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  • 44
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  • The Singularity Trap

  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,538
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,503

When Ivan Pritchard signs on as a newbie aboard the Mad Astra, it's his final, desperate stab at giving his wife and children the life they deserve. He can survive the hazing of his crewmates, and how many times, really, can near-zero g make you vomit? But there's another challenge looming out there, in the farthest reaches of human exploration, that will test every man, woman and AI on the ship - and will force Ivan to confront the very essence of what makes him human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent.

  • By Amy Snider on 06-13-18

A very Meh followup to the Bobiverse

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

I pre-ordered this one the moment it was available since I enjoyed the Bob series so very much. Especially Bob 1.

This book carries a similar theme (man merges with machine) but lacks the charm of the Bobiverse books. The central character, Ivan, is a Bob analog, but spends a lot of time weeping, and declaring how much he loves his wife. All fine if you're looking for family drama, but I was looking more for Science Fiction.

The overtones of Mr. Taylor's personal politics are big parts of this story. Religious people (well, just Christians, because it's "ok" to trash them) are stupid and crazy. The Earth is destroyed due to Man-Made global warming. And he serves up a nice plate of LGBT virtue signaling.

That aside, the story simply is not as compelling as the Bobiverse trilogy. It does not seem as well thought out. Fortunately the ending does not appear to be a prelude to another book.

Ray Porter does his usual excellent work with the narration, but adds in sound effects. I'm not sure that they are needed but it does add some extra theatrics to the performance.

  • Know This

  • Today's Most Interesting and Important Scientific Ideas, Discoveries, and Developments
  • By: John Brockman
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman, Dan John Miller
  • Length: 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 167
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 165

Scientific developments radically alter our understanding of the world. Whether it's technology, climate change, health research, or the latest revelations of neuroscience, physics, or psychology, science has, as Edge editor John Brockman says, "become a big story, if not the big story". In that spirit this new addition to Edge.org's fascinating series asks a powerful and provocative question: What do you consider the most interesting and important recent scientific news?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Can I get a refund?

  • By Kenny G on 05-29-18

Pete and Repeat and Re-repeat

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

Reviewed: 02-25-18

Would you try another book from John Brockman and/or Gabra Zackman and Dan John Miller ?

The Narrators, sure. The essay collector, no.

What was most disappointing about John Brockman’s story?

The description leads one to believe that this book would have had more information than it does. Instead, it is filled with nearly 200 short essays with professors and "celebrities" like Alan Alda, opining on what the hot science and pseudo-science news of the day is.

If your belief system orbits around "man made global warming", mocking the religious, demonizing the human race in general, and snotty elitist TED talks, this book will fill your confirmation bias needs for months.

What does Gabra Zackman and Dan John Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrators were fine.

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

Boredom. When the authors were not lustfully thumping all the politically correct dogmas, they were repeating information from prior essays. Over, and over and over.

The essays are semi grouped according to topic. Each essay in a topic group, with almost no exception, simply repeats information that was given in the first essay of the group. This continues for about 20 essays in each topic group. Repeat.... Repeat... Repeat.

28 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • The Disappearing Spoon

  • And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,086
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,119

Reporter Sam Kean reveals the periodic table as it’s never been seen before. Not only is it one of man's crowning scientific achievements, it's also a treasure trove of stories of passion, adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The infectious tales and astounding details in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, and gold as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, war, the arts, poison, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By James on 10-12-10

Could Easily Listen To this 50 Times

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

I've been critical of Sean in a prior book. But in this one he did a great job. (Though he does have an odd pronunciation quirk with "S" sounds. Still, GREAT job here.

Any additional comments?

This is a book that spans History, Chemistry, and Physics, with both warmth and fascination. If you enjoy any of those things, you WILL enjoy this book. It is one of those few books that I can select and randomly pick a chapter to listen to and enjoy time and time again.

  • Dark New World, Book 1

  • An EMP Survival Story
  • By: J.J. Holden, Henry Gene Foster
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 906
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 850
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 851

Three people from different walks of life each experience the end of America. Cassy is a 33-year-old prepper and single mother, away on business. Ethan is a hacker and conspiracy nut living underground. Frank is a family man out camping with friends and family. When a devastating EMP attack in the middle of the night destroys America's infrastructure, they are propelled on an unforgettable journey across an ocean of chaos to reach safety...Safety from an unknown invader and from once-fellow Americans now hungry and desperate.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better Than Expected

  • By Neva on 02-16-17

Another RAVE REVIEW dud.

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

Would you try another book from J.J. Holden and Henry Gene Foster and/or Kevin Pierce?

Probably not.

What was most disappointing about J.J. Holden and Henry Gene Foster ’s story?

The most disappointing thing about J.J. Holden and Henry Gene Foster ’s story was the absurd timeline.

Within 48 hours everyone goes from "normal" to highly rank structured, and organized militias; from everyday people to everyone is a thief and all men are rapists. Everyone is utterly lawless and STARVING TO DEATH in the first 48 hours.

What three words best describe Kevin Pierce’s voice?

Just Good Enough. With well over 100 titles in my library, this is the first time I've heard Kevin. My issues here are not with his performance.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes there were redeeming qualities. Well, one: it was SHORT.

Any additional comments?

I've pretty much given up on trusting reviews here. In fact, I'd say that we have a reversal of the situation presented in "New Dark World." Rather than a disaster happening and everyone switching to anarchy in the blink of an eye, we have a disaster of a book and everyone switches to glowing review Nirvana.

This is NOT a 5 star book by ANY stretch of the imagination.

The dialog throughout the story was entirely unlike any actual dialog people might have. The descent into lawlessness and chaos happened literally overnight. (You'd be out killing your neighbors in 24 hours too... right? NO??)

I considered trying to give this a pass as a first effort, and just buy the second book. Then I heard the preview of book 2 at the end of this one. I guess I owe Holden and Foster a fond Thank You, for giving me advance warning. "Number 2 is just as bad!"

  • Side Hustle

  • From Idea to Income in 27 Days
  • By: Chris Guillebeau
  • Narrated by: Chris Guillebeau
  • Length: 4 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 690
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 595

For some people, the thought of quitting their day job to pursue the entrepreneurial life is exhilarating. For many others, it's terrifying. After all, a stable job that delivers a regular paycheck is a blessing. And not everyone has the means or the desire to take on the risks and responsibilities of working for themselves. But what if we could quickly and easily create an additional stream of income without giving up the security of a full-time job? Enter the side hustle.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Just $100 Startup" distilled - At Double speed.

  • By Daniel L on 09-25-17

Just $100 Startup" distilled - At Double speed.

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

Reviewed: 09-25-17

What would have made Side Hustle better?

Dates. Dates would have made it better. When you hear stories about people making great money on photography, and affiliate marketing, etc, you know you're hearing stories from pre 2010.

There may be ONE story in this book that has a date attached to it, but otherwise, none do. And there IS money to be made in those areas, but NOT as a "side hustle."

Not working at it less than FULL TIME. Not in 2017.

Would you ever listen to anything by Chris Guillebeau again?

Maybe.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Chris Guillebeau?

Chris read his book like he was racing to just get it done. He frequently slurred words together because he was reading so fast.

It's hard to believe that with his massive business network, he couldn't find someone who could read his book properly, and not do things like make SideHustleSchool.Com sound like "Sideuhhslskl.com."

Any additional comments?

Look, there are a number of good action points in the book. But it is barely any different than the $100 Startup.

Many of the characters, once again, benefited from "lucky mentions" in very prominent online media. A few had very substantial cash reserves to fund $100K + equipment for their "side hustle."



However, the reader should take note about all of the references to his website. It is what is known as a "sales funnel." It leads readers to more ways to give Chris money. He actually hints at some of this in his books, but never really delves into the topic.

Go to the website, look at how many ways there are to hand over more money. And let me say, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. I applaud a great salesman - and Chris is exactly that!! 

 But that is information left on the cutting room floor. Maybe YOUR Side Hustle could benefit from knowing the power of a "sales funnel." Google it.

If you have not read the $100 Startup, and have no idea what to do with your idea for a side business, this book, or the $100 Startup may be worth your time.

I didn't get a free copy, and I am not returning it because there is some good information. But this book is mostly just a "Side Hustle" for the author. Know that going in.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • The Rules of Supervillainy

  • The Supervillainy Saga Volume 1
  • By: C.T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,360
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,138
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,131

Gary Karkofsky is an ordinary guy with an ordinary life living in an extraordinary world. Supervillains, heroes, and monsters are a common part of the world he inhabits. Yet, after the death of his hometown's resident superhero, he gains the amazing gift of the late champion's magical cloak. Deciding he prefers to be rich rather than good, Gary embarks on a career as Merciless: The Supervillain Without Mercy. But is he evil enough to be a villain in America's most crime-ridden city?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun!

  • By erobbins33 on 11-29-16

Another "Highly Rated" Dud.

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

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

Kafer did a good job with the performance of the book. No issues.

Any additional comments?

Maybe it's just me. But there are so many books on Audible/Amazon that have "rave" reviews, that deserve AT BEST a "meh." It seems that people want some sort of Karma points for all of the 5 star ratings that they give, rather than to honestly critique a product. I keep wondering if there is some sort of random drawing for 5 star reviewers that grants lifetime free downloads. This book is NOT 5 star work.

This book was at the lower end of mildly entertaining. The dialog read like any typical comic book's, and the overall plot was not much better. A lot of authors today seem to use endless movie/fiction references as some sort of a creative crutch so that they do not actually have to describe the scenario they are writing about. Phipps does that repeatedly in this book.

I also do not get all of the comments about how "hilarious" the book is. It may have evoked a slight chuckle two or three times, but that was it. Otherwise, it was a mindless 6 something hours of mediocrity in storytelling with campy, tired, gag lines.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,735
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59,806
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,686

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Absurdly Exceptional Science Fiction

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

Reviewed: 03-17-17

If you could sum up We Are Legion (We Are Bob) in three words, what would they be?

Utterly Captivating Writing

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Many, many, laughs.

Any additional comments?

First, Ray Porter is very likely the best performer in this market. He does not READ the books, he PERFORMS them. His abiding passion is evident in his work, and he blasts this book right out of the solar system.

Dennis Taylor has written some exceptional science fiction here. The technology is bound so closely to the story that, without it, the story itself could not survive. At the same time, it's not so tedious in detail that only hard core nerds (like me) can appreciate it.

If you're thinking of gambling a credit on this one, JUST DO IT. You can thank me and the other new converted Bob-O-Philes later.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Unknown Universe

  • A New Exploration of Time, Space and Cosmology
  • By: Stuart Clark PhD
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 947
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 859
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862

On March 21, 2013, the European Space Agency released a map of the afterglow of the big bang. Taking in 440 sextillion kilometers of space and 13.8 billion years of time, it is physically impossible to make a better map: We will never see the early universe in more detail. On the one hand, such a view is the apotheosis of modern cosmology; on the other, it threatens to undermine almost everything we hold cosmologically sacrosanct.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Interesting Information - Poor Reader

  • By Daniel L on 03-17-17

Very Interesting Information - Poor Reader

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

Reviewed: 03-17-17

Would you listen to The Unknown Universe again? Why?

Yes. There is quite a bit of science history in this book and well worth the time to listen several times to get it all straight. That is, if you can stay awake through the monotone of the reader.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen Hoye?

Hoye reads this book like its a set of instructions for an appliance. He is literally devoid of any passion at all. You get the feeling that some newscaster is just reading one line after another that appears in front of him, glossing over parts that, if read with a little heart, would have been humorous. Instead, Hoye chooses unending monotony of voice and inflection.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • The Killer

  • Victor the Assassin Series, Book 1
  • By: Tom Wood
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,722
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,503
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,500

Meet Victor. He's an assassin - a man with no past and no surname. He lives alone. He operates alone. He's given a job; he takes out the target; he gets paid. He's The Killer. Victor arrives in Paris to perform a standard kill and collect for an anonymous client. He completes it with trademark efficiency - only to find himself in the middle of an ambush and fighting for his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS IS A THREE FOR...

  • By Cynthia on 03-12-14

If you're a Mitch Rapp fan - Get this series.

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

Reviewed: 08-25-16

Any additional comments?

I guess a lot of people reading this review have been through the long list of similars to Vince Flynn's works. From the Gray Man to Dewey Andreas to the utterly absurd Nathan McBride, I've tried them all.

Tom Wood's "Victor" is the closest I've found to the style of Flynn/Rapp. (The Greaney's, "Gray Man" being a close 2nd.)

I'm currently on Book 4 and have been binge listening to this series. The stories have been very good - the narrator is acceptable (his accents are frequently a bit below par), and I have been quite happy with the time spent listening.

  • United States of Apocalypse

  • By: Mark Tufo, Armand Rosamilia
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette, Julia Whelan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,444
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,435

When World War 3 erupts on American soil, it is up to some less than likely heroes to band together and stand tall against any and all comers as a once proud nation is brought to her knees. Cowardly terrorist attacks and indifferent global communities have isolated America as she spirals into a desperate bid for survival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wait, No Zombies? What the....?

  • By Mel the no where chick on 05-07-16

Probably For Niche Fans Only

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

Reviewed: 05-13-16

What disappointed you about United States of Apocalypse?

This was my first Tufo or Rosamilia book. Normally, I'm a Vince Flynn / Mark Greaney / Ben Coes fan. I guess since Tufo/Rosamilia usually write about zombies, there is less of an expectation of any sense of reality.

However this book isn't about zombies. (But zombies are mentioned a dozen or so times, I imagine as a shout-out to their usual fans.) This book is about a military action against the United States, that is carried out by a nation that can barely keep the lights on at night. (But politically safe, of course.)

Nuke after nuke is detonated in the U.S. Including one that sets off the super volcano in Yellow Stone.

Thanks, but if you're going to go FULL "zero realism", maybe sticking with zombie fiction is the best course. Nothing wrong with that. My Blue Ray collection is full of zombie flicks that I love.

What was most disappointing about Mark Tufo and Armand Rosamilia ’s story?

In addition to the above, the dialog between Mike and Lawrence was painfully cliche. I found nothing at all witty or clever about it. Half the time they were talking, I could pre-speak one reply or the other, with 80% accuracy. Sean's reading of the dialog did not help any.


How could the performance have been better?

Sean's characters sounded nearly identical. Without the "Mike said" or "whoever said", it was nearly impossible to tell which character was supposedly speaking. His very odd inflections of speech made the dialog even worse.

Julia told the story of Darlene. Let me say this, her normal reading voice is like cool, smokey, satin. Very, very pleasing to the ear. I could probably listen to her read a business ledger. Her male characterizations though, were less pleasing. However, she did a superior job to Sean.

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

Meh. The story ended VERY abruptly - "who shot J.R." style. It's clear that this is just a sequel/series project of the authors, for their fans.

Any additional comments?

When the sequel comes out, I will not be buying it. It's just not interesting enough.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful