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Brian Douglas

The 1st Rule of Audible is: You don't trust the over-inflated ratings... The 2nd rule of Audible is...
  • 27
  • reviews
  • 78
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • Split the Party

  • Spells, Swords, & Stealth Series #2
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,490
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,217

Fleeing from a vengeful king has sent the former NPCs across Solium's borders, into the kingdom of Alcatham. As wanted fugitives, they head to the small farming village of Briarwillow, hoping to blend in, lay low, and avoid trouble at all costs. Unfortunately, Briarwillow has problems all its own, and its troubles quickly become theirs. If they hope to survive long enough to escape, they'll have to tackle an all-but-forgotten mystery buried at the town's border as well as seek the wisdom of a mysterious group of mages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great follow up!

  • By M. D. Baines on 05-13-16

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 10-14-18

The Good: The NPC's continue their adventure and begin to feel out their roles and no longer pretend to be adventurers. Splitting the party allows for a lot of side stories.

The Bad: There are too many stories going on over a very short span of time. Compare the 11 hours of this story to Drew Hayes Superpowered's 30+ hours. Side stories come across rushed without being properly fleshed out. Grumph; wanting to become a proper wizard decides to leave this book and instead head over to Hogwarts. There he finds a brotherhood of wizards, though being able to rule the world easily by the magic they toss around, are instead more concerned that their never emptying buffet bar may have a long line. Since Grumph was in Hogwarts he decided to have his trial by magic at the Quidditch stadium where the houses of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw hoot their approval. I suppose Slytherin chose not to participate. Perhaps it was the Half-Orc thing... Lucky for Grumph and Gabrielle they just so happen to stumble into Fritzz MacGuffin and her magical American Express card. Yeah... NPC's had a lot of atrocities against the innocent and the not so innocent alike. Split the Party... only the bad guys die. I guess Disney published this book as they had to have a happy ending for all. In the RPG's I played the Undead never came back to life. Well, at least they didn't sing...

Overall: I liked the Paladin angle and the restrictions that came into play due to that. The GM exploring and documenting the odd things was also interesting. I always imagined a guild of Wizards to be more like Unseen University than Hogwarts, but that is me. I don't get the same feel from this as did with NPC's. I don't get the same vibe of the game playing the game this time around. Overall rating: 2 Broken Axes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • NPCs

  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,941
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,397
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,388

What happens when the haggling is done and the shops are closed? When the quest has been given, the steeds saddled, and the adventurers are off to their next encounter? They keep the world running, the food cooked, and the horses shoed, yet what adventurer has ever spared a thought or concern for the Non-Player Characters? In the town of Maplebark, four such NPCs settle in for a night of actively ignoring the adventurers drinking in the tavern when things go quickly and fatally awry.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable if you manage your expectations

  • By Miachi on 01-23-15

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

The Good: This is Toy Story but for RPG players so if you ever played you will enjoy this. What happens when a campaign want's to be completed but the RPG'ers drop the ball? NPC's to the rescue! What happens when the RPG world decides it has had enough? Critical failures ensue!

The Bad: If you never played a Role Playing Game most of the intrinsic humor may fly over your head. This is a story for a very narrow audience.

Overall: If you never been a GM/DM you don't realize the frustration of dealing with players. Besides the personality types (which can actually make it more entertaining) derailing the campaign, the group as a whole may find the one single path through the dungeon/map/maze thus avoiding the area's that you spend days and days preparing. You create a huge world to be explored and all they do is skirt the edges... From a non-RPG background the story is still entertaining. The characters are well fleshed out, and the voice work is decent. But, if you ever played you will get added enjoyment that will bring back good (and not so good) memories. Overall rating: 4 Red Glowing Gems.

  • Forging Hephaestus

  • Villains' Code Series, Book 1
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 26 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,687
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,399
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,394

Gifted with meta-human powers, Tori Rivas kept away from the limelight, preferring to work as a thief in the shadows. But when she's captured trying to rob a vault that belongs to a secret guild of villains, she's offered a hard choice: prove she has what it takes to join them or be eliminated. Apprenticed to one of the world's most powerful (and supposedly dead) villains, she is thrust into a strange world where the lines that divide superheroes and criminals are more complex than they seem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Nice Surprise with some Really Fun Characters

  • By Small Mountain on 09-29-17

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

The Good: Interesting to see the other side of the coin in a world of Super's.

The Bad: Characters are paper thin. I had no invested interest in the main character; and the people she encountered were far more interesting and probably a better choice for story development. Amy Landon has a few great voices, but a lot of not so great... In a world of hero's and villains you expect a more dynamic voice to resonate. Instead they come across more milk toast and droning. In the Superpowered's series the hours just flew by, but with this series I struggled to stay awake. The story didn't become remotely interesting until 11 hours which makes it hard to finish. Also, the logic of the story doesn't hold up too well. "Join our criminal organization or die" and "fail a test and die" and finally " break our rules and... you know...". Where do I sign up? <-- 'sarcasm'. This is the weakest of Drew Hayes series.

Overall: I like Drew's series. I really do, and if this book put some money in his pocket then I'm fine with it. Unfortunately this one lacks the character development and believable character choices which his work is known for. I bought this on sale for $5 so there's that. Overall rating: 2 Meh's.

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,725
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,098

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Standard Clines. Fun and forgettable

  • By Debra on 10-07-17

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-31-18

The Good: Ray Porter does a very good reading of the material and brings the characters to life. Harry... has a nice hat.

The Bad: Ray Porter has limited voices. At first I didn't understand why Veek was driving a Model -T. Either you get that or you don't... Also, at times it feels like Peter Clines is only white washing characters from his other books (well, lets be honest and just say from 14) and slapping new names on them. In another review I praised Peter on his collection of short stories for not publishing a novel off a thin premise (short stories are just fine). Paradox Bound is a good example of stretching a thin premise to the extreme. Parts of it was awkward and uncomfortable to experience; like a colonoscopy where you are awake and the doctor is not only describing every twist and turn of the industrial rotor-rutor he is using, but also trying to have a friendly conversation at the same time. Ouch. It came across like a bad after school special on history via a time traveling car (come learn with me kiddies!). He also seemed to have borrowed from other stories as well, such as, I was expecting Agent Smith to start chasing them at any moment and calling Eli "Mr Anderson" but I digress (and so does Peter).

Overall: I think this became a pet project of Peter Clines and he and his review team were to emotionally invested. It's not bad, but then again, it's not very good. I bought it on sale for $4.95 which I consider to be fair, though you should never pay full price or waste a credit on it. I have faith that we have not seen the best of Peter Clines yet and will continue to listen to future books.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Ubik

  • By: Philip K. Dick
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,311
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,311

Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business - deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in "half-life," a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter's face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great performance of an SF classic

  • By Steve on 07-10-16

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

The Good: It's a complex story (understatement). Constant changing parameters makes it a rapid tumble down the rabbit hole. Great voice work makes it easy to keep the characters separate. The Author intended you to feel lost as you are tossed into this story.

The Bad: It's a complex story (understatement). Since it is presented in audio format you don't have the immediate option to perform a rubber neck and review what you just heard. You really need to either have already read the book, or listen to this audio book at least twice in order to grasp what is happening. If this was presented visually (TV/Movie) it would be easier to see transitions in perception/reality. A chime or a Déjà vu cat as seen in the Matrix would help most people to be aware that something had changed.

The Overall: I listened to it twice. I'm sure I may have dropped a stitch along the way so I'll listen for a third. The fact that Philip K. Dick was able to write a very complicated non-visual concept speaks volumes to his skill as an author. It's not wrapped up in a pretty bow (the ending) but it allows for the reader/listener to draw their own conclusion; and making a person think is always a good thing. I liked it.

  • Dead Men Can't Complain and Other Stories

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister, Ray Porter
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,235
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,227

Including three never-before-published stories, Dead Men Don't Complain is the first-ever collection of short fiction by Peter Clines, author of 14, The Fold, and other Audible smash hits. Combining equal parts geekery and humor with the occasional dash of horror, Dead Men Don't Complain is ideal for Clines fans eagerly awaiting his next novel - or for brand-new listeners discovering this Audible favorite for the first time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It was over too soon

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-01-17

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

The Good: Nice collection of short stories (premises). Kudos to Peter Clines for leaving these as standalone short stories instead of creating a thin story line novel; really a complement. Reminds me of the Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and Amazing Tales.

The Bad: Not really bad but some of the stories are rehashed Cthulhu stories, but he added his own element to them.

Overall: Happy with purchase. Though not of the same quality of 14 or The Fold, but these stories are entertaining enough as a collection.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alice

  • By: Christina Henry
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,028
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,020

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls that echo the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn't remember why she's in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Weird, yet captivating...

  • By kansas on 02-25-16

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

The Good: Interesting take on a public domain story. Good range on character voices by reader.

The Bad: Since it is based upon Lewis Carroll's work the story degraded once the Author wandered off the template. The showdown with the 'bosses' was very anticlimactic. All that was missing was Glinda the Good Witch to say " You had the Power all along my Dear...". Finally, I guess this may be more of an editing critique vice the reader; but there isn't an option for that. The voice work was good BUT it sounded like Jenny Sterlin was sucking on a cough drop at times. Other times it was like she was eating a tuna sandwich (heavy on the Mayo) open mouthed while reading (smack, schlop, schlip). Along with the occasional gasp for air. A decent filter on the microphone with a wash of the audio in editing would have resolved these sounds.

Overall: It starts out very surreal where you question what is real and what is delusion... then it just sort of plops down in front of you. Story came across rushed when a more detail approach would allow for more introspection. I bought it on sale for around $5 so I feel I got my money worth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • The Newsflesh Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Mira Grant
  • Narrated by: Paula Christensen, Jesse Bernstein
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,875
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,614
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,611

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I laughed, I cried...

  • By susan on 04-07-11

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

The Good: Nice new approach to a zombie outbreak. A lot of people complain that this isn't a standard zombie book, but I think they have become accustomed to being spoon fed the normal dystopian zombie genre. This is more The Walking Dead, but 30 years later with a government back in place. Interesting characters keep your interest and the side line of a blogger adds dimension to the story and not non-stop zombiness.

The Bad: The Author needed a story arc but didn't know how to make it happen, and it showed. Characters are killed off in the most complicated, least cost effective, and reliant on the most abstract circumstances in order to succeed. Think of it as trying to kill someone with a plutonium bullet. First you would need to actually hit someone with it to work, being plutonium makes it a very dangerous - collateral damage item to use, and an extremely overpriced bullet to boot. Too many variables to make the situation believable. The Author was hoping the manipulation of the readers emotions would smooth out these story wrinkles, but the story fell apart in the end.

Overall: Still worth the listen. It nice to read a non-apocalyptic take on the zombie genre. I actually liked the blogger approach. I bought this on sale for $5 and I'm happy with my purchase.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Andromeda Strain

  • By: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: David Morse
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,341
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,882
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,892

The United States government is given a warning by the preeminent biophysicists in the country: current sterilization procedures applied to returning space probes may be inadequate to guarantee uncontaminated re-entry to the atmosphere.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best science + biology fiction book I have read

  • By Ryan Johnson on 07-31-15

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The Good: Though dated, a technology trip down memory lane reveals how far we have progressed in IT. Some reviewers took issue with all the 'numbers' reading, but this was the format for teletype data back in the day. The threat continues to exist today and I have an appreciation for the decontamination and isolation that astronauts endured.

The Bad: As read by Sleepy Grandpa... I actually fell asleep a few times listening to what sounded like old man rambling at times. Perhaps if he was reading about Bad Bart (and the dreaded Night Wranglers) out on the old west it may have been a better fit. It's a simplified story line, but that was the style back then.

Overall: I like it. Could it be better? Sure, but at its essence it is a compelling story. Bought it on sale for $5 so I feel like I got my monies worth.

  • One Second After

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,384
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,409

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Realistic Worst Nightmare

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 03-02-17

The Good, Bad, and Overall...

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

Reviewed: 08-04-18

The Good: Interesting approach on an overlooked threat.

The Bad: Reminds me of the fear factory that is 24 hours news. Linear approach to hardships and obstacles faced during a world changing incident does not allow for alternative options not presented within the story. Lake full of fish - ignored, eat any source of protein - ignore insects, limited resources in a poorly defensible position - stay in place, enforce martial law on others - refuse to give up 'MY' car, have running cars - not apt enough to use them as generators, and the biggest: -use 'MY' morality to dictate your survival. For an Ex-military persona I would expect better survival techniques.

Overall: The author makes reference to Jonestown fanaticism but fails to see his own hypocrisy in his own writing. The story is fine, the writing is apt, but this is mostly earmarked for the Kool-Ade drinkers who are rating this as firewall 5 stars. I bought it for $5.95 (sale) and got my money worth out of the story. Your mileage and/or Flavor-Ade may vary.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful