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Tim Baer

Maryland
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 35
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • Hell Divers

  • The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,976
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,064
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14,023

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by diving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gritty Sci-Fi

  • By Donna on 10-04-17

Exciting B-movie action, little else

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

Reviewed: 07-11-17

Where does Hell Divers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Hell Divers is a very well read audio book. I enjoyed the initial world building and thought the first act was stellar. But after finishing the book I'm not sold on continuing the series.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The first act starts out really sharp, I was drawn into this world right out of the gates. The concept; the last remaining people living in the skies, sending teams to Earth to scavenge for supplies, was really neat. Loads of interesting places to take the story. Sadly, after the first "drop" the story just recycles itself again and again. Nicholas Sansbury Smith can't find anything interesting for his characters to do, he literally repeats the same sequences again and again. To make matters worse Smith fails to introduce more than 2 interesting characters by the end of the first act. A subplot involving unhappy airship residents fails to take flight.

Which scene was your favorite?

I really enjoyed the first scenes where we are introduced to the main character and his job. It held loads of promise.

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

The skies aren't heaven but the whole Earth is Hell.

Any additional comments?

I really thought the narration was splendid. I enjoyed the first half of this book immensely but the second half was a slog once I suspected Smith was out of ideas.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Acts of War, Volume 1: Flashpoint

  • By: Aeryn Rudel
  • Narrated by: Noah Michael Levine
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 101

Lord General Coleman Stryker is one of the greatest heroes of the Iron Kingdoms. As a warcaster, Stryker leads the armies of Cygnar and commands the power of the mighty steam-powered automatons known as warjacks. Chosen by his king to liberate the conquered lands of Llael from Cygnar's long-standing enemy, the Empire of Khador, Stryker finds himself forced to work with one of his most bitter enemies - the exiled mercenary Asheth Magnus, a man to whom Cygnar's king owes his life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • another ok warmachine story

  • By Adam B. on 10-12-16

For fans of the Iron Kingdoms only

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

Reviewed: 12-02-16

Would you listen to Acts of War, Volume 1: Flashpoint again? Why?

I might not ever listen to this book again. Stories set in the Iron Kingdoms are great additions to the game I love, but as stand alone stories they tend to leave a lot to be desired. Because of the nature of the game Warmachine, conflict *must* arise no matter how foolish or silly. This puts the narrative fiction in a precarious spot, constantly having to create conflict out of thin air.

Would you recommend Acts of War, Volume 1: Flashpoint to your friends? Why or why not?

I'd recommend the book to my friends who play the game Warmachine, sure. It's a decent piece of fiction considering the setting.

What about Noah Michael Levine’s performance did you like?

Michael Levine's performance is utterly fantastic. His pacing is spot on and his voices are some of the best I've heard in the audiobook format. Levine's performance was a joy and seemed to be totally natural.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book over the course of week. The story line didn't keep me coming back for more. The IK stories lack a lot of tension because characters frequently do not or can not die. The fiction lacks suspense.

Any additional comments?

Maybe this book isn't for you, check out Michael Levine's other narration. He's splendid.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Son of the Black Sword

  • Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, Book 1
  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,982
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,416
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,387

After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since, the land has belonged to man, and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Beginning to a new Epic Series

  • By Don Gilbert on 10-31-15

Lots of Balls Juggled. Successfully.

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

Reviewed: 08-31-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Oh my God, Son of the Black Sword is excellent. I'd totally recommend this book, or audiobook, to anyone. There's a lot going on whatever type of story you enjoy. You dig magic? Check. Political thrillers? Check. Monsters? Check. Commentary on the dangers and promises of government or religion? Check. Conflicted Characters who do dubious things for good reasons? Check. Check. Check.

What other book might you compare Son of the Black Sword to and why?

I don't really know what else I'd compare this to. Obviously it has loads in common with epic fantasy with a bit of an Asian inspired bent (but where that comes from, I don't know.)

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There's a lot here that is moving. There's a ton of suspense and a main character who becomes totally broken but doesn't even know it.

Any additional comments?

Ashok Vadal, of the great house Vadal, is the greatest warrior known to man, protector of society, holding one of the few magic swords left to humanity. He's a God among men, unparalleled in swordsmanship and his ability to deal death.Such a character normally would never interest me. "How is he going to grow? What weaknesses does he have?" The Superman archetype never interested me, and Ashok is the closest thing to Superman Correia's world has. But Ashok, the poor *******, doesn't even know how weak he is. His moral code is unwavering, the guy sticks to his proverbial guns even when doing so hurts himself immensely. This is his failing. It's so immense he doesn't even know it.Correia gives us this man and uses the world to utterly break him but Ashok refuses to let go. Even when the reader clearly sees that Ashok's character, not his body, is utterly broken, Ashok holds on stubbornly to his worldview.Add in some political thriller, some commentary on religion, sprinkle on demons and magic, a tertiary character seeking redemption, an unjust caste system, numerous flashbacks, and warring houses and you've got the makings of a great epic. A lesser writer, or the Correia from a decade ago, would drop too many balls here, but Correia keeps them all in the air deftly. And, while the book is long, is never wastes my time. Not once did I say to myself: "Why is this here? Why is this character or that character taking up 20 pages?" All of it is important. All of it is interesting.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Devil's Pay

  • Dogs of War, Vol. One
  • By: Dave Gross
  • Narrated by: Steve Baker
  • Length: 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

Samantha "Sam" MacHorne and her Devil Dogs need a contract, and when one comes in that leads to the haunted Wythmoor Forest, the company moves out with warjacks and slug guns at the ready.... Sam and the Devil Dogs may be relaxing in Tarna, but it’s not by choice - they’d rather be employed than resting up. When a dangerous job offer comes from "the old man", Sam takes the Devil Dogs and their newest recruit, Dawson, on a perilous hunt to capture an unidentified warjack before their rival Steelheads or the horrific Cryx make a claim on the never-before-seen technology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bark as big as their bite

  • By Andrew on 03-14-14

In the Iron Kingdoms, Small Stories Reign Supreme

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

Reviewed: 08-31-16

What made the experience of listening to The Devil's Pay the most enjoyable?

I really enjoyed the narrator's pacing in this audio-book. There's a great sense of emphasis in the right places. There is some witty banter in this book and the narrator hits the timing really well.

What did you like best about this story?

There's a lot of Iron Kingdom's books out now. One thing I've learned: The smaller the story, the better the book. Correia's "Storm" books, about inconsequential grunts, tell compelling tales; while the books about more important characters, such as Caine and Butcher, feel often inclined to worry about the world and setting. Dave Gross gets some of the Iron Kingdom's B-listers (or C-listers) in Sam MacHorne and her Devil Dogs, a group of down on their luck mercenaries when a big contract comes in. We follow Dawson, a new recruit, learning the ropes. Luckily he's not altogether generic and his interests in the rest of the group allow secondary characters to really shine. Gross uses Dawson to explore Sam, the Dog's creation under her guidance, why they hate the Khadorans, and the role religion plays in some of the men.

There's no big overarching story here. Yes, some of this plays into the creation into the cult of Cryssis, but the story presented here is really just about Dawson, Smooth, Sam, and some others. Gross gives us a good reason to like these guys, even some of the more undesireable ones.

The action scenes are fast and differ from each-other just enough that they keep your attention. They also give things for Dawson to do to allow him to become more developed.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Steve Baker?

Steve is pretty good. I wouldn't necessarily seek him out, but if I saw him narrate another book I'd probably give that book a second look.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

It's not a real emotional story...

Any additional comments?

If you like the Iron Kingdoms I think this is one of the better Skull Island books available.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Monster Hunter International

  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 24 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,483
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,045
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,015

Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My second Monster Hunter book

  • By Randall on 06-29-18

BANG! BANG! fizzle...

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

Reviewed: 08-31-16

What disappointed you about Monster Hunter International?

The concept of MHI isn't new territory, that's fine. A group of mercenaries hunt monsters. It's been done but I can always go back to this sort of thing. The book starts out with a great scene in an office building with our main character being hunted by his Werewolf boss, and this scene is fantastic. It's followed up with another fantastic set piece on an abandoned freighter. From there the action scenes devolve into "then there was lots of gun fire. Then more gunfire. And afterward more gunfire and more gunfire and lots more bullets." They become tedious exercises without a hint of suspense.

The main character could easily be broken up into three or four characters. The secondary characters never get fully developed, mostly existing on the periphery of one dimensional archetypes. Our hero is too perfect; "HE'S A GENIUS! HE'S A PIT FIGHTER! HE'S AN ACCOUNTANT!" The requisite love interest is too obvious, her requisite douchey boyfriend is hated the main character as required by law. The government goons are total goons with nary a shred of basic humanity.

Has Monster Hunter International turned you off from other books in this genre?

I still enjoy books in this style, and perhaps MHI later books are significantly better, after all, this is Correia's first book. It's pretty bad because of that. But the MHI universe has a lot of followers, I can't imagine it's because the stories are universally bad.

Which scene was your favorite?

The action set piece Correia develops on an abandoned freighter is really great, it goes on for a long time and allows several characters to begin to develop; it's a shame those character's developments end there.

What character would you cut from Monster Hunter International?

I would seriously consider cutting every character from this book. Not because they are bad, but because there's too many with too few attributes. The main character is good at everything: guns, math, wrestling, fighting, weight lifting, people, etc. And this character could be broken up into three different characters: an accountant, a fighter, and a gun nut. Instead his abilities get in the way of other characters being able to do anything or contribute to parts of the narrative. The main character is part of a team but solves every problem himself.

Any additional comments?

Monster Hunter International showed some initial promise, but as the story developed, sometimes in a web-like fashion of family politics, it failed to create a real reason to really care about the vast majority of characters. The main character seemed to have intense anger issues; his demise was something I would have taken particular delight in (that doesn't bode well for your protagonist.) The gun porn was fine, even for a non-gun-nut like myself. But as the dozen or so action scenes go on they get less and less interesting. The near invincible vampires became a study in tedium as I read about the thousands of rounds of ammunition being shot at them with no progress made toward their demise. For professional monster hunters they certainly are ill-equipped to kill vampires.

I can see where this sort of thing interests people and, again, maybe the later books are better, Correia shows loads of promise here. His other novels, especially Son of Black Sword, show a matured and nuanced writer this early work barely hints at.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • The Adventures of Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent

  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Adam Baldwin
  • Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,052
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,446
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,433

Have you ever seen a planet invaded by rampaging space mutants from another dimension or Nazi dinosaurs from the future? Don't let this happen to you! Rifts happen, so you should be ready when universes collide. A policy with Stranger & Stranger can cover all of your interdimensional insurance needs. Rated "Number One in Customer Satisfaction" for three years running, no claim is too big or too weird for Tom Stranger to handle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Someone owes me a new keyboard

  • By Aimee M on 05-24-16

It's so meta you'll be absolutely transfixed.

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

Reviewed: 05-28-16

Larry Correia writes a story in which his main character is hired by an alternate universe Larry Corriea to protect a "this universe" Larry Corriea. Larry Corriea (the one who wrote this story) makes Firefly's Adam Baldwin President in another universe, Adam Baldwin (the real one) narrates, then, in a final showdown, his fictional President-self gets in a squabble with (this universe's) Barack Obama. Baldwin then narrates himself and Obama (which is shockingly well done).

Honest to God, if the above sounds like it's absurd it's because it is. And you should know from the above paragraph if this type of schlock is for you (I laughed...a lot.) The whole thing is Doctor Who meets Doctor Horrible, it's truly glorious in its own absurd way.

The only other thing you might want to know is that Cordelia takes plenty of stabs at the left; if you buy into "identity politics" there's plenty here to make you upset, and that's a shame becuse this stuff is funny.

3 of 8 people found this review helpful