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Mike

Tell us about yourself!

NORTH LOGAN, UT, United States | Member Since 2011

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 150 ratings
  • 433 titles in library
  • 95 purchased in 2014
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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
    (4386)
    Performance
    (3986)
    Story
    (4001)

    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
  • 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
    (733)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (690)

    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
    (73)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (69)

    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.

    Mike says: "Excellent!"
    "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
    (5125)
    Performance
    (4572)
    Story
    (4587)

    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
    (1112)
    Performance
    (1045)
    Story
    (1051)

    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
    (5789)
    Performance
    (4954)
    Story
    (4947)

    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
    (12175)
    Performance
    (8996)
    Story
    (8997)

    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
    (1332)
    Performance
    (789)
    Story
    (796)

    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
  • Turn Coat: The Dresden Files, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (5095)
    Performance
    (3786)
    Story
    (3791)

    The Warden Morgan has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council - and there's only one, final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, wants his name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Someone like Harry Dresden....

    Lisa says: "Worthy Addition To The Series"
    "This many books into the series and still great!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My daughter was unable to watch Dresden Files on Netfilx with me due to her disgust upon learning that it is a story about an orphan wizard named Harry. I keep thinking it would be clever if Butcher had a character give Harry a bad time about that, and Harry's defense is that he came before the Harry Potter series (which his character would be, but Butcher's first Dresden book was published after I believe).

    Anyway, anyone who has read this series appreciates the story for being what it is, not a derivative of Harry Potter. Somehow Dresden is more believable and more likable as the series goes on. Each book has a satisfying conclusion, yet the overarching plot keeps moving along as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4009)
    Performance
    (2565)
    Story
    (2587)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "The Righteous Wrath of Khan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know that in a very real sense it is impossible to do an “objective” history, that most everything is “revisionist” in that it gets filtered through the mind and values of the author. Still, some histories are arguably more accurate or meaningful than others. The better histories seem to me to do things like being transparent about agendas and underlying assumptions, do a good job with providing detail and strong arguments for the claims, and/or present multiple views for the reader to consider.

    If a new reading of a given history fits nicely with the contemporary zeitgeist it's more likely to leave the reader feeling interested and validated. Weak arguments leap out at us more clearly when they go against how we see the world, while it's very easy to gloss over weak arguments when they fit our worldview.

    So when I see weak arguments or inconsistencies that seem like they would play well with, for example, the current academic zeitgeist I start loosing trust that what I'm learning is accurate or meaningful. I wondered whether it would be the case with this book after reading some reviews of this book that noted that the author seemed to minimize the brutality of Genghis Khan.

    I've listened to almost half of the book, and I think I'm going to stop now. The writing is good and the content is interesting. I didn't already know much about Genghis Khan, so it's not as if the author's arguments went against pre-existing ideas I have about him.

    Was Genghis Khan a bad, brutal man, or was he simply an effective ruler from a barbaric time? That's an interesting question, and the author clearly comes down in favor of the latter.

    As the author talks about religion/gods, he argued that Khan didn't rely on religious ideas to enthrone himself as a leader, yet in the rest of the book he cites many moments that seem to be powerful counterarguments to that idea. The Genghis of this book was much more practical and his leadership was more about tearing down the 1% and empowering the 99%. The author writes approvingly of Genghis' tolerance of religions, though he is most often above the foolishness and folly of them. When the author does focus on Christianity and Islam, guess which one is described as the stupidest, and which was really pretty awesome (I mean after taking into account that it's still a religion). I'll give you hint: which version would modern academia be most open to?

    Religion aside, the narrative about Genghis Khan seems to be: “Sure he did some bad things, but who didn't back then? He occasionally was a barbaric badass, but most often he had either good intentions or understandable ones. I mean a guy can only be provoked so much before he has to go open a can of whoopass on the aristocratic one percent. And hey, the trains always ran on time, and his people really appreciated that about him, you know, the ones that weren't dead.”

    He reviewed quite a bit of wartime cruelty from western civilization (e.g,. Germans flinging live children via catapults against a city's walls) in order to contrast it with Genghis Khan's methods. He writes:

    “By comparison with the terrifying acts of the civilized armies of the era, the Mongols did not inspire fear by the ferocity or cruelty of their acts so much as by the speed and efficiency with which they conquered and their seemingly total distain for the lives of the rich and powerful. . . .”

    I find myself wondering if that is meaningful comparison. Genghis, is seems, is a noble savage who contrasts sharply with the dramatically flawed western civilizations.

    Would the idea that western civilizations were much more cruel in war than Genghis Khan stand up to an objective review? It seems the author is taking the worst examples of evil and cruelty and comparing it to what he presents as necessary and fitting war practices of Genghis Khan. Maybe if the author compared the worst of Khan's army with the worst of the armies of western societies it would seem like a meaningful comparison.

    I think I'm right in losing confidence in the meaningfulness of this history or I wouldn't write all of this, but I should acknowledge two things. First, I may be overestimating the amount of bias due to my own values and world views. Second, whether it fits with current sociopolitical views that are in vogue or not, it may still be accurate or meaningful. Maybe this work of scholarship meaningfully balances out other histories of Genghis Khan that fail to appreciate the complexities of his motivations.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2946)
    Performance
    (2710)
    Story
    (2711)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Creative and Tense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of the reviews I read for The Golem and the Jinni complained that it started out slow. It isn't "slow" as in "you're going to be bored for a few hours before it gets exciting" slow. To me it only felt slow in that it took a long time before you knew where the story was going. It was definitely not boring. The characters and the story were so creative that it was one of those books that makes you wonder about who the creative, brilliant author is, and how they they became so freakin' awesome, and that I'm not even going to try writing again because I could never be that brilliant. But I digress.

    As the characters in the book develop it's really hard to know if they are going to be good or bad. They are extremely interesting and have it in their power to be very, very evil/destructive if they choose to. Which is great of course, but it took so long to get any idea of the direction the characters would take that it made very, very tense for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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