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Mike

Kingston, ON, Canada | Member Since 2012

40
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 103 ratings
  • 229 titles in library
  • 20 purchased in 2014
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  • Survivors: The Morningstar Strain, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht, Thom Brannan
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (811)
    Performance
    (733)
    Story
    (738)

    Survivors is the all-new soul-shattering climax to the postapocalyptic trilogy, featuring a deadly virus, military action, global devastation - and zombies. A lot can change in three months: Wars can be decided, nations can be forged...or entire species can be brought to the brink of annihilation. The Morningstar Virus, an incredibly virulent disease, has swept the face of the planet, infecting billions. The infected hosts rampage, attacking anything that remains uninfected.

    Ben says: "Good. But could have been so much better"
    "Thom Brannan dropped the ball"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Z. A. Recht and Thom Brannan and/or Oliver Wyman?

    Recht is deceased
    Brannan... not bloody likely.
    Wyman... yes, great job


    What could Z. A. Recht and Thom Brannan have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Recht is deceased.
    Brannan could have passed on it - he was in way over his head.


    What aspect of Oliver Wyman’s performance would you have changed?

    Wyman was fine. But, this book has a big black cloud over it for me.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    extreme and compounding anger that started early and continued until the end when I was very disappointed...now I'm just sad.


    Any additional comments?

    The 'infected' were pretty much an afterthought and not part of the main story line. It was obvious early on that there was a problem with the course the plot was taking. By the end, I was looking for the answer to "what happen" to the promising start this series had.

    I did not realize until after I finished 'Survivors' that Recht passed away and did not write this book.

    I've listened to a few books, that I didn't care for but, this is the first time I have felt cheated. I am even considering 'returning the book' for a credit. It is appalling to me that Brannan will earn royalties (on Recht's name) from this after so hap-hazardously destroying what Recht created.

    In the end, Brannan even 'forgot' how the morning star strain is transmitted in order to satisfy a small plot dénouement. He must have been reading some of Jonathan Mayberry's work and got confused....sad sad sad. I wish that I never started the series...the first book needs a warning label.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (1843)
    Performance
    (1731)
    Story
    (1740)

    In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace. The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed. Someday soon, the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his mission....

    Mike Naka says: "top notch! highly recommended!"
    "Okay, but...'The Captain' is a lost opportunity."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ***** SOME EARLY SPOILERS ****
    I'm enjoying this series. Like others have mentioned the main character is a bit of an idiot. The series could have been so much better if 'the Captain' was more developed and acknowledged his own mistakes and reasons for making them. Likewise, his back story could have been much better outlined.

    I prefer stories when the characters are 'human' and they are fallible. I have a hard time when something obviously short sighted happens and the author glazes by it, like the reader is as dumb as the character being written about.

    This guy needs a better internal monologue

    A highly trained military professional with a mission vital to the survival of America's governing philosophy, disobeys his primary orders. He can't stay in his bunker until the set amount of 30 days time elapses... because he is bored?... before a month is up? Why not at least write it around worry and checking the friend who is a neighbor?

    He does not stay in contact with other bunkers in an age of satellites 'Operation Home Town' troops can't all stay in touch indefinitely?

    No explanation about the 'underground' bunker destruction... Did he ask the kid if the 'bad guys' cleaned out the bunker...No? Did he attempt to clear the house debris and get back in... No? He chose to go off into hostile country, without determining the status of his base and supplies just abandoning any potential resources.

    And what's with tacking the next book start onto the end of this one? That's very lame.

    I know this review this sounds like a negative rant, but the book is an entertaining listen and about average for the genre. I was just hoping for a Tom Clancy-esque Zombie Book, but alas not.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout 3.5: Dr. Hugh Mann

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (611)
    Performance
    (577)
    Story
    (576)

    Before there were zombies.... There was the virus that started it all. In this Zombie Fallout prequel, Mark Tufo tells the story of how it all began.

    Mike says: "Asking yourself... "Is 2.75 hrs worth a credit?""
    "Asking yourself... "Is 2.75 hrs worth a credit?""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The short answer is 'NO', this is not worth the credit to me. It 'should' be a gift with books 1-3 or a prologue to Book 4. It feels like a total and complete cash grab.

    So, I paid the $10.
    I did spend the first 15 minutes wondering if I downloaded the wrong book. It manages to sort itself out and is an odd, but nice back story addition to the series.

    When I completed chapter 1 of "ZF4" I appreciated "ZF3.5" a little more and felt it was a "must read' for me as a part of fully enjoying the series.

    Perhaps, I'm picking nits..but I still don't see it as a good value. This novella capitalizes on Tufo's readership unfairly...

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout 5: Alive in a Dead World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (1476)
    Performance
    (1383)
    Story
    (1391)

    In the latest installment of Mark Tufo's zombie fallout series, Mike Talbot and his family continue their fight for survival as Eliza plots their demise.

    Teddy says: "Feels like Tufo was Stalling"
    "Feels Fresh, but still Familiar"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you’ve listened to books by Mark Tufo before, how does this one compare?

    I'll start by stating the obvious...start with Zombie Fallout: Book 1

    This series is all that I have listened to by Mark Tufo. ZF5: AiaDW is as entertaining and annoying as the others in the series. After finishing I felt a little amazed that Tufo took this one in a surprisingly different direction and I think that he managed to pull it off well enough. It's has an "Empire Stikes Back" flavour that kept the series fresh and makes me want to get Book 6 as soon as it's available

    Tufo has a strong series story developing and it makes up for any problems I have with smaller plot points, character quirks or stupidity.
    I'm even tolerating the occasional melodrama and repetitive rehashing of points already made. And made again,
    and then again,
    and then again with an epilogue...
    and one more time after that..but as a joke this time.... /ha ha/...

    I'd rank this book in my top 3 of the series...because Tufo twisted the plot and created a solid cliffhanger. He also fixed a problem I was having with one of the characters. AND! he replaced the farting bulldog with cats. I've always liked cats more than small ugly dogs...


    Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just the rest of the series.
    Fantastic job all around.
    Runnette *is* Mike Talbot.
    All the characters are handled completely differently and I sometimes forget that it's "some guy reading a book". I will actively look for other books read by this narrator, even if it's just to see how he does with them. Talbot has such a distinct and recognizable voice which brings him to life.


    Any additional comments?

    As I await book 6 in the series, I look back on the 6 credits that I have already spent on the series and consider it to be of 'average' value. They are fair mix of humor, horror and suspense.

    To me the series seems too character driven at times, in that, it focuses on the people a little more than the story. At times, this is problematic to me because it is an excellently captivating series story. Tufo's writing style also tends towards the long winded melodrama on occasion.

    When the writing turns to a character development and melodramatics focus the cadence of the story starts to drag... a lot. This can be very tiresome when it is related to previously established information. For example, with Mike Talbot's germ phobia being constantly re-hashed at length to the point of having a completely pointless epilogue at the end of this book (5.5 books into the series). I think the reader "gets it" and Tufo almost seems to be using it as filler material. If one has brain matter on one's pants, a germ phobia is not a prerequisite to being uncomfortable...

    Some juvenile humour does add to the essence of Talbot's character and the style of the book, but at times I found myself thinking /great/ here comes another stupid germ or fart gag. Not to mention 'the big tough Marine' cries...again. I do feel that the emotional points were better written in this book than in the others though.

    The 'series' plot is only minimally developed in book 5, however it does set up much for the continuation of the series. I feel like it has a fresh set of legs, with additional sub-plots and very well developed new villains. The feature characters in ZF5 kept me interested and I was glad to see some of my 'less loved' secondary characters given a break. I read a couple of other reviews that bemoan the 'flashbacks'. I tend to agree that they could seem like filler, but I did enjoy them. For me the flashback's helped to strengthen one of the underlying themes of this book. Mike's youthful friendship being the type of bond that he has carried though his life as familial.

    AND. I think it deserves to be said that any author that uses a character in his own book to plug another book that features that same character has lost his mind. It's entirely contrary to the mood of the story and pulls the reader out of the moment. It would have be far more 'classy' to reference Johnathan Maberry, Max Brooks or alike...rather than plugging Tufo's own 'Indian Hills' book.... of course, I could be naive... If it's a plot device from the other series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Strain, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Z. A. Recht
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (1859)
    Performance
    (1321)
    Story
    (1324)

    The end begins with a viral outbreak unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, a dramatic increase in violent behavior, and a one-hundred percent mortality rate. Death. But it doesn't end there. The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead it escalates into a global pandemic.

    Big Art says: "Makes my top 10 Zombie Stories of all time!!"
    "Read 'Book 3' reviews before purchase"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Plague of the Dead rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Middle


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Plague of the Dead?

    For me, the shock value of first contacts are always my most memorable with books like these. People discovering what is happening and learning to adapt and survive pulls me into the story.

    I enjoyed initial the global aspect of the story too, that plot route seems the most believable scenario.


    Have you listened to any of Oliver Wyman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have only listened to Wyman in this series and felt he did a great job.Though, he may have lost his way a little for book 3 by changing the accents to established characters. Like me, perhaps he felt book 3 was a mess and was less enthusiastic...


    Any additional comments?

    If you are like me you are rambling through Audible looking for a new dystopian series. I guess, I consider this to be a 'public service' review so, you don't fall into the same trap I did. I think that this series is a testament to the idea of Audible having a 'Series Review' option available as well.

    PLEASE NOTE: Z. A. Recht is deceased and did not finish the series himself.

    This book and the one that follows are a wonderful start to an entertaining apocalypse. Unfortunately, the 'author' that completes the series did not do it justice. I suggest reading the (mixed) reviews of "Survivors: The Morningstar Strain, Book 3" before you commit the time and credits to this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2233)
    Performance
    (1969)
    Story
    (1969)

    Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

    D says: "Odd Apocalypse; Oddly Great"
    "More please, Sir."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Odd Apocalypse to be better than the print version?

    Better than the print version? .... isn't that question a little irrelevant and self serving audible folks?


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes... suspenseful...mysterious...


    What about David Aaron Baker’s performance did you like?

    David Aaron Baker *IS* Odd Thomas. I believe it is Odd Thomas narrating, with all the emotional connections to the events in the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    never do - but gripping none the less.


    Any additional comments?

    Dean Koontz is very talented at writing and developing characters. Often his characters are as much the story as the events they experience. In my mind, that is the best of both worlds. For me, Odd Thomas is the pinnacle of these characters.This entire series is an extreme pleasure to listen to.

    'Odd Apocalypse' continues Odd's saga in fine form. Before I started listening, I was feeling a little reluctant that this book/series would become tiring and was wondering how Koontz could keep the series fresh. This is a fresh story and a continuation and I want book 6 now!

    My only modestly negative thought is that the book did feel a little transitional, in that, the overall 'series plot line' seems only minimally further developed... but who knows.

    If you are a fan of the Series this will not disappoint. If you're not a fan of the series and enjoy a good 'ole paranormal battle between good a and evil...the first book is called "Odd Thomas"....I'd start there for maximum enjoyment.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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