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Tatiana

Anchorage, Alaska
  • 104
  • reviews
  • 1,503
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  • 165
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  • The Haunted Forest Tour

  • By: Jeff Strand, James A. Moore
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 232
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 219

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Haunted Forest Tour! Sit back, and enjoy a smooth ride in air-conditioned comfort as your heavily armored tram takes you through nature's most astonishing creation. The forest is packed to capacity with dangerous and terrifying creatures of all shapes, sizes, and hunger levels, and you'll get to observe these wonders in complete safety.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW, just WOW. Great book!!!!

  • By Jason on 09-07-18

Right up my alley, but . . .

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

I know I will take a beating for this, but I don't feel like this was one of Strand's best. I usually love his books, but this one was disappointing for a number of reasons. The narration by Joe Hempel was fantastic as usual, but story wise, for me it was too much too soon. There was no suspense and no build up because everything just hit the fan right off the bat. We hardly even knew the characters before people started getting killed off in mass quantities. It was like, oh, someone else is being eaten by a monster two seconds after the last guy? Okay. In other words, no tension at all.

Character development was also comparatively bland by Strand's usual standards. There were a lot of characters here (which is good given the rate they die), but I didn't feel connected to most of them. Maybe that was intentional, to ease the disappointment at losing them? If so, I would call that part a failed experiment, because it didn't work for me.

All in all, this felt a bit like one of those late night black and white monster movies, except with 10,000 different monsters instead of one, and on speed. I guess I would still recommend you listen to it, as long as you don't expect much.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Eldren: The Book of the Dark

  • By: William Meikle
  • Narrated by: Chris Barnes
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Two boys in the west of Scotland awaken an ancient vampire. And the only way to stop it is in the power of a book - a bible detailing the dark religion of the Eldren. But time is running out, and the sun is getting low.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good read.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 09-05-18

Wonderful story and narration

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

Reviewed: 09-07-18

This was a great vampire story, made all the better by the fantastic narration of Chris Barnes. I cannot get enough of listening to that man speak. Hugely enjoyable!

I received a promotional copy of this book for free at my request, but this review is totally voluntary.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Nightflyers

  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Adenrele Ojo
  • Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 84

When a scientific expedition is launched to study a mysterious alien race, the only ship available is the Nightflyer, a fully autonomous vessel manned by a single human. But Captain Royd Eris remains locked away, interacting with his passengers only as a disembodied voice - or a projected hologram no more substantial than a ghost. Yet that’s not the only reason the ship seems haunted. The team’s telepath, Thale Lasamer, senses another presence aboard the Nightflyer - something dangerous, volatile, and alien.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I expected

  • By Tatiana on 08-29-18

Not what I expected

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

Reviewed: 08-29-18

I will probably take a beating for this, but in all honesty I found this book very underwhelming. I knew it was an old novella of Martin's from back in his heavy sci-fi days, but I had never heard it before and this recording is new. I was waiting for it to come out and was really excited about it, and as soon as it was released I put my other book on hold and started listening to this right away.

Given the synopsis and the introduction, I was expecting a dark, sci-fi horror tale, with tones of Alien and maybe Event Horizon. I think the summary compared it to both Alien and the Shining. So I visualized the vast emptiness of space, strange things happening while not knowing who to trust, and a sense of some madness lurking just beneath the surface. This, I imagined, would be brought to perfect life by George R.R. Martin's signature grim mood and expert plotting.

But it wasn't like that. The mood was not dark, for one thing. It was much more like a classic 1970s space opera, which, to be fair, is sort of what it is. This recording is new, but it was originally published in 1980. There is a lot about sex--which was used as a verb, oddly, as in "she sexed only once, with so-and-so" and "they sexed often, but not with each other." Not that it matters whether the author wants to use words stylistically to convey a future society different than our own, perhaps, but I think in this case it illustrates the mood prevalent in this story. People are going around sleeping with everyone on the ship, it seems. It's fine if that's your thing, but again, it just really isn't the mood I think was advertised.

Also, I have to say that the plotting fell short for me. A full hour in, and I still didn't feel particularly involved in the story. When you account for the introduction (which also built up the horror aspect and left me expecting something that never came), that's almost 25 percent. Even once things started to happen, I still don't think there was much of a payoff for the time invested.

I'm not sure, but maybe this would have been better with another narrator. Ms. Ojo is very talented to be sure, and I have loved listening to her other works, but I think maybe her style is not particularly suited to cosmic horror, if that's what this was. I also question some of the accent choices she made. One particular character had a heavy African accent and spent a lot of time explaining the history and belief systems of alien races in long, complex terms, and the accent made him all but unintelligible. He started talking about the cosmological system of some guys who *might* have been called the Nortaluush (please don't quote me; this is almost certainly wrong), and I had to rewind at least twice.

All in all, I would advise you to not get your hopes up with this one. If you love Martin, then I know you will go ahead and get it no matter what I say, but try to manage your expectations. If you go into it expecting the same things I did, you will be disappointed.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • The Tiger and the Wolf

  • Echoes of the Fall, Book 1
  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Kyla Garcia
  • Length: 22 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 100

Maniye's father is the Wolf clan's chieftain, but she's an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger, and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan's animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She refuses to disown half her soul so escapes, rescuing a prisoner of the Wolf clan in the process. The killer Broken Axe is set on their trail, to drag them back for retribution.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By Cheryl on 04-24-18

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

I pre-ordered this title and was very excited to listen to it, but I could found it very boring and could not get into it at all. I loved Children of Time. I guess Tchaikovsky is hit or miss for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 4,537
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,257
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,252

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

Superhero vs. Villain Beurocracy

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

I avoided looking at this book for a long time because I imagined I wouldn't care for it since it was about superheroes and villains, which I don't have any particular interest in. I love other types of fantasy, but this particular genre has just never held much appeal for me.

During the recent sale, however, I relented--mostly due to the glowing reviews. I also thought the sample sounded pretty interesting, and as I listened to more, I found the next hour or so pretty interesting.

After that, though, I realized I should have gone with my first instinct. Only in the end it wasn't the superhero theme I didn't like, but the main character. She is supposed to be some sort of genius rebel, but I found her to be a whiny, annoying smart aleck. She has a snide comeback for everything. And she's not that bright.

I also grew quickly annoyed with the structure of the "meta-human" underworld, which is a supernatural version of a corporate bureaucracy. Meetings, ranks, regulations, who gets what job, how to undercut their opponents (the capes against the villains and vice versa), and even a slew of paperwork. On top of that, half the book is about the two major characters blending in at their day jobs, which is a REAL corporate bureaucracy. Ugh, I can't take it.

I really did try to like this, but I am going to have to quit in the middle and move on to other books.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Currency of Souls

  • By: Kealan Patrick Burke
  • Narrated by: Rich Miller
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19

Welcome to Eddie's Tavern, the only functioning waterhole in a near-dead town. Among the people you'll meet tonight are: Tom, Milestone's haunted lawman, who walks in the shadow of death; Gracie, the barmaid, a wannabe actress, doomed to spend her hours tending bar in a purgatory of her father's making; Flo, the town seductress, who may or may not have murdered her husband; Cobb, a nudist awaiting an apology from the commune who cast him out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WHOA! NOW THAT'S INTERESTING!

  • By Victoria Haugen on 08-19-18

Loses Steam

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

This book drew me right in from the beginning, but as others have also noted, the story took an off turn after that. I like books that start strong, but it takes real talent and planning to keep the momentum going all to the end. This author certainly has talent, but unfortunately in this case he didn't quite hit the mark.

The narration was good, and fit the story very well.

I received this book for free at my request from the author, publisher or narrator, but this review is totally voluntary.

5 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Awakened

  • A Novel
  • By: James S. Murray, Darren Wearmouth
  • Narrated by: James S. Murray
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 180

The star of truTV’s hit show Impractical Jokers - alongside veteran sci-fi and horror writer Darren Wearmouth - delivers a chilling and wickedly fun supernatural novel in the vein of The Strain, in which a beautiful new subway line in New York City unearths an ancient dark horror that threatens the city’s utter destruction and the balance of civilization itself.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but narrator talks really fast

  • By Tatiana on 08-11-18

Good, but narrator talks really fast

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

This is a great story, but the author/narrator talks too fast sometimes. I get the feeling he is is trying to set a suspenseful mood for very tense scenes, but he doesn't realize that since readers don't yet know the story as well as he does as the author, those parts can be a little hard to follow. It also makes things sound a bit manic at times. He has a very nice narrating voice, but the speed detracted somewhat from the experience for me.

Of course, if you routinely listen to books on higher speeds, then I think this will be perfectly fine for you.

I will read the next one by this author--and maybe even listen to it--but I hope he slows down.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Bad Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Dathan Auerbach
  • Narrated by: Lincoln Hoppe
  • Length: 16 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 300

Eric disappeared when he was three years old. Ben looked away for only a second at the grocery store, but that was all it took. His brother was gone. Vanished right into the sticky air of the Florida Panhandle. They say you've got only a couple days to find a missing person. Forty-eight hours to conduct searches, knock on doors, and talk to witnesses. Two days to tear the world apart if there's any chance of putting yours back together. That's your window. That window closed five years ago, leaving Ben's life in ruins.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Given long enough, time makes you aware of itself.

  • By Tatiana on 08-08-18

Given long enough, time makes you aware of itself.

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

This is one of the most thoughtful and compelling novels of its genre I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. It did not, as I have seen some professional critics promise, remind me of early Stephen King. That isn't meant as an insult or a compliment, but just a fact. I love Stephen King, but Mr. Auerbach has a unique voice. The book is based in rural Florida in the panhandle, and uses the local accent for the dialogue. I'm originally from Florida and have heard that accent quite a lot on visits to that area, and the narrator does it perfectly.

The story is authentic and suspenseful, with a contemplative element to the prose. It's not just a sequence-of-events type of story. The author wants you to think about the characters, and about life. You feel it. There is a dark mood which is set incrementally by the paragraph, until it seeps into you, as a sort of resigned expectation of impending doom. Whether you have read the synopsis or not, by the end of the first few minutes you know something bad is going to happen. Sometimes throughout the book this mood eases up a bit, but after a while it is back, as strong as ever.

From the beginning, this story makes you think about the more regretful aspects of the human condition, and how we relate to others who are in pain or crisis. For instance, how often do we *really* look at the pictures of missing children on the grocery store bulletin board? How often do we allow ourselves to grasp, when we do see such a picture, the enormity of what it means to actually LOSE a child, and that the people who love that smiling little boy or girl on the board are probably living in constant torment? There are things that are easier to not be fully aware of, perhaps. This book makes you aware. If you have children, it will remind you to be vigilant about their safety.

I don't want to ruin it, so that's all I'll say. But this was a great listen.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie

  • By: Harold Schechter
  • Narrated by: Steven Weber
  • Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 512
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 426
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 427

At a remote little inn not far from the Kansas homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder lived the Bender family. These pioneers welcomed unwary visitors with jackrabbit stew and a sledgehammer to the skull. In time, their apple orchard gave up its secrets - a burial ground for their mutilated victims, each stripped of their possessions. The devilish enterprise on “Hell’s Half-Acre” would earn the Bloody Benders an undying place in the annals of American infamy. But it was the mysterious fate of eldest daughter, Kate, that would make them the stuff of mythic campfire prairie tales.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Detailed retelling of horrific events

  • By Tatiana on 08-07-18

Detailed retelling of horrific events

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

The subject matter of this book interested me, but when I saw that Steven Weber had narrated it, I knew I had to listen. It was excellently done. The details of what was done by this psychopathic family are presently in full and with sensitivity, even though many years now separate us from the brutality of their acts. I only wish they had been caught so they could have been made to answer for their crimes.

I have been to the area where these events took place, however, and people there are certain the Benders did not escape justice. The common belief is that they were caught by vigilantes who took care of the matter themselves. I hope this is true.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Deadlocked Dollhouse

  • Locked House Hauntings, Book 1
  • By: Mixi J Applebottom
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

Mark's always been a bit insecure as a father; his own childhood sucked. He's been terrified he will ruin his perfect daughters. So he buys them presents and hopes he won't screw them up. They certainly won't forget this dollhouse. He doesn't know how to stop it, and all he wanted to do was be a good father. He was worried they'd grow up to hate him; now he's worried they won't grow up at all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Watch out for this doll house . . .

  • By Tatiana on 08-01-18

Watch out for this doll house . . .

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

This was great! I loved both the story and the narration. I've never read anything by Mixi Applebottom before, but will certainly be checking out her other work. Oddly, having a haunted dollhouse is something my son and I have been joking about for a couple of years, so I was really happy to see the theme actually done. It did not disappoint.

The narration by Joe Hempel was flawless, as usual. He can make a mediocre book of this genre into a five star listen. This time, though, the story was good in its own right.

I received a promotional copy of this book for free at my request, but this review is totally voluntary.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful