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Michael Oberhardt

Home with my wife and cats | Member Since 2013

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 695 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 160 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
4

  • 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
  • Killshot: Icarus Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Aria Michaels
    • Narrated By Rhiannon Angell
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    When 17 year old Liv Larson and her brother are sent to separate foster homes, she becomes content with her isolation and dedicates her every breath to getting him back. After months of solitude and anti-social behavior, Liv's best friend Riley drags her to a Rooftop Party to view Icarus (the once in a lifetime solar flare) where Liv finds herself inexplicably drawn to Zander James, the mysterious boy with the crooked smile.

    Michael Oberhardt says: "A Very Full Fresh Story"
    "A Very Full Fresh Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So much occurred over the course of this book, it made it such an amazing read. It wasn't overwhelming though, which can make it hard to keep up with. But by the time you get to the end, and think back to where it started and the full course of events, it was an amazing journey. It isn't even an easily classifiable story. YA, elements of straight sci fi, apocalypse, horror, action, meta-humans, but it never seemed like a jumble.

    The characters were well written and generally likeable, and relatable. There was a good injection of humor throughout, making me smile quite a few times throughout the book. There was a lot of heart with the characters too.

    Rhiannon Angell did a great job narrating. I always got a smile when she'd have Liv mimic some other character in her thoughts - very well done.

    I look forward to more novels in this world, and definitely will listen to and recommend the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cattle: The Fearlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Joseph Duncan
    • Narrated By Ian M. Walker
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    It is 10 years after the global apocalypse. The Phage, the zombie virus that brought the world to its knees, has mutated, restoring the minds of its undead victims: their personalities, their memories... even their dreams. The living dead are no longer the mindless monsters that drove mankind to the brink of extinction.

    N. Peterson says: "An Unexpected Delight"
    "Not Your Usual Zombie Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cattle was an interesting standalone novel about a world decimated by a zombie apocalypse. In this world, the zombies have split into two groups, the mindless beasts, and those that have had their original memories reawakened, and maintain intelligence.

    It appears from looking more at the author's bibliography, this book is part of a wider "series", The Fearlanders, but it is a stand-alone story. That said, I would be interested in listening to more novels in this world, especially the first book, Mort, detailing more the outbreak. As well as hearing more of the angel visions and what is up with that. I'm hoping an audiobook will be eventually made for more in the series!

    In the story, our lead character is trying to get to a human settlement, Home, along with a friend, and is unfortunately captured and put in a human breeding (for food) program run by the awakened zombies (hence the title).

    I didn't think the book was gratuitous in any way, although the subject matter was definitely all grim.

    Ian M Walker did a great job narrating, and I thought the accents were pretty well done, with the exception of Max who I really had a hard time understanding, or even figuring what the accent was supposed to be (was it supposed to be a heavy Irish or Scottish accent?). It was odd though having a British narrator for a story set in the USA with American characters.

    Overall, an enjoyable stand alone zombie tale set in a wider story universe. Recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dinosaur Lake

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
    • Narrated By Johnnie C. Hayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it's been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he's about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin, people begin to go missing, then there's some mysterious water creature that's taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it's not only growing in size, it's aggressive and cunning and very hungry.

    Kim Venatries says: "Good Escape Listening."
    "A Fun Read for Dino Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Time of Demons: Before the End

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kathryn Meyer Griffith
    • Narrated By Wendy Tremont King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Since Cassandra Graystone was a child and her family perished in a fire she knows and sees things other people don't… when someone will die or that a demon lurks beneath a human skin. She sees phantoms. Yet she craves a simple life singing out with her musician brother, Johnny, and caring for her elderly aunt and uncle; to be with her friends, Sarah, a psychic, and Walter, a clown in a carnival circuit.

    Terri Berg says: "Wow, Just Wow!"
    "The Coming Apocalypse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf's Revenge: Shifter Legacies, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Mark E. Cooper
    • Narrated By Mikael Naramore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Los Angeles, a city where monsters live cheek by jowl with humans. A city where violence simmers just below the surface. Lieutenant Christine Humber of the LAPD's robbery homicide division is well aware of that violence. She has worked for years in the city's most violent district, known locally as Monster Central.

    Natalie @ Book Lovers Life says: "A Great Second Book."
    "An Alternate Reality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suckers: A Horror Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Z. Rider
    • Narrated By Chris Vallancourt
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    When worn-out musician Dan Ferry decides to take a shortcut back to the band's hotel, he picks the wrong dark alley to go down. Within days of being attacked by a bat-like creature, he becomes consumed with the need to drink human blood. Terrified of what will happen if he doesn't get his fix - and terrified of what he'll do to get it - he turns to his best friend and bandmate, Ray Ford, for help.

    Angela Fitzgerald says: "Friends till the end!"
    "A Different Apocalypse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Strangers

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Michaelbrent Collings
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    You wake up in the morning to discover that you have been sealed into your home. The doors are locked, the windows are barred. There's no way out. A madman is playing a deadly game with you and your family. A game with no rules, only consequences. So what do you do? Do you run? Do you hide? Or do you die?

    Heidi says: "Taut, quick, it carried me away."
    "Unnerving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cannibal: Jack Sigler, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Jeremy Robinson, Sean Ellis
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    Still recovering from the tragic loss of a good friend, Jack Sigler, callsign: King, leads the Chess Team - a crew of former Delta operators - back into action. But what should be a routine snatch-and-grab to capture a drug cartel leader escalates out of control, throwing the team into a challenge unlike anything they've ever faced.

    Stacey says: "Always a great listen!"
    "A Late Starter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fugitives from Northwoods

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Chris Bostic
    • Narrated By Eddie Frierson
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    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.

    Victoria Schwimley says: "Outstanding"
    "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.

    2 of 2 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
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    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

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