LISTENER

The Unaverage Bear

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 18
  • ratings
  • FREE: The Undead

  • Deleted Scene
  • By: R R Haywood
  • Narrated by: Dan Morgan
  • Length: 1 hr and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,217
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,900
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,887

After a tense day of fighting off a horde of Undead, Howie and his group of survivors must find shelter before night falls. Moving through a desecrated town, they come across an industrial estate, break into a low building and find themselves in an abandoned radio station. They decide to record their voices for posterity. Meet Howie, Dave, their group of survivors and Meredith the dog in this free, exclusive Audible short.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • FOR POSTERIORS

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 04-29-15

Charming Teaser Trailer for a Larger Body of Work

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

Reviewed: 05-25-17

The Undead: Deleted Scene is a teaser trailer to large series of books which I assume take place in this same universe. At the glorious price of $0.00, it's difficult to lodge much of a complaint about it. At the length of an hour, it was something nice to listen to while being stuck in traffic.

The story opens up right into an action scene. A group of survivors is attacked by a horde of zombies. We're slowly introduced to the group consisting of some macho-military type dudes, a couple of woman, and an attack dog which has more personality than the majority of the cast. Easily my favorite character. As this group is attacked, we're given some pretty gruesome descriptions of blood, guts, and violence which is a staple of the zombie genre. After the characters escape, we're treated to them all introducing themselves inside a radio station which was somewhat charming. As the group finishes their introductions, they're once again attacked by the undead and we're left to ponder where this story is going to end up...

I have to admit, while the characters were pretty stereotypical in their actions, demeanor, and attitudes, I'm not exactly looking for someone to re-invent the zombie fiction genre. As an introduction, this serves well because its entertaining, gives you a taste of whats to come in the story, and doesn't try too hard to be something it isn't.

The vocal performance by the narrator was also commendable. At the beginning, I didn't think the narrator was going to do a good job but as I lost myself in the narrative, I slowly began to realize the narrator was much better than I thought.

Overall, I think this teaser trailer accomplishes what it sets out to do and gets people interested in more of the story. It certainly led me to investigate how much the books are, how many of them there are, and look more into the author. Mission accomplished. Unfortunately, since it is just a teaser trailer, there's not much in the way of story to sink my teeth into. Then again, that's what the rest of the series is for.

  • Elantris

  • Tenth Anniversary Special Edition
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Jack Garrett
  • Length: 28 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,205

In 2005, Brandon Sanderson debuted with Elantris, an epic fantasy unlike any other then on the market. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Tor is reissuing Elantris in a special edition, a fresh chance to introduce it to the myriad listeners who have since become Sanderson fans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • For the superfan or new listener

  • By Christopher on 01-28-16

Fantasy Convert

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

Reviewed: 02-18-17

After blasting through the Reckoners series, I knew I needed to read more work by Sanderson. The logical next step in the process was to jump to his epic fantasy work but as someone who isn't comfortable yet with the idea of investing so much time and effort into such a long book, I decided to not step into Mistborn or anything other series. Being how Sanderson's website lists Elantris as another book for someone looking to get into his work, I decided to follow its advice and got the audio book from Audible. Clocking in at 28 hours, this is the longest audio book I've ever listened to and upon finishing it, I felt like I still wanted more to happen!

The first few hours of the book were admittedly a little slow and confusing. With all the exotic names, words, and concepts, I had a difficult time following along with it. Same thing happened to me while reading the Song of Ice and Fire books so I knew I could slog past it once I'd heard it repeated enough times. Once I got past the first few hours, I could follow along just fine. The problem with the story starting off slow comes from having to introduce three different characters and proceeding to get the audience interested in their story lines. Jumping through each other, at different times, I felt more interested in some characters more than the others at different points in the story. This balancing act is difficult to pull off but at no point in the story did it ever become bogged down or sterile.

Otherwise, the 28 hours I took to listen to this book was one of the most entertaining and interesting I've had since Stephen King's "The Stand", especially the 3rd act and its incredible surprises and action. Once it started, I simply couldn't will myself to stop listening. I needed to know how it all ended!

I'll certainly be moving on to Sanderson's other works from here. He's easily becoming one of my favorite authors.

  • Firefight

  • The Reckoners, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,154
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,246
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,213

Newcago is free. They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand.Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like a cherry on top of a Sundae in the North Pole

  • By Zenpaca on 01-16-15

Epic Follow Up to Steelheart

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

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Picking up a few months after the end of "Steelheart", "Firefight" continues the story of David fighting against the Epic menace he's pledged to defeat. This time, he packing up and heading to a flooded New York City to investigate the reason why Regalia, the High Epic ruler of New Babylon, is sending other Epics to Newcago targeting the Reckoners. There is more to the story that meets the eye as the situation gets more complicated as David learns about Prof and Regalia's past, meets a new and incredibly powerful Epic named "Obliteration", and Megan (Firefight) returns to throw a wrench into the Reckoners plans.

From start to finish, this book lives up to the awesomeness of "Steelheart" and doubles down on what made the original so captivating and entertaining. Can't wait to finish the trilogy!

  • FREE Recession Proof Graduate

  • How to Land the Job You Want by Doing Free Work
  • By: Charlie Hoehn
  • Narrated by: Ray Chase
  • Length: 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 943
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 773
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 773

Recession-Proof Graduate is a wildly popular career guide that's been downloaded over 150,000 times. This audiobook is frequently shared among students, teachers, parents, counselors, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. It's been integrated in the coursework at a number of universities, given away as a graduation gift, and translated to Italian. When I changed my strategy, I landed a handful of dream gigs, got to work with amazing people like Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi, and found myself turning down multiple paid job offers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Every college students guideline.

  • By ruben on 05-08-15

An Alternative to Traditional Job Searching

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

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Downloaded this as a free audio book on a whim and decided to give it a listen while sitting in traffic.

Recession Proof Graduate's central ideas are nothing new if you've been paying attention to the job market after 2009. At the time, it must have been ground-breaking information. Essentially, its a matter of learning a technical skill and working at continuously improving your overall skill set. Once you've got the skills, offer your services for free to potential employers. In offering yourself for free, you are providing all the upside to the employer and make it easier for them to take a chance on you. Once you've proven you've got the chops to make it, its a matter of then getting this employer to hire you because it would be more difficult to find someone, train them, and then have them catch up. Then there is a section about building your online presence with blogging on your website which allows you to control the narrative when it comes to your self branding.

If nothing else, this book offers another perspective on searching for jobs and gives a clear idea for someone looking to try something different.

  • The Dispatcher

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 2 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,798
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,742

Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi. One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Grief This Was Good

  • By Matthew on 11-09-16

Death is Obsolete

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

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Being how this is my first Scalzi book, I'm certain I'm going to be adding his books to my reading list.

In the near future, murder becomes obsolete as 999 out of one thousand people who are killed by the hands of another return to life. Their corpse disappears, they wake up, naked, back home with the memory of their murder still in mind but are otherwise perfectly fine. The rhyme or reason for this is unknown. It just happened. No need for an explanation, although some of the characters in the book believe it is proof of the divine.

This major difference in the world gives rise to the profession of the Dispatcher, whose job it is to ensure people who may die from circumstances other than intentional killing are able to return.

Dispatchers are murderers for hire.

In this novella, part supernatural, part mystery, and part crime thriller noire, we follow a Dispatcher named Tony Valdez as he assists a detective in finding his fellow Dispatcher and friend, after he goes missing. Any more of a plot summary would ruin the mystery and experience.

Zack Quinto narrates this speculative thriller of a tale and does an incredible job giving voice to each character and bringing the story to life. At 2 hours and at a price point of Free, this audio book was an incredible deal and an incredibly entertaining tale. Balancing the perfect level of mystery, fantasy, and intrigue, it's difficult not to get absorbed by the narrative.

  • The Con Season

  • A Novel of Survival Horror
  • By: Adam Cesare
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Horror movie starlet Clarissa Lee is beautiful, internationally known, and completely broke. To cap off years of questionable financial and personal decisions, Clarissa accepts an invitation to participate in a "fully immersive" fan convention. She arrives at an off-season summer camp and finds what was supposed to be a quick buck has become a real-life slasher movie.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A hilariously twisted take on Fan Cons.

  • By The Bookwyrm Speaks on 10-31-16

Mostly filler, a little thriller, and some killer.

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

Reviewed: 01-20-17

The Con Season: A Novel of Survival Horror by Adam Cesare is an enjoyable short novel which doesn't quite live up to the promise or expectation based around its core idea. Gathering a bunch of B-list celebrities in the middle of the Kentucky woods for a fully immersive fan convention and forcing them to fight for their lives to survive should make for an exhilarating read.

Unfortunately, there wasn't much exhilaration in the book, even once we reached the climax. The beginning of the book sets up the pieces by exploring the motivations behind the protagonists and antagonists. While the running commentary about conventions, fandom, and life as a B-list celebrity is entertaining, its not the reason folks are picking this book up. Cesare spends too much time on the commentary and tries to pass it off as building characters. Since the majority of the B-list cast of characters is in the same position, their commentary runs together making them feel less like individuals and makes them run together.

The team of principle antagonists I felt were the strongest characters in the novel. Rory was the stereotypical sadist murderer, Teeks was the mastermind behind the whole operation, and Kimberly was an enjoyable in a Harley Quinn type of way.

Once all the pieces are setup and the action is about to ramp up into the actual survival horror situation, the book unexpectedly closes out to a rushed conclusion. The epilogue was an interesting idea leaving the reader to make up their own mind about what happens at the end.

  • Mitosis

  • A Reckoners Story
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 1 hr and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,768
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,420
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,407

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Words of Radiance, coauthor of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and creator of the internationally bestselling Mistborn Trilogy, Brandon Sanderson comes Mitosis, a short story set in the action-packed world of Steelheart: the Reckoners series, exclusively available in the digital format. Epics still plague Newcago, but David and the Reckoners have vowed to fight back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great short story.

  • By Gawaine on 01-16-15

Fun Little Side Story

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

Reviewed: 01-12-17

After finishing the main series, I came back to this short story because I simply couldn't get enough of the the Reckoners. Knowing what I know about the conclusion of the series, this makes an interesting read because it foreshadows and hints at the direction the next two books are heading in. Much like Book 1, 2, and 3, we're seeing the world through the eyes of David once more except now we're in a post-Steelheart society in Newcago. The story begins rather slowly with David gushing over how awesome it is to eat a Chicago style hot dog but then quickly develops into a fight for survival against an epic named Mitosis.

While this book was more of a short story, it still manages to capture the spirit of the other books which I have always found incredibly fun, humorous, and exciting all at the same time. At $2 for the Audible version of the book, it was cheaper than a cup of coffee and lasted much longer.

Overall, a fine little addition to the series which fills the gap between Steelheart and Firefight.

  • October's November

  • By: James Loram
  • Narrated by: James Loram
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

His name is October. And he is a talented coffee shop musician that can see dark, sickening clouds swirling about the heads of those who are about to commit evil. He helplessly watches as a Clouded One kidnaps Hannah, his first true love, and as he struggles to save her, he discovers the terrifying truth: She's not the one they really wanted. The story takes place in the community of Belmont Shore in Long Beach, CA, where October is drawn into a world of surprising discoveries and disturbing answers about his cursed sight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story

  • By Paul on 01-25-17

Ambitious Effort on a Passionate Project

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

Reviewed: 01-12-17

October's November by James Loram is an ambitious undertaking toward creating a fun and interesting listening experience for the audience. However, there are some aspects of this which fall short and could really turn off some listeners from listening to the entire production.

In a nutshell, October, the main character, has the power to see people's violent intentions in the form of a dark cloud over their heads. While playing a gig at a local coffee shop, he meets a girl name Hannah who he immediately connects with. Unfortunately, Hannah is being stalked by a creep named Karl who gets off on drugging women and raping them. October and, his friend and band mate, Tom save Hannah from Karl but he escapes before he could be captured. As October and Hannah's relationship grows and flourishes, Karl regroups and conspires to finish what he started. Along the way, October must content with Detective Foster who believes October knows more than he lets on and another mysterious player in this strange and deadly supernatural horror/mystery.

Overall, the story works because of its simplicity. At it's most simplest form, it's a supernatural love story with some music peppered in to give October a bit more depth than his special powers. October works as a character on so many levels because he adapts to the situation, evolves as the story continues, and in the end, comes out transformed into another person. The same can be said for the majority of the cast as well. The story arcs are all neatly resolved and the pacing throughout keeps the listener entertained and following along through all the twists and turns in the story.

My gripes with the story are that I felt as if I didn't quite understand the origins of the main antagonist despite an explanation. Perhaps this could be blamed on myself missing certain parts of the story due to paying attention to the road or whatever chores I was busy doing while listening, but I still felt as if it wasn't clear enough.

Two other parts of the story which I think could have been done better were the building of the relationship between October and Hannah. They met and then in a matter of what felt like two days had fallen completely and utterly in love. This felt forced and it could have been explained away slightly better with a bit more exposition or delving into the reason for the strangely quick bonding.

The other part of the story which I didn't find appealing was Detective Foster in general as a character. He seemed overly suspicious of October to the point of where it felt as if he was being extremely paranoid and simply picking on him for the sake of just being a jerk. Even knowing the character's thoughts on the situation didn't make it any easier to excuse his jerkiness. While he does come around towards the middle of the novel, he seems to go from overly suspicious to overly inept as he's caught off-guard on several occasions. On top of that, the voice Loram used for the character didn't do it for me but I'll address that in the next part of the review in regards to the performance.

First off, my hat goes off to Loram for writing, narrating, and producing the original music for this audio book. Much respect for an author who narrates their own work. It's cool to have the author give voice to the characters in their works. It radiates a level of authenticity which is sometimes lost when someone else narrates a story.

As far as the voice performance goes, Loram's narration, for the most part, was great. He reads his story clearly and concisely. Each character has their own distinct voice which makes it easier to know who is speaking throughout the book and shows Loram's range. However, the performance takes a serious plunge in the voice of Detective Foster. This character's voice and accent were grating to the ear. Given how much time and attention is given to the Detective, it makes listening to these parts feel like a chore and I couldn't wait for them to end. Otherwise, all of the other character voices Loram used worked well and weren't bothersome at all.

A notable difference between October's November and other audio books is the effects used in the narration. For example, when a character is having a thought, there is an echoing sound effect applied to their voice. Since I wasn't expecting it the 1st time I heard it, it was jarring to hear this and I thought it was a mistake. After a while, I got used to it and didn't mind it so much but some audio book listeners might not be able to get past this. There is also use of music in the book which I've seen mixed opinions about on the internet. Personally, it wasn't a deal breaker for me. The echos took some getting accustomed to hearing but after a while it wasn't even noticeable. The musical parts were few and far between except for the ending chapters where there are some musical performances. They aren't bad but as stated before, some audio book listeners are turned off by this.

Overall, this book was obviously Loram's passion project bringing together the many different elements of story telling, musical performance, and voice narration. Loram takes a risk in offering a different type of audio book experience which will turn off some and appeal to others. If the listener can get past some of the production choices, I'll willing to say they'll have a rewarding experience.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis

  • The Vampire Chronicles
  • By: Anne Rice
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 17 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,423
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,317
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,314

At the novel's center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable universe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't Miss This Masterful Modern Morality Play!

  • By Liberty on 12-01-16

A Return to Form

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

Reviewed: 12-29-16

Much like everyone else, after trudging through Prince Lestat I was ready to give up on Anne Rice's work for good. Especially after seeing the title of this latest addition to the series. I mean, come on, "The Realms of Atlantis" sounds like Anne Rice is going to be adding Aquaman, Spongebob, and Little Mermaid into her unique world of vampires, ghosts, spirits, and witches. A free Audible credit and the curiosity of how much worse can this get won out my decision making process and a few minutes later, I was listening to Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis on my car ride back home from work. I'm happy to report, this was a great decision!

Realms of Atlantis picked up the pieces of Prince Lestat and put them back together into a cohesive story with a plot that moved along at an excellent pace while maintaining the mystery, splendor, and grandeur I've come to admire in Rice's work. Whoever edited this book must have realized how repetitive the language was in the previous installment because there was none of it in this one except for a few choice sentences of which make sense in context.

Realms of Atlantis answers questions fans of the series have long wondered about such as the origin of the vampires, Amel the spirit which has been at the very center of their existence, and even Memnoch the Devil is addressed in this book (Although, I'm disappointed with explanation of Memnoch). Atop of all this, we are introduced to a wholly new race of beings whose origins are incredibly interesting and explored in depth.

Rice introduces several more new characters into the series which seems like a bad idea due to the sizable amount of characters from series past. This time around the cast is just as large yet it doesn't seem to hamper the story. Each character we've come to know and love (Marius, Armand, Louis) gets a good amount of dialogue and interaction but don't slow the book down to brood on their every thought or idea. Despite these characters being worlds onto their own already explored in other books, it was a good move leaving them as supporting cast.

At the end of the book, we're left with more questions than answers which is okay. I'm looking forward to reading more about it in future installments. While some of the revelations might seem hokey on the surface, they are handled and addressed in such a way which make them feel as normal as the vampires do.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to those who are still feeling the disappointment of Prince Lestat and want to get the sour taste of it out of their mouths. It's incredibly different from whatever that book was and this feels more like the Anne Rice of past.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Off Season

  • By: Jack Ketchum
  • Narrated by: Richard Davidson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 378
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 327

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River - off season - awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Barry S. Sharpnack on 11-22-09

Savage, Violent, and Incredible

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

Reviewed: 10-20-16

Off the coast of Maine, a tribe of cannibalistic savages has their eyes set on a cabin in the woods where a buffet of unsuspecting 80's era New Yorker's have decided to stay for a week. While this sounds like the simple, troupe fest plot to a cheesy slasher film, Jack Ketchum's "Off Season" is a slasher film fan's wet dream. Unapologetic, brutal, violent, and unafraid, "Off Season" quickly devolves into a nightmarish battle for survival where normal men and women must sink to the level of their enemies to overcome them.

Jack Ketchum doesn't pull any punches here. This book IS NOT for the faint of heart. Once called "violence pornography" in 1980 upon its first printing, this is the author's preferred version of the story. In the Afterword, Ketchum discusses the backlash the book received, the differences between the original published version and this newer edition, and his reasoning for the decisions he made in the book.

As far as the audio book performance goes, I felt in some parts the narrator got a little too far into the accents he does and it takes away from being able to understand what he is supposed to be saying. There are also a few parts where the narrator speaks too low and I am forced to turn up the radio and then all of a sudden, he shouts or gets emotional and it gets way too loud. Otherwise, the performance itself is wonderful and the narrator gives a voice to each of the characters making it easier to follow who is speaking.