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William

Ojo Caliente, NM, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
34
REVIEWS
25
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
35

  • A Reason to Live (Marty Singer Mystery #1)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Matthew Iden
    • Narrated By Lloyd Sherr
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (329)

    In the late 90s, a bad cop killed a good woman and DC Homicide Detective Marty Singer got to watch as the murderer walked out of the courtroom a free man. Twelve years later, the victim's daughter comes to Marty begging for help: the killer is stalking her now. There's just one problem: Marty's retired...and he's retired because he's battling cancer.

    William says: "This book was a distraction"
    "This book was a distraction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Reason to Live the most enjoyable?

    The character Marty Singer. He was so easy to connect with.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The pacing was great, with quieter scenes in between the action. Also, there is a pet cat that has no loyalty to Marty (the book is true to life).


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

    Lloyd Sherr was an excellent pick for this book. He owned the role and I can’t imagine another voice for Marty. He also had distinctive voices for the other characters, including the ladies.


    If you could rename A Reason to Live, what would you call it?

    Carnal Carnations


    Any additional comments?

    This book was a distraction. Don’t tell my man, but dinner was late a few nights because I wanted to listen to this book instead of making a glorious meal (and I do enjoy cooking). Yeah. I liked it that much. Quite frankly, I got attached to Marty Singer. His character made the book for me. He’s got a cat, is a history buff, bit of a wise ass, and has a soft spot for people being stalked by killers. I wanted Marty to kick his cancer in the ass, catch the killer/stalker, and save the day. And he does, but the path is full of twists and turns. Marty had to be nimble to catch his man.

    Amanda, a 20-something year old with one degree and working on a second while interning at the university, was the maiden in distress. As Marty was my favorite character, Amanda was my least. I really only have one criticism about this book, and it is how Amanda is portrayed. She lost her mother to a shooting as a kid, grew up in foster care, got a degree, has a job, and is working on a second degree. So why is she portrayed as a 16 year old kid half the time in the book? Other than being the object of desire for the stalker, she doesn’t really bring anything to the story.

    OK, enough on that. Enter Julie, the defense attorney who got the cop involved in the shooting of Brenda Lane off. Yeah. Now that the stalker/killer is back and leaving little flowers for Amanda, Marty starts digging through Brenda’s case. Alas, much of the files from the 1990s have been lost or somehow destroyed. So Marty goes to Julie, to see if she has any information on the cop and is willing to share. I really liked Julie’s character because she starts off so very prickly, but then softens, decides to help out, and as a friendship forms between Marty and Julie and Amanda, we learn some of the reasons Julie seems so bitter. She had depth and I liked how that depth was explored.

    The pacing was excellent, with plenty of suspense intermixed with reflection, piecing the clues together, and a bit of action. The ending had a few twists I was not expecting (excellent, as I don’t like to guess the ending every book). And the ending also left me hoping Marty’s battle with cancer goes well. Which of course makes we want to read the next in the series.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Reich

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 52 mins)
    • By Drew Avera
    • Narrated By Keith L. O'Brien
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In the 158 years after Hitler's death (AH158), Germany has become the utopian state that he had originally envisioned. The Aryan Dynasty has conquered the free world at the cost of billions of lives. Hitler has become the patriarch of a new religious fervor, one that even he did not see coming. The wastelands that surround Germany are the only threat awaiting the German citizens. That is at least what everyone is taught.

    William says: "A short tale with an unexpected twist."
    "A short tale with an unexpected twist."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Reich rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the 4 star range, hence the rating.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think the first 2 kids in the tale. They had plenty of character even though they had such a short amount of the story.


    Which character – as performed by Keith L. O'Brien – was your favorite?

    The main female character, because I think that character provided the greatest challenge for O'Brien.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Set roughly ~150 years after Hitler’s death, the citizens of Germany still live under the Reich, the Aryan Nation reigning supreme within her borders. Life is orderly, a little too orderly, and plenty of people stomp around in big boots and ill-designed uniforms. The average citizen of Germany lives in a tyrannical hell, and those that keep the order abuse it. Without giving away a huge plot twist, this book is more than the back cover description gives it credit for.

    We open with a boy who runs afoul of authority. I have to say that the first three jumps, or was it four?, in point of view through me in a creeped-out-by-the-viciousness-of-authority-gone-astray kind of way. Folks die in this book people, hence some of the shifting POVs. Yet, everyone is a hero in their own heads. I definitely enjoy a tale where everyone believes that they aren’t really all that bad. So it was good to show that through the shifting POVs.

    At under 2 hours, the plot has to move along pretty quickly. So we start with the view of the average citizen born and raised this in this new Germany, then learn the BIG SECRET, which is followed by a rebellion of the citizens. A young mother ends up leading this rebellion and we end up following her for most of the book. While I found her character a bit lacking in military leadership skills (she is chaperoned around everywhere by chivalrous men), I can see her as a very efficient administrator of a country.

    There wasn’t much in the way of character development once the character was established, but then, this isn’t a very long piece. I was more fascinated with the plot and the idea of a world where Hitler and/or the Reich are worshiped and carried on in some way. Other than that very questionable movie about Nazis setting up a long-term camp on the moon (oh and it was short story from the 1950s too, I think), I have never really contemplated this. Toss in Avera’s twist (which has something to do with misplaced authority on a very large scale) and you have an ever deeper level of contemplation.

    All in all, Drew Avera is an author to keep an eye on, specifically his writing pen, to see what he turns out next.

    Narration: O’Brien did a good job narrating this story. His German accent and little bit of German was well done (to my ears which have only had 2 years of school German). His little kid and female voices were believable and each character was distinct.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Treasure of the Silver Star

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Angel
    • Narrated By Lee Strayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In the far future, a beautiful treasure hunter and a disgraced spaceship captain plunge into the fight of their lives when they're ambushed in deep space! The smashed derelict ship they're exploring holds a deadly secret from the last Interstellar War. And there are some who will kill in order to keep the past buried.

    William says: "An average space opera."
    "An average space opera."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, because I was able to get stuff done with free hands as I listened.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I liked that a main character had to face a tough decision, but I never worried about main characters perishing. The story wasn't that serious, so the ending didn't have much tension.


    What aspect of Lee Strayer’s performance would you have changed?

    The final editing. Some sentences were repeated.


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

    Maybe. Is there free popcorn being offered?


    Any additional comments?

    Set in a far flung galaxy, we have a disgraced starship captain (Drake) and an independent archaeologist (Tally) who must join forces to save the galaxy and perhaps earn a little money. Drake’s command crew made me think of Star Trek (Sebastien, Kincaide, Ferra, etc.) and the space battle scenes were reminiscent of Star Wars battles. Definitely a mix mash of pulp fiction and space opera.Drake struggles through the book to regain his former polish and glory after wrongly being placed in the Losers box with a bunch of Loser rejects on a Loser ship.

    Then we have the treasure hunter/archaeology aspect thrown in. Tally made me think of a female Indiana Jones; she was very focused on her goal and not afraid of the physical effort it would take to get it. She had some of the most interesting scenes because they had to do with history, and therefore, had the most detail.

    The plot was pretty straight forward and the characters, once established, didn’t change much. The bad guys were stereotypical and our heroes are 100% good guys. Normally, I enjoy a bit more variation in all of that, but for a fast paced, short space opera, it was decent. If you have some task where you need your hands and a bit of concentration, then this would be good braincandy for the background.

    We had more men than women and I would have enjoyed seeing that a bit more balanced. But the few females we had in the storyline added to the plot and weren’t just scenery. The one sex scene came off as a bit awkward and didn’t engage my libido. I like my sex scenes and if one (or more) are going to be thrown in, they should count.

    Narration: Lee Strayer did a good job of keeping the characters distinct. There were a few passages where the sentences were repeated, so not the cleanest on final editing. Still, the actual narration was well done with clear feminine and masculine voices, different accents, and proper emotions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unlikely: A Kingdoms Gone Story (Volume 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Frances Pauli
    • Narrated By Lisa L Wiley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Satina knows better than anyone that gangs are bad news. As a Granter, she uses her magic to help people escape them. So far, her sole reward has been a life on the run, dodging from pocket to pocket and only landing in the ordinary world long enough to put her special skills to use. When the goodmother arrives in Westwood, however, a magic-hungry gang is just one step behind her, and their leader wants more than just the town. He wants Satina, and he'll do anything, use anyone, to get her.

    William says: "Magical pockets!"
    "Magical pockets!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Unlikely: A Kingdoms Gone Story (Volume 1) to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print. On one hand, the narration was sometimes stilted. On the other hand, I may never have read this book in print. My job lets me listen to audiobooks as I work, so I am very glad this is in audio format.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Satina - she complex. Sometimes scared, sometimes firm, sometimes brave. Very human.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Where Satina shows Marten her secret pocket where she harvests her medicinal herbs, which are guarded by a gargoyle.


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

    An unlikely group of characters trying to save just one small village.


    Any additional comments?

    This story was rich and magical. Frances Pauli created a world with its own lingo, a rich atmosphere that I sank into. I loved riding around in Satina’s head, figuring out her world and the mess she stepped into in Westwood. There’s history and lost knowledge to be considered, different cultures and peoples, and the broken down disarray that allows the gangs to rule. And of course, there are the other magical denizens keeping a low profile in Westwood.

    Enter the imp Skinner, Marten. Is he a bit of a mischief maker? A little chaotic good? At first Satina isn’t sure. Marten runs a little store in Westwood and the bullying gangs aren’t above wrecking the place and roughing up Martin to force Satina into helping them with their plans for total local domination. Marten was an intriguing character since I was not sure where he stood at the beginning. Of course, I became quite fond of him by the end. And one gang, lead by Zane, became more of a pain in the ass than the others. While Zane threatens Marten’s health to get Satina to help him, he also lets Satina know that more of her is desired.

    My favorite aspect of this story was the pockets, magical bubbles closed off from the real world unless you have the magic and can enter them. In these pockets, many of the remaining magical folks (faeries and such) choose to live. These pockets range in size from small grassy knolls perfect for a lovers’ tryst to small villages (where the magic folk can romp and play). Satina uses the pockets to travel safely, often setting up camp in one at night (provided she can find one). We learn a little about the magical denizens of these pockets, how they have chosen to shut out the real world and humanity. And because of this, much of humanity has forgotten how magic works.

    All in all, a very good start to a fantasy series. There’s been great set up of Satina’s world, with plenty more left to discover.

    Narration: Lisa L. Wiley was a good choice for the voice of Satina. She had a great mix of wonder, hesitancy, and resolve in her performance of Satina. Her male voices were also decent. On occasion, Wiley did narrate rather slowly and a few times there was some stilted speech patterns. These were not enough to make me put the book down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon Stones: Dragon Stone Saga, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kristian Alva
    • Narrated By Adam Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Sequestered deep in the capital, the tyrannical Emperor Vosper weaves a plan to destroy all the dragons. He succeeds in driving them to the very brink of extinction. Only a handful of dragons and riders remain; living in exile in the desert. When young Elias Dorgumir finds a carved dragon stone in the forest, it brings empire soldiers to his doorstep, and puts Elias on the run with a bounty on his head.

    William says: "A fantasy with a gravity to appeal."
    "A fantasy with a gravity to appeal."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Dragon Stones the most enjoyable?

    The narration was excellent. But so was the story. I liked that the story isn't all adventure and good people.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Elias - because he is in the thick of it and doesn't know squat.


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

    Thorin - loved the burr.


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

    The slaughtering of baby dragons was a touch disturbing, which made me want to read on.


    Any additional comments?

    I was hooked on this book from the beginning. It starts with a dark scene – the Emperor’s men have been out searching and destroying dragon nests and they have just found one. While not overly graphic, the point comes across loud and clear with the killing of newly hatched dragons. I definitely like my fantasy to have a little bit of a darker side, a more serious side, as this shows there are real consequences for the characters to consider. Then we moved to Elias and his grandma. She was a strong, guiding force in his life and such an integral character before Elias set off on his adventure. Through her, we have just enough background to be very curious about many things: her own past, Elias’s parents, dragon riders and dragons in general, etc. I definitely wanted more and the author delivered.

    Pretty soon, Elias comes across the dwarf Thorin (and I think Thorin is actually a half-breed dwarf-halfling, but I could have that wrong). And yes, is Thorin a nod to Tolkien’s work? Thorin and Elias become quick friends, mostly because Thorin has recently fallen out of a tree and needs some healing and Elias obliges. They adventure off together, dodging the Emperor’s men and necromancers, meeting more dwarves, ever heading for safety. The necromancer we meet was freaky scarey and the voice the narrator gave her was quite fitting and a little frightening.

    The adventure scenes are speckled with scenes of another kingdom – the last hold out from Vosper’s tyrannical reign. Dragons, their riders, and magic users are welcomed and safe there (or at least not actively hunted by the government). We meet some of the dragon riders, the dragons, and the king. There is an interesting scene involving star fruit (a personal favorite of mine). And in the second half of the book we meet a dragon and her rider who were once imprisoned and tortured by Vosper and his minions. Wow! I don’t know if they are the good guys, good guys gone a little insane, or potentially a chaotic bad element off on their own. I am fascinated by these two and really, really look forward to learning more about them in the next installment.

    This was a great start to a fantasy series. While suitable for most (if not all) audiences, it has enough gravity to strongly appeal to most adult readers. The characters have depth and history, the world building is just enough to give scope and interest without bogging down the story. The narration was excellent.

    Narration: Here is where I gush about the narration of Adam Chase. I loved his various accents for the different peoples of this book, especially Thorin’s voice and that creepy voice of the necromancer. His female voices were also done quite well, especially for Elias’s granma.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gladstone

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Miller
    • Narrated By Deren Hansen
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Jack Saunders just wants a new start after a messy divorce. He doesn't bargain on a wrong turn and a breakdown in the Arizona desert. A beautiful girl coming to his rescue on a classic Indian motorcycle might mean things are looking up. Or, they might be turning really strange in a town that time forgot, with friendly people willing to die for a cause...to save a founder's statue.

    Robert says: "Great Book, I loved it within 5 minutes"
    "Twlight Zone + Western"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Gladstone again? Why?

    Yes, especially if I finish the series. It would be fun to go back and relisten to it in a few years.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Gladstone?

    Susan and Jack under the stars.


    Which character – as performed by Deren Hansen – was your favorite?

    The Brit.


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

    No. It wasn't that kind of book.


    Any additional comments?

    This story caught my attention early on. Jack breaking down on a dusty road in Arizona really isn’t that odd. Lots of dusty roads in the Southwest. Lots of people break down. But once he gets to Gladstone, we start to see interesting little bits that let us, the readers, know that all is not as it seems. So while I wasn’t sure what exactly was going on with the townsfolk, I had fun watching Jack start to notice the oddities. The town is small, tucked away in a canyon. There’s one bar where folks go to drink and socialize and lose at darts. One man goes out every few weeks to bring in supplies. So no deliveries from the outside world. Yet folks have cell phones and computers. So these folks are not ignorant of the rest of the world. Indeed the set up is excellent, giving the reader plenty to ponder and keep them reading on.

    The middle of the story sagged a bit for me as everyone was way, way polite. While we do start to learn of Susan’s strange affinity with animals, that was pretty much the highlight of the middle. But the last third picked up again with Haskell, who use to live in Gladstone. He becomes the main antagonist. Of course, Jack isn’t aware of Haskell or his reasons for wanting to cause destruction to Gladstone, so the townsfolk have to make a choice of whether or not to trust the man. Will Jack help the town? Will they kick him out? Will they tie him up and lock him in his car until all the excitement is over and then toss him out? I wasn’t sure until the last quarter of the book how things would turn out for Jack – and that is one of the things I liked about this book.

    The plot starts off strong, but by the end I had some questions, mostly about the other main character, Susan. She is Native American, but we never learn her family name. And since she has this strong affinity for the animals, wild and tame, I wondered how she felt about the townsfolk eating meat. I can’t recall her specifically eating meat, but she did go to a dance where a pig was being roasted. Luckily, the author didn’t mind chatting on line and assured me that all meat was brought in from the outside (so, no the townsfolk were not eating Susan’s friends). And Susan has her Caucasian name because her Native American name is too hard for many people to pronounce.

    Also, my one real criticism is that Susan is the only non-Caucasian in this book. If you have read the book and know the ending, this doesn’t make much sense. SPOILER ALERT The canyon has some magical quality that has preserved Susan since the 1800s. Her family left her there to go finish business warring and never came back. So after a few years, she was lonely, and started taking in strays – like these sick, dying folks who couldn’t keep up with a caravan heading to California. But for some reason she never found any Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, or Native Americans that were sick or wounded or being chased by bad people to take in and help. Given the racial mix of the Southwest over the 200 year time period, you’d think there would be at least one or two other non-Caucasian’s taken in and who also decided to stay. END SPOILER. Still, perhaps this will come up in future installments in the series and we’ll see a more realistic cast of characters.

    The ending wrapped up the major plot points for this story, but also left the door open for the next book in the series. By the end, we have more info about the antagonist and his reasons for attacking Gladstone and we also know something of the magical qualities of the canyon. Jack still needs to find his spot in life, and the townsfolk may have found an ally in Jack. Oh, and part of this book takes place in the town I was born in, albeit I only ever visited the hospital – my parents living in an even smaller town that had no medical personnel whatsoever.

    Narration: The narration was very good, Hansen capturing Jack’s often questioning attitude as he tried to figure out what the hell was going on. Hansen also had very nice feminine voices, a British accent, and a Tennessee accent too (when it was required).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Death by Didgeridoo: A Jamie Quinn Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Barbara Venkataraman
    • Narrated By Carrie Lee Martz
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It's up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it's too late. It doesn't help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn't commit.

    luvshihtzu says: "Would Have Been Better in eBook or Print Format"
    "Didgeridoo, Asperger sydrome, and murder."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Death by Didgeridoo?

    Such a collection of characters!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jamie Quinn - she's not perfect, calls in help when she needs it, and does what she can.


    Which character – as performed by Carrie Lee Martz – was your favorite?

    Adam - his Asperger speech pattern was done well.


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

    Jamie having a heart to heart with her aunt about the recent death of a relative.


    Any additional comments?

    Jamie Quinn doesn’t sleep, or at least, not much. So of course the job as a divorce attorney is perfect for filling her hours. Having recently lost her mother, Jamie is sleeping less than usual and consuming more coffee than usual to compensate. That is when her aunt calls in a panic; Jamie’s cousin Adam has been arrested for murder! Jamie drives to the rescue, facing down a hard-nosed detective, and starts digging into the death of Adam’s music teacher. Set in a small town in Florida, there are plenty of interesting characters to this humorous murder.

    This was a quaint, fun little mystery. I found Jamie easy to relate to. There was just enough background to give her some depth, but not enough to drag down the story. After all, it is just over 2 hours long. Not much room for pesky background details. Then there is Adam, a teen age boy with Asperger Syndrome. The police found him on scene when they reported to the 911 call, dead music teacher at his feet, repeatedly apologizing. yep, poor Adam looked pretty guilty.

    Jamie feels woefully inadequate to dig into a mystery and to clear Adam, let alone any client, from a murder charge. She is a divorce attorney, not a criminal case attorney. So she calls on a good friend for help, and a shady almost-friend for more help. Together, the mystery starts to unfold and it was quite fun to watch how the pieces came together.

    If I have any criticism, it is that I felt the ending was a little rushed. We had all this great, sometimes humorous, drama through out the book, and then the ending was a little rushed. Still, not enough of a negative to deter me from enjoying further works by this author.

    Narration: Carrie Lee Martz gave Jamie a clear voice, capturing her various emotions of alarm, anger, concern, sadness, relief. And she did a decent job at Adam’s stilted speech patterns too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities: Quirky Essays for Quirky People

    • UNABRIDGED (55 mins)
    • By Barbara Venkataraman
    • Narrated By Carrie Lee Martz
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    At 8,000 words, this collection of humorous essays explores such quirky topics as: disastrous home repairs, ("A Trip to the Hardware Store"), an unfortunate dinner party ("Dinner is Served"), the truth about lazy people ("Lazy Bones"), the weird life of a debt collector ("Your Account is Past Due") and obsessions with gadgets ("Gadget Girl"). Other essays examine how surreal the aging process is ("Where Did the Time Go?")

    Creating Serenity Reviews says: "Hilarious!"
    "Fun, inoffensive, very mild."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Barbara Venkataraman and/or Carrie Lee Martz?

    Yes. I have listened to Venkataraman's Jamie Quinn Book 1 and really enjoyed it. Same narrator.


    If you’ve listened to books by Barbara Venkataraman before, how does this one compare?

    It was so inoffensive, so mellow, that I am not sure it will stand out in my memory in 2 or 3 months.


    Have you listened to any of Carrie Lee Martz’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I listened to her perform Jamie Quinn Book 1 and I liked that book better.


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

    No. The sequence of short stories would not interest me as a movie.


    Any additional comments?

    Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it stands alone just fine.

    This collection of humorous essays captures snippets of real life. From the hardware store trip, to debt collection, to a failed dinner party, and the finance among friends, these little stories provide amusement.

    I can see myself in several of these essays. I especially liked the dinner party story, Dinner Is Served. The narrator goes to great lengths to serve a tasty and impressive dinner. However, all her friends have dietary restrictions – allergic to nuts, avoiding gluten, etc. The tale ends on an amusing note of everyone deciding to order pizza, only to disagree on the toppings!

    Your Account Is Past Due was my second favorite with silly little stories from a debt collector’s point of view. People tell the collector all sorts of things about their personal lives while explaining why they haven’t paid their bill.

    Finally, the title piece, A Trip to the Hardware Store, gave me a giggle mostly because a confused pet dog became so flustered he piddled on fresh cement, creating quite a lot of rework for the owners. Yep, that would be my dog.

    Over all, the collection was fun but not brilliant. It is suitable for all audiences with no cussing, no violence, and no adult situations. Basically, it was inoffensive. However, if you have a shared commute and want to listen to something besides your carpool snoring, this could be a fun listen. I did prefer her Jamie Quinn murder mystery over this book but this can serve as a good intro to the author’s sense of humor.

    Narration: Carrie Lee Martz provided humor and surprise to the various characters in these essays. Her clear voice provided a nice narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darkbound

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Michaelbrent Collings
    • Narrated By Steve Marvel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    There is no light at the end of some tunnels.... The New York subway system has:656 miles of track... 468 stations... 31 thousand turnstiles... and 1.64 BILLION fares yearly.

    For six of those fares, the trip is going to be one they will never forget.

    Six strangers will board a subway. But this subway is unlike the others.

    This subway doesn't take you where you want or where you need. It takes you where you fear.

    This subway...is Darkbound.

    Amy says: "Fast Paced Horror"
    "Direct line to Hell, no waiting."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Darkbound again? Why?

    Perhaps in a year or two. It was fun, in a twisted sort of way.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The abuelita as she had some of the best lines and obviously had some history - I kept wanting more of her story.


    Which character – as performed by Steve Marvel – was your favorite?

    Sarah - her deadly, quiet, controlled voice was chilling.


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

    Near the end, one of the characters faces her children and talks of the family business.


    Any additional comments?

    A subway train driven by a skeleton takes on 6 passengers, all in one car. They come from a variety of backgrounds and have different reasons for being chosen for this very ride. Full of suspense, and at times, gore, this fast-paced thriller grabs you early on and keeps you interested the whole way through. Jim, our mild-mannered narrator and family man, provides the viewpoint for the story. It is through his eyes and his prejudices that we see these other characters. An abuelita (little Hispanic grandmother) actually first meets Jim on the platform as they wait for their train. She is kicking a man (Freddy) in the lower legs; he is dressed in a trench coat and sucking a lollipop and the other characters all assume him to be a pedophile. Once the train loads, we get to meet an older man who is from Eastern Europe’s Georgia and has been involved in some shady life style choices. There’s also a tall, model-esque woman (Sarah) in a business suit and NY gang member.

    I have read a few of Collings’s books now and all are easy to get caught up in; this is even more so. Right away, we have a hint of the paranormal and we have a short grandmother giving some vicious kicks to Freddy who is ogling the photo of Jim’s wife and daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace of this novel. The characters were set and then the plot ran with them. While I will say that the characters are pretty one dimensional, this book is more about the action. We do get a little bit more on each character as one after the other suffers some gruesome death. And there are plenty of gruesome scenes. Out of all the Collings books I have read, I believe this to be the most graphic in violence and gore. And I was OK with that, because these characters have all done some pretty horrendous things in their pasts.

    There is a wonderful twist that I want to say something about with out giving anything away. Such a challenge this early in the morning! Not all the characters are as they first seem and the ending wasn’t what I expected. There. That is vague enough. For a fast-paced thriller, this was excellent; I was enjoying the book, but I had certain ideas of how it would end. But then the twist hits and the ending is different and that took this book to the next level for me.

    My one criticism is that the characters by and large are pretty one dimensional and fit into stereotypes. It’s not necessary that they be anything else for the plot, but a little more would have been nice.

    The Narration: Steve Marvel was a great fit for Jim (the main character) who is POV for the story. His mild-mannered voice caught on excitement, fear, sadness, terror. Indeed, he did an excellent job with all the emotions that Jim went through. A few of the stereotype accents were a bit over done (the Hispanic grandmother and the gang member) but I liked his soft, deadly voice for Sarah (the business woman) and Eastern European man. I would listen to another book narrated by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rise to Power: The David Chronicles, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Uvi Poznansky
    • Narrated By David George
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Here is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. In his mind, history is written to praise the victorious—but at the last stretch of his illustrious life, he feels an irresistible urge to tell the truth. In the first volume, Rise to Power, David gives you a fascinating account of his early years, culminating with a tribal coronation. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.

    Jennifer Garcia says: "Engrossing, Personable, and Poetic"
    "Redeemable? Or should he be beheaded?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Rise to Power the most enjoyable?

    Educational. I felt like I was in a different place and time listening to this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like that the main character is very interesting. He starts off one thing (young, on a lark, an artist) and becomes someone else through the story.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final scene. It was very intense. While the main character did some questionable deeds throughout the book, the ending left a short list of things he had not done.....but perhaps the character would be willing to do in the right circumstances. Chilling!


    If you could take any character from Rise to Power out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Abigail. Supposedly, she is clever and I want to see that first hand. Also, supposedly she is a great cook and I want to see what she thinks of modern cuisine.


    Any additional comments?

    The story opens with an old king, one who has had his claws and fangs pulled. Indeed, he is not a particularly impressive specimen. Through the course of one night, his memory flashes back to younger days. David started off as a court entertainer – a poet, a dancer, a harp player. But then one decision after another leads David down a road of tough choices, choices that often lead to blood. Set in the land of Israel in the 1st or 2nd century BC, we watch as David rises in power, watch as that power is snatched away, and then watch as David claws that power back.

    This story was new to me as I am not religious, though I am pretty certain that the life of David is chronicled in the Christian and Hebrew bibles. So some of you may already be familiar with many of the details of this story. Even I, who lives under a rock, had heard the tale of David versus Goliath. I have to admit that my overall ignorance of David and his deeds added to my pleasure in discovering this tale through this book. except for the David versus Goliath fight, I had no idea what would happen to David. So, yes I fretted over him.

    He started off so simple and care-free. He was a court entertainer and a bit of a ladies’ man. A young lad soon to be a man who had little a need to be noticed. Of course, the King (King Saul) offers him a daughter’s hand in marriage for defeating Goliath. This turns out to be a bit of a ruse and David ends up with another daughter. But don’t worry, later in the story he collects a few more wives. He has plenty of companionship in the bedroom. Just as he has plenty of conflict in the king’s court and later in the battlefield.

    David is a complicated guy. He starts off on a bit of a lark, off for adventure. Then marriage and court intrigue send him into a series of conflicts that bloody his hands. By the end of the book, we have a very different picture of David. I am not sure I like the man he turned into, even as I am sure that I am quite intrigued by him. The ending left me ready for the sequel in the series, wanting to know if David can redeem himself of his misdeeds, or if I am going to want to behead him.

    My few criticisms are small, as I quite enjoyed my time with this book. The first partly stems from my own cultural and (perhaps) historical ignorance. There is a scene where David must collect the foreskins of 100 Philistines. Now I assume that the only way to do that is to convert the uncut men to Judaism, and part of that conversion means the willing circumcision. The other option is to kill the Philistine men and then collect their foreskins. I can only imagine that would be a grisly task left to servants and they would probably do it quickly, so there might be a few extra tips thrown in with the foreskins. Ugh! Oh, and these were a wedding present. As you can see, I had to make some assumptions there as to why David would be tasked with foreskin collection duty.

    The other criticism is that the ladies are mostly wives and sex objects. We’re told one lady (Abigail, I think) is particularly clever, but in the few lines she had, I did not see it. The ladies don’t seem to have anything other than David to talk about, so I didn’t get a sense of their personalities.

    Still, with those in mind, I did enjoy this book, and I enjoyed learning a bit of history from it. David is a complex character that evolves through out the book and while I may not end up liking him and wanting to have him over for tea, I want to know more about him.

    The Narration: David George made a good David, scoffing and pouting and womanizing in all the right places. He also did a good job expressing incredulity (like the numerous times King Solomon has to throw his spear at someone in court). I especially liked his voice of the taunting David when certain items were liberated (quietly and sneakily) from an enemy’s camp. His female voices were rather similar, but as the women didn’t have major roles and didn’t chat with one another, it was easy to keep their characters apart.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dastardly Bastard

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Edward Lorn
    • Narrated By Glenn Marcum
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When war photographer Mark Simmons is sent to do a promo on Waverly Chasm, he assumes it's a puff piece, a waste of his talents. Widow Marsha Lake brings her son, Lyle, to help him heal after his father's death. Donald Adams, aka H.R. Chatmon, joins the tour to get away from a sticky situation. Justine McCarthy consents to the hike to placate her boyfriend, Trevor. For Jaleel Warner, the tour guide, walking the chasm is just part of his job. Each of these people must face their darkest memories in order to discover and defeat the secret buried in Waverly Chasm.

    William says: "Trevor ended up with no pants."
    "Trevor ended up with no pants."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Dastardly Bastard again? Why?

    Yes, it made me laugh and gasp and wonder what I would do if I had to face my deepest, darkest crap again. But in the great outdoors. With witnesses.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Dastardly Bastard?

    Mark carrying Donald football style. Donald facing his worst shame and fear. Justine ending the nightmare.


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

    His voice adds tension. I tend to read faster than the narrators, so audiobooks slow down a story for me and allow me to enjoy the details more.


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

    Mark facing the dead soldiers, and then using them to take out an even worse foe.


    Any additional comments?

    Now you probably want to hear about the book. In short, I loved it. It was fast-paced, full of wit and suspense. Each character came with their own baggage, their own horrors, that they had to face. Justine was my favorite. She was a real hero in this story, pulling folks together, leading the way when the path was not clear. At first I didn’t care for Donald the writer. He was a bit of a dick. But then we get a peek at his deepest horror and shame and I think my heart cracked a little for him. After that, I liked him quite a bit. Mark was also a favorite as he faced a professional quandary as a war correspondent – what to publish and what to delete, how much truth to tell?

    I liked that not everyone survived (because I do find it unrealistic when all the good guys survive a paranormal attack of some sort). The pacing was good (never a dull moment). And the mix of people was great – various sizes, various skin tones, single, paired up, widowed, etc. The ending was more upbeat than the other two Lorn books I have read, so that was unexpected for me (but I liked it!). I really enjoyed that the characters had to go through some tough crap, face it, makes friends with it, and then they could attempt to come out the other side. Nothing was just given to the good guys.

    I’ve now read three Lord books and quite enjoyed each one. This one did not disappoint and may have been even more enjoyable because it was an audiobook and I could listen as I worked.

    Narration: Glen Marcum was an excellent fit for this audiobook. He infused the story with tension, tenderness, pissed-offness, etc. as needed. Edward Lorn writes well, and Glen Marcum did a great job of giving those characters a voice. I especially like his voices for Lyle and for Justine. Oh, and Trevor (who sounded stoned throughout the book).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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