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The Lance Gifford

  • 38
  • reviews
  • 148
  • helpful votes
  • 1,235
  • ratings
  • The Burglar

  • By: Thomas Perry
  • Narrated by: Christina Delaine
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 321
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 297

Elle Stowell is a young woman with an unconventional profession: burglary. But Elle is no petty thief - with just the right combination of smarts, looks, and skills, she can easily stroll through ritzy Bel Air neighborhoods and pick out the perfect home for plucking the most valuable items. This is how Elle has always gotten by - she is good at it, and she thrives on the thrill. But after stumbling upon a grisly triple homicide while stealing from the home of a wealthy art dealer, Elle discovers she is no longer the only one sneaking around. Somebody is searching for her.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • From breaking the law to helping the law....

  • By shelley on 01-09-19

Disappointing—Not Up to Perry’s Usual

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

Reviewed: 01-25-19

Interesting concept—young female cat burglar accidentally caught in a triple homicide/art fraud/paramilitary conspiracy type thing—yeah, not so interesting.

I liked the main character and found the intricacies of burglary intriguing. Everything else was just too unrealistic and kept kicking me out of the story. Good narration!

  • The Fated Sky

  • Lady Astronaut, Book 2
  • By: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 362
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 359

Mary Robinette Kowal continues the grand sweep of alternate history begun in The Calculating Stars. The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but there’s a lot riding on whoever the International Aerospace Coalition decides to send on this historic - but potentially very dangerous - mission. Could Elma really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family to spend several years traveling to Mars? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic sequel to the first book ! <br />

  • By shane on 09-12-18

Worthy Follow-Up to The Lady Astronaut

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

The extraordinary Mary Robinette Kowal follows her Lady Astronaut novel with...well, I am not sure one would call it a sequel--I think of it more as a "what-are-they-doing-now" follow up.

Beginning years after The Lady Astronaut end, Elma is a veteran astronaut and pilot, enmeshed in the routine of flying transports on the moon. Events conspire to ground her just when the Mars expedition(s) are forming. Will she make it to Mars? Will she ever even fly again?

Once again, Mary Robinette delivers a brilliant book, a terrific read (listen!) and satisfying in every respect. Her craft as a writer is matched by her narrative skills as she again brings Elma to life.

#spaceexploration #althistory #femaleprotagonist #moon #mars #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

  • Sunrise Highway

  • Lourdes Robles, Book 1
  • By: Peter Blauner
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

In the summer of Star Wars and Son of Sam, a Long Island schoolgirl is found gruesomely murdered. A local prosecutor turns a troubled teenager known as JT from a suspect to a star witness in the case, putting away a high school football star who claimed to be innocent. Forty years later, JT has risen to chief of police, but there's a trail of a dozen dead women that reaches from Brooklyn across Long Island, along the Sunrise Highway, and it's possible that his actions actually enabled a killer. That's when Lourdes Robles, a relentless young Latina detective for the NYPD, steps in.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I thoroughly enjoyed this book!!

  • By shelley on 09-05-18

Stunning Intro to an Engaging Protagonist

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Lourdes Robles is the literary love child of Virgil Flowers and V.I. Warshawski. She's an NYPD detective in constant hot water with the brass and with her fellow Ds. Still, she persists. Liars, cheaters, traitors and killers abound, Lourdes stumbling ahead undaunted.

I anticipate the next Lourdes Robles books with excitement.

Ari Fliakos is a competent narrator I have enjoyed in the past. However, he's not quite a natural fit for this character.

#femaleprotagonist #gritty #realism #conspiracy #serialkiller #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

  • Past Tense

  • A Jack Reacher Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 12 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,145

Jack Reacher hits the pavement and sticks out his thumb. He plans to follow the sun on an epic trip across America, from Maine to California. He doesn't get far. On a country road deep in the New England woods, he sees a sign to a place he has never been: the town where his father was born. He thinks, What's one extra day? He takes the detour. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FIVE STAR BOOK And NARRATION!!!!

  • By shelley on 11-05-18

Echoes from the Past Drive Reacher To the Truth

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

Reviewed: 11-11-18

Long time Reacher fans may be disappointed, as I was, with this outing.

A fork in the road leads Reacher to his father's home town of Laconia, NH, where his search for his father's family leads him down the cliched dark road.

The parallel story involves a mysterious hidden motel and a hapless pair of down-on-their-luck Canadians, whipsawed around by the motel's operators.

I'm afraid the motel story is overwrought, an unconvincing contrivance. Moreover, by the time Reacher gets to the truth about his father and his family, I no longer cared. The plot-stretching Child resorts to in bringing Reacher, the Canadians and the motel guys together kicked me right out of the story.

Scott Brick is a superb narrator whom I've enjoyed many times over the years. Honestly, though, I miss Dick Hill, who brought the rough edge of Reacher with every word.

Final note: I've been to Laconia several times, and as recently as last year. The town I know bears no relation to the Laconia described in this book.

#absurd #smalltown #family #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Holy Ghost

  • A Virgil Flowers Novel
  • By: John Sandford
  • Narrated by: Eric Conger
  • Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,589
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,391
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,377

Pinion, Minnesota: a metropolis of all of 700 souls. Nothing ever happened there - until the mayor of sorts (campaign slogan: "I'll Do What I Can") and a buddy come up with a scheme to put Pinion on the map. They'd heard of a place where a floating image of the Virgin Mary had turned the whole town into a shrine, attracting thousands of pilgrims. And all those pilgrims needed food, shelter, all kinds of crazy things, right? They'd all get rich! What could go wrong? When the dead body shows up, they find out, and that's only the beginning of their troubles - and Virgil Flowers'....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • F*****G Flowers and Frozen Pot Pies!!!!

  • By shelley on 10-10-18

Virgil Flowers Delights Again!

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

Virgil Flowers is my favorite literary character. He's sublimely natural in his wit and charm. Even when he screws up (which he does too often, even he would admit), it's entertaining. Eric Conger captures Virgil perfectly, with subtle perfection.

I like that there is less shoot-em-up in this one--well, there's some. But, not too much. I always enjoy the quirky local characters. And Jenkins and Shrake make an appearance, which is always fun.

I think an appreciation for the Midwest adds to the enjoyment of the Virgil Flowers novels. I've got family in that area and it always feels homey to me when I hear about the towns and people in these books.

It's interesting, because Sandford's best known character, Detective Lucas Davenport, is rich, worldly and covers the nation. The larger Lucas' stage becomes, the more focused Virgil's becomes.

Another great read!

  • The Consuming Fire

  • The Interdependency, Book 2
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,179
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,828
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,813

The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilization may go with it - unless desperate measures can be taken. Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But nothing is ever that easy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Building upon a collapse, this follow-up exceeds!

  • By C. White on 10-16-18

Scalzi and Wheaton: A Consuming Listen!

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

Reviewed: 10-19-18

Okay, look: I was predisposed to love this book. I'll admit that. I'm a fan of John Scalzi's work. I'm a fan of Wil Wheaton's work as a writer, performer, humorist and, in particular, as a reader of audiobooks.

My expectations were exceeded! The story, the follow-on to last year's The Collapsing Empire, is even tighter and more engaging that it's predecessor. The characters are sharp and even minor characters pop with crackling dialog. The intrigue floats on a sea of humor. The twists and turns are always earned.

Wil understands the material, the pace of the action, the rhythm of Scalzi's language. It helps that they are good friends. He distinguishes each character with his voice, often subtly, sometimes with a change in tone or pitch or with an accent, but never overwhelms the dialog or the story.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable listen. So much so, that I'm going right back to the beginning and listen to it again!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

  • A Novel
  • By: Hank Green
  • Narrated by: Kristen Sieh, Hank Green
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,404
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,282
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,279

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., 23-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship - like a 10-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor - April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads Online. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world - everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires - and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense media spotlight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grape jelly in the void

  • By Marissa on 09-27-18

A Wonderful Spin on the Robotic Alien Invader Meme

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

In less capable hands, this book might be called a facile ripoff of some classic and recent notable SF works like The Day the Earth Stood Still, Ready Player One, and so on. However, though this is his debut novel, Hank Green has long been a master of the written and spoken word. If you've watched his YouTube pieces, you know this. I came to know him through his RPG performance as Aankia on Wil Wheaton's Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana (highly recommended). As a novelist, he turns the potentially cheap ripoff into an instant classic that is media savvy, philosophical, slightly technical, political, but at all times, warmly, deeply human.

Kristin Sieh immediately and thoroughly captures the voice of April May and embodies the energy, drive, introspection and, here is that thing again, humanity. And, of course, since it is Hank Green, the production values are impeccable.

Some may be put off by what is clearly an ending that is a lead-in to a sequel. Most of us, though, are thrilled by the prospect. Can. Not. Wait!

#aliens #invasion #inspiring #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

  • Dead Man Running

  • An Alex McKnight Thriller
  • By: Steve Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 69

On the Mediterranean Sea, a vacationer logs on to the security-camera feed from his home in Arizona. He sees an intruder. When he shifts to the bedroom camera, he sees the dead body. Martin T. Livermore is the key suspect in the abduction and murder of at least five women, but he's never been this sloppy before. When the FBI finally catches him in Scottsdale, he declares he'll only talk to one person: a retired police officer from Detroit, now a private investigator living in the tiny town of Paradise, Michigan. A man named Alex McKnight.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Don’t. Just don’t.

  • By Rufus on 09-03-18

Sadly, A Departure From Why I Like Alex McKnight

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

Not a fan of psycho mystery thrillers. Dragging Alex away from the UP removes the major character I’ve come to love in this series: Paradise, Michigan. Absent that, it’s just another run of the mill brilliant psycho killer versus intrepid cop. Not terribly interesting or original. Sadly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Artificial Condition

  • By: Martha Wells
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 3 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,848
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,704
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,698

It has a dark past - one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome but painfully short.

  • By Brian Barry on 09-05-18

Murderbot’s Inner Life is Oddly Compelling

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

Here’s the unexpected gift of this series: a determinedly non-human cybernetic construct wrestles with the same existential angst as we humans. The result is, by turns, curious, endearing and chilling. Martha Wells is a treasure I hope to continue to benefit from. Kevin R. Free’s narration is serviceable, if uninspired. Perhaps...just what the character needs.

  • Planetside

  • By: Michael Mammay
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,685
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,595
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,590

War heroes aren't usually called out of semi-retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation. So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend, he knows it's something big - and he's not being told the whole story. A high councilor's son has gone MIA out of Cappa Base, the space station orbiting a battle-ravaged planet. The young lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated - but there's no record of him having ever arrived at hospital command. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't put it down!

  • By Rebecca Enzor on 08-02-18

A Sure Fire Winner for any MilSpec SF Fan!

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

R. C. Bray’s terse narration lends credibility to this tense military- themed mystery. Mammy infuses his well-plotted story with an insider’s insight and verisimilitude. This one’s destined to become a classic.