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Norma Miles

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  • 106
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  • Zed's World Book Three: No Way Out

  • By: Rich Baker
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

For Kyle Puckett, Earth has become a savage place. As the world continues to decay, the survivors of the viral plague have started choosing sides. With each encounter the stakes - and the body count - continue to rise. With the skies growing darker and the dead pressing in, both sides may soon find out that there is No Way Out. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More action and twists before volume four!

  • By RJ on 09-08-18

Crazy is the new normal, man.

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

The Zed's World series started well - and just keeps getting better.The characters met in the earlier books, at least those who have survived, continue to grow: real people, all of them, reacting to their fears, hopes and slights the way that normal folks caught in a far from normal situation might well respond. The vast numbers of the undead (an early news bulletin from the government had requested they not be referred to as zombies) vary from fast runners who do not tire to those still mindlessly growling in cars, held by seat belts they don't know how to open, and everything in between. The food is running out for those who managed to stay out of their attention and now survivors have to forage for supplies, risking detection. There might be greater safety in numbers, but there are tensions, too, threatening to upset even the well prepared. And there is real hostility existing from the very beginning between some families.

Well written with excellent characterisation and seen from several points of view, this zombie story is unusual in it's feel of total plausibility. Plenty of action and very visual, there is a fair amount of gore being extracted both from humans and the Zed's.

The narration is by Andrew Wehrlen, reading with just the right amount of flippancy to keep the story both grounded and flowing well. He maintains a fast pace, never becoming over emotional in presentation, allowing the story to tell itself. Each character, too, is individually and appropriately voiced, whether male or female (and there are many). A very good performance.

My thanks to the rights holder for freely gifting me a complimentary copy of No Way Out after I had requested it, via Audiobook Boom. Not usually overly impressed by zombie stories, Zed World has had me gripped since book I. The tensions continue to climb: book four is hugely anticipated by this reader.
Recommended highly for all with a fondness for the zombie genre or any apocalyptic fans. It excels.

  • Exploration: Age of Expansion

  • The Ghost Squadron, Book 2
  • By: Sarah Noffke, Michael Anderle
  • Narrated by: Chris Abernathy
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

Eddie and Julianna are hell-bent on tracking down Vas and making him pay for his crimes. He’s armed and dangerous, and to make matters worse, he’s on the hunt for a devastating weapon that could bring destruction to the Federation and all its people. But as Ghost Squadron grows, so do the dangers on the fringe of Federation space. They still don’t know who is behind all the attacks but no matter what, they’re going to bring this faceless enemy down. Experience this exciting military sci-fi saga and the latest addition to the expanded Kurtherian Gambit Universe. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best combination of Syfy with Fantacy

  • By glxyjoe on 07-23-18

Falling down is key, as well as getting up.

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

Although billed as military science fiction, and, yes, the crew of Archangel are fighting their way through the multiverse, this has the feel more of a space romp. Captained by a rather juvenile personality, even if he's a dependable, hard fighting, hard drinking rogue, and an exceedingly old, but ever young and beautiful, genetically modified woman, given the right weapons they can conquer with ease any foe they encounter. And given the weapons they are. The hardware comes virtue of a genius, eight armed inventor engineer and more cerebral assistance is boosted in this episode with the addition of two new recruits: a super hacker and a female archeologist with a knowledge of numerous intergalactic languages. There are battles but concentration is on fun characters and lots of drinks at the bar in between.

Narration by Chris Abernathy is very good, with many character voices to perform, each one individual and sometimes outrageous. He moves along at a fine pace, echoing the text faithfully.
This is a fun series to hear. So get out the nachos and settle down for a relaxing, galaxy saving listen.

  • War Poet

  • The Life of Alan Seeger and His Rendezvous with Death
  • By: Michael Hill
  • Narrated by: Price Waldman
  • Length: 3 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2

War Poet is a biography of American poet, Alan Seeger, author of "I Have a Rendezvous with Death", one of the most powerful and memorable war poems of all time. Drawing on new and important archival material, author Michael Hill paints a noble and poignant portrait of Seeger, a little known but fascinating American poet. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It is written.

  • By Norma Miles on 09-06-18

It is written.

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

Reviewed: 09-06-18

Born in New York, raised both there and in Mexico and attending university at Harvard, Alan Seeger grew up with an intense love of nature and, it would seem, a total belief in himself and what he expected from life. A romantic, a seeker and a poet, living on handouts, he sponged off his family and working friends for money ('I will not be a drudge'), finally persuading his parents to pay for him to go to Paris, the West Bank, home of many Bohemian artists, after having failed to find his inspiration in Greenwich Village. He sailed for France in 1912, found a cheap room with a view and at last he felt at home. 'I have been born anew,' he said, but soon had the reputation of being the poorest American in Paris as he failed to find a publisher for his slim volume of poems.
When war broke out in Europe two years later, he enlisted in the American division of the Foreign Legion to defend the city he loved and it was during his time awaiting the, to him, noble battle against the Germans that he wrote his famous poem, I Have A Rendezvous with Death, which put him into the annals of the Great War Poets.

This short biography of this rather strange man, incidentally uncle to the folk singer, Pete Seeger, is brief. Although littered with famous names, not much is said about Alan's actual nature, possibly because until he'd spent a considerable time in the army, he was thought by many to be rude, self centered and arrogant, keeping to himself alone in his room and refusing to talk to anyone except on his own terms. He died, aged 28, at the Somme, apparently delighted. The book concludes with a reading of his famous (short) poem. The narration throughout was excellent. Price Walman has a warm and pleasant voice with good intonation and pacing, a perfect choice to project a life story without intrusion.

My thanks to the rights ho!der of War Poet who, at my request, freely gifted me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. Although this reader would have preferred a little more in depth information of Seeger's pre military ideas, given the lack of communication he seemed to have had with almost everyone, perhaps this is unavailable. It was, however, a very interesting introduction to one of the World War One poets of whom I was previously unaware, probably because, being a Brit, we sadly have several masters in that field ourselves already. Too many dead.

  • Sharpe Edge

  • Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series, Book 2
  • By: Lisa B. Thomas
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

A Christmas party for the upper crust of the small Texas town of Maycroft turns tragic when the hostess ends up dead. Everyone assumes her death is an accident - everyone except her daughter, Estelle. She turns to Deena to help solve the mystery. A jealous friend and a mysterious heir are just two of the likely suspects. As a school teacher turned newspaper reporter, Deena must get crafty to dig out the truth before anyone else gets hurt, including her own brother.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • another great mystery

  • By Troublemer on 06-02-17

A life lived. A life lost.

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

Reviewed: 08-26-18

Almost Christmas and the social event of Maycroft, Texas, the fund raising party of wealthy Caroline Fitzhugh, saw Gary and Deena Sharpe invited: her brother was dating Estelle, only daughter of the hostess. Deena had recently retired from her teaching position and now worked for a local paper, and she enjoyed the luxurious splendour of the assembled guests and dinner. But, just as the cheque books were brought out, everything abruptly ended when Caroline, in her wheelchair, crashed to the bottom of the flight of stairs. She was dead, neck broken. Apparently an accident, Estelle was convinced it was murder and she asked Gary and Deena to investigate further. But who could possibly want to harm so pleasant a woman - apart, that is, from her heir, Deena herself?

Brightly co!ourful and interesting protagonists and an old fashioned atmosphere, this is an enjoyable mystery even if the who-done-it? aspect is rather obvious. A delightful peek into social seperation, too. Narrator, Kelley Hazen does it full justice, reading with confident warmth with good intonation and expression. Good individual character voicings, too, which really he!ps bring them to life.

My thanks to the rights holder of Sharpe Edge who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. An enjoyable cozy mystery, notable more for the individual cameos than the story itself and recommended for pleasant light reading.

  • The Asphalt Warrior

  • The Asphalt Warrior Series, Book 1
  • By: Gary Reilly
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldsmith
  • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

Introducing Denverite Brendan Murphy, or "Murph" as he is known to the rest of the world. He lives alone in his crow's nest apartment, fries a hamburger for every meal, does his dish, then channel surfs for reruns of Gilligans Island. He is a radical minimalist. He strives to earn no more money as a driver for Rocky Mountain Taxi Company than his needs require. He is determined to stay out of the lives of those he transports. He struggles with one issue and is spectacularly bad with the other. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riding with Murph is a total trip

  • By Mars on 06-20-18

Self deception is cheaper than vallium

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

The first in a series of books in which Murph, a Denver taxi driver and unpublished author, delights and surprises with his (first person) stream of consciousness ramblings about fares, tips and tipping, incidents from his past, his love of burgers - there is a deliciously funny section on the differences between home made versus preformed meat patties - people, friends (he doesn't like them), money, literature, places in Denver, his trunk of unpublished novels, TV shows, life in general and his in particular: in fact, almost anything and everything. There is a basic story line but that is really unimportant. It is the comudgenly character himself who is all important. With so many one liners and throw aways, the book had this reader laughing out loud throughout, something very rarely achieved.
Murphy is interpreted by narrator, Michael Goldsmith, whose gruff sounding voice is the perfect foil. Perhaps not a narrator for many publications but for the Asphalt Warrior he is superb, really feeling his way into Murph's quirky character to bring him alive and travelling through his life with the reader as accidental passenger. Marvellous.

Until recently, I had never heard of Gary Reilly. His books are being published posthumously by friends. A great talent - and he must have been quite a personality. The second book in this series has also been published in audio. I have, of course, purchased this also and hope that the others will soon appear: the print books are good but with Mr.Goldsmith becoming Murph, the Audio version is simply superb.

  • Formation: Age of Expansion

  • The Ghost Squadron, Book 1
  • By: Michael Anderle, Sarah Noffke, J. N. Chaney
  • Narrated by: Chris Abernathy
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 67
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

After 10 years of wandering the outer rim of the galaxy, Eddie Teach is a man without a purpose. He was one of the toughest pilots in the Federation, but now he’s just a regular guy, getting into bar fights and making a difference wherever he can. It’s not the same as flying a ship and saving colonies, but it’ll have to do. That is, until General Lance Reynolds tracks Eddie down and offers him a job. There are bad people out there. Someone has to stop them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kurtherian Gambit Series, with all the trimmings.

  • By Ron ... a fan of exciting books! on 01-20-18

Puppies don't purr, they bark.

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

Reviewed: 08-01-18

The old Empire has been replaced by the Federation, with emphasis on all places and species living in peace and harmony. At least, that is the theory. But something far more sinister than occasional pirates and smugglers is threatening stability, the Hassan peoples are becoming ever more agressive. Although appearance and beaurocracy prevent any official intervention, a mercenary group can go where the government officially cannot; so an old soldier hero from a decade or more ago is sought out to form a covert group of intel gathering spies and, if necessary, to intervene illicitly to keep the peace.
The man selected is Eddie, one time Captain, superior pilate with 57 authenticated kills to his name , famous for caring for and being loved by his men. Since leaving the military ten years before, he'd led a drfter's life, moving between stations and bars, looking for fights. He had just found one when General Reynolds arrived on the scene with an augmented female agent, Julianna, to recruit him for the job. Lured by the thrills of again having his own superbly advanced ship and a mission to help others, Eddie quickly retrains and with Julianna sets out for a major trouble spot to uncover what is really happening there. And to recruit more people, alien or human, to their team.

Eddie is the typical fast talking, semi comedic character, who fights hard but beneath the joking has an heart of gold. His lovely sidekick, Julianna, more sedate and with a real killer instinct, is much (much) older having had implant upgrades, including being able to drink all the alcohol she likes (and she likes) without getting drunk, a useful attribute when working alongside Eddie. The aliens are interesting, the battle scenes immaginative and the story overall is enough to hold this reader's interested attention.

The book is performed by Chris Abernathy, who throws himself with enthusiasm into the individualistic voicing of every character, alien or human, whilst reading the connecting text with well paced clarity and understanding. My one dislike of his narration was the voice he gives to Eddie, the main protagonist, who appears always to be shouting everything he says. Although the volume is not raised, the timbre of his utterances was, for this reader, disconcerting and damaged any empathy that might otherwise have been felt for his character.

This was a god series start, enjoyable and with an intriguing twist whicl certainly makes me look forward to reading book two of the Ghost Squadron. Recommended to all space saga fans.

  • Yesterday's News

  • Clare Carlson Mystery
  • By: R. G. Belsky
  • Narrated by: Lili Dubuque
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

When 11-year-old Lucy Devlin disappeared on her way to school more than a decade ago, it became one of the most famous missing-child cases in history. Clare Carlson had unprecedented access to the Devlin family as she wrote about the heartbreaking search for their young daughter and broke exclusive after exclusive. Now, Clare once again plunges back into this sensational story with new evidence, new victims, and new suspects - too many suspects. But Clare has her own secrets. In order to untangle the truth about Lucy Devlin, she must finally confront her own torturous past.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WHAT A RIDE! LUCY!

  • By Victoria Haugen on 08-19-18

This has always been my story.

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

Almost fifteen years before, Clare Carlson had shot to newspaper reporting fame when her investigative articles about a little girl who had gone missing won her a Pulitzer prize despite the child never having been found. Since then she'd moved on, from the New York Times, to T.V. and now, at 45, she was the News programming director. With the 15th anniversary of Lucy Devlin's disappearance fast approaching, the mother claimed new evidence in the form of an email she had received, a sighting of Lucy at a biker convention days after she went missing. Ann had never stopped believing that her daughter was still alive. Now she was, herself, dying she wanted Clare to reopen the case, reminding her of a promise made all those years before to always be there for her.

This reader usually avoids missing children stories, but intrigued by the journalistic approach, this time requested, and was freely gifted a complimentary copy of Yesterday's News, by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. It proved to be a book which totally involved and captivated the immagination, with well drawn characterisation, unexpected revelations and coincidences which had to be something more. As this cleverly presented tale unfolds, and the field of discovery widens, it becomes clear that little is as it had seemed all those years before.

Rarely do those much proclaimed twists and turns surprise this reader, but these did, and although, as a whole, the story was improbable, it was so artfully written that it nevertheless carried through with a feeling of confused reality. This was ably reinforced by narrator, Lily Dubuque, whose clear and pleasant voice reads with good intonation and understanding of the text, and with gently defined character voices

My thanks to the rights holder. This mystery, told without undue hystrionics, was complelling and and hard to put down. There are, of course, minor flaws but nothing to stop the enjoyment of the story, it's starling revelations through to the equally ambiguous ending. A great read, highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Biohack

  • Gender Wars, Book 1
  • By: J. D. Lasica
  • Narrated by: Denise Howell
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 18

Valerie Ramirez, a special ed teacher still haunted by her toddler’s drowning accident, faces a fateful decision when she’s admitted into an exclusive program run by a mysterious biotech company. Kaden Baker, an elite hacker who dabbles in covert ops, finds her life turned upside down when she discovers her parents turn out to be imposters. Where does she come from? Who’s been financing her high-stakes secret missions? The answers lead back to the same sinister biotech firm. As Kaden and Valerie become allies, they make one startling discovery after another about the company’s dark intentions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great Sci-Fi thrill ride

  • By cosmitron on 07-14-18

Nurture your child from day one.

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

Reviewed: 07-30-18

A near future science fiction story whose central premise could very soon be everyday reality. The CEO of a start up genetics company, Birthrights Unlimited, has had to engage with some unpleasant sponsors in order to survive. Now at it's tenth year anniversary, the time has come to launch worldwide. But beneath the squeaky clean public face of hope, things are very rotten.

The book explores ideas of genetics and bioengineering, it's ethics, moral impact and public perception, as well as the concept of privacy in an ever expanding technological world. The action is fast paced, the greed rampant and there is an unpleasant taste of plausibility. However, the book would have been far better with a little less attempt to shock and greater attention to character development. Narration by Denise Howell was good. Her clear, pleasant sounding voice was well paced and modulated with sufficient differentiation of characters to make each distinguishable. Vocally, she mirrored the text in emotional presentation and carried the story forward well.

My thanks to the rights holder of Biohack for freely gifting me a complimentary copy, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. It was certainly intriguing as well as an exciting read, but with an overly rushed ending and less than solid protagonists,it could have been better. However, if slightly futuristic concepts in bioengineering and how it might affect the fabric of our society, all set in a thriller format, is your thing, this is certainly worth reading.

  • Easy like Sunday Mourning

  • A Page Turners Novel, Book 2
  • By: Jennie Marts
  • Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Single mom Maggie Hayes puts up a tough front to hide her loneliness, spending her days in the courtroom as a lawyer and her evenings as a closet video gamer. Another heartache isn't worth the risk, not after her husband left her last year for a Hooters waitress. When she decides to try dating again, a cute video-game-designing nerd seems like a safe bet - until he becomes the prime suspect in a murder. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • laugh out loud moments

  • By Layla on 08-04-18

Holy Geek Squad. That is a lot of nerds!

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

Reviewed: 07-29-18

book )
"Holy geek squad. That is a lot of nerds!"
When one of the central programmers in a revolutionary new gaming concept is murdered, the company's owner, Jeremy (quinticentual nerd and big Star Wars fan) is called back from his romantic hiking holiday with Maggie (mother of two boys, divorcé and World of Warcraft player, lawyer, mostly normal if somewhat paranoid about commitment). Who killed Jim Edwards, and why?

This is a romance and murder mystery, but much heavier on the romance side. Maggie is a key member of a meddling book club with one of it's members, Edna, an inveterate crime solver. Amusing throughout (if the reader can stand all of Maggie's mental musings of doom) with a genuinely laugh out loud sequence near the ending. The whole story is somewhat surreal but good fun. The narration by Stacey Glembosci is good. She has a lovenly velvet rich voice, well intoned and nicely paced to make the most of the text. Good story delivery and voicing of the characters with just enough emotional imput.

My thanks to the rights holder who freely gifted me a complimentary copy of Easy Like Sunday Mourning (I love the title!) at my request, via Audiobook Boom. Good, amusing characters, though I personally would have preferred a bit more mystery, a lot less romantic musings, but overall an enjoyable book which should appeal to most cozy readers

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Singularity Trap

  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,119
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,186

When Ivan Pritchard signs on as a newbie aboard the Mad Astra, it's his final, desperate stab at giving his wife and children the life they deserve. He can survive the hazing of his crewmates, and how many times, really, can near-zero g make you vomit? But there's another challenge looming out there, in the farthest reaches of human exploration, that will test every man, woman and AI on the ship - and will force Ivan to confront the very essence of what makes him human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent.

  • By Amy Snider on 06-13-18

So far down the rabbit hole...

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

Reviewed: 07-22-18

The habitable world is shrinking, housing and food prices rising, without being born into money there is almost no chance to succeed. Although both Ivan and his wife, Judy, both have pretty good jobs, they can barely afford to rent a small, very basic home for themselves and their two children In a desperate bid to add to their income, they invest all they can in a share in a space mining operation and Ivan joins the crew of the Mad Astra, searching for that special asteroid which will make them all wealthy. But luck has been against them recently, the Mad Astra has not broken even on her two previous tours and with creditors circling, this could be her last. So the sighting of a promising large rock circled by a peanut shaped baby one, has everyone in a flurry of excited anticipation.
Until they find something unexpected

Although in my t.b.r. pile, for some reason this reader had so far avoided the Bobverse Trilogy so, with no no preconceptions beyond the obvious pleasure that those earlier books had delivered. was immediately drawn to the character of Ivan when the story began. Written with an humerous peek into the discomfort of a man out of place amidst the already space familiar soon-to-be work colleagues, the story developed at fairly rapid pace, enlarging outwards from the crew and their fears and expectations to that of world wide responses. The nicely drawn characters were fully brought to life, too, by the excellent performance of narrator, Ray Porter, man of many voices, who read with good pacing, intonation and inflection. With the addition of occasional special effects, it was easy to forget that this wasn't an entire cast and the bride book became a slow burn thriller very hard to put down.

Great narration, excellent immaginative ideas cleverly, but simply, written, with deeper moral, emotional and sociological undertones to ponder, this is a good science fiction thriller additionally blessed with humour. I loved it and happily recommend it to others with any fodness for the genre.