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rich

Inostrancevia - the uber Gorgonopsian.

san jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
60
REVIEWS
51
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
19
HELPFUL VOTES
190

  • Called to Battle, Vol. One: A Warmachine Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Larry Correia, Eric Scott de Bie, Orrin Grey, and others
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot, Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (37)

    The Iron Kingdoms is a land dominated by mighty warcasters, arcanists who command the terrifying war machines called warjacks. While these epic figures lead armies and shape the futures of their nations, other powerful individuals, no less skilled, forge their own destinies in steam and steel. Called to Battle is a collection of stories focused on the Iron Kingdoms’ unsung heroes, its skilled mercenaries, and even the horrifying villains who haunt its darker reaches.

    rich says: "Four Short Stories, Stacks of Action!"
    "Four Short Stories, Stacks of Action!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Each story has solid action scenes. They all are cast in that strange forbidding world called the Iron Kingdom inhabited by gritty warriors trying to annihilate each other, puny humans trying to stay one step ahead of human grubbing monsters and fed up mercenaries tasked with shutting up and shutting down a bunch of self absorbed mages.


    What other book might you compare Called to Battle, Vol. One to and why?

    "The Butcher of Khardov" by Dan Wells springs to the lips. Both books are set in similar settings with Warjacks running around creating havoc controlled by hard-bitten uber warriors. That blood crazed maniac Orsus Zoktavir from "Butcher of Khardov" could exist and probably do quite well in the Iron Kingdom. Hell, I'd back him with a chunk of change if went up against General Gerlak Slaughterborn - the thoroughly evil badass and all around bully from the third story in "Call to Battle". It would be a match you wouldn't want to miss.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot and Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    My vote has to go to General Gerlak Slaughterborn for just having that name. Huge call author! Talk about effortless cred among the boys down at Annihilator's All You Can Slaughter Then Eat While Still Twitching 24 hour Cafe or some other joint frequented by Gerlak's cronies. With a name like Gerlak Slaughterborn you are pretty much guaranteed shotgun seat every time, everywhere in everyone's ride. If you try some pathetic RPS move, by the time you stick out your skinny twig of an arm old Gerlak Slaughterborn is already digesting the larger portion of your upper torso. This man is not to be trifled with.


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

    Yes, and I did. Book wasn't too long, and the stories just buzzed along.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this book if you like stories that feature crossbow shots through eye sockets, thoroughly slashed throats, exploding Warjkacks and eagle eyed sharpshooters blowing the heads off of homicidal mages. Also, you won't have to slog through endless hours of meandering backstory to get to the first whizzing bullet or war axe skull thwack with this book.

    all four stories are well written and professionally narrated stories that will be a quality addition to your virtual bookshelf.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Willful Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    These are the voyages of the starship A.S.F. Willful Child. Its ongoing mission: to seek out strange new worlds on which to plant the Terran flag, to subjugate and if necessary obliterate new life-forms, to boldly blow the... And so we join the not-terribly-bright but exceedingly cock-sure Captain Hadrian Sawback and his motley crew on board the Starship Willful Child for a series of devil-may-care, near-calamitous and downright chaotic adventures through "the infinite vastness of interstellar space".

    Ethan M. says: "Loving, biting, very funny parody of classic SF"
    "All Hail Dr. Printlip!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Willful Child is a must buy. I guarantee that you will laugh more and more as the audiobook unfolds. Starts a smidge slow / awkward, but after you get into the mix the dialogue heats up and you fill find yourself cracking up at regular intervals.

    After careful consideration I have assigned Willful Child a score of 9.68 on my Modified Integrated Listening Fun (MILF) Scale. And that, my friends, is a lofty score indeed!

    I have been waiting for an audiobook that allows me to sit back and listen to in peace and just laugh; nothing heavy, nothing dark like 95% of tediously recycled epic whine fest where some pigeon chested orphan goes to mage school and gets bullied and then slogs off to find that chinsey magic sword blah blah blah that is being pumped out these days with monotonous plentitude. To the authors cookie cutting these 892 pg. yawners I say lighten up and put down the bag of heavily salted snack treats. Stop slouching toward looking like Comic Book Store Guy's doppelganger from that cartoon comedy show.

    As to the characters: the A.S.F. Willful Child is led by the fearless Captain Hadrian Sawback. He is complimented by memorable crewmembers like the insatiably sultry Lt. Nippleback, Tammy the gender confused species switching evil A.I., the semi conscious lush that is Adjutant Tige who tirelessly attempts to fustigate Captain Sawback's self appointed mission of unrestrained mayhem, a whole bunch of other memorable individuals, and, lastly, Dr. Printlip - the gasping chief medical officer who I could not get enough of. His gasping, out of breath orations absolutely had me laughing out loud at least 18 times. His professional spraying of the Captain's arms, hands and other body parts made him an indispensable multi-armed member of the crew.

    The variety of adventures the Willful Child's crew experience - low - G ping pong in the Captain's state room, the near fatal debrief between the ultra - pneumatic Marine lieutenant and Captain Sawback (word of the day: cigar), the death struggle with those saliva spewing alien miscreants, homicidal gerbils and so much more will have you sitting at the edge of your seat from the moment you press play until that guy intones "Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program....."

    MacLeod Andrews did a top shelf job juggling at least 8 - 10 different character voices. I was impressed with his range - especially with the Doctor's gasps - pure audiobook excellence.

    In summation, I cannot say enough about the fun I had listening to Willful Child. Drop the dime, it is worth your time. I have been waiting ever since Red Dwarf for a super funny science fiction space odyssey audiobook. I have found it with this story. I want a sequel!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Imperfect Sword: The Lost Stars, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (363)

    President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon have successfully liberated the Midway Star System - but the former rulers of the Syndicate Worlds won’t surrender the region without a fight. The dictatorial regime has ordered the ex–Syndicate CEOs terminated with extreme prejudice and the system’s citizens punished for their defiance.Outnumbered and led by junior officers hastily promoted in the wake of the uprising, Midway’s warships are no match for the fleet massing and preparing to strike.

    Jean says: "Engrossing Space Battles"
    "Can Love Find a Way?"
    Overall
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    Imperfect Sword continues the saga of Midway's two leaders, Drakon and Iceni, as they try to lead their planet system out of the clutches of the Syndics, those conniving, backstabbing "Snakes" who would rob Santa Claus, butcher his reindeers, proceed to club poor old Saint Nick to death with the torn off legs of what once was his ride and then burn the presents in front of an orphanage just to see the looks on the children's faces. Syndics suck, period.

    Drakon can't seem to get more than 4 minutes at any point to look Iceni in her eyes and explain to her his true feelings about her. Maybe he is just self conscious about explaining to her why it looks like he's always smuggling a banana in his uniform pants pocket whenever she is around. Has there ever been two people who are so right for each other, and so in desperate need of a 2 week vacation than these two?

    Anyways, this book is a worthy addition to the Perilous Shield series. In these 11 and change hours there is more intrigue, more hate filled blood thirsty revenge base internal dialogue than you can shake a stick at, and then there's Morgan - the ultimate exemplar of pure badassitude who, within 40 seconds of her name first being uttered by Mr. Vietor, had already snuffed the life out of 4 Syndics and left 2 permanently disfigured and bleeding heavily. Morgan, in my humble opinion, makes black widows and male head grubbing preying mantis's look like submissive houesfraus obsessed with pleasing their man in every way he wants.

    Drakon is very lucky he just got away with a drunken shoot and scoot with the obligatory bun in the oven, or at least a bun in someone's oven who is standing in as fetus nourisher, while the real mom, i.e. Morgan is off on a mission somewhere busily castrating every male syndic who strays within a 20 mile radius of her. I ask you, who wouldn't want a mother like Morgan? I know she would make a wonderful mom. Just look at what she did to protect her unborn child. The surrogate is basically wired to explode and bring down a skyscraper if Drakon even looks at Morgan wrong or tries to discover who the victim, err, surrogate mother is and mess with the kid. One wrong move and boom! splat! there goes your baby, Drakon...... As I said who wouldn't want a mother like Morgan? Drakon is a lucky man to have someone like Morgan in his life.

    Iceni better step up and do what needs doing if she is to get her man. Or, Drakon should just search out an out of the way cubbyhole / hidy-ho where he and Iceni can rapidly strip, engage in a gerbilesque frantic bout of love bumping and get the hell out of there before Morgan can track down the sensor bleep ringing in her earpiece coming from the tracking device she implanted in Drakon's ball sack that night he drilled her then passed out on top of her.

    In summation, buy the audiobook. It is another gem from Jack Campbell. Marc Vietor is a pro is at the top of his game. I look forward to dozens more in this series, each one ending with a variation of the theme where scores of wimpering recently gelded Syndic eunochs slowly crawl away from a demurely smiling Morgan standing there with one hand holding a bloody stiletto and the other cradling her infant as the little bundle of love softly suckles at her breast.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Other Times Than Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By David Drake
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Heed the Slammers Battle Cry! A warrior's truth: "In the long run, everybody's dead. So screw the long run!" Patriotic hoo-ha may be well and good for recruitment parades, but David Drake's battle-hardened mercenaries know it takes tanks, guns, and grit to win when the real fighting flares. Yet peace brings its own problems to old soldiers - for killing potential enemies in battle is self-limiting, but once the killing starts in peacetime, there may be no end to the madness.

    rich says: "Solid Stories Plus New Hammer's Slammers!"
    "Solid Stories Plus New Hammer's Slammers!"
    Overall
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    Would you consider the audio edition of Other Times Than Peace to be better than the print version?

    I have no idea as I only have the audio version. Therefore the audio version, with Christian Rummel on the mic, is at least 12.5 times better than me listening to my inner voice droning on and on inside my head as I read the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I forget the guy's name at the moment, as there are a bunch of separate short stories in this audiobook. He was one of the Slammers hover tank commanders in one of the Hammer's Slammer's stories. What set him apart was his cold blooded proficiency when things hotted up at that spaceport he was attacking. When his tank scuddered into a depression where four enemy armored cars were laying low he did not panic, he did not waver. He systematically turned each one of those vehicles into unrecognizable piles of smoking scrap in less time than it took me to type this sentence. And yes, cyan blooms of vaporizing titanium, a staple of Hammer's Slammer's explosion descriptions, was in the offing.


    Which character – as performed by Christian Rummel – was your favorite?

    What? Didn't I just answer this question? As far as I recall, Christian Rummel didn't run out of the booth and someone else hopped in and took over. Come on Audible, work with me here!


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

    I don't want to sound redundant, but as soon as I heard Christian Rummel begin a new story and in the middle of a sentence he said..."something something Hammer's Slammers ......" I immediately and somewhat involuntarily sat up in my chair, raised both arms over my head, clinched my fists and let out a "YES!" I loved that series, bought every audiobook and keep them on a standby transfer status. It has been a while since new audiobook material has been produced for that series, and I for one am happy that more of this series has been made available.

    If you like to listen to an audiobook that gets you strapped into the commander's copula of a 22nd century armored fighting vehicle that is fully engaged in a high intensity and target rich environment on some god forsaken, sun scorched outer planet somewhere far away from here, then finish reading this review, give me a well deserved helpful review click, and purchase any and / or all of David Drake's Hammer's Slammers audiobooks. You will not be disappointed. Stefan Rudnicki's narration is masterful throughout the series.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this audiobook. There isn't a throw away short story in it. I bought it yesterday and just finished it. Solid action, Christian Rummel is one of the best narrators in the history of everything everywhere, especially when he is narrating a fast paced military science fiction zorchfest like this audiobook. Drop the dime, it's worth your time!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Geoffrey Wawro
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Wawro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    The Austro-Hungarian army that marched east and south to confront the Russians and Serbs in the opening campaigns of World War I had a glorious past but a pitiful present. Speaking a mystifying array of languages and lugging outdated weapons, the Austrian troops were hopelessly unprepared for the industrialized warfare that would shortly consume Europe.

    Steve says: "Good read"
    "Wawro's Diatribe Against A-H Military Leadership"
    Overall
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    What made the experience of listening to A Mad Catastrophe the most enjoyable?

    As I had previously purchased the book, I was re-familiarized with the depth of Wawro's disregard for anything and everything even remotely related to the Austro - Hungarian army's leadership before and during the First World War. After reading / listening to this litany of indictments I came away with the same persistent question, "Why would Wawro, after putting in prodigious research and formulating a central thesis for the book, really want to write it?"

    Now, before hackles get raised and your eyeballs begin their arching movements in their sockets, I am very much aware that there is no written or unwritten rule that the author has to be sympathetic to his or her subject matter in order to write his or her book.

    I guess the old saying "Let dead dogs decompose" or something to that effect... may be what I am weakly trying to convey. Maybe I am trying to say that Wawro's book could have expounded more on the plight of the Austro - Hungarian soldier facing the "Russian Steamroller" on the Galician front who found himself consistently outnumbered, outmaneuvered, lacking effective artillery support, exhausted after needlessly marching scores of miles from his detraining location too far in the rear and lacking adequate resupply of pretty much everything needed to sustain him in combat (food, ammunition, medical supplies, fodder for the horses, etc.).

    Instead Wawro appeared to be constantly "re-amazed" that Austro-Hungarian generals, Conrad von Hotzendorf, the KUK Chief of Staff, in particular, could repeatedly conjure up unrealistic plans of maneuver against the Russians. After the eighth paragraph length version of "How could von Hotzendorf be so blind, callous and strategically naïve", I kind of said to myself, "alright, I get it, move on." Wawro did not move on in many cases.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Listening to Wawro completely rip apart any scrap of legitimacy Hungary thought it had regarding its role as ally and partner to Austria before and during the war. Wawro throws out fact after damning fact of Hungarian pre war obstructionism, dishonesty, petty paranoia about perceived yet nonexistent threats to its status as co-partner in the Empire. It made me sick all over listening to Wawro drone on about how much of a backstabbing ass Hungary turned out to be in the years leading up to the war.

    For example, take this gem - Yeah, Hungary, those big bad Romanian and Croat "separatists" over there are really going to revolt against you and massacre Magyars wholesale if you allow 10% of the eligible voting population right to vote (down from 80% when Austria held the decision switch before 1870). Am I getting this straight? And you are going to withhold 70% of the already allocated military budget for all A-H armed forces not stationed in Hungary AGAIN this fiscal year if those two ethnic groups are allowed to have their 10%? What a punk move by representatives of a people who, in my humble opinion, should have been sent to bed with their goulash and barred from public office (the reps. in Budapest that is, not the group of people they represented).

    The above typed scenario actually happened. Look it up if you question my veracity. Hungary was a worse enemy than Russia when it came military preparedness and armaments development, and by 1910 Austria was so sick of the crap Budapest was pulling that Operation U was on its way to becoming reality until Emperor Franz Josef ratted the plan out to a couple Budapest newspapers in a backstabbingly weak and as unpatriotic as humanly possible move designed to discredit his nephew and heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand, for fuck's sake! Dear reader, this stuff is so amazing and true, that I couldn't make this up in my most creative moments. How did this ramshackle, self destructive empire last so long? Yet again, Austria - Hungary willingly seemed to want to self immolate itself with no apparent reason other than that fact that it could do so. Amazing!

    Just by typing this review I seem to have caught the Wawro virus and feel the need to throw an overhead brass knuckled haymaker directly in the center of the face of the perpetrators of Austria-Hungary's defeat and downfall. I could type and type about how much Hungary was to blame for the defeats of 1914, but I fear I will lose my laser beam focus I have meticulously adhered to so far in this review.


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

    His voice. When I read the book I used my "internal voice". So, now I get to hear his.


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

    I began to have rather strong feelings of sympathy for that unknown Austrian Landser squatting in some shallow trench somewhere west of Lemberg in early September 1914 with two clips of rifle ammo left, a few crumbs of stale bread in one of his pockets who just saw his sergeant bleed out because the medic was 2 kilometers to the rear. To his front he can just see the next wave of Russian soldiers advancing out of the distant tree line. Where are his battalion's machine guns? Where is the supporting artillery batteries? What the fuck is he to do with what he has at hand? There are no divisional reinforcements - they are still entrained coming up from their fiasco in Serbia. There are no battalion reserves, everyone who can hold a rifle is spread out to the left and right of him and probably wondering similar thoughts. All he can do is hold out for as long as possible and pray that the commanders, whoever they are, wherever they are will decide that his situation is untenable and order a pull back 5, 10, 20 kilometers to the west, hopefully behind that river he crossed a few days earlier. It looked defendable.

    The sad fact is that he has zero control over his situation and that fact saps most of this will to combat. So he looks to the east, checks to make sure his remaining clip is where it should be and then sights his rifle on one of those thousands of Russian infantry across the dusty field that looks like he might be an officer, maybe a lieutenant leading his platoon. Amid the chatter of and dust kicked up around him from the section of Russian machine guns covering the advance from their reverse slope positions to the left the Landser fires his Mannlicher and sees his target crumple face first into the Galician soil. As he clears the spent casing and slides the bolt back he temporarily forgets his own tragic situation and lets his training take hold. Just sight in, pip up the sight for range, then squeeze and eject. Just like at the firing range in Klagenfurt. Nothing else matters now.

    He is a Kaisertrau soldier of the Austro-Hungarian Army fighting for his beloved Austria, his Emperor Franz Josef and, most importantly, his comrades on the firing line around him.

    This is the kind of emotional response I felt when listening to Wawro's accounts of the battles around Lemberg in Eastern Galicia in September, 1914. Issues like grand strategy or the absurd decision to detrain Austrian army units at the northern foothills of the Carpathian Mountains instead of 50 - 100 miles closer to the Galician border where the actual fighting would take place somewhat faded into the background to be replaced with a sympathy for the common soldier and his daily struggle to stay alive in a truly horrible situation.

    I must say a word about the Austro - Hungarian army detraining fiasco. To unload those hundreds of thousands of soldiers each weighed down with 50-60 pounds of equipment was one of the first of many truly monumental errors made by Austrian leaders when you consider it is late August, with day time temps. in the high 80's, the "roads" are nothing more than wide dirt paths that churn up choking dust that clings to the sweat soaked soldiers in the marching column, stinging eyes and swelling already parched throats shut). By the time the Austro - Hungarian armies first encountered Russian armies moving west and southwest around SE Poland and NE Galicia, they were utterly exhausted after the ridiculously long approach marches they were compelled to undertake by von Hotzendorf.

    Wawro did point out that Austrian generals such as Auffenberg and Dankl made strenuous arguments to von Hotzendorf to keep the trains moving closer to the initial starting line for their planned offensives so as to not exhaust their units before combat was to begin. No dice! For reasons only von Hotzendorf felt justified, their protests came to naught and the soldiers detrained in some cases 5-6 full day's marching distance (at 15 - 20 miles marching distance daily) from where they were to BEGIN their operations. 100 miles in full packs in the Summer over sandy roads with little hope of a hot meal at the end of the day's march? And then the real action begins? Nonsense! Utter Nonsense!

    That is why my heart went out to that unknown Landser stuck in his shallow scrape. His army high command had little if any real idea of the nature of the combat he was engaged in, and did not exercise an iota interest in finding out whether their pre-war presumptions about the ability of units to advance in a modern battlefield swept by modern weapons (machine guns, bolt action rifles with smokeless powder and effective ranges out to 1200 meters, high trajectory howitzer fire from up to 8-10 kilometers in the enemy's rear that can arc over defensive works and deliver high explosives or shrapnel accurately) could survive in sufficient numbers to take and hold enemy positions. There were many more just as important issues they ignored. The lack of leadership shown by the Austro - Hungarian general staff cost their army an estimated 375,000 casualties (with an estimated 250,000 Killed and wounded and 125,000 taken prisoner) BY THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER 1914 - LESS THAN ONE MONTH INTO WW1!

    Max Hoffman hit the bull's eye when he described what it was like to be at war with Austria-Hungary as an ally, "It is like dancing with a corpse." Enough said.


    Any additional comments?

    No, I think I have bled enough in the above typed screed. Buy the audiobook. You too can experience how much, or should I say how little Mr. Wawro thinks of the Austro-Hungarian war machine.

    It must be mentioned for the record that A-H was fact on the winning side against Tsarist Russia in 1917. They might have metaphorically had to be wheeled in on a medical gurney with all types of life support tubes keeping its wheezing, emaciated and otherwise chronically chronic bag of bones alive to the End of the War in the East Barbecue and Beer Fest that Germany held at Hindenburg's pad, but show they did and even brought 3 kegs!

    In the interests of full disclosure, it was revealed that only one keg actually held beer and the other two empties were brought along with the hope that Germany would be able to toss the kegs in the back of its pickup and blow over to the liquor store, fork out some extra dough and fill them with at least Budweiser, and not that crappy, flat Shaeffer beer in the keg the Austrians brought. Like always, Germany manned up and came through strong. 2 kegs of pure drinking delight - Budweiser in a fat tub of ice! Nice! Ludendorff even manned the tap for the first hour until he passed out! I'll show you the pics after I get them back from Walgreens tomorrow. Lates.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Inhuman: Post-Human Series, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Simpson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Inhuman is Book 5 in the best-selling, smash hit phenomenon, Post-Human series. Listeners will get to rejoin all of the characters they fell in love with along the way in the previous 4 audiobooks. Inhuman not only ties the first four audiobooks together, it also introduces a new villain, one that has been lurking in the background throughout, and that will trump any villain in the history of literature, film, or comics. V-SINN is its name, and, this time, it may just be too much for the post-humans to handle.

    rich says: "Oldtimer and Co. Fustigate Evil Uber A/I"
    "Oldtimer and Co. Fustigate Evil Uber A/I"
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    If you could sum up Inhuman in three words, what would they be?

    Ray Chase Crushes


    What other book might you compare Inhuman to and why?

    I really can't think of another non-Post Human series book that compares to Inhuman. Even if there was a book out there, do you really care about what I chose or why I chose it? Hopefully the answer is NO.


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

    My virtual bookshelf is groaning under the weight of all the Ray Chase narrations I have purchased / listened to. Ray Chase is a narrator of the first water. When I scroll through newly released books and I spot his name in the narrator slot, it pretty much doesn't matter what the book is because I've already tossed the audiobook in my cart.


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

    Inhuman.......Tune in as Oldtimer bitch slaps evil from Venus to Earth and back again.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved to listen to Janet's squeaky chatter as she chirped with Rich - the gravel voiced badass who had Oldtimer's back. I pressed play at 4:30 this morning and marathoned this gem straight through as I did my morning fishing trip followed immediately by the obligatory Pacificofest by the pool. This story started fast and never slowed down. Ray Chase kept the story charging ahead and made me chuckle at least 26 times just from the way he made the characters sound. No one does Super Self Important Man in Command guy like Ray Chase. It's kind of like a mix of bravado and gruff world weariness wrapped around battle-hardened confidence. Or, maybe not. Whatever.... Buy the audiobook. It's worth the dough and you will enjoy the ride.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Origins of a D-List Supervillain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Bernheimer
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Kafer
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (121)

    Even D-list supervillains have to start somewhere. Follow Cal Stringel's misadventures as he climbs to the lowest levels of supervillany in the prequel to the smash hit, Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Angry that he wouldn't be known as the engineer who made Ultraweapon's force blasters, Cal resigns to chase after a bigger, better paycheck. However, the Promethia Corporation isn't going to let him go that easily and sets out to make his life a living hell.

    lum says: "super heroes & villains & everything in between"
    "MechaniCal's Bittersweet Backstory"
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    Would you consider the audio edition of Origins of a D-List Supervillain to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. In every way imaginable. And when I get around to actually buying the book I will be even more convinced of the audiobook's superiority.


    What other book might you compare Origins of a D-List Supervillain to and why?

    Does anyone really care what I compare anything to? Hell, I'm the one typing this and couldn't give a rodent's rectum about what book I might compare with this one. For the sake of nothing in particular, how about - Confessions of a D-List Supervillain. Why? Same author, main character and narrator.


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    Cal gets the vast majority of the time in this audiobook - as it is about him. I dig his sarcasm and jaded outlook on the lot people find themselves in through almost no fault of their own. I also liked that supervillain chick that blew around super fast and talked 1000 mph when excited. I forget her name, but I got a kick out of her part in the story.


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

    I got kind of choked up when an important character met an extremely undeserved spot of terminal bad timing. Cal's reaction to having that backstabbing son of a bitch known as Fate reach down his throat, yank his heart out of his gullet and then chop it into tiny bite sized pieces and what he did in commemoration for the loss of the best thing that ever happened in his life bucked him up several steps on the ladder of respect. He had something really special going, something clean and totally positive that was ripped from his life that could never be replaced.

    Oh, other than the above mentioned heart wrenching event that destroyed what was left of Cal's belief in the promise of a better tomorrow and all of that bullshit, there are tons of laughs throughout this audiobook. I never knew there could be so many flavors of superhero / villain. The guy who was connected with moss really made me squirm when he talked about his carnal adventures.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish this audiobook was available before Confessions..... came out. I don't know if it was purposely timed in this fashion, but when I listened to Confessions a couple of years ago there was a bunch of scenes that I thought needed some backstory. Well, now I know.

    Good book. Worth your time and your dime. MechaniCal is a supervillain you can root for. Now I am going to press play on Confessions to keep the saga going.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Outcast: Star Force, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson, David VanDyke
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (712)
    Performance
    (670)
    Story
    (670)

    Star Force is called to arms again! Outcast is a new beginning, the first book in a new spin-off series. Many peaceful years have passed since the Macro Wars ended. Most of those who fought against the heartless machines have aged - but not the ingenious artificial construct known as Marvin. His insatiable curiosity is as strong as ever, and he’s brought home fresh perils to humanity’s doorstep.

    Amazon Customer says: "Marvelous Marvin"
    "Captain Marvin Takes Command"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Outcast rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Outcast scores a competitive 9.16 on my Modified Integrated Listening Fun (MILF) Scale. Why? Because it just does. Cody Riggs, Adrienne the Oxford educated fair haired rocket who also is the sister of Cody's murdered girlfriend (nice scenario B.V., you sick bastard) , the Master Sergeant and Marvin - the greatest "artificial construct" in the Milky Way Galaxy all find themselves in deep intergalactic excreta through no fault of their own. Cody told the Captain to go armed to the feast - you will know what I mean very early in the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marvin. He is the driver of the action, the brains of the operation and, when all hell breaks loose as humanity is 9/10's through its collective circling of the toilet flush of extinction, the ultimate savior of Earth based sentient life.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Marvin got the word that his dreams of finally assuming command of a ship were crushed after Cody recited the "Law of Trover" pointing out that Marvin never left the ship. I had a mind camera playing that showed Marvin drooping at what you may call his waist, all of his once flagellating arms limp and his head bowed in a posture of total resignation and defeat. I felt so sad for him. However, as is always the case, Marvin found a way to circumvent the situation and through sheer force of personality and shameless manipulation persuaded Cody to brevet him as Warrant Officer thereby elevating him to de facto Captain Marvin. I felt so proud of Marvin.


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

    I didn't cry. This wasn't really a "get the tissues ready" kind of audiobook. I did laugh a bunch of times whenever Marvin inserted his presence. As I have said before, and I will say it again, Marvin is the greatest non-human character in the history of everywhere. It doesn't matter what he says, I just start smiling and usually end up thrusting both hands in the air and shouting "Marvin!" I guess that is kind of extreme.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this audiobook. New characters, some old ones, conniving homicidal carnivorous panda bears and tons of laser beam firing kill vehicles. Even the smarmy Crustacean professor guy is in the mix. All I can say is thank you Mr. Larsen for keeping Marvin alive as a character. My day got a bit brighter and lighter as I listened to Outcast.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Overlord

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    The plans of a million years are finally ready for what has always been coming - Armageddon. Finally, the first move is set in motion and the assassinations begin, eliminating the leadership and consolidating military control of the seas and airspace of the world’s most powerful nations. Only one element in the arsenal of the world can possibly give the Earth a fighting chance at survival - a tiny being that has already saved the world once in the Arizona desert is now called upon to outthink his former masters.

    Matthew says: "I think I lost my watch down south..."
    "I Grieve For Matchstick"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Overlord?

    Even though Overlord was a long listen, the story buzzed along. There are several compelling storylines interwoven with the overall plot. The book is filled with valiant knights in armor and rat faced bastards, plus Matchstick - the hero.


    What other book might you compare Overlord to and why?

    Nothing really comes to mind. I tend to take each book as an original story with its own little functioning world within itself.


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

    First time listener. He did a top notch job. Kept the story moving. I will look for his other narrations.


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

    As much as I have extreme reactions to anything these days - I have slowly, yet inexorably slouched into a rather tiresome jaded state of being over the last 22 1/2 years for reasons I shall not go into, and for the fact that you probably don't really care about in the first place.

    The ending part of the audiobook when one of the rat faced bastards and his MIB posse finally caught up with a group of the good guys saddened me tremendously. I remember uttering a pained "No!", getting a lump in my throat, and, as I looked down onto the ground slowly shaking my head back and forth.


    Any additional comments?

    Purchase Overlord! You owe it to the poor sods in Beijing and Mumbai - you will know why by about the 2/3 mark of the audiobook - and above all others, Matchstick.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Invasion: China: Invasion America, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Vaughn Heppner
    • Narrated By Mark Ashby
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    A disturbingly realistic vision of war several decades into the future. Invasion: China is as ambitious as it is powerful. Using advanced technologies in military science, the world's superpowers battle on land, sea, air, and space for global supremacy. This controversial tale will keep you sleepless at night as America challenges the new colossus in the East: Greater China and her Pan-Asian allies. Hard-hitting. Vast in scope. And all too possibly real.

    rich says: ""Down Goes China! Down Goes China!""
    ""Down Goes China! Down Goes China!""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Invasion: China?

    This audiobook is loaded with solid action / combat scenes in the sea, land, air and lower Earth orbit. Once I pressed play I couldn't press stop.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Brigadier General Stan "The Professor" Higgins. His grasp of military history and battlefield leadership basically kept the U.S. armed forces from getting their collective asses handed to them by the Chinese. What put him in the top slot was a statement he made to one of his underlings when the lieutenant questioned his decision not to disengage and conserve ammunition during a bombardment of Chinese forces defending a river crossing somewhere in Northern China after there were indications of Chinese starting a "Bugout Boogy" - "No son, We'll remain here to deal death." Needless to say, the bombardment continued.


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

    Solid narration that kept the action flowing. Professional job by a quality narrator.


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

    My belief in the ability for our species to lower the bar of cynical ruthlessness and depraved inhumanity was confirmed through the Chinese leader's murderous machinations and the counterproductive, myopic, conniving back stabbing act of the American Militia forces.


    Any additional comments?

    This series ended not with a boom, but with multiple radioactive mushroom clouds. Vaughn Heppner's Invasion America series was a joy to listen to. I highly recommend this final book and the rest of the series.

    By the way, my choice of headline was inspired by Howard Cosell's historic call during the Ali v. Frasier fight, but I am sure you already figured that out.....

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Zoom: From Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees: How Everything Moves

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Bob Berman
    • Narrated By Dan Woren
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (32)

    In Zoom, Bob Berman explores how motion shapes every aspect of the universe, literally from the ground up. With an informative and entertaining style and a knack for distilling the wondrous, Berman spans astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology, and the history of science, uncovering how clouds stay aloft, how the earth's rotation curves a home run's flight, and why a mosquito's familiar whine resembles a telephone's dial tone.

    rich says: "Fact Filled Fun Listen"
    "Fact Filled Fun Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Zoom the most enjoyable?

    The author wrote the book for people who like to know about the world / universe around them - people like me. He provided 2.38 gazillion factoids about a bunch of different subject areas and didn't clutter up the scene with techno babble or other superfluous speed bumps. I really enjoyed the audiobook.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As this is a book about the speed of a bunch of different things - I guess my favorite character was the 10 snowflakes. Why? Mr. Berman dropped in a golden nugget regarding water molecules and sand that made me say to myself "Wow, I didn't know that. That's amazing!" I found myself saying this or something closely related at least 31 times over the course of this listen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Again, or is it the first time I need mentioning - THIS IS A SCIENCE BOOK, not a character driven fiction piece. Enough of this.... Hey Audible, do me a favor. Can you all at least provide relevant topics for me to work from, as I am doing my damndest to give high props for this wonderful book I am trying to review? All you seem to be doing is tossing roadblocks in front of me for no reason other than laziness, negligence or spite.

    I wish there was someway to have a menu of topic options to pick from that would make reviews more relevant instead of getting needlessly tied up by irrelevant topics that have nothing to do with the work being reviewed. But hey, it's only the year 2014, and it's not like you are owned by some company like AMAZON.COM that can dig in its pockets for some loose change and fork out some dough for an application that is not all that hard to include on your review webpage.......

    Are these topics randomly selected through some bug-infested 1980's era algorithm, or is there some clueless mono-brow mouth breather nephew of the assistant in charge of reviews who needed a summer job picking these topics? I bet it's a combo of both.


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

    A moving moment? Refer to the above typed plea for someone to care about review topics.

    For the sake of anyone still reading this - there wasn't a "moving" moment in which I got all choked up or stopped in my tracks and had that "listen to this, this is really something" moment that comes along every once in a long while, but it is not the fault of the author or narrator - they both did a splendid job. I will say for the last time before I leave, this a science book about how everything that is something, and that includes everything, is moving to some degree. How this movement interacts with us, the Earth, Solar System etc. is an underlying theme throughout this book.

    Maybe a moving moment was when I finished listening to this audiobook. I thought to myself something like, "I just learned a bunch of interesting tidbits about a bunch of different things. I am a better person now than when I woke up this morning because of this audiobook."


    Any additional comments?

    Kudos to Mr. Berman. His astronomy articles are top notch and so is this book. I had an enjoyable day listening to this audiobook and will listen to it again in the near future.

    Buy this audiobook. It won't break the bank and you will learn many interesting things about a wide range of subjects you may not have thought about before.

    At least now I know exactly how high I can jump from and not be "back in the mud," as Logan Nine Fingers, one of the greatest fictional characters in the history of everything everywhere, would say.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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