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Matthew

Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author is Stephen King! Favorite book is Hyperion! (READ/LISTEN to it!)

FORT COLLINS, CO, United States | Member Since 2012

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 66 ratings
  • 180 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015
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  • The Remaining

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (2247)
    Performance
    (2105)
    Story
    (2113)

    In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace. The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed. Someday soon, the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his mission....

    Mike Naka says: "top notch! highly recommended!"
    "Edge-of-the-seat Thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, Christian Rummel's performance is simply incredible. His ability to shift between soldier voice, gruff-burly voice, female voice, etc. really enhanced my enjoyment of this book.

    I really like the different take on the "rage" infected and how they hunt in packs - similar to 28 Days Later.

    A few knocks on the story: Why didn't Lee contact his soldier friend through email again? He seemed to have abandoned that line of communication all too quickly. I also found it hard to believe how often and how quickly Lee kept getting into trouble, but I guess that's for the sake of action and maintaining the story's momentum.

    Very well written action and extremely suspenseful. You felt as if you were right there in the action with Lee. Highly recommended.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1759)
    Performance
    (1609)
    Story
    (1612)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Megan says: "Worth it, 10x over!"
    "Absolute Gem!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An apocalyptic story, but the zombies have a bit of a twist to them. They are not typical undead, even though they hunger for human flesh.
    The story starts out from the perspective of a young girl, Melanie, and her strange, yet wide-eyed naiveté, existence in this post-apocalyptic world. An excellently written character whom you will feel a connection to throughout the entire story.
    The story switches between the perspectives of Melanie, a teacher, a soldier, and a researcher. Each character has superbly described motivations for their respective roles and are very believable.
    The writing is excellent and the narration is top-notch. Only a few dings in the story where plot convenience marred a few areas of story development, but minor quibbles. I absolutely enjoyed this book! The ending is perfect!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12491)
    Performance
    (9827)
    Story
    (9889)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Robert says: "It doesn't get any better than this!"
    "Bloated. Massively Bloated!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Quantity is not directly related to quality. This book is about several characters in a medieval type/fantasy setting who are fighting an invading force of parshendi. It is written from several perspectives: a prince, a slave, an assassin, and a "priestess". This book is extremely heavy on exposition and very light on any action or anything that might cause you to become interested in the story. I'm surprised that it is by the same author as the lean, mean, enthralling story: Steelheart. I'm convinced that either publishing companies have done away with editors to cut costs, or editors don't bother telling bestselling authors what to cut out of their books. This book could easily be reduced by 75% as only about 10-15 hours were at all interesting in my opinion.

    26 hours into this 45 hour book and the only two characters I found interesting were Szeth and Syl. Szeth has a very cool stormlight lashing ability that I would compare to Spiderman's ability to pull himself onto walls, roofs, etc. and run along those surfaces. It is very well described and easily the best of the action scenes in this book. Sadly, it comes at the beginning and disappears for the great majority of the remainder of the book.
    Syl, a "spren" which I think of as a kind of fairie or sprite, is ironically devoid of personality when first introduced (the irony being that most all of the other characters are devoid of personality) and she gains personality as the book continues. I found her to be the best written of any character.

    Dalinor, the prince, spends most of his time wondering about his honor. The priestess, Shallan, spends most of her time eating bread and jam. Literally eating bread and jam to set up a plot point that....zzzz....oh, sorry fell asleep.

    I'd skip this book and anything else in the series. You could get through 4 great books by the time you got through this one. The one bright spot, the narrators are decent and concise in their delivery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Richard Preston
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (610)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (552)

    A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

    aaron says: "If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction..."
    "Even scarier with the recent Ebola breakout!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow! I thought there was going to be a worldwide epidemic with the recent ebola breakout. Listening to this book, it seems all but certain. Not a matter of if, but when. It absolutely fascinating how a strain of ebola broke out right near Washington D.C. in a group of monkeys and yet never infected a single human being. Or did it? That's part of the story that leaves you wondering if this deadly virus is only lying in wait.
    Listen to this book. Period!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3825)
    Performance
    (3409)
    Story
    (3439)

    From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.

    Darwin8u says: "Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
    "An absolute thriller!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you've seen Zero Dark Thirty, you need to read this book as well. It gives the perspective of the Osama Bin Laden mission from that of a Navy seal right in the action. He also describes other Navy Seal missions prior to finishing his narrative with the UBL mission. I can't get enough of these stories from the first-hand perspective of those in the mission.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Those Across the River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (114)

    Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate - the Savoyard Plantation - and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

    Charles says: "Major Sound Issues"
    "Well-constructed horror story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Christopher Buehlman because of his vivid and descriptive prose. He's a natural for building a very believable environment. I highly recommend his other book: Between Two Fires. This story - Those Across The River - expertly ratchets up the dread and horror. That being said, I was a bit disappointed with what those across the river turned out to be, but that's a minor quibble.
    The narration is well done, except the sound recording seemed to have a persistent glitch. Towards the end of some chapters, it's like the final word gets partially cut off. It's frequent enough to be irksome.
    Still, I definitely recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Celeste Ng
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (774)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (682)

    Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet.… So begins the story in this exquisite debut novel about a Chinese American family living in a small town in 1970s Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos.

    colprubin says: "Character Novel"
    "Tears at your very soul!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a heart-wrenching, soul-devastating story that Celeste Ng weaves together. As the title indicates, the story is very much about how the unsaid things we never mention to one another can cause terrible misinterpretations and assumptions in our way of thinking about ourselves and our relationships with each other. Celeste is a master at describing and fashioning a tragic tell from those nuances.
    An absolute work of art!
    The narration was superb as well, but the story and the writing will knock you flat.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10886)
    Performance
    (9926)
    Story
    (9948)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Narrator steals this spotlight!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As I put in the headline, the narrator for this book is an absolute chameleon of a voice actor. His range of voices and accents is by far the best I've heard in any audiobook. The book is worth it just to listen to his mastery.
    As far as the story goes, it is very well written with excellently fleshed out characters. The story of a young boy who hoards a valuable painting for years is realistic and tugs at your heart and soul as you listen to his journey. I could not give the story 5 stars however at it uses a terrorist attack on a New York landmark (overused yet?) and a very improbable meeting in New York between two main characters later on in the story. It's a small world, but not that small.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Things They Carried

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Tim O'Brien
    • Narrated By Bryan Cranston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1459)
    Performance
    (1351)
    Story
    (1339)

    Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book’s hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.

    Darwin8u says: "Grief, terror, love, longing"
    "Brutal, Honest, and and Uncompromising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We tend to glorify war. Tim O'Brien tells us how it really is. A must-hear account of a man's time in the hell of the Vietnam War. Bryan Cranston does an excellent job of narration, though I wonder how Tim O'Brien might have done as the narrator as he does provide a personal reading at the end of the book. This book kept me in rapt attention!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pandora's Star

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4576)
    Performance
    (2851)
    Story
    (2889)

    The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.

    Devin says: "Great Epic Scifi"
    "Keep this Pandora's box closed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yech! Not a good sign when I get halfway through and don't feel like finishing the book. The only way I finished it was because I felt a sense of obligation to the credit I spent.
    The narrator is an overly dramatic English version of William Shatner if it were possible to get any more overly dramatic. I increased the narration speed and still this book was nearly interminable. It's about 6 good hours lost in 37 hours of convoluted nonsense. The book constantly meanders from this (forgettable) character to that (forgettable) character. It attempts to cram too many characters and too many situations into one story. Oh, and aliens are out to destroy us all. One and done. If you want sci-fi done great (perfect even) get Hyperion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began: Tomorrow Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Marsden
    • Narrated By Suzi Dougherty
    Overall
    (461)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (245)

    While Ellie and her friends are away in the bush, the world changes. Suddenly they are in the toughest situations humans can confront, facing life and death decisions. They are thrown into a world where they find courage, initiative, spirit and wisdom, or they die.

    Bev says: "Listen, you won't be sorry..."
    "Tomorrow, When I don't read the rest of the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator does a good job with a clear, concise performance.
    However, the plot is flimsy. Australia is attacked during Common Day and they round up everyone I guess.... The logistics of that are astounding. Some unknown attackers who speak a language the main characters have never heard, except at a later part of the book where they speak English...
    I'll move on to some other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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