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Michael Oberhardt

Home with my wife and cats | Member Since 2013

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 648 ratings
  • 1505 titles in library
  • 107 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Plague

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Buzz Bernard
    • Narrated By Drew Commins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    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!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Fugitives from Northwoods

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Chris Bostic
    • Narrated By Eddie Frierson
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    After the total collapse of the world economy, the United States could not stand together. So they failed separately. In the small region-state of Winnkota, poverty and greed are turning the idyllic Northwoods of Minnesota into a barren wasteland of clear-cut forests and over-fished lakes. Every able-bodied teenager is conscripted into a labor force and sent to work in harsh, prison-like conditions. They are enslaved young so they never learn to think for themselves. But Penn is different.

    A. Sines says: "Tight shot on the dystopic"
    "Enjoyable Dystopian Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trooper #4

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Noah Chinn
    • Narrated By Barbara Benjamin-Creel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    It's the end of the world, but not as we know it. A woman wakes up in a motel on the outskirts of a remote Oregon city with no memory of who she is, a gun at her bedside, and a state trooper uniform. As she explores the world outside the motel it seems that civilization has come to an abrupt end, and whatever caused it is still out there, looking for the survivors.

    AlasKat says: "Excellent narration"
    "Silent Hell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thunder Rise: Thunder Rise Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By G. Wayne Miller
    • Narrated By Joel Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Something is happening to the children of Morgantown... One by one, they are claimed by a strange illness that cannot be identified. Night after night, they are haunted by terrifying creatures that invade their dreams. Moment to moment, they dread the final hours of daylight.

    Michael Oberhardt says: "Classic Small Town Horror"
    "Classic Small Town Horror"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karl's Last Flight

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Basil Sands
    • Narrated By Basil Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Karl Alexander had been an adrenaline junky for twenty five years. Whether flying Harriers in the Marines, piloting the shuttle for NASA, or as the chief astronaut for StrataCorp Space Flight his happiness was only found when he hit five Gs. But when a series of minor mishaps sends his ship crashing into the desert of an unknown country, Karl finds a new kind of adrenaline rush as he is swept into a raging torrent of the world at the edge of war. Spies, insurgents, secret police, and an infamous Saudi millionaire terrorist all threaten to make his next flight, his last....

    med c says: "Karl'slast flight"
    "Just Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Interstellar Age: The Complete Trilogy: The Interstellar Age, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Valmore Daniels
    • Narrated By Dave Wright
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Forbidden the Stars At the end of the 21st century, a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt has left two surveyors dead. There is no trace of their young son, Alex Manez, or of the asteroid itself. On the outer edge of the solar system, the first manned mission to Pluto, led by the youngest female astronaut in NASA history, has led to an historic discovery: there is a marker left there by an alien race for humankind to find. We are not alone!

    Shanti says: "Why did it have to end?"
    "Unbelievable Value"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, kudos to the author for bundling the three separate good sized audiobooks into a single book, making it a nice affordable chunk of sci-fi goodness. It would actually (I think) be a good strategy for authors who publish shorter books (or rather split a reasonable sized book into three short incomplete parts). Not that these books alone were short. But audible listeners here I'm sure would know what I'm talking about - these other authors that churn out series that give a bunch of closely released 5 hour audiobooks. If any authors ought to bundle their "books" as omnibus editions rather than split their novels into three parts, it is those authors. I don't think that these authors realize how releasing a 5 hour audiobook actually cuts down their appeal to listeners, and does themselves a disservice. Valmore Daniels however was not even close to this category. Each book in this omnibus was around a 10 hour book. So this omnibus is unbelievable value.

    On the story itself, I found the trilogy quite a unique tale of interstellar beginnings and alien encounter. The alien interaction was more or less constrained to the last book in the series, which is definitely not a pattern I've come across before. I'm not saying no-one else has done a trilogy like this - just that I haven't come across one. The Mayan connection and thread throughout the tale, including the ancient historic sections, add a good level of uniqueness too. I enjoyed the story overall, but to be perfectly honest, I really, really disliked Alex. REALLY disliked him. Sure he was a youth and hence immature, but I found him the most irritating, arrogant and unintentionally dangerous fool I've come across in any book. All the other good characters were likable though. Alex though I just never want to come across a character like that ever again.

    On the narration, I loved it. The accents were all well done. The production was also enhanced with sound effects, including radio and computer voice effects. I've seen some reviewers complain about them, but I seriously don't understand what the problem is, other than personal preference. At any rate, I thought they were fantastic.

    Overall, it is definitely a recommended read/listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Absolute Instinct: Instinct Thriller Series, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert W. Walker
    • Narrated By Jill Maglione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    The murder was so appalling even a hardened agent like FBI medical examiner Dr. Jessica Coran was shocked - the spinal cord had been literally ripped from the woman's back. Ghastly as it was, it wasn't unique. A man had already been convicted of killing his wife in the exact same fashion. Is the doomed death-row prisoner innocent? There's only one thing for Jessica to do: find the real killer.

    Michael Oberhardt says: "Chilling Crimes"
    "Chilling Crimes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, I did enjoy this book, although to be honest I really had to skip over many of the bits from the perspective of the killer - I just couldn't stomach it. I am a crime story and horror fan, but something in this seemed to strike a nerve. So be warned, you may find this gruesome. That may of course be a big plus to some readers!

    I enjoyed the side of the story from the law enforcement a lot more, and the desperate bid to save an innocent man from death row. I did however find some of the premises a bit far fetched, namely the two people who were lookalikes, but no-one in the book seemed to actually notice this until the plot device was required for the story. I also found the personal relationships between three of the main characters a little confusing. I might have missed something

    Jill Maglione's narration was very good, and she did a great job IMHO of doing both male and female voices as well as accents.

    I am interested in picking up some of the other books in this series, as they are on audible also.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Homeland: Saul's Game

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Andrew Kaplan
    • Narrated By Penelope Rawlins
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (8)

    Carrie Mathison is leading an operation to capture or kill al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Nazir. But arriving at the compound where he was supposed to be in hiding, her team finds it empty. Carrie is sure that someone is leaking CIA information to the enemy and has betrayed their operation, seriously threatening American interests in the Middle East. To expose the double agent, her boss, Saul Berenson, devises an elaborate ruse that will send her on the most dangerous mission of her life.

    Michael Oberhardt says: "Semper Fee?"
    "Semper Fee?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For a hit tv spin off, this is the best narrator they could find? Aside from the bad voices, she couldn't even pronounce Semper Fi. I felt like screaming every time she said "Semper fee".

    Story was good though. The audio producers should hang their heads and apologize.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Samaritan

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Stephen Besecker
    • Narrated By Bill Lord
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    After a youth marked by the death of his parents and a childhood spent with his shaman grandfather on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, Kevin "Hatch" Easter has found a job he believes in - tracker for the CIA - and a wife, Karen, he cherishes. But his life is shattered on a hot August night in New York City when a mob collection gone wrong leaves three people dead, Karen Easter among them.

    DK says: "*Review* A Modern Suspense Thriller With a Twist"
    "Black, White and Grey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Samaritan is a complex story touching themes of love, loss, family, revenge, and moral right, wrong, and shades in between. A commission of a crime goes horribly wrong, resulting in the death of some innocents, and the flow on affects of the tragedy, on all sides of the crime. Initially I started with a feeling of just who was right, and who was wrong, but as the story progressed, the line became more muddied, and many perspectives were thoughtfully covered. There were criminals, corrupt law enforcement, law enforcement acting officially sanctioned corruption "for the greater good", and just everyday people. A great portion of the story was a cat and mouse chase to an aggrieved citizen taking revenge on those he felt responsible, and "who" the person was was cleverly played out, but not with silly contrived red herrings. The story all wrapped up to a satisfying conclusion.

    The narration was fantastic, with different voices conveyed distinctly. The narrator also took the initiative of adding some good sound effect embellishments at a few points in the story, and I felt this added nicely to the presentation.

    I look forward to more titles by both the author and the narrator. Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ted Saves the World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bryan Cohen
    • Narrated By Steven Jay Cohen
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    Ted Finley was your typical, wise-cracking teenager - until an otherworldly force gave him abilities beyond his wildest dreams. After an unintended public display of his powers, Ted has become an instant celebrity and the target of a gang of undead thugs. Sixteen-year-old Erica LaPlante was six-feet-under when a blast of blue light brought her body back to life. Armed with the consciousness of a fierce warrior, Erica must keep her teenage urges at bay to protect the newfound hero.

    Kindle Customer says: "A truly amazing book"
    "HighHigh School Awakening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ted Saves the World is a fun novel and an easy listen about a pretty average student who is gifted with some pretty impressive powers during a diner robbery. It is a rather public unveiling, leaving no chance of adopting a secret identity, or keeping it low key among friends. As with modern society, cell phone cameras, social media, it spreads so fast Ted is a sensation by the time he gets home.

    The story was enjoyably light fare, and no plot points stretching believability, and none that had me scratching my head. And I really like how the evil in the book wasn't limited to the supernatural. There was also the small town ordinary evil, a favorite theme of mine from many of Stephen King's books.

    I'm well beyond teenage years, but didn't find the characters irritating, shallow or "un-relatable". The "non-evil" characters were likeable (especially his entrepreneurial friend Dhiraj), and even one of the baddies had some interesting internal conflict for part of the tale.

    Narration by Steven Jay Cohen was top notch. His reading is very soothing, and his accents and voices for each character distinct.

    I hope this series continues in audio book, and the same narrator returns.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Supercell

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By H.W. "Buzz" Bernard
    • Narrated By Drew Commins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Chuck Rittenburg was one of the most intrepid storm chasers in the country until a bad decision resulted in the death of a young couple who'd paid to ride along. A decade later - broke, divorced, and estranged from his college-age children - he's got nothing left to lose. When a film producer offers Chuck one million dollars to help find and photograph a deadly tornado in Oklahoma, Chuck sees a chance to earn his kids' respect again-and maybe his own.

    Gypsyjolie says: "tornado thriller that is a Hollywood as it gets"
    "Another Great One-Off Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ever since listening to Plague, also by "Buzz" Bernard and narrated by Drew Commins, I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Supercell on audiobook.

    I have a real soft spot for disaster movies, and just watched Into the Storm a few days back. On the audiobook side of it though, I don't seem to come across many stories of that genre. Movies like "Twister" and "Into the Storm" do seem to be a bit formulaic in their story though and don't really try pushing the boundary of anything other than the special effects.I'm not saying that is bad, but I was kind of expecting the same with Supercell when I started. I was pleasantly surprised when the author added a real nice and very plausible plot thread to the tale - the concept of storm chasers who weren't chasing the storm for the same reason, but to do some rapid looting in the aftermath. That itself added a breath of uniqueness to the tale. And aside from the storm chasing part of the tale, and the crime plot, there is also a thread I can somewhat relate to, in the lead character trying to come to terms with making a conscious break from bigotry he had ingrained and trained into him by his father.

    On the (I guess) primary plot of the novel, the storm chasing, the science of it all sounded pretty plausible, and given the author's background, I'd guess he would know what he's talking about.

    And with the narration, I really hope Drew Commins has a prolific career. His narration is so easy to listen to. He is easy to understand, and carries off the accents fantastically, so each character is pretty easy to recognize.

    I hope the author also continues to write more books! I'll keep reading them!.

    In all I actually think Supercell would make a pretty spectacular movie, and provide as much excitement and a much better story than any similar ones out there.

    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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