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Nolan Howe

Lathrop, CA United States | Member Since 2010

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 168 ratings
  • 432 titles in library
  • 55 purchased in 2014
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  • Covert Warriors: Presidential Agent Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By W. E. B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (489)
    Performance
    (407)
    Story
    (415)

    At a Mexican roadblock, a U.S. Embassy SUV is stopped at gunpoint, three of its passengers murdered, and a fourth kidnapped. Everything points to the drug cartels, especially when the kidnappers say they will return the hostage if a cartel kingpin is released from U.S. federal prison.But when word gets to Charley Castillo and his group of “retired” spies and special operators, they have their doubts.

    Richard Tabisz says: "Disappointing"
    "Barely made it to the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth and/or Dick Hill?

    I've been a huge fan of W.E.B. Griffin for more than 20 years and I'm sad to say that since he's started writing with his son the books have become much less enjoyable. The Presidential Agents series started off as enjoyable, though not up to his earlier series, but as each book in this series has come out it has gotten steadily more rote and repetitive. It seems unlikely that I will continue to read this series.


    Has Covert Warriors turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I love the genre and I love Griffin's earlier works. I'll likely just go back and revisit those wonderful books.


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

    The acting of the book was fine for what it was. It was easy to follow who was speaking as the reader had distinctive voices for everyone. I will say that weather he was written that way or it was the readers interpretation, the President was such an SOB that I found myself not being able to wait until the chapter was over every time the story switched to the Presidential POV.


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

    No, not really.


    Any additional comments?

    I think followers of W.E.B. Griffin know that usually his books are all about the interactions between the characters and not necessarily about the action. That being said, all of the interaction in this book are boring and repetitive. They basically sit around for the whole book talking about the same things over and over and then resolve the major plot point in a couple of paragraphs. I came away with the impression that the authors are working to turn out as many books as possible with not a lot of thought to the quality and the enjoyment of fans.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Panther

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Nelson DeMille
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2119)
    Performance
    (1792)
    Story
    (1784)

    Anti-Terrorist Task Force agent John Corey and his wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield, have been posted overseas to Sana'a, Yemen - one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East. While there, they will be working with a small team to track down one of the masterminds behind the USS Cole bombing: a high-ranking Al Qaeda operative known as The Panther. Ruthless and elusive, he's wanted for multiple terrorist acts and murders - and the U.S. government is determined to bring him down, no matter the cost.

    John says: "Exciting Nelson DeMille novel with great narration"
    "The Lion: Part 3, Redux, a sequel, agan...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a fan of Nelson DeMille since he first started writing and have always celebrated when he brings out a new book. I've quite enjoyed the John Corey series of books, as have others obviously since he keeps writing sequels, but I think it's time he moves on to some other characters for a novel or two. Each John & Kate book has been just a little less interesting though usually entertaining. This book seems like The Lion - Lite edition - and with each Scott Brick sarcastically drawled "Riiiight," I became less and less entertained.

    These are worthy characters, and perhaps if Mr. DeMille took a break and exercised different creative muscles for a while when he then returns to Mr. & Mrs. Corey it will be with an original rather than derivative storyline and my level of entertainment will return.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Doomsday Key: A Sigma Force Novel, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By James Rollins
    • Narrated By Peter Jay Fernandez
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (755)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (307)

    At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter's Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator's son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh. The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries.

    Bob says: "mystery - history storys"
    "Not my favorite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book based on my love of thrillers and some good reviews. Overall I have to say that the book is entertaining and I did love that the author writes in the same vein as Michael Crichton, meaning lots of true elements to a fantastic, science filled story. Unfortunately I think I've reached my tolerance for all-knowing, shadowy, nefarious groups of bad guys. It seems there is no end to the knowledge these people possess, to their ability to show up at just the right time with exactly the equipment or personnel they ned to thwart the plans of the hero.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the story for the most part and don't feel like I wasted a credit, but it wasn't quite the book I was hoping it would be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (433)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (367)

    To the costermongers of Covent Garden Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie - and why? Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death.

    Jean says: "A time of conflict--look for the deeper message"
    "Maisie Dobbs moves out on her own..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Elegy for Eddie rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ranking this in the series (rather than against all others) I'd put Elegy for Eddie somewhere in the middle ranks.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Make no mistake, I enjoyed the book but I do think that to make room for the introspection and development of the character stories the mystery lacked depth and complexity that is usually a hallmark of this series.


    Which character – as performed by Orlagh Cassidy – was your favorite?

    I've always enjoyed her characterization of Billy Beale.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This wouldn't make a good movie, and I hate this particular question so we'll just move on...


    Any additional comments?

    At the end of the last book Maisie's mentor and friend Maurice Blanche dies and leaves her his estate, causing her to dramatically change her station in life. This book is primarily focused on how she struggles with that change, upsetting her view of everything in life including herself - somewhat at the cost of the mystery. I think of it as a transition book in the literal sense as Maisie comes to terms with who she is in the world. I have high hopes for the series moving forward into the latter half of the 1930's and approaching WWII. While not the best example of a Maisie Dobbs book it's still a good read and well worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Better Read Than Dead: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (864)
    Performance
    (685)
    Story
    (677)

    Word of Abby's talents reading tarot cards has reached a mob boss who wants her help in some business matters and he doesn't take no for an answer. When the police seek out her psychic intuition to shed light on a masked man who's been attacking women, Abby finds herself working both sides of the law on her own, leading her to wonder, why didn't I see this coming?

    Heather B. says: "Better Read Than Dead -Victoria Laurie"
    "Fun but a little rough around the edges"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Better Read Than Dead in three words, what would they be?

    A good time.


    Would you recommend Better Read Than Dead to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, though flawed it's still a fun listen.


    What about Elizabeth Michaels’s performance did you like?

    She does a great job giving all of the characters clear voices and is pleasant to listen to.


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

    This is not really a "moving" kind of book....unless you count that I listened to it in the car.


    Any additional comments?

    Like the others in this series the book is fun to listen to with humorous moments and enough action to keep you into the story. The only reason I had to take away stars for story was that Abby had to go to incredulously ludicrous lengths to avoid common sense in order to keep the story moving forward. Any moderately sane person would have sought help at half a dozen places in the story and the eye rolling that occurred each time she avoided asking for help nearly made me drive off the road.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bone by Bone

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Carol O'Connell
    • Narrated By Benjamin Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (508)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (210)

    In the northern California town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one day, but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh, until 20 years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army CID, returns to Coventry for the first time in many years. His first morning back, he hears a thump on the front porch. Lying in front of the door is a human jawbone, the teeth still intact. And it is not the first such object, his father tells him.

    Paige says: "A good, solid listen"
    "Couldn't stop listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely! I really enjoyed the story and the performance and was sad that it didn't last longer.


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

    Yes, the mystery is very compelling and right up to the end you're not sure who the guilty party or parties might be.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Describing it would ruin the surprise.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I hate this question....


    Any additional comments?

    I found this book to be compelling and full of characters that I cared about. I was genuinely disappointed to find that this is a one off and not part of a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaks the Nightbird

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3015)
    Performance
    (2692)
    Story
    (2676)

    The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....

    aaron says: "Dark, Twisted Period Piece with GREAT Characters!"
    "Not quite the five star book I was expecting..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really looking forward to listening to this book based on all of the stellar reviews and my affinity for history and historic fiction. A book set in the early American colonies set against the drama of a witch trial seemed like a really good time.

    Time is precisely the problem with this book. Clocking in at over 30 hours the book is about 10 hours too long. I'm not afraid of long books and have listened to some marathon novels but when the pace is as plodding as this one is for the first several parts it becomes a painful process. I often judge my books by how I feel when I come to an Audible part break. If my reaction is "Already?" then the book is flying by and a good read. If my reaction is, "Oh no, we're only this far along?".....well, it's not good.

    It's too bad really becuase if you strip away a lot of the overdone character development and historical scene-setting there is a really good mystery here. Without all the filler there would have been more room for the plot to move along and keep me interested. I finished this book, and the finish is quite good once you get there, more as a testament to my reluctance to waste a credit by quitting on the book than anything else.

    Just a warning to the more squeamish among us that there is some very graphic imagery in this book. That didn't bother me at all but some may find the descriptions of various demonic acts disturbing.

    A word about Edoardo Ballerini's narration. I found him very easy to listen to and his character voices were well defined and sounded natural. It was easy to follow who was speaking and he brought a sense of drama to the action, when there was some action. I would happily listen to another of his narrations.

    Honestly I'm conflicted over whether to listen to any more books in this series. The mystery of this book was quite fine at its core and the setting is unique to the historical fiction I've read. Perhaps he has learned to pare down some of the fluff as the series moves on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • As the Crow Flies: A Walt Longmire Mystery, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1532)
    Performance
    (1349)
    Story
    (1341)

    Craig Johnson has won multiple awards and earned starred reviews from Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews for his New York Times best-selling Walt Longmire mysteries. Embarking on his eighth adventure in As the Crow Flies, Sheriff Longmire is searching the Cheyenne Reservation for a site to host his daughter’s wedding, when he sees a woman fall to her death. Teaming up with beautiful tribal chief Lolo Long, Walt sets out to investigate the suspicious death.

    B.J. says: "Simply one of my favorite series."
    "Always happy to visit Absaroka County"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to As the Crow Flies the most enjoyable?

    George Guidall's performance makes all of the characters come to life. He is so connected to Walt Longmire in my mind I can't imagine anyone else reading this series.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I know it's sort of cliche but I identify most with the main character, Walt Longmire. He's everything you could want in a hero. Strong, smart, emotionally available and with a great sense of humor.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    The nuanced way he reads each line quickly makes you forget your listening to a book and puts you right into the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Maybe some laughs occasionally but not much crying.


    Any additional comments?

    I've enjoyed this series from the very beginning and my biggest complaint is that I have to wait for the next one! Like all of the books in the series it's enjoyable from the start and never lets you down. My only complaint, and it's a small one, is that like the past couple of books the story takes Walt out of town and thus many of the series characters play much smaller parts in the story than one might like. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the book from start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Lesson in Secrets: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (541)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (382)

    In the summer of 1932, Maisie Dobbs' career takes an exciting new turn when she accepts an undercover assignment directed by Scotland Yard's Special Branch and the Secret Service. Posing as a junior lecturer, she is sent to a private college in Cambridge to monitor any activities "not in the interests of His Majesty's government". She soon finds herself investigating a web of activities being conducted by the emerging Nazi Party.

    Jeanette Finan says: "A worthy edition to the series"
    "Another fine Maisie Dobbs novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Lesson in Secrets rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've been listening and reading the Maisie Dobbs series since the beginning and I'd rank this one in the upper middle of the books. The narration by Orlagh Cassidy is superb as always.


    What other book might you compare A Lesson in Secrets to and why?

    I'd compare these with perhaps the Periot books from Agatha Christy. Lot of great historical detail with an interesting mystery and characters.


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

    I've only listened to her do the Maisie Dobbs books but she has been excellent in all of them.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The winds of war are gathering. (I hate this question).


    Any additional comments?

    This is a turning point book in terms of Maisie's life and career and you can feel the series moving inexorably towards the events that lead into WWII. The story in this book perhaps is a little on the weaker side becuase she spends a lot of time on some big changes in Maisie's life. I'm eagerly awaiting the next books in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doom with a View: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (314)

    Business has been frustratingly slow for Abby. She reluctantly agrees to a job with the FBI, putting her at the center of an internal political struggle between two agents. Abby's skills and patience are tested, but when she helps them locate three college students who've mysteriously disappeared, they know she's the real deal. Her intuition says these weren't random abductions. With her psychic eye wide open she sets out to find a kidnapper.

    My Spence says: "great book, well read"
    "Not really in my wheelhouse but I enjoyed it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a breezy easy read (listen) and the characters and story were entertaining.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's easy to say Abbie since she is the "star" but I rather liked the PI character, Candace.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the climactic scene in the.....well, the climactic scene.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Politics from the other side.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not really into psychics and hoggie boogy stuff but I enjoyed this mystery and the characters enough to try another book from the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First Degree

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By David Rosenfelt
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1036)
    Performance
    (480)
    Story
    (471)

    When a cop's body is found burned and decapitated, the last thing Andy Carpenter expected is for a stranger to waltz into his office and admit to the crime. For the wise-cracking millionaire defense attorney suffering from "lawyer's block", the case looks like a no-brainer...until the cops pick up another suspect: Andy's lead P.I., Laurie Collins, who happens to be the love of his life.

    A. Wright says: "Read series in order"
    "A good, solid Andy Carpenter mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up First Degree in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, enjoyable and fun!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of First Degree?

    Honestly I enjoy the humor in the Andy Carpenter throughout books the most rather than pointing to a particular scene or moment.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    The Andy Carpenter books are all first person so Grover Gardner has become Andy Carpenter to me. I can't imagine anyone else as his voice and he reads the books with an easy confidence that makes it seem he's sitting right next to you.


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

    These humorous mysteries are not really


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I have all of the Carpenter books. I always eagerly anticipate listening to the book and am usually sad that the book has to come to an end. I've just about finished the series and It'll be tough to have to wait for the author to write the next one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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