Tim Ward

Virginia Beach, VA, US
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 191
  • ratings
  • Limitless Lands: The Commander's Tale, a LitRPG adventure

  • Limitless Lands Series, Book 1
  • By: Dean Henegar
  • Narrated by: Jack Voraces
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 463
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462

Colonel James Raytak is about to die. The 93-year-old combat veteran is living his last days in a nursing home; his only hope for survival is an experimental Medpod life support system controlled by an artificial intelligence. Co-developed by the world’s largest gaming company, Qualitranos the AI will also control the soon to be released game Limitless Lands. Without its creator’s knowledge, the AI decides the best course of treatment is to import its patient’s consciousness directly into the game.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique take on LitRPG

  • By thompson on 11-21-18

It is acceptable

4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-17-19

I might have been a bit generous with the star rating but really I am making this review to get a few things off my chest.

Story: It is a litrpg in that it takes place mostly in a game but there really aren't alot of stat windows or character sheets, it is mostly quest pop ups and exp... It is kind of weird as it would make me forget it is supposed to be a game then remind me in the most mundane ways (Pop up window says would you like to complete this transaction etc.) I found it irritated me... and the story kept a steady pace but was a bit slow.

Reader: OK I think I read a number of reviews saying he is awesome and a couple of reviews saying he was terrible. I shal explain why both make sense. The story starts out with a timeline (think movies starting with news headlines that are updating you on what has been happening upcoming to the actual movie involving the actors) and it is read like a voiceover for those headlines. Understandable. However once the headlines stop, the narrator has gotten stuck in reading like that and is reading each sentence like it is a headline. Eventually he breaks out of this when doing different voices for the most part. But... I'm gonna do the rest pro/con:
Unique voices for each character, you can usually tell who's talking without prompting.
Honestly he puts alot of emphasis in his character voices so I am reinforcing it so you understand as much.
His narrator voice isn't very good.
underfed is under fed, not un derfed

I can see the character voices making the story for people and I can see the narrator voice ruining it for people. underfed was also quite irritating to me, it was funny at first when I realized what he was trying to say, but the word got repeated like 20 times in the next 2 hours.

  • Detroit Christmas

  • A Grimnoir Chronicles Audio Drama
  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 1 hr and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 1,023
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 956
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 951

Private eye Jake Sullivan is a war hero - and an ex-con. He's free because he has a magical talent, and the Feds need his help in apprehending criminals with their own magical abilities. Jake's talent is gravity spiking. He can vary the force of gravity however he wishes in an area. When it comes to spiking, Jake is the best.

  • 1 out of 5 stars

  • By Jarboguts on 04-28-16

Gonna try to be more reasonable about this

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-20-19

First, I shal address the main complaints I see; no Pinchot, I agree that Jake wasn't nearly as well done, not because the Jake actor is bad, in fact he was quite good... if he were doing a normal noir detective. He missed the fact that heavies are generally slower talkers, and the deeper voice fit Jake much better too. This was largely a case of change being the problem, but the actor did in fact miss a (or some) very important quality(ies) of Jake that I think if we were never introduced to wouldn't be nearly as much a problem, but because it was well described and well acted previously, we can't disregard it. But like I said the actor was good, and everyone else was good.

The different story telling technique, I think this was a bigger issue for people because it was different. It was a rather well rendition of his story, but most people can't stand change. It honestly felt like something you would hear on an old radio show/program, and I found that to be quite enjoyable. It was a decent change especially for such a short story. For a longer one I may have found it a bit tiresome.

I did find myself jerked around a bit from some of the time jumps and whatnot. While I also wouldn't rate this as highly as the other stories, it was good for an hour of listening to something. So I think 4 stars is an accurate assessment of this story, 4 stars for the performance, as it was very good but the qualities of Jake Sullivan weren't quite properly portrayed (and as 95% of this story is his point of view, it is worth docking 1 star off for not being quite right on one character), and story wise, it was an enjoyable story, some of the sound effects were slightly overdone, but the star is more being docked because it wasn't as good of a story as the other two short stories.

Most people would consider this to be 3 stars though, mostly due to the reasons I've described but docking another star for "change". If you haven't listened to any of the other grimnoir stories then this shouldn't be an issue for you.

  • Escape

  • Adventures on Terra, Book 2
  • By: R.A. Mejia
  • Narrated by: Jill Smith
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 668
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 666

Armon Ellington died on Earth and was transported to Terra, a world governed by rules eerily similar to the RPG games he loved. He found he could gain levels, skills, abilities, and magic just like he could in those games. In addition to finding a way to become more powerful, he also found the friends and family he'd always longed for. Unfortunately, he also discovered the pain of losing them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not as good as the first.

  • By Tim Ward on 11-08-17

Not as good as the first.

3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-17

This will be a pretty long review, I'll add numbers and hope that helps.
First of all I can see why some people hate it and why some love it. I read the first book and listened to this one, which may have been a mistake as I had a lot of the voices different in my head and some of the pronunciation I found to be weird. Now, I am going to try to rate this FAIRLY, meaning while I have my own opinion on certain things, I will rate from a pragmatic/logical standpoint. (Kind of like if the story was about 2 men and their developing romantic relationship, while personally that would be at best 2 stars (if it was funny) because it's not of any interest to me, I would try to rate it based on the delivery or development instead.)

My biggest issue was that the MC is a bimbo. And I would like to point out that a male bimbo is just as irritating as a female bimbo, at least we are generally given 2 reason why the female bimbo is put up with by the others.

Now, I understand that the author wanted comic relief, but, he tried to do it TOO often, in fact if there was a chance at comic relief, no matter how small he took it... every time. And just like when my niece says something funny, then she says it over and over and over again, I have to explain that it isn't funny anymore, if you are going to retell it, you let there be a good delay between retellings. The author needs to learn this too. That said some of the jokes did have me chuckling a bit. (which is very good considering how I was biased against the humor therefore less likely to be amused). This is the main point of the character being a bimbo, he would stop doing whatever he was doing because of NO multi tasking capabilities and basically stare off in space while he follows a random train of thought. I feel that's enough about that.

Now about the main companion, lots of people complained about her, and I was bothered by her too, in fact I also wanted her gone, BUUUUUUT I feel this is also a side effect of the bimbo MC, because the author decided to make the MC the scapegoat for 99% of the comic relief (40% of the actually funny comic relief) this companion which was used for the delivery of the jokes suffered because most of the time it WASN'T funny and came across as simply being an asshole. (Imagine you have a guy that likes to make jokes, but he makes jokes ALL the time, no matter the situation and no matter if the joke is that funny or not (which more often than not it won't be) and almost every time the cause of the situation is person B, that guy while he would be irritating if he joked simply about everything and was usually not funny, he would come across as an asshole that was bullying person B for no good reason except to kick dirt on them whenever they stumble, even though he is doing his character and not actually trying to be cruel to person B (or even targeting him for the most part).

However, (I got sidetracked) Mary is a PIXIE, and they are generally irritating childish pests. In both Disney movies and more D&D types of games that I've played. So, if she didn't behave so childishly (taking shots whenever she sees them, being very self absorbed, and generally hyperactive) that wouldn't fit well with her character. So while you may not like it, it was properly done.

The Narrator, unfortunately the last several books I've listened to had amazing narrators, whereas if I listened to this book a year ago I probably would have been much less bothered. Also Some of the pronunciations could be due to how it was written or the reader's native dialect. The voices, I generally find that people don't do opposite genders well (last few I heard did though), but she was able to do the MC in a decent male voice (even if he sounded a bit monotonous and bored most of the time), I was mainly thrown off by the kobold and the high pitched voiced guard leaving the city (which was referred to as 'he').

XP and leveling seems to be painfully slow, it drove me crazy how small of a difference levels actually made for how incredibly long it seems to take them. (Seems to be about 5k needed per level and 4-6 given per kill and 10-100 per quest)

That however is the Author's design so while it drove me crazy (they honestly better find a way to get a decent amount of xp, or at least a steady stream of it soon), I can't actually have it effect the rating.

Worldbuilding - oo I can actually give a name for this number! The worldbuilding is quite good actually, The combat system DOES make sense, the character building DOES make sense. The XP was already mentioned but it is adhered to properly. The overcoming level gaps is a bit of a weakpoint, as these people that are several levels higher in this world where it is so difficult to level would have MORE than twice the "battle experience" (not xp) than them, yet they are getting stomped, which is balanced a bit by the fact that not many benefits seem to be given from leveling. (yes there are some but they for the most part end up being minor). That said, a lot of people's reasoning for doing some of the things they do seem to be a bit weak. Such as the guy that basically betrayed one of the only friends he had from long ago for something he didn't even know if it was what his superior wanted.

Also you aren't overdosed on stat screens which is nice (however the stat screen does get pretty long and a bit irritating to listen to in audiobook format).

It seems he likes cliffhangers... The last book ended on a cliffhanger (and honestly seemed like an abrupt end to me), as does this one. I really don't think it was necessary either, as this kind of story you have a decent overarching plot (right now you have 2 main plots, one which should be solved next book) and therefore can stop at a decent point, where the next leg of the journey will begin. The cliffhangers aren't needed, and honestly probably hurt more than help. Also this is something that shouldn't be done every book, perhaps he likes cliffhangers and I can see why authors would use them once in a while, ESPECIALLY when going in between plots (such as one major plot has been cleared and either another one begins or a previous one that was put on hold starts to intensify), but both of these cliffhangers seemed to be forced in there in a way which leaves you thinking "that's it, it just stopped there?" which is the type of plot hanger that shouldn't be done every book, but once in a while to screw with the readers IS ok.

And what irritates me more is that I expect next book to clear up one of the major plots and then have the other major plot intensify for a proper plot hanger. So while these first 2 I found to be poorly done and very irritating I am expecting one for the next book because it would be excellent timing, and appropriate.

That is pretty much it.

Plot: 4/5 - There were fun parts in between all the comic relief, one particular location I am looking forward to seeing again, and another nearby location I am looking forward for some serious revenge soon.

Dialog: 2/5 - While people were well in character in their interactions (and no it wasn't always interesting, but usually it won't be) it was mostly hampered down by over-use of the aforementioned comic relief.

Character Development: 3/5 - This one is difficult for me to judge, mainly because I feel I look for different things than everyone else that talks about this. But we got new characters, with decent background given, unique 'ticks', and some development as a team. However the original characters didn't develop much themselves (in some ways they seemed to have changed, but it was abrupt and I can't consider that as a development) This actually I think has the most potential as there are issues that each character can overcome about themselves (and I REALLY hope there is a solid attempt at making them overcome their own shortcomings instead of just having it be a part of the group dynamic, I don't want to spoil anything, but my main target is the healer)

Entertainment value: 2.5/5 - This seems harsh but there were times I was struggling not to switch over to another book. Now as for the type of story this is (litrpg) if that isn't your cup-o-tea (you are less than crazy about them) you probably won't like it much. The comic relief once again jumps in here knocking it down 1.5 points. I did however enjoy how he overcame the situations in the mini-arcs. But I will be getting the next book, though if the major issue i had with this book isn't fixed, that will have to be it.

Overall: 3/5 - There are issues that will bother people, but if you can see why things are done how they end up being done, it is quite well done. And if the Author can learn from what doesn't work and why, he will be able to put out some excellent books.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • One Good Dragon Deserves Another

  • Heartstrikers, Book 2
  • By: Rachel Aaron
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,847
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,837

After barely escaping the machinations of his terrifying mother, two all-knowing seers, and countless bloodthirsty siblings, the last thing Julius wants to see is another dragon. Unfortunately for him, the only thing more dangerous than being a useless Heartstriker is being a useful one. Now that he's got an in with the Three Sisters, Julius has become a key pawn in Bethesda the Heartstriker's gamble to put her clan on top.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still fun and funny, with a few minor issues

  • By Wesley on 10-22-15

More than a few adrenalin rushes

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-25-15

Would you consider the audio edition of One Good Dragon Deserves Another to be better than the print version?

Yes, I felt the voices were done excellently. This is also one of the few books where I didn't feel the narrator struggled on the opposite gender voices (either making them all sound too similar or just off).

What was one of the most memorable moments of One Good Dragon Deserves Another?

Any time the dragon slayer was "on screen" I pretty much went into fight or flight mode (in a good way).

What about Vikas Adam’s performance did you like?

Like I stated earlier, he pulled off the opposite gender voices very well. It is usually one of the things I just accept that I will have to give a pass on when judging performance. But when there would be a female talking for a long time, I would actually wonder, "is this narrator a female or male?"

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes... though I forced myself to split it up.

Any additional comments?

I really can't wait til the next book. And hopefully Julius mans up a bit more. He definitely improved throughout this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful