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Diana

Antelope Valley, CA, United States
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  • Astral Prime Mission Pack 1: Missions 1-4

  • Black Ocean: Astral Prime Mission Pack
  • By: J.S. Morin, M.A. Larkin
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 19 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9

They found a planet where none belonged. They should have left it alone. This audiobook includes the first four missions in the Black Ocean: Astral Prime series.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The Specialness is gone, just another sci-fi story

  • By Diana on 11-15-18

The Specialness is gone, just another sci-fi story

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

I am about 2/3rds of the way through this sci-fi 4-pack series, and couldn't care less if I finish or not. The specialness of the series that was experienced in the 1 through 16.5 series is gone. No more great descriptions that kept reminding me of what the characters looked like or saw, smelled, tasted, felt, or heard. No more unique insightful moments of noticing something about life, or on a planet, or in some interaction. No more twisty plot that holds delightful surprises. No more sophistication and depth.

The story uses the world structure built in the previous books. Some of the characters or species too. But it is just basic paint-by-numbers writing and the series has slid back toward a Young Adult level.

The narrator slides around mixing up the characters' voices at times, not bothering to give distinctive voices to the characters so I am constantly guessing, wondering, and waiting for the X-said or Y-said written in the story to let me know who said what.

I will trudge through the rest of the story, but it's not a wonderful hike through someplace different. It's just another science fiction story. The unique and delightful difference that made me compare the writing to the specialness of Firefly is not here.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Colors of All the Cattle

  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Lisette Lecat
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the city council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded. Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable

  • By Jean on 11-15-18

A lovely continuation

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

Reviewed: 11-08-18

The evolving lives, the observations of humanity, the laugh-out-loud moments. I am always uplifted by each No. 1 Ladies Detective book.

This time the blurb promised more than was in this book.

(quote from the book blurb)

" . . . Publisher's Summary

Precious Ramotswe dips her toe into the world of politics in the newest addition to the beloved and best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

When Mma Potokwane suggests to Mma Ramotswe that she run for a seat on the city council, Mma Ramotswe is at first unsure. But when she learns about the proposed construction of the flashy Big Fun Hotel next to a graveyard, she allows herself to be persuaded.

Her opponent is none other than Violet Sephotho, who is in the pocket of the hotel developers. Although Violet is intent on using every trick in the book to secure her election, Mma Ramotswe refuses to promise anything beyond what she can deliver - hence her slogan: "I can't promise anything - but I shall do my best."

To everyone's surprise, she wins. As it turns out, politics does not agree with Mma Ramotswe. Though everyone is supportive, she eventually resigns. She thinks there will be a new election, but she discovers the rules state that in such an event, the runner-up automatically takes the seat. Violet is triumphant and sure she will get the Big Fun Hotel planning application through without a hitch.

But Mma Makutsi and Mma Potokwane are not about to make it easy for her. Through it all, Mma Ramotswe uses her good humor and generosity of spirit to help the community navigate divisive issues and proves that honesty and compassion will always carry the day. . . ." (end of quote from the book blurb)

This book seems to cover about half of this book blurb. Or, there was more? It seemed to end abruptly.

I love these books and look forward to any future books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Reverse Transmission

  • By: Ben O'Brien, Param Anand Singh, Dani Montalvo, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55

Reverse Transmission is a darkly comedic story that combines elements of science fiction and dystopian thrillers, centering on a murder spree involving a self-driving car. Jay, a starving artist, gets the only day job she’s qualified for: “driver” of a self-driving car at the rideshare company Awooga. The job turns from hilariously awkward to intensely frightening when the car runs over a pedestrian and manipulates Jay into disposing the body. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This is an ARG comparable to THHPII

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-08-18

Disjointed story - ham-fisted sound effects

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

Artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, the future with regard to humans in society, jobs, and the effect of robots or transhumanism . . . these are all topics I'm interested in. This should have been an audio story I would have loved.

But, it's too disorganized, the acting was over-the-top, and in particular the sound effects were too much, too loud.

One of my favorite re-listens is Cabin Pressure. It has sound effects behind the acting, but it is done so tastefully and with such a deft hand that I didn't realize there were sound effects until re-listening to various episodes. That's how sound effects should be done. Masterfully, with a light touch. Not like a DJ screeching a record back and forth.

This was awful. I kept wanting to bail out but knowing how short this audio story was, thought I would stay to the end to see if it had any meaning or resolution. But it didn't.

This was lame.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • A Full Life

  • Reflections at Ninety
  • By: Jimmy Carter
  • Narrated by: Jimmy Carter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 752
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 682
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 673

Jimmy Carter, 39th president, Nobel Peace Prize winner, international humanitarian, fisherman, reflects on his full and happy life with pride, humor, and a few second thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it

  • By Scott Volltrauer on 08-19-16

Very good. Loved the narration. Surprising.

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

Reviewed: 10-24-18

I was too young and disinterested in politics when President Carter was our President. I have only known that of all the Presidents I have been aware of, he was my favorite - simply because of the impression I got of his sincere interest in doing good for humanity.

This book had, in the section of his navy days and in other parts where competitiveness was the main theme, some glossed over stories of what a serious bad-ass this man was when it came to feats of derring-do. The training of submariners in the 1940s? to escape from 300ft? below the ocean's surface following a rope to the surface was amazing. That he chose to do this in a second and more competitive manner was a pattern of behavior repeated throughout the book. President Carter was very competitive - but it appeared to be more for himself than against others. He worked very hard to be the very best.

In his youth, he actually plowed fields with a mule. Meat didn't get to the family's table from the supermarket either.

There are single sentences or brief paragraphs of physically dangerous, or daring, or even just tough jobs President Carter did in his lifetime that other politicians would talk about and milk their entire political lives in order to make themselves look like manly achievers. These things are simply mentioned, very briefly, and then the story moves on. The casual reader or listener might even miss the meaning of some great accomplishments merely mentioned with a few words.

The contemplative memories, the sly humor that had me bursting out loud with laughter, the thoughtful poems that were scattered through the book where they related to the story just told . . . this audio book was a pleasurable experience. Makes me feel good that there are such people in this world, battling mightily, quietly, powerfully and effectively behind the scenes to make this world a better place.

  • Maisie Dobbs

  • By: Jacqueline Winspear
  • Narrated by: Rita Barrington
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,063
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,208
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,205

Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful discovery

  • By Lori on 08-07-09

Just the slightest of slow stars, but worth it!

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

Reviewed: 10-06-18

A very good book. I normally don't like historical fiction but this book had been recommended so tried it. The beginning was a bit slow, but I am glad I hung in there, and it didn't take long to get going. I had just recently read a "cozy mystery" set in the same time period, so it was interesting to continue to learn about World War One and the experience during and effects afterward as the stories wove through events of the day.

It's a humanizing way to learn a bit about history. And war. And, the Spanish Flu - that killed 50 million people. The descriptions for the senses are done well. The writing brings visual, auditory and even temperature experiences to life with little details.

The narrator sang some songs in the story - with a beautiful voice.

I didn't realize this was a series, with 14 books listed, so this will be a fun binge listen.

  • You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams

  • My Life in Stories and Pictures
  • By: Alan Cumming
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 3 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 610
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 603

A beloved actor and famous man-on-the-scene, Alan Cumming takes the reader on a wild journey of pithy and cheeky fun, presenting his real-life stories of debauchery during late night Hollywood parties, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and hilarious yet poignant memories of his life, family, and friends.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Stained Glass Window

  • By Dr. Louie on 12-14-16

Enjoyable listen

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

Reviewed: 09-23-18

This was an enjoyable listen, a bit of a peek into the life of a celebrity. I am not certain that I would recognize Alan Cumming in a movie unless he was identified somehow. I bought this audio book because I liked the previous autobiography I listened to, despite the serious abusive memories from his childhood. There is a natural optimistic and hopeful tone to Mr. Cumming's voice that comes through and imparts a bit of hopefulness to life.

This book wasn't the same at all, with more emphasis on a lifestyle of travel and meeting celebrities, and insightful observations of places and people.

Interesting. The narration was, of course, excellent.

Throughout the book the author referred to a PDF of photos, which I am going to download now. I'll probably be able to identify him in the future in movies or shows, if he is in some of them. He sounds like a wonderful and talented actor - we just don't watch a lot of tv/movies.

  • The Space Barons

  • By: Christian Davenport
  • Narrated by: Will Collyer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 384
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 339
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336

The Space Barons is the story of a group of billionaire entrepreneurs who are pouring their fortunes into the epic resurrection of the American space program. Nearly a half century after Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, these Space Barons - most notably Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, along with Richard Branson and Paul Allen - are using Silicon Valley-style innovation to dramatically lower the cost of space travel and send humans even further than NASA has gone. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Incredible Modern Story Well Told

  • By Greg on 04-06-18

Exciting. Humans cooperating & competing to space

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

I had read a biography of Elon Musk, and found it gave me hope for the future of humanity. But the other personalities and companies developing space vehicles were not known to me. Especially Blue Origin. Richard Branson, of course, had been in the news, but the history of the the company he was affiliated with was sparse. And, living in an area with aerospace companies, this book seemed to be a good way to get up-to-speed.

What an enjoyable read of the American efforts to reach space. The narration was excellent, the story well told.

This book would likely be enjoyed by many people who work for any of the companies involved in building aircraft of any kind. Many companies are mentioned, if only to show how the competition worked against or with each other. But, overall, the book did not give me a negative feeling. When it ended, I felt pride in how America is a country of innovators, explorers, inventors, and even scientific wizards.

We live in an exciting and historic time.

  • The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: BBC Radio Casebook Vol.3

  • Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations
  • By: Alexander McCall Smith
  • Narrated by: Claire Benedict, full cast, Nadine Marshall
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Another seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramas, written and adapted by Alexander McCall Smith from his own best-selling series. A third outstanding collection of stories featuring Botswana’s only female private detective agency, run by the irrepressible Precious Ramotswe. Based on the hugely popular novels and brought to life with music and full casts, these evocative productions return us to Botswana, where Precious has more mysteries to solve.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very enjoyable full cast drama based on the books

  • By Diana on 09-16-18

Very enjoyable full cast drama based on the books

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

I love this book series, and this full cast drama based on the various story lines in the books is a real treat.

The actors really make the series come to life just using their voices and someone is very talented with the background sound effects.

Of course, these short stories based on the books will not have all the details in the books, but it's a lot of fun to hear the events play out. I remember extra details from the books as the events unfold. It's a lot of fun for me.

  • Spaceman

  • An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
  • By: Mike Massimino
  • Narrated by: Mike Massimino
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,652
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,496
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,492

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself strapped to a giant rocket that's about to go from zero to 17,500 miles per hour? Or to look back on Earth from outer space and see the surprisingly precise line between day and night? Or to stand in front of the Hubble Space Telescope, wondering if the emergency repair you're about to make will inadvertently ruin humankind's chance to unlock the universe's secrets? Mike Massimino has been there, and in Spaceman he puts you inside the suit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Likable guy, great storyteller

  • By Joy Woller on 10-09-16

Positive energy & attitude results from listening

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

What an inspiring story and speaker. Just listening to Mike Massimino's voice energized me and gave me a fresh perspective.

There are books that I wish young people who are on the verge of entering the responsibilities of adulthood would listen to. This is one such book. I'm certain this book has made a difference in the lives of people who have heard it. For the better.

And, it is a fun listen too.

  • Orbital

  • Station Breaker Series, Book 2
  • By: Andrew Mayne
  • Narrated by: Kyle McCarley
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 291

For astronaut David Dixon, sneaking aboard a Russian space station and stealing a nuclear bomb was the easy part - now he has to survive re-entry on an untested inflatable heat shield and then deal with the aftermath of being the most wanted man on Earth. When a clandestine intelligence agency offers David the chance to return to space and probably not get killed - he finds himself in a world of intrigue when a secret mission takes an unexpected turn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Decent Sequel that continues the series

  • By T. Bennett on 07-16-17

The rest of Book 1 begins Book 2 - annoying trick!

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

Still annoyed that the author/publisher chose to leave Book 1 unfinished, forcing the listener to buy Book 2 to finish Book 1.

Simply unethical and greedy decision by the author / publisher.

I won't buy another book from Andrew Mayne in the future.

This second book wasn't that great either. Once Book 1's ending was done, the character's story resumed after some weeks rest and went off on a different story line. The story line dragged a bit and I was tempted to return the book but hung in there.

This book is a bit "cheesy" and over-the-top with Macgyver-ish solutions. The writing lacks sophistication and depth and layers, so I'd put this at Young Adult level.

And, that's it for this unethical sales-ploy-using author/publisher. This is great for people who like to use 2 credits to finish one book.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful