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Matthew

Kansas City, MO, United States
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  • 246
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  • Bloody Rose

  • By: Nicholas Eames
  • Narrated by: Katherine Fenton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

Live fast, die young. Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown. When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It's adventure she wants - and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Predictable Story & Bad Characters

  • By Allan on 09-13-18

It's good

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

It’s good, but this is not the sequel to or style of Kings of the Wyld, instead it is a book in the world of Kings of the Wyld.

Kings of the Wyld was a satire of the rock scene painted in the brush of high fantasy. Bloody Rose, on the other hand, is just a high fantasy novel. So this doesn’t make the book bad by any means, but it is something you should know so that you don’t go in with the wrong expectations.

The world that is shared by the two books in this series is a fascinating one that is a great fun to explore. This is what makes the book good. The faults of this book lie in a case of identity crisis. It doesn’t know if it wants to continue the satire of the first book and promptly drops it near the beginning, it doesn’t know if it wants to be a coming of age novel, it doesn’t know if it wants to be an classic adventure fantasy book, it just doesn’t seem to know. So there is a loss of cohesion there.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still a very good book and I recommend it to fans of fantasy. Eames is an impeccable writer of prose and characters, so I am sure you will enjoy the trip. As I said before, I recommend this to fans of the first with the caveat that it is no longer a satire, and I recommend it to fans of fantasy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Deadly Assessments

  • Fred, the Vampire Accountant Series, Book 5
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,053
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 993
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991

 Drew Hayes presents the fifth book in the Fred, the Vampire Accountant series. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great author

  • By Timothy French on 08-09-18

Skip. This. Book.

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

Let me be concise: Skip this book and hope the next one is better.

This book isn’t a Fred book, instead it is just another typical offbeat vampire book. Not just a typical book, but a typical first in the series! Instead of a series of unrelated short stories, we get short stories all loosely connected to some ancient vampire that is judging and testing Fred’s fitness as a leader and a vampire, all while teaching him how to be a proper vampire badass along the way. Hey, know what makes Fred great? That he isn’t a typical vampire and knows it. He isn’t powerful but his friends are, so why mess with this?

Furthermore, this was clearly a rush job of a book because at least 10% of the book is repetition of roughly the same lines. Not like formulaic plot, but actual constant repeating of the same long-winded descriptions and thoughts. WE GOT IT THE FIRST FIVE TIMES!

Do yourself a favor and forget this book exists and join me in hoping the next one returns to the old formula. I do not recommend this book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stuff and Nonsense

  • Threadbare Series, Volume 1
  • By: Andrew Seiple
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 428
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427

Meet Threadbare. He is 12 inches tall, full of fluff, and really, really bad at being a hero. Magically animated and discarded by his maker as a failed experiment, he is saved by a little girl. But she's got problems of her own, and he might not be able to help her. Fortunately for the little golem, he's quick to find allies, learn skills, gain levels, and survive horrible predicaments. Which is good, because his creator has a whole lot of enemies …

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An amazing tale you can't help but love

  • By Ray Johnson on 08-29-18

Ending was like another book.

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

Plain and simple, 90% of this book is Winnie the Pooh: The RPG. It is mellow, touching, and compelling. There isn’t a lot of plot, nor is there a lot of LitRPG junk, it is just kind of an experience. While not riveting, I was interested in where it was going and what was happening. That is, until the last chapter (each chapter is quite long) where it did a complete tonal and plot shift from a mellow coming of age to a political and violent battle. It caused such whiplash for me that I lost all interest and skipped to the end. I’m still interested in what ends up happening, but after that weird shift, I just don’t care enough to waste more money and time on it.

I don’t recommend this book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Journal of an Outlaw

  • By: Mick McArt
  • Narrated by: Faust Kells
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Journal of an Outlaw is a comedic take on the fantasy genre. It is a book with 120 journal entries that tell you the adventures on an unnamed rogue in the Unremembered Realms. The book has numerous winks to Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, roleplaying games, World of Warcraft, social media, Wizards of the Coast, board games, and many others. The author treats these with love and respect, but also with a tongue-in-cheek approach that fans of the fantasy genre will truly appreciate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A geekgasm of fantasy humor

  • By Ray Johnson on 03-24-18

GIve it a shot.

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

I took a shot on this book and then almost gave up on it a little ways in. Thankfully, I was too lazy to take the effort of returning it and choosing a new book, because it actually got quite entertaining.

The book is more entertaining than it is funny. I didn’t laugh out loud or anything like that, but it was a good way to kill time. The reason I almost returned it was because it started out pretty rough with each little entry basically ending with “lulz, so I stabbed him in the back.” Once that was out of the way it was filled with all kinds of puns and references to nerd gaming (tabletop and digital) conventions and tropes.

I recommend this to anyone that’s a fan of fantasy games and want to kill some time. And I hope there are more books with this kind of super short fiction writing.

  • Redemption's Blade

  • After the War, Book 1
  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Ten years ago, the renegade demigod known as the Kinslayer returned. His armies of monsters issued from the pits of the earth, spearheaded by his brutal Yorughan soldiers. Thrones toppled and cities fell as he drove all before him. And then he died. A handful of lucky heroes and some traitors amongst his own, and the great Kinslayer was no more. Celestaine was one such hero and now she has tasked herself to correct the worst excesses of the Kinslayer and bring light back to her torn-up world. With two Yorughan companions she faces fanatics, war criminals, and the monsters and minions the Kinslayer left behind....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The story of what happens after the epilogue.

  • By Matthew on 08-20-18

The story of what happens after the epilogue.

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

Tchaikovsky’s superb skill and creativity kind of annoys me. The other two books of his that I have finished have been intensely original and compelling, and this trend continues in Redemption’s Blade.

This book ends up being what I expected the first Mistborn, The Final Empire, to be. While I love that book, I was always a little let down that it wasn’t really about the ‘what happens after.’ Thankfully this book now exists.

In its most basic form, Redemption’s Blade is a road trip across a classical fantasy world after the stereotypical dark lord has been defeated. It follows one of the slayers of the great evil along with a handful of companions, two of which that used to be the enemy’s soldiers. The focus is on the after-war sociology, politics, economy, psychology, and religion. You know, the things that should be boring, but in this setting are fascinating. There is action throughout so you shouldn’t feel like you’re reading a history book or anything stale like that. And let’s not forget character growth and the internal conflicts of survivors.

As always, of special note is that this book is self-contained. I believe it is going to be part of a series, but don’t let that scare you off, there is a clear beginning, middle, and end. I was satisfied with how it ended, but I can guarantee I’ll pick up any other books that are released in this series given how much I enjoy the world and style.

I recommend this book to any fans of fantasy, especially the ones that always wonder what happens after the last page of a fantasy epic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Split the Party

  • Spells, Swords, & Stealth Series #2
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,319
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,062
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,058

Fleeing from a vengeful king has sent the former NPCs across Solium's borders, into the kingdom of Alcatham. As wanted fugitives, they head to the small farming village of Briarwillow, hoping to blend in, lay low, and avoid trouble at all costs. Unfortunately, Briarwillow has problems all its own, and its troubles quickly become theirs. If they hope to survive long enough to escape, they'll have to tackle an all-but-forgotten mystery buried at the town's border as well as seek the wisdom of a mysterious group of mages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great follow up!

  • By M. D. Baines on 05-13-16

White Bread

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

Honestly, this is a textbook case of a 3 star book. There isn’t anything bad about it, per se, but there also isn’t anything great about.

How do I put this, basically there is a solid story here, there are good ideas that are executed adequately. The characters and setting are relatable and interesting. It’s just that all of it is like it’s checked off a list rather than explored and experienced. This would all have been fine if it had the humor that NPCs had and Hayes is capable of, but straight up, this book is fantasy and not humorous fantasy.

Also, one of the protagonists from the first book was barely mentioned, got no development or page time at all, what is up with that? I was so confused.

So… yeah, I don’t recommend this book, but I also won’t warn people away from it. It just… is. Buy it if this doesn’t sound too bad to you?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Colony

  • Old Man's War, Book 3
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,187
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,467
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,474

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent But Different

  • By Michael on 12-04-12

Splendid return to the tone of the original.

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Well. Huh.

I love Scalzi, but he tends to do entertaining, ‘not bad’ books. As such, it never ceases to amaze me when he comes out and just wows me with a book. Since I say this, it goes without saying that this book falls into that ‘wow’ category.

The most important part of this review is that The Last Colony returns the humor we knew and loved in Old Man’s War, as opposed to the more serious, classical tone of The Ghost Brigades.

As for the book itself, it is an impeccably well-executed tale of John, Jane, and Zoe as they live a peaceful if, not sometime irritating life on a new planet with a new colony. That is until they get caught up in the politics and machinations of basically everyone else. To the chagrin of these other parties, they refuse to be placid pawns in the games of greater sentients. And with that wit of Scalzi, our protagonists foil plans, make their own, and just all around aggravate everyone else for the good of the colony and with humorous results.

So yeah, I absolutely recommend this book to fans of Old Man’s War, and the series to scifi fans in general.

  • The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythyss

  • The Dungeoneers Series, Book 3
  • By: Jeffery Russell
  • Narrated by: Faust Kells
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41

Cursed gems, snake gods, lost temples, dark jungles, and volcanoes. It could serve as a laundry list of things Ruby wanted nothing to do with. Yet now she's on her way, in search of a missing friend and with only a journal of cryptic clues and a notorious band of dungeoneering dwarves to guide her. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Two thumbs and a snake tail up!

  • By Matthew on 08-02-18

Two thumbs and a snake tail up!

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

Let’s start this off by saying I don’t understand the bad reviews for this book at all. Did they get a different book than me? First of all, it’s the third in a series, (though arguably this, like the previous two are stand-alone) so people should know what they’re getting. Second, it’s just finely crafted fantasy humor. It’s not Pratchett, but it is satire with a solid dose of expectation playing and slapstick. I mean, it’s kind of like the dwarves from the Hobbit melded with Disney’s Snow White Dwarves and were given business smarts and skills other than fighting and mining.

So yeah, I take offense to the bad reviews.

Anyway, this book is a prequel of sorts as it follows the time when Ruby the scribe first joined the Dungeoneers as they hunt for ancient naga ruins. Don’t let the prequel status turn you off the book. I hate prequels, but as I said, these books are stand-alone, so you can just enjoy it and not think about it being in a series. Not to mention Ruby is GREAT. Seriously, she puts Durham to shame.

This book is more of a satire on adventuring and economics than a satire or spoof of DnD. Personally, I enjoyed this change, but your mileage may vary.

Long and short of it is this is a top notch entertaining book that had me grinning like a fool most of the time. I recommend this book if you liked the first two books or like a good fantasy comedy romp, now buy buy buy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,040
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,946
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,922

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Premise Within an Excellent Story

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 07-30-17

Should have just been about the spiders.

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

A good book, no doubt, but it could have so much better if not for all the lost potential. Allow me to explain: The book is made up of two stories, that of the humans on the starship Gilgamesh and that of the spiders on the Green Planet.

The good: the spiders. With a virus that allows hyper-accelerated evolution, we get to watch as the first spider realizes it is better to go at it together than alone then all the way up through the ages. Each time the book switches to the perspective of the Green Planet’s citizens, it’s a new age of discovery, religion, war, or policy. It is all incredibly fascinating to see a very believable series of vignettes or short stories of a foreign creature and civilization as it grows from unthinking beast to high level sentient being.

The bad: the humans. This is where all the wasted potential is. The premise that possibly the last surviving humans are on a generation ship made up of cobbled together technology that they no longer understand due to losing the knowledge in a world-ending war is a great one. They could search the stars for a habitable planet; see the different results of the terraforming projects we are introduced to in the prologue, or just see how dangerous space is on its own that no human villain could compare to. Instead we get infighting, a love story, and power mad cartoon characters. These parts are all about how humanity never learns. It’s not bad, but it’s also been done so many times it just didn’t have the wonderment of the Green Planet parts.

Though the ending left me slightly unsatisfied for no reason I can figure out, I would still recommend this strongly to anyone that likes hard sci-fi or books like the Bobiverse or Seveneves.

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,674
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,682

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FLEETWOOD MAC

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 09-04-15

Zombie books actually CAN buck the trend!

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

Not one, but TWO “this is how [X] should be!” This is how to not make a child character annoying. This is also how to do a human-aspect zombie novel.

The book only has a handful of characters, and because of that, the author was able to really focus on each of them. These characters are all extremely believable and realistic to a fault. I can’t count how many times I got mad at a character for something they did, only to realize that given the circumstances or the character’s personality, it made total sense. This is an example of impeccable writing if you ask me. Not only that, there are characters that I liked and characters I disliked, but not because they were dumb or badly written, but because they were mean to the characters I did like. Follow all that? It’s great when a dystopian novel is written and not every character is unlikeable on purpose.

The ending fell flat for me, but not for my friend, so who knows there. The book as a whole has a way of sucking you in and making you lose track of time, so it was well worth it in the end for me.

I recommend this to anyone who wants a focused character-driven story in a zombie wasteland. It’s especially good if you liked the game Last of Us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful