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Keith

Alexandria, VA, USA
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 150
  • helpful votes
  • 62
  • ratings
  • The Empire's Corps

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 15 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,032
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,875
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,870

The Galactic Empire is dying and chaos and anarchy are breaking out everywhere. After a disastrous mission against terrorists on Earth itself, Captain Edward Stalker of the Terran Marine Corps makes the mistake of speaking truth to power, telling one of the most powerful men in the Empire a few home truths. As a result, Captain Stalker and his men are unceremoniously exiled to Avalon, a world right on the Rim of the Empire. It should have been an easy posting...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nuttall gets better and better

  • By David Strom on 12-25-14

A fun, engaging military scifi space adventure

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

Reviewed: 03-22-15

What did you love best about The Empire's Corps?

The Empire's Corps is a fun military scifi space adventure in the vein of Robert Heinlein. Christopher Nuttall weaves an engaging story with a well thought out backstory that creates a believable world. Unlike very sexist Heinlein, Nuttall actually writes realistic, strong female characters that help propel the story. My only critique is there were tracts where Nuttall repeats himself. I realized he was trying to maintain cohesion in understanding what was going on in the story, but it quickly became redundant. This foible is utilized less and less the further the story goes on, but made it hard to get into the book initially. A good editor would have struck many of these sections for this very reason, but like I said, it levels out halfway through the book.

What did you like best about this story?

I really liked how Nuttall constructs a very believable space Empire that is on the edge of crumbling apart. It helps build the foundation of the series. He really explores the inherent corruption of power that leads to the Empire's collapse (I believe it finally falls in Book 3). I like the Space Marine storyline.

Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

Jeffrey Kafer, the narrator, is the weakest part of this audiobook. His monotone reading of the story frequently annoyed me. His voice sounds a lot like a very stoned Charlie Sheen. If he could have made a modicum of effort to create different voices for each character, it would have drastically improved the overall book. Luckily, the story was engaging enough to keep my attention throughout, despite the narration.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series!

  • The Shining

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Campbell Scott
  • Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,645
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,110
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,107

Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote...and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it even more than the film!

  • By Bella on 01-23-14

Funny how this is only SK book I did not read!

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

Reviewed: 12-10-13

Where does The Shining rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a great audiobook. Campbell Scott does a fantastic job reading.

What did you like best about this story?

After reading the sequel, "Doctor Sleep," I had to go back and read the original. I had seen the Stanley Kubrick movie, but not read the book. I was surprised to find the book to be far superior than the classic film.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending which was way better than the movie.

Who was the most memorable character of The Shining and why?

Jack Torrance. The book goes into way more back story into how and why Jack goes mad.

  • Steelheart

  • The Reckoners, Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,969
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,009

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He got the idea from a near traffic accident

  • By Don Gilbert on 09-26-13

Slow going at first, but give it a chance

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

Reviewed: 12-10-13

Would you listen to Steelheart again? Why?

Yes, just to capture nuances I missed the first go 'round.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Megan. If I explain why, then it would fall in the category of SPOILERS.

Which scene was your favorite?

The climactic finale where SPOILERS are revealed.

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

Even supermen can bleed...

Any additional comments?

Yeah, it took a while for the author to get the story rolling. He gives a lot of back story upfront which will make sense later in the book but he could have done a better job weaving it throughout the story as it unfolds. Because of his loooooong drawn out telling of the back story, it is hard to get into at first. If you can slog through, the story's momentum picks up and carries you away. My advice is to stick with it and you will enjoy the ride.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Vince Flynn
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,686
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,788
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,739

The four dead guards didn’t concern Mitch Rapp as much as the absence of the man they’d been paid to protect. Joe Rickman wasn’t just another foot soldier. For the last eight years Rickman had ran the CIA’s clandestine operations in Afghanistan. It was a murky job that involved working with virtually every disreputable figure in the Islamic Republic. More than a quarter billion dollars in cash had passed through Rickman’s hands during his tenure as the master of black ops and no one with a shred of sense wanted to know the details of how that money had been spent.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, The return of modern day Mitch

  • By AmazonCustomer on 11-19-12

Flynn delivers again!

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

Reviewed: 12-08-12

Where does The Last Man rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would not say this is the best in the Mitch Rapp series (my personal faves are Executive Power and Extreme Measures), but the author delivers a gripping tale that had me riveted till the end.

What did you like best about this story?

What originally made me enjoy Clancy's Jack Ryan and Robert Ludlam's (now Erik Von Lustbader's) Jason Bourne is the action, espionage, and intrigue. Clancy petered out near the end, obvious farming the series out to ghost writers. Von Lustbader has beautifully picked up the torch from the Ludlam estate and consistantly delivers fun, engaging spy stories. As does Mr. Flynn with this series!

Which character – as performed by George Guidall – was your favorite?

George Guidall, as usual, nails the vocal performance on all the characters in the novel. His voice is Mitch Rapp in my head. It was hard to go back and listen to first three books in the series (recorded before they signed Mr. Guidall on to read the series), they all pale to George.

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

Most definitely. Kept my attention for the entire listening.

Any additional comments?

I came into this series on Book 4: Executive Power. I loved it so much, I plowed through all of them up to Book 12, which was the newest at the time. I eagerly await each new novel as they are released.

I went back to listen to 1-3 but really could not get into the pre-Guidall narrators, he is so far superior that the others paled in comparison.

If you love spy novels, this is a must-read (listen) series!

  • The Casual Vacancy

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 17 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5,907
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,265
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5,306

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was surprised by how much I liked it

  • By cristina on 01-14-14

Rowling breaks free of Harry Potter chains

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

Reviewed: 12-08-12

What did you love best about The Casual Vacancy?

All the in-depth character studies and how it showed the person as a whole both the good and the bad. The same reason Harry Potter fans loved the series is how Rowling breathes life into each character is why this book gripped my attention and made it hard to put down.

Because it was such a break from the fantasy world of Harry Potter, I am proud she is free from the chains of that series and able to spread her literary wings enabling her to write what moves her.

Don't pay attention to the negative reviews. Don't go into this expecting an uplifting fantasy story of good triumphing over evil. If you want fantasy, go look at other great options offered here.

This is Rowling pulling back the curtain on ordinary, mundane, everyday British small town life, exposing the harsh realities, lies, deceptions, subterfuges, politicking, schemings, etc for the whole world to see. Very un-British, who are generally very private and put up a good front (Stiff upperlip and all that, what!!) for the public. Having lived in England in a little village similar to Padford, I can relate to and enjoy the story told.

I am proud of Ms. Rowling for writing this novel, even though she knew it would prove unpopular with most of her HP audience. It was a project she was very passionate to write about and I think she did an outstanding job.

What other book might you compare The Casual Vacancy to and why?

The ways the characters are fleshed out as the story develops and how Rowling evokes your empathy for each and everyone one, I would compare it to my favorite The Time Traveler's Wife. Both are very character focused and quickly grab you then whisk you away into their lives.

What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

At first, I was not a big fan of the reader because he was so new to me, but Mr. Hollander quickly won me over with his specific vocal characterizations that enabled me to keep each character straight in my head while listening.

Who was the most memorable character of The Casual Vacancy and why?

All of them. As I have said above, each and every character is meticulously built and shown warts (or pimples) and all. Ms. Rowling's art of storytelling breaths life into each and every character. One would not be surprised to see one walking down the street she fleshes them out so well.

Any additional comments?

Put all preconceptions and reviews aside. Let this book stand on its own. Give it a chance and you will enjoy the voyeuristic escapism it provides.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Succubus Blues

  • Georgina Kincaid, Book 1
  • By: Richelle Mead
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,009
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,026

Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid. When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical? But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book made me fall in love with the series!

  • By Lisa on 10-26-13

A fun diversion from Vampire/Werewolf/Zombies

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

Reviewed: 11-09-12

Where does Succubus Blues rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The entire Georgina Kincaid series is up there with some of my faves in the fantasy genre. The stories are engrossing and well written. I totally lose myself in each book when they come out.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Georgina Kincaid, the story's heroine, is a nice change from the run-of-the mill vampire/shifter/werewolf/witch/zombie tales out there now. As a succubus from ancient Greece times, she has seen a lot but is not jaded by humanity. If anything, Georgina has become quite enamored with us. A very empathetic character, Georgina Kincaid, is very well imagined by Richelle Mead. Love this entire series. Cannot wait for the next book to come out!

Which character – as performed by Elisabeth Rodgers – was your favorite?

All of them. Elisabeth Rodgers is a perfect reader for this series. Her sultry, silky, and steamy voice makes the Succubus' tale all the more believable.

Any additional comments?

Read them all!!!

  • The Host

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephenie Meyer
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 23 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,030
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,382

Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique Perspective, Awesome job.

  • By Mighty_Cranium on 12-29-09

Great story in a genre only touched upon before

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-20-08

Much better than her Twilight Series, probably because it is intended for adults, rather than teens, and I am in that latter target audience.

Very interesting insights into a genre that has been only had the surface touched before. Take Robert Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" or ABC TV's recently failed series "Invasion" and leap three years after the symbiotic aliens have successfully conquered Earth and most of its human population then tell the story from the point of view of an alien introduced into a hostile host then you have the start of The Host.

The insights into the human condition, how precious life can be, how brutal and bestial we can treat each other, etc, really makes this book shine for me.

I do not think the shiny, happy ending was completely necessary but I like how in the hardback edition there are a few blank pages inserted between the natural conclusion of the novel and the happy ending so you have the choice to end there or carry on.

In my opinion, well written and well worth the money. I am actually listening to the audiobook version of it on my iPod now to pick up on any subtle nuances I may have missed or the narrator may convey in her reading of it.

This is the first current science fiction book I would highly recommend since The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which has become my all time favorite book. If this is a sampling of what Stephanie Meyer has to offer us readers once she breaks free of the money train teen-angst vampire saga, I will be one of the first in line for that book.

114 of 118 people found this review helpful

  • It's Superman!

  • By: Tom De Haven
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 16 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 937
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 767
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 772

Opening with the young Clark Kent on a date, this novel takes an entirely fresh approach to the emergence of his superpowers and the start of his newspaper career, following him from rural 1930s Kansas across America to Hollywood in its golden age and then to New York City. He meets a worldly Lois Lane and conniving political boss Lex Luthor, and begins his battles against criminal masterminds, mad scientists, and super villains inspired by fascists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's Superman!

  • By G. Bledsoe on 12-24-06

Interesting view of Superman & life in the '30s

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-02-07

I am a Superman fan from the age of 2. When I tied a red towel around my neck, assumed the Superman pose of fists on hips, and pronounced in kid-speak, "I, Supe!" (Even have a photo my parents took that day on my desk!)

"It's Superman" is an interesting take on the Superman mythos. The author really humanizes Clark and places the character back in his roots of the 1930s, when originally conceptualized by Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster. The story shows the struggles of Clark as he evolves into Superman and the influences of his friends and family as well as the era helped mold him into the super hero he becomes.

My only critique and warning is the book starts slowly (for character development), but eventually gains momentum and becomes well worth the listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Prestige

  • By: Christopher Priest
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,994
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,362
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,367

In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose each other. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magician's craft can command. Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of a Kind.

  • By Andrew on 06-22-07

Loved the movie, Love the book even more!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-02-07

After seeing the movie last year and enjoying it thoroughly, I was surprised to find I had missed reading the book some how while making my monthly selections.

While most movies quite frequently differ greatly from the original novel, I was happy to find a deeper, richer story filled with more twists and turns, guile and intrigue than the movie.

The beginning and ending of the novel, obviously edited out of the movie since it would detract from the story of the two competing prestidigitators, greatly enhance the story and shows how the actions of a man can impact on the generations that follow him. I will go no further in explaining the story. It would spoil it.

My advice is if you liked the movie, you will love this book! Enjoy!

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

The Martian Chronicles
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Ray Bradbury
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Ray Bradbury
    
    


    
    Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
    520 ratings
    Overall 4.1
  • The Martian Chronicles

  • By: Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by: Ray Bradbury
  • Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 224
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 227

In lyrical prose, Bradbury describes the decline of the mysterious and fragile Martian civilization, overwhelmed by the human newcomers. Bradbury reads these tales of common people - families, truck-stop owners, priests - who confront a new world with their human pride, fears, tenderness, and greed intact. And at the heart of each story lies the basic conflict between man's search for new frontiers and his irresistible urge for the comfort of the past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful!

  • By Karen on 04-09-03

In his own words

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-02-07

Ray Bradbury was the man who initially kindled my voracious appetite for reading back in the fifth grade, appropriately, with his novel, Fahrenheit 451. The Martian Chronicles soon followed as I plowed through all of Mr. Bradbury's work.

28 years later, it was nice to revisit a book I have read and reread over the years. My insights and observations of the book changing as I mature.

I simply added this audiobook to my monthly selection on a whim without reading any of the reviews or details, just remembering how much I enjoyed it. I listen to audiobooks on my iPod in my car which makes for a more peaceful commute. So, imagine my surprise when the distinctive voice of Ray Bradbury comes out of the speakers and begins reading me the book.

The further bonus of the author sharing his personal insights, inspirations, and reasoning behind each story makes this truly a treasure and well worth the download. Enjoy it yourself! I know I did!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful