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Spencer

Media, PA, United States
  • 31
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 56
  • ratings
  • A House by the Sea

  • Winthrop House, Book 1
  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 234

After his book becomes a best seller, novelist Jack Ripley moves into a house on the edge of Cutler Harbor with his wife and two daughters. Nearly a century old, Winthrop House is newly-restored and boasts a gorgeous oceanfront view. But everything is not what it seems. Though picturesque, Jack learns that the house has been shunned for decades by the locals, owing to a number of mysterious disappearances and inexplicable deaths on the grounds.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty creepy

  • By Lizzystick on 03-07-17

Paint by numbers weak

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

Reviewed: 11-16-18

The mom is Worried, the dad is a dismissive skeptical person who thinks this house will be a new start for our family. The locals are hostile and suspicious, yet, despite what you would think with a very small town, are NOT gossipy enough that the entire town knows about it by the time they move in? Come on!
When I met the Jackal Man in a dream sequence, an underwhelming monster if ever I've seen one, that's when I really gave up.

  • After Dark

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Janet Song
  • Length: 5 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 301
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 211

Here is a short, sleek novel of encounters, set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, and every bit as gripping as Haruki Murakami's masterworks The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. At its center are two sisters: Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny's toward people whose lives are radically different from her own.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing book, Poor Narration

  • By Ellen Clary on 07-27-08

I Hate the Chicken Salad Guy

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

Sometimes, just one thing, and one thing only, can ruin an entire novel for you. I was intrigued, and it wasn't the most accessible novel I've read, but I was getting into it. What killed it all for me was that pretentious bastard we first met in the Denny's, who rambled about how Chicken Salad is the only thing worth getting there. Every line of his dialogue ran nails down the chalkboard of my soul. The paranormal elements were engaging, the lead gal and her sister and the Love Hotel manager all kept my interest, but I couldn't STAND that pompous little hand-and-a-half. It was like being trapped in an elevator with the most obnoxious undergrad in the entire creative writing program at a liberal arts program. Maybe if he'd been a smaller character I could finish this book, but as it is the only thing I really wanted was to take a needle and fishing line to stitch his self-important piehole shut.

  • Doctor Who: The Thing from the Sea

  • 4th Doctor Audio Original
  • By: Paul Magrs
  • Narrated by: Susan Jameson
  • Length: 1 hr and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13

Susan Jameson reads a brand-new original story featuring the Fourth Doctor and his companion Mrs Wibbsey. In 18th Century coastal Italy, the local fishermen haul in an extraordinary catch: a gigantic serpent. The Doctor identifies it as an alien, but to the ailing locals this fabled sea creature has the capacity to heal them - if only Count Otto will share it with them. When Mrs Wibbsey comes under the influence of the Count, the Doctor finds himself snared by the wicked power of a seemingly immortal magician, the infamous Cagliostro!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Some neat ideas fall flat

  • By Spencer on 08-12-18

Some neat ideas fall flat

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

This one had ingredients I liked, (the space monster being the sympathetic one, seaside adventure, a likeable companion), but it just didn't gel. I expected to find out the companion was under some psychic influence given how easily she trusted the obviously evil count and how quickly she went along with him, even after finding out that he worships a horrifying homunculus, but nothing came of it. The villagers had no character presence and the villains we did get were very paint-by-numbers, and there was never scifi explanation for the dark sorcery. I'd read another story with this companion, but on its own this is a dud.

  • The Books of Blood, Volume 1

  • By: Clive Barker
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance, Dick Hill, Peter Berkrot, and others
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 464
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 425
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 428

Weaving tales of the everyday world transformed into an unrecognizable place, where reason no longer exists and logic ceases to explain the workings of the universe, Clive Barker provides the stuff of nightmares in packages too tantalizing to resist. This first volume contains the short stories : "The Book of Blood," "The Midnight Meat Train," "The Yattering and Jack," "Sex, Death, and Starshine," and "In the Hills, the Cities,"

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everyone's a Book of Blood

  • By Steven Savile on 05-09-13

Uneven and Not Terribly Impressive

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

Reviewed: 07-09-18

I liked about half the stories in this volume, if you count the framing device. The Yattering and Jack and the theater story were very enjoyable, high-quality things, but the story set in a boys prison seemed really good and left me totally non-plussed with an out-of-left-field ending. The last story...I really don't know what to make of "In the Hills, The Cities". The craft is there, and I was a bit excited, but my exact thoughts on finishing the volume were "That's it?" This volume's quality level makes me wonder if clive barker is the author for me, and definitely makes me hesitant to buy the next volume.

  • Doctor Who: Deep Time

  • A 12th Doctor Novel
  • By: Trevor Baxendale
  • Narrated by: Dan Starkey
  • Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

Dan Starkey reads this original novel featuring the 12th Doctor and Clara, as played in the BBC TV series by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. The Phaeron travelled among the stars using roads made from time and space but left only relics behind when they disappeared over a million years ago. But what actually happened to the Phaeron? In the far future, humans discover the last Phaeron road - and the Doctor and Clara join the mission to see where it leads.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story

  • By john c haanraadts 2 on 12-08-15

Broken Promises

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

Reviewed: 04-07-18

This...this story was frustrating. It started off very promising, but the danger got so contrived and dragged out too long without any real sense of change or discovery. What kind of state-of-the-art spaceship would NOT have shuttles or escape pods, for example? I can accept a kind of stupid plot if it delivers enough in the way of weirdness and monsters, but this was more rock climbing and Poseidon adventure than buck rogers.

  • Cold as Ice

  • Cold as Ice, Book 1
  • By: Charles Sheffield
  • Narrated by: Christine Rendel
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 33

Twenty-five years ago there was a great interplanetary war in the Solar System. It was a suicidal spasm in which terrible weapons were created and used; in which nine billion people were killed. The rivalries that led to the war are not gone. And a few of those deadly weapons remain - some still orbiting the sun in the debris of destroyed ships, some deliberately placed in storage. Now Cyrus Mobarak, the man who perfected the fusion engine, is determined to bring human settlement to the protected seas of Europa. Opposing him is Hilda Brandt, Europa's administrator.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book... Not the best narator in the universe

  • By Nixon on 01-23-13

Frustrated Progress

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

Reviewed: 10-03-17

The setting of the story is pretty well-conceived, and there's lots of decent characters, but well...something just didn't click for me. The mystery should have left me hooked, but there didn't seem to be enough bread crumbs to keep me going. It took too long for the different subplots to come together and I didn't have much sense of the overall narrative thrust. Maybe it's a pacing problem or maybe it's an issue of structure, but after several hours of trying to like this book,, I had to throw in the towel.

  • Sovereign

  • By: April Daniels
  • Narrated by: Natasha Soudek
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 125
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-size job and she's doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it's only going to get worse. When she crosses a billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there's no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than the first one

  • By Spencer on 09-30-17

Better than the first one

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

Reviewed: 09-30-17

Oh Dionysus, this was a great novel. There were times where I kept pausing it to draw out the pleasure of the experience, or because the emotions got too intense for me. The world-building is as phenomenal as ever. The characters are rich and complicated. We really get to see Danny struggling with her character flaws and inner darkness. The Nemesis stuff I feel a little uneasy about, but I'll have to see how the author realizes that later down the road. Most of all, I'm glad that this novel got a proper epilogue compared to the abrupt stop of the first novel.

Also like...
I'm a cisgender man, and maybe this isn't my place...but this author GETS IT. This author understands suffering, and trauma, and self-loathing, and in those ways I was really able to relate to Danny as a character. Honestly? This book helped me with my own issues a little.

Danny is the superhero we need even though we, as a civilization, haven't done enough good to deserve her. Fictional or not, she has already saved many real human lives.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Boats of the Glen Carrig

  • By: William Hope Hodgson
  • Narrated by: Mark Turetsky
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

The survivors of the shipwrecked 18th century vessel Glen Carrig fight for their lives amidst a vast continent of weeds. Mysterious wrecks, horrific monsters, and swashbuckling adventure!

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Less than the sum of its parts

  • By Spencer on 05-17-17

Less than the sum of its parts

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

Reviewed: 05-17-17

Would you try another book from William Hope Hodgson and/or Mark Turetsky?

Yes. I read this book because I've enjoyed William Hope Hodgson's other work. I'm beginning to think that he's best suited for short stories and struggles with long-form fiction.

Has The Boats of the Glen Carrig turned you off from other books in this genre?

Of course not.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Just not a lot of life to it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration and impatience. There was so much potential, but the events seemed to only happen in isolation. The book had lots of interesting things happening in it, but these seemed to leave no progressive impact.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fire's Stone

  • By: Tanya Huff
  • Narrated by: Bill Hensel
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110

A wizard, a drunkard, and a thief - three strangers who must learn to work together or Ischia is lost beneath a sea of lava. But Aaron, the thief, is hiding more than stolen jewels. Chandra, the wizard, is running from a political marriage. And Darvish, the prince Chandra is intended to marry and the man Aaron has hidden the most from, well, Darvish really needs a drink. Before they can hope to save Ischia, they must save themselves.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overall an enjoyable listen

  • By a on 01-11-13

A Fantastic Delight, with Added Gay

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

Reviewed: 04-04-17

If you could sum up The Fire's Stone in three words, what would they be?

Fantasy Heist Adventure

What did you like best about this story?

The characters were all well-rounded people with interesting motivations. The setting was also a richly-realized tapestry with the ring of authenticity to it, and avoids many weary cliches of Yee Medieval European Knockoff

What about Bill Hensel’s performance did you like?

The different voices for characters were well and true.

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

This was a real page-turner for me. I had to force myself to alternate with other stories to draw out the enjoyment.

Any additional comments?

This may be the best thing Tanya Huff's ever written.

  • Doctor Who - Dust Breeding

  • By: Mike Tucker
  • Narrated by: Sophie Aldred, Geoffrey Beevers, Sylvester McCoy
  • Length: 1 hr and 45 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

On 19th century Earth artist Edvard Munch hears an infinite scream pass through nature. Centuries later his painting of that scream hangs in a gallery on the barren dust world Duchamp 331. Why is there a colony of artists on a planet that is little more than a glorified garage? What is the event that the passengers of the huge, opulent pleasure cruiser 'Gallery' are hoping to see? And what is hidden in the crates that litter the cargo hold?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Doctor Who Spooky

  • By Spencer on 03-30-17

Solid Doctor Who Spooky

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

Reviewed: 03-30-17

If you could sum up Doctor Who - Dust Breeding in three words, what would they be?

Classic Doctor Who

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Who - Dust Breeding?

When the old man got his revenge.

Which scene was your favorite?

The artist speaking through the Warp Vortex with his full art-wackoness.

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

Definately. I alternated this with a less interesting book to pace myself.

Any additional comments?

A twisted sense of art above all else. A disembodied power. Some classic bug-eyed monsters. This really packs a lot of rich ideas into one short story.