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  • Dweller

  • By: Jeff Strand
  • Narrated by: Scott Thomas
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69

When Toby Floren was eight years old, he discovered a monster living in the woods behind his house. A ghastly, frightening creature with claws, fangs, and a taste for human flesh. As he ran out of the forest, screaming, Toby felt that he'd been lucky to escape with his life. Years later, Toby finds comfort with the creature. It's his own special secret - something that nobody else in the world knows about. Somebody to talk to. Somebody to confide in.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can't even...

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 01-16-17

A poignant tale of lifelong friendship

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

Reviewed: 01-29-17

Dweller is the story of a lifelong friendship between Toby, a human, and Owen, a furry, flesh-eating monster, talons and fangs and all, who lives in the woods by Toby's house.

They first become friends at age 15. Toby is a loner, a teenager with poor social skills and no friends. He is even bullied at school on a regular basis. Owen (the name Toby gives his monster friend) lives alone in a cave in the woods. He has no family of his own.

The two strike up an unlikely friendship, even though Owen is a man-eater and cannot speak. Toby and Owen get past their initial misunderstanding and fear of each other and manage to communicate by way of hand signals.

Toby begins visiting Owen in his dwelling regularly, bringing him food, sharing his hardships with him. When two bullies from school follow Toby into the woods, the story turns dark--as might be expected from a Jeff Strand novel. After all, you can't have a man-eating monster friends without it leading to all sorts of trouble.

The story follows the two friends as they age. There are loves and losses, triumphs and defeats, romance and happiness on the heels of loneliness and sadness. Yet the friendship persists, against all odds.

Jeff Strand is often billed a horror novelist, but this book is not your typical horror fare. There are grisly scenes, but those are secondary to the story itself, which is beautiful, sensitive, tender, and poignant.

The writing is superb, the buildup of the friendship realistic, the emotional connection you will feel toward Owen and Toby will be strong. You will suffer and exult with them. You will feel their frustrations and joy.

Scott Thomas, who has narrated a number of Strand books, does a fantastic job as always. He is the perfect voice for Jeff Strand novels.

Get Dweller. It's a special, even unique story and a wonderful audiobook.

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Pressure

  • By: Jeff Strand
  • Narrated by: Scott Thomas
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 111

Alex stared at the red pocketknife shown to him by his daughter. A pocketknife owned by somebody he hadn't seen in years. They met first in boarding school at age 12. Alex Fletcher, shy and scared. Darren Rust, always furiously scribbling away in a private journal. It was not an immediate friendship, but then one night Darren convinced his roommate to sneak off school grounds to see something glorious.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It flew by

  • By Terminator Fan on 09-11-16

Hilarious, gruesome, bloody, and so much fun

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

Reviewed: 09-05-16

As I read this book I could imagine Jeff Strand pecking away at his keyboard with an impish smile on his face. Occasionally, he would let out a brief cackle of maniacal laughter at the more hilarious, or gruesome, parts of this novel. Thankfully, the hilarious far outweighs the gruesome, although there is a goodly portion of the latter as well.

What I mean to say is that as I was listening to this audiobook, it became clear how much fun Strand was having while writing this. The book oozes fun and humor. I enjoyed it immensely from the first to last word.

Pressure is the story of two characters: Alex Fletcher, the narrator of the story, and Darren Rust, the villain.

The two meet at a strict boarding school for boys. They are roommates. They strike a tentative friendship. Alex is a normal boy of twelve, but Darren is far from normal. He has dark urges. He is twisted. His behavior is strange. Soon the dark side of Darren is exposed. He is a nasty piece of work. And he is crafty and sneaky and smart. Alex, and his other friends at the boarding school, who hate Darren, are on the receiving end of Darren's mischief. And it is far from boyish good fun.

When Darren and Alex part company as boys, after Alex is transferred to another school, Alex pretty much hates his guts.

They meet again at college, when Darren convinces Alex that he has changed, that his past behavior was due to his being an immature twelve-year-old. They become friends. Alex meets and falls in love with a girl. All seems to be going well. Darren seems like a nice enough young man and a good friend.

But Darren's dark side cannot remain hidden for long. His urges are now stronger and he is far more brutal than before. What's worse is that he sees something in Alex. He believes Alex is like him, twisted, cruel, with a desire to hurt people. But Alex is not a monster. He does not relish giving pain to others. This infuriates Darren. He pushes Alex into doing things Alex would never have dreamed of doing. The two turn from friends to enemies.

Years later, when Alex is married and has a little girl, long after he left behind his time with Darren at college, Darren returns. For he has not forgotten about Alex. He still harbors hope that Alex can be made into his partner. And he will do what it takes to make him see that.

Pressure is a great name for this novel. Strand increases the pressure on the reader with each chapter. At times it is uncomfortable. At times it is brutal. Mostly, it is just fun to listen to. Scott Thomas, the narrator, who gifted me this audiobook in exchange for a review, does a fantastic job on this novel, as he did on another Strand novel, Wolf Hunt.

This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

  • Herculean

  • Cerberus Group, Book 1
  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 199

For 3,000 years, the Herculean Society has preserved the legacy of the ancient hero, Hercules, protecting history's fragile relics from humanity, and humanity from the dangerous truths behind the legends. Now, the Society's new leader, archaeologist George Pierce, faces his first test: the Cerberus Group, a shadowy organization with two goals: the collection and distribution of black market relics, tech and secrets, and the purge of those deemed unfit for survival.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't Finish - It was that bad!

  • By adele1970 on 06-02-16

A Fast-Paced High-Action Thriller

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

Reviewed: 02-28-16

What if Hercules wasn't a mythical figure but an actual man who lived three thousand years ago and was a scientific genius, who learned how to modify his own genes to allow him to live for centuries, and to combine the DNA of different life forms to create new animals and monsters?

What if the Labors of Hercules, as told in the myths, in which Hercules encountered and fought various monsters, actually told of his interaction with some of these new, manufactured species?

And what if Hercules had created the Herculean society, a group of scientists, historians, and military experts with the express goal of hiding the secrets of history and science he had uncovered and make sure that they would never fall into the wrong hands?

And what if now, an international criminal organization called Cerberus, led by a maniac intent on learning the ancient secrets, was on the cusp of attaining control of the very secrets Hercules strove to hide, secrets that would give it control over life itself, allow it to create new strains of viruses and disease, to lay waste to much of humanity, if it so wished?

That is the premise of this fine adventure novel, written by Jeremy Robinson and Sean Ellis, and narrated by Jeffery Kafer.

The novel is a fast-paced, action-packed sci-thriller, full of gun fights, villains, monsters, biology, history, mythology, and history, all blended together into one hell of an enjoyable tale. The book made me feel like learning more about Hercules and Greek Mythology. And Kafer's narration was solid and fit the narrative well.

This isn't great literature, but it is well-written, it moves very quickly, and I had a very good time with it.

Note: This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Wolf Hunt

  • By: Jeff Strand
  • Narrated by: Scott Thomas
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325

Meet George and Lou, thugs for hire. The kind of intimidating-yet-friendly guys who will break your thumbs, but be polite about it. Their latest assignment is to drive across Florida to deliver some precious cargo to a crime lord. The cargo: a man in a cage. Though Ivan seems perfectly human, they're warned that he is, in fact, a bloodthirsty werewolf.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book - I was surprised.

  • By Mary Meadows on 04-03-16

A laugh a minute horror novel

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

Reviewed: 02-12-16

George and Lou are two of the sweetest thugs you're ever likely to meet. They would break your thumbs, but be polite and gentle as possible about it. They won't kill you, nor would they do more than the minimum damage required by their criminal bosses. They are also best friends, not just partners.

Now they are tasked with driving a van with a special cargo: a werewolf, who is stuck in a cage at the back of the van. A werewolf? Neither George nor Lou believe that Ivan, the man in the cage, is indeed a werewolf. And so, in a moment of carelessness, they allow him to escape. And learn that Ivan is not only a werewolf, but a world-class psychopath who likes nothing more than killing, maiming, and tormenting his victims. George and Lou, along with a woman named Michelle who they pick up on the way, decide to get after Ivan, either to recapture him and deliver him to the original destination or kill him.

But Ivan is much faster and stronger, and he seems almost immune to bullets, kicks, punches, and cuts. He is also arrogant and wants to play along with George and Lou, to torment them before tearing them limb from limb.

The result is Wolf Hunt, a fantastic comedy-horror novel and one of the funniest novels I had ever had the pleasure to listen to (or read, for that matter). There is a lot of gore in the novel, but it is offset by an ocean of humor-filled conversations and descriptions. The pace is lightning fast and the characterization is fantastic. You will fall in love with George and Lou. And you will hate Ivan.

I'm grateful to Jeff Strand and Scott Thomas, the narrator of this book, for giving me a review copy of the audiobook. A word on the narration: it was perfect for this book. Simply perfect. The voices were distinct, the accents and tempo just right to make the most of the funny material. I will seek out more work by Jeff Strand and Scott Thomas.

Note: This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Double Star

  • By: Robert A. Heinlein
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 881
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 815
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 817

One minute, down-and-out actor Lorenzo Smythe is, as usual, in a bar, drinking away his troubles while watching his career circle the drain. Then a space pilot buys him a drink, and the next thing Smythe knows, he's shanghaied to Mars. Smythe suddenly finds himself agreeing to the most difficult role of his career: impersonating an important politician who has been kidnapped. Peace with the Martians is at stake, and failure to pull off the act could result in interplanetary war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story and Weiner's best narration

  • By Will on 11-04-14

An Entertaining Heinlein Tale

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

Reviewed: 02-10-16

An entertaining and well-performed novel by Robert A. Heinlein that fails to reach the brilliance of his later novels, but is still a fun and short listen.

Lorenzo Smythe, an arrogant, haughty, and self-admiring actor, is hired to impersonate an important politician who has been kidnapped. Smythe believes he will do the job for a short time only, but the part gets longer and more complex. And the role changes the actor.

There are glimmers of the political ruminations which gave color to Heinlein's better work. This is not a masterpiece, by any means. But I enjoyed it quite a bit.

  • Hunger

  • The Hunger Series Book 1
  • By: Jeremiah Knight
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 225

Desperate to solve a global food shortage, ExoGen scientist Dr. Ella Masse oversees the creation and release of RC-714, a gene that unlocks millions of years of adaptation and evolution, allowing crops to use long dormant junk DNA to rapidly adapt to any environment. The world's food supply grows aggressively, occupying every inch of earth, no matter how inhospitable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deadly rabbits!!!!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 10-25-15

An excellent sci-fi/horror thriller. Fantastic Fun

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

Reviewed: 10-14-15

Hunger is an excellent sci-fi/horror thriller read superbly by Jeffry Kafer. The book details a road trip taken across America in a post-Apocalyptic world dominated by monsters of every shape and form, all eager to consume what few humans remain.

World hunger and the desire to design GM crops to combat it is what leads to the world's demise in this novel. Plants are designed that can grow everywhere, and this is what they do. Hunger does not exist anymore, but the plants change one's genetic makeup, turning them into predators hungry for meat, and changes their appearance beyond recognition. Humans and animals turn into monsters and hunt each other.

Only a handful of humans remain, those that hadn't eaten any of the GM foods. Now it is up to a group of them, to get to a special lab near Boston where the scientist who first developed these crops wishes to undo the damage and save the world.

The book is fast, exciting, and very well-written. The narration was spot on. I will look forward to book 2.

Note: This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Imajica

  • By: Clive Barker
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 37 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,162
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,064
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,071

Imajica is an epic beyond compare: vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. At its heart lies the sensualist and master art forger Gentle, whose life unravels when he encounters Judith Odell, whose power to influence the destinies of men is vaster than she knows, and Pie "oh" pah, an alien assassin who comes from a hidden dimension.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Full Imajica

  • By Mimi-chan on 05-23-15

An Epic Classic Made Even Better by Audio

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

Reviewed: 05-21-15

Imajica is an epic modern fantasy, written by one of the undisputed masters of horror and fantasy fiction.

In Imajica, Clive Barker created one of the more dense, complex, and memorable set of worlds. The five dominions of the Imajica, the various characters within, and the conflicts between them provide a rich experience, made even better by the excellent narration of Simon Vance.

If you're a fan of complex modern fantasy, rich prose, sensual and sexual descriptions, Imajica is a masterpiece you should not miss.

This audiobook is just what an audiobook is supposed to be: a new medium through which an already great novel is made even better.

Note: I received a review copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Dear Killer

  • Marley Clark Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Linda Lovely
  • Narrated by: K. C. Cowan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19

Marley Clark, a retired military intelligence officer, works security for a Sea Island community simply to keep busy. A single night patrol transforms the feisty widow's yawner of a job into a deadly battle of wits when she finds an islander drowned and bobbing naked amid a potpourri of veggies in a Jacuzzi. Asked to serve as the lead investigator's liaison, the 52-year-old heroine is startled to discover she's become Deputy Braden Mann's target as well-for romance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved this book!

  • By Mystery Maven on 01-17-14

A Nice Cozy Mystery

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

Reviewed: 10-19-14

A nice mystery. For people who like cozy mysteries, this should prove to be an enjoyable listen. If you're into more gory stuff, this one is likely to miss the mark.

  • Gentlemen-Rankers

  • By: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrated by: Phillip J. Mather
  • Length: 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

Rudyard Kipling’s Gentlemen-Rankers first appeared in Barrack-Room Ballads and refers to young men of the privileged classes who may have suffered the indignity of bankruptcy or scandal, and joined the ‘rank-and-file’ of the British Army as privates.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Song For Disgraced Gentlemen Soldiers

  • By Jonathan on 08-21-14

A Song For Disgraced Gentlemen Soldiers

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

Reviewed: 08-21-14

The term Gentlemen-ranker refers to a former office, either by education or social station, who has somehow disgraced himself and been turned to a common soldier. Kipling writes this poem for these soldiers and gives many allusions as to the hardship they face fighting in distant lands for the British Empire.

The song has an unusual structure, one ably delivered by the narrator. If you are interested in the life of soldiers in the British Army of Kipling's time, you should find this poem enlightening and enjoyable.

  • The Ballad of Tommy Atkins

  • By: Rudyard Kipling
  • Narrated by: Phillip J. Mather
  • Length: 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10

The Ballad of Tommy Atkins was first published as “Tommy” in Kipling’s timeless Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses, in the 1890s. ‘Tommy Atkins’, or simply Tommy was a generic name applied to British soldiers from as early as the 18th century, but came into popular parlance during the First World War when troops were simply referred to as “Tommies”. The ballad exposes the bitterness felt by the British soldier to the public’s treatment of their forces in times of peace, and how that alters in wartime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Love Poem For The Regular Soldier

  • By Jonathan on 08-21-14

A Love Poem For The Regular Soldier

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

Reviewed: 08-21-14

In this remarkable poem by Kipling, the viewpoint is that of a regular soldier as he decries the duplicitous manner in which he is treated by his countrymen. In times of peace they dislike him, wish him to go away, don't offer him good seats in the theater or places at their eateries.

You see, soldiers such as he are known as uncouth brutes. They don't have high manners or delicate demeanor. They live the rough life in the army and this translates to their behavior in the civilian world.

So, the soldier (Tommy Atkins) is treated poorly by his fellow men. This changes in a jiffy when war comes along. Then, when they depend on his courage and willingness to sacrifice his life, they hold parades for him, and show respect.

Thus, the entire poem juxtaposes instances of bad treatment (in time of peace) and good treatment (when the drums of war roll).

I imagine that soldiers of all epochs share the views expressed by Tommy Atkins. This poem made me smile because it is true and eternal.

Good reading by Phillip J. Mather. He sounded like a grizzled career soldier ought to sound. I loved how he read it in the original form with the imperfect English. Well done as usual.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful