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  • Sharkman

  • By: Steve Alten
  • Narrated by: Andrew Eiden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 778
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 728
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 723

Kwan Wilson was a high school basketball star living in San Diego when a tragic accident changed his life in ways no one could predict. He only looked at his phone for a few seconds, but that was all the time it took to crash his car into a telephone pole, killing his mother and paralyzing him from the waist down. After the accident, his father, Admiral Douglas Wilson, sent him off to live with his maternal grandmother in South Florida.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • There are a lot of fantastic books in the world,

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-26-18

Good overall, but had a few big problems

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Overall, this book was good. It had an interesting story, a twist I didn't see coming, and a good resolution without being quite as bland and predictable as it could have been. Will I read it again? Probably not. Am I sad for the time I lost reading it? No. Did I enjoy the read? More or less.

Okay, the problems with the book were:

* it had some good science behind it, and the author clearly did research, yet it played fast and loose with some basic science at the same time
* It got really "preachy" in a couple parts about GMOs, where such discussions between characters were not important to the plot. It felt more like something the author was too eager to force into the story.
* The narrator was good overall, but--I'm sorry--he shouldn't do accents.
* Similar to GMOs, there was one point where we were suddenly treated to a September 11 conspiracy theory which, again, felt forced in for no reason. That may have been an attempt to explain a character's motivations, but if so, it was poorly executed and came across more as the author finally getting to tell someone about a Youtube video he just watched.
* There were a few points where God was brought as a matter of course, with no backstory about the characters' religious views. That is, rather than coming as a sensible part of the characters', ah, characters, the random nods to religion felt more like the reader was meant to already accept God as a reality. It came out of left field, and then didn't come back. Yet, God is also used as one character's motivation for bad acts. Religion was represented in a confusing way, is my point.

But it wasn't all bad. As I said, the story was good, and held together pretty well if you accept the modifications to science it requires. The characters were mostly developed well enough to be interesting, even if they never really advanced. It is an entertaining read if you want a decent action book without a deep plot or complex characters.

  • Haven Lost

  • The Dragon's Brood Cycle, Book 1
  • By: Josh de Lioncourt
  • Narrated by: Reay Kaplan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven, heroine of the girls' hockey team at Lindsey High, has spent her young life keeping two secrets: her rapidly deteriorating home life and the seemingly supernatural power that makes her a star on the ice. When she begins seeing visions of a lost and ragged boy reflected in mirrors and shop windows, a series of events unfolds that tears her from 21st-century Minneapolis and leaves her stranded in another world with horrors to rival those she has left behind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great new author

  • By Sheila Medlam on 10-27-15

Great book: YA feel without the age restrictions

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

Reviewed: 06-03-18

I really enjoyed this book. It set up a lot of plot points and details that will, I hope, come back in future books, but didn't leave so much hanging that I felt frustrated. The narration was quite good, too.

What really struck me was the book's use of strong language, and I don't mean that as a negative. This story felt like young adult fiction: it had a teenage main character go through something traumatic, only to wind up in a fantasy world where magic is real and where friends and enemies await. Yet, unlike most YA books, the author isn't afraid to let characters swear. This made dialog feel more natural to me. Too many other books are aimed at a young audience, so censor themselves until the language constraints make parts of the story sound so fake, or out of character for how someone in the book should react, that I am taken out of the story. That's no problem in Haven Lost, and it was refreshing to find.

I highly recommend this book if you enjoy magic/fantasy stories. It was a very enjoyable read, and I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next installment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,420
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,585
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35,590

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Jumps The Shark ... Too Late

  • By JayDub 1000 on 05-29-18

Good, but too familiar

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

This book is okay. Ray Porter does a marvelous job, as he always does. Still, I was left disappointed by the predictability of the story, and by the re-use of elements from another of this author's books I've read. Read on for details.

Spoiler alert! Stop reading now if you don't want to know anything about the story.

With that out of the way, I'll get on with it. This book was decent, but not great. If you've read The Fold, you've almost read this book. Similar monsters, a similar dimension-shifting plot point, a male protagonist who meets and eventually wins over an initially hard-to-get woman, even the same green cockroaches. That's not to say that to read one book is to read the other. However, reading one will give you a lot of details you'll notice in the other.

Also, the suspense was partly ruined for me by the obvious errors the characters made which they had to go fix in the nick of time. Nothing really surprised me, and nothing was therefore especially exciting. You can see most of the resolutions coming a mile away.

You also have to allow for a lot of things you would normally not, especially the idea that no one stopped the characters as the book progressed. Someone in the book's world should have done so if the book played by its own rules.

Overall, the book was pretty good, but wasn't great. It was saved by the narrator's wonderful performance, and by being interesting enough to keep me reading. I read it, but I didn't really get into it and thoroughly enjoy the experience.

0 of 7 people found this review helpful