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Jason Begly

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  • 214
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  • Blackwater: The Complete Saga

  • By: Michael McDowell
  • Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
  • Length: 30 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,454
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,360
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,355

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido's first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A 6 Star Worthy Epic!

  • By jksullycats on 10-29-17

Blackwater

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

Blackwater was amazing! Flat out one of my favorite books. I got the book from the narrator because he wanted me to experience this southern gothic treasure and I am supremely grateful for that. It was weird and winding, a chronicle of a divisive family with deeply rooted trust issues yet who stand as one when something they believe in is involved... mainly money. The story spanned generations begging with a search for survivors and ending the only way it truly could have. The characters I despised almost universally had some sort of redeeming quality. The characters I loved let me down eventually and never in the ways I expected. I don't think I have smiled as much at little things the family said of Did as much in a book... and when I hated a character, that hate ran deep. Not from a poorly written perspective, but from the perspective of a man looking in on a situation and wanting to avenge the victims. It got into my skin and invaded my dreams some nights. I have not had that kind of experience with a book since I read To Kill a Mockingbird or (funny enough) IT for the first time.

This is not a drama or a horror story really. It is a perfect representation of what I feel a southern gothic tape should be. It was long because it needed to be. An abridged version would have been a slight.

I thought Matt Godfrey did an amazing job performing this masterpiece. Each character was performed in such a way that they felt real. Like I had met someone like that before. They were over the top and get they were genuine.

  • Mortom

  • By: Erik Therme
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house. Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets - and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise - arise at every turn....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bizarrely Good!

  • By shelley on 06-22-18

Mortom

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

I really liked Mortom. It started slow and kept me guessing about exactly what was going on, but that was good for me. I was able to guess more of the finer points but that didn't take anything away from the story. Some of the familial interactions were kind of ridiculous and grating. But the twists and turns were enough to offset that. I thought the narration was perfect for this book as well.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

  • The Flipside

  • By: Jake Bible
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 7 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

The year is 2046, and dinosaurs are real. Time bubbles across the world, many as large as 100 square miles, turn like clockwork, revealing prehistoric landscapes from the Cretaceous Period. They reveal the Flipside. Now, 30 years after the first turn, the clockwork is breaking down, as one of the world's powers has decided to exploit the phenomenon for his own gain. Former head of security for Topside Command Trevon Cash must navigate his way through the chaos of the broken turns and take a team Flipside to try to figure out what is happening. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative Time Travel story.

  • By cosmitron on 06-26-18

The Flipside

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

I liked the idea of this book more than the end result. Unfortunately that mostly came from the narration. It was not my favorite for this book though it was much better after I spotted it up a bit. The story started out very interesting, but faded towards the end. It wrote on me for some reason. It is about time travel and dinosaurs. And it was mostly well written and plotted out. Guess it just wasn't my mind of thing unfortunately.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

  • The Strategy Collection

  • The Art of War, The Prince, and The Book of Five Rings
  • By: Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, Miyamoto Musashi
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kollins
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

The Art of War, The Prince, and The Book of Five Rings are three historical pieces that deal with strategy. The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise, and each chapter within the treatise is devoted to a distinct aspect of warfare and how that applies to military strategy and tactics. The Prince is a practical guide for ruling an empire. The Book of Five Rings is a Japanese text that has been regarded as a treatise on the strategy for winning.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Timeless wisdom for the ages.

  • By cosmitron on 06-21-18

The Strategy Collection

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

Reviewed: 07-20-18

This is a great collection of strategy guides performed very well by Kevin Kollins. I struggled through The Prince, it is my least favorite of the three, but the collection as a whole is solid. These books are a great study in sound logic.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

  • Sick House

  • By: Jeff Strand
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

It doesn't seem like the perfect house, but screw it, it's good enough to rent for a year. Unfortunately for Boyd, Adeline, and their two young daughters, it's immediately clear they chose the wrong place. The nightmare begins with violent coughs and headaches. Food starts to rot almost as soon as they take it inside. A pet tarantula goes missing. Some family members begin to exhibit creepy behavior. Then the ghosts arrive, and all hell breaks loose....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • You don't want to move into this house...

  • By Carole Wooten on 07-04-18

Sick House

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

This was such a fun book. I loved how everything crumbled into absolute insanity so fast. This was a great read, quick and revengefully bloody. Joel Hempel did a great job reading this book, he really brought it home. The very end of the book was a treat. Just another jab before the closing credits. I will have to check out more books from Jeff Strand in the future.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crescendo: Welcome home. Death awaits.

  • By: L. Marie Wood
  • Narrated by: Gary Bennett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

"Crescendo is a riveting, yet horrifying tale of one man's descent into insanity, and author Wood straps the reader into his or her seat and refuses to let go until the very last gasp, shiver and groan is delivered in vividly rendered detail." (Denise M. Clark, author of Cross the Line and A Man’s War

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jimmy's Grandmother's Shack

  • By Spooky Mike on 05-24-18

Crescendo

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

I was looking forward to reading/listening to this book and it started about as weird as I had expected. Then it lost me. I was unable to get into it. I felt that it could have been about half the size and made a greater impact. The narration was a little lackluster for me as well. I tried speeding it up but it didn't help much. I loved the decent into madness and the little twists here and there, but I thought there was too much repetitive filler in between to satisfy me. Don't get me wrong, there were some really interesting parts in there. I loved the "flashbacks" and James chatting it up with his ancestors. The relationships in the book were burdensome, however.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

  • Jacqueline Willoughby

  • By: Schuyler Randall
  • Narrated by: Scott Ellis
  • Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 9

A string of mysterious murders rocks Birmingham, Alabama, in the pause-resister Jacqueline Willoughby. At first glance, the murders seem to be connected to the Ten Commandments, but FBI agents Kason McAlester and Troy Stephens see that there is more to the story, that a rare book written decades ago by a woman named Jacqueline Willoughby may have the answer to solving the crimes. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A short Mystery with promise if it was expanded.

  • By cosmitron on 05-25-18

Jacqueline Willoughby

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

This book had promise. If it was longer and had really expanded on the mystery with more background and moments of story building between the killings, it could have been really good. What really put me off was the way the book was read and the dialog of the characters. Normally if I don't like the way a story is narrated, I can see myself reading it and alter the way I process it a bit. I am not sure that this was all on Scott Ellis because the way the characters interacted was not natural in any way and that drew my attention away from the mystery more than the way it was read. It looks like this is the first book from Schuyler Randall, I am looking forward to seeing how the next one turns out.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

  • The Man with the Candy

  • By: Jack Olsen
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 7 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 101

A full account of the most heinous crime of the century in which nearly 30 young boys were sexually tortured to death. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Needs an epilogue

  • By Jeff & Sabrena on 05-25-18

The Man with the Candy

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

I was lost at the beginning of this book until I realized that I was actually enjoying all the background information about the Houston area and how well that background information helped to lay the foundation for how ineffectual the local police were in even putting together that there was a larger crime going on. The book wrapped up with interesting opportunities for interpretation. On one hand, you want to say they blamed the right guy for the murders and his accomplices were punished properly... on the other hand, with how inept the local authorities were at the time and how little they wanted to actually do their jobs and even find all the bodies of the victims, one can make a case that they pinned the crimes on the easy target and the ones who perpetrated the crimes were allowed to accept little blame. The novel was well-written and narrated in any case and I enjoyed/was disgusted by it.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The House of Long Shadows

  • House of Souls, Book 1
  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 223

Kevin Taylor is an Internet-famous handyman on a mission: Find a house and renovate it in 30 days. By flipping a derelict house in a month's time and chronicling the entire thing on video for his online subscribers, he seeks to become a star. The problems that plague this property will require more than elbow grease to fix, however. Shadows throughout the home are distorted, and an enigmatic trespasser keeps showing up in his footage. Worse still are the hideous voices that issue from otherwise empty rooms in the dead of night.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great ghost story

  • By Listener on 07-13-18

The House of Long Shadows

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

Let me begin by saying that I thought Joe Hempel did a really good job narrating this book. The story was relatively unique and original, but it lacked any sort of scare or disturbing event until the end. I like how Ambrose Ibsen made a modern haunting. I liked the IDEA of the reasoning behind the demons. I was left wanting in the execution. In this case, though, I really think he has an opportunity to make the sequel better than the original. I think this could have been a prequel novella and it would have served the same purpose.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Moira

  • By: Christina Paul
  • Narrated by: Rinelle Harkin
  • Length: 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

The night is clear, the moon is bright, a low fog swirls along the moor.... And there she is amongst the fog - the woman in white, forced to wander for eternity; but wait, what is her story? Can she be freed from the curse that keeps her so? Lachlan wants to know, but will he pay too great a price, as he also becomes her victim?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Moira Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

  • By Spooky Mike on 05-08-18

Moira

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

This was a beautifully written and performed story. I loved the way the tale was woven together and how the simplicity of the telling made it so much better. It is short but worth it. The audiobook was read by Rinelle Harkin and I hope to hear more narration from her in other projects. Read this and enjoy it.

This book was given to me for free at my request for my voluntary and unbiased review.