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Matthew

SEATTLE, WA, United States | Member Since 2014

756
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 190 reviews
  • 222 ratings
  • 399 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
125

  • The Kronos Interference

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Edward Miller, J. B. Manas
    • Narrated By Scifi Publishing, J. T. Johnson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    When physicist Jacob Newman is pulled from his family, his job, and his whole life to investigate a strange vessel discovered at the bottom of the South Pacific, he finds evidence of time travel, along with implications that a judgment day against mankind is imminent. But it isn't until he cracks the time travel technology and uncovers a startling link to his own family history that he undertakes a dangerous mission back to 1924 to kill Adolf Hitler and undo a horrific episode of Earth's violent past.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "Science-God-Aliens-Multi Dimensions-Time Travel"
    "OK you got me..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Well, yes, but they would have to be a good friend, who would avoid judging me.
    This book bounced from being sometimes pretty damn smart and interesting, to very juvenile, at times even worse. I just finished it, so perhaps my judgement is impaired by recency.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Sixty Three Closure. Anthony Frewin.


    What about Scifi Publishing and J. T. Johnson ’s performance did you like?

    What I did like was the actor who portrayed Jacob ( I am assuming this is JT.) He is very approachable, almost casual and real. What I MUST complain about is the production values.

    Background noise, voices, music, traffic, it is annoying, if not unprofessional. Without a doubt the worse produced audiobook I have ever listened to ( to completion, at least! ).

    Audible must be made aware of this.

    Now, that said, I did listen to completion, and I did enjoy many parts, but, COME ON MAN!


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    LOL, this is most likely to show up on the SyFy network, so, no, I think the audio production suffices, for me at least.


    Any additional comments?

    OK, here's the deal. Concept is interesting, and although the resolution starts veering in religous directions I had some concerns about, on balance, we left the story resovled, and not shaking our heads.
    That said, this story is truly out there , and combining that with the absolute, maddening innocence and niavety ( perhaps authors choice, after listening to completion ) of Jacob, it is a book that you need to approach with eyes wide open.
    On balance, not bad, with some interesting concepts , executions ( sic ) and characters that it keeps the listener attached, if not without some griping.

    I want to give a higher review, but stuff keeps from doing so. I would listen to more from these authors, BUT they must get a more professional producer.

    Qualified reccomendation.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Phoenix Project

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert Blanchard
    • Narrated By Markham Anderson, Suzanne Roberts
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    When Lt. Commander Max DuMonde, a US Navy test pilot recovering from injuries on a hospital ship, receives a strange parcel addressed to him from Paris, he doesn't know what to think. Inside are an unmarked set of keys, a photo album, and, strangest of all, news that his father--previously thought KIA (killed in action) in Vietnam--has just died.

    Kevin says: "Historical roller-coaster ride!"
    "Goofy , messy and odd."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Phoenix Project? What did you like least?

    The author clearly has done extensive research into Nazi scientific history, and this was interesting. That said, the format and execution of this mess left alot to be desired.


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

    Much better editing, updated continuity, and a clearer, more consistent performance.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Lose the French woman's ongoing insertion into the story. Goofy.


    Was Phoenix Project worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your credit. I did, and it wasn't worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sunborn

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Richard Gilliland, Susan Hanfield, Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Their historic mission to Mars made Julia and Victor the most famous astronauts of all time. Now, decades later, they are ordered by the Consortium to Pluto, where they will rendezvous with another starship led by the brilliant, arrogant Captain Shanna Axelrod. Here, on the frozen ammonia shore of Pluto's methane sea, Shanna has discovered intelligent creatures thriving in the -300° degree temperatures.

    Matthew says: "Bring an extra sweater and your attention span!"
    "Bring an extra sweater and your attention span!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Sunborn in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating.
    Thoughtful.
    Fufilling.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Human: Victor. Complex, authentic and rarely predictable.
    Non Human : difficult to say without a spoiler effect, but all the non human characters are fascinating and totally original.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    All 3 of them were shockingly real, consistent and professional ( unlike some of the recent performances I have listened to.) Stephan and Susan created , and completely own, Julie and Victor, and their total honesty is refreshing. Richard adds a level of complexity to an already rich offering.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Farewell Charron.


    Any additional comments?

    This stunning offering continues the Martian saga into the next set of the planets. It does have that Ben Boca feel to it, but the characters are such that the listener genuinely cares about their lives . I for one hope there is another book ( at least ) and the saga continues.
    I highly recommend this offering!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Departure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By A.G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Scott Aiello
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (262)

    Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined. As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

    Jan says: "To Believe or Not To Believe, That's The Question"
    "The start of a new series I suspect.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Departure? What did you like least?

    Creative and thought provoking was what I liked best, esp. given the way it started and then twisted at the conclusion. It started rather predictably, but certainly didn't end that way.

    What I didn't enjoy? Sometimes abit disjointed in the continuity, and the editing wasn't ideal.


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

    Candidly, not much. Riddle is a fine writer, and pulled this one off with style and grace.


    Which character – as performed by Nicola Barber and Scott Aiello – was your favorite?

    The female Swiss doctor was quite the piece of work.


    Was Departure worth the listening time?

    Definitely.


    Any additional comments?

    I certainly hope this is the beginning of a series ( it has the feel, and I think it is already actually). As previously noted, a fine performance of an original idea. Worth the time and the credit!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Peacekeepers

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In the next century, the United States and Russia have joined forces to form the International Peacekeeping Force. The IPF is charged with controlling the satellite network and preventing nuclear missile launches. But many factions resent this orbital police force - and attempt to seize control of the satellites.... and the IPF itself.

    Matthew says: "Old school Ben Bova story is new again!"
    "Old school Ben Bova story is new again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Most audiobooks are fascinating in and of themselves, and esp. Ben Bova's offering. This one is no exception, although it is somewhat dated ( continued references to the Soviet Union , for example. )
    That said, it is compelling for what it is.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The usual politics involved in Bova stories is interesting. How dated that has become ( only to be substituted for other worldly challenges ) is interesting as well.

    The constant references to "fatigues" grows tiresome.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Stephan is a professional. He works fast, and owns the accents. Nothing much needs upgrading.


    Do you think Peacekeepers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This book fits in with the Planet series from Bova, although it is a freestanding offering. Therefore, by default, it has both pre and sequels already.


    Any additional comments?

    A decent offering. Not his strongest, but entertaining in an of itself. Mildly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Village Buyers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Arthur Herzog III
    • Narrated By Tom Weitzel
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Sally Edwards is the only realtor in the sleepy Hamptons town of Bayville, New York. Business is slow, and Sally is beginning to wonder if she will be able to make ends meet, when she receives an offer that seems to solve all of her problems. Her little company is bought out by Millennium 3, a large, multi-national conglomerate that has a mysterious history. Executives from Millennium 3 take over her office, and Sally is charged with the responsibility of purchasing as many homes in the community as possible.

    Matthew says: "Someone at Audible needs to upgrade performance QA"
    "Someone at Audible needs to upgrade performance QA"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Village Buyers in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting.
    Inconsistent.
    Amusing.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Arthur Herzog III? Why or why not?

    Yes, I have actually been rather taken by his stories now,and have listened to a couple since my initial exposure. Very creative, tends toward the verbose at times, but very entertaining.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tom Weitzel’s performances?

    OK here is my beef. Very inconsistent, with far too many back ground noises ( page turning? people talking ? ) and odd editing. Unfortunately this is not even a decent performance.


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

    Not really, but it did enjoin me to look for more from this author.


    Any additional comments?

    The characters were well drawn, and the story did have some unique twists and turns. It's a good book on balance, but the performance is so uneven that it impairs ( to some degree at least ) the overall enjoyment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earthsound

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Arthur Herzog III
    • Narrated By Kenneth Campbell
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    You are an expert on earthquakes and you fear their awesome power to the point of insanity. Now you are sure that an earthquake is building below your very feet. Your house, your family, your friends, your town, are about to be destroyed. The cracks appearing in the walls, the "accidental" deaths of local people, the strange movements of inanimate objects - all increase the certainty of your belief and the urgency of your warnings to those around you.

    Matthew says: "Is that a new Qwack in the wall??"
    "Is that a new Qwack in the wall??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Earthsound?

    It's an interesting concept that slowly builds and contains some well researched information. The setting and principle characters are honest, real and assembled in a mostly believable fashion.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Somewhat obvious, but had the action and wrapped things up in a way that made sense.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    OK, the narration. This performer could not say the word " crack". In an of itself, not a problem. However, the challenge here is that the word is used extensively throughout the book, and the ongoing mispronunciation became the focus of the experience. Every once in a while he would correct it, and they go back to his messed up ways. It drove me NUTS!

    It's CRACK..not...QUACK! There is no mention of ducks in this story that I can see, but gosh by the sounds of it, there are.


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

    Aside from pulling my hair out whenever he said " quack" instead of "crack", no.


    Any additional comments?

    The almost funny if not sad mispronunciation of a key word notwithstanding, not a bad offering. Audible, PLEASE edit for these things ( and yes, I know, you are cranking out alot of content these days, but get it right will ya?! )

    Recommended with obvious conditions.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy - Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jeff VanderMeer
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, Xe Sands
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Dive into the mysteries of Area X, a remote and lush terrain that has inexplicably sequestered itself from civilization. Twelve expeditions have gone in, and not a single member of any of them has remained unchanged by the experience - for better or worse.

    Kelt says: "Book 1: intriguing! Book 2: Zzzz. Book 3: WTF!"
    "Stunning..in so many ways..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Area X rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Easily in the top 20, if not the top 15. If the ending was not so stark ( and that is being mild ) maybe even finer. The 3 different stories are disjointed to be sure, with different performers as well, but on balance this is an epic journey, and one well worth going on.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The underlying story is fascinating ( if not always clear ) but the most compelling piece is ( predictably of course ) the characters. Control...The Director...the Lighthouse Keeper. They truly DO stick with you, and you want to know...WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON??!!


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

    Wow, a difficult choice. As time wore on in this journey, the Director drew me in. Especially in the last book and how she was was portrayed. A wonderful journey with stunning performers. Carolyn McCormick turns in a scintillating performance.


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

    Gosh, there as so many. Frankly, what moved me is the ending or the FRICKING LACK THEREOF.
    Seriously, this is a long trilogy, and a serious commitment of emotional and personal energy To have the ending so....sharp...( no spoiler here ! ) is maddening, for reasons that the next listeners will understand.

    That may be petty, but as other reviews have noted, we require a 4th book, in the trilogy, if you know what I mean.

    Otherwise, the resolution of book 1 is a moving piece.


    Any additional comments?

    My comments above capture my sentiments. This is an amazing work, marred only by the challenges already presented. I highly recommend this offering to any reader. It is worthy of your time, notwithstanding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • DELTA

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By L. Todd Wood
    • Narrated By Mark Christensen
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Rafe Savaryn is happy. He's in Venice, writing a novel on the Renaissance, enjoying being alone after a devastating divorce. He's trying to answer the question: what makes societies fail? Then a stunningly beautiful woman walks into his life and leads him on a horrifying journey back to the Dark Ages, where the answer to his question is revealed. He is shocked as he must make a choice no one should have to make.

    Ahava Deutsche says: "Another thriller by Wood"
    "Prepare yourself for the unanticpated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made DELTA better?

    Not downloading it, let alone wasting my time listening to it. A silly concept, poorly executed and a weird conclusion.


    What could L. Todd Wood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Taken a different career path.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Christensen?

    Not even Daniels, Hill or Brick could save this from the trash heap. Mark has very little intonation, and this is a shabby performance even by his standards.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed in myself for wasting these hours of my remaining life.


    Any additional comments?

    Be wary. The author gets on a high philosophical horse at the end of this novel, which is rather off putting considering the poor content in the first 3/4. All around, just an awful offering and definitely NOT worth consideration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • White Plague

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By James Abel
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    In the remote, frozen waters of the Arctic Ocean, the high-powered and technically advanced submarine U.S.S. Montana is in peril. Adrift and in flames, the boat - and the entire crew - could be lost. The only team close enough to get to them in time is led by Marine doctor and bio-terror expert Joe Rush.

    Matthew says: "I think I feel a fever coming on...."
    "I think I feel a fever coming on...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does White Plague rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 25. It would be easy to call this book out as somewhat formulaic, but a tension and high level of research runs through it ( with some minor bumps which are excusable to anyone but a purist.)
    Of course, Ray Porter brings the story completely to life, which sure helps.


    What other book might you compare White Plague to and why?

    Gosh, any of the countless Arctic based submarine stories, as well as " latent disease unleashed" books. This offering combines those, with a nice conspiracy overlay AND the always dangerous Chinese Navy, to combine and deliver a highly compelling story.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Well, I did feel like Joe Ledger was in the da house, and that is not a bad thing. Porter is one of the finest audio book performers in our time, and this offering brings this to light yet again. His cadence, his laconic tone at times, and his authenticity sparkles.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The current titles says it all, and brings it all together.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a highly contemporary, relevant and interesting study in science, the arctic, history, submarines, conspiracies...in other words, you name it, this one has it. Perhaps abit too much at times, it is still a fine listen, easy to digest and yet with enough substance to keep the listener entertained. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian Race

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Gregory Benford
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    When an explosion of the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle kills four crewmen, the US decides to redirect its energies to near-Earth projects, killing the manned mission to Mars. But tycoon John Axelrod assembles a consortium to fund the project, and he expects to net billions. But a European-Asian airbus will make a similar expedition. Now, the race is on to get to the Red Planet first.

    Matthew says: "Pack your woolies when you go on this voyage."
    "Pack your woolies when you go on this voyage."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Martian Race to be better than the print version?

    Did not read print version, but this is a wonderful audio book notwithstanding.


    What other book might you compare The Martian Race to and why?

    Many of the Ben Bova Mars series, and, ( of course ) The Martian. The depictions of our nearest planetary neighbour are ( so far as I can tell ) accurate, stark and the drama of Martian life is compelling and emotionally attractive.


    What about Gabrielle de Cuir’s performance did you like?

    Once again, one of the bevy of up and coming female performers that Audible have attracted that take what what otherwise might be considered male territory and making it their own. Her depiction of many of the intimate relationships in this story would likely not be nearly as well portrayed by a male. Compelling.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Mars Attacks ( for real? )


    Any additional comments?

    This offering is an excellent companion to the entire spectrum of audio offerings based on life on Mars. Well written and performed. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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