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Michael Oberhardt

Home with my wife and cats | Member Since 2009

ratings
453
REVIEWS
16
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • Dark Days: Apocalypse Z, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Manel Loureiro
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (266)

    The end of the world has come not with a bang or a whimper, but with the guttural snarl of walking corpses hungry for human flesh. The "lucky" survivors flee an unstoppable virus spreading death and societal collapse across the globe. As the rules of civilization crumble, a lawyer, a pilot, and a nurse become comrades-in-arms in the fight against extinction. But not every enemy wears a rotting face, and anyone who doesn’t have your back just might have your head. Humankind’s twilight is at hand, and these are indeed...dark days.

    Michael Oberhardt says: "Long Live Lucullus!"
    "Long Live Lucullus!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't understand some of the harsh negative reviews of part 2, from readers of part 1. It felt to me like a fitting continuation of part 1, and nearly as enjoyable. I think the whole trilogy will probably fit better read as a whole. This is really just the middle portion of a book. So it doesn't feel complete in itself.

    And I really hope the negative reviews don't stop them bothering releasing part 3 in English...

    I do admit, it wasn't quite as good as part 1, and had issues I feel:
    - The whole side story of Prit being accused of a crime was just silly, and poorly handled. I mean the author himself is a lawyer, the character a lawyer, but even though the real culprit was known, nothing was ever really mentioned or done about it. It was kind of used just as a poor contrivance for them getting involved in the military.
    - The last chapter. I don't like how the last chapter was left though, and I am going to keep thinking about it until part 3 is released. Part 1 at least ended on a note of hope, not a cliffhanger. I really don't appreciate books ending on cliffhangers...

    But, that aside, the rest of the story was great.

    Long live Lucullus! And bring on part 3

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hallways in the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By R.C. O'Leary
    • Narrated By Steven Jay Cohen
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    When a veteran cop tries to arrest baseball's home run king, one of them ends up on trial and the other one ends up dead. A routine stakeout is almost over when Dave Mackno decides to pursue a speeding Porsche. It's a decision that will have deadly consequences. That's because the Porsche is being driven by Remo Centrella, baseball's home run king, who is half-drunk and at the tail-end of a steroid cycle that makes him think he's bulletproof.

    Karen says: "Just when you think you know how it will end..."
    "A Tense Courtroom Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hallways in the Night is a courtroom thriller about a police officer who becomes embroiled in an unfair court trial.

    The way the story hung together was brilliant. It starts with a reasonably cut and dry police incident, where an officer made some minor procedural mistakes (or rather just made some impulsive correct decisions), and nearly paid with his life, but surviving that finds himself in a court case driven by the corrupt rich and powerful, with money the motivator rather than any sort of justice, or even revenge. There are so many threads, back stories, and characters, and they are all woven together giving a satisfying end.

    I found myself getting pretty angry so many times throughout the book at the sheer injustice. And then I'd get more angry when the realisation hit me that it is sadly realistic.

    I didn't understand why the defence never bought up at the trial photos of the officer after the attack.

    The narration is excellent, and the character voices and accents are just brilliant - both American and English characters.

    The book ends with the hint of a sequel starting ten years later, and I'm eager to listen to this too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Forest Bull

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Terry Maggert
    • Narrated By Rebecca Cook
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Three lovers who stalk and kill the immortals that drift through South Florida (tourists are a moveable feast, after all) are living a simple life of leisure- until one of them is nearly killed by a woman who is a new kind of lethal. When Ring Hardigan isn't making sandwiches for, and with, his two partners, Waleska and Risa (they're cool like that), he's got a busy schedule doing the dirty work of sending immortals to the ever after.

    crazybatcow says: "No bull here: well written urban fantasy"
    "Immortal Hunters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Forest Bull is the story of a group of immortal hunters in a world where many of these immortals are the creatures of nightmare, preying on the innocent, unless stopped. From various walks of life, people have risen up that have chosen to hunt those of these creatures, and like in the TV series Supernatural (a favorite of mine) there is a loose affiliation of these hunters.

    Just a note on the audiobook version - the book itself is written from the first person of a male, but the narrator is female. This is a bit disorienting at the start, as when the story starts, you haven't been introduced to the narrator, so initially may draw the assumption that the character is female, but be advised, it isn't. I haven't come across this setup before (female narrator of a first person male story).

    On the narration however, Rebecca Cook is fantastic, and does a great job on all the voices, male and female. Initially when I was listening, I thought the book was narrated by Katey Sagal, and prompted myself to check, Needless to say I'd recommend her narration to anyone, and will definitely be looking for more books narrated by her.

    Another note on the story, the summary describes the trio of hunters as "Three lovers". This is accurate, but in all honesty was a little off-putting to my male preconceptions. When I see the term "lovers" in the book summary I immediately think of books that usually feature unarmed, topless, buff, beefcake dudes on the cover (as opposed to the Conan-type books with armed, topless, buff, beefcake dudes on the cover). Anyhow, yes they are lovers, but any of you males like myself who may think, 'oh gee, this is going to be full of steamy romance etc", be advised that this is not the case. Yes there is some adult material, but not too much, and actually not between the "lovers".

    All these notes out of the way, what did I think of the story? Loved it. Every so often I read a book that doesn't seem to be treading the same safe territory with concepts and mythology, and manages to inject a lot of new slants to things, and you feel like you have someone describing a unique vision of a world. It is a great feeling when you come across one of these. I felt this book met that in spades. The characters are well written, and a lot of the interplay between them is fantastic. I also like that the "baddies" weren't really one dimensional, or "demonised" for want of a better term, and everything was a straight black and white. It isn't like a lot of books where the author makes you hate them, and then perpetually drags out their existence and tormenting of people in the book to the point where you want them to just get it over. They are all dealt with fairly, and quickly. And in at least one case for me, you may actually start to like them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Eyes: Bloodscreams #3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Robert W. Walker
    • Narrated By Robert Neil DeVoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    It starts with a sacred crypt, dug centuries ago, discovered under Manhattan. Buried with it is a diabolical creature spreading a strange contagion, claiming its victims by the thousands. But the dead aren't staying dead for long...and only one man is qualified to brave the unstoppable zombie army. Psychic detective Abraham Stroud knows the origin of what festers in the unholy pit. And only he can battle the primeval horror as it prepares mankind for the ultimate sacrifice.

    Teresa says: "Ancient Etruscan Zombies"
    "Fast Supernatural Action Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Zombie Eyes is a fast supernatural action story set in New York City. I'm unsure of the exact time period, but I'm guessing it is in the late 70's or 80s, given some of the text (eg, looters stealing VCRs, the main character being a Vietnam vet, and people sending telegrams). So this is likely either a previously unpublished work, or deliberately set then (I suspect the former).

    The plot revolves around an ancient evil being awoken from a long hidden burial site, uncovered by a new construction site. The reference to Zombies in this book isn't your typical zombies. I'd more personally classify them as possessed, like a huge plague of characters from the Exorcist. Which I think is a new plot to me, and I think probably more frightening. Zombie plagues are a dime a dozen these days (not that its a bad thing, I love them), but the take in this story is actually unique in my excessive reading in the genre.

    For those of you, like me, who note that this is "Bloodscreams #3", and "Bloodscreams #2" isn't available on audiobook, the book stands alone on itself, with only minor references to the prior novels. There are no real times when you are wondering what some past reference is about, as you may on a trilogy of interconnected novels coming in at part 3.

    The narration by Robert DeVoe was top rate, very easy to listen too, and I'll be looking for future books read by him. There were some minor mispronunciations, but more for uncommon terms that I've personally pronounced incorrectly myself (eg, Goethe).

    I'd be keen to hear the entire loose trilogy on audio, so I'll be keeping an eye open for part 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Subversion: Life on the Edge - of Eternity

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By R. Manolakas
    • Narrated By Paul J. McSorley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Fast-paced plot driven by the threat of a world-wide viral pandemic, an underlying suggestion of government evil, and a pervading sense that all is not what it appears to be. This is a great listen filled with suspense as our central character races with time to perfect an anti-virus in his top-security lab near the nation's capital, all the while uncovering startling secrets about his surroundings, his work, political and scientific history, and even his family-including his brilliant and sexy wife Dara.

    Nichole says: "On the edge of your seat the entire time!"
    "An Unnerving Feeling..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Subversion is a pretty unique and highly enjoyable story. It revolves around a nobel prize winning virologist working on a knife edge project to create an antivirus for a virus which is causing some havoc to a largish number of people. The output of the product is intended to be the antivirus, but with a slight twist, accidental or on purpose, it could go the other way and produce a world decimating virus. The lead finds himself going from a man with a loving family and friends to an ever descending spiral of worsening conditions, where he ends up alone trusting absolutely no-one (and I do mean alone...).

    I kind of had the whole "Rosemary's Baby" vibe listening to this book, where even at the early times, you had the underlying feeling of people maybe not being who they were, and an underlying feeling of dread. And in the end, it was all worse than I thought!

    On a slight downside, the narrator, although he had a good voice, and was easy to l;isten to, had some off pronunciations. Eg, he kept pronouncing Medieval Med-ev-i-al and a few other oddities. I don't believe this is an actual pronunciation in any locale, I could be wrong though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wrath of the Just: Apocalypse Z, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Manel Loureiro, Pamela Carmell (translator)
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (169)

    An act of terrorism unleashed an unspeakable biological weapon…and hell on earth. But as the masses felled by a hideous virus rose from the dead to prey on the living, a small band of survivors defied death and its ghastly spawn - determined to outrun the world’s end, and somehow begin again.

    Lesley says: "Satisfying end to a great trilogy!"
    "A Fantastic End to Completed Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Firstly, let me state that I am glad this series is over. Nowadays, in the digital age in particular, it seems like a lot of authors write series without any actual plan. The series just keep going. There is no real end. You read each book and get to the end and think What? Where is this going? Let me step back a bit further. 25 years aago I read a lot of fantasy books. I was reading the Raymond Feist Magician series, and I suddenly hit the realization that there was no end. And that at some stage in my life, reading books, I would eventually be on my death bed, or dying after an accident, wondering what was going to happen in a series I was reading or watching.

    Anyhow, this series is both complete in a trilogy and a great story. And it ends rather positively, for an apocalypse series.

    So:
    - A completed series in three books
    - A post apocalypse epic
    - An upbeat end

    I highly recommend this series. Especially for animal lovers. Just taking another diversion, I love Stephen King's The Stand, but damn it I got so angry when they abandoned Kojak. Here we are dogs are near extinct, they found one but they abandon it to go follow some stupid dream. Anyhow this series hits a nerve with me as to the lengths I'd go for a furry friend.

    OK, on the book itself, it was great. I thought mid way through that it was trying to squeeze an insane amount of story threads, and I was starting to get really worried the author would have to either drag the series on or come up with idiotic plot contrivances to finish it. The author did neither and pulled off a masterful tale that was clear and well planned and logical. I'm honestly in awe. II would buy any book from this author sight unseen

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Reckoning: Indian Hill, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (704)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (667)

    After escaping from the Progerian Alien vessel, Michael Talbot is now given the opportunity to hide in obscurity with the rest of the human race or rise to the occasion and once again find himself immersed in a battle that he wants nothing to do with.Mike goes home and while reconnecting with a family that believed him dead he decides to join whatever resistance force can be mustered to repel the oncoming invasion.

    Professor says: "Not as good as first book"
    "An Irritating downer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • On the Lips of Children

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mark Matthews
    • Narrated By Bob Dunsworth
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Meet Macon. Tattoo artist. Athlete. Family man. He's planning to run a marathon, but the event becomes something terrible. During a warm-up run, Macon falls prey to a bizarre man and his wife who dwell in an underground drug-smuggling tunnel. They raise their twin children in a way Macon couldn't imagine: Skinning unexpecting victims for food and money. And Macon, and his family, are next.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "To me meth heads are more terrifying than pretty m"
    "Creepy Family (Un)Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A genuinely creepy short horror novel. It is the story of a family going to San Diego for a marathon, and stumbling across a hidden society on an evening-before-run. It was reminiscent to me of Jack Ketchum novel.

    I was glad the author did inject a pretty good reason for the lead male not going to the police (eg parole issues). But by the end of it I was a bit worked up, and hoping that after the story they contacted the police, and the whole area of scumbags were cleared out (above and underground). The thought of them just getting away with all the death they were all causing is just "unacceptable"... Although that said, some people in the health system were obviously complicit in these crimes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Thorne Legacy

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By J. D. Brink
    • Narrated By Lee Strayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Corporal Cranston Thorne is the black sheep of the family and about to be kicked out of System Guard for his selfish and reckless behavior. His father, Captain Thanos Thorne, would like nothing more than to see that happen, but unfortunately he can't stay for the court-martial; a remote outpost has gone silent and he must take the fleet out to face a possible attack. But in the fleet's absence, it's the planet that is attacked and it's up to Corporal Thorne, who's never cared about anyone but himself, to save planet Giger and restore the family name.

    Betty Johnson says: "Better suited to 18-30 year old males"
    "Don't Call Me Sir!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Corporal Cranston "Cranberry" Thorne is a seemingly irresponsible member of the military, often demoted, and the shame of his father, Captain Thanos Thorne, and scheduled for court-martial. An alien invasion interrupts this. It turns into a story of redemption of honor of a son in the eyes of his father.

    The story is light and fun (with a serious turn), well written, and an easy listen.

    Overall, it is a short novella, and like the first episode or part of a book, as opposed to a novel. I'd love to read the complete story, and would suggest this is just bundled if of this length.

    I do want to find out what happens next though! It can't end like it seemed to - please!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At the Mountains of Madness [Blackstone Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By H. P. Lovecraft
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (708)
    Performance
    (656)
    Story
    (660)

    This Lovecraft classic is a must-have for every fan of classic terror. When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form - until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization. Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.

    Jeffrey says: "Not for everyone"
    "Pretty Dry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a horror fan, for a long time I've wondered what Lovecraft's work was like, having read about it, seen movies based on his work, but I'd never gotten around to reading one.

    I found the story interesting, but a very dry read. It was hard to visualize anything, it just seemed to drone on without a single line of dialog. I can't quite say what literary style is it. Sort of done as a first person semi-journal. I disagree with a prior reviewer saying that it was using the literary style of that period (the 1930's). I've read plenty of books from that era, and can't say I've read one as bland as this.

    Fortunately, it was only short. I'd not honestly buy another Lovecraft book after this though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Plague

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Buzz Bernard
    • Narrated By Drew Commins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    In only a matter of days, 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers will be rivaled by a lone-wolf terrorist attack on America. Atlanta is targeted as Ground Zero for the most horrifying plague in modern times. Deep in the secret recesses of a Cold War lab, the Russians created tons of deadly bio-weapons. Now, decades later, a protege; of that Russian research is about to release weaponized Ebola into the heart of the South's most iconic city: Atlanta, where the symbols of American "decadence" range from a happily diverse population to the Coca-Cola museum and CNN building.

    Michael Oberhardt says: "Fantastic Bio-Terrorism Novel"
    "Fantastic Bio-Terrorism Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great read. I've added the author's other audiobook to my wishlist, and wish there were more.

    Drew Commins did an incredible job of narration. Another newcomer, but hopefully with a big future narrating audiobooks. Pacing was great, and character voices were all done so well, and each distinctly, you had no issues figuring who was speaking, ever.

    The plot involves a bio-terrorism attack being planned, and a "sort of" ordinary man getting involved in stopping it. You know, it nice for once having a CEO character in a book that was actually a really good person. He is called in from retirement to run as a caretaker CEO of a biotech company, after the prior executives all die in a plane crash. He is a hands-on exec, and wants to know what is going on with his company, and things start getting pretty unruly in a short time. I found the whole book pretty realistic, and never felt like I was being insulted by ludicrous story constructs

    I really wish there were more books of this genre - realistic virus infection stories. And tying it with terrorists made it even more thrilling.

    Highly recommended. Very highly recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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