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  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 181,041
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 169,158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 168,806

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book.

  • By Julie W. Capell on 05-27-14

Adventure and Love Set in the Future of the Past

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

Reviewed: 06-12-18

There are few books that are as enchanting as “Ready Player One”. It is an adventure-mystery that is written with so much love and nostalgia that it is addictive. It gets everything just right. The prose is clean and left adorned with what is necessary to build the wondrous “Oasis”, a virtual reality where the vast bulk of the book takes place. This world is built on 1980s films, television, video games, computers, and fictional characters. And, all of it had never been used so ambitiously in this jigsaw puzzle story of love, life, and survival. GenX nerds will love this book, and I hope it transcends to other generations. I adored this creation. If you have seen the film by Steven Spielberg, do not fear that everything has been given away. The screenplay written for this book, while using much of its themes and some of its images, is sufficiently different as to create a whole new experience. I enjoyed both the movie and the book equally which is a triumph in and of itself. This is one of my favorite books all time.

  • The Magician Murders

  • The Art of Murder, Book III
  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Kale Williams
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79

Jason West, hot-shot special agent with the FBI’s Art Crime Team, is at the Wyoming home of Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy, who is recuperating from a recent hit-and-run accident, when he’s asked to consult on the theft of a priceless collection of vintage magic posters. But before Jason can say “presto change-o”, the owner of the art collection turns up murdered in a national forest. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • No ending

  • By DMC on 06-15-18

Solid Lanyon Mystery

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

Josh Lanyon is in form. While this mystery wastes an opportunity to utilize magic in a murder and I wish Jason was more emotionally intelligent in considering Sam, I did enjoy most of the book. I encouraged me. Lanyon to reach high and create more challenging “real” characters.

  • The Consumption of Magic

  • Tales From Verania, Book 3
  • By: TJ Klune
  • Narrated by: Michael Lesley
  • Length: 18 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 202

Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse. It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be. Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania. With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utter perfection.

  • By Janice Birnie on 05-03-18

Simply amazing

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

Reviewed: 05-25-18

TJ Klune has perfect pitch for combining contemporary colloquial dialogue in a fantasy plots to create delightful characters in a magical story that moves at a lightning pace. Michael Lesley has reached a new level in vocal artistry as he is asked to bring to life a barnyard-full of colorful personalities. He is coming close to matching Jim Dale of “Harry Potter” American audiobook fame in his alacrity. Bravo!

  • Less

  • By: Andrew Sean Greer
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 922
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 855
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 853

You are a failed novelist about to turn 50. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: Your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can't say yes - it would be too awkward - and you can't say no - it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world. Question: How do you arrange to skip town? Answer: You accept them all.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Endearing, funny, but sometimes overly clever

  • By Lili on 07-30-17

“Less” is Much More

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

From the first page, I was enchanted by one of the most endearing characters I have read in years. Arthur Less is 49-years old but still feels as if he is in his 20s and 30s. The only problem is that every mirror he passes persuades him that he isn’t actually that young anymore. His former lover of 9 years is getting married to another man just a week before he turns 50, and the publisher that told him that he was part of their literary family just left his new novel in a basket outside the local fire station. Not wanting to attend his former lover’s wedding and feeling lost, Arthur Less decides to go on the escape fantasy that many of us dream: to accept every invitation on his desk for events and get-togethers around the world. Thus, the story begins. Italy, Germany, the Sahara Desert, and Japan are some of the settings for his journey.

Less is more anti-hero than hero but not in a traditional sense. He is more Basset Hound and Charlie Brown than Rottweiler and Deadpool. Often innocent to the point of naive, Less wanders though the world seeing everything around him but not always understanding their meaning. He is enchanting and sometimes maddening but lovable.

Mr. Greer’s prose is smooth and as sharp as a scalpel. Familiar American cultural analogies belie the deeper wisdom he imparts about life and love. The shifts from flashbacks to present day are so artfully written that they are seamless.

This is my favorite book in years. It is the recent winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and I recommend it for your summer reading list.

  • Darkest Hour Before Dawn

  • THIRDS
  • By: Charlie Cochet
  • Narrated by: Mark Westfield
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 177

THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great for the series fans

  • By Morgan A Skye on 10-26-17

Don’t Buy this Thirds Book

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

Ms. Cochet wastes her fan’s time in this story of Dr. Hudson Colbourn and Sebastian Hobbs tragic love affair that sours from drama to tele-novella. Ms. Cochet tortures her star-crossed lovers with set back and reunion followed by another setback and reunion followed by another setback and reunion that you feel manipulated unnecessarily and lose trust in the author. The Thirds series has lost its way into putrid tragic claptrap with an infinitesimal amount of action. Don’t buy this book. It will put you off the entire series.

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

  • By: Becky Albertalli
  • Narrated by: Michael Crouch
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,191
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,963
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,966

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: If he doesn't play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone's business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he's been emailing with, will be compromised.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing, powerful, joyful book!

  • By Jeff on 04-10-15

Great Novel

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

This novel provides layers of silky texture to a teen coming out story in the early 21st century. Ms. Albertalli’s prose is deceptively simple, but its accuracy in description, dialogue, and drama reveals a different story. This is a heartwarming, funny, and worthwhile novel that is well worth your time.

  • Disbanded Kingdom

  • By: Polis Loizou
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lyon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 2

Twenty-two-year-old Oscar is a lost cause. He roams central London, looking for love and distraction. But this isn't quite Bright Lights, Big City: Oscar is gay but feels disconnected from London's gay scene. He is naive and rootless, an emotionally stunted young man who lives in upscale Kensington with his foster mother, novelist Charlotte Fontaine. But all of this changes when he meets Tim, Charlotte's 3--something literary agent with whom Oscar becomes hopelessly infatuated.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Coming of age

  • By Reeca Elliott on 05-11-18

Prose Without Purpose

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

Reviewed: 03-15-18

Mr. Loizou demonstrates a talent for prose without purpose. The examination of a young man’s thoughts as he encounters unremarkable events, such as unrequited love, gratitude to a guardian, and regret at never really having lived, is merely a writing exercise and not a novel. The main character lives almost entirely in his head while only demonstrating he is physically alive on the few occasions that his mind overloads. There is little joy among his thoughts and a bounty of melancholy. The boy is like an “emo” Hamlet [intentionally redundant] who struts and frets upon his mind’s stage, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. “Disbanded Kingdom” wants to be much more than it is. It includes big conversations about politics and religion that creates heat and no light. In the end, the reader is left with several well-turned sentences, a few crumbs of ideas, and sad characters that don’t do anything meaningful. Why would anyone want to write about sad characters where nothing much happens? This book is the question: if a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it ...

  • The Monet Murders

  • The Art of Murder, Book 2
  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Kale Williams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

The last thing Jason West, an ambitious young FBI Special Agent with the Art Crimes Team, wants - or needs - is his uncertain and unacknowledged romantic relationship with irascible legendary Behavioral Analysis Unit Chief Sam Kennedy. And it's starting to feel like Sam is not thrilled with the idea either. But personal feelings must be put aside when Sam requests Jason's help to catch a deranged killer targeting wealthy, upscale art collectors. A killer whose calling card is a series of grotesque paintings depicting the murders.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I Like!

  • By Annika on 06-01-18

Great Book

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

Reviewed: 01-17-18

Josh Lanyon is in fine form. It’s a good mystery and he wrote with the confidence to leave loose ends. I enjoyed this thoroughly.

  • The Case of the Howling Dog

  • Perry Mason Series, Book 4
  • By: Erle Stanley Gardner
  • Narrated by: Alexander Cendese
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21

Compared to a juicy murder trial, a case of feuding neighbors isn't exactly Perry Mason's cup of tea. But Arthur Cartright insists that Mason is the only one who can muzzle the howling hound that's driving Cartright crazy. But Perry doesn't realize just how crazy until he meets his client's neighbor. Clinton Foley says Cartright is barking up the wrong tree with his canine companion - and swears that the man is dangerously insane to boot.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Perry Mason Mystery

  • By Dennis on 10-19-17

Great Perry Mason Mystery

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

Reviewed: 10-19-17

These early Earl Stanley Gardner “Perry Mason” novels are extraordinary. There are some legal and cultural anachronisms but if you allow for the early 20th Century writing and setting during Prohibition America, the legal and cultural issues are understandable. Some nomenclature used is offensive by 21st century standards but were common during the period. I will never want this book nor any others modified for current political correctness. Such people who desire to revisions “Huckleberry Finn” or ban “To Kill A Mockingbird” have minds of low caliber that do not wish to remember history. This is a well written mystery and a historical document.

  • The High King's Golden Tongue

  • By: Megan Derr
  • Narrated by: Michael Stellman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352

Prince Allen has trained his entire life to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious mother, who has made their kingdom one of the wealthiest and most influential in the empire. For the past few years he has trained to become the new consort of the High King. The only thing no one prepared him for was the stubborn, arrogant High King himself, who declares Allen useless and throws him out of court.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book. Audio does it justice.

  • By biyuti on 05-10-17

Great Storytelling

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

Reviewed: 09-26-17

Epic story with good characters is the hallmark of this tale. This a definitely a must buy for LGBT fantasy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful