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Montilee

Just this fox who plays export analyst by day and horror writer by night.

Royal Oak, MI, United States | Member Since 2010

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 119 ratings
  • 368 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
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  • Midnight Mass

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Tanith Lee, Esther Friesner, Barbara Hambly, and others
    • Narrated By Susan Anspach, Karesa McElheny
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Montilee says: "Eh..."
    "Eh..."
    Overall

    The only story worth listening to in that collection was "The Midnight Mass". All the rest seem to be rehashed genre pieces that I'd either heard before or they just completely lacked feeling. The readers were also a little lackluster, either trying to hard or not enough. I can't recommend this title.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Saint Odd: Odd Thomas, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    Overall
    (2102)
    Performance
    (1871)
    Story
    (1874)

    Odd Thomas is back where it all started…because the time has come to finish it. Since he left his simple life in the small town of Pico Mundo, California, his journey has taken him to places strange and wonderful, mysterious and terrifying. Across the land, in the company of mortals and spirits alike, he has known kindness and cruelty, felt love and loss, saved lives and taken them - as he's borne witness to humanity's greatest good and darkest evil.

    withpatience says: "the narration was good as always, the story was no"
    "Odd becomes a grumpy old man at 23"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like your series finales preachy with heavy handed speeches on unfounded plot points and character development, then you'll likely love this book. For anyone else hoping Odd would realize the world is bigger than the few states he traveled, it's rather disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Road Blues: The Pine Deep Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (765)
    Performance
    (687)
    Story
    (689)

    The cozy little town of Pine Deep buried the horrors of its past a long time ago. Thirty years have gone by since the darkness descended and the Black Harvest began, a time when a serial killer sheared a bloody swath through the quiet Pennsylvania village. The evil that once coursed through Pine Deep has been replaced by cheerful tourists getting ready to enjoy the country’s largest Halloween celebration in what is now called “The Spookiest Town in America.”

    James says: "Refreshingly different."
    "Performance was a little to gritty for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the story but the performance didn't enhance it so much as reminded me there was a guy with a deep voice reading it. May the later books are more refined by I'm not ready to dive in to listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Extinction Machine: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1675)
    Performance
    (1574)
    Story
    (1563)

    The president of the United States vanishes from the White House. A top-secret prototype stealth fighter is destroyed during a test flight. Witnesses on the ground say that it was shot down by a craft that immediately vanished at impossible speeds. All over the world, reports of UFOs are increasing at an alarming rate. And in a remote fossil dig in China dinosaur hunters have found something that is definitely not of this earth.

    Karen says: "Another Amazing Entry in the Series"
    "Again! Again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ray Porter *is* Joe Ledger! Everything about this story clicks and it like the best roller coaster rides, it's over far too soon!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patient Zero: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4797)
    Performance
    (4059)
    Story
    (4049)

    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

    Kim Venatries says: "Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more."
    "Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sorry I waited so long to listen. This was thrilling and fascinating and a wonderful spin on a worn out trope.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Secret: Harper Connelly Mysteries, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    Overall
    (1122)
    Performance
    (637)
    Story
    (645)

    Lightning-struck sleuth Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver take a break from looking for the dead to visit the two little girls they both think of as sisters. But, as always happens when they travel to Texas, memories of their horrible childhood resurface.

    V. Sharol Cutrell says: "Satisfactory final conclusion"
    "This makes me officially done w/ Charlaine Harris"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When you engage an audience for with what could be a really good series and then crap out a resolution like the one that wraps the Harper Connelly series, you lose readers.

    This fourth book has Harper checking out the patriarch of a wealthy family, but of course her ability unearths more questions than answers. Oh, and of course there is the issue of Her sister, Cameron's disappearance which adds a level of unbelievable nonsense to the story. Let us not forget ever-evolving relationship between Harper and Tolliver.

    It's convoluted and messy and when everything wraps, you feel cheated as a reader that invested time into the three other books. There is a lot of pre-story padding and redundant "story"-telling, because even if we hadn't read the first three books, we are bombarded with past stuff (I was struck by lightning. Matthew is a bad father. I love Tolliver. I was struck by lightning and I'm still bothered, Matthew was a really bad father. OMG I love Tolliver.) The series wraps as if Harris is "just done" with Harper and by tossing everything into a box and with a vigorous shake, "Grave Secret" is what fell out. It's a lazy mystery, with a lazy story, and a craptastic, unrealistic ending.

    I did like Alyssa Bresnahan's reading, and she brought as much life as she could to the one-dimensional, overly-clingy, desperately neurotic Harper.

    I am done with anything by Charlaine Harris. This was a Mystery-lite series that could have had a nice run, except she created one-dimensional characters with nothing to do but whine and have sex, and that seems to be a constant theme I don't need to waste my time on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pale Gods

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kim Paffenroth
    • Narrated By Christopher Kipiniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    With all the continents overrun by the living dead, the hubs of commerce and civilization are no longer New York or London or Beijing: they’re Nantucket, Havana, and Reykjavik. The sea is not the deadly, foreboding barrier it once was to human life: now it’s their source of safety, transportation, and sustenance. But the mainland beckons reckless, restless men, just as the sea did hundreds of years before, luring them with the promise of riches and danger.

    Magdalena says: "Great narrator for a good book."
    "Not the Best Reader, But The Story Prevails"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There's a lot of monologuing in this book, but in this post-apocalyptic world there isn't much else to do.

    I wish I would have read a paper copy, I wasn't crazy about the reader and his character touches felt ham-handed - especially when it came to Jacob. You know how you can tell when someone is reading the material for the first time - a lot of the book felt like that, as if the Reader had just picked up the the story that morning. It made the low points unbearable and the melodramatic points an aural buffet of imaginary scenery.

    However, there was a good story here, full of compassion and action. A world where survivors confined themselves to islands or boats, and made their living trading or farming and shooting the dead as they rose. Ridley is our eyes as he discovers a life beyond trading and drinking when he hooks up with a group of foragers.

    I enjoyed the philosophical King and the maturing Ridley, but the maniacal Jacob was just a little too much - but that could have been the reader. Nothing the man did seemed to make any sense and I found myself wondering about the Peter Principle.

    I treated myself to the digital version of this book and I'll be revisiting it at a later time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Noir: Three Novels of Suspense

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Richard Matheson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    Noir contains three classic thrillers by Richard Matheson, the grand master of suspense. Originally published in the 1950s, at the very beginning of Matheson’s distinguished career, these page-turning classics are finally on audio for your listening pleasure. Now listeners everywhere can savor three unforgettable tales of crime, corruption, and cold-blooded murder.

    Montilee says: "Not quite what I expected, and I expected more"
    "Not quite what I expected, and I expected more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Compared to novels like "Stir of Echoes", these felt long and drawn out. I love the economy of language used in all three, however whether the narrator or the protrayal of women, these feel dated. Listening to them, I can understand why they've been out of print for so long.

    Each tale is about Regular Guy thrown into incredible situations - and reacting to them in ways that to modern folks seem unsophisticated or slow.

    Someone is Bleeding is Regular Guy doesn't know when how to walk away from Crazy.

    Fury on Sunday is Regular Guy trapped with escaped Crazy

    Ride the Nightmare is regular Guy's past catches up to his happy home.

    In every situation, Regular Guy can't seem to get out of his own way, making every wrong choice and compounding it with more wrong choices. It was tiring.

    However, I'm glad I read them and while they weren't what I was expecting it was good to get a little more Matheson under my belt.

    Narrator wise, Robertson Dean would not have been my first choice. Character inflection aside, his deep, resonating voice made the stories feel heavier than they probably were. This is one of those rare cases where physically reading the book may be to the Reader's advantage.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • It

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5896)
    Performance
    (4516)
    Story
    (4540)

    They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror of their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name.

    Parola138 says: "I thought I was desensitized"
    "IT like you've never read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3/28/13

    This book became my constant companion at work and in the car for a few months and I was sorry (yet a little grateful) to hear it end. It really is a roller coaster of a book. I've read the book (with my eyes, don'cha know) more than a few times, but like The Talisman, I knew there were parts I was skimming just from poor reading habits and an over-anxious drive to see what comes next). Steven Weber makes this long, terrifying book so compelling I need to meet this man and give him kisses. Many, many kisses.

    Yes, this is King in 1986 and his background into Derry can sometimes feel like padding, but when finished, one can take a step back and see all of the broken parts of that blackened little town and understand the whole of the wrongness that existed. It's worth the journey and the side trips and circle loops, and it's certainly worth the uncomfortable squirming.

    I know the reasons King wrote some of the scenes the way he did, but knowing doesn't make it any easier to listen. Horror is supposed to make you uncomfortable, to take you out of that place you feel safe and show you things you'd rather not see, make you think about things you'd rather didn't exist. Yes, it's necessary and it might make you a little sick, but without that visceral response, it wouldn't be as memorable. The itself story has the usual King foibles - detailed, weird jumps in time, "interludes" however in a case like It, they're necessary. If written today, maybe this would have been serialized like The Green Mile, but it would not have had the same impact.

    No sense in going through what the story is about, just know that the audio version is top notch and Steven Weber is an amazing narrator who gave exuberant life to all of the characters. There were no small characters in the book according to Mr. Weber, and I was glad for it.

    2/5/13

    I was recently taking a quiz on this book and for as many times as I've read it, there were things I just didn't remember. It bothered me.

    So I grabbed it from Audible and Steven Weber is reading, and I've got 44 hours of horror and bliss and wonder ahead of me.

    I will never not love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dexter Is Delicious

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jeff Lindsay
    • Narrated By Jeff Lindsay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1468)
    Performance
    (636)
    Story
    (638)

    Dexter is experiencing some major life changes - don't we all? And they're mostly wrapped up in the eight-pound curiosity that is his newborn daughter. Family bliss is cut short, however, when Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of a 17-year-old girl who has been running with a bizarre group of goths who fancy themselves to be vampires. As Dexter gets closer to the truth of what happened to the missing girl, he realizes they are not really vampires so much as cannibals.

    Amazon Customer says: "Odd even for Dexter, but enjoyable!"
    "Dexter Needs A Swift Kick"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While not my first Dexter novel, this was my first one experienced on audio. I think if I go back to the reading the good old fashioned way, perhaps Dexter won't come off as a castrated terrier.

    These are Dexter novels so we know bad things happen to and around Dexter with droll delivery, but Jeff Lindsay (author, narrator) reads as if our anti-hero has been recently lobotomized. It's read too peppy and light, and it makes the argument that First Person Narrators are unreliable, which is a departure from the other Dexter books, as he’s the one character we can trust. We know him and his motives, but when he’s read he’s trying to sell us a used car fished out of the river, it plays too obvious. It doesn’t help that the delivery is stilted and uneven, I can't help but wonder just a little bit (okay, a lot) if these stories aren't perhaps ghostwritten. More on that in a bit.

    Dexter now has a new daughter and while he strives to be the new man his little girl deserves, while switching gears and shepherding Aster and Cody into the new-found religion of Upstanding Citizen (instead of slippery shadows), he is foiled by the circumstances of his new case and the resurfacing of forgotten family. The Dexter in this novel reminds me of the Dexter in "Dexter in the Dark - in other words, not nearly as interesting with the suppression of his Dark Passenger. He goes on (and on and on and on) about his new role as Daddy and it gets tired quick. He’s the guy with the new car he can’t stop wiping with a chamois. He still want to be the guy you got to like, but comes off like that guy that can’t stop talking about his horsepower and leather seats and ends up crawling under your skin until you shoot him in the face to make him shut up.

    Like that.

    Then there's Deb, who somehow made it to Sergeant by punching and swearing and being incompetent. Behind every great woman, is a man that lets her play pretend, eh Lindsay? If she were set up as the cop that only got to where she was using her brother, that would be one thing, but as Deb is supposedly tough as nails, she comes off as a dumb jock who can’t string a thought together without Dexter’s ‘insight’. With Deb’s constant intrusion into Dexter’s life, one is left wondering if when the baby was born, Dexter turned his balls in for a burping cloth.

    Back to the ghostwriting; I've read my own work out loud - and because I've written it, I know how I imagine my own characters' reactions, inflections, tone. Jeff Lindsay seems to read this cold as if he's meeting Dexter and Deb and the words on the page for the first time. The sentences read too fast or without inflection. There was a scene with two people caught up in a moment are falling over each other’s words, so it should have sounded like two people talking, but without inflection, or even a change in pitch, it sounded a tweaker explaining the aerodynamics of a marshmallow shooter while disassembling a toaster. If you're going to read something purportedly written by you, maybe you should become more familiar with it, maybe practice before sitting in front of the mic. Otherwise, you get something that sounds like this.

    Because of the pacing of the reading and the lack of any characterizations, the wasn't nearly a good a story as it could have been. Maybe I’m just soured on the whole series of Dexter Books, since Book 3 (I didn’t even realize until just now that somehow I skipped “Dexter By Design”). Perhaps with a different narrator, this could have been a different book and I may have enjoyed it more.

    Yes, the narrator does matter, Jeff Lindsay, so set aside your ego and get a professional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark, No Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson, Jessica Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2606)
    Performance
    (1329)
    Story
    (1326)

    "I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up "1922", the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness.

    Parusski says: "Eerie, honest, frightening!"
    "Good stories, poor female narration"
    Overall

    I'm adding Jessica Hecht to my "no-listen" list. She managed t turn every female character into some whiny grating helpless lump, despite their actions. Half-way through "Big Driver", I switched back to my print version. I did the same thing about 1/4 way through "A Good Marriage".

    Craig Wasson I enjoyed, and "1922" with "Fair Extension" made for very enjoyable reads.

    These stories are dark and have the ice pick sting of pain and horror we've come to expect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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