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  • Wraith Knight

  • By: C. T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

The King Below, Enemy of the World, is dead. Will his successor save the world...or rule it? Jacob Riverson was once the greatest hero of an age. Cut down during what should have been the final battle against the King Below, he was condemned to centuries of torment as a Wraith Knight in the service of said monster. With the destruction of his master, Jacob finds his free will returning and discovers he is in a world torn by civil war between the King Below's former slaves and the heroes who "saved" them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pleasantly Surprised

  • By JPecho on 03-08-19

An epic battle between good and evil

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

This is a story of growth for Jacob and the many twists and turns taken to be true to oneself. An epic battle between good and evil finds an unlikely hero. Jacob was turned into a dark knight for the beast below, until his untimely death brings about Jacob’s freedom centuries later. Now Jacob finds himself in a quandary – does he continue in darkness or can he truly become one of light again? If he can truly silence the “trickster” and focus on helping Serah, a witch, and her sometimes love Regina.

CT Phipps vividly describes the characters and storyline clearly. For me, I found this book very well done. I enjoyed his change in writing style – I enjoy his pop culture references in the Villainy series, but this book demonstrates with clarity his true skill at writing. I found his switch in writing styles to be refreshing.

The storyline was well done and the characters each had depth. I enjoyed (ok, weird I know) the struggle Jacob had in rediscovering himself and making the journey to become good. His struggles were well written, and the dialog also flowed smoothly.

I do not remember ever hearing Peter Berkrot narrate before, but he was good. He has the tone of voice and cadence I think Jacob would have. The drama of the story was easily translated by Berkrot’s performance. His narration performance was well suited and fit this book very well.

I did not encounter any difficulties with the production or quality of this audiobook. I also want to say that this could have easily become one of those books where they could have added music and sounds, thank goodness they did not! The quality of this audiobook was perfect!

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Tournament of Supervillainy

  • The Supervillainy Saga, Book 5
  • By: C.T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 314
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 313

Gary Karkofsky, aka Merciless the supervillain without mercy, is presently the most disliked supervillain in the world. Superheroes don't want to just throw him in jail, they want to deliver an epic beat down for ending their golden age by killing Merciful, the superhero with mercy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary is back! Woo-hoo!

  • By JulieM on 01-29-19

Multiple universes merge heroes and villains

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

C.T. Phipps has taken Merciless (Gary Karkofsky) and dropped him on an Island to fight against superheroes and supervillains from other worlds. Integrating characters from his other books, Jane Doe and Agent G and Cassius Mass, they come together with Merciless to fight in the Primal Fighting Tournament to protect the existence of the multi-universe. Now Gary must determine the reason behind the tournament and what Entropicus, the Space God of Evil, stands to gain. What’s the real reason behind the tournament and what wish should Gary ask for?

I enjoyed the combining of characters from a variety of Phipps books. Phipps masterfully integrated the characters into an interesting and action-packed book. Blending the characters into one story was innovative and exciting. The dialog was well done and realistic.

Jeffrey Kafer’s performance is magnificent! As a narrator, he moves the story along with his voice and enthusiasm. His cadence is perfect and he brings the book to life. Love to hear him perform, he has skills that draw the listener in and keeps them engaged in the story.

There were no issues with the audio quality or production of the book. It was well done, no issues at all.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Open Primary

  • Ameritocracy, Book 1
  • By: A.C. Fuller
  • Narrated by: Annie Ellicott, Jeff Hays
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

After a lifetime of political disillusionment, Mia Rhodes created an alternative to the two-party system: Ameritocracy. Part American Idol, part Iowa Caucus, her online political competition promises to find the most popular independent candidate in America and give them a genuine shot to win the presidency. But her project flounders until Mia catches the eye of eccentric tech billionaire Peter Colton. With Mia's vision and Peter's money, Ameritocracy moves rapidly from punchline to possibility.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No knowledge of US politics needed

  • By Nighteyes on 01-31-19

Hacking for good can go wrong quickly

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

If you are a person who enjoys books filled with political intrigue, computer hacking, election tampering, the pains of starting an online business, and rich billionaires wondering where to spend their money, you will find a great blending of all of these in the recent political thriller from A. C. Fuller. The book is called “Open Primary” and it is the first in a sequence of books to be released in the “Ameritocracy” series. I have previously reviewed Mr. Fullers book called “Anonymous Source” and found “Open Primary” just as well written and enjoyable even though the genre is not one of my favorites. I was both entertained and engaged while listening and continued to wonder how things were going to pan out in the end. The book is masterfully narrated by Annie Ellicott and Jeff Hays from Soundbooth Theatre productions. If you have listened to anything else by this team, you know you are going to get a professional audiobook narration. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it apart from one caveat. The first book ends quite abruptly and at a point where much of the scenario is setup and nothing more. The book never closes up any lose ends and the listener is left having to pick up the next in the series. Today, there are currently three audiobooks available on Audible. I would have preferred some closure or a less unexpected ending than what I was given.

What is the book about? Well, Mia has an idea where she blends a bit of reality TV, politics, and social media in an attempt to select the top independent party member for the upcoming 2020 elections. She is tired of the two-party system always winning the presidential elections and would like to see a person who is from the people, for the people, and selected by the people to be our country’s leader and chief. She creates a small website having a small budget, she only sees a small number of people drawn to her ideals, but she knows there is so much potential in her ideas. Things go from small scale to rapid growth after a wealthy investor puts up a rather large sum of money to both fund their system and pay out the prize money needed for their incumbent. Complicate things even more when the team discovers people have hacked into their system while others have found ways of gaming the system and quickly raising the ranks of individuals. It is similar to digital ballot stuffing which must be stopped. Mia and the team need to correct these loopholes while also keeping the completion fair and honest. Little does she know how hard this task will be.

As with his previous work, A. C. Fuller is able to include a fair amount of mystery and detailed story telling while adding in elements of subtle humor as a means of tension release. I enjoyed how Mia’s new pet was named and I can say that I have a very similar issue with my own. When starting the book, I thought to myself, what could go wrong when you blend elections, social media, reality TV and hacking. Well, the author does an exceptional job of letting us know in this story. I thought the characters were well developed and the scenes well portrayed. There are a few stereotypical characters such as Benjamin the computer nerd, the theologically incorrect reverend, along with a few others. Overall, the characters were enjoyable and kept to their expected behaviors throughout the book. I have been in the information security field for many years, and understand this book is a piece of fiction, but I would have like to have had more realistic hacking and protection than what was portrayed. Maybe a bit more research in this area would have made the book that much more enjoyable for me. Again, there is a fine line to walk as the book is more a political thriller than a book around computer hacking. So, I can give it some leeway on this and just enjoy everything else.

As I stated earlier, the audiobook’s narration is performed by the wonderful team at Soundbooth Theatre productions. I can say that I very much enjoyed both Mrs. Ellicott and Mr. Hays ability to voice the numerous characters. They breathed life and emotion into the characters giving them all quite unique personalities. Let me say that I believe Mrs. Ellicott went out of her way to make this book enjoyable. Her voice seemed to fit what I would have expected from both Mia and her co-worker characters. The audio included a few small sound effects giving the audiobook some ambiance, but it was not overly used. I do not recall any audio artifacts while listening (no swallows, page turns, or garbled sound) which I have come to expect from this team. Bringing together a good story and great narration only makes an audiobook that much more gratifying.

For parents and younger readers, I do not remember there being any vulgar language in the book. If there were, it was not obvious while I listened. I did not make note of it for this review which usually means there was none. There are a few light adult topics and romance, but nothing that was overly done. For the younger political student, I think they will find the audiobook fascinating and the ideas new and fresh. Some of the material covered may be more geared towards older audiences.

In summary the book was worth my time and I can tell the author put a fair amount of research into the politics and concept of such an endeavor. The characters were solid, the locations were vivid, and the story itself was a rollercoaster of ups and downs as we get a glimpse into Mia’s life and activity. What would I have changed? I would have liked to have either been warned that the audiobook was not a stand-alone piece, but that it required one to purchase more than this audiobook to enjoy the whole thing. I’m not against series, but I thought the ending was quite abrupt and not in a place one would expect it. The book was good and solid, just know that you will need to listen to the others to conclude the story.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Wildlife: Reckoning

  • By: Jeff Menapace
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays, Annie Ellicott
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

"The Swamp Massacre." That's what the media dubbed it. A family on a boat tour through the Florida Everglades become abducted by the infamous Roy family and is forced to endure hell. Five years later, an aspiring filmmaker and her friends are keen on making a documentary about the incident and to venture into the isolated wilds of the Everglades in hopes of capturing footage that will stun the world silent. They're going to get their wish.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dark and Creepy But Oh Sooooo Right!

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 02-25-19

Dark and Creepy But Oh Sooooo Right!

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

If you are a person who likes your horror more on the disturbing side of the fence, and you find yourself drawn to movies such as Saw, Friday the 13th, etc., “Wildlife: Reckoning” the latest work published in audiobook format by Jeff Menapace might be just what you are looking for in your next listen. This is only the second work from this author I have both listened and reviewed, and I will say this one is quite dark, rather gruesome, and overly horrific from a story perspective; unlike the first I listened too. Definitely, a work that is outside of my comfort zone or preferred listening genre, but I wanted to give it a listen because the audiobook is exceptionally performed by the wonderful team at Soundbooth Theatre with narrations by both Jeff Hays and Annie Ellicott. This audiobook is actually a continuation, or follow-up, to a previous work call “Wildlife”, yet this story can be listened to as a stand-alone piece as I did. The previous book’s activities are referenced in this one, but it does not require you to have knowledge of it to enjoy this one. If this sounds like your type of books, I would recommend it based on its fluid and descriptive writing along with the superb narration team. Be aware, it is not intended for younger readers.

As stated above, the horror genre is not really something that I seek out, but I have read another book by the author (more dystopian) and I think very highly of the narrators. For me, the writing and flow was done very well. The plot flowed at a decent speed and there were times I was wondering what was going to jump out from behind that closed door. Was it going to be that stupid cat, or a crazed murder like in the movies? More than not, it was the crazy person. If this is the type of story you enjoy, I think you will not be disappointed by Mr. Menapace’s follow-up to the Wildlife book. Even though the characters were very dark and creepy, especially their younger daughter, they each felt right in the story’s context. They had distinct motives and personalities, as bizarre as they were. Upon finishing the book, it made me think of those “Girls Gone Bad” videos from the 80s but the main characters are replaced with swamp people from the TV show. I would best describe the audiobook as a piece of dark gritty horror noir on steroids. Again, some may think it tame and calm, but I found it mostly disconcerting; which I think was the author’s intent.

Let me turn to the audiobook’s narration. From my initiation into audiobooks, the name Jeff Hays has always been the one who was setting the bar for production quality. Now that he has formed Soundbooth Theatre, he has brought in some of the best of the best narrators to help out. I do enjoy Annie Ellicott’s ability to voice the female roles in this book, including the very creepy little daughter. She will forever be in my nightmares, thanks for that! Mr. Hays did a wonderful job with the male parts, and the blending of the two narrators really helped to enhance the audiobook for me. The audio itself was clean of any artifacts and the volume remained the same from start to finish. The team added some sound effects to the production which mostly added to the ambiance and overall feeling of the book. If this is not your type of book, I would recommend you look for other audiobooks the team at Soundbooth Theatre have performed, as I’m sure there are many you will be interested in.

For parents and younger listeners, I would say up front that this audiobook is not at all appropriate for non-mature listeners. There are graphic scenes of violence, heavy use of profanity, and mature sexual topics or subject matter that just would not be good for a younger reader. Some or all of these are on nearly every page of this book. If you are at all one who gets squeamish when a person steps on a bug, I recommend steering clear of this book. It is hard-core horror in my classification.

In summary, if you are one who enjoys very dark and alarming stories, I think you will like listening to this audiobook. If you often shy away from this genre of material, like me, you may want to give it a pass. The people are rather strange, the situations are over the top, and the horror is rather graphic and descriptive. The writing was good, the narration and audio effects were great. If you are one who likes other works by Mr. Menapace, I think you will feel right at home with this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Titanborn

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 448
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 427
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427

After a high-profile bombing on Earth, the men who sign Malcolm's paychecks are clamoring for answers. They force him to team up with a strange new partner who's more interested in statistics than instinct, and they ship them both off to Titan. Their assignment is to hunt down a group of extremists: Titanborn rebels who will go to any length to free their home from the tyranny of Earth. Heading into hostile territory, Malcolm will have to use everything he's learned to stay alive. But he soon realizes the situation on the ground is much more complex than he anticipated....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Mystery Sci-fi

  • By Bryan on 02-08-19

Who do you send where law don't even feel safe?

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

If you are a fan of science fiction bounty hunter type stories in the likes of “The Roak” series by Jake Bible or “The Coilhunter” series by Dean Wilson, you will find the first book in the “Children of Titan” series called “Titanborn” to be a welcomed listen. The book is very well written by Rhett C. Bruno and the audiobook narration is skillfully performed by one of my favorites; R. C. Bray. This book is the first I have listened to, written by Mr. Bruno, and I do not think it will be my last. If you are a fan of science fiction, action, adventure, suspense, along with quite a few twists and turns, I recommend you pick up this audiobook and give it a listen. The story felt more like I was watching a movie unfolding than listening to an audiobook. Even though the book was detailed and complex, the author did a good job of leaving out some of the more extraneous information that can clog up a work. The book felt tight and on point having multidimensional characters and well-crafted scenes and technology.

The world, both our planet and others in our solar system, are very different from how we know them today. In the not so distant future, a devastating event happens when a meteor (or m-day) thrusts humankind out to the edges of our solar system in an attempt to survive. Our story takes us from Earth to the moon, and a small trip to Mars, before bringing the party close to the rings of Saturn where we find Titan. The story feels large and expansive which is a good thing for a science fiction space series. Our main character (Malcolm) is a rather rough bounty hunter who often does not care about why he is doing something, it is more about how much he will be paid for a successful job. Our aging bounty hunter reminds me a bit of a futuristic Dirty Harry or Charles Bronson type character from the 80s. Unlike those men, our main character in this story has an augmented savant side-kick name Jaf who tags along. Both of these men are sent to Saturn’s moon Titan to track down and stop a group blamed for an earlier bombing that occurred on Earth. As with many other books in this genre, there are a number of evil corporations vying for turf in the expanding resources being uncovered on other planets or moons. Yet, we see a number of resistant groups, off-worlders, as they are called, who escape into the wild west of our solar system to flee corporate tyranny. Most of these people have suffered much and will not go down without a fight; that is why Malcolm and his partner are brought in to make things right; or will they make them worse

Instead of evolving into a better society for our future, in this book we see that all of the populated parts of the solar system have degraded into a gritty and grimy place where you either conform, corrupt, or collide with the law; often run by companies. Yet, we see that even in this story, there are places where not even the law feels safe treading, so that is when you send in a bounty hunter. There is a fair amount of drinking to help make the hurt go away, some strong vulgar language, and even the ever-present profession of prostitution. Those who are successful or at least surviving are the ones who provide these key necessities to the population. After the Armageddon event, one of the core corporations (Pervenio) provided the means for the population to work and earn a living by mining resources off world. What seems like a rather mundane job, turns into a live and death battle. Add in some earlier family troubles and you have a good idea of what you will hear while listening to this book.

What would I have liked to have seen more of? I am a person who enjoys tech and the actual events that occur during space travel. I felt the author focused more on the procedural chase and left out more of the detailed aspects around space travel itself. We often are transferred in a flash from one planet to another with only slight information on the perpetration necessary for both departure and landing including the impact such travel often has upon the human body. Some of the details provided around the space suits were welcomed along with the differences in gravity while on the various planets. I simply would have liked more scientific data and research backing up the story. Knowing it is a piece of fiction, I can suspend belief in a few areas and the tale is still quite engaging and entertaining.

I have been a fan of R. C. Bray’s narration for years now, and I was excited to see him performing this new science fiction series. He has a smooth yet gritty voice that does the main character justice in this book. He is also a skilled narrator who is able to give each character their own unique characteristics and personality. Although Jaf was often an annoying sidekick, in my opinion, Mr. Bray did an exceptional job of giving him life and feeling that matched his character. I very much like when a narrator is able to complement the story instead of distracting from it. The audio itself was clean and clear of any noticeable artifacts such as page turns, swallows, etc. As well, the book’s volume and pacing were consistent. If you are ever looking for a solid narrator, I suggest you listen to a few of the performances by Bray.

For parents or younger readers, I would say this book is more geared toward a mature audience. As stated previously, there is alcohol and drug use, sexual themes, and some heavy vulgar language. Nothing was excessive compared to other works in the genre but be aware they are here in this book as well. I understand when an author attempts to construct a specific type of world and these items are often to get a point across. If you are easily offended by any of the above, I would recommend you locate a different series.

In summary, Titanborn looks like it is off to a good start as a new science fiction bounty hunter series. Although most of the story’s plot lines were closed when the last chapter was heard, there are a number of remaining questions leaving the way for the next in the series. If you like your science fiction to be gritty and, in some ways, dark (think Blade Runner), I think you are going to enjoy this book and the ones to come.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • It's Only Funny If You Laugh

  • The Haunting of the Midlands Amusement Park
  • By: Kevin Candela
  • Narrated by: Gary Bennett
  • Length: 2 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

In 1972, the Red Bozos were the friendliest faces in frenetic Midlands Amusement Park. Flash forward four and a half decades: Midlands is a ghost park. Closed long ago and nearly forgotten, even by the locals, it sits shrouded in undergrowth and hill-topping forest surrounded by upscale new homes. Ringed with a decaying fence, hidden from sight, it presents a huge temptation to a group of bored, thrill-seeking youths who are about to learn that terror is, in fact, immortal. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Candela Clowns around with time travel

  • By Ray Johnson on 06-19-18

Scary rollercoaster horror with hidden secrets

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

It’s Only Funny If You Laugh, The Haunting of the Midlands Amusement Park written by Kevin Candela. The narration is provided by Gary Bennett. The running time is 2 hours and 36 minutes. During that time the listener is taken on a wild ride from the mind of the author. According to the publishers summary a group of bored, thrill-seeking youths who are about to learn that terror is, in fact, immortal. That is just the tip of the iceberg of this unique horror, time travel, and clown filled story.

The groups of youth’s breaks in with the intent of having some fun in the old haunted Amusement Park until things start to go wrong. This at first appears to be your standard B-type horror story as the character start to get picked off one by one. Then things are changed up and the story really got interesting and unique. The surviving characters all shared a dark secret.

This story does a fair job of hold the listener’s attention. Then action does start quickly early on with some quick and shocking deaths in standard horror fashion. As the story slows down to develop the time travel plot is where this listener’s attention started to wander. I enjoyed the aspect of the story just felt it was a bit and understood the need to develop the plotline but it just made the story drag. The overall story is really good. The ending actually had me rolling with the Sheriff talking to one of the Youths and his mention of the FBI Agents they had called. I laughed and had a huge grin on my face.

The narration by Gary Bennett was simply amazing in the audio performance. Mr. Bennett brought something unique to each character in this story. This was a large cast of male and female characters voices and the narrator made sure this was a truly enjoyable audio performance. The characters were memorable and I enjoyed the production to a greater level due to the narration. The production quality of this audiobook is also the highest quality. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance such as loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear. Fire Dragon Publishing delivered an excellent audiobook production.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Horizon

  • Horizon Series, Book 1
  • By: Tabitha Lord
  • Narrated by: DW Draffin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Caeli Crys isn't living - she's surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can't help but risk discovery to save his life. Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His co-pilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he's only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind. As Derek recovers, Caeli shares the horror of her past and her fear for the future.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good story!

  • By Jonella A. Moore on 11-04-18

Unique and diversity characters

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

It is difficult to review a book that has received numerous awards already for its writing, and it seems quite well received by other reviewers. I was given the pleasure of listening and reviewing “Horizon”, a science fiction romance audiobook written by Tabitha Lord. Due to an extended long drive, I was able to consume the entire audiobook in a single sitting and I will say that I was entertained and engrossed much of the time. The audiobook narration was decently performed, with a few issues covered later in this review, by DW Draffin. Mr. Draffin appears to be a relative newcomer to the narration scene with just over ten works on Audible at the time of this review. If you like deep and well-written science fiction that includes a fair amount of romance, I think you would enjoy picking up a copy of Horizon and giving it a listen. If you are instead a hard-core space opera type of person, you may find the level of tech and shooting taken up by the softer and more emotional parts of the book. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good book, it just was different from what I had initially expected it would be. The story moves between various location from being on the planet to being in space. It also pivots between time by keeping us in the present while feeding us details form the past. The author does a very good job of unraveling the story elements and packing things nicely into this package. Would I have preferred more fights, tech, and space aspects, sure, one can never have enough of these? But, come to the book knowing what it is about will make it that much more enjoyable when you do listen.

I like the main characters and felt attached to who they were along with what each does that drives them. The characters felt like they had dimension, cause, and purpose. There were moral decisions, consequences for one’s actions and more. On the planet, the book felt tight and focused. Once in space, things opened up a bit and I felt some of the main character’s actions were no longer their choices; sometimes they were not. Not only did the author bring in a conflict between characters, but we are also given a view into a great civil war that forever separated this race of people into good and bad. Much of the drive of the main character is for revenge, but to accomplish this, she first needs to survive to be stalked by her enemies.

I enjoyed the diversity and uniqueness of the main characters in the story. Having the empath ability made the potential for misuse a bit more a reality. The story had a fair amount of suspense and mystery which seemed to unroll as the story progressed. And the use of many flashbacks helped to solidify what motivates the character. I’m not sure if it was the author intended or not, but I felt that the romance aspect of the story often conflicted with the characters direction and decision-making ability. As with real life, romance seems to have clouded over the minds of the characters to make the right choices.

What would I have changed? Some of the writing felt more young adult (YA) than I would have suspected. This seems to improve as the story got closer to the end. I found the alien race to be too human-like to feel alien. Their mannerisms, food, entertainment, etc. all felt to Earth-like. The ability to communicate was too quick and seemed near perfect instead of some form of Google Translate. A few of the romance scenes made me feel uncomfortable as they came very close to being adult only rated, yet often at the last minute cut the scene to something else. A few of the other characters felt flat and were only there for a specific plot fulfilling reason. Could there have been more guns, ships, tech, and aliens, you bet as there is never enough of this for a science fiction fan. None of these make the book unenjoyable, just observations I wanted to point out for those not knowing what to expect before they dive in.

The audiobook’s narration, for me, was not at the level one would expect from a story of this caliber. I feel there were some major issues during and after the production process making the book feel unfinished or rushed. A number of chapters were titled “After” which made me feel the chapter titles were going to be added at a later time and were not. In many places, there were noticeable edits or plugs where the initial narration left out a portion of the words and they needed to be added at a different time; including different level and mic settings. Audio patching should be less noticeable then they were in this piece. Additionally, there were a few places where I recall hearing swallowing and a few points where the audio cut seemed incorrect. The narrator’s voice was smooth and pleasant to listen too, I only wish there were a few checks on the production quality prior to being released in audiobook format.

For parents and younger readers, note the book does contain some profanity which seemed odd for an alien race to use. There are also some rather descriptive scenes of romance which may be inappropriate for younger readers. At times I also felt uncomfortable as an adult. The story was engaging and compelling, however, if you are at all offended by the use of vulgar language, I would recommend you locate a different book.

In summary, the foundations of the story were solid. It was both very enjoyable and entertaining. I liked the character complexity and situations they found themselves in. If you are a fan of science fiction, and you do not mind having a level of romance included, I think you will find this book to your liking. For the hardcore Sci-Fi listener, if you can get past the softer side of the story, you will also enjoy the tale. I can see why it won the number of awarded it had. IF you are not a fan of mediocre audiobook narration, including artifact issues, you may want to pick up a copy of Horizon in another format.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Black Soul Rising

  • From the Taldano Files
  • By: S. A. Ison
  • Narrated by: William E. Fortier
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Detective Carmela Taldano is handed what seems like a benign, low-level case. Soon, she realizes this case is a game changer, as she is now on the hunt for a vicious and voracious serial killer. She must use her intuition and shear guts to hunt this predator down before more people die. However, while hunting this man down, Taldano becomes the hunted. Someone in her department wants her dead and wants this high-profile case. She also comes into the cross hairs of the very animal she is hunting down. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Black soul rising

  • By MeDi on 12-28-18

A haunting book on so many levels!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

A haunting and realistic story that clearly defines the early male/female roles, the depths of depravity of mankind, and how it was possible to catch criminals without the help of technology.

In 1950 a tormented young woman gave birth to a beautiful boy, abused and alone, she visited upon him all the hate she held for men.

Years later, Detective Carmela Taldano is a female trying to succeed in a male-dominated career. As a result of her being female and the driving need to humiliate her, she is given a low-profile dog mutilation case. When it is discovered that the dog mutilation case is much bigger, more vicious and is a career-making case, Taldano discovers she is truly hated. She becomes the hunted as she works through the case.

I wasn’t ten minutes in before I began to question if I could listen to this audiobook to the end. It was well done and hauntingly vivid as well as captivating. Ison accurately describes the extreme sexism that existed in our society in 1950-1960’s; the thoughts and practices during a time period in which society supported such behavior.

The pain each character encountered and survived was overwhelming, giving the listener a ride on an emotional rollercoaster. The horror of each victim is stunningly gruesome demonstrating the depths of depravity a single human can reach.
Ison inserted some twists in the plot that were amazing and attention-grabbing. Each character was vividly built and solid.

The narrator, William E. Fortier performed the audiobook with a smooth, easy flowing voice. He gave each character a voice that resonated from beginning to end. I liked how he read the book using his voice to give some inflection to indicate fear, hate, and other emotions.

The only thing that gave me pause was the use of a recorded cat sound that was used once and then the narrator imitated the cat – far better than the recording! Otherwise the production quality was good.

This is a good book, one that most will find poignant and terrifying at the same time. I found I could not stop listening and I know that when I go to bed for the next month or so, I will be haunted.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Enhancer

  • The Enhancer Series, Book 1
  • By: Wyatt Kane
  • Narrated by: Chris Graves
  • Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 641
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 613

Ty is just a normal guy trying to do his best. He’s single, stuck in a dead-end job with the most hateful boss in the universe, and struggling under a mountain of debt. When he witnesses an impossible battle between two superpowered people, every instinct he has tells him to run. Instead, he becomes the owner of a device that can change his life in ways he can barely imagine. All he has to do is survive for long enough to learn how to use it. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good start

  • By Ray Johnson on 12-26-18

Superheroes are Real

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

The Enhancer is written by Wyatt Kane. The narration is provided by Chris Graves. The audiobook has a running time of 7 hours and 12 minutes. In that time the listener gets to know Ty Wilcox the down on his luck everyman. Living in a near future world similar to ours where people can buy body modifications and upgrades. Unfortunately, Ty is unable to finish school, lives in a horrible neighborhood, has a mountain of debt, and works as a janitor/repairman at the concubine club for the world’s worst boss: Angie the Hutt. She lives to make is life miserable. To the point of him missing the last bus home and having to walk home thru the worst neighborhoods in New Lincoln. One night he learns superheroes are real when one is murdered right in front of him. Ty’s life changes forever when he becomes the owner of the dead hero’s device.

The story did hold my attention thru the entire audiobook. The story seems to over simply actions and events. Some examples such as how the superpowers worked and why Heroes were attracted to each other like cats in heat. Yet Heroes hated Villains like cats and dogs. But I just went with it and had fun and it was a wild roller coaster ride through the entire audiobook.

The narration by Chris Graves was simply awesome! Mr. Graves gave an outstanding performance. The unique voices for each of the character made the truly memorable. This was my first time hearing a performance from Mr. Graves but I will be looking for more of his audio performances based on this audio production. The publisher for this audiobook is Grave Audio Productions. The production value is of the highest quality. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance. I did not hear any loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Do the Gods Hear Our Prayers?

  • A Prayer for Peace, Book 1
  • By: Jeff Henrikson
  • Narrated by: Christopher Johnson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

After thousands of years of fighting, peace between the light and dark elves is within sight. Ordered by the Overlord to settle their differences, the gods from both sides meet to hammer out a treaty, until the unthinkable happens. Pawns of the gods above, the human kingdom of Kentar and the last elven kingdom of Armena are thrown into war by the conniving genius of the world’s most powerful thieves guild. Nations rise and fall as pieces move around the board in this high-stakes match for domination of the world and the heavens themselves.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Humans, Elves and Dragons ... OH MY!

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 02-08-19

Humans, Elves and Dragons ... OH MY!

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

The gods are interfering again but this time with humans, elves, dragons, and more. The humans want to increase their foothold and are destroying the forest that is protected and rightly belongs to the Elves according to an ancient contract. The elves have their own issues within their courts – the dark and light elven court. Thus, begins the journey and adventure of three elves.

There are several different story arcs happening simultaneously and Jeff Henrikson, the author, does a magnificent job of keeping the story arcs intersecting and not becoming confusing. Each character has depth and validity to the story, nothing is superfluous in his writing or his characters. Some characters are endearing while others demand respect and others instill nothing but dislike. The story was easy to follow, and I hated to reach the end of it.

Christopher Johnson, narrator performed the audiobook very well. He added just the right amount of emotion to move the action and storyline along. I found his voice enjoyable and never heard him stammer or lose his place. Excellent job. I hope to hear more from him.

The book is one in a series. I expect the following books will be just as engaging and exciting as this first installment.

There were no quality or production issues with this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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