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Russell

Keswick, ON, Canada | Member Since 2005

380
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 933 titles in library
  • 88 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
103

  • The Burning Room

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Titus Welliver
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1013)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (905)

    In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent. Now Bosch and rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not up to par"
    "A Twofer - Two cold cases for one credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Those administrators who have no idea what it is like to be in the field have come up with the brilliant idea of pairing new inexperienced detectives with seasoned vets in the cold cases unit. Harry Bosch gets partnered with Lucia Soto and although she does have a lot to learn, she ends up impressing this grizzled veteran as they end up taking on two old unsolved crimes full time. Things work out so well It sounds like the bosses know what they are doing - but don't worry - they mess it up pretty bad in the end giving us a bitter sweet finale to an excellent story.

    As Harry and Lucia untangle the threads of two different puzzlers we see an old Bosch quote getting pilfered by an unsavory politician for his campaign. "Everyone counts or nobody counts".

    In light of some recent tragic events, we may need to be reminded of this noble truth. All I can say is if I was a victim of a crime, or unjustly accused of one - please put Harry Bosch on the case.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Wormhole: The Rho Agenda, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Richard Phillips
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (897)
    Performance
    (815)
    Story
    (819)

    When the Rho Project’s lead scientist, Dr. Donald Stephenson, is imprisoned for his crimes against humanity, the world dares to think the threat posed by the Rho Project’s alien technologies is finally over. The world is wrong. In Switzerland, scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider have discovered a new threat, a scientific anomaly capable of destroying the earth - and only Rho Project technology can stop it.

    Brian says: "SPECTACULAR SERIES!"
    "A Great Series at a Great Price"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got hooked into this immensely interesting universe by a couple of good reviews and a special price for the first of the three books. The pricing set at $9.79 per book with each providing from 11 - 15 hours of great entertainment wasn't necessary to keep me going, but it sure didn't hurt. This pricing may not last, so I would recommend not burning a credit here and picking up as many as your pocketbook will allow.

    My wife is currently delighting in book two of this series and she isn't even a science fiction fan - she is just a fan of a well written book. You will find three of them in the Rho Agenda series.

    These books were so enjoyable, I actually could have been talked into using two credits on the last one. I loved the story-lines, the science felt right and the characters were superbly handled. Most importantly the ending was satisfying and still left me wanting more.

    Although a lot of loose ends were sewn up in this series finale, I was left wondering about a special talent that Jack Greggory possessed and the status of a certain newly born child.

    And - Lo and behold, my check of the listings for this author shows a new book has just popped up into my view that purports to explain my first question about Jack. It is selling for only $7.90 and weighing in at 11 hours already has 120 favorable reviews.

    I'm definitely not going to use up a credit here (they cost me more) and get this book as soon as this review gets submitted.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (639)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Maybe The Best Mystery Novelist Anywhere"
    "A Break From The Harry Hole Series Is a Hit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Jo Nesbo has said there are advantages and disadvantages when writing about the same universe. The author and reader sharing a knowledge of the back-story might make things a little easier in some cases, but there is a significant challenge in keeping the characters fresh and interesting.

    I am a big fan of the Harry Hole series and this book represented a 17 hour investment of my time in a different Nesbo universe - would it be up to the standard set in 12 Harry Hole books?

    It was. I've always loved the insights Jo Nesbo gives us into his characters and their motivations. This book had more of the same. It was actually a little refreshing to be immersed in this authors style of writing and not revisiting the same old battles that Harry Hole contends with. We get introduced to different detectives with different flaws and a hero who is viewed by many as a villain.

    While listening to this book there never was a moment where i looked at the time remaining and felt like there was work. It was more like - ten hours left ... I don't want this to end.

    Being familiar with this authors style at the 16 hour mark I remember having an aha moment. The current was pushing me in one direction and this was fine, but having been tricked so many times before I actually anticipated a twist in the plot. This was one of the few times I've twigged to a Nesbo formula. That did not detract in any way from the book and there were still plenty of Nesbo zigs when I was ready to zag.

    In short, this is an excellent book and this review has not imparted any of the story line. Sometimes that is the best way to start a book. So download this gem and start listening.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science - and Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Chris Mooney
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (135)

    Best-selling author Chris Mooney uses cutting-edge research to explain the psychology behind why today’s Republicans reject reality - it’s just part of who they are. From climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing, as is the denial of expert consensus on the economy, American history, foreign policy, and much more. Why won’t Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why are they constantly fighting against the facts?

    Ian C Robertson says: "Polls Apart"
    "So That's Why!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to laugh. A search in Audible using the keywords Republican and Brain turn up “The Republican Brain – The Science of Why they Deny Science” and it also turns up Ann Coulter’s “If Democrats had any Brains, They’d Be Republicans”. One is a serious study and the other is penned by an entertainer. Having seen the performer Ann Coulter and not having much respect for her capacity to reason, I will pass on her book but I will do due diligence and Google her take on Evolution and Climate Change for this review.

    It appears that just like many religious right Republicans, she rejects these two convincing science based findings. This book attempts to figure out why a large number of Republicans can ignore solid science. I wanted to know as well. I have Conservative friends and family that I like tremendously but cannot figure out why they reject science and find getting into discussions with them is futile.

    There is a lot of solid research here and while the author is a liberal, he occasionally delivers biting criticism of the liberal state of mind. I wonder if Ann can find anything positive to say about a liberal in her book? Essentially the conservative frame of mind has its positive applications sometimes in society, but there is a lot of positives for the liberal bias. One study among many that impressed me talked about brains scans showing emotions being predominant with Republican reasoning and the cerebral area taking the lead with Liberal reasoning. Studies find a cluster of traits shared by many Republicans. One is they do not like uncertainty – liberals do not have a problem with this. It is no surprise that the majority of scientists are more likely to be liberal with the nature of the vocation being amenable to upheaval of certainties when new solid evidence comes in. A religious right Republican is more likely to let the more primitive emotional brain system kick in when presented with solid facts and dig in their heels and deny.

    Surprisingly an educated Republican science denier is actually more recalcitrant than an uneducated one when good evidence comes in. They are more adept at bringing in complicated nonsense arguments. This is called being idiot smart. For me, the best way to describe this is to go back a few hundred years to Galileo’s time. His notion that the earth was not the center of the universe went against the teachings of the church. I’m sure many educated religious right people of that time scorned the conclusion that the earth revolved around the sun and came up with some very byzantine proofs to support the sun revolved around the earth view. But Galileo was right and he had good evidence to support his contentions. Darwin and the majority of climate change scientists are probably correct as well.

    Liberals and Republicans are human and are capable of similar mistakes with motivated reasoning. I now have a better understanding that my Pollyanna wish to convince a science denier with cogent arguments will ultimately fail because they are reasoning with a more primitive human system that sometimes was the best answer when survival of the group was on the line.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3335)
    Performance
    (3129)
    Story
    (3125)

    For nearly 2,000 years, only one Druid has walked the Earth - Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword have kept him alive as he’s been pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company. Atticus’ apprentice, Granuaile, is at last a full Druid herself. What’s more, Atticus has defrosted an archdruid long ago frozen in time, a father figure (of sorts) who now goes by the modern equivalent of his old Irish name: Owen Kennedy. And Owen has some catching up to do.

    LOYL-00 says: "The story we were waiting for"
    "After Six Good Books, I Was In Seventh Heavan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Shattered has reminded me of that wallop I felt with the first book. All the books in this series are good. But, the first book was always the best until now. It introduced the exquisitely voiced Oberon and for me the unlikely pleasure of following a Druid's adventures. It was also the book that hooked my wife and daughter on this series.

    With this book, I loved the new character, Owen Kennedy. Luke Daniels hit another one out of the park with his voicing of this new cantankerous Druid resurrected from centuries ago. He also does a fine job with Granuaile’s wolf hound.

    We see the story unfold from three perspectives. The conflict between the newly deiced Arch Druid Owen and our original hero Atticus is enriched by not granting all the wisdom to Atticus. The third viewpoint we get is from Atticus’s new convert Granuile as she spends a lot of time in India telling her story.

    One of the best collaborations between author and narrator is served up with this series and with this book in particular.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Ship: The Rho Agenda, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Richard Phillips
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1572)
    Performance
    (1418)
    Story
    (1438)

    In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now....

    Mike From Mesa says: "Terrific story"
    "Uninspired Title and Theme Delivers Inspired Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are so many audiobooks out there to choose from and a lot of series to possibly buy into. I recently read Stealheart and it was a good book but there was an unexplained fantasy element and a few other things that kept me from emotionally committing to the story and series.

    I would never have guessed that another "Roswell" type story could hook me so thoroughly. My first reaction to the provocative ominous ending was to immediately decide on reading the second book in this series.

    The science feels legitimate in this captivating story and our young high school heroes are immersed into a very dangerous world made even worse by some despicable characters who have gained advantages from alien technology taken from a spaceship that had crashed in the U.S. Although the government is controlling the access to the ship, that control is not airtight and some of the people working on discovering the ship's secrets are up to a different agenda.

    Fortunately the teens have harnessed some advantages from the alien technology from a second ship they accidentally discovered. There was a battle between both ships that destroyed all the occupants and now it seems the battle is being continued largely in secret between the people who have access to the ships. Meanwhile the young protagonists are trying to alert the NSA to the danger without giving away their identities. This brings in some ruthless heroes who move into the area with harmless cover stories. These agents want to find out if the teens warnings are legitimate and who the leak is for the information coming their way.

    This series is not only for young adults - us old jaded folks will have a grand old time with these books. There are some stomach turning characters you don't normally associate with a YA book. You will not like the man who likes to call himself "The Priest".

    If you choose to start this series, you will have a hard time stopping. Like I said at the beginning - so many audiobooks to choose from and now this set will be demanding your attention. I'm sure most of you will be happy to take on the commitment.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Suspect

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Crispin Redman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (93)
    Story
    (91)

    Joseph O'Loughlin appears to have the perfect life: a beautiful wife, a loving daughter, and a successful career as a clinical psychologist. But nothing can be taken for granted. Even the most flawless existence is only one loose thread away from unravelling. All it takes is a murdered girl, a troubled young patient - and the biggest lie of his life.

    Alan T Alcock says: "Top of the class"
    "A Psychologist Becomes a Sleuth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a rewarding accidental discovery for me. The good news is that there are eight more books to look forward to in this series that is not driven by another flawed detective. (I'm following a few of those) Instead we have Joseph O'Loughlin who is a flawed psychologist. He makes some bad choices and they come back to haunt him tenfold in this mystery/thriller set in England.

    Although imperfect, this psychologist is capable of some deep insights into human nature giving us a different perspective than the traditional hard ass cop protagonist. It is refreshing to join along with Mr O'Loughlin who has a credible background in something different than detective science as he attempts to unravel the strands of a perplexing murder. In the process, there are enough twists in this book to keep mystery fans engaged.

    The narrator, Cripsin Redman does an excellent job with the voices for the various characters. I especially liked how he portrayed the Scottish friend who had designs on our hero's wife.

    I am looking forward to the next book in the Michael Robotham Joseph O'Loughlin series and if you are looking for something where a professional detective or policeman isn't driving the story - we get a lot of those - give this one a try.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jonas Jonasson
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1945)
    Performance
    (1735)
    Story
    (1755)

    After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash.

    Sylvia says: "Full of Surprises and Unexpected Events"
    "Whimsical Romp Through A Tumultuous Century"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Allan Karlsson has lived a charmed life and he is in no mood to celebrate an upcoming 100 year party under the thumb of a domineering nursing home employee. So he climbs out a window and embarks on a fantastic adventure.

    As this tale unfolds we are given flashbacks of his life that involve meeting several pivotal politicians of the last 100 years. Alan has a very refreshing optimism about life while disdaining the worst in politics and religion of all stripes.

    It turns out that this simple sounding man had a lasting impact on our recent history and instead of sneering at this whimsical romp through the last century I found myself cheering the fantastic encounters with key people at crucial times. Alan's guileless observations and the authors modest descriptions of complicated historical events actually deliver a lot of wisdom.

    Steven Crossley provides a superb voice to the 100 year old man and to the narration of this story by Jonas Jonasson. If you are looking for a delightful time with something a bit different then give this book a listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Leopard: A Harry Hole Novel, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø, Don Bartlett (translator)
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1188)
    Performance
    (986)
    Story
    (979)

    Two young women are found murdered in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches fever pitch: Could this be the work of a serial killer? The crime scenes offer no coherent clues, the police investigation is stalled, and the one man who might be able to help doesn't want to be found. Traumatized by his last case, Inspector Harry Hole has lost himself in the squalor of Hong Kong's opium dens. Yet when he is compelled, at last, to return to Norway - his father is dying - Harry's buried instincts begin to take over. Then a female MP is discovered brutally murdered.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Simply Fantastic! A great buy!"
    "The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown Down, Michael"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Michael Connelly, Jo Nesbo - the two best writers of detective fiction over the last decade in this humble reviewers opinion. Occasionally I've decided that Michael is the best on the planet after an inspired story - but then I go through an intense journey with Jo and have to admit that the Norwegian has all the tools to claim that mantle.

    This story has a lot of subtle twists I did not see coming. I even thought the book was over and did not understand why my ipod indicated that there was 3 hours left. Does it really take that length of time to wrap things up? I quickly learned that there was a lot of adventure, suspense and twists still in store for me.

    Nesbo introduces a diabolical device called a Leopold's Apple in this book. I had to research if it really exists after finishing the book. I will leave the answer to that for all the mystery readers who do not read the back of the book first or in this case Google the answers before starting their new adventure.

    So Michael (as if he really cares), you were the best a few months ago - but the gauntlet has just been thrown down by Mr. Nesbo. I hope you and your narrator are up to the challenge and I get to reap the rewards when I acquire your next audiobook.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10660)
    Performance
    (10143)
    Story
    (10159)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "This Will Become a Science Fiction Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The science fiction bar has been raised high in this tale of a struggle for survival on a hostile planet. Our hero has been left behind and assumed dead by his mission mates. Mark must overcome many obstacles and each life threatening conundrum he has to face is fascinating along with the plausible technical solution he comes up with. If you are not a fan of detailed explanations outlining the very real situations faced on a journey like this, you may feel a bit bogged down.

    A fine tuned sense of humor has been mixed in with hard science as this astronaut makes wry observations while battling to endure in a harsh environment. The narrator, R. C. Bray does an excellent job in getting that comedy across.

    There are three main perspectives in this epic tale. We hear from Mark with his daily trials, and I will let you discover the other two for yourself if you decide to give this book a listen.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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