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Michael Oberhardt

  • 100
  • reviews
  • 190
  • helpful votes
  • 1,524
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  • Insurgent

  • Ice Hammer, Volume 2
  • By: Basil Sands
  • Narrated by: Basil Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8

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. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The 'Empire Strikes Back' of the Trilogy

  • By Michael Oberhardt on 09-18-18

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 23
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22

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: 65 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13

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
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

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

  • The Distance

  • By: Jeremy Robinson, Hilaree Robinson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer, Heather Costa
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

The human race has turned to dust. August Morrison faces it after rising from the depths of a dark matter research facility in Arizona. His co-workers. His daughter. All of them: dust. Friends and colleagues around the world don’t answer their phones. The city of Phoenix burns. He is alone. As a world without mankind starts to crumble, August fights not just for survival, but for his very sanity. On the other side of the country, Poe McDowell watches her parents crumble into dust just moments after being shoved inside a coffin-like device that spares her from the same fate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • He's done it again!

  • By Sandra on 09-02-18

An Odd Apocalypse

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

Reviewed: 09-06-18

The Distance is a pretty interesting and unique tale of an alien "invasion", for want of a better term. Quite unlike and idea in that genre I've read or seen or heard before. The story was well contained, a "one and done", with all questions answered, and a satisfying story arc. As a reader, I was wondering what was going on, as were the characters, and as the story progressed you are able to get a better idea and make some guesses yourself, and in this case I was overall correct, but was a bit more complicated than I was thinking.

I'm a big fan of Jeremy Robinson's books, and of Jeffrey Kafer's narration, and have purchased many audiobooks featuring either of these. Hillaree Robinson and Heather Costa I'm not as familiar with however. I was pretty pleased to receive a free review copy of this new novel, both to hear two known artists I'm a fan of, as well as trying out two more.

The style of the novel as well as the dual narrators assisted the story very well, and unlike a lot of novels where the book is continually flipping from one main character to another, it was pretty easy to follow - assisted even further with the dual narrators. Even with a single narrator I don't think I'd have had any issues following the story.

A solid enjoyable read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Feral

  • A Novel of Werewolf Horror
  • By: Matt Serafini
  • Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28

Jack and Allen need a break. They’ve decided to spend the summer before their senior year of college out in Western Massachusetts. But their quest for rest and relaxation comes to an end when they arrive in Greifsfield, MA. Their friendship is tested by a mysterious beauty and her razor-sharp smile, then broken when they’re caught up in a rash of mysterious disappearances. How will these two friends cope with the truth behind a town that craves raw meat? And how will they survive beneath the glow of the full moon?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Read for Fans of Werewolves

  • By Anonymous User on 08-17-18

Infestation

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

Feral is a novel of a small town werewolf infestation, and it starts with a bang, with the introduction of the main character, Amanda, hunting werewolves, and then takes a quick change of pace to the suburban life of some young people in the dating world, which rapidly declines with the fates of many of the newly introduced characters. The situation rapidly dissolves when it becomes apparent that the issue is town wide, and Amanda and Jack try to sort out the mess. Jack's friend Allen is turned, and is with Elizabeth, an older werewolf, who is not part of the town plot.

Just a couple of notes. The book was too full of erotica for my personal taste, and if I was aware of this, I'd not have gotten it. The category of the book didn't indicate this, nor does the book description. This book should be flagged as such. Also, I did get this book free as a review copy. That said, I am horror fan, and I don't really come across many werewolf novels, so I took the opportunity to listen to it, and given it was billed as just horror, and the description indicated the theme of the movies I love, 30 Days of Night and The Howling, so I jumped at the opportunity.

The narrator reminded me of Curtis Armstrong. Very easy to listen to. I don't have any other books narrated by him, but would definitely listen to more.

Aside from the over prevalent erotica, the story was engaging, and a good listen. If you like horror with a healthy does of that, then this book would be highly recommend. If you want your horror more just horror, like me, I'd say only if you (like me) bemoan the lack of werewolf novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Pilgrimage

  • A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Story
  • By: Tom Abrahams
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 134

Pilgrimage is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic story of survival. It was previously published as three separate novellas: Crossing, Refuge, and Advent. High School teacher James Rockwell is vacationing in Maine with his family, when an earth-changing explosion sends them on a race for their lives. Their first step is escaping an island in the midst of a tsunami, and it only gets more dangerous from there. Can they find their way home as civilization crumbles around them? And if they do, what horrors will they find?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Typical apocalypse story

  • By June on 08-22-18

A Family Trip to Remember...

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

The brief synopsis of the story was in my wheelhouse, and I've other novels by Tom Abrahams, and many narrated by Kevin Pierce, so when I was given the opportunity to get a free review copy, I was glad for the opportunity. It was a bonus when I started listening to it, and discovered that it was a story set in the Steve Konkoly Perseid Collapse universe, which I've owned for some time.

The book is made of three separate arcs, with each part starting with an exciting scene late in the part, then rewinding back to how it all began. An interesting technique, and I guess it works well enough when the section is say 3 hours, as opposed to 12 (in which case, the pay off is too far away).

At the end, he book also contains an authors not on plus a brief excerpt from one of his other series, the Alt Apocalypse. Color me intrigued, and I am now looking into these books also.

Kevin Pierce as always does a fantastic job, and is a pleasure to listen to.

Recommended!

  • The Handyman

  • By: Bentley Little
  • Narrated by: Chris Andrew Ciulla
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 896
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 837
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 836

Daniel Martin has never forgotten his childhood encounters with Frank Watkins, the man who built his family a summer home out of cardboard and plywood. Frank's gaze was oddly confusing, as if he was attempting to discern the proper way to behave because he didn't know how to respond in a human manner. Since Frank obviously wasn't an alien, young Daniel thought maybe the man was crazy. In the end, Daniel would learn the terrifying truth about Frank Watkins. And as an adult, Daniel is about to discover there are more of them out there.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Little is back!

  • By JuniorLo on 02-08-18

Way better than I was hoping for

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

I'm a fan of the author, and was a little apprehensive on this one based on the description. I thought it might have been a straightforward novel of a really poor handyman, so someone untrained, unlicensed, working on the cheap, but doing a really bad job. Yes a real world nightmare, which I' m not really into, as too close to home... But as with his other novels, The Handyman didn't disappoint. Yes it is about a really bad nightmare of a handyman, and it starts off that way, but ends up a situation a thousand times worse. A really unique idea too, the whole concept, I felt.

The narration was engaging also, and a perfect fit. Recommended.

  • Apollo 8

  • The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon
  • By: Jeffrey Kluger
  • Narrated by: Brian Troxell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 902
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 849
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 848

In August 1968 NASA made a bold decision: In just 16 weeks, the United States would launch humankind's first flight to the moon. Only the year before, three astronauts had burned to death in their spacecraft, and since then the Apollo program had suffered one setback after another. Meanwhile, the Russians were winning the space race, the Cold War was getting hotter by the month, and President Kennedy's promise to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade seemed sure to be broken.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous Book

  • By Jack Mueller on 06-24-17

A well constructed account of a less remembered mi

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

The account was very engagingly constructed and covered a good slice of the space program, mainly from the perspective of the crews of the Apollo 8, and their history (including prior missions), and other events, leading to the historic mission. To be honest, I wasn't that familiar with the mission and history, even after listening to and reading several space program books, including the brilliant Gene Kranz account, "Failure is not an Option". This mission was very impressive on all accounts, given it was changed at a later stage from an earth orbit mission to the lunar mission.

Highly recommended!

  • Odysseus Awakening

  • Odyssey One, Book 6
  • By: Evan Currie
  • Narrated by: David deVries
  • Length: 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 908
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 830
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 832

Defy the inevitable. Such is the stance of Confederation captain Eric Weston and the crew of the starship Odysseus, patrolling the outer limits of Priminae space, anticipating the Empire's next attacks. Connected with the Terran FTL tech - the transition drive - humanity might stand a chance against the overwhelming forces. Until the entire planetary system goes dark. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Odysseus arrives to find the Empire securing critical intelligence from Priminae ships.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • getting repetitive. speed it up Currie!

  • By Brindysam on 01-21-18

Note to self...

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

The last two entire books of the series have just covered some space battles. There has been zero story or plot progression. I'm done with the series. Plus the writing is so confusing it is hard to figure what side of the fight you are listening to as the always generically refer to just "us" and "the enemy" in most cases. So this review is a warning to myself in case I forget when I look at the next book...