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Mark

Markinch, SK, Canada | Member Since 2004

44
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 14 reviews
  • 378 ratings
  • 582 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • The Monstrumologist

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Yancey
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (161)

    Dr. Warthrop is a scientist who tracks and studies real-life monsters. Assisted by his 12-year-old apprentice, Will Henry, Dr. Warthrop discovers a pod of Anthropophagi and launches a hunt to destroy the foul beasts.

    Kristin M. Slonski says: "Excellent naration brought the horror to life"
    "Enjoying this but...be warned!"
    Overall

    I am 1/2 way through listening to this book and actually enjoying the homage to Lovecraft.

    I knew when I bought that it was about monsters. I even did some research and found the author writes both adult and youth books. Not a problem I quite like that genre if it is done well and the author is an excellent writer. This book was published on the youth side of things and so I expected something a little different than what I found.

    So far in the 5 hours I have listened (and without giving anything away I hope) I have been through at least 3 heavily gore encrusted scenes, murder, illegal activities, evisceration, sever (and detailed) sepsis and some fairly high end psychosis involving abandonment issues.

    In my opinion this is not a book that should be targeted to youth - unless they tend toward wearing a lot of black and too much eyeliner I would recommend parents listen along with their 'young adult'.

    You are warned - it is gory - very Lovecraftian, well written - but gory.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Razor's Edge: Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Martha Wells
    • Narrated By January LaVoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (172)

    Times are desperate for the Rebel Alliance. Harassment by the Empire and a shortage of vital supplies are hindering completion of a new secret base on the ice planet Hoth. So when Mid Rim merchants offer much-needed materials for sale, Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo lead an Alliance delegation to negotiate a deal. But when treachery forces the rebel ship to flee into territory controlled by pirates, Leia makes a shocking discovery: The fierce marauders come from Leia's homeworld of Alderaan, recently destroyed by the Death Star.

    Rup says: "Good book, but wrong choice of narrator"
    "Not the typical Star Wars Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been a fan of the expanded universe from the very start - graphic novels, short stories, books, whatever I could get my hands on. I'm oldschool though and I really do like the adventures of Leia, Han and Luke the best and this is a nice look into Leia's world.

    As I started this book I was a little put off by the narrator - that being said, I think she does a fantastic job. Ok, granted she is not Marc Thompson but...I think that's the point - this is a book about Leia, not Han, not Lando - Leia and some other very prominent female characters and January Lavoy does an excellent job on every single one. I also think she does a pretty good job of Han and Luke (C3P0 was a little weak but not really distracting)- I would recommend she not try Lando though, that guy is just too smooth.

    This book isn't all space battles and shoot-em-up, although it has plenty of that too. Instead I enjoyed getting into Leia's mind, behind the self-assured mask a bit. I would have liked to go even deeper but this was a nice change of pace. Wells does a good job of setting the foundation for the Leia and the woman/jedi she later becomes.

    Let your prejudices go - no it's not Thompson, get over it. Let Wells and Lavoy take you into Leia's world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spider's Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jennifer Estep
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2820)
    Performance
    (2177)
    Story
    (2186)

    They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South -- when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

    Brian Rygaard Jensen says: "How I got to loathe the story"
    "Interesting new world for Urban Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked this up on one of the sales and got hooked in yet another great series.

    I'm glad I didn't look at the reviews beforehand. Most are very positive but there are a few that got caught up on the repetition on the book. There is definitely some of that - ok we get the placement of her blades and the colour of everyone's eyes. The story was compelling however and I think the strength of the narrator keeps the books going (that accent is right on the money).

    Overall I am very thankful that this is a strong female character and the author doesn't feel the need to use sex in every other scene - there is definitely some scenes along those themes however the story is central and is not a bed hop.

    Gin is a strong, believable, flawed character who I really did like as a person. Glad to have this series in the queue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shaken: Jacqueline 'Jack' Daniels, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By J. A. Konrath
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe, Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (272)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (202)

    Chicago cop Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels has chased and caught dozens of dangerous criminals over the course of her career. But she’s about to meet her match. When Jack wakes up in a storage locker, bound and gagged, she knows with chilling certainty who her abductor is. He’s called “Mr. K,” and more than two hundred homicides have been attributed to him. His victims have died in the most horrible ways imaginable; he is the essence of evil....

    Karen says: "Jumps Around"
    "Small doses over time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from J. A. Konrath and/or Angela Dawe and Dick Hill ?

    I read Konrath's first few books then started to listen and enjoyed the timing and humour. I still enjoy the characters but this book turned dark fast.The Narrators are great. Dick Hill deserves all the accolades he has received over the years. Angela Dawe is a new narrator to the series - replacing Dick's wife Suzie Breck - not sure the reason behind that move. She does a good job but I do miss Suzie's characterization of Jack.


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

    Yes because I like to complete things and will continue reading in the series as Konrath slowly kills most of Chicago.


    What does Angela Dawe and Dick Hill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Both are excellent voice actors - Dick Hill is an experienced and award winning narrator who is a master of all the characters he does. This is the first time I've listened to Angela Dawe and she does a good job with Jack. I'm not sure why they changed from Suzie Breck who use to do all the female voices and really had made Jack's character so I do miss her interpretation.


    Was Shaken worth the listening time?

    It took a while to get through - I had to start and stop this book a number of times as I just couldn't deal with the violence for a full week of commuting - I had to break it up with vampires or something a little less terrifying.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Symbol

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9251)
    Performance
    (3457)
    Story
    (3539)

    Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol. Within minutes of his arrival, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object is discovered in the Capitol Building. The object is an ancient invitation, meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of hidden esoteric wisdom. And when Langdon's mentor is kidnapped, Langdon's only hope of saving him is to accept this invitation and follow wherever it leads him.

    Paul says: "In love with books again"
    "Good escape"
    Overall

    This book is not a leap from Dan Brown's other books. It was great escapism and there were some good moments...I am a geek and I liked the "lectures" throughout. As a mystery - not so much - I figured out the staircase about chapter 10 - won't spoil it for others.

    This is not Shakespeare but a good story and probably written for the 3rd movie. Enjoy and take it as a bit of a vacation from real life. Don't bother if you want deep characters and a believable story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Katherine Howe
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1075)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (432)

    Connie's mother asks her to sell an abandoned house once owned by her grandmother in Salem, Mass. Relunctantly, Connie moves to the small town and inhabits the crumbling, ancient house, trying to restore it to a semblance of order. Curious things start to happen when Connie finds the name "Deliverance Dane" on a yellowed scrap of paper and begins to have visions of a long ago woman condemned for practicing "physick," or herbal healing, on her neighbors in 1690s Salem.

    Darinda says: "Love it!"
    "Wonderful"
    Overall

    From my understanding this is Katherine Howe's first novel and I can't wait for her next.

    True it is a bit slow in areas but I didn't get bored for one minute. The lives of all the women from 1692 to 1991 were wonderfully detailed and I was interested in the process that Connie had to go through to find herself and the book. I couldn't wait for my commute to continue the story each day.

    I did find it a little predictable but the story wasn't a mystery - it was about the women who were bound by this book and it's a peek into a time so different from our own.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Fool: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Moore
    • Narrated By Euan Morton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2329)
    Performance
    (1132)
    Story
    (1148)

    Pocket has been Lear's cherished fool for years. So naturally Pocket is at his brainless, elderly liege's side when Lear demands that his kids swear to him their undying love and devotion. Of course Goneril and Regan are only too happy to brownnose Dad. But Cordelia believes that her father's request is kind of...well...stupid, and her blunt honesty ends up costing her her rightful share of the kingdom and earns her a banishment to boot.

    Michael says: "Mr Moore does it again."
    "Taking it one step farther"
    Overall

    I've been hooked on this author since I started chanting "First we feast then Ikea" after I listened to the stupidest angel...Moore takes his irreverence one step further in this outing. Moore loves words and wordplay and it shows - yes it can be quite vulgar and the F word probably is overused (if I was English I might be a bit offended at the overuse of shag as well). Of course this isn't family reading but a very entertaining twist on the Lear story for (very) mature audiences. Made my commute all the more enjoyable.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Wild Space

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Karen Miller
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (94)

    The Clone Wars have exploded across the galaxy as Republic forces and Separatists struggle to gain the upper hand. But while the Jedi generals work tirelessly to defeat Count Dooku and his rebels, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is hatching his own dark plans. The Separatists have launched a sneak attack on Coruscant. Obi-Wan Kenobi, wounded in battle, insists that Anakin Skywalker and his rookie Padawan, Ahsoka, leave on a risky mission against General Grievous.

    Roy says: "Don't waste your time"
    "Not an action book but something else/more"
    Overall

    Okay - this isn't an action packed book. There are some great sequences at the start but this book is really something else/more. It fills in the gaps of the relationship between Bail Organa and Obi Wan - we knew there had to be a link from Episode IV but it has never really been explained. The author does have her own perculiar style of writing and is long winded in a couple of areas but the story is building the relationship and backstory to episode III and beyond and so needs the indepth discussions that happen between characters.
    Again I really applaud the publisher for releasing this book unabridged - keep them coming unabridged!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Autobiography of Santa Claus

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Jeff Guinn
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (45)

    Jump on Santa's sleigh for a journey though 17 centuries of Christmas magic!

    Bryan says: "A story that will be in my heart for years to come"
    "History and Christmas"
    Overall

    I really enjoyed this story. It's entertaining for both young and old and has just enough history to make it interesting and keep the book going. I would highly recommend this for a family trip to the grandparents or where ever the family is driving for Christmas. The narrator is top notch and fit very nicely into my concept of what Santa should sound like...and who knew Santa would be so touchy about his weight? :-) And as for Atilla - I believed it - salvation at Christmas time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Paul of Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (207)

    The Muad'Dib's jihad is in full swing. His warrior legions march from victory to victory. But beneath the joy of victory there are dangerous undercurrents. Paul, like nearly every great conqueror, has enemies - those who would betray him to steal the awesome power he commands. Paul himself begins to have doubts: Is the jihad getting out of his control? Has he created anarchy? Has he been betrayed by those he loves and trusts the most? And most of all, he wonders: Am I going mad?

    Aaron says: "Good back stories but not much more"
    "It took me two tries ..."
    Overall

    It took me two tries to start listening to this book - I just couldn't stand the religious zealots...then it got good - I really liked the intricate story around the Fenrings and bitterness of Shaddam. I have been a fan of the Dune universe for a very long time and I really enjoy the expanded universe that has been woven with the prequels and now this interstitial tale - and it looks like more to come. I think this story was needed - and it helped to make sense of the jump from the noble son of a duke to a messiah for which a jihad is fought.

    Had some problems at first with the 2nd and 3rd parts as my bookmarks on the Zune (kept showing me Chapter 1) and my machine was not holding my bookmark when I shut the book off and had to fast forward to my position everytime I restarted.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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