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Marcus

Willy Wonka of it

SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

48
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 56 reviews
  • 104 ratings
  • 333 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
7

  • The Dead of Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Jack Night
    • Narrated By Folly Blaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    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
  • FREE: The Undead: Deleted Scene

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 3 mins)
    • By R R Haywood
    • Narrated By Dan Morgan
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (180)

    After a tense day of fighting off a horde of Undead, Howie and his group of survivors must find shelter before night falls. Moving through a desecrated town, they come across an industrial estate, break into a low building and find themselves in an abandoned radio station. They decide to record their voices for posterity. Meet Howie, Dave, their group of survivors and Meredith the dog in this free, exclusive Audible short.

    Jan-Michael says: "Just plain boring"
    "Zombie comedy just wasn't for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about FREE: The Undead? What did you like least?

    it was free and short


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the sole fight scene


    Any additional comments?

    The style of this book just wasn't my cup of tea. There's your typical zombie hoard attacks moment(s), but for the most part, the author just tried to shove comedy down your throat with silly banter that made me want to punch my speakers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Inspector Specter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By E.J. Copperman
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (141)

    Just when she thought she'd seen everything... Detective Lieutenant Anita McElone is one of Harbor Haven's finest. She's also a hard-boiled ghost skeptic. So when she shows up on the doorstep of Alison Kerby's Haunted Guesthouse to ask for supernatural help in solving the murder of her former partner, it's hard to tell which woman is more flabbergasted. But McElone is dead serious, so Alison promises to help in any way she can - even asking her resident ghosts, Paul and Maxie, for help with the case.

    Paige Matthews says: "Wish there were more in the series!"
    "The series is getting very formulaic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It's a decent listen to pass the time, but there's nothing really earth-shattering here.


    Would you be willing to try another book from E.J. Copperman? Why or why not?

    Yes. I like the series, and it seems to be progressing toward something very interesting, but it's doing so slowly with a lot of the mundane and annoying as filler.


    What about Amanda Ronconi’s performance did you like?

    Amanda is the perfect voice for Allisen. She has the exasperated and snarky tone down perfectly. Unfortunately, she can also come across a bit whiny as well.


    Any additional comments?

    We get a few peeks into more of the dynamics of the ghost world in this book, and Paul seems to be progressing along nicely.

    Unfortunately, outside of that we have the typical formula. A case is reluctantly taken on by our "heroin", she stumbles through it, and constantly missing obvious clues to her case and to the side story that is going on. The author is also very lazy in how she allows this to drag on as well ("I was about to make the phone call that would end all this silly, drawn-out drama, but oh something else came up... for the third time), which makes it even more frustrating.

    I wish Allisen were a smarter, less annoying character, but I do love the supernatural aspect of the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tokyo Raider: A Tale of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 8 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (768)
    Performance
    (709)
    Story
    (711)

    With the Japanese Imperium at war with the Soviet Union, and the United States watching cautiously on the sidelines, Second Lieutenant Joe Sullivan of the U.S. Marines is sent on a dangerous mission to Tokyo. The Russians have Summoned a demon of epic proportions to attack the city, and all that stands in its deadly path is an untested Japanese super-robot. Now, Joe is at the controls, his gravity-spiking Power at the ready. But that is one huge, mean Demon....

    D says: "A Few More Hours"
    "Enjoyable return to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Finished the Grimnoir Chronicles and needed more, so naturally I picked this up.

    The story follows Jake and Origami's child 20 years in the future, and while short, does much to catch us up on what our favorite characters have been up to in that time. It's rather forced, but we do get insight into what many of the Grimnoir has been up to in one way or another. For me, that was the best part of the book. The rest?

    As mentioned, the focus of the book is on Jake's cocky, arrogant and annoying son (perhaps Larry didn't mean him to come off this way, but he does) as he lends a hand to Toru, who is now general of the imperial army. From there, the book basically becomes Pacific Rim with a bit of magic mixed in. Not a bad tale, but not terribly interesting either (especially since it felt rushed).

    This is a good listen for anyone who has finished the Chronicles, if for nothing else than the glimpses we get into the lives of the series' characters -- beyond that, it's a short, but fun little adventure with heavy action.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Over Soho: Peter Grant, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (973)
    Performance
    (897)
    Story
    (893)

    Body and soul. The song. That's what London constable and sorcerer's apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho's 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body - a sure sign that something about the man's death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

    Tango says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Somewhat predictable, Yet fully enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Our British wizard -- nay, apprentice -- is back and picks right up where he left off. Sadly, that means making many questionable decisions (both for a police officer and a human being with sense), which lead to a fairly-predictable, yet still surprising results.

    Two cases become one in this book, then spin off again to become two, which neatly set us up for future entries in the series.

    We also get to catch up with Leslie whose face was damaged in the first book and is struggling to recover.

    Overall, it's a fairly enjoyable listen, and though the author goes off on history lessons somewhat frequently, it's sometimes important, so keep alert!

    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
    (3097)
    Performance
    (2816)
    Story
    (2835)

    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
    (3752)
    Performance
    (3490)
    Story
    (3480)

    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
    (492)
    Performance
    (448)
    Story
    (451)

    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
    (532)
    Performance
    (476)
    Story
    (476)

    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
    (448)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (415)

    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.

    Karen says: "Another Winner!"
    "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

    3 of 3 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
    (165)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (155)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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