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Mario Kroll


Greater New York City Area | Member Since 2014

  • 4 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 184 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower IV

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Frank Muller

    In the fourth installment of The Dark Tower, Roland and his band have narrowly escaped the city of Lud and boarded Blaine, a train that will take them to, of all places, Kansas, where the ghost city of Topeka has been depopulated by a superflu and where, alongside Interstate 70, an emerald palace rises enchantingly. Before Roland and the companions of his ka-tet continue along the Path of the Beam, Roland must tell his companions the tale that defines him both as a man and hero.

    Dan says: "Another Awesome Saga for the Ka-Tet"
    "Stephen King at his best"

    I've listened to six of the seven part Dark Tower series, as well as pseudo-parallel novels The Black House and The Talisman.

    Out of all of these, Wizard and Glass is the best written, most compelling in the series. Part classic Western, part traditional good versus evil borrowing from the themes of Star Wars and The Seven Samurai, this novel looks at the first mission that Roland and his two teenage cohorts undertake as freshly annointed gunslingers --- heroic saviors, lawmen, and messengers of good --- in a world slowly corrupted by a seemingly unstoppable evil.

    Along the way, Rolan falls in love with a beautiful young woman that has been promised to be the mistress of a powerful town official, discovers a plot that could spell disaster for the forces of good, and meets up with a powerful and dark evil for which many are willing to kill, or worse.

    Action, suspense, magic, powerful evil, treachery, human fraility and flaws, dedication, honor, friendship, and star-crossed love all collide to make a tale that will end long before the reader or listener wills it to do so. Truly Stephen King at his storytelling best.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For the three years Shadow spent in prison, all he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and stay out of trouble for the rest of his life. But days before his release, he learns that his wife has been killed in an accident, and his world becomes a colder place.

    Joseph says: "Amazing, powerful book about America."
    "Gaiman at his best..."

    This is the second Gaiman title I purchased, after having been turned on to his work by two short stories that played like theater pieces engineered specifically for audio.

    American Gods is a clever story that blends mythos, mystery, action, human frailty and a commentary on what we as modern Americans value.

    It's one of the best listening experience I have ever had and a story so good I have bought every other Gaiman novel and short story since published (and even those previously).

    For a refreshing story that follows an ordinary but falible human on his road to recovery and redemption, and how he becomes a central player in the epic battle between the gods of the old world and those gods we have gradually begun to worship in this new world, I highly recommend you pick up this great work of fiction.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • London Bridges

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Peter J. Fernandez, Denis O'Hare
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In broad desert daylight, a mysterious platoon of soldiers evacuates the entire population of Sunrise Valley, Nevada. Minutes later, a huge bomb detonates a hundred feet above the ground and lays waste to homes, cars, and playgrounds: a town annihilated in an instant.

    Leslie says: "What a ride!!!"
    "More of the same... and that's not so great."

    I used to be a huge fan of Patterson's work until he branched off into romance and a number of predictable, repetetive short novels that are sold as separate installments rather than a complete work. This title is a prime example.

    Alex Cross, once a compelling investigator with a believable background and psyche, now feels like the Rambo of the U.S. crime investigative world: he's called in to investigate on nearly every major case and pretty much always gets his guy.

    While the plot is interesting in this particular book, global terrorism and suitcase nukes have been milked just about dry as a theme. I found the continuation of The Weasel as a major character a boring tangent. More problematic, howerver, was the transformation of The Wolf as a violent criminal that once focused primarily on the sex slave trade, but now masterminds and pulls off a hard-to-believe global blackmail plot where he, but for Alex Cross' intervention, is able to thwart the combined investigative power of all the world's major crime and terrorist fighting agencies almost single-handedly.

    The plot feels shallow, it's hard to suspend disbelief, and it just isn't the same quality as vintage James Patterson. If you are looking for a quick, light action-crime read (or listen) this may work for you, but if you expect your characters to have any depth or the plot to surprise you or make you think, then I'd pass this one by.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Larry Bond's First Team

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers

    The New York Times best-selling author of spellbinding thrillers, Larry Bond has won widespread praise for both the gritty authenticity of his military-political adventures and his matchless talent at generating edge-of-your-seat suspense. Now Bond launches an exciting new series that rockets straight from the cutting edge of America's war on terror.

    Mario Kroll says: "Entertaining, plausible techno-thriller"
    "Entertaining, plausible techno-thriller"

    Since first helping co-author Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy, Larry Bond has demonstrated a repeated knack for telling a great written yarn in the military, techno-thriller genre. I found this particular read very consumable, the characters likeable and three-dimensional, and the plot, a race to save the United States from having a "dirty bomb" detonated as the next terrorist act, thrilling and entertaining. The action spans the former Soviet Union, Chechnya, the Middle East, and the United States, and never really lets up from the initial pages. A great read and, assumably, a good listening experience. If you like Tom Clancy's older titles, you'll likely love Larry Bond's newest work.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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