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Michael

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Who cares where I live? | Member Since 2002

ratings
306
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
22

  • Backfire: FBI Thriller #16

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Catherine Coulter
    • Narrated By Jim Meskimen, Deanna Hurst
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (630)
    Performance
    (532)
    Story
    (539)

    San Francisco judge Ramsey Hunt, longtime friend to FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, begins the murder trial of Clive and Cindy Cahill only to have federal prosecutor Mickey O’Rourke, known for his relentless, aggressive style, suddenly turn tentative and distracted. Hunt suspects that something is very wrong — and then O’Rourke goes missing, and Judge Hunt gets shot in the back.

    Jaime says: "Still great at 16."
    "Not worth the listen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    TECHNICAL: I couldn’t bear to listen to this poorly structured and very unpleasing recording. Not sure how much of the problem was the producer and how much was due to the pitiful voice acting.
    PERFORMANCE: Bad, bad voice actors. Replete with abrupt and jarring transitions. PS: this was not listed as a dramatization. [Folks, I hope you will be more careful about the projects you choose in the future.]
    STORY: Terrible, terrible dialog. URG! Weak story/plot. I will avoid her work from here on out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mind of My Mind: Patternist, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Octavia E. Butler
    • Narrated By Christie Clarke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    For 4,000 years, an immortal has spread the seeds of a master race, using the downtrodden as his private breeding stock. But now a young ghetto telepath has found a way to awaken - and rule - her superhuman kind, igniting a psychic battle as she challenges her creator for her right to free her people.

    Michael says: "The value of diversity in fiction authors."
    "The value of diversity in fiction authors."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    TECHNICAL: My highest praise in this area is that I didn’t notice. When technical issues show up it’s because they detract from the listening experience. With this book, I didn’t notice.
    PERFORMANCE: I imagine that it must be daunting for an author to hear a performance that is flat or worse that misses the ‘voice’ of her work with odd or awkward presentation of the characters or the story. Christie Clarke’s reading was a pleasant and enriching experience. I think Ms. Butler if she were still alive would be excited for us to hear this performance of her work.
    STORY: Ms. Butler’s writing is unique. I read her ink and paper works before my discovery of audiobooks. And she became one of the authors whose work I started to hunt, wishing to read every opus she made. I’m not the only one to note her exceptional ability. She was the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. Back to this specific review: This work as with her others doesn’t just inform, but it transports you to a different perspective, a different world view, a different world. Characters are rich, well developed, consistent and engaging. The plot was a ‘page turner’ and I wished it was longer when I finished.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cradle and All

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By James Patterson
    • Narrated By Barbara Caruso
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (22)

    In the latest from best selling author James Patterson, all signs are pointing toward something awful. Worldwide epidemics, droughts, famines, floods, and stranger still, two immaculate conceptions, have the world wondering, are these random acts of nature, or is this prophecy? Can't get enough of James Patterson's distinctive thrillers? Browse more Patterson titles.

    Gayle says: "what a bizarre story"
    "Not my kind of content."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Well-spent, no. But given that I listen to audio books while doing household labor, I don’t feel it is an entire waste of time.


    Would you recommend Cradle and All to your friends? Why or why not?

    Can’t give a yes or no answer to this one. But no if they were like me. The why would be that there are books much more to my liking. Don’t care for religious focused storylines in general.


    Do you think Cradle and All needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I recommend against. But I can’t say why without supplying a spoiler. So few books need a sequel that I hope this one doesn’t get one.


    Any additional comments?

    TECHNICAL: Recording and production were invisible which they should be.

    PERFORMANCE: Nice voice, generally a solid performance, but some of the emotive scenes were over played, or annoyingly played without it being a supportive element for the story.

    STORY: Not really a fan of the mystery-spiritual-horror novel. That said, the authorcraft was adequate; interesting plot twists, but not too many. Rich, but not overly verbose descriptions of characters, situations, and setting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Paris Option: A Covert-One Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Ludlum, Gayle Lynds
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (488)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (98)

    An unimaginably powerful computer has fallen into unimaginably evil hands. Covert-One agent Jon Smith flies to Paris to find the forces wielding an all-powerful, secret DNA computer. Following a trail that leads him across two continents, Smith uncovers a web of deception that could cost millions of lives and reshape the world.

    Marc says: "The Paris Option (unabridged)"
    "Bad villains / good heroes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Paris Option again? Why?

    Yes. The Covert-One concept is a nice stage for these cloak and dagger books. This particular book makes good use of the stage for a fulfilling ride. It’s a nice roller-coaster plot with nothing so ‘god in the machine’ to make me question the authors' imaginations.


    Any additional comments?

    TECHNICAL: Recording and production were invisible which they should be.

    PERFORMANCE: He did a good job, he has a nice voice. His pacing and character expression consistent and enjoyable. The best kind of performance is one that does not distract from the story and this is very much the case with this performance.

    STORY: Great hook; with a rich and exciting plot. Character presentation was excellent. The authors kept me at the edge of my seat, and brought the plot to a gratifying end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The World Inside

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Robert Silverberg
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Welcome to Urban Monad 116. Reaching nearly two miles into the sky, the 1,000 stories of this building are home to over 800,000 people living in peace and harmony. In the year 2381 with a world population of over 75 billion souls, the massive Urbmon system is humanity’s salvation. Life in Urbmon 116 is highly regulated, life is cherished, and the culture of procreation is seen as the highest pinnacle of god’s plan. Conflict is abhorred, and any who disturb the peace face harsh punishment—even being sent “down the chute” to be recycled as fertilizer.

    Kat Hooper says: "Could humans live like this?"
    "Enter a dystopia and avoid the shoot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Robert Silverberg is one of my favorite authors. I’d want my friend to consider reading any of his works. This particular adventure is just another example of how the author can create a different world and let you experience it like a native of that world.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The World Inside?

    I choose not to answer potential spoiler questions – I don’t wish to allow Audible to control my review of the book to this extent.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I choose not to answer potential spoiler questions – I don’t wish to allow Audible to control my review of the book to this extent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I choose not to answer potential spoiler questions – I don’t wish to allow Audible to control my review of the book to this extent.


    Any additional comments?

    TECHNICAL: Recording and production were invisible which they should be.

    PERFORMANCE: Balanced expression of emotion not to histrionic and not at all flat. The best kind of performance is one that does not distract from the story and this is very much the case with this performance.

    STORY: A deep and imaginative exploration of an alternate future possibility. Character perspectives were unique to the character. The subtle shifts of value system between characters makes the reading experience broad and rich. The use of language and the developed idiomatic aspect of the characters’ dialogs is masterful. Man I love this guy’s books.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10752)
    Performance
    (7655)
    Story
    (7659)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering"
    "Don't buy this audio book"
    Overall

    They should have a zero star option.

    TECHNICAL: Couldn't listen to it. The audio puts your ear at his mouth and he is a noisy talker. Every breath, every sticky tongued slurp, even digestion noises could be LOUDLY heard. Awfully glad I didn't pay full price for this one or I'd be complaining to Audible??? probably will any way, they should have some minimum standard of recording engineering for books they accept for sale.

    NARRATION: Don't know; couldn't listen to it because of the horrible production side effects. Suggestion ??? don't breathe so loudly.

    AUTHORCRAFT: Don't know; couldn't listen to it because of the horrible production side effects. Suggestion ??? make them re-engineer this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Orc King: Forgotten Realms: Transitions, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By R. A. Salvatore
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (273)

    An uneasy peace between the dwarves of Mithral Hall and the orcs of the newly established Kingdom of Many-Arrows can't last long. The orc tribes united under Obould begin to fight each other, and Bruenor is determined to finish the war that nearly killed him and almost destroyed everything he's worked to build. But it will take more than swords and axes to bring a lasting peace to the Spine of the World.

    Charles says: "More Drizzzt"
    "No technical or narration problems"
    Overall

    TECHNICAL: Well done, consistent volume, no distracting background or interference noise. [1 star]

    NARRATION: Well skilled at character presentation and consistency. Nice voice timber and clarity. [1 star]

    AUTHORCRAFT: The work didn't do anything for me, I didn't hate it, but I can assure you I'll not be getting anything else from this author. The book read like a novelization of a Dungeons and Dragons game, and not a particularly good novelization. I didn't come to care about the characters, the plot was dull, the descriptions unimaginative. [no stars]

    2 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Mystic Warrior: Book I of the Bronze Canticles Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman
    • Narrated By LLoyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (63)

    New York Times best-selling master of fantasy, Tracy Hickman, and his wife, author Laura Hickman, offer the first book in a major, new, dragon-laden epic fantasy.

    Michelle says: "Great story and characters"
    "Can’t recommend to anyone."
    Overall

    TECHNICAL: Too many mouth and throat noises reduce enjoyment of experience. Could be avoided by better recording technique.

    NARRATION: Overly dramatic and inconsistent reading style, odd accents/vocal characterizations that reduce enjoyment of the book. An example is a female goblin that sounded like a cross between “Elmer Fudd” and Truman Capote. Voice and style more suited for ESRB: EC (Early Childhood) video games.

    AUTHORCRAFT: Wide departure from the prototypical fantasy races (e.g., fairies, goblins etc.) seemed contrived to make a not so interesting plot work. Herbert like references to non-existent literary works didn’t add to the story, and instead detracted. Terrible, tedious dialog made me want to stop listening several times. I do make one caveat: the book was so diminished by the narration/performance that it is possible the book when read wouldn’t be so bad.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Hallowed Hunt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (599)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (238)

    The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile. It falls to Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff to transport the prince to his burial place and to bring the accused killer, Lady Ijada, to judgment. The road he travels with his burden and his prisoner is fraught with danger. But in the midst of political chaos, magic has the fiercer hold on Ingrey's destiny, and Ijada herself may turn out to be the only one he dares trust.

    Kim says: "excellent story marred by tedious pausing"
    "Another nice title from Bujold."
    Overall

    TECHNICAL: Invisible as it should be.

    NARRATION: Pleasant voice, nice characterizations, both female and male characters were consistent and well tailored to the plot.

    AUTHORCRAFT: Wonderful story, with a clever series of plot twists. Magnificent detail throughout the book that I’ve come to expect from Bujold. Well-developed characters that made me cheer and boo.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Man of the Forest

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Zane Grey
    • Narrated By John Bolen
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    In this 1920 best seller, Milt Dale, a lone camper, overhears a conversation that persuades him to leave his forest paradise to save a young woman from certain doom.

    Michael says: "Don’t bother."
    "Don’t bother."
    Overall

    TECHNICAL: Gets a point for not adding music. Loses a point for preceding the story with the author’s bio.
    NARRATION: Poor. Falsetto used for females was dreadful. Pacing was singsong and annoying.
    AUTHORCRAFT: I’ll never bother with another title from this author. The story was more suited to a short story. Contains a great deal of boring filler. There are blatant errors in plot that I can’t describe without spoiling. Characters are shallow and inconsistent. They occasionally spout brief bouts of saccharine philosophy then bounce back to monosyllabic interaction. Even allowing for the period when it was written, the dialog was choppy and sappy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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