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  • The Sam Reilly Collection

  • By: Christopher Cartwright
  • Narrated by: David Gilmore
  • Length: 26 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

Three best-selling novels starring marine biologist Sam Reilly by master of action and adventure Christopher Cartwright is presented in this thrilling audio collection. Listen to the exciting adventures in The Last Airship, The Mahogany Ship, and Atlantis Stolen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very good collection.

  • By cosmitron on 06-08-18

A Trilogy of Sam Reilly Action Series

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

This book combines the three Sam Reilly novels by Christopher Cartwright into one big file.
I had already listened to the first two and provided reviews for those, so I won't rehash the whole reviews here.

Christopher Cartwright's series is like a modern day Indiana Jones and also in the vein of Clive Cussler.
Sam Reilly is a wealthy marine biologist and his father is even more wealthy. In book 1, Sam finds a clue to a legendary airship that fled Nazi Germany in 1939 carrying a group of wealthy Jewish passengers including a scientist who had developed a deadly virus for Hitler, but could not go through with giving it to him. The ship disappeared and no one has any idea what happened to it. Sam finds himself fighting to stop a group that also wants to find the ship with the goal of getting that virus.
Next Sam is hired by a wealthy man who runs mining operations all over the world. A clue is discovered to a ship that disappeared in the 1500's, with a lot of gold and a mysterious scepter that can give the bearer unlimited power if used properly. Sam learns he has been tricked by the man who hired him and must stop him from carrying out his master plan.
Finally, Sam's long time female friend, Billie, has discovered clues to the location of Atlantis. She has also learned that Atlantis has some kind of machine that has been used at various times in history to wipe out everything on Earth and start anew. And it is going to go off again in about 6 weeks. Two other men are after the secret of Atlantis as well, so Sam and Billie go in different directions to find the pieces of the Atlantis code that were separated millenia ago to keep someone from getting the entire code.
Overall, these are exciting adventures full of Bondian villians, and all the elements of typical adventure stories. Sam is a complex character and we find out more about him in each book, along with his friends and cohorts, Billie and Tom, and his sometime girlfriend Aliana.
The narrator is, in a word, awful. David Gilmore delivers his narration like the narrator of 50s and 60s government educational films shown in schools. Worse are the voices for the characters and the quirky delivery of lines that make everything sound like Father Knows Best, Everythings Fine, Just Fine even in the direst of situations.
Once getting used to this narration, I was able to focus on the story more and could figure out in my head how the lines should have been said to deliver the proper meanings. Cartwright's words are better than Gilmore's narration!
Overall, I enjoyed the series and look forward to more from Cartwright.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

  • The Last Airship

  • Sam Reilly, Book 1
  • By: Christopher Cartwright
  • Narrated by: David Gilmore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

In 1939, a secret airship departed Nazi Germany in the dark of night filled with some of the most influential people of its time. Its cargo: a complement of rich Jewish families carrying their most valuable possessions. One such item among them was as dangerous as it was priceless. The airship never reached its destination. In 2015, Sam Reilly, a marine biologist and wealthy son of shipping mogul James Reilly, discovers a missing clue about the lost airship, and what follows is a violent treasure hunt.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Action.history,mystery,adventure you have it all.

  • By cosmitron on 05-12-18

A Quest to Find a Missing Piece of History

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Christopher Cartwright creates a modern day Indiana Jones called Sam Reilly. Reilly is the son of a wealthy man. A marine biologist by trade, he is wealthy in his own right. A clue leads Sam to search for a lost Zeppelin that fled Germany in 1939 and disappeared. The passengers were Jewish German citizens fleeing for their lives from the Nazis. On board were a wealthy couple with all their gold and jewels, and a man with a secret. He had created a deadly virus that could kill about 80% of the population. Hitler wanted this virus very badly, but the scientist could not let him have it.
Sam's search collides with a group searching for the virus. Along the way, he meets a beautiful woman named Aliana. Little does he know that their meeting was not by chance. She was sent by her father to stop Sam at all costs, but finds herself falling for Sam, and Sam for her. Together they find the ship and discover it's secret. Now they are in a rush to stop the rivals from getting their hands on the deadly virus.
Cartwright's writing is good and the characters are well developed. I can't say much good about the narrator, David Gilmore.
Gilmore has the delivery of an old time radio announcer or narrator of those government "educational films" seen in schools in the 50s and 60s. He has a limited range of voices, so many characters sound the same, or even start with one voice, only to have a different voice later, because he is using the original voice for someone else. He also has a tendency to make the lines sound like Father Knows Best, with a "Fine, everything's just fine" delivery even in dire situations.

Ignore Gilmore and pay attention to the writing and you can enjoy this series.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

  • Time Is Irreverent

  • By: Marty Essen
  • Narrated by: Michael Fell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 32

What if you could make a change to history that would eliminate the Spanish Inquisition, American slavery, World War II, global warming, and an egomaniacal US president who thought he was smart enough to drop nuclear bombs here and there without negative consequences? What if that change also made the United States and five billion people poof from existence? Would you do it? 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun Science Fiction Adventure.

  • By cosmitron on 06-07-18

An Absolute Blast to Change the Course of History

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Marty Mann is an average guy in 2020 in a world ruled by a crazy president and is being taken over by the Christian Right. Sound familiar? A group of aliens has been watching Earth and come to the conclusion that something in history went terribly wrong and needs to be fixed. They beam Marty aboard and offer him the chance to change things by going back in time to AD 33 to make sure that Jesus' message is not corrupted in the future by a greedy church and people mistaking Jesus intentions for hatred of others not like them.

Marty agrees, but the a jealous alien sends him to the future instead, where he rescues a lesbian from her evangelical extremist family. She returns to the ship with Marty to make another attempt to save humanity.

Irreverent, crazy and lots of fun. Everything that can go wrong does. Essen's humor is sprinkled throughout the book as well as commentary on what is going on in America right now. I for one would go crazy if I couldn't find some humor and laugh daily at the craziness going on daily in our country over the last two years.

Michael Fell was a good narrator for this, letting the humor through, but knowing when to pull back in the more serious situations.

I look forward to reading/listening to more of Marty Essen's books!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Waypoint

  • A Game of Drones
  • By: C. F. WALLER
  • Narrated by: J. Scott Bennett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 49

Stacy’s life is in free fall. She finds herself clutching a handgun, searching for a sign that tomorrow will be any better than today. Her cell phone rings, bringing an offer that may postpone her soul searching. The discovery of an airplane graveyard containing a dozen commercial airliners is shocking. When the salvage camera reveals them to be virtually undamaged under in the Indian Ocean, theories abound. Who put them there? How are they still in one piece? What reason could there be? Stacy is about to learn the answers to those questions, as well things she’d prefer to forget.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A book of action, adventure, mystery, and Tech...

  • By Quella on 05-02-18

A Chilling Look at AI gone wrong

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Stacy is at the end of her rope. Her husband and daughter are dead, she has nothing to live for. She is about to end it all when her cell phone rings. Suddenly she is thrust into an unknown world where she becomes the key to stopping a rogue AI drone playing war games for real.

A little long, but overall a great book with good narration by J. Scott Bennett. Most of the characters are well developed and given much depth as the story goes on as Stacy (now known as Lydia) enters a world she has never known and has to learn quickly to prevent further death and destruction. Her fish out of water story intersects with others whose lives have grown stagnant and now they all must use their brains to outwit a killing machine.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In Absentia

  • Black Acres, Book 1
  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 2 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 99

There's No Place Like Home. Kim and Julian Taylor are in the market for their first home, and a visit to the secluded Beacon estate finds them enamored. It's a peculiar home, rather large and in need of some renovations. The price is right however, and after a tour, they snap the house up without hesitation. The man who sells them the house has one last detail to share before they sign on the dotted line. The previous owners of the home disappeared under mysterious circumstances nearly eight years ago and have recently been declared dead in absentia. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Quick but creepy read!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 05-11-18

They're Still Here!

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

This begins a new series by Ambrose Ibsen, so this is a short one with a cliffhanger ending....definitely makes you want to come back for more.

A couple buys an old house that is in need of some renovations. The realtor warns them that the last family to live there all disappeared 8 years ago. The couple is undeterred and goes ahead with the purchase. They find some papers that may be clues to what happened to the family. They also find that they are not alone...

Joe Hempel is fantastic with Ambrose Ibsen's stories, and this one is no exception. Despite the shortness of this book, it is Ibsen at his creepy best and Joe Hempel giving life to the everyday characters.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Sweet Thing

  • Pretty Boy
  • By: Isobel Starling
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

French male model Simeon Duchamp has a lot of explaining to do. Two years after a breakdown, Simeon is off drugs and booze and wants to stay that way. On his road to reclaiming his life and modeling career, Sim first needs to apologize to the man he hurt the most - his ex-best friend and object of his unrequited affection Pieter Bayer. Pieter now has a long-term partner, artist Emily Raven, with whom he shares a baby son. Sim is amazed when Pieter accepts his apology, and invites him into his family.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great narration really adds to the story.

  • By DPiazzi on 05-02-18

Can two broken souls become one?

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

Simeon is a French model who has fallen into the world of drugs and booze. After a long stint in rehab, Simeon is determined to get his life back on track and stay sober. One thing he must do is apologize to his former best friend and unrequited love, Pieter. Pieter accepts the apology and their friendship is rekindled, but so is Simeon's love. But Pieter is straight. Finally, Simeon meets an older man named Bastian who lost the love of his life and is also a broken man. After a rough start, they become friends and Simeon decides to help Bastian heal, which will also bring some change to his own life. They become lovers, but Bastian's problems come close to destroying what they have.

Isobel Starling develops deeply flawed characters who are basically good people trying to climb their way out of despair. Gary Furlong is a fantastic narrator whom Starling has used for other books. He can do many accents and voices and breathes life into the characters, making them real people.

If you love M/M and lots of feels, definitely give this one a listen.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Midnight in a Perfect World

  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 141

A mysterious suicide. Horrific specters walking the streets. A drug that promises to change the world. An apocalyptic cult. Something is stirring in the city of Duluth, Minnesota. Ever since a celebrated researcher announced the creation of a new experimental drug - a drug with the potential to cure the mind of countless ills - people have been disappearing. When a grad student involved with the drug's development unexpectedly commits suicide, a private detective is tasked with unearthing the details of her tumultuous final days. This miracle drug may not be what it seems.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Have to be into it to be into it..

  • By Matthew on 04-29-18

Don't take something if you don't know what it is!

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

A researcher announces the development of a drug that will change the world. Then he disappears. Others begin disappearing or committing suicide, bringing a detective into investigate. One of the researchers assistants needs money and steals some of the drug, which gets passed on to more people. Anyone who takes it falls into a nightmare world and find the unspeakable horrors that await mankind.

Another truly creepy entry from Ambrose Ibsen, a master of this type of horror. Joe Hempel narrates with depth to the characters and the situations, he is also becoming a master of this genre and of Ibsen's work.

If you enjoy horror, put your headphones on and get lost in a nightmarish world!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Death by Disputation

  • The Francis Bacon Mystery Series, Book 2
  • By: Anna Castle
  • Narrated by: Joel Froomkin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Thomas Clarady is recruited to spy on a group of radical Puritans at Cambridge University. Francis Bacon is his spymaster; his tutor in both tradecraft and religious politics. Their commission gets off to a deadly start when Tom finds his chief informant hanging from the roof beams. Now he must catch a murderer as well as a seditioner. His first suspect is volatile poet Christopher Marlowe, who keeps turning up in the wrong places.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • enjoyable historical fiction.

  • By Terri A. on 04-29-18

Good historical mystery

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

Once again, Thomas Clarady is commissioned by Sir Francis Bacon to do a little spying on radical puritans at Cambridge University. But when Thomas finds his chief informant dead, a whodunnit begins with Thomas being chased by murderers and lusty women.

I still find it odd that these are called the Francis Bacon Mystery Series when Thomas is clearly the main character and Francis Bacon is on the sidelines. However, they are fun mysteries set in the 16th century England, which makes for a totally different environment and situations from today. Anna Castle keeps the action and comedy going at a brisk pace.

And once again narrated by the incomparable Joel Froomkin, giving these characters and the situations much depth and humor.

Can't wait for the next in the series....

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • The Jonathan Shade Series: Books 4-6

  • Anubis Nights, Sunset Specters, Wizard's Nocturne
  • By: Gary Jonas
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

The Jonathan Shade series continues with books 4-6: The Complete Time Travel Trilogy. Includes: Anubis Nights, Sunset Specters, and Wizard's Nocturne. From hunting a dead sorcerer in ancient Egypt to the roaring 20s where flappers dance to jazz and secret societies kill each other for magical dominance....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great series continues.

  • By cosmitron on 04-12-18

This series gets better and better

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

I love Jonathan Shade! These books are full of humor, crazy characters and just tons of fun. These three books are a trilogy that must be listened to in order. Book 1 begins a time travel journey for Jonathan, Kelly, Brand, Rayna and Esther are sent to three different time periods in the past by Sharon to stop a man named Henry Winslow from becoming a powerful wizard who will destroy everything. Henry has escaped from Hell, splitting himself into 3 and going to these different time periods to gather artifacts that will help him become immortal. The first is found in ancient Egypt days before the death of King Tut. Jonathan and Kelly arrive a few days before Henry does and become friends with King Tut and his wife/sister (and hey, it's not even Kentucky!) Ankhesenamun. Henry arrives and seems to be a really nice guy. But is he?

In book five, Jonathan and Kelly are hurled from Ancient Egypt to the 1870's, where Brand has been possessed by the ghost of a witch's dead lover. Adding to the story, Douglas Freeman, a black man, has come to town to kill the men who raped and murdered his wife and daughter. Their ghosts are with him, as well as a couple of the men from the gang whom Douglas has already killed. Jonathan learns that Henry Winslow's mother is still pregnant with him and Henry needs to get energy from both of his parents. But Jonathan kills Henry's father, cutting off part of the energy that Winslow needs. For revenge, Henry kills Kelly Chan, who is now Jonathan's girlfriend. This leaves Jonathan stranded in the 1870's.

In book six, Rayna arrives and meets Henry's adopted father - Jonathan! Jonathan is now an old man having lived in the past since the 1870's. He helped raise Henry, who sees Jonathan like a father. Jonathan has used a fake name all these years. Suddenly a young Jonathan and Kelly arrive from the future. We also learn that in the original timeline, Jonathan was sent back several years too early and fell in love with Esther, who later kills herself when Jonathan is sent back to the future.

Confused? Listen to these great stories and you won't be. Cutting them down to a synopsis is difficult without giving too much away. Gary Jonas has created likeable characters and crazy intriguing adventurous situations that are highly enjoyable.

And Joe Hempel? He IS Jonathan Shade!

  • Cyclops Road

  • By: Jeff Strand
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

Evan Portin is at a sad, scary place in his life. While taking a long walk to compose himself and figure out where to go from here, he encounters a young woman being mugged in a park. When he tries to intervene, he discovers that she doesn't need his help. At all. Her name is Harriett. She is very, very good at defending herself. Everything she owns is in a large backpack. She's never seen a cell phone. She's never been in a car. She's never really ventured into the outside world. And she says she's traveling across the country to slay a Cyclops. She's crazy, right?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • AMAZING!!!!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 04-11-17

Fun Road Story

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

Jeff Strand's Cyclops Road is a fun adventure road movie. Evan is walking and comes across a young woman being mugged. He tries to help, but she doesn't need any help - she kicks ass! He offers Harriet a ride home and she tells him that she is on a journey to kill a Cyclops. He thinks she's nuts, but goes along with it. He was only going to take her a short distance, but he is intrigued and ends up going on the road with her. Along the way, Harriet gets flashes of information about certain people that are supposed to be on the journey with them. They pick up 3 more people, some expecting it, some not.

Harriet has been kept in a sort of bubble all her life by her parents and does not know much about the world. A lot of what she says sounds ridiculous, but it's kind of like she is an alien or a time traveler from the past. The journey puts them in some very awkward situations, but the story and the dialogue is irreverent and fun.

Add Joe Hempel as the narrator to the mix and you've got a great listen that kept me laughing. This is one worth a repeat!