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Justin

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  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 7
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  • Al Clark

  • Book One
  • By: Jonathan G. Meyer
  • Narrated by: Timothy McKean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

There is a starship in trouble, lost in the void, with no one awake to hear the alarms. A thousand specially selected people left a troubled and unsustainable Earth for another world. Their dream was a new start on a virgin planet 30 years away. Their ship was state-of-the-art and entirely automatic, it's passengers safely sleeping through the journey - but something has gone wrong, something unexpected.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dinosaurs in space!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 03-02-18

Generic and Toneless

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

I see a lot of 4-5 star reviews for this novel. I do not understand.

The story moves at a steady, unflinching pace that allows for absolutely no tension, development, or... anything else but the bare facts of each event described. It's irritating to listen to, after a while; none of the characters have more than 1 personality trait each, all of the sci-fi concepts are bland and have been done much better by others, and there's just no spice or feeling in anything.

A character is killed off at one point, and much more time is spent on his funeral than was spent establishing him. That's kind of inevitable, since I'm not even sure the guy spoke once beforehand, and we barely knew his name... but all the characters act like they've just lost their best friend.

It's hard to explain much more about how bad this was without going into spoilers. But whenever something happens, you can think "what is the most basic, shallow way this could be treated?" and that will usually be how it turns out.

It reads like a first draft... but instead of being bloated, there's just hardly anything there. Like the author laid out the plot, but then ran out of time to elaborate on anything.

The performance is okay. Timothy McKean isn't given much to work with here, but he does a good job with what there is.

Altogether, I wouldn't recommend it, even as a time-filler for people who like dinosaur novels.

  • The Yeti: A Novel

  • By: Rick Chesler, Jack Douglas
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey S. Fellin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 94

When evolutionary biology professor Dr. Zack Hitchens loses his wife in a senseless accident, he decides to follow her dreams all the way to the roof of the world - the peak of Mount Everest. On the infernal mountain, Zack and his teammates battle sickness, whiteout conditions, avalanches, the oxygen-starved minds of other climbers - and something else. Something primitive and consumed with rage. Something seeking revenge. Something downright abominable.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining Romp At the Top of World

  • By Kim Venatries on 11-28-16

The story is great, then a Yeti has to come along

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

So first things first: the book is fantastic up until the point where the yeti enters the picture. It's philosophical, character-examining, informative, and interesting. Than the yeti comes in and the plot kind of distorts, and the previously believable climbing parts are taken down absurd paths that seem completely implausible considering what was stated earlier in the story. Basically Mt Everest itself goes from being a potent threat looming over the story to a mild inconvenience in the face of the plot-bending power of the yeti; the mountain has to be made less dangerous to shift the danger onto the yeti, apparently.

It kind of goes in some strange, wonky directions... but the characters remain good and the story continues at a decent pace, so I can't dock it too much for the story going bonkers later on. It's a good book and it's still worth your time, aside from a couple of minor problems. The magic of the early scenes isn't really recaptured in the later scenes, but I was still satisfied in the end.

  • The Flipside

  • By: Jake Bible
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 78

The year is 2046, and dinosaurs are real. Time bubbles across the world, many as large as 100 square miles, turn like clockwork, revealing prehistoric landscapes from the Cretaceous Period. They reveal the Flipside. Now, 30 years after the first turn, the clockwork is breaking down, as one of the world's powers has decided to exploit the phenomenon for his own gain. Former head of security for Topside Command Trevon Cash must navigate his way through the chaos of the broken turns and take a team Flipside to try to figure out what is happening. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative Time Travel story.

  • By cosmitron on 06-26-18

Very messy

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

It's hard to put into words the feelings I have about this book. It's kind of a mess. The characters are rather flat, there are several roughly-interchangeable personalities involved and at least one character whose 'personality' is just saying the word 'dude' a lot.

The dinos are the worst I've ever seen in the genre, full stop. They are just... soulless machines programmed to kill humans at the expense of their own lives, en masse, constantly, for no reason. That's 90% of them; there is one dino that is just a giant dog, even though it's the first generation of its kind in captivity. So yeah, all animals are mindless human-hating death machines, or friendly dogs. Other kinds are briefly mentioned, but they play no part in the story.

The odd thing is that while all of the wild dinosaurs are mindless, automated killing machines, actual automated killing machines still play a part in the story. One particular nationality, I should mention, are pretty much labeled as 'the worst thing ever' and play the part of the mustache-twirling supervillains in the story, who use exclusively automated weapons. They seem a bit needless... but then, that describes a lot of the bloated plot. This book uses the "characters tell other characters the plot points at play, what actions are about to happen, and then those actions happen" type of plotting, which I do not care for. It gets old fast, especially with all the jargon and the silly names plastered onto things.

Also the story's method of raising the stakes is to, basically, tell the audience that the stakes have been raised. 'Dinosaurs are coming for the base! Hundreds of them! All of them twice the size of a T Rex for some reason and also super-intelligent and agile! Also even though they're all super duper smart, they'll all just run straight into a machine gun nest over the corpses of their own kind in a suicidal frenzy for hours!' It gets so absurd, it kills all tension. And after the first third or so, there is no tension; the stakes just keep getting artificially raised and the characters just blandly explain the off-screen plot to the audience and it's all this constant stream of dull noise. Characters explaining the characteristics of a few 'animals' make them out to be one thing, but then when or if they show up they just do the same thing every other mindless automaton creature in the setting does. Stuff is happening, but it's impossible to care.

Overall, probably the worst dinosaur novel I've ever read on this service. I wouldn't bother; there were many times I just wanted to quit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Prehistoric Beasts and Where to Fight Them

  • By: Hugo Navikov
  • Narrated by: S. W. Salzman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Acclaimed film director Jake Bentneus pilots a custom submersible to the bottom of Challenger Deep in the Pacific, the deepest point of any ocean of Earth. But something lurks at the hot hydrothermal vents, a creature - a dinosaur - too big to exist. Gigadon. It not only exists, but it follows him, hungrily, back to the surface. Later, a barely living Bentneus offers a $1 billion prize to anyone who can find and kill the monster.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 06-30-17

Good to start out with, devolves considerably

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Let me first say that if you're writing a scifi book with completely absurd, nonsensical science, pretending to explain it in a way that makes even less logical sense is not the angle you want to go for. The science in this story is probably the worst I've ever seen bar a couple of outliers.

But, in the beginning, it's interesting enough, and the characters are engaging. I'd say I'd give the story 4 stars if one scene in particular had been removed in editing... but that one scene alone adds a ludicrous dogpile of plotholes that the story never gets around to filling. It's rare to see a single scene that so completely shoots the narrative in the foot.

Anyways, give it a go if you're into the water-monster-horror genre, but not quite the Megalodon subgenre. It's decent, minus one truly horrible scene.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dinosaur Four

  • By: Geoff Jones
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 310
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 293

A ticking sound fills the air as Tim MacGregor enters The Daily Edition Café, hoping to meet his new girlfriend for coffee. Moments later, the café is transported 67 million years into the past, along with everyone inside.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dinos, Baristas, and Coffee Addicts, Oh My!

  • By Lilyn G. on 02-23-18

It's a good book

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Okay, so this book is actually pretty good. The animal behavior is decent and understandable (unlike many dino stories, like Flipside, where dinosaurs are mindless automatons who think of nothing but consuming human flesh), and not TOO far removed from paleontological possibilities. The characters are good enough to root for (or against, in the case of the villain). The plot developments are good and follow a logical course, people act like people, dinosaurs act like animals... it's just a good book about dinosaurs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Invasive

  • By: Michael Hodges
  • Narrated by: Charles Constant
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 53

Bishop is trapped deep inside Montana's Apex Valley along with his injured wife, a shotgun-wielding stranger named Colbrick, and a sneaking suspicion he's never making it back to Chicago. Things no man has seen before haunt the woods. Strange animal species creep behind pine trees, some of them with flashing red tags that blink faster and faster. Giant birds mimic the sound of humans and lord over the sky. Leaf-shaped creatures attack anything that moves and flash vivid colors across their glistening backs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the credit.

  • By Mary Meadows on 06-02-17

Good!

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

Reviewed: 07-11-17

What made the experience of listening to The Invasive the most enjoyable?

The characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bishop. He's very reasonable.

What about Charles Constant’s performance did you like?

Clear and of proper volume.

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

Seriously, What Was Up With That Bird-Thing?

Any additional comments?

A lot of swearing, graphic violence, and one brief (to the point of being even more pointless than most) scene, but other than that it's a great book.