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Thomas Allen

Divide, CO
  • 111
  • reviews
  • 621
  • helpful votes
  • 158
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  • Don't Touch the Blue Stuff!

  • Where the Hell is Tesla?, Book 2
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 757
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 723
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 721

Something called the “Blue Juice" is coming. For all of us. Luckily, me (Chip Collins), Pete, Nikola Tesla, Bobo, and FBI Agent Gina Phillips are here to kick its ass, and send it back to last Tuesday. Maybe. Or maybe we'll fail, and everyone in the multiverse is doomed. (Seriously, you might want to get that underground bunker ready.) Either way, I've got to get home to Julie and find out – woah, I'm not about to tell you that right here in the book description! TMI, dude.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun roller coaster ride through the multiverse!

  • By Fascinatingbooks on 09-21-17

All of the magic of book 1

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

Reviewed: 07-17-18

Rob Dircks does a great job of creating a really fun, new and original story with the elements of Where the Hell is Tesla. And he does this with a more grown-up (but still irreverent and enjoyable) main character. In addition to saving the multiverse, Chip has to deal with love for his bride and potentially being a father. I also really liked all of the new characters introduced throughout the book. It's all touching and fun and very much worth the listen.

Right off the bat, Rob Dircks does a great job reading his own book. Several times throughout, I reflected on how great it was that we knew exactly how the author wanted his characters to sound. He has great pacing and voice characterizations. And I'd swear that he's having just much fun reading as I am listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hell Follows

  • The Fixer, Book 2
  • By: Andrew Vaillencourt
  • Narrated by: Jay Ben Markson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Dockside is burning, and it's up to everybody's least favorite Army-surplus cyborg to fix it. It starts when somebody takes a hit out on The Chairman, and quickly spirals into a mystery that takes Roland and his hyper-kinetic partner Lucia far from New Boston and into the depths of unregulated star systems. To save his home, Roland will need to figure out who would risk upsetting the delicate truce in Dockside before the peace crumbles and the streets run red with blood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unapologetic Guy Book

  • By Thomas Allen on 07-02-18

Unapologetic Guy Book

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

Another solid and straightforward entry from Andrew Vaillencourt. This book has some interesting political wrangling, a smattering of romance and dangerous flirting, and an antagonist twist. But at it's heart, it is a fast-paced action book. This is an unapologetic story for the stereotypical, beer-drinking dude. And the characters are PERFECT for that kind of universe. Actually, the characters are the reason I kicked this from an enjoyable four stars to an outstanding five.

I listened to this as an audiobook, and Jay Ben Markson continues to impress. Great pacing and character representation. I especially got a huge kick out of his representation of the few parts with the "blood-thirsty action junky" named Bernadette.

  • Brimstone

  • Pendergast, Book 5
  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,632
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,289
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,274

Art critic Jeremy Grove is found dead, his face frozen in a mask of terror. His body temperature is grotesquely high; he is discovered in a room barricaded from the inside; the smell of brimstone is everywhere... and the unmistakable imprint of a claw is burned into the wall. As more bodies are discovered - their only connection the bizarre but identical manner of death - the world begins to wonder if the Devil has, in fact, come to collect his due.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I'm new to the Preston Child but I'm hooked

  • By John Morgan on 03-16-15

High society foolishness that is somehow fun

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

This book is a lot of high society snobbishness and pretentiousness out of almost everyone (even Pendergast). But then in comes D'Agosta to give us a reality check through his eyes and so everything remains fun.

While the murders are fascinating, you'll probably figure out the "how" pretty quickly. But the "why" remain elusive and tantalizing. You may also figure out the "who", but you'll be wrong as to that person's motives. The book follows a certain line of thought and then suddenly does the dog after a squirrel thing by making a hard turn to chase another idea.

Scott Brick continues to plod along as the solid-yet-pedestrian narrator.

Overall, I rather enjoyed this book though I can't quite understand why. It has a lot of elements I should find distasteful. But in the end I would recommend it.

  • Still Life with Crows

  • A Novel
  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,908
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,430
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,419

For the first time in unabridged audio! A small Kansas town has turned into a killing ground. Is it a serial killer, a man with the need to destroy? Or is it a darker force, a curse upon the land? Amid golden cornfields, FBI Special Agent Pendergast discovers evil in the blood of America's heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SCARY, WEIRD, ENGAGING

  • By Polly on 11-05-12

Lots of fun with a great little twist at the end

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

I had a lot of fun with this story. It's scary and mysterious and easily connected with. The character development is done like an upper cut to the jaw (hard and fast and dizzying), but that means that I really felt I knew the main players well and quickly. About half-way or so through the book, the listener is given a pretty good makeup of the antagonist. But the origins come as a surprise near the end of the book, and the motivations come as another sweet little surprise if the listener is paying attention.

Scott Brick did a solid, albeit maybe a little pedestrian, job as the narrator.

Overall, a very fun listen.

  • Relic

  • Pendergast, Book 1
  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,630
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,692
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,731

Just days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human. But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders. Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who - or what - is doing the killing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Non-Perishable

  • By Snoodely on 05-26-10

A trudge until the last three hours

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

Stereotypes, stereotypes, stereotypes. The hard-boiled cop with a foul mouth who bucks authority. The FBI agent who takes over and puts everyone else down. The academics who think the cops are stupid and ignores their advice. The eccentric old man to whom nobody listens. The stereotypes keep popping up. With the constant march of the stereotypes and the boring and flimsy story, I almost gave up several times. But after 10 hours, the book paid off with a decent climax and ending. But then in the epilogue the story drops right back into eye-rolling stereotype.

At least we have a light sprinkling of Pendergast. A lot more Pendergast would have done this story a lot of good. Also,the heroine isn't a helpless damsel in distress and isn't an overly aggressive woman with something to prove.

As to the narrator, David Colacci needs two things. First, he needs to learn to do voices. Giving each character a different accent doesn't cut it. And don't make Pendergast sound like he's sucking on a Tootsie Roll the whole time. Second, he needs a director who can help him to read acceptably. Odd pauses popped up here and there. And his voice volume constantly raised and fell and kept falling away or blowing out at a mid-range volume setting.

I know that the Pendergast series gets better. I've listened to Still Life with Crows and also to Brimstone (books 4 and 5) and they are both great books. So if anything, this book gives me some background on some of the characters.

  • Ordnance

  • By: Andrew Vaillencourt
  • Narrated by: Jay Ben Markson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

Roland Tankowicz wasn't even legally a person anymore. The aging cyborg had never really recovered from being betrayed and enslaved by his superiors in the Army, and the final insult of being permanently classified as "defunct military ordnance" had been a bitter pill to swallow. Now, he spent most of his time drinking beer and working as a fixer for the crime families in 25th-century Boston. It was easy money if you were the kind of guy who was bullet-proof and could pick up a house.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • same vain as Hard Luck Hank but without the comedy

  • By lum on 12-09-17

Straightforward futuristic fun

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

Reviewed: 06-05-18

Let me start by talking about Jay Ben Markson's performance. If you're like me and you listened to the preview snippet, you may have found his narration to be rocky and crackly to the point where it sounded like it was going to fall apart. This almost kept me from ordering this book. But Mr. Markson's performance turned out to be really quite good. He has good pace and emotion, and he does a good job with the characters.

While very enjoyable, the story itself is nothing revolutionary. It's a straightforward actionfest with a linear and fairly predictable path. But like I said, it's enjoyable. And while the character development may be a little on the light side, it's enough for me to care what happens to them and to be curious to move onto the next book to see where this goes.

If you're looking for a fun way to keep the mind occupied for 10 hours without taxing it too much, this is a good choice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Space Team: Planet of the Japes

  • By: Barry J. Hutchison
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 297
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 296

While trying to stop a cyber-attacker stealing all Space Team's hard-earned money, the cyborg, Mech, unlocks a secret partition in his hard drive, revealing a mysterious set of coordinates. The co-ordinates lead the team to Funworld, a planet-sized theme park with a worrying number of artificially intelligent clownbots and a shocking disregard for Health & Safety. With no weapons, and a shapeshifter who can no longer shift-shape, Space Team's quest to unlock Funworld's mysteries leads them deep into the planet's core....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good ol' Space Team

  • By Thomas Allen on 06-02-18

Good ol' Space Team

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

Reviewed: 06-02-18

I was so incredibly impressed by the last Space Team book that I was afraid that Planet of the Japes would be a let down. But I really liked it! I found it fun to get back to the Space Team formula. The book has a couple of curve balls that surprised me and I found the whole thing fun throughout.

In every review of Space Team, I praise the great work done by Phil Thron. He maintains that high level of performance here.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Return of the Dead Guy

  • Space Team, Book 6
  • By: Barry J. Hutchison
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 368
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 353
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 353

When a Weird Space Thing™ threatens to destroy planet Earth, Cal is determined to stop it. But when they get there, they find the place is still swarming with parasitic extra-terrestrial bugs, and that there isn't a whole lot left to save. While battling an unexpected ghost of the past, Cal is abducted by aliens. Again. Brought before their covert High Council, Cal is given a choice: save his Earth and doom countless others to oblivion, or sacrifice it, so that parallel Earths may live.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Funny, Silly and sometimes emotional

  • By Calista on 02-08-18

Space Team: A Space Odyssey

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

For the record, this has taken over as my favorite Space Team books. It also goes up high on all of my other good book lists, too. Take Space Team, mash it together with 2001: A Space Odyssey, and take a little time to pluck at heartstrings, and you have this book.
Barry J. Hutchison really ups his writing game with this one. While maintaining all of the fun and attitude and hilarity of the Space Team series, he drops in healthy doses of unconventional mystery and heartfelt warmth. Once this book got going, I was absolutely spellbound throughout. I couldn't imagine a Space Team book making me tear up, but this one did.
This really does sit at a level above the previous books, and I highly recommend it.
Phil Thron is just amazing. The different voices he does are varied and perfect. The pace and emotion he gives to the narration is spot on. I cannot imagine another of my favorite narrators giving this book the justice he does.
As amazing as this book is, I'm scared to go onto the next one. This book seems to be a once-in-a-series achievement, so I'm afraid to be let down by the next one. But I'm of course going to find out.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Space Team: The Guns of Nana Joan

  • Space Team Saga, Book 5
  • By: Barry J. Hutchison
  • Narrated by: Phil Thron
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 401
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 376

The galaxy is at war, and Space Team just can't seem to stay out of trouble. Following one close-call too many, the team hides out on a tiny backwater moon, hoping the hostilities between Zertex and the Symmorium will all just blow over. But when first officer Loren's brother is taken prisoner and sentenced to death by the Symmorium, Cal and the others must make a choice - a choice that could spell the end of Space Team forever....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exciting and seat grabbing

  • By Aquatic Toaster on 12-08-17

Space Team, refreshed and better than ever

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

I was actually kind of disappointed in Song of the Space Siren, feeling like the Space Team idea was all used up. I'm really glad I gave the series another chance, because The Guns of Nana Joan is exciting and fun and even a little heartwarming. The story is more complex than the predecessors in the series, and it takes a different direction from what I felt was becoming the Space Team formula. The new characters that are more or less on the good guy side are fun to hear about, and I found myself really rooting for them.

Phil Thron continues to really do a great job with every aspect of relating the story. His narration is well spoken and has great timing and his characterizations are spot on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Renegade Star: Publisher's Pack 2

  • Renegade Star Series, Books 3 and 4
  • By: JN Chaney
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 652
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 612

Renegade Star: Publisher's Pack 2 contains books 3 and 4 of the Renegade Star series. Renegade Moon, Book 3. A Renegade never surrenders. After evading both the Union and the Sarkonian Empire, Jace and the crew are off in search of Earth. With the help of Titan, their new base of operations, Jace believes they might just have a chance. That is, if they can outrun the two armies at their backs, and somehow manage to survive a galaxy that wants them dead. Not exactly a walk in the park. But no one ever said being a Renegade was easy. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simply Exciting

  • By Daniel on 05-09-18

Fantastic story evolution

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

The first publisher's pack was a lot of fun and exciting and overall enjoyable. In this publisher's pack, the story really evolves. It takes new paths with the stories and the characters really develop. I particularly loved book 4, Renegade Lost.

Luke Daniels continues to knock the ball out of the park. I'd swear he's having just as much fun with this series as I am.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful