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  • Unthinkable

  • An Extraordinary Journey Through the World's Strangest Brains
  • By: Helen Thomson
  • Narrated by: Helen Thomson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

A prize-winning journalist with a background in neuroscience, Helen Thomson spent years tracking down people who live with the world's most extraordinary neurological disorders - like a man who tried to break his back because his legs no longer felt like his own, and another who believed that he was dead for nine years. Not content to simply read about these cases on paper, Thomson reached out to 10 people with these afflictions, and they agreed to tell her their stories. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narration Ruined This Audible Book

  • By A Customer on 09-14-18

Terrible Narration Ruined This Audible Book

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

This is an interesting, well-written book, but I had problems understanding the narrator, who write this book. Authors should trust professionals to narrate their books, especially if about science or medicine. If I had to do it over, I would’ve gotten the Kindle version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Blood on the Bayou

  • By: D. J. Donaldson
  • Narrated by: Brian Troxell
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Don Donaldson brings us to the famous French Quarter with our favorite dynamic detective duo in this gripping thriller. New Orleans's chief medical examiner, Andy Broussard, and his assistant, criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn, set off to investigate a series of violent serial murders. Examinations of the victims have led them to discover that each one's throat was ripped out with two tools: a garden fork and something unrecognizable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another intriguing entry in this series

  • By Judith on 04-29-16

Enjoyable New Orleans Mystery

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18


This is book #2 in Andy Broussard and Kit Franklyn Mysteries, but it can be read or listened to as a stand-alone. This story is interesting and charming, because in the 1990s, our characters must manage without mobile phones, clunky computers, printers probably dot matrix, police use (what seems like) white cloth gloves, and blood work take days to complete as do forensics tests.
The well-plotted story has Louisiana traditions and peculiarities, which I enjoy reading about. The author’s descriptions of the oppressive heat and humidity, dark rainy days, the less-populated countryside, and the danger posed by alligators adds reality to the New Orleans and bayou settings.

More, an interesting romance begins to blossom in this book, and a whiff of the fantastic and/or supernatural is revealed later in this book, which IMO is a good thing.

I loved the Audible version’s narrator—Brian Troxell—who is excellent with the various accents of Louisiana.

  • The Obsidian Mirror

  • Sierra Carter Series, Book 1
  • By: K.D. Keenan
  • Narrated by: Tanya Eby
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Sierra Carter learns that her former employer's technology is in reality a means of spreading a deadly evil around the world. Necocyaotl, god of death and destruction, has placed his essence in every device, causing people to place their self-interest and personal desires above all else. If Sierra's going to stop him, she'll need some help. And help is on the way. Chaco, also known as Coyotl the Trickster, is a handsome young man when he isn't a coyote - and an excellent cook. Fred the mannegishi has the gift of disappearing at will and a few well-kept secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator Made This Story Come To Life

  • By A Customer on 05-13-18

The Narrator Made This Story Come To Life

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

Reviewed: 05-13-18

Welcome to a rich fantasy world spiced by a melange of gods, demigods, demons, spirits and creatures drawn from the traditions and beliefs of Mesoamericans, Native Americans and practitioners of Voudun. The protagonists are the astounded ordinary, people who are made aware of these fantastic beings and beliefs—in order to act/fight on the side of good or evil.

I purchased both the Kindle and Audible versions, so I was able to enjoy Tanya Eby’s skillful narration, which brought the characters to life. The voice actor mattered because the well-developed characters—both good and evil—were the most enjoyable part of this book. I also liked the Silicon Valley area settings and especially the flashes of humor threaded through the book.

At times this fantasy reads as though aimed at the YA market, but I decided not after coming across some adult language. This book was published in 2015, but I was amazed by the relevance of the story’s focus on the environmental: clean water, air and lands.

  • Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs

  • The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
  • By: Lisa Randall
  • Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 270

Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the solar system passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • SOME LIGHT ON DARK MATTER

  • By Ray on 11-22-15

Not Much About Dinosaurs

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18


I chose the Audible version of this book but will leave reviews on Audible and Kindle.

This book has long introductions to geology, physics, paleontology, astronomy, etc—including subjects like comets, meteoroids, dark energy, cosmic microwave background, solar system periodicity, the Oort Cloud, some evolution, and a bit about dinosaurs and their extinction.
If you have a solid science background and want to read about dark matter, you may wish to choose another book. The author finally gets to dark matter in Part 3, but by then I had stopped listening several times. However, when I pushed myself to listen, I enjoyed listening to Part 3. I skipped the last section which is “Looking Up.”

  • Head On (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,894
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,594
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,578

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent's head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are "threeps", robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden's Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real, and the crowds love it. Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS is why I read SciFi! Scalzi gets into your head (be it on or off)

  • By C. White on 04-17-18

Off With His Head

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

Reviewed: 05-09-18


Some Spoilers

I chose the Audible version of “Head On” which is narrated by Will Wheaton. I regret my choice, because soon the male characters began to sound alike. Then I began having difficulties distinguishing some female voices from male voices.

Scalzi’s science fiction concentrated on the concept of a violent, live-play game. I liked the info about different types of game robots, beheading opponents, game strategy, care/feeding of Hadens controlling the robots, etc—which was interesting and well-written. I enjoyed understanding how the Hilketa game was played and the logistics involved with the players. I especially liked the MC transferring into a Hilketa player’s Threep and going one on one with a ranked player.

Add to the above:
1. A plot that includes murder and arson, so it’s actually a science fiction-mystery/police procedural
2. US and foreign-based financial skullduggery and murder; US companies running a money laundering scheme and bilking the Federal Government of millions of $$$$$$ for medical benefits.
3. To this juggling act, Scalzi adds: politics about slashing health care insurance, thus assuring the lower & middle income Hadens patients and their families suffer. The Hadens/robot MC mentions a few times that he has a trust fund and wealthy parents.

There were too many items in the air, so characters, the setting, side plots & especially the mystery suffer from well-meaning neglect.

BIG SPOILERS

Major annoyance: during the long, last act, the murderers and arsonists are dispatched/arrested one after another, in what seems to be a rush to finish the book. I stopped listening several times, because I imagined a line of mah jong tiles falling: 1) MC and partner coincidentally discovers important “clues,” 2) ranking FBI agent capitulates to underlings, 3) witnesses succumb to interrogation, 4) sleazy lawyers are bulldozed, and bad guys confess their stories. I’ve read teashop cozies with better plotted/planned denouements.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • All Systems Red

  • By: Martha Wells
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 3 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,062
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,695

All Systems Red is the tense first science fiction adventure novella in Martha Wells' series The Murderbot Diaries. For fans of Westworld, Ex Machina, Ann Leckie's Imperial Raadch series, or Iain M. Banks' Culture novels. The main character is a deadly security droid that has bucked its restrictive programming and is balanced between contemplative self-discovery and an idle instinct to kill all humans.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I just wish all four stories were one book...

  • By Garrett Stone on 11-05-18

The Audible Version Is Superior

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

Reviewed: 04-21-18


After reading the Amazon sample for this book on Kindle, I wasn’t convinced to get it. I’m glad I listened to the Audible version, because the narrator made a significant difference. I’m leaving a review on Kindle and Audible.

This “novella”should be described as a short story in the Amazon synopsis. It has a very good plot, but the setting is not clear in my mind, probably due to its brevity. Also, many characters are not aren’t fully-developed, although the Murderbot protagonist is.

When I read the Kindle sample, I thought Murderbot was genderless, but the narrator of the Audible version is definitely male. Narrator Kevin R. Free immediately differentiated the various male and female characters, which helped me separate them in my mind.

You I not listened to the Audible version, I probably would have rated this book much lower.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Amber Benson)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Amber Benson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,653
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,408
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,427

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
  • Scalzi Locks In Another Winner

  • By Bruce Derflinger on 09-22-14

Unique SciFi-Police Procedural

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18


Very original premise with fantastic world-building and an imaginative storyline, which melds science fiction with a satisfying police procedural and a murder mystery.
I enjoyed reading about the FBI protagonists detecting in their post-viral-pandemic world with new technologies, bleeding-edge medical advances, and a new society developed to accommodate humans who were severely affected by the viral disease.

Amber Benson is an amazing Audible narrator who made “Lock In” a 5 Star novel for me. I have the Kindle version, but of the two Audible versions, I’m glad I chose Amber Benson’s, because I imagined the protagonist as a young black woman, and not as a man. The author does not specify gender, and he gave his protagonist a gender-neutral name.

I also enjoyed the novella that came with the Audible version.

  • Alien: River of Pain

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Christopher Golden, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Anna Friel, Philip Glenister, Colin Salmon, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,328
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,065
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,053

Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, only to discover that LV-426 — where the crew of the Nostromo first came into contact with the deadly xenomorphs — has been renamed Acheron. Protected by Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet against all the odds. But in the face of brutal living conditions and the daily struggles of a new world, there is humanity and hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please make more of these! These are excellent!

  • By Brian on 04-28-17

Excellent Story & A Great Production But . . .

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

Reviewed: 03-16-18

. . . I have a question for Audible Studios and Director Dick Maggs. Did y’all “yellow-voice” one of the story’s scientists who has an Asian surname? If y’all didn’t, I apologize for asking. If yes, shame on you.

  • A Dirty Job

  • By: Christopher Moore
  • Narrated by: Fisher Stevens
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,289
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,157

People start dropping dead around Charlie, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Listen!

  • By Janie on 03-24-06

A Dirty Book

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

A dirty joke on me for buying this Audiblebook! It was easier and less offensive reading the innumerable racist and misogynistic passages in Kindle than listening to the Audible version. In fact, the explicit + obscene language, crude descriptions of women, and the OTT sexualized situations didn't annoy me as much as the casual racism, which was exaggerated by the narrator's annoying accents. By Chapter 4, I declared the audiobook DNF. I did finish the Kindle version and left a review.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Confessions

  • By: Kanae Minato, Stephen Snyder (translator)
  • Narrated by: Elaina Erika Davis, Noah Galvin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 118

Her pupils murdered her daughter. Now she will have her revenge. After calling off her engagement in the wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old child, Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation. But first she has one last lecture to deliver.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a great revenge story chilling and engrossing

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-18-15

Audible’s Version of “Confessions” is Best

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

Reviewed: 02-14-18



Although this book garnered 4-5 ⭐️ reviews, the partial chapter of the Kindle sample did not interest me. However, spoken-word Japanese—as is written in the sample—flows better when read aloud. The Audible spoken-voice sample was much better than the Kindle version.

This is a disquieting psychological thriller with elements of non-supernatural horror. This complex revenge story is told from the POVs of six different characters—vaguely reminiscent of Rashomon—each narrating and/or sharing a chapter in this short novel. As the story proceeds, the author’s puzzle pieces begin clicking into place, revealing characters’ motives and methods, delusions & psychological dysfunctions—leading to a surprising but deadly conclusion that will satisfy readers who like revenge stories.

I’m giving this 3 stars for several reasons:

1. As a whole, the pace was good, but some sections dragged, so I increased listening speed (a lot) or skipped ahead.
2. The “bad/evil” student is an adult-level genius, so he would know disease transmission routes. Or at the least, how to research the topic online.
3. I found it incredible that not a single student told a parent or had nightmares about the food-tainting incident at school.
4. How did a middle school boy get his blood drawn at a lab without a parent present? Or was it via a home delivery kit? Furthermore, would test results—that could be mis-delivered or opened by someone else—be mailed? With the patient’s name on it?
5. Moriguchi seems to know too much about other characters’ feelings and intimate conversations.
6. I rated the Audible narrators 3 stars because character voices were often too similar. Narrators were probably coached to pronounce Japanese words/names, at times they were not convincing—especially the male narrator. How many different ways can you say: “Manami” or “Mizuki” or “Mizuho”? These odd pronunciations stopped the story for me.