LISTENER

Matthew

Kansas City, MO, United States
  • 121
  • reviews
  • 599
  • helpful votes
  • 219
  • ratings
  • Only Human

  • By: Sylvain Neuvel
  • Narrated by: William Hope, Charlie Anson, Laurence Bouvard, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 245

In her childhood, Rose Franklin accidentally discovered a giant metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. As an adult, Dr. Rose Franklin led the team that uncovered the rest of the body parts which together form Themis, a powerful robot of mysterious alien origin. She, along with linguist Vincent, pilot Kara, and the unnamed Interviewer, protected the Earth from geopolitical conflict and alien invasion alike. Now, after 10 years on another world, Rose returns to find her old alliances forfeit and the planet in shambles.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • casting error detracts severely, but a good story

  • By Deborah on 05-02-18

Don’t ruin the series by getting this book.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-14-18

Long story short, pretend this book doesn’t exist because at best it is only passable.

The reason I say this is threefold. First, the characters: Rose is a side character, Vincent is irrational and unlikable, and Eva is the worst lazy example of angsty teenager you can get. Second, Neuvel phoned it in: Honestly I suspect that this was only ever supposed to be a single book until the publisher told Neuvel to make it a trilogy, which was definitely a mistake. It’s one of those “explain too much and it loses the magic” cases. And finally: if you take the end of this book and one paragraph before the end of Waking Gods, there is no difference other than time. What I’m saying is that there is no point to this book.

I don’t recommend this book; just pretend Sleeping Giants the only book written by this author.

  • Head On (Narrated by Amber Benson)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Amber Benson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 322
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps", robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real, and the crowds love it. Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Sequel

  • By Craig on 04-20-18

When's the next book come out?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-28-18

After enjoying the first book so much, I waited impatiently for this one, hoping all along that it would in fact, come. Now that it is here, I am not disappointed in the least. Well that’s not true; I’m disappointed that I have to wait for the next one again!

The setting for this book/series is a great, flavorful drawing point; it’d make a good TV show too, for that matter. I love the idea of 1% of the population going around in robot surrogates and the crimes and cases that can occur as a result.

The police procedural aspect is solidly done and kind of like a cozy blanket. The story starts with an odd death of a Haden athlete in the middle of a game. It’s something that shouldn’t happen considering it’s just a bunch of threeps (robots) on the field. Then the body count increases…. It doesn’t push the walls by any means, but honestly, that’s to its betterment, since the setting and characters are plenty.

While I love the setting, I adore the characters. Chris Shane is charming while Leslie Vann’s gruff attitude is endearing. The innocence of the former and coarseness of the latter clash and form humorous results that had me chuckling randomly as I recall them. They make an odd pairing of FBI partners, but it works.

Overall, I feel I can recommend this book and series to anyone. As I mentioned before, it’s like a good TV show, one that anyone can get into, whether they are a fan of scifi, mysteries, humor, or what have you.

  • Guns of the Dawn

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 21 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 165

Guns of the Dawn is a pacey, gripping fantasy of war and magic from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky. The first casualty of war is truth.... First, Denland's revolutionaries assassinated their king, launching a wave of bloodshed after generations of peace. Next they clashed with Lascanne, their royalist neighbour, pitching war machines against warlocks in a fiercely fought conflict.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stand alone book

  • By M. McCormick on 01-27-18

The sample is enough to convince you to buy.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-18-18

208, I counted it. I have finished 208 books since the last time I had one this good (Seveneves). Totally different settings, somewhat similar themes, definitely as amazing.

Let me tell you about this book. It follows Emily Marshwic with no shifting character perspectives first of all. It starts with her in a firefight in a jungle swamp and it took only a few minutes of this book's riveting sample to convince me to IMMEDIATELY buy it and continue where the sample left off. After this enrapturing start to the book, it bounces back to a few months prior to when Emily was part of the gentry instead of a soldier. From here, the book maintains momentum and never stops surprising or gets boring until the story catches up to that intro chapter (probably not a quarter of the way in). At which point it stays just as mesmerizing as the sample and first chapter was. All the way to the end, not once did I dislike this book, which is something that not even the above referenced Seveneves can claim.

This book is technically fantasy, but I find that misleading. The world and countries are fictional, but they could just as easily be as real as all the weapons and other aspects portrayed. The war setting felt like World War I with Civil War technology, and as for the warlocks mentioned in the synopsis, they could just as easily be replaced with flamethrower users. The magic aspect is barely touched upon. Frankly everything is both realistic and believable. Not once was my suspension of disbelief tested.

Something that bears repeating, I saw a reviewer mention that they were happy that the book is standalone and not part of a series. While I dearly want more time with Emily, I'm satisfied at the end and appreciate not having to slog through a series that would muddle the amazingness of this book.

So in conclusion, if you want a riveting war story of an amazing character that feels like it could be a true story, that doesn't once play into tired cliches, and maintains your undivided attention, then GET THIS BOOK!

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

  • By: Marlon Bundo, Jill Twiss
  • Narrated by: Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, and others
  • Length: 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11,888
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,205
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11,151

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents the story of a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This story is cute, but let's be honest.

  • By João on 03-19-18

Bunny of the United States

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-20-18

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo is the touching story of Marlon and and the adorably fluffy Wesley. It is the tale that Bundo's owner does not wish you to know. It is the tale of how Marlon, Wesley and all their friends (because that's what friends do) rose up to overcome the tyranny of the Stink Bug who dictated what was and was not right.

Because love is love.

Get this and the funds go to the good cause of telling a certain someone EFF YOU! Also charities.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson: Legendary Viking Warrior

  • By: Morgan Hobbes
  • Narrated by: Basil Sands
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Experience the awesomeness of my unexpected voyage to an undiscovered land where I survive shipwrecks, arena death match spectacles, rampaging rhinoceraptors, naked and rather surly giants, and even dragons! Well, a dragon.... All in my pursuit of fame and glory. Every word of it is true. Totally true. How do I know? Because it's all about me. Gustav Gustavson, Legendary Viking Warrior.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal Performance!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 03-02-18

Good and chuckle worthy

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-17-18

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Overall it is quite forgettable, but I was happily entertained for the entire duration.

This book is not exactly what I was expecting, and probably not what you are expecting. It does not follow an incompetent viking, but instead a quite capable one that sticks to his code. It just so happens he runs into quite a few ridiculous situations. You know, like hitting on a giantess, or throwing tiny little elves over undead armies, you know, things that make you laugh. Oddly enough, now that I think about, it stays pretty grounded to normal physics. Other than the dragon. And the magic. and the clever half-orc. And the fountain of youth. Yeah, other than those.

I recommend this book if you like fantasy a laugh out loud humor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fangs of Freelance

  • Fred, the Vampire Accountant Series, Book 4
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,175
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109

When Fred formed his own parahuman clan out of necessity, he understood that it was going to come with new responsibilities. Much as he hoped those tasks would center around extra paperwork and perhaps the occasional mandatory class, enough time around the supernatural has taught him to be ready for anything. Or so he thought. As a freelance accountant for the Agency, Fred soon finds himself being tossed into new, unexpected, and perilous situations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazingly Mundane and Exciting At The Same Time

  • By Tony E. on 11-29-17

Series of short stories makes this great.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-14-18

For me, what makes this book and this series is that it is really just a set of semi-related short stories. For the setup of a boring accountant vampire, you can't really have a plot stick around for too long without it just becoming a generic action book. And this, dear readers is not what this series is supposed to be.

So yeah, you get a little bit of action and shenanigans, then it moves on to the next story without overstaying its welcome or turning Fred into Vampire Rambo. That my friends is what makes this book.

So if you liked the previous books and are in the mood for a light book, I'd recommend this one to you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Party Night on Union Station

  • EarthCent Ambassador Series, Book 10
  • By: E. M. Foner
  • Narrated by: Hollie Jackson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12

Kelly heads to Earth for the first-ever Conference of EarthCent Ambassadors, but while the cat's away, the mice will play.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My new favorite in an already favorite series.

  • By Matthew on 03-14-18

My new favorite in an already favorite series.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-14-18

So my biggest worry with this series is how much time progresses in between each book. This is part of what makes the series such a favorite of mine. However, I know that at some point Kelly and and many other characters will age out.

Yet again, I was wrong to worry. Yes, as the series has gone on, there has been less focus on the original round of characters. However, I think I may like the children and grandchildren even more than Kelly, Joe, and Co. So if you are like me, fear not.

As for this particular book. We get to see what Earth is like now that aliens have moved in and started their businesses. Then there are the citizens of Earth, you know, the ones that stayed behind and don't have exposure to so many alien cultures? Yeah, they fall into two camps, and I won't spoil it fo you since it isn't what you expect.

Judging by the plot of this one, I suspect this book marks the transition point from the first generation to the second generation. Sad as I am about this, I am alright and hopeful for the future.

Once more, I recommend this series to anyone wanting feel good slice of life books and either enjoy or at least don't mind sci-fi.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection

  • By: Alexander C. Kane
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 989
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 939
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 938

Andrea Vernon always thought she would spend her life living in Paris writing thought-provoking historical novels all day and sipping wine on the Seine all night. But the reality is she's drowning in debt, has no prospects, and is forced to move back to Queens, where her parents remind her daily that they are very interested in grandchildren. Then, one morning, she is kidnapped, interviewed, and hired as an administrative assistant by the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection. Superheroes for hire, using their powers for good. What could possibly go wrong?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Normal Life in an Abnormal World

  • By Arthur D. Rich on 08-26-17

Severely Meh.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-18

Honestly, I couldn't finish this one. I tapped out around the 60% mark because I just wasn't enjoying it and I didn't actually care what happened.

There wasn't really anything I can point at that made it bad. It was just overall severely mediocre. The humor fell flat at every turn. The parts that were clever ended all too soon. There was no satire as advertised. It just kind of didn't leave an impression.

The book's concept is good in theory, but it just didn't pan out. So, I don't recommend this to anyone.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Zero Hour

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 5
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13,349
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,598
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,540

United Nations Special Operations Command sent an elite expeditionary force of soldiers and pilots out on a simple recon mission, and somehow along the way they sparked an alien civil war. Now the not-at-all-merry band of pirates is in desperate trouble, again. Their stolen alien starship is falling apart, thousands of light years from home. The ancient alien AI they nicknamed Skippy is apparently dead, and even if they can by some miracle revive him, he might never be the same.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The middle sags with repetition

  • By KM on 02-14-18

Still a safe bet.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-28-18

The only question you should have when looking at this review is, "Is this series and book still entertaining?" The answer is yes, yes it is.

To me, books fall into the category of "good" or "entertaining." This series has always fallen into the entertaining category, and so that is what I judge it by. As such, I do not understand people criticizing it for being formulaic and more of the same.

If you're just continuing this series for the plot, I must ask why? It is Skippy and Joe buddy cop figuring out the problem of the week. Their banter and interactions with others are what's fun. Honestly, there isn't really anything different from before the cliffhanger at the end of Black Ops and the situation at the end of Zero Hour. Plot wise, you could skip this book and be fine. But you shouldn't do that, because as I said, it is still entertaining and fun.

If you JUST finished Black Ops, wait a month or two before starting this one so you don't burn out. Otherwise if you want more of the same (really, this isn't a bad thing, it's a safe thing), then pick this book up.

  • Age of Myth

  • Book One of The Legends of the First Empire
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,060
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,515
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,483

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer. Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom. And Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stop what you are doing and buy this book.

  • By Sterling on 06-30-16

Sad to say....

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-27-18

I am truly sad to say that this book was a very unwelcome disappointment to me.

I loved Sullivan's previous series, and I will still recommend it blindly to fans of fantasy. That said, the magic that it had, this one doesn't. I checked my old reviews and described Riyria Revelations as "just the good parts." This is important because honestly, even taking this series on its own and not comparing to Riyria, it is just a'ight. Some parts go on for a little too long. Other times tired and overused events feel exactly that instead of homages. People make all the dumbest decisions and that propels the story along. Basically, all the good parts were taken out of this for Riyria leaving just the mediocre parts.

I did finish the book (though I skimmed some parts). So it isn't unreadable, it's decent, as evidenced by the over all high ratings for the book. If you like a good strong(ish) female protagonist and it sounds good to you, give it a shot. Otherwise, I'm stricken to say, I do not recommend this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful