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Matthew

SEATTLE, WA, United States | Member Since 2014

782
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 196 reviews
  • 228 ratings
  • 411 titles in library
  • 24 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
14
FOLLOWERS
127

  • The Gift

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Dave Donovan
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (102)

    When an elite team of specialists receives a long-awaited first contact from an alien race, it’s nothing like what they’d imagined. The "gifts," from a long-dead but seemingly benevolent alien race, have been sent to help humanity defend itself against an imminent threat. It’s clear that the gifts are intended to help, but at what price? Caught in the middle is Sam Steele, a high-level programmer and veteran with a tragic past, up against the arrogant, intransigent Colonel Eric Web, who considers Steele a loose cannon and is most concerned with giving the United States an edge in the upcoming battle.

    Matthew says: "This Gift is abit of a mess"
    "This Gift is abit of a mess"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Dave Donovan and/or Jeff Cummings?

    Dave Donovan...I would give it a try. He has good chops and technical knowledge, and has alot of potential in this category of fiction. I certainly would not preclude him from my list!

    Jeff Cummings...sometimes comes across as trying too hard, but on balance a good performance with some pretty technical, or complex, dialogue. Again, not enough to preclude giving him another try.


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

    It is clearly the beginning of a series, and as such the ending is rather open ended, esp. in the context of the amount of dedication we all put in to commit to the story. Thus, a neater ending would have been desirable.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Try to be more natural and relaxed.


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

    It is clearly the beginning of a series, and the story does need conclusion.


    Any additional comments?

    The reviews I read were alot more effusive than what I experienced. It was a decent listen, but didn't blow me away like it evidently did for other people. I liked if well enough, but was not in my top 25. Not even close. Recommended with reservations as noted.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Enemy Within

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jason Brenizer
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    February, 1964: Two men die in a squalid alley in a bad neighborhood. New York homicide detective Seamus O'Reilly receives the shock of his life when he looks at the men's identification: J. Edgar Hoover, the famous, tyrannical director of the FBI, and his number-one assistant, Clyde Tolson. O'Reilly teams up with FBI agent Frank Bryce to solve the second high-level assassination in only three months. In November of the previous year, someone had assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

    Matthew says: "A grand conspiracy, and a wonderful find!"
    "A grand conspiracy, and a wonderful find!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Enemy Within in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating
    Fast
    Thoughtful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The principle FBI investigator Pierce ( sp? ) was complicated and had an interesting background. Worth paying attention to all his details.


    What about Jason Brenizer’s performance did you like?

    Easily his accents. He nails RFK and LBJ, as well as all the other story advancing characters. A fabulous performance!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I almost did!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a truly excellent audiobook, with a crackling plot, enough action to keep the listener engaged, and an outstanding performance featuring historical characters. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fourth Descendant

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Allison Maruska
    • Narrated By Donald R. Emero
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When Michelle receives a call from a Richmond historian, she sees the chance for a much-needed adventure. All she has to do is find a century-old key. Three others - a guitarist, an engineer, and a retiree - receive similar calls. Each family possesses a key to a four-lock safe found buried in a Virginia courthouse, though their connection is as mysterious as the safe itself.

    Matthew says: "Silly"
    "Silly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Fourth Descendant?

    All of it. Poorly edited, poorly constructed, and lacking a true sense of direction. The premise, and the overall start of the story began well, but it descended into treacle.


    What could Allison Maruska have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Chose another career.


    What three words best describe Donald R. Emero’s performance?

    Look, Donald had a mess to deal with here, so it's unfair characterize his stuff with the crap he had to deal with. On balance he did all do under the limited circumstances.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Fourth Descendant?

    All of it.


    Any additional comments?

    Not recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Old Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gary Grossman
    • Narrated By P. J. Ochlan
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    In the summer of 1601, Galileo Galilei made a startling discovery in the mountains of Eastern Italy that, if made public, could shatter faith in religion, bring down governments, and lead to worldwide turmoil. For more than 400 years, the secret has been guarded by a small group of incredibly powerful people, willing to do everything in their power to keep these discoveries from being made.

    Blue Dragonfly says: "Great Story with lots of new twists and turns"
    "Surprisingly awesome!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Old Earth?

    The diversity of characters was compelling. Additionally, the concepts and history add layers of interest that holds the listener rapt. At least, this one.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Old Earth?

    The last hour or so is full of twists and developments that make the length of the listen well worth it.


    Which character – as performed by P. J. Ochlan – was your favorite?

    Galelio was damn compelling. PJ did a great job with the challenging range of characters and accents overall .


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

    Nothing extreme, but certainly made me research and think about the concepts presented.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great little discovery by a new artist and performer for me. I think you will find this one entertaining, exciting and thoughtful as well. One of the best of 2015 so far. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Emissary

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Rogers
    • Narrated By Jeff Hays
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    On a desperate mission to save his entire race from extinction, Emissary Ruell travels to Earth equipped with his two most powerful bargaining currencies - health and longevity - hoping to convince the most powerful leader in the free world that collaboration can save both of their civilizations. Having no way to communicate directly with humans, Ruell must inhabit President Addison Hale's body to carry out his mission.

    Matthew says: "Fascinating read, from big to little"
    "Fascinating read, from big to little"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Emissary to be better than the print version?

    Only listened to it, so don't really know.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The overall concept is compelling, to say the least. Certainly the concept has been visited in the past, but not to this level of nuance and complexity.


    Have you listened to any of Jeff Hays’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, and he does a fine job here. Lot's of characters to explore, and he does so with a flourish.


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

    Not extreme, but it was compelling at times. Esp. the conclusion.


    Any additional comments?

    This book spans a wide range of concepts, which at first glance seem unrelated. Yet somehow it is pulled together with style and aplomb. I liked it a lot, and so will you! Recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rewinder

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Brett Battles
    • Narrated By Vikas Adam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (68)

    You will never read Denny Younger's name in any history book, will never know what he's done. But even if you did, you'd never believe it. The world as you know it wouldn't be the same without him. Denny was born into one of the lowest rungs of society, but his bleak fortunes abruptly change when the mysterious Upjohn Institute recruits him to be a Rewinder, a verifier of personal histories. The job at first sounds like it involves researching old books and records, but Denny soon learns it's far from it.

    Daniel says: "Very enjoyable time travel book."
    "Seems like the beginning of a series..or not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Interesting take on time travel, from a well respected and consistent speculative fiction author. In that context then, I would, with the usual reservations.


    Would you recommend Rewinder to your friends? Why or why not?

    As above. Redundant question.


    Have you listened to any of Vikas Adam’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have , and the performance here is very good. Not the best, but certainly professional. Some crappy editing and back ground noise which is becoming all too common in Audiobooks performances recently , however.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Decent offering, interesting but slightly derivative idea on time travel, with a solid performance and some interesting twists. Likely a series pending, but stands by itself well.
    Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear the Sky: The Fear Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Stephen Moss
    • Narrated By R.C. Bray
    Overall
    (155)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (140)

    From the Audie-nominated narrator of The Martian. In eleven years' time, a million members of an alien race will arrive at Earth. Years before they enter orbit, their approach will be announced by the flare of a thousand flames in the sky, their ships' huge engines burning hard to slow them from the vast speeds needed to cross interstellar space. These foreboding lights will shine in our night sky like new stars, getting ever brighter until they outshine even the sun, casting ominous shadows and banishing the night until they suddenly blink out.

    Teresa says: "I Loved This Book"
    "Start of a wonderful new series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Fear the Sky in three words, what would they be?

    Rich
    Thoughtful
    Fun


    What other book might you compare Fear the Sky to and why?

    Gosh, there are so many "aliens invade the Earth " that I can't pick just one. Needless to say, this one is unique in many aspects. Artificial intelligence, rogue agents, etc. This one has it all!


    What does R.C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    RC is one of the best in the business ( witness his performance of "The Martian" ) and this effort continues in that tradition. In this outing, he has to take on aliens, both genders, and AI, and carries it all off with style and intelligence.


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

    Not really, aside from it making me want the next book in the series to come out soon!


    Any additional comments?

    This is an outstanding start to what promises to be an excellent series. Highly recommended!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Phoenix Project

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert Blanchard
    • Narrated By Markham Anderson, Suzanne Roberts
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    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
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    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.

    Alex Levine says: "I'm cranky this wasn't better"
    "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
    (811)
    Performance
    (717)
    Story
    (716)

    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.

    Matthew says: "The start of a new series I suspect.."
    "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!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Peacekeepers

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    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

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