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Russ

ratings
6
REVIEWS
6
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • Never Go Back: Jack Reacher 18

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Lee Child
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (89)

    After an epic and interrupted journey all the way from the snows of South Dakota, Jack Reacher has finally made it to Virginia. His destination: a sturdy stone building a short bus ride from Washington D.C., the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. It was the closest thing to a home he ever had. Why? He wants to meet the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner. He liked her voice on the phone. But the officer sitting behind Reacher’s old desk isn't a woman. Why is Susan Turner not there? What Reacher doesn’t expect is what comes next.

    Peter Grobler says: "Great book"
    "Maybe Reacher has finally "Jumped the Shark""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Enjoyable romp - but so far fetched that you had to conciously suspend disbelief within the first 15 minutes


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect was the slow reveal of the plot and motives. The least interesting was Reachers continuing indestructability. Really? He's over 50 and has the physique of an olympian athelete and the reactions of a cheetah on methamphetamine. He fells foes with one punch, maybe two. No room for self doubt or physical reality. Mind like a Russian chess player - with only two moves, considering only two possible outcomes . Lee Child , if he continues with this series would do better to take in to account the progression of time and give Jack a few more dimensions than Superman missing his cape.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    Time for Reacher to grow up I feel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Melt Down: Breakers, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Edward W. Robertson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    In upstate Idaho, Ness Hook is run out of his mom's house by his bullying brother Shawn. In Redding, California, Tristan Carter is graduating college, but with no job and no prospects, she'll have to move back in with her parents. Then the world ends. After Ness discovers his best friend dead of disease, Shawn takes their family to the mountains to wait out the plague.

    rich says: "Snappy Dialogue Perfect for Ray Chase"
    "A let down from Book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Melt Down? What did you like least?

    I really wanted to like this - Book 1 was exceptional, but sadly this compared poorly to the first book, and I was disappointed by the plot. Whilst the narration and performance by Ray Chase was first class, the story seemed to take a diversion to Camelot / Westoros which was a step too far. Like a good film the author should sweep the reader along in a willing suspension of disbelief , sadly this scenario was a complete disconnect from everything preceding it.


    Has Melt Down turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Perhaps the author was under pressure for a quick follow up to Book 1, this has made me think carefully about Book 3.


    Any additional comments?

    I would caution listeners to only use spare credits on this episode in the series, in retrospect I kind of wish the series had been limited to Book 1, it was that good, and this struggled to reach 60% of the heights reached in the first book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Breakers: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Edward W. Robertson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (286)

    In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter. When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn't the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA.

    Janie says: "Left me wanting more....."
    "Pretty much outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Breakers?

    A great blend of story, narration, acting , pace, the growth of characters, and throughout it all a gritty laconic take on how the average person would deal with world changing events. The use of language and descriptions are remarkable.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Breakers?

    Too many to mention. Seemingly ordinary moments were shocking, extraordinary moments perversely mundane, but managed in a fluid and controlled manner that ratcheted up the tension. An ambitious story arc, that combines two Apocalypses, I was hooked from the first 5 minutes.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Chase – was your favorite?

    The two lead characters are both flawed, neither comes across as your GI Joe type and frankly, in pre-disaster times they would have ended up on skid row or inside a cell. I'll go with Walt as he seemed to have descended deepest into despair and climbed the furthest out. The characters start out angry, needy, manipulative, vulnerable, selfish, desperate. Events start to shape them into something else. A welcome relief from previous books of this type that portray the leads as Martial Art / Special forces McGyver super heroes.


    Any additional comments?

    Author and Narrator are seemingly perfectly matched. Rarely have I heard a book so well produced on Audible. Well done. Onto Book 2 - I have no idea how that will compare.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Jakarta Pandemic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven Konkoly
    • Narrated By Joseph Morton
    Overall
    (857)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (771)

    In the late fall of 2013, a lethal pandemic virus emerges from the Islamic Republic of Indonesia (IRI) and rages unchecked across every continent. When the Jakarta Flu threatens his picture-perfect Maine neighborhood, Alex Fletcher, Iraq War veteran, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep his family safe. As a seasoned sales representative for Biosphere Pharmaceuticals, makers of a leading flu virus treatment, Alex understands what a deadly pandemic means for all of them.

    Scott says: "Survival fiction as written by a clueless liberal."
    "Excellent ! Intelligently written and performed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Jakarta Pandemic the most enjoyable?

    A well thought through thriller, with good characterisation and plot development. Far more intelligently written than the "Zombie" apocalypse genre, and keeping the scene tight and focussed on a family & their local neighbourhood makes it very relevant to the listener.

    Some reviewers have posted that this family seemed to be smug in their prepped - up house whilst the world collapsed around them; my view is that when the chips are down those who have done some preparation will inevitably be better of than those who have not.

    The choices get harder and harder for the family as the story develops. Some people crack under the strain and behave in ways that would be unthinkable pre-pandemic.

    As usual in the USA based scenario - the hero seems to have on hand a range of firearms to provide "Stand off" protection to his family and to deter potential disaster striking early.
    I shudder to think of a similar scenario in Europe where the only people with firearms would be the bad guys, with no Law enforcement available to act as a deterrent.

    A strict policy of zero firearms is great in times of peace and plenty, and when the usual 2% of the population who are criminals are being contained by a well staffed police force. Outside of that scenario - well this story illustrates the potential folly of that position and the risk it exposes the general population to. (Think of the London riots where the police where forced into retreat for days at a time).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It has to be Alex, who was shown to be a bit more complex and have more self doubt than the usual lead characters in these situations. Conversely I found Kate his wife more difficult to empathise with , particularly her ability to sleep soundly every night regardless of the previous days harrowing events - why the hero could not persuade her to have her share of "night watch" duty is beyond me !


    What about Joseph Morton’s performance did you like?

    I take on board other peoples comment on the obvious maturity of his voice. It did not fit with any of the characters ages, and at times that slightly irritated. On balance though, his measured delivery and pacing offset any misgivings and I really enjoyed hearing him narrate.


    If you could take any character from The Jakarta Pandemic out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Probably Charlie - the weird Neighbour who turns good - just to hear some of his views ( for a laugh).


    Any additional comments?

    Thoroughly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Easy Hope: Surviving the Dead, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By James N. Cook
    • Narrated By Guy Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (494)
    Story
    (495)

    Eric Riordan was once a wealthy man leading a comfortable, easy life. Until one day Gabriel, his oldest friend, Marine Corps veteran, and a former mercenary, told him how the world was going to end. He did his best to prepare. He thought he was ready for anything. He was wrong. As the dead rise up to devour the living, one man finds himself struggling to survive in the ruins of a shattered world. Alone, isolated, and facing starvation, his only chance is to flee to the Appalachians and join forces with Gabriel.

    Amanda says: "Not bad, Not unique, but well written!"
    "Same old Apocalypse zombie fest.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No - lacks originality, Author gifts the protagonist with millions of dollars, black belt martial art abilities, and to cap it all the voice of an Angel and the ability to play guitar like Eric Clapton. Deeply loves his guns and thousands of words spent describing different weapon attributes.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting part for me ( and it also nearly stopped me from completing the book - sorry) was the almost homo - erotic descriptions of Gabriel, the "buddy" of the hero Eric, and how they enjoyed grappling ..The least interesting was the portrayal of the main character, he came across as conceited, snide, waspish and a know - it - all. Never mind surviving the apocalypse, it would be hard to see him surviving the company of strangers for more than an hour, he was that annoying.


    Did Guy Williams do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I think the narration lacked dimesion and believability - maybe it was the editing or studio work, but different characters seem to have inhaled helium before speaking.


    Could you see No Easy Hope being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Please God, no.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Remaining: Refugees

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By D. J. Molles
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1272)
    Performance
    (1197)
    Story
    (1200)

    He has fought the fight, and run the race. But the enemies never stop coming, and the race has no finish line. It has been three months since Captain Lee Harden found the survivors at Camp Ryder. With winter looming, Lee is on the verge of establishing Camp Ryder as a hub of safety and stability in the region. But not everyone agrees with Lee’s mission... or his methods.

    Amanda says: "HORRIFYING ZOMBIE BOOK"
    "This series gets better and better !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Remaining: Refugees rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The quality of the writing improves from book to book, and the depth of character description and motivations are real story drivers.


    What other book might you compare The Remaining: Refugees to and why?

    I am a real post-societal thriller fan, and this series has me hooked. The writing has improved from Book 1 in leaps and bounds and the story-line gets richer. Sometimes I have to take a break as the tension gets a bit too high and I dread to hear what happens next !


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

    Believeable characterisation and good acting .


    Any additional comments?

    New listeners - persevere, you need to listen to the first two books to do the series justice.
    also as an aside, the value in terms of listening hours and "entertainment bang for buck" increases ( look at the run times for each book ) as the series progresses.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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