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  • 16
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  • Level Five

  • By: William Ledbetter
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 806
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 748

In Level Five, the debut near-future thriller by Nebula Award winner William Ledbetter, AIs battle for dominance, and nanotechnology is on the loose. And all that stands in the way of the coming apocalypse is a starry-eyed inventor who dreams of building a revolutionary new spacecraft and an intelligence agency desk jockey faced with the impossible choice of saving her daughter - or saving the world. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A firm 4 stars.

  • By Tony on 07-20-18

Great AI Storyline, Outstanding Narration

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I’m always looking for new, really good sci-fi novels, particularly those that relate to AI. This meets both requirements. I particularly like the way Ledbetter develops Mortimer’s character and how Mortimer acquires a very distinct personality that impacts his decisions as the story progresses.

I’m not quite sure why the author dwells so much on human relationship issues. There are three major “breakups” that I don’t feel contribute much to the storyline.

Outstanding narration, although I would agree with others that the Abby character is a little annoying.

Everything seems to be set up for a sequel. I’m in!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • First Strike

  • A Thriller
  • By: Ben Coes
  • Narrated by: Peter Hermann
  • Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,966
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,646
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,635

Deep within the Pentagon, a covert multibillion arms-for-influence program was created. The objective was to protect the United States and its allies from terrorist acts by secretly enabling a handpicked man to emerge as the most powerful leader in the Middle East. But the charismatic Tristan Nazir double-crosses America, twisting the program for his own violent ends to create ISIS. Now America is at great risk.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • His best book ever

  • By Sally E. Sasser on 07-08-16

Shades of Clancy

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

Reviewed: 08-15-18

The characters and approach to story line are very reminiscent of the later Clancy books actually written by him. The story took a while to build up momentum, but then became very intense and and powerful the further along it went. I thought the description of Dewey and his team moving through the underground tunnels was particularly intense. Somewhat predictable conclusion, but everything was done very well. I’ve read several other recent authors in this genre and haven’t been very impressed. This was my first Ben Coes novel and it WAS impressive. I’ll now go back and read the other Dewey Andreas novels from the beginning.

I thought Peter Hermann did a fantastic narration job. I’ve listened to other novels he’s done and they’ve all been great.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,464

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

Very enjoyable read.

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

Reviewed: 05-26-18

Scalzi never fails to come up with diverse and interesting concepts. Wrapping up Haden Syndrome and the resulting changes it causes to society into a murder mystery was pretty cool. I agree with others about the “He said/she said.” dialogue. I think this was done very intentionally to go with the mystery genre, but I think it detracted from the story, overall.

The original novel ended a lot sooner than I thought and I almost didn’t read the novella at the end of the book, but after I got into it a ways I realized is was extremely interesting and really contributed to the overall story. I enjoyed the interview format and it filled in a lot of the missing detail about Haden’s Syndrome and the development of threeps. Be sure to read it! I’m guessing it may have some additional relevance in the sequal, which I’m looking forward to reading. You may even want to read the novella first (others have.)

I couldn’t help thinking that the use of “Threeps” is a really interesting twist on R.A. Heinlein’s “Waldos”, introduced ages ago. I’m guessing threeps will play a role in future novels, particularly the idea of using them for non-Haden’s people.

Once again, Wil Wheaton delivers a great performance.

  • The Cuban Affair

  • By: Nelson DeMille
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,854
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,519
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,495

Daniel Graham MacCormick - Mac for short - seems to have a pretty good life. At age 35 he's living in Key West, owner of a 42-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the army as an infantry officer, with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don't tan, and a boat with a big bank loan. Truth be told, Mac's finances are more than a little shaky. One day Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun read with a continuous build, ok finish

  • By Virgil on 09-22-17

Definitely not DeMille’s best.

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

Reviewed: 05-26-18

I’ve been a DeMille fan from WAY back. The Gold Coast and the Gate House are two of my all time favorite listens. I’m also a huge John Corey fan through all the stories he’s been part of. Scott Brick is absolutely one of the best narrators out there and I always enjoy listening to him.

Unfortunately, I think DeMille missed the mark on this one, as with several other recent novels. I really hope he can get his mojo back.

The entire plot was improbable and forced, the main character was way too impulsive, and the ending was contrived. I know that DeMille actually made a trip to Cuba several months before writing this novel, and I think his description of current life in Cuba added some important insight and realism to an otherwise unrealistic story.

  • Infinite

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,681
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,662

The Galahad, a faster-than-light spacecraft, carries 50 scientists and engineers on a mission to prepare Kepler 452b, Earth's nearest habitable neighbor at 1400 light years away. With Earth no longer habitable and the Mars colony slowly failing, they are humanity's best hope. After 10 years in a failed cryogenic bed - body asleep, mind awake - William Chanokh's torture comes to an end as the fog clears, the hatch opens, and his friend and fellow hacker, Tom, greets him...by stabbing a screwdriver into his heart. This is the first time William dies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a rather complex science fiction story

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 12-26-17

A fun story that really keeps you guessing.

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

Reviewed: 05-25-18

As usual, RC Bray is exceptional. I really enjoyed the way this story unfolded. It leaves you wondering what IS real after all. I hope there is a a follow-up to this one!

  • Nimitz Class

  • By: Patrick Robinson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395

It's as big as the Empire State Building, a massive floating fortress at the throbbing heart of a US Navy carrier battle group. Its supersonic aircraft can level entire cities at a stroke. Its surveillance gear can track every target within thousands of square miles - in the air, on the surface, and under the sea. Its crew of 6,000 works night and day to keep this awesome military machine at peak performance. It's a Nimitz-class nuclear carrier, the most powerful weapons system on the planet. Nothing can touch it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved It and I'm Not a Military Book Fan, Usually!

  • By Paula on 10-30-16

Interesting premise but it has problems.

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

Reviewed: 05-25-18

I can suspend the knowledge that this story is now historically outdated, but I have a great deal of difficulty accepting the basic premise that an entire carrier group with today’s equipment and training can't protect a billion-dollar nuclear aircraft carrier from one old diesel-electric submarine, no matter how good the captain and crew. I also found it difficult to accept that an entire submarine and crew could be “bought” so easily to attempt such an impossible mission without anyone else knowing.

There were certain portions of the story that didn’t really add much to its total value such as the lengthy character development of the carrier command team early on and the detailed farm and prairie sections. At times, I thought the whole story was really designed to focus on whether or not a crew could get a submarine through the Bosporus below the surface. Would a president really make his responses to such a tragic terrorist act solely contingent on this? Seems improbable to me.

Also, WAY too much politics for my taste, and the narrator just didn’t feel right for the story.

  • Satori

  • By: Don Winslow
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 668
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 580
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579

It is the fall of 1951 and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu or "naked kill," fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary "proximity sense" - an extra awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world's most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him. The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union's Commissioner to China.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVED IT!

  • By John E on 09-20-11

Fits seamlessly into the Shibumi narrative.

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

Reviewed: 05-25-18

I’ve read several of Winslow’s other current books and this is SO different from the others. Shibumi has been one of my favorites forever. This expansion on the early years of Nickolai Hel’s life fits perfectly and accurately with Trevanian’s narrative. Hel is such a complex and unique character I really hope Winslow follows up with another!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful