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  • Will of Fire

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 17 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 164
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

The villainous Drad Redstar has won the favor of king and country after leading a decisive victory over the rebels at Winde Port. Now with a seat on the royal council, he condemns Torsten to a lifetime in the dungeon and invites his militant people to take up residence in the capital. But not all light has been squelched. There is one disgraced King’s Shieldsman left who remains loyal to Torsten, and only he can help free the Glass Kingdom from Redstar and his dark desires to revive the Buried Goddess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of the series. Now with Pirates

  • By Josh R on 01-18-19

An Exciting Evolution

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

Reviewed: 01-28-19

I think that I wouldn't be alone if I said that I expected this to be a trilogy, but the books play out in such a way that the universe and characters can continue to expand. Everything about the way this book continues to improve on the first two, making me hopeful and excited for the upcoming sequel! I feel as though Rhett and Jaime have a rhythm going and have really learned to work together to get a series that feels fun to read.

It's hard to know what to say without constituting a spoiler, but what I've really enjoyed in particular about this book is that it feels like so much real growth has occurred. This series is a long ways from what it was when it first started, having progressively gotten more intricate, showcasing a lot of despair where everything felt light-hearted before even when things got serious. I love in this book how Whitney has grown, learning to manage himself while still being a loveable rogue. I love how Torsten gets taken down a peg, being forced to realize that not all decisions are black and white, and how a bad decision made for a good reason is still a bad decision. And, I'm excited to see Casimere again; hopefully in a more permanent basis! The upire really grows on you. I'm really looking forward to seeing how everything continues to change from here!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Winds of War

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 204

Full-scale rebellion rages in the south, and Sir Torsten Unger must lead the Glass Army to face it. But when a new and unfamiliar king forces Torsten to march alongside one of his fiercest rivals, he must draw on his faith to keep the army from fracturing. Whitney Fierstown continues his tutelage of the blood mage, Sora, who is desperate to get a better handle on her mysterious powers. Their journey brings them to the merchant city of Winde Port, where they seek passage to Yaolin City aboard a ship. It's smooth sailing until they realize an old nemesis is hunting them....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Continuation of the Series

  • By Josh R on 01-13-19

Keeping to its Roots

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

If you're coming here from Web of Eyes, then you already know what to expect. The characters are back and are stalwartly refusing to learn anything from their adventures together. If you're here, then I imagine that you enjoyed your first foray into the Buried Goddess Saga and you should go ahead and get this one. It's silly, fun, and a bit epic at times, the voicework is just as well done as before for both returning and newly introduced characters, and there's a whole new adventure starting that won't be as simple to solve this time around.

There are two notable changes to the way the story is told here in my opinion. The first is that there appears to be two distinct narratives running at the same time - that of Sora and Whitney and that of Torston. Whitney and Sora begin where they left off, trying to reach Sora's homeland and generally stealing everything in their way as they get there. And Torston is forced to vie for his new king's favor against the warlock who had tried to kill the king the first time around, all as war begins on the kingdom outskirts. The two narratives both focus on a port city that gets attacked by invading armies, thrusting the 3 back together in an adventure that none of them can escape alive working alone. What's significant about this to me is that holding the distinctive story threads apart opens up the world, making it feel bigger and grander. It's a bit of a risk to split the reader's attention, maybe losing focus on the plot overall, but, I feel as though it pays off in this instance, showing that a grander world exists, and really playing up another expansion to the universe in the sequel.

The second notable change is shifting the larger part of the narrative from Torston and Whitney to Sora and Whitney. While I don't believe this has grander meaning like the perspective split may, I do see this as a tonal change. There's still banter, but there's a change from that overall combative manner that existed between the thief and the knight. Things feel more playful this time and even a bit melancholy, drawing on the obvious racial bias Sora feels in this world and Whitney's need to draw her out of her own head.

For the rest of you reading that are new to the series, I'd say that the authors have done an admiral job of introducing the relevant information for each moment. There are definitely going to be things that are missed, but that's mostly just character interaction that's easy to pick up, and some of the basic setup of the problems plaguing the kingdom. You could definitely pick up the series from here if you didn't want to pick up the first book (but you really should, it's a wonderful start to the series), you would find an decent entrance here.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Make Me No Grave

  • By: Hayley Stone
  • Narrated by: Oliver Wyman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 234

Almena Guillory, better known as the Grizzly Queen of the West, has plenty to recommend her for the noose, but US Marshal Apostle Richardson enforces the law, he doesn't decide it. When a posse tries to lynch Almena ahead of her trial, Apostle refuses their form of expedited justice - and receives a bullet for his trouble. Before escaping, however, Almena unexpectedly saves his life by absorbing his wound through the use of dangerous flesh magic.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Strong characters hold together a weird west world

  • By Jamie on 12-01-18

Strong characters hold together a weird west world

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

If there's anything that needs to be said about this book, it's that the narration is amazingly well done. Oliver Wyman is Apostle Richardson. His voice is gravelly and rough and sounds very much like I'm listening to an old cowboy who's seen just enough of the world to be disillusioned by it. Those of you who are from the south will recognize that sort of home grown decency that's just exuded from the cheracter - and Oliver Wyman's voice. The story is short and a little slow in the telling, but I certainly can't say I minded being able to listen to Wyman - even during the slow bits.

Like I said, the story is a little slow, but that's not to say it's at all bad. My main problem is that throughout the book and until the last sections there wasn't anything driving the plot other than seeing the main characters interact, which they do beautifully, but it definitely took a few parts (the book is broken up by parts and chapters) to transform into something larger!

A lot of the story begins with establishing our characters. Apostle is what we would call in the fantasy world 'Lawful stupid.' He has a set of morals and values that would be considered just and he follows them to a 'T', refusing to besmirch the law for quick justice. Guillory, on the other hand, is a more flawed character. She has a checkered past revealed throughout the story that in a lot of ways has lead her to where she is. She's not a bad person and has her own sense of honor, often risking herself for the lawman who's goal seems to be to put a noose around her neck.

There's an interesting dynamic here and neither party can come out of it the same as they went in. And while I would have enjoyed a bit more urgency to action, the characters are strong enough to hold the overall narrative together all on their own.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Web of Eyes

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 567
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 541
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 539

When a piece of the crown prince's soul is stolen by a traitorous warlock, disgraced knight Torsten Unger makes it his sworn duty to get it back and save the last hope for the kingdom. But he can't do it alone. Self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Thief" Whitney Fierstown sits in the castle dungeon, destined for the gallows until Torsten offers this choice: rot and die in a dank cell or join him on a dangerous expedition to put his skills to good use and earn his freedom. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this book!

  • By Joliet Jill on 11-15-18

A fantastic start to a fantasy epic

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

Reviewed: 11-20-18

I feel like I can say that I was pretty confident going into this title that I would definitely enjoy it. If Bruno and Daniels aren't a powerhouse duo of creative talents, then I don't know who would be. And, while I have to admit that I'd never heard of Castle before this book, I feel like his contribution may be one of the reasons it struck such a cord with me (sorry Rhett). My expectations vs what I got were completely dashed - and for the better! - the moment I started listening to Whitney's drunken tavern bragging, something Daniels is absolutely brilliant for by the way. He's a lovable rogue type character and he's not going to be breaking any long held tropes any time soon, but there's something to be said about perfecting them. He's great at his job and loves throwing jabs or one liners at his opponents as much as they love throwing him in jail. The same can be said about the rest of the cast for that matter. We've got a stoic Knight/Paladin character, wholly devoted to his god, and who is forced to put up with a thief's antics and a mage's heresies to save his kingdom. And, we've got the strong willed female lead who plays our heretic mage. They're not laying new inroads in character tropes, but they do hold up to some of the most entertaining I've seen.

What I expected coming in was a more serious outlook on the classic fantasy. A lot of Rhett's work often has a very strong masculine set of (male and female) characters in bleak kind of introspective settings. I think these touches really come out in the overarching narrative of the story. There's definitely a feeling of import to what's going on, even when the focus tends to be mostly on character building rather than world building. Where Rhett excels to me is in making those climactic moments feel impactful. Where (I have to assume) Castle seems to excel is in the light hearted banter and character driven enhancement in the story.

I'm realizing I haven't said terribly much about the actual plot, and I think that's part of the point here. There's a lot of lore out there for fantasy characters traipsing into dark forests to find hidden treasures or fight off strange beasts. And that's what you get here. If you like fantasy plots, something along the lines of a Salvatore, then you'll most definitely like this one as well. You've got a city in trouble, a King's life on the line, and a cast of characters trying to save their kingdom in the best ways they know how.

If you're looking for something that I wish my D&D sessions could match up to, narrated by someone who makes you feel like there's at least 3 other guys reading this out to you (Just how many people are you really Mr. Daniels?), then this is a series you should pick up. I've spent the past few days going back and forth on whether to buy more credits just to preorder the last 2 in the series and I don't think I'll make it all the way to March without caving in! This has seriously been one of the best introductions to a new series I've had in a while. Do yourself a favor and take a chance on this one.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

  • By: Marlon Bundo, Jill Twiss
  • Narrated by: Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jeff Garlin, and others
  • Length: 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13,800
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,991
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12,926

HBO's Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver presents the story of a Very Special boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny. Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives with his Grampa, Mike Pence - the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This story is cute, but let's be honest.

  • By João on 03-19-18

BOTUS with the mostess

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The biggest draw for this book is going to be that it comes from John Oliver and is a jab against Mike Pence. Fortunately, it's also a pretty great time title book. the performance is endearing and among some of the best I've found for a full cast. (It's even better if you watch the animation Oliver's team made as a tease.) The story is pretty simple, kind of what your want for a kid's story. I'd criticize that some of the jokes are too political and current for most children to appreciate, but that I definitely do as an adult. I think that it holds its own regardless of your motivation for buying it and it serves a good charity to boot.

  • The Circuit

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 719
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 686
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 681

Earth is a dying planet. To survive, humanity founds the Circuit, a string of colonies across the solar system, dedicated to mining resources vital to preserving what remains of mankind. Here there are no heroes or villains, only those willing to do what's necessary to survive. The New Earth Tribunal, a powerful religious faction, has risen to rule the Circuit. They believe a Spirit within the Earth will one day appear and welcome humanity back home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Epic Trilogy

  • By Christopher on 07-21-18

A Universe Built to be Broken

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

Reviewed: 07-28-18

As with all of the books I get for review I want to preface this by saying I was given this book with that purpose in mind.

When I heard about another of Rhett's books coming to audible I was ecstatic. He's an author who I'd never heard of before having seen his first book (and then his second) make their way onto this platform. It's a series of firsts for me since in a lot of ways, Rhett has really introduced me to the space opera genre. This review comes from a place not indoctrinated by the ideas and flaws of the genre, but someone loving every minute of the discovery.

The first thing I would note about the series is the tone the narrator sets. Mays isn't generally the kind of narrator I like. He's a bit slow as he reads, enunciating his words in a way that makes the story more proper, and a lot of the times feels like he's reading to you rather than performing. I found myself honestly liking Mays as the story went forward. There is a ton of action and slowing it down adds a bit of weight to the events that happen. Particularly for Cassius, who the narrator's reading paints immediaty as a pompous figure.

I loved the different characters in the book. I think that for anything this long, a central set of people that the reader can care about is essential. Everyone has a part to play here, and while I can definitely find fault in their motives, I can also underatand them. I found myself caught up in the internal struggles of the character Sage who constantly had to choose between the man she loved, the religion she dedicated her life too, and the man she saw as her father. There were so many moments where she had it in her power to choose the ultimate end of all of these groups that Rhett has drawn you to care about. It's hard to choose who you want to come out ahead, but in the end someone has to lose, and I think that it all plays out about as well as it could.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Sword of Islam

  • By: J.D. Sinclair
  • Narrated by: Jamie Dione
  • Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Israel launches a pre-emptive war to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Simultaneously, Israel's Mossad sleeper agents succeed in igniting an Iranian internal revolt that is on the verge of succeeding in overthrowing the entire radical Iranian Jihadist regime. In an effort to avert defeat, with their backs to the wall, Iran's supreme leader decides to launch a last ditch "Hail Mary" attack directed at Israel's key supporter, the US. This is the story of that attack and those fighting against it.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sexy. Steamy. Saucy. Exciting.

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-06-18

A hard listen

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

Reviewed: 06-04-18

I want to start off this review like I do with my other review copy reviews by giving full disclosure that I got the material for free with the intent of getting my opinion on it.

Sometimes you get a good one and, unfortunately, sometimes you get a bad one. The part about this book that immediately stands out is the narration, which is just bad. I've heard that the better narrators will read through a book several times to get a feel for the characters before recording. I don't think that Jamie Dione made that effort. His narration starts off very detached and rather clinical - very similar to what it's like to listen to a documentary (something he might excel at.) The narration does get a bit better after the first hour as the narrator seems to get a better feel for the characters, but it never really feels engaging. Some of the more risque scenes are even almost funny to listen to with the somewhat detached tone the novel has.

These risque scenes are something else to point to as a whole. I feel it's important to say that the story is more about the military aspect than it is about the sex, which is something at least a few people I've talked to were confused about. The cover makes this rather ambiguous since it clashes so much with the description of the novel. Those scenes are there, and there are quite a few of them, but I would definitely not put this novel in the 'romance' category.

As a whole, I think the story is decent. It's not groundbreaking and the plot is rather straight forward, but it's an interesting idea that is kind of fun. The writing gets clunky at times, especially during the sex scenes which all feels very similar to each other. I never really felt like I cared what the characters did and their actions all kind of started to blend together a bit. I found myself having to rewind a few times to catch the factions at play in the current chapters. Admittedly, this has a lot to do with the narration as well, but even taking that into account, the writing still feels flat throughout. Most of the characters feel the same to me. I think that perhaps the idea was to get the reader attached to both sides of the conflict, ultimately making the climax more fulfilling since you can't decide who you want to win. As an idea, I like that a lot, but in practice it didn't pan out. With a little work, I think the story could be something, but it's not there yet for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dancing in the Dust

  • By: Gwendolyn Pendraig
  • Narrated by: Karin Allers
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

After surviving the plague that wiped out her family and most of the warm-blooded life on Earth, Ayla has spent 10 years in relative solitude surviving and, against all odds, thriving. Ayla's world gets a whole lot bigger when she finds a fascinating new canine companion. Along the way, she picks herself up a nemesis, a needless distraction, and a new approach to postapocalyptic life. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • All the gore that comes with the end of the world

  • By Jamie on 05-24-18

All the gore that comes with the end of the world

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

In the interest of full disclosure, this review is being given for a review copy of the book.

That said, I honestly really enjoyed it. When I initially looked into the book I was imagining something light and action filled, but what I got was something that would keep me on my toes, scratching that itch that I'd normally turn to a Mad Max to hit.

While Dancing in the Dust doesn't have that same wasteland setting as Mad Max, the sense of isolation is no less real. There aren't many people left, and those that are aren't people you want to mess around with, especially if you're a woman. If there aren't many people left in the world, there are even fewer women, and you can imagine the unique struggles they would have in a world lacking the social constraints we have in polite society. Some of the pre apocalypse setup for this feels a little over the top at times, but overall, I feel like it's well executed.

Gwendolyn never felt the need to make Ayla above it all. She's certainly no innocent female superhero. If anything, she seems to struggle more than most other characters we see in the book, but we never feel that she can't handle what comes her way. She starts to feel like a real person who has to struggle to overcome a difficult past and a bleak future. Things don't always go her way, often having very bleak outcomes, but it's from these struggles that we care and want to know more about her.


A quick note on the narrator. My only real complaint is that to me she felt a little too old for our main character, but otherwise, Karen hits the notes well. She's got a great range and a gritty tone that fits the setting. Overall, I would say she was solid and would be happy to see her return.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Titan's Wrath
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Rhett C. Bruno
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Justin Thomas James
    
    


    
    Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
    34 ratings
    Overall 4.4
  • Titan's Wrath

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno
  • Narrated by: Justin Thomas James
  • Length: 14 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

After inciting rebellion against Earth throughout Titan's off-world colonies, Kale Trass learns that leadership isn't only about fighting. Keeping control of his people--even his own family--requires a different set of skills. Following a pivotal battle over Saturn, Kale travels deep into enemy territory under the guise of seeking peace, though peace is the last thing on his mind. Malcolm Graves used to be an infamous Collector for a powerful Earther corporation--and then he nearly lost his life on Titan. Now he's retired. But when Kale's wake of destruction follows Malcolm to Mars and claims the life of a friend, it's time for the ex-Collector to dust off his pulse-pistol and leap back into a fight he thought he'd left behind. With the solar system divided, heroes are few and short-lived ... but someone has to put the self-proclaimed King Trass of Titan in his place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A humans a human, no matter where from

  • By Bri on 12-30-17

A fast paced space brawl

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

I don't think I ever would have discovered this book on my own had I not ran across a thread where the author was offering up free copies. I was unfortunately too late to get one myself, but Rhett was cool about it and the book sounded good so I gave it a go.

The first thing I want to touch on is the narrator who is phenomenal. Hearing him speak so roughly as Malcolm it's surprising the range he has especially going over to the female characters. The acting he offers the characters really helps being them to life. He generally keeps a deep rough voice for Malcolm which really brings out the feel of an old soldier and gumshoe. From the start, you feel like you know the character without much description needed by the author to let you in on the finer details.

The book itself is a lot of fun. Thinking back on it now, it's hard to imagine a single slow moment throughout this entire novel. You start with a gunshot and move from one fight to the next learning the flaws and drives of each character in turn. I think one of the better parts of this book is that none of the characters are pure. There's not so much a conflict of good and evil as much as a struggle between several people all doing their best to get by in the world. Everyone feels real and disillusioned with life. I found myself making my own opinions and forming my own desires for the outcomes of the different groups involved that never really coincided with either, which isn't something I can say a lot of books have allowed me to do.

All in all, I liked the book a lot and look forward to seeing more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fire and Fury

  • Inside the Trump White House
  • By: Michael Wolff
  • Narrated by: Michael Wolff, Holter Graham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,204
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,106

With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as credible as one would like.

  • By Jerry R. Nokes Jr. on 01-29-18

It's fun to hate Trump

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

Reviewed: 01-09-18

This book is definitely entertaining from start to finish and I wouldn't be surprised if all of this was true. But, the author often provides too much of a personal bias to the work and not enough evidence for this to be anything more than an inflaming entry in the already tumultuous presidency.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful