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rich

Inostrancevia - the uber Gorgonopsian.

san jose, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
55
REVIEWS
48
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
148

  • 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
    (17)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    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
  • 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
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    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.

    rich says: "Wawro's Diatribe Against A-H Military Leadership"
    "Wawro's Diatribe Against A-H Military Leadership"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Inhuman: Post-Human Series, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Simpson
    • Narrated By Ray Chase
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    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"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (50)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (46)

    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.

    rich says: "MechaniCal's Bittersweet Backstory"
    "MechaniCal's Bittersweet Backstory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    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 3 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
    (402)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (380)

    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.

    rich says: "Captain Marvin Takes Command"
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Overlord

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By David L. Golemon
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    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 3 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
    (44)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    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
  • Spell or High Water: Magic 2.0

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (365)

    A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn't be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.

    Charles says: "Fantastic: 2.0"
    "Martin and Philip's Atlantis Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Spell or High Water again? Why?

    Yes, but I'll give it a few. Got to keep the story fresh. This is an easy listen with a funny storyline and likeable characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole Atlantis thing - 100:1 male to female ratio and the whole women wear the pants scene while the guys are fired up to clean and get their hair done. Different take on roles makes the story funny in a kooky way.


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

    Luke Daniels is a flat out pro. He made this book flow. I bought Spell or High Water this morning and just finished it - almost 11 hours of audiobook and I feel refreshed. The author made the right choice in hooking up with Luke Daniels.


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

    Is Martin up to the challenge of winning Gwen's heart? Stay tuned to see what gets stuck in Martin's mouth - Gwen's tongue or his foot!


    Any additional comments?

    Get this book. The price is right, Luke Daniels comes up strong and Philip wakes up next to an "untraditional" vixen and doesn't even think about pulling a coyote.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dust World: Undying Mercenaries, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By B. V. Larson
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (799)

    The Galactics arrived with their Battle fleet in 2052. Rather than being exterminated under a barrage of hell-burners, Earth joined a vast Empire that spans the Milky Way. Our only worthwhile trade goods are our infamous mercenary legions, elite troops we sell to the highest alien bidder. In 2122 a lost colony expedition contacts Earth, surprising our government. Colonization is against Galactic Law, and Legion Varus is dispatched to the system to handle the situation. Earth gave them sealed orders, but Earth is 35 lightyears away.

    D says: "They’re back ready to die; again"
    "Screw the Nerbs!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Bucketfuls of solid military SF action, McGill, the main character, trying to bang every female in the galaxy (and he pretty much succeeds), blood thirsty aliens and so much more!


    What other book might you compare Dust World to and why?

    I don't know, how about Lint Island..... I don't really compare books as such. Instead of wasting valuable thinking time and brain wear, I look upon each new book as a unique story that should stand on its own. This book has action and characters that no other book has.


    What about Mark Boyett’s performance did you like?

    Mark Boyett is a pro. He can belt out a wide variety of character voices. I have a bunch of B.V. Larson's books with Mr. Boyett, so I am familiar with his repertoire. I like his female voices - they all sound like the gal is from the Banat region of western Romania.


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

    When the whole Varus Legion is up on some pretty serious charges for some sort of malfeasance or willful destruction of something the Nerbs (at least that is what these asses' name sounds like) hold dear, one of the judges sounded like Marvin - the robot from another B.V. Larson series who is my all time favorite non human character. When I heard that voice I gave a hearty "Marvin!" shout and scared the crap out of some lady and her kid who happened to be walking by about ten yards to the prop side of where I was kicking back under a tree this morning ( I didn't see them walking by..... ). I thought the woman was going to fall over but she merely rocked on her heels and did a swerve. As this gyration was unfolding she gave a spontaneous shriek that sent at least two dozen birds cachooming out of the nearby trees. I calmly watched the two nervous nellies recover, stare at me for about 2 minutes, and then briskly walk away with expressions on their faces I can only describe as fearful indignation. As I was wearing sunglasses, I was happy to take in the whole scene with little chagrin and found it all rather amusing.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book. The native gal had me from the first crossbow shot. She was a woman with a definite plan when it came to McGill, and I'm not talking about the 8 or so homicides she perpetrated on this guy throughout their blood-drenched (95% was McGill's), dysfunctional quasi-relationship. Concerning one scene in particular, after the warrior princess's explanation why she bolted out of the water registered, if I was McGill, I would pretty much be toweling myself off in about 2.4 seconds, making sure that damn crossbow is out of reach, and, as the junk is in recharge mode, initiate "Operation Yes, I Totally Agree With Everything You Say" as I suggest that we go kick back under the shade of that tree over there for a bit.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Matter: Star Carrier, Book Five

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Ian Douglas
    • Narrated By Nick Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (134)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (129)

    The United States of North America is now engaged in a civil war with the Earth Confederation, which wants to yield to the demands of the alien Sh'daar, limit human technology, and become a part of the Sh'daar Galactic Collective. USNA President Koenig believes that surrendering to the Sh'daar will ultimately doom humankind. But when highly advanced, seemingly godlike aliens appear through an artificial wormhole in the Omega Centauri Cluster 16,000 light years from Earth, President Koenig is faced with a tremendous choice.

    Kevin d. says: "5x Same Formula"
    "Another Victory May Spell Doom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, especially if the person is familiar with the series. I dig this saga for its entertainment and its well thought out doses of intelligent surmise about various technical and social matters. It also doesn't hurt that there are some pretty lively human v human and human v multi pieholed live bait eaters with quirky reproductive cycle space duels.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author comes up with different alien races in every book. This book's version had me smiling as I envisioned what these hermaphroditic, motile, heterotrophs would look like sitting across from me at a table in a restaurant. Also, the nasally, squeamish in a fair fight, backstab Euro Confederation gets a healthy dose of beat down for their craven nano attack on Columbus (see previous book). Revenge is always best served cold. Or, in this case, the chill is from the USNA through subconscious memetic subversion through the systematic corruption of the Confederation's AI network. Either way, it left a mark that may not get out in the wash. Operation Luther - nice use of the famously flatulent and chronically constipated old monk's name Mr. Douglas!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The above described beings were in a fur ball of a battle off of one of those god forsaken hellhole planets that seem to fester in every quadrant of our local arm of the Milky Way. As his / her ship was being vaporized around him / her, he / she cursed his / her blood thirsty gods as he / she started to feel the need to start popping out kids from various oral openings. Stress will do strange things, I suppose. The author offered a few choice observations on this noble race's views on reproduction and the not all that comprehensive role of the family unit in bringing up baby. Real "food for thought".


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

    Yes. When a holographic facsimile of one of our current scientific A list thinkers is dusted off and carted out at some cerebro-rama get together finished his schpeel about something or other that I must admit got a bit twitchy towards the end, President Koenig has his 12 seconds of "My god, the ramifications of this new reality has such profound........." and then seamlessly slipped into facing a new challenge as old as the forest from which we crawled out of at the dawn of humanity, "How can I get that perky ex-senator Hardbody, or something like that back into my life, back in the sack, back at my shack?" The transition was deftly played and kind of gave me hope for the future of my species.


    Any additional comments?

    Solid addition to a solid series narrated by a pro. Dark Matter is not the end, but a link in the continuing saga of the USNA America - battered, broken but still pissing venom and cracking foreign and domestic enemies with malice aforethought, and executed with extreme prejudice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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