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Paul

I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.

United States | Member Since 2013

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 56 reviews
  • 82 ratings
  • 188 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
10
FOLLOWERS
1

  • The Hypnotist

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Lars Kepler
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (419)
    Story
    (417)

    Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide—all the victims from the same family—captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered. But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. He has suffered more than 100 knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He’s in no condition to be questioned....

    Watson says: "Suspense for suspense's sake"
    "Hypnotize me and help me forget"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Lars Kepler and/or Mark Bramhall?

    Lars Keplar no because his characters are very adolecent, i.e. the main character calling people to say "I told you so" is really childish, and not something I'd expect from a police detective. Even the supporting cast was bland and very childish and not very smart. I would preview Mark Bramhall's reading before getting another novel from him to see how he reads. If his accent becomes annoying then I would not listen to him read another novel.


    Has The Hypnotist turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I still enjoy the Nordic Noire/ crime fiction novels a la the Millenium Trilogy, Preston and Child's Pendergast series, and I'm looking forward to trying the Jo Nesb0 books.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The fake Swedish accent drove me up the wall, and the way he pronounced Benjamin as Ben ya mean grated on my nerves.


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

    Anger, mostly because the characters are dumb. Dr. Bark is asked one time if anyone hates him, and he says no, but then later he's like OH yeah there's this whole group of patients that probably hate me. How could you not remember that, since they were the basis of your research for years.


    Any additional comments?

    There's a good mystery here, but the narration is poor and the characters are poor that the good mystery with some solid red herrings to throw you off, do not make up for the shoddiness of the storytelling.

    I also think there might be some issues with the translation where things weren't fully fleshed out and were mistranslated, or translated word for word and not put into English context. For example, everyone shakes their head for either YES or NO, no one nods etc.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Valiant

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3226)
    Performance
    (2248)
    Story
    (2256)

    Deep within Syndicate Worlds' space, the Alliance fleet continues its dangerous journey home under the command of Captain John "Black Jack" Geary, who was revived after a century spent in suspended animation. Geary's victories over the enemy have earned him both the respect and the envy of his fellow officers.

    Readalot says: "I like honorable heroes!"
    "Valiant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The journey to Alliance Space continues to takes its physical and mental toll on fabled hero Black Jack Geary. This book is solid entry into the series, and we're beginning to see the toll it's taking on the leaders of the Fleet from the different starship captains as well as John Geary. We get to see more of the same in terms of the flow of the way the books go. Travel to new system, battle, resupply and move on. There's more of that, but there's also a shift in the way the Syndic forces appear to the Alliance. Geary's actions have begun to affect the psyche of the Syndicate worlds citizens. There are also new threats that the crew must contend with, some within the Alliance and some outside.

    Book 4 was a much better book than book 3 in the series. Valiant gives us the opportunity to build upon what the first few books only hinted at in terms of crew relations, the Syndics and the mounting tolls on our hero.

    Christian Rummel's performance was solid as usual and he remained engaged to delivering a solid performance without becoming bored with such a long series. If book 3 was a letdown for you, book 4 does much of the same, but there was enough here to make me want to see finish the journey home.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bound by Flames: Night Prince, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (893)
    Performance
    (809)
    Story
    (812)

    Leila's years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn't learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin...

    RabidReads says: "Snoopy happy dance!"
    "A thrilling conclusion to this arc."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Vlad and Leila have had their ups and downs. This book is no exception. This book follows the formula of the other books in the series, with kidnapping, escapes, near death experiences betrayal and more. Things heat up very quickly with Szialgyi launching an attack and capturing Leila again. Things go from bad to worse for Leila, but eventually some allies arrive to aid in the rescue.

    There's a lot of good things in this book that Ms. Frost does well, from cameo appearances, to a primer on marriage and relationships to heartbreak and an ending that'll make you smile.

    The book isn't perfect, having Leila be kidnapped yet again isn't really new or exciting, but it does serve to move the plot forward. Tavia Gilbert delivers one of her best performances. She was spot on with everything from the heartache, to the love and comedic scenes throughout the book. Bound by Flames doesn't tread a not of new ground for our couple, but it does leave the door open for the opportunities for our couple to experience new and exciting adventures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bound: Mastered, 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Lorelei James
    • Narrated By Rachel Vivette, Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (702)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (656)

    Former small-town girl Amery Hardwick is living her dream as a graphic designer in Denver, Colorado. She's focused on building her business, which leaves little time for dating - not that she needs a romantic entanglement to fulfill her. When her friend signs up for a self-defense class as part of her recovery after an attack, Amery joins her for support. That's where she meets him. Ronin Black, owner of the dojo, is so drawn to Amery that he takes over her training - in public and in private. The enigmatic Ronin pushes Amery's boundaries from the start, and with each new tryst, Amery becomes addicted to the pleasure and to him.

    cmsande says: "Satisfy Your Craving with Bound by Lorelei James"
    "A Series of Random events *DNF*"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We did NOT finish this book, it was too painful. We did finish the first half of the book however. It's not that we're against smut, sex or kink, but the novel needs to have a cohesive plot, and not just a series of scenes that lead into sex. I'm picking my pants up from your dojo, let's have sex. I'm having a party and you showed up uninvited, let's have sex. I mean really, the characters were just thrown together in a series of random events. The sex felt more vulgar than hot and steamy. Nothing worked for us, and we were glad to stop.

    From a narration standpoint, it was bad. The characters weren't brought to life and it sounded as if Amery was Asian one minute and not the next. The same went for Ronin. She tried to give Amery's parents a North Dakotan accent and it sounded nothing like any standard accent from the plains. I can't in good conscience recommend this to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5201)
    Performance
    (2292)
    Story
    (2289)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "An epic history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Company is an epic undertaking both for the listener and the author. It covers all the major events in the cold war. From the events in the fifties in Budapest, to the rise of Boris Yeltsin, Littell weaves a tale that manages to engage the audience. Every flash-point in the book is exciting from the build-up through the successes and failures for both the US and the Soviet team. Characters on both sides are likable and despicable. It's a well balanced novel and the different events are also supported by an overarching mystery with characters who grow and age throughout.

    Scott Brick does an amazing job and this may be one of the best books I've ever listened to. He does a great job with both bringing the characters to life and giving them an accent that fits. He uses different dialects for each region the story takes place and it fits.

    I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in either the Cold War or the CIA. It's long, but it keeps the plot moving and is definitely worth the price of admission.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Better Homes and Hauntings

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    Overall
    (1716)
    Performance
    (1592)
    Story
    (1597)

    When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate - he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

    Jonathan says: "Would I let (ok, want) my daughter to marry a ..."
    "A Haunted mansion filled with ghosts and friends"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Being a fan of Molly's Jane Jameson and Naked Werewolf series, my wife and I were pretty excited with the prospects of a stand-alone novel. It wasn't a great experience.

    There's some great positives in the book. The protagonists are one of them. From Nina the Landscape architect, Deacon the rich homeowner, to Cindy the cleaner etc. They are pretty fun and likeable characters. They all get some different points of view for us to follow, while Nina and Deacon are the biggest focus, the rest do get their own time to shine.

    The setting is pretty cool. It's a private island with a mansion known as the Crane's Nest. Deacon's great great grandparents built the home, and his great great grandmother was killed there. There's a bit of a mystery around the murder, and there are some general assumptions made about who did it. There are some great descriptions of both the mansion and the hauntings.

    The biggest issue we found was with the hauntings themselves. They felt out of place, and didn't work. The initial visions and events are ok and entertaining, the later events. It takes the fun out of the book. Sure it's kind of creepy, but it breaks the immersion. The other villians dont' work either. Rick seems like an afterthought. He's there at first, then he disappears for most of the book. He doesn't pose a real threat with anyone until the end, which makes sense, but he still feels like an afterthought.

    Amanda Ronconi provides her usual high level narration and brings the characters to life.

    Overall this is an OK book, but it just doesn't have the same feel as the Jane Jameson and Naked Werewolf books. I hesitate to highly recommend it, but Harper fans will enjoy. It's got some snark, it's still sweet, but the haunting aspect is the biggest weakness in the story and didn't work for us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Touch the Dark: Cassandra Palmer, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Karen Chance
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (657)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (319)

    Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits - talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead alike. The ghosts of the dead aren't usually dangerous; they just like to talk...a lot. The undead are another matter. Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires, but when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she's forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

    donna says: "decent story but does have a few flaws.."
    "An Incomplete Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Touch the Dark is an OK start in the crowded genre of Paranormal Romance. There's some real interesting elements with her circles of magi and vampires, were's, and Ms. Palmer the clairvoyant. She does a great job of building the world and some of the characters, but the plotting of the story needs some work. She tells the story well enough, but the story doesn't end with the book. The book ends like it's the end of a chapter. It's not that it's a cliffhanger, it's an incomplete story and the editors didn't make her finish the story. That's just unacceptable. There's some good romance and the author starts turning the heat up and teases the audience throughout.

    From a narration standpoint, Ms. Holloway is pretty good in the Chicagoland Vampires series, but she is very hit or miss in this book. Her accents for the European characters are bad, and Cassandra's voice goes from OK to what happened throughout the story. I think she does the best with Billy's voice, but that's not saying much in this case.

    Overall, it's got some good hooks, and if you can get past M.s Holloway's performance, there's enough meat in the story for us to want book 2, it's just a shame that she didn't tell a complete story in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Becoming: Anna Strong, Vampire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jeanne C. Stein
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (788)
    Performance
    (491)
    Story
    (491)

    Anna Strong is trained for anything-until she's attacked one night, only to awaken in a dark world that exists between the living and the dead. Here, Anna struggles with her love for the two men who inhabit the realms of each: Max, a human DEA agent, and Avery, a Night Watcher who joins Anna in pursuit of the vampire who changed her life. Now, as her two worlds collide, fate plunges Anna into the ultimate battle between good and evil - where survival is not just for the living.

    Karen says: "Another new take on vampires and the paranormal."
    "Anna Strong, boring vampire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a pretty boring book. It's an urban fantasy title, with vampires. It's not particularly good, nor is it bad. It just is. Anna is a bounty hunter who works bringing in people trying to skip out on bail with her partner David. Things go bad one night and then she wakes up a vampire. The way she becomes a vampire is similar to how other stories convert their character. Bitten and drink vampire blood and now you're a vampire. However one note that can definitely turn people off is the rape scene. Rape is a serious subject no matter how you try to swing it, and Ms. Stein uses it as a plot coupon/rape fantasy for Anna. She gets turned on and kind of likes it. I'm not commenting socially on this because this isn't the place, but if that turns you off, don't read the book.

    Sex is used for feeding purposes to make the mate enjoy being bitten and fed upon. There's nothing graphic in the story with sex, or violence. Not a bad thing, but it doesn't do anything to make the story better. Her "serious boyfriend" Max has maybe 100 words with him in it, most of which Anna talks about cheating on him.

    The story is self-contained. Anna saves the day and solves the mystery. Nothing bad really happens to any of the protagonists. The mystery is pretty cut and dry. The story is short, and Dina Pearlman does an OK job of narrating, using subtle differences for the character voices, but again it's a little lifeless and boring. I don't know if it was the subject matter or her style, but my wife and I decided we'll probably skip the rest of the series and listen to some other urban fantasy with better hooks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Called: Mercy Thompson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Patricia Briggs
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4685)
    Performance
    (3183)
    Story
    (3194)

    Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

    Susan says: "I love this series.."
    "Promising Beginnings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a solid first book in the Mercy Thompson series. My wife and I really enjoyed it. The characters were good, the world was interesting and it kept moving. The book never slowed to a point where it got boring.

    Mercy is just an auto mechanic specializing in older European cars VW, Audi, Porsche etc. She's also got the ability to turn into a coyote. She's friends with werewolves, some of the lesser fey and acquaintances with some vampires. She gets wrapped up in a mystery when a stray werewolf appears at her garage looking for work. Once the story gets going, it moves rather quickly.

    Mercy's a pretty tough character, but Ms. Briggs doesn't turn her into a god. None of the characters are perfect and they all make mistakes. Mercy isn't swooning over every guys in the story and there's not much romance in this book. It's a solid urban fiction story not quite as good as the Dresden Files, but it's good nonetheless.

    Lorelei King's narration is pretty solid, she doesn't knock it out of the park, but she doesn't hinder the story in any way either. It's a solid reading and I'd listen to her narrate other stories.

    Overall, if you're looking for an Urban fantasy series that isn't the Dresden Files, then Mercy Thompson is a great place to go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I've Got Your Number: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Sophie Kinsella
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1324)
    Performance
    (1148)
    Story
    (1140)

    Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree.

    Erin says: "Pure fun"
    "A romance for the Always On generation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to I've Got Your Number again? Why?

    No, but that's because there's always new books to listen to and other media to consume, so I try to not replay any books


    What other book might you compare I've Got Your Number to and why?

    It's on par with "Can you Keep a Secret?" I think I like this book a little bit more, though it's not quite as laugh out loud funny, I think the characters are better.


    What does Jayne Entwistle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She uses her voice and accents to bring the characters to life and makes them feel alive and more likable than just reading the words on a page


    If you could rename I've Got Your Number, what would you call it?

    This is a great title, but since it's not Sam's number Poppy has, it's his assistant's. It's more of a "I've got your Mobile", since it involves more than phone calls.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a lot of fun to listen to. It's got some good characters and they're not completely one dimensional. The plot doesn't slow down, the pacing is good and the book never feels like it drags.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seduction and Snacks

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Tara Sivec
    • Narrated By Romy Nordlinger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (412)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (378)

    Claire is a 20-something, single mom who grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he's asleep) toddler a better life. When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time. With Carter's undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire's panic that her stretch marks and slim-to-none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.

    Angela says: "Very Good"
    "A comedic mix of sweet and sassy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a difficult review to write. I have mixed feelings on the book. It's not that the book is bad or the narrator was boring, it's more fluff than anything. I like the characters, and I think there's chemistry between the group, but the book feels very juvenile. There's at least one penis joke or mention of penis or vagina every minute or so it feels. I don't mind the raunchiness, but there's more ways to describe things and organs than repeated used of penis and vagina, some vulgar and some not.


    This is the first book in a trilogy, but it holds its own as a completely stand alone novel. With that being said, I don't know if we'll continue with the rest of the series. This was sweet, but it's also a little empty. The humor was good, but it's raunchy, so if that's not your thing, stay away.

    From a plot standpoint, the chemistry between Claire and Carter is spot on, and Gavin is great comic relief, There's some good embarrassing situations for Claire throughout the book and they work well for the most part, but if you're looking for some deeper romantic plot, this isn't it. It's fun and shallow and great for laughs. It's short and sweet which is great because it doesn't get the chance to stall and drag the plot along.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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