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  • Abendau's Heir

  • The Inheritance Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Jo Zebedee
  • Narrated by: Travis Neisler
  • Length: 12 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Being chosen always hurts. Kare faces a choice - he can inherit his cruel mother's Empire or accept his father's birthright and stand against her, knowing he will incur her wrath. Once made, that choice will threaten everything he holds dear - his friends and loved ones, his family, even his sanity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Dark Tale

  • By Bookaholic on 09-11-16

Perhaps a smidge too much like Star Wars.

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

Reviewed: 08-23-16

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review from the rights holder courtesy of audio book boom.

The story's enjoyable enough on it's own, as long as you don't think about the plot elements. Twin children of an evil tyrant separated from one another at a very young age. The main character witnesses traumatic family deaths at the hands of said tyrant. A rebel group hiding out in secret bases. Space travel combined with quasi-magical or mystical elements. I don't want to spoil too much, but the Star Wars parallelism is strong with this one. There are some substantial differences of course, and I guess there are only so many ways to tell a science fantasy space opera story, but the parallelism may unduly irritate fans of the venerable franchise. [Then again, there are also some similarities to Simon R. Green's Deathstalker series, so maybe there really are only so many ways to tell this kind of story]. If you can look past that aspect, it's a good yarn with fun characters dodging in and out of trouble very frequently.

  • The Heir to the North

  • By: Steven Poore
  • Narrated by: Diana Croft
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26

"Caenthell will stay buried, and the North will not rise again until I freely offer my sword to a true descendant of the High Kings, or until one takes it from my dying hands!" With this curse, the Warlock Malessar destroyed Caenthell. The bloodline of the High Kings disappeared and the kingdom faded into dark legend until even stories of the deed lost their power. But now there is an heir to the North.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • adventure

  • By Troublemer on 09-16-16

Enjoyable start to a series.

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

Reviewed: 08-23-16

What did you love best about The Heir to the North?

Relatable characters and good world-building.

What does Diana Croft bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Exceptionally good with character voices; narration was crisp and clear throughout.

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book from the author, narrator or rights-holder in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book boom.

It's clear this is the jumping-off point for a more substantial series. I thought the plot and world-building were very solid and the pacing was good. It has the feel of a young adult fantasy, but is still enjoyable for other readers. The big plot twist at the end isn't super hard to guess, but that doesn't detract from the quality of the book. Over all, a very enjoyable read.

  • Hatred Day, Book 1

  • By: T.S. Pettibone
  • Narrated by: Joe Calarco
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 42
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42

In the year 2052, it's not love but hate that unites the world. Humanity is unified against the Inborns, an extraterrestrial species with godlike intelligence and abilities, whose arrival on Earth caused an environmental and biological crisis. Enslaved and despised even by her own Inbornkind, 18-year-old Snofrid Yagami reawakens to the world after having her memories stolen and is certain of only one thing: She will do anything to ensure her freedom.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fantastic book read by a slow narrator

  • By Elle Kay on 07-29-16

Cool concept, lots of potential, decent execution.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-16

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book from the author, narrator or rights holder in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book boom.

First, let me discuss the narration. I actually thought the narrator did a very good job with character voices, but he had some odd pauses and breathiness that made the flow choppy at points. I also found the music at the beginning of each chapter more distracting than helpful.

As for the book itself, Hatred Day has a very cool concept: another, somewhat humanlike species arrives on earth via magic, causing ecological devastation and the outbreak of an inter-species war between the two races, which also pits science against magic. I thought the hook of having a half-human half-inborn as the lead character worked well, and has very interesting future narrative possibilities. The nuts and bolts of the plot were also solid, and characters generally acted in reasonable ways. If I had a complaint it was with the feel of the story. It's clear that the races hate one another--hence the title--but we're never really given much of a look into the minds of many inborns, or any humans, so it's a bit difficult to understand the conflict on a visceral level. It's very rare that I think a story needed more exposition, but this story could probably have used a prologue giving us a sense for the human perspective. That said, it's clear the authors have built this world very well to incredible detail, and I look forward to seeing where they take world and characters in future installments.

  • Dawn of Rebellion

  • Dawn of Rebellion, Book 1
  • By: Michelle Lynn
  • Narrated by: Danielle Cohen
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

My name is Dawn Nolan, and I've grown up on the streets of military-controlled London. The one person in my life I could always count on has been taken from me. Gabby is combative, pushy, a real pain - but she's the reason I've survived this long. She's my sister. And now she's gone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a surprise!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 02-17-17

Good, solid story with a few quirks.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-16

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy from the author, publisher or rights holder in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book boom.

I liked a lot of things about Dawn of Rebellion; the setting was good, and a lot of the world-building made sense. The two lead female characters were very well done. I found a lot of the use of modern slang kind of unusual, and Britain itself wasn't all that clearly flushed out as a whole. The narration was really good, barring a few minor and not particularly off-putting accent difficulties. Warning: this book has a gigantic cliffhanger at the end, so if that kind of thing really bothers you, wait for the next book before buying this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Winter Key

  • Keeper of Fate, Book 1
  • By: CS Patra
  • Narrated by: Jim Hickey
  • Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5

Ruled by the Empire, the world is filled with people, prosperity, and magic. For years, all three things have learned to exist with one another. Peace was in the world and everything was good. No one ever expected a change and they trusted their emperor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A good story but not great

  • By Hardy on 08-09-16

Too much telling, not enough showing.

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

Reviewed: 07-26-16

What was most disappointing about CS Patra’s story?

It got eaten by the exposition monster.

Have you listened to any of Jim Hickey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't, but his narration was solid.

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book from the author, narrator or rights holder in exchange for an honest review.

The story itself was fine: standard quest to protect/obtain magical artifact while pursued by an evil empire. I also thought the blend of magic and science had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, it was all tell, no show. We're told how the characters feel about one another; that the empire is good then evil; etc, rather than having these things primarily demonstrated through the character's actions. This is definitely a common problem; unfortunately it was really noticeable in The Winter Key.

  • The Children of Darkness

  • The Seekers, Book 1
  • By: David Litwack
  • Narrated by: Erin deWard
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 52

A thousand years ago the Darkness came - a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For 10 centuries they have kept the madness at bay with "temple magic," and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything. Childhood friends Orah and Nathaniel have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Just for Adults

  • By Mindjacked on 07-24-16

Coming of age sci-fi novel with a slightly heavy-h

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

Reviewed: 07-26-16

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Most interesting was probably the portrayal of society after the rejection of technology. Least interesting was probably the interaction between religion and science.

What about Erin deWard’s performance did you like?

Characters were readily identifiable and emotions were handled well.

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book from the author, publisher or rights holder in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book blast. I'll start with the good. The three main protagonists were very well drawn, their actions are believable, and, above all, they're likeable. The writing is very solid and consistent, and even the Arch-Vicker, the supposed villain of the story, was a well written, nuanced character. On the other hand, the hook of the story didn't work for me for two reasons. First, the old faith verses science cliché is done a lot now, and it gets old unless it's done really, really well, as in Weber's safehold series. Second, the explanation for how the new religion formed didn't work. I liked the author's attempt to portray the creation of the temple somewhat sympathetically, but the idea that the hundreds of religious groups out there right now will uniformly and easily agree to give up their core beliefs and form a new religion that worships the sun doesn't seem particularly believable. At a minimum, there ought to be Christian, Jewish or Muslim dissenters hanging out on the fringes of society, or passing down their old beliefs in secret. This was a bit too neatly wrapped up in a bow for me to be able to suspend my disbelief. Over all, I enjoyed the book, despite the world-building issues. It was a light, fun, engaging read with good characters.

  • Stryker

  • By: Bobby Andrews
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246

ISIS has unleashed a weaponized version of the deadly Ebola virus, killing 97% of the world's population. Only the immune and those who hunkered down in remote locations remain. Through the chaos strides a giant of a man known only as Stryker. He is a former Force Recon Marine, who has lost as much as anyone, but fights to preserve his honor and creed in the face of slave traders and rogue military elements who prey on the innocent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I hope this is book one of many

  • By The Lone Mopper on 07-15-16

Solid post-apocalyptic boiler-plate.

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

Reviewed: 07-19-16

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book blast.

Hard-charging ex-military hero? Check. Crusty old ex-military mentor figure? Check. Bad guys invading the homeland? Check. Team of damsels in distress turned unlikely heroines? Check. If you're looking for a solid, by-the-numbers post-apocalyptic story, this one's it. The narration was good, and the writing and characterization were decent. If I have any complaint it's that the cliffhanger ending could have been built up a bit more by showing a couple more cut scenes of the baddies preparing. As it was, the ending was a bit abrupt. Still, I enjoyed the story and I'm intrigued to see where it goes.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Uncommon Purpose

  • The Hope Island Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: P J Strebor
  • Narrated by: Keith Michaelson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

Following the bloody war between the Athenian Republic and the Pruessen Empire, an uneasy peace has settled over the region of space known as The Tunguska Fault. The Telford family's independent trading vessel, the Belinda, is captured by Pruessen slavers and the crew forced into a life of brutal servitude. Their desperate bid for freedom succeeds but a tragic price is paid.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic!!!

  • By Tiffany on 09-06-16

Great start to a military sci-fi story.

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

Reviewed: 07-19-16

What did you like best about this story?

Really good characterization and world-building.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did, actually; pulled an all-nighter to finish it.

Any additional comments?

I received a free copy of this audio book from the author, narrator, publisher or rights-holder in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book boom.

This was a really good introduction to a military science fiction series that looks very promising. World-building was solid, and the characters were very well articulated. There were a few points at which the story seemed to jump around a good bit, but that's probably a factor of the sheer amount of time this first story covered, so I imagine future books in the series won't quite have that feel. Parts of the story are dark and there's quite a bit of violence, but I didn't find any of that distracted from the story. Recommended for all fans of military SF.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Lost Worlds of South America

  • By: Edwin Barnhart, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Edwin Barnhart
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 689
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 629
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 616

Buried by the centuries on soaring mountain slopes and beneath arid deserts and lush jungles of South America, the remains of extraordinary, majestic civilizations-many unknown until recent decades-are now coming to light and raising tantalizing questions about what else may be awaiting discovery.Take an adventurous trek to these wilds of South America and the great civilizations of the ancients. In 24 eye-opening lectures, you'll take an in-depth look at the emerging finds and archaeological knowledge of more than 12 seminal civilizations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lost Worlds Rediscovered

  • By L.L. on 09-30-14

Fantastic course on forgotten history.

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

Reviewed: 07-01-16

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lost Worlds of South America?

I'd say probably his theory about the inter-connectedness of South American religion.

Any additional comments?

I bought this one along with Barnhart's other course, Maya to Aztec, in the recent two for one sale; while I'm still working through the Mesoamerica course, I loved this one. The descriptions of other cultures, theories about the South American past, Barnhart's fascinating take on the inter-connectedness of pre-Columbian South American religions and the role of the fanged deity, were all fascinating. Most of the things you read/hear about involving pre-Columbian South America begin and end with the Inca; this course demonstrates that this best-known South American civilization was the culmination of a long tradition stretching back thousands of years, and provides persuasive evidence that Peru's north coast is a real cradle of civilization. Highly recommended for those interested in pre-Columbian history, or just history in general.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Ruins of Camelot

  • By: G. Norman Lippert
  • Narrated by: Jus Sargeant
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

As the kingdom of Camelot descends into complacency, an ambitiously sadistic madman known as Merodach advances his rogue armies, recruiting by the sword and threatening revolt. Eighteen-year-old Princess Gabriella is the only one who understands the severity of the threat, but she is powerless to convince her father or her brave commoner husband, Darrick. With defeat all but certain, Gabriella sets out on a final, desperate quest. Her plan: to confront and defeat the madman, Merodach, before his armies can destroy everything she loves.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 07-11-16

A well done Camelot legend.

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

Reviewed: 06-28-16

Any additional comments?

I received this audio book at no cost in exchange for an honest review courtesy of audio book boom.

Ruins of Camelot is a fun take on the Arthurian myth and a fall of Camelot that happens long after Arthur. The characters are engaging, the plotis fun, and the weaving back and forth between times is well executed. The narration is also superb. All in all, I highly recommend this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful