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Mike

Kowalski, someone's looking at my profile. Find them. Rico, time for boom boom. Private, send the family a funeral bouquet.

NORTH LOGAN, UT, United States | Member Since 2014

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 183 ratings
  • 530 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2015
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  • Monster Hunter Alpha

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5003)
    Performance
    (4539)
    Story
    (4551)

    Earl Harbinger may be the leader of Monster Hunter International, but he's also got a secret. Nearly a century ago, Earl was cursed to be a werewolf. When Earl receives word that one of his oldest foes, a legendarily vicious werewolf that worked for the KGB, has mysteriously appeared in the remote woods of Michigan, he decides to take care of some unfinished business.

    Nicholas says: "Unexpectedly Enjoyable"
    "These books are way better than they should be"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow, that was maybe the best book of the series!

    "But Mike," you ask, "The other books in the series were awesome! How could this one be better?"

    Funny you should ask. One reason: Christopher Walken.**


    **applicable only to the audiobook version, though if you're reading it you could imagine everything Nicolai says in Christopher Walken's voice.


    In fact, read the rest of this review in Walken's voice and note how it awesome-ifies it.

    Oliver Wyman does a fantastic job . . . with the voices. Crazy . . . when you think about it.

    This book follows Earl Harbinger and leaves out the rest of the characters from the earlier books. Harbinger's character was definitely worthy of his own book and Wyman's voice for him works extremely well. Nicolai, who sounds like Walken is a bad guy, no wait, he was a good guy . . . wait, which was he? Exactly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: A Novel of the Dresden Files

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (252)

    When an unknown someone shoots him and leaves him to die, Harry Dresden hopes he might be heading to a better place. Unfortunately being dead doesn't make Harry's life any easier. Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on - a feat that would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death.

    Sylvia C. says: "James Marsters IS THE BEST!"
    "Satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The previous version, read by John Glover, was very well done. But Ghost Story is the 13th or 14th in the Dresden series, and after the very first book it was already too late for anyone in the universe besides James Marsters to be Harry Dresden.

    Glover did an especially great job with some of the other characters and I appreciated that version for what it was, so I am surprised how much of a difference it made to hear the story in Marster's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer: John Cleaver, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Dan Wells
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (454)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (337)

    John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic "normal" behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them.

    G. Mott says: "Great, if visceral book, terrible narrator."
    "Great Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I noticed a few people mentioned they didn't like the narration. I thought it was fine, but I don't think Nelson's voice is a good match for the genre. I think his voice would be perfect for non-fiction, business, or something like that. It helped to increase the pace to 1.5 speed.

    The story was great. At one point the plot seemed to twist so much that I found myself a little disappointed that the story I had become invested in seemed to no longer be the focus. But it ended up getting all tied together. I'm surprised that the average rating is under four stars. I recommend giving it the book a try.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2717)
    Performance
    (2428)
    Story
    (2428)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Prostitutes and Mormons in Space"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James S.A. Corey peered into a distant future where humanity had spread itself across our solar system and found that it is mostly populated by prostitutes and Mormons. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    I'm not saying the story is about prostitutes and Mormons. It isn't. I'm just saying that when a denizen of the belt is not surrounded by the cold vacuum of space they'd be hard pressed to swing a cat without hitting a saint or a sinner.

    I know what you're thinking, "That sounds a lot like Las Vegas." Exactly. It's exactly like Las Vegas if it expanded to fill the immensity of space. There are even casinos everywhere.

    This of course brings up ethical questions surrounding cat swinging. On earth it is nearly always a cruel act. Perhaps if you were trying to save a cat from the roof of a burning house and had to throw it all the way to a neighbor's pool to save it it might be justified, but less than 10% of all cat swingings in the U.S. happen under such circumstances. In Russia the percentage is higher, but surely it's still under 20%. Ethically speaking, then, on earth nearly all cat swingings are cruel, and debates tend to center on the topic of whether or not the cat deserved it.

    Null-g adds additional variables that must be considered in such discussions. Cats don't cope well with null-g. It takes away nearly all of their abilities, such as being able to land on their feet, or their ability to fall when misjudging the distance of a jump.

    On earth, if you're holding a cat that is freaking out and trying to scratch every exposed bit of your skin, you can simply drop the cat. The cat will land on its feet and be content to exert its autonomy by running away rather than continuing to attack.

    Not so in null-g, which would be both the initial cause of the cat freaking out and thing that maintains the cat's desperate behavior. You must dislodge the cat with no help from gravity. You'll eventually get it off you, but it will take longer and every second counts.

    And then, instead of landing on its feet and ceasing its attack, the cat will continue to flail in its search for control. You might as well tether a set of Ginsu knives together and set them in a perpetual spin. Who is going to volunteer to retrieve the knives? Even when the cat hits a surface, it has no thumbs so its attempts to gain purchase will simply propel it back out into the middle of the room again. You'd have no choice but to wait until it bounced into an airlock and jettison the cat into space. That would be very sad, depending on the cat. They really need to rethink the whole cat in space thing.

    My hypothesis is that cat swinging in space is probably an act of kindness as much as anything else due to the felt gravity provided by centrifugal motion. The cat may feel soothed due to the seeming reappearance of gravity.

    Space mom to her daughter: "Sweetie, have you swung the cat yet today?" Child:"No." Mom launches into a lecture about how the kid promised that if they got a cat she would feed it and play with it and swing it by it's tail every day, after which the girl grudgingly grabs her cat's tail and starts swinging.

    The book was very good, and apparently a television series based on the series is going to play this year on Syfy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swords of Exodus: Dead Six, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Larry Correia, Mike Kupari
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1010)
    Performance
    (944)
    Story
    (943)

    On the far side of the world, deep in former Soviet Central Asia, lies a stronghold called the Crossroads. It is run with an iron fist by a brutal warlord calling himself Sala Jihan. He is far more than a petty dictator, for Jihan holds the fate of nations in his grasp. To save a world slipping into chaos, Jihan must either fall or be controlled.

    Doug D. Eigsti says: "....Valentine and Lorenzo Battle at the Crossroads"
    "Updated review"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Audible won't let you update a review, so I can't change what I wrote in my review for Dead Six. What I would say there is also true of Swords of Exodus, so I'll just say it here.

    In my Dead Six review I said, though I liked Bronson Pinchot's performance, I thought maybe he overdid it on one of the voices. I'm listening to the books again and I take that point back (or would if Audible would let me).

    Pinchot is brilliant in this series.

    For the character in Dead Six that I thought Pinchot overdid, I realize now he did it perfectly, capturing exactly the character the authors created. If Pinchot had done it any other way it wouldn't have fit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Instruments of War: The Warlock Sagas, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (96)

    Makeda , Supreme Archdomina of House Balaash, is known throughout the Iron Kingdoms for her leadership of the mighty Skorne Empire, but it was not always so… Before the coming of the Skorne Empire into the west, Makeda was little more than the second child of a great house, but through her will, determination, and adherence to the code of hoksune, she rose above all others. For the first time the secrets of both Makeda and her people are revealed in the tale of their epic struggle for honor and survival in Instruments of War.

    georgiamom says: "Not like his first two series"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have no idea what the Warmachine game stuff is all about that most of the other reviewers mentioned (apparently it's the universe this book originates from). I'm a fan of the author, though, and this book did not disappoint.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Vendetta

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5764)
    Performance
    (5147)
    Story
    (5158)

    Accountant turned professional monster hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt, managed to stop the nefarious Old Ones' invasion plans last year, but as a result made an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult known as the Church of the Temporary Mortal Condition wants to capture Owen in order to gain the favor of the great Old Ones.

    Jason says: "Exciting story, well told, with a great villain"
    "Perfect Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just listened to this again and was reminded how awesome Oliver Wyman does with this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Six

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Larry Correia, Mike Kupari
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1490)
    Performance
    (1391)
    Story
    (1400)

    Michael Valentine, veteran and former member of an elite private military company, has been recruited by the government to conduct a secret counter-terror operation in the Persian Gulf nation of Zubara. The unit is called Dead Six. Their mission is to take the fight to the enemy and not get caught. Lorenzo, assassin and thief extraordinaire, is being blackmailed by the world's most vicious crime lord. His team has to infiltrate the Zubaran terrorist network and pull off an impossible heist or his family will die.

    K says: "Great story, characters, narration, and more"
    "Great Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is written in 1st person from the alternating perspectives of two characters, Lorenzo and Valentine. Just keeping that in mind will help you follow the story the first hour.

    Like the MHI books, the story isn't that predictable but it is full of writing cliches (like how the romances develop). And also like the MHI books, the cliches somehow don't ruin the story at all. I keep thinking it should, but the stories are just good fun. The authors just do a good job making the moments believable and compelling, cliche or not. And I guess they are "cliche" because there is something in those themes that we find compelling enough to revisit time and again.

    Bronson Pinchot is interesting. I loved his work on the Grimnoir Chronicles. I liked his work on this book too. With some of the voices, though, I thought he used great artistic license (e.g., a combination of infomercial voice and Office Space boss voice for one character). His voice for a few of the characters had me bursting out laughing (like Eddie). His voices for the two main characters were perfect. I liked the voice of reaper a lot too.

    A lot of his accents for foreigners sound oddly like a character from an old t.v. show called Perfect Strangers.
    Hmm . . .
    ;)

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6604)
    Performance
    (5696)
    Story
    (5688)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Interesting, Sad, Creative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jon Glover did a fantastic job narrating, but this many books into the series you just can't replace James Marsters. Marsters IS Dresden. Many times I found myself imagining how Marsters would have said a given sentence. It isn't fair for Glover, but hells bells, life just isn't fair.

    Since I knew it wasn't going to be Marsters I tried to keep an open mind about the experience. Glover does have quite a range, and I don't think Marsters could have done as well with Sir Stuart Winchester and didn't do as well as Glover did with Mortimer Lindquist.

    0 of 0 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
    (14094)
    Performance
    (10737)
    Story
    (10745)

    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"
    "Series starts good, gets better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this first book, though it was closer to 4 stars than 5. Good enough to give the next book a try. I like the series more and more the more books I read. Butcher somehow makes each book feel resolved well enough to be satisfying while maintaining the larger plot arch. (There are a lot of books, so I find I occasionally want to take breaks from the series.)

    My advice:
    After reading the first book, if you really want to get into this series, find a chronology online so your able to read the shorter stories when they happen chronologically. This will include buying the 12.5th book in the series, Side Jobs, and reading the various chapters as they fit in the timeline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Casino Royale

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Ian Fleming
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1476)
    Performance
    (916)
    Story
    (921)

    Introducing James Bond: charming, sophisticated, handsome, chillingly ruthless, and licensed to kill. This, the first of Ian Fleming's tales of secret agent 007, finds Bond on a mission to neutralize a lethal, high-rolling Russian operative called "Le Chiffre" by ruining him at the Baccarat table, forcing his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him. It seems that lady luck has sided with 007 when Le Chiffre hits a losing streak. But some people just refuse to play by the rules.

    Pork C. Fish says: "Ouch!"
    "Enjoyed this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The movie was different enough from the book that I still felt suspense while reading (though it ended up being more like the movie than I expected). After working my way through the Game of Thrones series I felt saturated with overdone sexuality, so when it got to those moments in this book I found myself a bit hopeful that a book written in the 50s might leave more to the imagination, even if it's James Bond. It wasn't too spicy, but one line made me stop reading for a couple of minutes until I stopped laughing. Bond and Vespa were standing, clothed and kissing, then "he slipped his hands down to her swelling buttocks. . ."

    I think I'll try some version of that with my wife. Maybe, "Hey baby, your swelling buttocks are talking to me, and I like what they are saying." Or perhaps, "Those pants make your buttocks look swollen," or, "Are your buttocks swollen for me, or Mr. Darcy?" Hmm, those might need some work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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