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Matthew

Kansas City, MO, United States
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  • 709
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  • 251
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  • Bookburners: The Complete Season 1

  • By: Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery, and others
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 19 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad - Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum - and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • On Average, it's decent.

  • By Matthew on 12-12-18

On Average, it's decent.

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

Reviewed: 12-12-18

Overall, this isn't bad, but it is very inconsistent. The best episodes come in at around four stars, while the worst can only be given two. Each episode is around an hour long, so even if one doesn't jive with you, it'll be over before you know it.

First, the good: With only five main characters, there is a nice focus throughout. The setup itself is a lot of fun, what with a ragtag group hunting demon-possessed books. Finally, all of the long and/or short storylines move along at a speedy click.

The bad: The first two episodes are a bit hard to follow. There is a long stretch of three or four episodes where I wanted to drop the book because characters were acting so counter to how they were originally set up - it felt like the series had lost its way. And last, a good number of the episode resolutions seemed like they came out of nowhere.

So in conclusion, it's entertaining without many dull moments. However the lack of consistency in quality detracts too much from the final product. I suppose I’d recommend this to fans of Supernatural.

  • Legion: The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,962
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,820
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,815

Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It's his hallucinations who are mad. A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people - Stephen calls them aspects - to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems...for a price. Then a company hires him to recover stolen property - a camera that can allegedly take pictures of the past....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Audiobook content list

  • By Logan on 11-13-18

Almost ruined by the third novella

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Two great novellas and one that is so atrocious that I will never figure out how I gathered enough willpower to listen to it.

The first two novellas in this omnibus are the kinds of stories that make me wonder why Sanderson does these long, sprawling epics when he is so much better at the more focused and microscale stories. In the first novella, we get a short thriller with a bit of religion and a bit of the mystical in it. In the second novella, we get a longer mystery of a missing body and bleeding edge technology, literally.

These two are definitely worth the price of admission; it’s just that the third book is like a surtax of pain. You need it to finish out the overall story… kind of. Honestly, it doesn’t even really finish up Stephen’s story, contrary to what Stephenson says in the introduction. It is cliché, unsatisfying, illogical, and overall just poorly written. I expect much more from a favorite author of mine and it’s lead me to the point that I’m worried this may be a new trend with him.

So I certainly recommend the first two novellas, they alone are probably worth you picking up this omnibus for. And hey, maybe you’ll like the third one more than me?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Bloody Rose

  • By: Nicholas Eames
  • Narrated by: Katherine Fenton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 484
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 483

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A solid sequel, if a bit less fun

  • By Caleb on 09-30-18

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 1,283
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,217
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,215

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

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I ❤️ Debra

  • By Sarina A. Neer on 08-22-18

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
    4.5 out of 5 stars 655
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 625
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 621

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 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

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 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

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.

5 of 6 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 4,496
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,228
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,224

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 2 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 6,375
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,643
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,650

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
  • Entertaining and Thought Provoking

  • By thomas on 02-10-14

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 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

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