LISTENER

Michael Oberhardt

  • 106
  • reviews
  • 227
  • helpful votes
  • 1,601
  • ratings
  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,133
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 57,988

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A ferrari with no motor

  • By will on 11-18-17

Cheery Adventures Story of a Young Terrorist

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

Seriously, is this the same author who did The Martian?

Artemis is a cheerily written story of a young criminal who becomes a terrorist. For money, not a some ideology. Oh yes, and if that wasn't scummy enough, he had to make it both female and from the Middle East. On top of her criminal and terrorist activities, she even manages to destroy her father's business and livelihood in a drugged out party, and her only thought was she was annoyed her father wasn't worried if she got hurt or not. Not how could Andy Weir have made the lead character more repugnant? Well, he made her have an open relationship with a pedo. Not her though. She was 17 when she started open dating a pedo. I'm not making this up. I can't understand what the intent of this novel was. It wasn't entertainment.

Just disgusting.

  • Rogue

  • An American Ghost Thriller
  • By: J. B. Turner
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 192
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 162

Nathan Stone was killed in action while serving as a covert CIA operative. Or so everyone thought. In reality he’s become a ghost, a black-ops asset with a new identity and controlled by a secret government organization. The Commission has one aim: to hunt down and assassinate anti-establishment enemies of the state. Its number-one target is Senator Brad Crichton, an ambitious politician with growing support. Stone is ready to take him out, but his plan is soon compromised....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fast paced Action very entertaining.

  • By shelley on 06-08-18

There are no goods guys...

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

There are no goods guys, just various levels of bad guys. I'd give it zero stars, but need a star to leave a review. I'm mainly leaving this as a warning to myself to skip the author.

  • The Dust of Dawn

  • The Dust Series, Book 1
  • By: Eloise J. Knapp
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 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

Zabat's Comet promises a stunning astronomical display as it narrowly passes our planet. Then a solar flare nudges it hurtling toward Earth. Humanity crumbles during the countdown to doomsday. But Zabat is more than just a comet. The impact brings not swift extinction but a massive cloud of dust that appears to have a mind of its own. A sinister intelligence. A force that threatens to change what's left of humanity. Jack, Colleen, Lara, and Dan survived the violent chaos of the countdown. Now, they're about to find out that after doomsday, there are horrors even worse than death.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting take

  • By Deborah Mak on 02-19-19

Nice start to a new series

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

Reviewed: 02-19-19

Dust of Dawn is the start of a new series by Eloise Knapp, the author of a favorite series of mine, The Undead Situation. I first heard of the book when I had the opportunity to get a free review copy, and was pretty glad to seize the chance. I had previously purchased all 4 of her prior audiobooks on Audible, so this was great luck. That said, I did end up buying the kindle edition as well.

Dust of Dawn was a novel, the first in a new series, told from the perspective of several characters. That generally worries me as in audio format, it can make it a bit hard to follow transitions. However, the author did a great job of addressing the character transitions, and the narrator did a fantastic job handling it also. They did several important things for this. Firstly, the transitions occurred at chapter breaks. Secondly, the chapters were titles with the character name and the character number. Thirdly, the narrator did leave a good amount of transition pause, rather than just running on with zero pause, as has occurred in a lot I have read.

Although it is from the perspective of different separate characters, it doesn't take long to get into the tale and the majority or the characters are thrown together. The book starts on the day of an expected extinction event, and shortly after is in the aftermath. The book ends on a nice revelation, but feels like a complete story without an unnecessary cliffhanger.

The narrator was a new on to my collection, and did a great job, both with the excellent demarcation of chapter and character switch he's, to clarity, to ease of listening.

I'm looking forward to further audiobooks in the series. Recommend.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Harry Bosch Box Set

  • 'The Narrows', 'Echo Park', and 'The Overlook'
  • By: Michael Connelly
  • Narrated by: Len Cariou
  • Length: 27 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,811
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,072

Here are three award-winning Harry Bosch thrillers, all voiced by standout Broadway veteran Len Cariou: The Narrows, Echo Park, and The Overlook.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • nice collection -- one missing in the order though

  • By Jami on 12-21-10

Faulty Order and Audio

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

Reviewed: 01-22-19

The books are great, as is the narration, however, just a few disclaimers on the current audible download, and the overall contents.

1. The books are out of sequence. I think it might have been done this way to sort of match the first season of the Amazon series. So "The Narrows" is as chapter stop 41. "The Echo" is the first book in the set. And reading them in order is important. In The Narrows, Harry was still retired, as he was in the prior book, "Lost Light".
2. The sequence of books is missing one, "The Closers", so you will have to get that separately

So to listen properly, if you are following from "Lost Light":
- Start at Chapter 41 and listen to "The Narrows"
- Then listen to the separate audiobook of "The Closers"
- Then go back to chapter 1 and listen to "The Echo"
- Then go to chapter 86 and listen to "The Overlook"

3. There are a lot of audio glitches in the audio file with skips, pops, stammering. It sounds like CD read type errors if you have any experience converting damaged CD audiobooks to a digital file or are ripping in burst mode. I have had a few audible titles with this problem, like Stephen King's Duma Key, and ended up buying the audio CD version to get decent audio. But the audio is so bad in places.

All that said, it is still a great box set and well worth the purchase.

  • The New Iberia Blues

  • Dave Robicheaux Series, Book 22
  • By: James Lee Burke
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 970
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 919
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 918

Detective Dave Robicheaux’s world isn’t filled with too many happy stories, but Desmond Cormier’s rags-to-riches tale is certainly one of them. Robicheaux first met Cormier on the streets of New Orleans, when the young, undersized boy had foolish dreams of becoming a Hollywood director. Twenty-five years later, when Robicheaux knocks on Cormier’s door, it's to ask about a young woman he found who’s been crucified. She disappeared near Cormier’s Cyrpemort Point estate, and Robicheaux, along with young Deputy Sean McClain, are looking for answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ROBICHEAUX IS BACK ON FULL FLEEK!

  • By The Louligan on 01-22-19

Great but I really wish he'd stop it with...

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

Great, but I really wish he'd stop it with the same tired plot construct of Alafair getting involved with someone super shady shores Dave then warns her about and she gets angry and then Dave surprise surprise turns out to be right. it must be like the last 6 novels did this

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Musashi

  • By: Eiji Yoshikawa, Charles S. Terry - translator
  • Narrated by: Brian Nishii
  • Length: 53 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 416
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 389
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390

The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Miyamoto Musashi becomes a reluctant hero to a host of people whose lives he has touched and by whom he has been touched. Inevitably, he has to pit his skill against the naked blade of his greatest rival.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, great narrator

  • By Garrett J. A. Flowers on 11-10-18

My memory of it from the 80s was better...

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

I read this book as a youth, and really loved it, so when I saw it turn up in Audio format at Audible, I jumped at it and got it as soon as it came out.

However, my adult mind didn't quite like the story anymore. The ongoing feuds in the book, with either some crazy woman and to a lesser extent his ex best friend) and one or more sword schools were just told as a one sided tale, like the account was purely taken from an extremely exaggerated first person account. I may be wrong, and historically this might all be correct, and somehow an old poor (financially) woman was able to just leave home and live on the road pursuing her bizarre agenda for years and years and years and years... And on Musashi's side, how was just overly and ridiculously kind and magnanimous. It just felt like the story of a braggart. From his humble bragging when he came to the realization he was just too strong, and couldn't control his sheer strength and was always unintentionally killing people, even with wood. It was just no end of 50+ hours of this. It was ridiculous, and I barely finished it. I mean if certain arrogant political figures ghost wrote an autobiography, from their recollections only, this is what it'd be like. The only other explanation I can come for all of the ridiculous decade long one sided feuds was that his real life wasn't that exciting, and when padding the story out to a long book, the author was trying to make it more "interesting", weave some annoying long story lines. I mean if I wanted to make an interesting auto bio, I'd have to do similar to make it worthwhile...

Narration wise, a producer should really check a bit better. For one example, there is a difference between "wan" (as in "smile wanly") and wane (as in "as the moon wanes"). "Wan" appeared about 30 times in the book, and was always pronounced wane.

7 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Insurgent

  • Ice Hammer, Volume 2
  • By: Basil Sands
  • Narrated by: Basil Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

Following the invasion of the previous year, Brad Stone has become the figurehead of Alaska’s resistance movement. He’s now head of the largest militia in the former state, including the Chiknik Rangers, making him enemy number one to the Chinese leadership based in Anchorage. At the same time his sons, Ben and Ian, find themselves waging a bloody guerrilla operation against Russian troops in the east. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Read

  • By cosmitron on 09-12-18

The 'Empire Strikes Back' of the Trilogy

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

Insurgent is the second book in the Ice Hammer trilogy, and is written and narrated by an author and narrator I've enjoyed for some time. I was lucky enough to get this book as a free copy for an unbiased review.
The book starts with the main protagonist, Brad Stone, still estranged from his sons, and he presumes them dead, as with his first wife, and shortly in he marries Sammy Park, who is pregnant.
Ben and Ian, his sons are still unknown to their father, and operating as increasingly bloodthirsty young freedom fighters, seeming having humanity slipping away.

There is some good humor in the book. The whole Johhny Quest analogy was great. As was the direct references and taking a lesson from Red Dawn.

There was also I found a really well written tense scene involving a paper shredder, that had me pretty on edge.

The invaders, although still in charge, seem to be struggling under supply issues and constant interference from the freedom fighters, and the situation doesn't really seem to get any better for them.

The narration was good, but I did find some of the eastern accents a bit too heavily done.

The book was a bit of an "Empire Strikes Back" of a trilogy, with honestly a pretty bleak end, with a discovery of someone still alive (and I get the feeling that she is now on the precipice of bitterness and making a turn to the dark). No happy reunions, no real successes, and it leaves me wondering with interest how it can be wrapped up in a final book. There is no was it can work out with a happy result for all of the good guys.

I'm interested in reading how this can finish up in the next book - and who if anyone will get a happy end.

  • Ghost Country

  • Catalyst, Book 3
  • By: JK Franks
  • Narrated by: Steven Varnum
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 106

Two years ago, a super solar storm triggered a CME pulse that crippled the country and destroyed the electrical grid. What remains of the country’s leaders are hiding a secret: something that threatens not just the US but the entire world. The Gulf Coast town of Harris Springs, Mississippi has suffered from gang attacks, famine, hurricanes, and has battled a crusading army of religious zealots. Now, they face their greatest challenge: outsmarting a tyrannical president and escaping an approaching pandemic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An awesome end to an awesome series !

  • By D.P. on 09-22-18

What a Great Series!

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

The Catalyst series is favorite series of mine. It started as a very believable softer apocalypse scenario, no zombie virus, no EMP, just a plausible and 100% expected natural disaster - a coronal mass ejection. And one other thing that I appreciate is that the book primarily deals with good people. It is the type of apocalypse I'd hope would be how people would behave. Sure the series does have more than a fare share of bad groups, but they feel the minority here. I also relate a lot with Scott, from the preference for cycling for transport as well as his computer background. I'd hope I'd behave half as well as he does throughout the book.

Scott, finally reunited with his brother and a lost love in the last novel, is now reunited with his old work friend, and things are looking up. Although there are now beloved characters I miss, there are new good people in play.

This novel is concerned with both the plague, and a new threat, the NSF, an organization working for the illegitimate president. It runs at a frenetic pace from one event to the next, and no room for anyone to catch their breath.

The ending I got to say was totally unexpected, but it finished the book nicely. I'm looking forward to the next one. At this stage, we have now transitioned from the natural apocalypse to a full on human engineered rage virus apocalypse.

On a technical note, my best laid plans of a listening marathon of the complete series was unfortunately interrupted for about a week during this book due to a technical error - two chapters in the book were blank, so I had to wait for the file to be fixed. So any other reviews mentioning this being a problem, rest assured that the problem is definitely fixed now.

Narration is as always very easy to follow and enjoyable. I've many books by other authors with the same narrator.

I'd highly recommend this author and in particular this series (and the spin off) to everyone.

  • Berkley Street Series Books 1 - 9

  • Haunted House and Ghost Stories Collection
  • By: Ron Ripley
  • Narrated by: Thom Bowers
  • Length: 66 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278

Shane Ryan is returning to his hometown of Nashua and the childhood memories that have haunted him throughout his adult life. The sinister demon lurking behind his family home threatens to spill over and destroy all he holds near and dear...spurring Shane on a journey that will challenge everything he knows about himself and the world. This audiobook set contains all nine of the thrilling supernatural novels in this best-selling series.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing series for just one credit!!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 09-03-18

An Epic Listen

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

The Berkley St omnibus is a sprawling series covering the life of Shane Ryan, an ex Marine with a lifetime of supernatural experiences.
The first novel starts with him as child in 80s, and splits time between two other periods, when he was a teen in the military, and to current time. In the 80, his parents move to a haunted house, and he copes rather well. At a teen, in military, parents disappeared without a trace in the house, and from then he is deployed, and then living elsewhere. In the current timeline portion he finally inherits the house and promptly moves in.
The books vary in location, with some recurring characters and ghosts, so it is never retreading the same material. The second books sees him marooned on a haunted island, the third in a small town, starting in hope and ending in personal tragedy, the 4th a haunted hospital with human collaborators, the 5th a haunted prison, then a lake resort, a sawmill, a keep, and then the finale mostly in the home ground, and a graveyard in Amherst.
As the books progress, the group of supporting characters increases, plus discovery of an organization protecting the dead. Shane's arc gets a darker and although more people around him, his mortality, increasing body count, and "work" seems to weigh on him more and more, and turn him more callous, both towards the living and the dead. You start getting the feeling mid way through the series that things will come to a very unhappy head, and that the 9th book may be the last. I'm not going to give it away, but I felt the end was a fitting conclusion.
Good mythology, easy listening, and with the size of the book and collection of full novels, it is like binge watching a season of Supernatural or Grimm. It has a good amount of carnage, but not gratuitous, and doesn't fall into the erotic area some books do.
On a technical note, Audible has unfortunately forced this book into multiple parts. From a playback perspective, on the mobile app, it is very annoying, as you have to keep selecting manually the next part - even though I have my player set to "seamless multipart play" as well as "single part downloads".
Each of the novels ends with bonus scenes, which are in themselves quite good. They cover the back story of one of the ghosts from the book from the victim's perspective. It is a nice touch - and I feel it fits better like that as an audiobook, rather than squeezing it into the main story so you are constantly juggling which character's perspective you are listening from.
I was fortunate to have received this free copy for an unbiased review, and it was a long, satisfying, enjoyable listen. Both the narrator and author are new to my listening, and I am glad I took the chance on new, and would highly recommend the purchase to fans of supernatural horror.

  • Zombie Airman

  • By: David Guenther
  • Narrated by: Randolf Rebrick
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

The night of the plague follows sunset on April Fool’s Day around the world. By sunrise, less than fifteen percent of the world’s population is uninfected. The airborne disease is invulnerable to any air filter or disease barrier. The fifteen percent uninfected are still vulnerable to the disease when spread via bodily fluids as the infected seek to spread their disease. These are the stories of those just trying to survive.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting twist to the zombie genre!

  • By RJ on 09-15-18

Zombie "Airpersons"

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

Reviewed: 09-10-18

Zombie Airman is a more lighthearted zombie apocalypse, as opposed to the more common downer zombie series, where everything is tragic and people end up being the larger issue... It is more like a favorite TV series of mine, Z Nation, than The Walking Dead...

The book is dealing with a large cast of people, primarily Air Force personnel, hence review title of "Airpersons" , men and women, from an airbase. The three main characters are Air Force personnel: General Peters, Gloria, a Lieutenant, and Caleb, an Airman.

The book has some interesting fresh ideas as well. Also like Z Nation, the concept of humans who get infected but don't turn is used. The story was complete, but open ended.

There is a bit too many acronyms in use, and although they are explained on first use, it is a bit much for someone not familiar with them to follow. In a few spaces there was I think there was as many as three in the one sentence.

The narration was easy to listen too and suited the tone of the material.

An enjoyable easy read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful