

    That said, they're all top-notch as usual. I especially enjoyed changeling, which added some more mysteries to the overall Joe Ledger universe.

    I also enjoyed the last story in the collection, which starts off years ago and actually follows Mr Church before the DMS was formed before catching up to the present with Joe. It was good to hear a bit more of St. Germaine

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • An Open Spook: A Haunted Guesthouse Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By E. J. Copperman
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    In an all-new novella in E.J. Copperman’s “funny, charming, and thoroughly enjoyable” (Spinetingler Magazine) series, the storm of the century bears down on the haunted guesthouse, and stirs up a gale of memories for a troubled ghost. Haunted guesthouse owner Alison Kerby may have only recently discovered her ability to communicate with ghosts, but for her mother Loretta, it’s been a lifelong gift.

    Rene Bellis says: "Quick-witted and entertaining"
    "Enjoyable entry in series, from new perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This entry in the series is told from the perspective of Allisen's mother. It's a sort of "look back" tale that covers what went on during previous novels, but is done very well.

    The mystery this time around was fairly interesting and opened up a bit more of the ghost world for followers of the series.

    Unlike the other alternate-perspective entry in this series (from Paul's POV), this entry was read by the usual narrator and so characters actually kept their usual voices. That was a relief as I didn't enjoy the differences in the book read by a male.

    Overall, a short and enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shady Palms

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Allen Dusk
    • Narrated By Rose Caraway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (347)

    A sleazy motel, burrowed on the edge of town, is haunted by rumors of dead hookers found between mattresses and peep holes drilled through walls. When Special Agent Daniels targets the motel during an investigation, the nefarious owner, Sanjay, must scramble to conceal evidence of his own dark deeds. Just when he believes things can't get any worse, motel guests begin to vanish without a trace.

    John Grigas says: "Not for the timid - delicious graphic content!"
    "A bit genre-confused, but fun listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As others have pointed out: this book is vulgar. We should get that out the way first. Sex, death, gore. All of it in vulgar detail. If you can't stand that, then I wouldn't buy this book.

    That said, I enjoyed it. There were times I felt the vulgarities were unneeded and just in place to make things racier, but I accepted that that was the author's tone with this book, and went with it.

    As for the story, I am unsure what genre this falls under. You've got a tiny bit of mystery (two, in a way), and you've got the usual "skin flick and gore" type of stuff. What's surprising though, is you get a bit of science fiction as well.

    It's hard for me to delve deeper than that without spoiling things, and I suppose that's why the book's summary was equally vague. I can say this: It's a novel about a shady motel, told from many perspectives. The writing is very descriptive (even if vulgar) and each character (even short-lived ones) are well fleshed out. It'll make you cringe, laugh and shake your head, but you'll love every moment of the wild ride.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dead of Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jack Night
    • Narrated By Folly Blaine
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    For the Anderson family, Rockwell is the picture-perfect small town. A wholesome place to start over. But as the autumn days begin turning to winter something is awakened deep within the woods. Something bent on revenge. Cut off from the rest of the world they must fight to stay alive as the haunting presence lays claim to Rockwell, exposing the dark secrets of the town that created it.

    Micaiah Evans says: "Top-notch reading of a fairly good book"
    "So glad it's finally over"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a chore to get through. Luckily for me, I had just come off a streak of a few good books, and had another lined up to look forward to.

    Let's start with the narrator. Her voice is fine for a school teacher reading to her kids, but a professional she is not. Aside from the annoying tone of her voice, she often reads sentences as if it were her first time coming across it. This leads to her getting tone and inflection all wrong. In fact, SEVERAL times through the story you'll hear her "end" a sentence with tone, only to add more words:

    "He then turned around and dropped his plate. On the ground."

    That should be one sentence, but she reads it as if it ended at plate, and on the ground is another sentence (this is just an example, and not a line from the story). Coupled with her voice, the narrator got to be very distracting.

    On to the story. It's an odd one as it tries hard to be different, yet ends up being more cliched for it. We have our usual suspects, only slightly different, however they end up more like caricatures:

    -- Big strong, hero, who has no faults, and then he does.
    -- Hero's love interest, who doesn't just want to be a damsel in distress, she now wants to be empowered.
    -- Sheriff, who wants to handle things because this is his town, but then can't and wishes he hadn't.

    I could go on, but it might ruin some of the "surprise". Yes, there are surprises, but they aren't really a surprise. You can see where the story is going a mile away and the plodding exposition is often tedious.

    The author does do a good job of mixing up the plot though. We should try this. No this! Now this! Will this work? In the end, I don't think I even cared. I just wanted it over.

    I will give the author this: he created some creepy scenes. If you can get past the annoying narrator and actually picture the situations as described, you may be slightly disturbed. In fact, coupled with the plot and characters, this book would have made a better movie. That way, we could focus more on the scares and visual creepiness.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • If Walls Could Talk: Haunted Home Renovation, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Juliet Blackwell
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (260)

    Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line. At her newest project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man - and not end up a construction casualty herself....

    Ann says: "DIY murder, that spans the here and hereafter...."
    "Not bad, but doesn't quite take off"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book because the synopsis read similar to the "Haunted Guesthouse" novels by EJ Copperman. I'll lay out those similarities first:

    -- Both have women who are handy (taught by their dads) and go to renovate an old Victorian.
    -- Both women realize they can see and communicate with ghosts while in the home.
    -- Both are mystery novels in which the ghosts they find need help solving their murders.
    -- Both have narrators with irksome tendencies.

    That said, it was an enjoyable listen, though it never quite seemed to take off, and sort of tumbled to its resolution. We meet up with Mel Turner as she heads over to see the aftermath of a DIY demolition party. She arrives, someone dies, and the tale begins.

    I won't spoil things, but this book is partly set up to have Mel discover how she gained her abilities. Frustratingly though, the reader is likely to figure it out before her because she seems very uninterested and often changes the subject quickly when someone is spilling the beans on her "condition" and things that relate to it. As more and more pieces fall into place, I found myself not caring since I'd figured it out already. Move onto the mystery!

    As for the actual mystery, it's your typical whodunnit with Red Herrings all over the place, which all mostly get resolved in one very odd scene which prompts another very odd scene. Mystery solved, but didn't feel all that fulfilling. I didn't feel like I was part of the "learning" process -- well, scratch that, you are, but the things you "learn" don't really help solve the mystery. In the end, Mel gets "determined", figures it out on her own, and the book ends. Sort of a let down.

    As for the narrator, she's sort of the opposite of EJ Copperman's reader (Amanda Ronconi) in that instead of being whiny and annoying, she sounds like she's trying to be seductive and sultry. Listening in the car became hard as her sentences all seemed to be read in one breath. She'd start out loud and end the sentence in a breathy whisper. The voices of all the male characters sounded like guys on their deathbeds. I never quite got used to it.

    In the end, the tale was OK, not great. What has lead me to decide to skip the next entries in the series (at least for now), however, is the narration alone. Middling interest in the tale, plus an annoying narrator means no credit spent for me.

    If this book sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to check out EJ Copperman's "A Haunted Guesthouse" series. At least that has humor.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Eye: The Skinwalker Conspiracies

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (256)

    "My name is Mike Ross and I'm a Ferryman - like in the Greek myth. I didn't ask for, or really want, the job, but I'm trying to make the best of it. Most ghosts are okay and just need a little help to get where they need to go. Unfortunately, there are lots of exceptions, like power-mad psychopaths, spirits still trying to fight battles long since lost, and the worst of the lot - the Skinwalkers. They live vicariously by possessing people and controlling them like puppet masters. Then they toss them aside when they've outlived their usefulness."

    A. Hogue says: "I really like this series"
    "A great continuation of the first book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The second novel in this series is definitely a worthy followup. It sort of continues the episodic structure of the first book, but all of the events follow each other in a much closer fashion. This is likely due to #1 it taking place on a roadtrip/journey to a destination and #2 because we got the backstory in the first book, so were free to move forward.

    The narrator also seems to have gotten into his stride and his reading is much better this time around (for me anyway).

    As for the story, we continue following Ross as he heads across the country to go after his long lost father. We make some stops on the way, all of which contribute to Mike's growth as a character. Mike makes some interesting allies and his powers (and knowledge) grows.

    The final battle and resolution is far from lackluster, and though it leaves the door wide open for a sequel, there is no cliffhanger and this book stands firmly on its own.

    That said, this is not a book you should read without first taking in the first in the series. The author does some explaining of past events, but not enough for someone jumping in to fully appreciate things. Read the first book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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