The survivors have come to settle in the mountains of Wyoming, fighting day in and day out to establish a home for themselves in a near-empty world. Things are good at first; scavenging is a workable, short-term solution that seems to be providing all they need. But they know that it’s only a matter of time before the food runs out. They need to scramble to find a sustainable solution before the clock stops, and for a little handful of people up in the mountains, the odds don’t seem very favorable.
- Josh here.
Where to begin with this long-anticipated sequel. To say that I enjoyed this book would be an understatement. Gibbs has to be the single most accurate character I have encountered since I started listening to audiobooks. As a soldier, I have come to know many marines and can say that a handful of them have absolutely fit this mold. Gibbs is a clear leader in the absence of such, and he showcased that throughout this book. His crass nature definitely highlights the very nature of military service, the bottom-line-up-front mentality. It was great to be able to directly relate to such a character.
Carrying on from book one, it was great to be reunited with Amanda, Lizzy, and Jake, even if that meant it had to be done without Billy. Jake brought with him a certain level of mystery, i.e. creepiness, that played out as this story went along. New characters were brought into the story only to have them taken away just as you were getting used to their role. One particular character that piqued my interest was Jessica, specifically her interactions with the group in Denver.
Watching as some of these scenes played out spawned memories from my own time in the military. The urine scene was one which brought a great chuckle to me as I could completely visualize this scene playing out knowing some of the folks I have had the pleasure of serving with.
As with any book that draws me in, there is usually one characteristic they all share and that is the realistic depiction of the various aspects of humanity. In this book, we get to see a fine example of the difference between justice and vengeance. This came to the forefront later on in the story and was just one of many aspects to this story which drew me in. I love realism when it relates to how different folks would react to a given scenario dependent upon their upbringing. Jake, as creepy as he is, was able to bring about many different ways of looking at a situation. Jake was also able to demonstrate how a simple act, done when it is needed most, can change the mood for an entire group of people (Jake playing the bass).
As with every audiobook I’ve listened to narrated by R.C. Bray, he did not disappoint with this reading. As a self-defined Bray-niac, I truly enjoy the dynamic nature of his narrations which help bring awesome works, such as this masterpiece by Josh Gayou, to life.
This was a sequel that was well worth the wait and now I begin the wait for book three. 5/5
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Officer Norman was only a teenager when his quiet neighborhood fell victim to a brutal serial killer's bloody games. Too young to help, but not too young to feel helpless. Now, 25 years later, as he patrols his beat, he can't help but wonder about the killer. A killer who is still out there, somewhere. Haunting memories of a case never to be solved...or is it?
I was given a free copy of this story for an honest review.
I wasn't a fan of this narrator. I liked his English accent, yet didn't understand why he was chosen to narrate this story. Yes, I saw that he was one of the co-writers. He obviously needs more practice doing an American accent and narrating itself. To me, it sounded like he was going for a New York accent, yet it was easy to hear his English accent, which was annoying.
Where is the author from? I ask because at one point the mention of someone's "mobile" (phone) is used, and in the US, we typically refer to it as a cell phone, whereas the English commonly refer to it as a mobile.
We learn that the killer of the third victim had left behind the person's "mouth organ." Why not just tongue?
Now to the actual story. What can I say? I wasn't a fan of it either. To me, it seemed more like it would have been an outline to a story. It probably would have been good if it'd been more than just a few pages. There were too many murders with a brief overview of each, a going back and forth between the murders and the guy and his wife, then the murderer is revealed. How old was she when she first started killing if he'd been 14-15? Either way, the fact his wife of the killer was eh. Considering we don't really know much about the wife to begin with, I wouldn't really consider the revelation (killer) as a twist or surprise as some other reviewers stated. Being there was too much going on in such a short period of time, I didn't really care what was going on. I listened and that was that.
I didn't get the title either. Obviously that went over my head (the imaginary friend part).
Holly won't rest until the outskirt is found. The militia who kidnapped him believe they have the upper hand, but they don't know what Holly has along for the ride. With the status reader, Case is as good as rescued. But once she arrives, things get dangerous fast. Tillman and his crew have detected their entrance. She has nothing left to do but make a decision that will change their future forever. Providing a distraction, in the last-ditch effort to free Case, Holly risks life, limb, and Luce. Once they arrive South, the countdown is on.
I love this series! Each book just gets better and better. Ms. Carlson is a great writer! And I've always been a big fan of the narrator, Emma Wilder. (How does she do the male voices?)
Book 5 was exciting because there was so much going on.
Of course, when it comes to a lead male and female, I'm usually waiting for the two characters to get together. Well, that finally happens! Now I'm not saying that the series suffered in any way because it didn't! Either way, it was a long time coming.
I loved that Mazie (?) was able to get a body. I actually never even conceived of the idea that she would have been able to get one. She was definitely stepping up in this book.
Finding out about Daze and Case? Wow!
This was an action-packed, very informative addition to the series. Great work!
Horrific tales of fright told around a bonfire during remote backwoods retreats are common among close friends. As each person tests the others' ability to remain calm and resist the urge to look over a shoulder as the sounds of nature bellow out in the backdrop, only one may claim victory as the most frightening of the group. Backwoods Bonfire inserts the listener into a group of friends that unintentionally create a case study on what horror means to them, attempting to coerce the others to believe that horror is specific, not fluid.
I received this audiobook for an honest review, and I wasn't sure how to go about this review.
I hoped for the best, especially after getting high praise from a fellow author that I love. On that note, I'd have to say I wasn't a fan of this one. I felt like the summary of the story was describing a completely different story. I wouldn't really consider any of the tales the kids told as being scary (even a tiny bit) or stories that you'd even tell around a campfire. Most, I felt, were boring and didn't really hold my attention.
As another reviewer mentioned in Audible, the curse words, the quantity of them, stood out to me and seemed over the top. Similar to the reviewer, it sounded more like a group of younger kids getting together and cussing to sound cool in front of each other.
The narrator wasn't too bad. She has a good speaking voice, albeit there were times when she didn't sound natural, more like she was sitting there reading the story. She did good with the accents, although there wasn't much variety between characters (they all sounded female).
Serenity Drake went back in time for altruistic reasons. Her sister Peyton was dying and she needed her other sister to go back to save her life. Along the way she didn’t expect to find the one man she couldn’t resist. Brandon Bennet, the Duke of Branterberry, has a young son to care for. He has no room for Serenity in his life, but needs her help after she convinces his son’s governess to leave his employ. She takes on the duties with a flourish all her own. Brandon finds her difficult to resist, but has no wish to marry again. His first marriage left little to be desired.
Big fan of Dawn Brower here! I received a free copy of this audiobook for an honest review.
I don’t like leaving poor reviews for author’s I like, but, unfortunately, while I’ve enjoyed the other stories in this series, this one didn’t really call to me (similar to book 7). I felt there wasn’t much going on in the story, as in a problem for the main characters to fix/sort out, like in previous stories.
I wasn’t a fan of Serenity and felt she’s was a b*tch, the majority of the time. Why? Because she wouldn’t leave the duke alone and would constantly pester him to basically tell her everything. When he obviously wanted to keep some things to himself, she would get mad; yet, he had to prod her to find out simple things about her. Unlike the previous females in this series, I felt, although they were from the future/hundreds of years ahead of their men, they all sort of fell into place in their given time periods. Serenity, yes, she’s a strong a woman of the 21st century (as is stated several times), she was too much. For example, she wants to surprise the duke when he has to travel. When the carriage randomly stops, she appears in men’s garb. He tells her she needs to put on women’s clothing for when they get to their destination, yet, almost throws a fit because pants are more comfortable, and she’s forced to wear a dress that she keeps tripping over. I’d be interested in reading more about their situation though because I’d be wondering how Serenity would be after the marriage and how she’d act in front of the ton.
Overall, I liked the narrator's voice/accent, but I was left wondering why pronounced “assumed” as “asHumed?”
0 of 3 people found this review helpful
Occupational Hazards is a collection of acclaimed stories from the author's Return to the Dirt, Just Speculating, and more, including unreleased, exclusive, audio-only content! Performed by a cast of award-winning and Audie® nominated narrators, fans of the macabre, dark humor, and cerebral thrillers are guaranteed a compelling listening experience.
Overall, I liked the little bit of music at the beginning of each chapter. The majority of the stories were interesting as well.
*Story: Jar Baby 5/5
Oh, them titties! lol This was an interesting and funny story. I don't get his obsession with his nipples though.
John McLain (Narrator): 5/5
I loved the narrator's voice/accent.
Story: The Relativist 4/5
So that's how General Tso's chicken is made? No wonder it's so good! Plus, I never knew the white containers turned into plates. I liked this story. I was a little confused as to why the Chinese seemed to be part bugs though.
Jonathan Sleep (Narrator) 2/5
My husband is a big fan of this narrator, unfortunately, I'm not, at least not with his reading in this story. The stories I've heard him narrate involved multiple characters/a different voice/accent for each, and in that, he did a great job! But my personal opinion, I felt his regular speaking voice...well I wasn't a fan.
*Story: Anything For My Bubela 2/5
This was a cheesy story. Having the old lady get involved made me think of the movie with Sylvester Stallone, "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot." While this was an okay story, it didn't really call to me.
Steven Jay Cohen (Narrator) 5/5
The narrator did a good job though. He definitely had the accent (Italian) that fit in well with this story.
*Story: The Organization 1/5
I felt lost with this story. So an old person is chosen once a month to fight the winner from the previous battle. Why? Because that's how the nursing/senior home gets its funding. Why would anyone want to see 70+ y/o's fight though? Especially famous people? Yes, there's always going to be people out there that want to see strange things, but this? I can only imagine what the leaders of the Organization said, in the beginning, to get those rich folks interested.
Paul J. McSorley (Narrator) 2/5
The narrator for this story needs more practice, I feel. There were a lot of times when it was obvious he was reading from something (unnatural sounding).
*Story: Anchors Away 1/5
I wasn't a fan of this story. It could have been good but maybe because it was so short, I don't know. I felt like there was nothing really to it. It starts and suddenly it's done already.
Geoff Sturtevant (Author, Narrator) 3/5
The narrator aka author...yeah...I had some issues there. Sometimes it sounded like he was too close to the microphone so you could hear his voice almost echoing (if that makes sense). He did a good job with the variety of accents for the characters, and I did like the sound effects though.
*Story: The Technicians 4/5
Yes, it's called "The Technicians," but actually having the characters referred to as technician one and two, yeah...no. I liked this story. It was different and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. It was sad at the end knowing...forgot his name...was going to be killed because his wife was unhappy with him. You'd think the company would make an exception since he worked for them. Poor Fern!
Ramon de Ocampo (Narrator) 5/5
I liked the narrator as well. He had an easy-going natural flow to his speaking which added to the story.
*Story: Night Fright 5/5
I loved this story. I was so waiting to see what would happen to Rich and surprised that Roddy McDowall and, the much younger (more competent one), Williams Ragsdale, would have believed Billy's vampire story.
Ramon de Ocampo (Narrator) 5/5
Again, the narrator did a good job with this story.
*Story: My Best Customer 5/5
I loved this story also. Unlike my previous reviews in which I start with the story, I have to start with the narrator. I feel he really added to the story overall. He was giving me the creeps when he spoke as the cop. He did a great job! The story was interesting and left me grossed out on several occasions. That's a plus!
Paul J. McSorley (Narrator) 3/5
I liked this narrator, although there were times when his speaking voice wasn't all that natural sounding, overall he did a good job.
*Story: Return to The Dirt 1/5
This was a different kind of story, but it didn't really call to me.
Paul J. McSorley (Narrator) 4/5
Again, nice job, Mr. McSorley.
***I just realized I left a poor review for Paul J. McSorley's first story he narrated for this series. What can I say? He improved fast?
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Operation Redemption, the final desperate mission in taking back the planet from the Organics has failed. Captain Rick Noble and his soldiers have been captured and imprisoned on an alien ship. But not all is lost. Their sacrifice allowed Doctor Sophie Winston, Doctor Emanuel Rodriguez, and their small team to escape in the NTC Sunspot - their destination, Mars. The perilous journey to find a lost human colony may offer Sophie and the rest of humanity a chance at life.
- Josh here
There is a single word I can use to describe this entry in the Orbs series, “Damn!”
What a ride. This book took sci-fi to a whole new level and just kept going. Nick and Tony definitely have a winner here when it comes to a conclusion for this series. As usual, I tend to associate different events with other items in modern media. For example, I definitely felt some Starship Troopers and Independence Day style themes with this entry in the series. That is by no means a bad thing, it is just how my mind helps me visualize different characters or creatures.
As with past books, we find ourselves with the various AIs present in the story. Artificial Intelligence has always been a fascination of mine through my upbringing and it is very interesting to see how Nick and Tony brought the AIs into a more prominent role for this final entry. Sonya and Alexia definitely kept my interest piqued in between the various action sequences. Although, I will say, I found myself questioning the ability of the crew to transport an entire AI on a single hard drive. This is a nit-pick on my part, but as a technician, I latch on to these things.
The introduction of the various alien species was a wonderful addition to the storyline. Ribbit and Roots definitely presented an interesting aspect to the story aboard the “Zoo Ships”. Additionally, the integration which took place later in the story left me wondering how I would decide to proceed given the opportunity to merge my human self with that of alien technology/biology.
Watching as the happenings occurred onboard the alien ship was another fascinating part of this journey. The way creatures were treated on-board definitely gave me a few cringe-worthy moments. That, and Bronson Pinchot definitely let his emotions show (in a good way) while he was in the on-board scenes.
This is a fantastic conclusion to the series and makes me wonder if there will be a book five (akin to how book 6 came about for EC) somewhere down the road. Bronson has definitely grown on me as a narrator and it is interesting to hear his take on the Orbs series when compared to Elizabeth Evans and James Fouhey. If you’ve made it this far in the series, do yourself a favor and see just how awesome the conclusion can be. 5/5
It’s Easter in the land of Oz, and while Jack Pumpkinhead should be enjoying the lovely spring weather, Easter eggs, and candy with his new friend, little Jenny, he can’t. Something is wrong. A terrible memory is beginning to resurface, and Jack is terrified. Whatever it is, he knows it has chased after him for a long time and that he is not strong enough to face it. But very soon, Jack will discover that you can’t hide from the truth forever....
I'm a big fan of Roma Gray, hence I asked for a copy of this story for an honest, but, unfortunately, I felt like this story fell flat. There's a strange creature who's trying to befriend a child. The creature realizes who he/it really is (something bad), yet goes right back to trying to befriend the child again. The end. I hate leaving bad/poor reviews for people I like (authors/narrators), so while this was a short story, there wasn't much to it.
But as always, Terry F. Self did a great job! He's now on my list of my all-time top favorite five narrators.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
At the end of the world, who will survive? The year is 2061, and the planet is dying. Cataclysmic solar storms have forced leaders from around the world to finally put aside their differences and agree on one thing-to jump ship. The human race is headed to Mars. Dr. Sophie Winston is hired by New Tech Corporation to test a biosphere deep within the heart of Cheyenne Mountain; a mission she believes will help prepare the company for the three-year flight to the red planet. But, just days into the assignment, things start to go wrong. When the blast doors open, it's a changed world.
And my journey into the Nicholas Sansbury Smith writing world continues with the first book in the Orbs series after reading his other books (Extinction Cycle, Trackers, and Hell Divers). Given the propensity for my being drawn into his other works due to his writing and storytelling styles and talent, it felt natural to progress to this series. I am glad that I did as I feel this book really puts an interesting twist on the alien apocalypse genre.
The title for my review was actually my working idea as I listened to the first entry in the series. It was not until about ¾ of the way through that I realized it might not fit as I had originally intended. None-the-less, I still feel it holds as we do have a disaster within a disaster (akin to the dream within a dream) more of the story unfolds.
What does humanity do when planning and work has already started because of one disaster only to have another disaster occur right in the middle of said planning? Well, that is what this story seeks to address. I will not go into a plot summary as I want to avoid spoilers for those reading the series.
I found myself drawn in to this series right from the start and found myself not wanting to stop. As is the usual with Nick’s writings, he elicited many emotions from me during his telling of Sophie and her team. Some of these emotions came at the behest of the nature of certain characters. Likewise, I developed a cringe when it was described what the organics did to a living human body. In particular, I found myself wanting to punch something due to the anger I felt at Timothy’s character; talk about a pain in the butt. Not sure I could handle someone as negative as him in real life. Likewise, I was torn with Sophie’s character throughout the story. Her initial need to be in charge combined with her incessant focus on the original mission she was placed in charge of made it difficult to side with her at points; although she did redeem herself towards the middle of the book.
I loved Nick’s recognition of the very nature of military service and the connection service members have towards one another (although my wife says this is specifically a “guy thing”). One particular favorite moment of mine was with SGT Overton saying, “Let’s go, you shitheads”. This is a classic depiction of the realities of military life. We are often times vulgar to each other and this helps foster a sense of connection/comradery. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been referred to in this manner, or referred to others in this manner, and absolutely enjoying it, even if given in a negative sense due to a mess up of some kind. That said, I will say that Marines would never like being referred to as a “soldier”. Once a Marine, always a Marine.
I was able to pick out, or associate, many pop culture references in my own mind which helped me visualize various points in the book. Right from the start, I immediately associated Alexia to Amazon’s newly released Alexa devices. This continued throughout the as the team often asked Alexia for information in traditional Alexa style (Even though Alexia came into being long before Amazon’s Service). Likewise, the spiders in the story caused me to visualize the Chrysalids from the XCOM games (Scratch, Scrape). And the train discussed in the book brought about visions of Resident Evil.
As is usual in Nick’s books, he brings about many examples of the various depictions of the nature of humanity. Whether it is the way humans take for granted the finite resources we have on this planet (water, in this case), or the way individuals react in a disaster scenario, Nick did another fantastic job of showcasing how these reactions and reactions can vary from person to person. For example, what would you do when you find out there might be other survivors (the scene where they picked up Luke’s beacon)? Do you stay in the safety of your location or risk it out there with the organics? What about the situation with kids? Again, these situations really make you think and examine how you would react in a scenario. A large portion would likely think they would react one way, but when put in the actual situation would find themselves reacting in the opposing manner.
Another easy 5/5 from Mr. NSS
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The aliens have invaded, wiping out almost all life on Earth. Their goal: water. Huge spaceships are draining the oceans, and the few remaining humans have been herded into farms, where their bodies are harvested to support the growing alien army. Humanity's last chance lies in the biospheres that have been planted secretly across the globe. But all is not peaceful in the biome led by Dr. Sophie Winston. With resources dwindling and tensions high, her small group of survivors is divided. Some want to fight, some want to stay hidden, and Sophie just wants to keep everyone alive.
*** REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS ***
And the story continues as what is left of humanity fights for survival against the organics (in all of their various forms). It was a fun ride being introduced to the various lifeforms which have now moved on to our planet in order to scout for resources crucial to their survival.
As I moved through this story, it was very easy to identify (at least in my opinion) the deep love for Sci-Fi that Nick has. I found myself identifying multiple connections to other entries in the sci-fi genre. Whether it was the farms containing humans which reminded me of the fields from the Matrix, or the nature of Jeff’s capture and being enclosed with other survivors akin to the War of the Worlds, there is definitely a connection to other sci-fi tales. Likewise, the spiders brought me to memories of the Chrysalids from XCOM.
The book was not only full of action as the survivors sought to fight off the organics, but had its fair share of emotional moments. Alex’s hanging was one of the events in the book which shocked me as did the near murder-suicide which is a common occurrence in post-apoc style books, especially when it seems that all hope has been lost.
There were noticeable changes which were called out in the story. Watching Overton change as his frustration with Sophie grew due to her preference for playing it safe ate at him was a key element to the story. The characters even called this out (Holly brought it up to Sophie and advised her to keep an eye out)I will say that I found myself a bit frustrated with Overton at certain points throughout the story. He was a bit over-bearing and while I understand his motivations, it still didn’t alleviate the angst I had for his character.
The aliens encountered by Sophie (or were they? Was this all tied to the chip implanted in her?) highlighted the same creativity which draws me into Nick’s work. Multi-dimensional beings are definitely an interesting concept as was seeing how the species took shape in different forms. I will say that I cringed a bit with the beaked monster breathing the “blue specked spittle” combined with its bad breath into one of the marine’s face. I could easily picture this scene.
The sci-fi references continued throughout the story as I thought to Terminator Salvation and the sub base hosting the HQ of the resistance. This was linked to the sub base brought up in the story, although I have to wonder how long this will last given the fact that the aliens are draining the oceans. Likewise, when Buma shouted “Let’s kill em all”, I couldn’t help but think of Johnny Rico in Starship Troopers. I was waiting for Buma to yell “Come on you apes, you want to live forever?” ***SPOILER *** Another ST moment came to mind during Overton’s final encounter with the spiders. Him being tossed into the conglomeration definitely brought me to Shujimi’s death scene on Klendathu.
Again, this was a very fun ride. Nick has stuck to his tradition of keeping me hooked on his stories. Another easy 5/5.