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Philip D. Mann

Oklahoma City, OK, United States
  • 37
  • reviews
  • 63
  • helpful votes
  • 177
  • ratings
  • Super Sales on Super Heroes

  • Super Sales on Super Heroes, Book 2
  • By: William D. Arand
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,666
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,421
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,414

In a world full of super powers, Felix had a pretty crappy one. After learning to harness his ability to modify any item he owns, he now runs a corporation that is rapidly expanding - Legion. After tangling with the local Heroes guild they’ve finally settled into a semblance of stability. Sounds great on paper. Run your company, make money, be your own boss, settle down. Except that with running a business, comes an inordinate amount of responsibilities. Like making sure everything keeps running and your people are paid.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good follow up

  • By George U. on 05-12-18

Lots of Dictator’s Handbook

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

I love the series and characters, and I like that this book as character sheet heavy as the first. It’s still angled toward the LitRPG genre with the main character’s power, but it’s not as front and center as before. Unlike a lot of book lately, you really do need to know what’s going on in the previous book to be completely up to speed on this one (a good thing).

I found the clear tie-ins with The Dictator’s Handbook (Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & Alastair Smith, 2012) very interesting, though I was a bit put off that it was presented as how Felix thinks of things —as if it’s his original thoughts—when much is directly from the nonfiction piece. Maybe nobody else would notice if they hadn’t read it, but the catch is that understanding the Handbook is somewhat important to connect the dots with some of the political concepts mentioned by Felix.

  • If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

  • Relating to and Communicating with Others, from the Boardroom to the Bedroom
  • By: Alan Alda
  • Narrated by: Alan Alda
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 622
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 580
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 571

The beloved actor shares fascinating and powerful lessons from the science of communication and teaches listeners to improve the way they relate to others using improv games, storytelling, and their own innate mind-reading abilities. With his trademark humor and frankness, Alan Alda explains what makes the out-of-the-box techniques he developed after his years as the host of Scientific American Frontiers so effective.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Useful and pleasant

  • By 22Wonderful on 06-12-17

An outstanding production by an outstanding communicator

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

Reviewed: 07-31-17

The thing I always remember about Alan Alda is his voice, and it makes sense that it is a perfect match for his own book. He presents much of the material and ideas not as the expert, but as one who has learned from experts, which is a perspective that is both reasonable and human. If you are interested in the "why" of communication, this book belongs in your playlist.

  • Perilous Waif

  • Alice Long, Book 1
  • By: E. William Brown
  • Narrated by: Mare Trevathan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,236
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,236

My name is Alice Long, and I've always known I was different. When I was little I used to climb up to the highest branches of the housetree at night, and watch the starships docking at the orbital stations high above. Forty meters off the ground, watching ships 30,000 kilometers overhead, with senses that could pick out radar pings and comm chatter as easily as the ships themselves. It all seemed perfectly natural at the time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS was fun!

  • By bluestategirl on 10-26-17

Great Work in Transhumanist Setting

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

Reviewed: 06-05-17

I'm a fan of the sort of story wherein the characters grow, literally or personally, along with the story, and the characters in this book do both. Although not a deep book in any respect, it does nudge against a lot of relevant social issues that come with transhumanism in general, and some specific aspects in particular, with some discussion about the implications. This is one of the few books that I have listened to all of the way through two consecutive times, almost back to back (one book in between), because of the setting and the characters. I really enjoyed the internal consistency of the story and the reasonable tactical approaches taken in most situations -- no kid suddenly sees the battlefield as if they are George S. Patton of late.

A great part of this book that shouldn't be missed is the appendices wherein the author explains the assumptions and technology behind the story. Honestly, you could probably skip ahead and go through it first if you need to, but understanding afterward is great as well.

  • They Shall Not Pass

  • The Empire's Corps, Book 12
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 714
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 665
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663

Despite the escape from Meridian - and a strike at the heart of Wolfbane - enemy forces are still advancing on all fronts. The Commonwealth, worn down by a year of hard fighting, is reaching the end of its tether while Admiral Singh, having secured control of Wolfbane, is searching for the breaking point that will shatter the Commonwealth once and for all. Time is needed, time to bring new weapons and tactics into service, but time is the one thing the Commonwealth doesn't have.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Land Battle

  • By Jean on 12-17-16

The Story is Slipping

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

Reviewed: 10-04-16

The story here is not as interesting as the previous books. Also, there is a bit of vitriol against support personnel and city folk comes out of nowhere sometimes. I was disappointed about the continuous use of the term "R.E.M.F." as a spelled-out "R-E-M-F" instead of pronounced as a word "remf" as it is actually used. This is similar to usage in previous books, but the term becomes a wildly swinging bludgeon in this volume. If you don't know, "R.E.M.F." means Rear Echelon Mother F**ker, and applies to all personnel not currently serving as frontline combat troops (i.e. on the ground with a rifle shooting the enemy). I only mention it because there are places in the story where the "R.E.M.F." club is being wildly tossed about by a "R.E.M.F." against another "R.E.M.F."

Anyhow, the story is so-so, with more focus on the rightness of the libertarian ideals of The Commonwealth, and less about the characters themselves. There aren't any big changes aren't any big reveals or character developments. Most of the things I enjoyed about the early books appears to be drifting away.

  • A Learning Experience, Book 1

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,282
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,204
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,203

When a bunch of interstellar scavengers approach Earth intending to abduct a few dozen humans and sell them into slavery in the darkest, they make the mistake of picking on Steve Stuart and his friends, ex-military veterans all. Unprepared for humans who can actually fight, unaware of the true capabilities of their stolen starships, the scavengers rapidly lose control of the ship - and their lives.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • THE very beginning to Stocker's Empire's Corps

  • By Trudy Owens on 10-20-16

Brain-Dead Libertarian Secessionist Claptrap

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

Reviewed: 08-04-16

First, the narration is great; no problems there.

I've listened to many of Nuttall's military scifi books, and I have always enjoyed the tales of fragments of military units grasping for life amid the death throes of a huge galactic empire collapsing under its own weight. This one is not that sort of book, and I wish I'd read some of the other reviews first instead of just trusting in Nuttall's work.

Here, the otherwise good storytelling can't mask a fundamentally flawed story. Maybe the stories set in the more distant future make up for or render irrelevant poor assumptions about military knowledge and functions that this book, set in the present, means that my own knowledge of military training and capabilities keeps coming up. For example, some future combat engineers might be experts in space and naval architecture and working with unintelligible technologies to produce works in months that would take civilian engineers years just to design, but present-day combat engineers are high school educated technicians more skilled in breaking things than building them. But that's only a small piece of what's wrong, and is only bolstered by the ex machina -- I control it with my brain because technology and my shiny headband -- solutions to everything.

The main characters are all right-wing, secessionist sovereign citizens (look it up), who think their perusing of a few online constitutions prepares them to rewrite society in an afternoon. They are full of anger about how things are, while simultaneously demonstrating fundamental misunderstandings about both the facts and the history of their points of contention. Likewise, while complaining about wealth and corruption, they put "those who can pay" at the front of the line for cancer treatments and the like, while making everyone else wait. Oh, and not to forget the constant referrals to only allowing people those who agree with their laws and rules to live in their new nation, and then talking about how they haven't gotten around to getting even the most fundamental laws codified. However, they did build a city on the moon, complete with a carefully screened population, wide-ranging economy, and a school system, in just two months through heaps of jury-rigging and 'Merica-isms from a group of what amounts to Montanan hillbillies in a space ship.

I'm totally willing to ignore the storytelling conveniences, such as the super doctor/vet girlfriend who can't be older than 40, somehow is a master of both disciplines -- I guess she went to college when she was six -- but whose only medical practice is the family farm. Totally good with that (really). Likewise, the I know this world class so-and-so in every single field imaginable and can convince them over coffee to give us their products, conduct illegal trade in a dozen, and fix their product lines to make everything possible immediately. Likewise, totally good with that too (really).

Everything in the book is anti-government, anti-big business, anti-large city, anti-rules, anti-taxes, etc., all while using bribes, spies (nanodrones), lie detectors, arbitrary powers, and bullying willy-nilly. Every time there is just the briefest note of sanity from one of the main characters, it just stops cold. Another reviewer called it something like right-wing militia masturbation, which is about how it works out in the end.

In general, I recommend Nuttall's books, but not this one. Stick with the Empire's Corps series and similar.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Savage Homecoming

  • By: Joshua Dalzelle
  • Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,344
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,344

Ever since he joined Omega Force, Captain Jason Burke has lived with the underlying fear that one day Earth would be discovered. His desire to keep Earth's existence and location a secret has driven him to extremes, and kept him far away from his homeworld for a long time. But now Jason's greatest fear is realized, and a fleet of alien ships has attacked his planet. Omega Force rushes to Earth's defense, but the ships are like none they've ever encountered, and employ weapons they have no defense for.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bummer!

  • By Dennis on 02-27-17

Burke Gets Whipped?

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

Reviewed: 07-25-16

I really wanted to give this book a great review, but the interactions with the girlfriend are far too contrived and one-dimensional to be real. Overall, the impression one gets from the interactions between the two is of a couple of teenagers attempting to get along, where the girl is very domineering, and the boys simply submits to everything she does. This element for the book caused me to have to stop listening to it several times as my brain started screaming "OMFG! How was this guy a ship captain?!" or, "There is no way this guy survived boot camp, let alone PJ training!"

I knocked a few points off the performance rating because the voice characterization shifts a little over the course of the book. There are sometimes when I can't tell who is speaking without them being named. This is it marked departure from the previous book.

Overall, an okay story that might not be missed in the series if you skip it. Moving on to the next book...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Oncoming Storm

  • Angel in the Whirlwind, Book 1
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo
  • Length: 13 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,084
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 989
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991

In the year 2420, war looms between the galaxy's two most powerful empires: the tyrannical Theocracy and the protectionist Commonwealth. Caught in the middle sits the occupied outpost system Cadiz, where young officer and aristocrat Katherine "Kat" Falcone finds herself prematurely promoted at the behest of her powerful father. Against her own wishes, Kat is sent to command the Commonwealth navy's newest warship, Lightning.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator's voices are terrible, story very good

  • By DH950 on 03-22-16

Good kick-off to a series.

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

Reviewed: 06-06-16

Good story that is clearly Nuttall's work. The character-focused military story is well-executed, and I am looking forward to the next volume. The only flaw in the performance is a few pronunciation errors (e.g. "Corpsman" as "corpse man" instead of the proper "core man", and spelling HUD instead of just saying "hud" as a word as it is properly said). If I had no military background, I might not notice the errors, but they do grate after a bit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Steelheart

  • The Reckoners, Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,292
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,225
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,267

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He got the idea from a near traffic accident

  • By Don Gilbert on 09-26-13

Excellent start to the series

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

Reviewed: 04-11-16

I enjoyed this book because of the narration and colorful descriptions, which were as clear as they need to be without burdensome details. The characters are believable, and the villains are as close to alien as can be and still be somehow understandable. I will get the next book.

  • First to Fight

  • The Empire's Corps, Book 11
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 675

Before Avalon, before the Fall of the Empire, Edward Stalker was a young man growing up in Earth's Undercity - a nightmarish rabbit warren of tiny apartments dominated by gangs who loot, rape, and murder with impunity. When his family is killed in a gang attack, Ed takes the opportunity to run to the one place that will take him: the Terran Marine Corps.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Back Story on Stalker

  • By Jean on 03-18-16

Great Anywhere After Book 1

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

Reviewed: 03-15-16

A biography of Col. Stalker, without an direct ties to the main story to date. It has a feel somewhat like the Starship Troopers narrative, focused on his "growing up" in the Marines. Great addition to the series.

  • Hard Luck Hank: Suck My Cosmos

  • By: Steven Campbell
  • Narrated by: Liam Owen
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,605
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,534
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,529

Life is tough on space station Belvaille - not for the aristocratic nobles that call it home, but for the poor slobs like Hank. Hank is considered a celebrated cutthroat and the oldest living person in the city. His occupation is to be hired muscle for those people who don't want to get their hands dirty but still want dirty things done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • HLH is my favorite person ever!

  • By Aaron on 09-23-15

More Hank!

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

What's to say? This should not be the first book you get in the series, but as a continuation, it does not disappoint. Same irreverent tones and the usual, pulpy twists and turns. Just a good, fun, listen.