Every other Mark Tufo book I've rated 5 stars across the board. Even book one in this series was just awesome. I can't express how much I hated this book without spoilers. I hope book three does something to resurrect this series which started so fantastically.
Dinosaur Lake was an engaging listen, and time just flew by listening to it.
Like (I guess) a lot of people, early in life I had a fascination with dinosaurs, and have loved seeing modern technology being able to bring them to life on the big screen in recent years. The book caters to that demographic very well. And yes, I have the upcoming unabridged Jurassic Park audiobook on pre-order... :)
The book painted the area it was set in so well I was able to picture things so well, and this made the entire book feel so alive. The people in the story were also well developed. The lead character, the ex-cop Chief Park Ranger was likeable, conscientious and in the thick of the action. There were no real "baddie" type characters, other than one of the self serving scientists, and the desk bound park service boss but even they did add to the tale, rather than being just really grating. I also found it interesting the idea of the community aided homeless camp in the park. I'm not sure if this is based on factual occurrences of this, but it was the first time I'd heard of this concept, in fiction or elsewhere.
Johnnie C Hayes did a brilliant job narrating. I'd definitely recommend him to authors looking for narrators. I found him easy to listen to, clear, and characters all felt distinct.
I look forward to listening to more books by this author (including the Dinosaur Lake sequels). Highly recommended.
A Time of Demons is a novel of a group of characters finding themselves wrapped up in the lead in to the biblical apocalypse. It is unlike any other biblical apocalypse story I've read or watched over the years however, from A Thief in the Night to more recent ones however. These others seem to all more or less carry the same interpretation of events. This book "branched out" a with somewhat more imagination. The book really does feel like an epic journey, and when I finished, and was thinking back to the start of it, it felt like so much had happened. The story was immersive, and well written.
The book is, I think, nominally written from a Christian perspective. I personally found some of Cassandra's early behaviour unwarranted and wrong for someone who was a moral devout person though. For example, unnecessarily lying to her uncle. I also felt, from a story perspective, that Cassandra had one ability early in the novel that was unnecessary to the story itself, and seemed to disappear later in the novel - the ability to see that a person was going to die. She had had it (I think from what was said in the book) for a few weeks prior to the novel, and seemed to have totally given up after that short period to even try helping the people she saw as marked for death. I found that just didn't jive with the expected behavior of a her character. The ability seemed to have disappeared later on, and honestly, if it was me I'd feel that the story would have been better without it at all, and that it would not have detracted from the tale.
The character of Rayner was also a breath of fresh air. I do kind of get tired of fantasies (and even sci fi) of any sort where the various groups are just stereotypes, or one dimensional archetypes representing a single human vice, whether it is werewolves, vampires, demons, or even say a Star Trek species, like a Ferengi representing "greed". I'm more of the opinion that for starters you can't treat an individual as a group, and that a sentient creature is capable of thought, and making decisions. Writers do tend to forget that when they write of demons as the biblical fallen angels that the very fact that the fell was because they made a decision to buck the system. So why are they then forever after somehow capable of making another decision, or regretting that earlier decision, or changing? Anyhow, Rayner embodied this depth, and his character's journey through the book was a great substory, and his internal conflict was well written and thoughtful.
For fans (like me) of shows like Supernatural, I this book probably would be enjoyed.
Kathryn Meyer Griffith did a fantastic job narrating. This was my first audiobook of hers, and I'd definitely recommend her narration to anyone. I did find some of the pronunciations a bit odd, but maybe that is just how it is pronounced in other regions or I'm wrong (eg Obadiah as O-ba-dear as opposed to how I thought it pronounced as O-ba-die-ah).
I really hope a sequel to this book is written.
I've just finished listening to the first two books in the series, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The second book was even more enjoyable than the first. The first book was larger in scope with backstory, plot threads, and less distinct primary characters, but Wolf's Revenge was a more constrained to a single primary protagonist, Chris, the police detective from the first novel, and a primary plot. In this book though, her tenure on the police force is short lived, and her world is unfortunately turned upside down. The book deals then with her altered life, and a quest for justice against the person who changed her life.
I really felt for the character, and was hoping (and wondering) if something that was done to her at the end of book 1 would have been undone, and her reaction to it. I am wondering if this will happen in a future novel, where she regains some lost memories.
The book didn't end on a cliffhanger, and everything resolved and wrapped up nicely. Which is a good thing given this book was written in 2005. I did contact the author and he does have to more books in the series plotted but not written yet.
The narration was top shelf, was easy to listen to, and distinguish characters.
I am interested now in listening to more by this team, and more in this series. I have listened to several series I'd consider in this genre, including some by really popular authors, and I did enjoy this series better.
Suckers is an extremely well written and fantastically narrated apocalyptic horror novel. I found the writing style breathed life and was so engaging, the book just zipped by. It was not a story I had to go and reread stuff as I missed things or got confused who or what was what. I found myself getting immersed in the tale immediately.
Chris Vallancourt did an incredible job narrating, and I'm surprised this seems to be a first performance. I hope more are available soon!
Although the writing was excellent, I really had a lot of trouble with the lead character, I found him just a selfish user of people, his friends, family, and people in general. And unfortunately there was no payback to him for all the ill he did through his selfishness. It was like an apocalypse where patient zero got sick, infected and killed the world, then he got better and lived happily ever after. I personally just have trouble relating to stories with a protagonist like that.
In all though, I feel this author has a lot of talent, and the narrator also, and I really look forward to more from both.
Strangers is a sombering tale of a family fracturing in the aftermath of a personal tragedy, where mother father, and two children all have significant secrets from each other. They are trapped and tormented by an unknown predator, intent on making them confess and suffer for their sins.
My only complaint was that I did think the whole scenario was a bit too implausible, for one person to have arranged and carried out. But I took it more as just the allegorical construct for telling the tale of the family. Also being a home handy-person, I'd be hard pressed to find myself so helpless in my home...
Jeffrey Kafer is a fantastic narrator also. I've recently had the pleasure of listening to a few of his narrations, and am always pleasantly surprised.
I've read books by Jeremy Robinson before, but not the Jack Sigler novels. So I'm a late starter on the series. I admit I've only come in late on a few series, and I found it kind of disconcerting in places. My main issue was the characters themselves. I was listening to the book, and it started with an intro, then went into another change of time and scene, and we were with these people named after chess pieces. I was thinking OK, this is some more back story. Eventually I will actually meet the titular Jack Sigler. Well, about 1/4 of the way into the book I figured out that King was Jack Sigler. So I restarted it, knowing now that this side character was actually the lead. And to me, this whole issue plagued the book, not just with the lead but with every team member, where they'd primarily be referred to by a chess piece name, and the occasionally by their real name. And to add more confusion to this construct, the people with the call sign could change. So Bishop started as referring to one character from a prior book, and then was another. I personally think this whole construct was just a bad idea, and is my only reason for the point off. Perhaps if I started at book 1 I'd have been more familiar, and book 1 might have handled the identity better. But starting at book 7, no. I struggled
On the actual story, I found the story a really enjoyable crime/military/monster book. I love stuff about the lost colony of Roanoake, and it was great how the two threads merged, and things went totally mad. I also like what happened to a certain scum bag corrupt senator.I found the story a bit like a Joe Ledger story, but way better written (I"m talking the story here, not my inability to grasp character identity easily).
Narration was top notch, and I'd definitely listen to more by Jeffrey Kafer.
Fugitives from Northwood is an enjoyable dystopian tale set in a near future USA. The tale revolves around a group of friends who escape from a forced labor camp and make a run for the Canadian border.
I found the story enjoyable, as opposed to anger-inducing or depressing. Not that the setting wasn't bleak, but more that the people the story was about were good people. And unlike a lot of dystopian and apocalyptic tales, we don't have people turning on others, traitors, and just outright despicable people. Sure there were horrible people in the book, but I felt they they were more peripheral to the narrative. At any rate, I found the story left me with a good feeling, and wanting more.
The narration was excellent, with some sound effects embellishments adding to the overall presentation.
I look forward to the next two books in the series, to see how the story proceeds and resolves.
What a fantastic story! Every so often, I come across a pretty unique and entertaining tale on audiobook, one where an author seems to have a new-ish idea. Sure, I love genre novels that really are just the authors take on a well trod story, but occasionally it is great to stumble across a gem like this.
Initially, the story started off with a tale that was somewhat reminiscent of the world of Silent Hill. Interspersed among the main tale are dream sequences of another story, which you can't see any correlation with the main thread. At the end it all comes together, and all makes sense. It is such a fun, intricate, and often dark novel.
The lead character's personal voice was great, and there were some pretty humorous thoughts the reader had access to (made me chuckle more than once). The narration was right on the money.
I look forward to more books by the author.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and really hope more books by the author make it to audiobook format. It was the sort of read I love to come across, like one of those Dan Simmons books like Summer of Night, or Stephen King's IT, or others. I loved the blending of native American legends into the story, and the progression of the characters as the situation devolved.
I have seen comments on the book that is was "dated". But frankly that sort of comment on any book is just embarassing. "I just read Nicholas Nickleby, and book, what the heck, they didn't have smartphones, or even cars? Sooo dated". I don't read reviews on Stephen King novels from the last several decades and see readers complaining that they are "dated". Books don't have to be set or written in this year, you know...
Narration was excellent as well.
This book was an unexpected delight, from the story itself, the writing style, to the fantastic narration. I was only about half an hour into the book when I hopped onto audible to see what other books the author and narrator had done, only to see the author and narrator were one and the same. I'll be getting the rest of Basil Sand's novels after this.
The story is book-ended by amusing but relevant advertisement for StrataCorp, the lead character's employer, and then proceeds into a tale of incredible adventure where chance leads Karl into another world and an adventure on a global scale. In parallel to the main tale, there is also a flashback story, also relevant, tying into the ending.
The characters are all well developed, individual, and likable. And the narration fantastic, and each character having a distinct voice.
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