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I didn't do much for the first twenty years of my life, spent the next twenty in the military, and the twenty after that in college. Then, I mostly retired.

Franklin, WI, United States | Member Since 2010

  • 8 reviews
  • 173 ratings
  • 770 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2015

  • Mutineer: Kris Longknife, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kris Longknife is a daughter of privilege, born to money and power. Her father is the prime minister of her home planet, her mother the consummate politician's wife. She's been raised only to be beautiful and marry well. But the heritage of the military Longknifes courses through Kris' blood - and, against her parents' objections, she enlists in the Marines.

    Jeffery says: "Harsh reviews seem undeserved to me"
    "Ripping off David Weber's Honorverse"
    What would have made Mutineer better?

    Character development for a start, a story line that was less predictable would have also lent some entertainment value.

    Has Mutineer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I bought and listened to three of them, and I had just as well have listened to one three times. The scenery changes, but the story line stays the same. One dimensional characters, as deep as the print on this page.

    Which character – as performed by Dina Pearlman – was your favorite?

    The reader did well, and hopefully she will show up on other books.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It is a straight up space opera, but could have been much more. I like the genre immensely, but a little more authorship was expected.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • A Call to Duty: Book I of Manticore Ascendant

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By David Weber, Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Eric Michael Summerer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life...he two things his neglectful mother couldn’t or wouldn’t provide. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he’d finally found the structure he’d always wanted so desperately. But life in the RMN isn’t exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of budgetary extinction.

    Jean says: "Astronautical adventure story"
    "Nice to see this universe again"
    What did you love best about A Call to Duty?

    Characters aborning are always interesting, and individual traits are not always loved or valued, but are always useful in the right place. I hope that the rest of the series continues along the same sort of story line. The villains are always the same though.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the development of the characters and the setting up of the circumstances for the remainder of the series. I was impressed by the disorder and disarray in this book, and have always thought that the crews in the Harrington series were too miraculous to be true, and it will be interesting to see how this series builds the Manticoran Navy into something like the professional machine it was at that later point.

    Have you listened to any of Eric Michael Summerer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator is easy to understand, does voices and accents well, and it was an enjoyable listen the first time through.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Amazon Legion: Carrera, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Tom Kratman
    • Narrated By Piper Goodeve
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On the colony planet of Terra Nova, Carrera has achieved his revenge, destroying those who had destroyed his life by killing his wife and children in a terrorist strike. And, with this help of his second wife, he has thwarted an attempted coup that would have restored the rule of the oligarchy and undone his hard-won victory. But his fight is not over yet.... The problem of the Tauran Union's control of the Transitway between Terra Nova and Earth remains, as does the problem of the nuclear-armed United Earth Peace Fleet, orbiting above the planet.

    Andrew says: "Interesting approach and appraisal of the issues"
    "Great Fun"
    If you could sum up The Amazon Legion in three words, what would they be?

    The narration is spotty, there is much repetition. Even so, it is an entertaining listen for an old warrior, few jarring errors in small unit tactics are apparent, and a little grisly reality doesn't hurt anything. Like Heinlein, the author makes a lot of political and social commentary along the way.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are a number of worthy and well developed characters in the series, and they tend to survive from one book and part of the story to another.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    There is an aggravating tendency on the part of the narrator to whisper when he is stating the thoughts of the characters. The net result is that I have no more knowledge of what they were thinking than any non-mindreaders in the listening audience, and if I turn it up, the windows shake when the story continues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Modern Witch: A Modern Witch, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Debora Geary
    • Narrated By Martha Harmon Pardee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lauren is downtown Chicago's youngest elite realtor. She's also a witch. She must be - the fetching spell for Witches' Chat isn't supposed to make mistakes. So says the woman who coded the spell, at least. The tall, dark, and handsome guy sent to assess her is a witch too (and no, that doesn't end the way you might think). What he finds in Lauren will change lives, mess with a perfectly good career, and require lots of ice cream therapy.

    ShySusan says: "Perfect antidote for vampire & zombie overdoses"
    "Words to sleep by."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I am sure that there are people that this would appeal to, and many other reviewers have good things to say about it. It is about daily life apparently, in a really nice world. And it is about witches, a sort of romanticized and commercialized sort of witchcraft.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Debora Geary again?

    I don't think so, and if so, I will be sure to listen to a sample first.

    Have you listened to any of Martha Harmon Pardee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard this narrator before, but she seemed more than adequate to the task.

    Any additional comments?

    I keep my Kindle on my bedside table, and I do listen to it to fall asleep. This book is excellent, as there is nothing in it that I found particularly interesting or exciting, and if there is a plot, I don't think I found it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Very entertaining series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy, or general sci fy with a strong female lead character. I listened to the first two books in one weekend, and my wife enjoyed them right along with me.

    What other book might you compare Divergent to and why?

    The Hunger Games trilogy

    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    Great characterizations, clear voice, easily listened to.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Scott Westerfeld
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

    Tahlia Merrill says: "Wonderful, but don't forget to buy the book"
    "Great story for a young reader"
    Would you listen to Leviathan again? Why?

    Yes, I enjoyed the imaginative story line, and the author has taken care to expand the story to include information needed to make this alternative universe understandable.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I like stories about young women who are self possessed and confident, and the main character in this story is believable.

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

    I really enjoyed the interplay between all of the characters. The story line was simple and uncomplicated, but very imaginative. This is a story for young people, about young people interacting with the world. I can imagine just about any preadolescent or early teen girl getting into the story, and what appears to be the series that will come from it.

    Any additional comments?

    If you have a preteen girl who is imaginative, and I believe that most are, and you do not object to feeding her imagination, this would be a good choice for her. Young men will likely enjoy it as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pineapple Grenade: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Tim Dorsey
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    First, there's the media frenzy over the “Hollow Man,” a gutless corpse found on the beach. And yet people think it’s perfectly normal to find dead sharks in the middle of downtown boulevards - or to spot black mushroom clouds behind the airport. Then there are the roving bands of carjackers who suddenly find themselves inconvenienced. Not to mention people lurking outside sex-addiction meetings. Could this be the work of Serge, that eccentric trivialista and one-man vigilante? And why is he extensively photographing foreign consulates right before the critically important Summit of the Americas?

    David says: "Fun but not for the whole family."
    "A Satire, I guess"
    What disappointed you about Pineapple Grenade?

    This was not really a story, but a set of interlinked satirical glimpses of recent events.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A Grisham novel.

    What three words best describe Oliver Wyman’s voice?

    A good story teller, dynamic, good speed of delivery, and great characterization, by far the best part of this effort.

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

    Disappointment, followed by confusion. I guess I wanted to be able to lose myself in a story, but instead, I was repulsed by the characters. Nothing heroic, nothing particularly civilized, and one line after another of trite, shopworn phrases.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "Hard to follow"

    Some audio books require a period of time to catch the difference in the voices of the character. With these narrators, all the voices are similar, and I could not follow the story line even after an hour or more. Some books make for a really good read, some for a good listen, and some for both. Maybe this one would be a good read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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