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Todd Bowman

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 96
  • ratings
  • B-17 Flying Fortress Restoration

  • By: Jerome J McLaughlin
  • Narrated by: Bill Nevitt
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16

Through engaging narrative and first-person accounts, B-17 Flying Fortress Restoration captures the painstaking restoration of a World War II-vintage Boeing B-17 bomber by more than 100 volunteers in Pooler, GA. Airplane restoration and military aviation enthusiasts alike can follow the airplane's journey from the storage hangers of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum to the Combat Gallery of the Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great for Aviation enthusiasts

  • By cosmitron on 10-18-18

Passion and Community create a must listen!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

Note: This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review

Every once in awhile a book comes along and not only exceeds your expectations, but rewrites them. This was the case for me with “B-17 Flying Fortress Restoration” by Jerome J McLaughlin.

As a WW2 aviation enthusiast and the grandson of an 8th Air Force B-17G Pilot, I was eager to dive into this book. I expected straightforward retelling of the physical work of restoring a 70 year old aircraft. What Mr. McLaughlin delivered was a masterful combination of events, motivations, biography, press release, and historical documentation. I learned, not only about the aircraft, but about the amazing community of volunteers that made the restoration possible.

Bill Nevitt’s narration took the experience to another level. His excellent pacing and clear straightforward delivery made even the most technical sections of text flow and seem integral to the story.

Mr. Nevitt also recreated the author’s passion and obvious enthusiasm for the topic in a way that was genuine and seemingly heartfelt. The story was easy to follow and a pleasure to listen to. The frequent breaks for supporting documentation or narratives were clearly alerted in the narration making it simple to keep track of who was speaking.

The book has several sections and a significant amount of secondary source material. The final section includes several personal recollections of WW2 veterans and other individuals associated closely with the aircraft. I am so thankful that these tales were included in the text.

My only suggestion would be if there was PDF Companion that could be downloaded so the listener could see some of the people, objects, and locations described during the audio-book. This is done on many of the Audible Courses I have listened to. But a simple web search satisfied my curiosity.

This book is a must listen for any WW2, Aviation, History, or Restoration enthusiast. It is also a well spent 9 ½ hours for anyone who has visited a museum and wondered what goes into preserving and presenting the finest exhibits.

  • Planetfall

  • By: Emma Newman
  • Narrated by: Emma Newman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 462
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 429
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 429

More than 20 years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided alone. Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment - and harboring a devastating secret.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Made me think about the theme for a while. .

  • By Bertito on 12-26-15

A good book for a select audience. Non technical

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

This book sat in my wishlist for months calling for me to give it a chance. ‭I was excited to see how another author would explore 3d printing in a future environment.

Unfortunately I judged a book by its “description” so to speak. I was expecting “3d printed Space Colonies struggle to survive,” what I got was a introspective exploration of grief, loss, and societal pressures set in a SF landscape.

(I have to note that the Audible description seems to have been updated since I added it to my wishlist when it was a new release. The current version is a much better description and more accurately explains what the reader should expect. )

Emma Newman’s writing is polished and has good pacing. Her dialogue seems natural and exposition is fluid with the story. The settings are detailed and characters behave in ways that are consistent with their roles. Beyond an ending that could have used a few extra sentences the book has no real technical faults. Emma Newman is obviously talented and I am sure others would find this book fascinating . Unfortunately for me it is not a story that I could enjoy.

I just could not get emotionally involved with the story. Maybe it was my life experiences being so different from the main character or that the author spent very little time in truly creating empathy for the main character beyond traumas in her past.

I found myself not rooting for anyone and just listening to the story instead of experiencing it. And while the SF elements are present, they are minor accessories and plot devices. The heart of the character’s story could have been occurring in Edwardian England or Modern New York.

The applaud Emma Newman for obviously pouring herself into a deeply emotional story. And if you want to take a journey down a path of pain, struggle, isolation, and self-discovery with a very complicated female lead character then this is a great novel. If the cover blurb or Audible description appeal to you then give it a chance.

If you are looking for technical or hard science fiction, I would look elsewhere.

  • Crash Dive, Omnibus: Books 1-3

  • By: Craig DiLouie
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 14 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

Crash Dive, Book 1: October 1942 - The United States and the Empire of Japan are at war. Charlie Harrison, a young and ambitious lieutenant, reports for duty aboard the S-55, a worn-out WWI-era submarine. While the Battle of Guadalcanal rages on land, air, and sea, the captain plans a daring attack against Rabaul, the heart of Japanese power in the South Pacific. There, the hunter will become the hunted. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fast and furious, on and under the waves!

  • By RJ on 07-14-18

A masterful re-imagining of the old WW2 stories!

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

Reviewed: 10-17-18

“A masterful re-imagining of the old WW2 movies of the 50’s and 60’s in novel form. A truly enjoyable and exciting read!”

Growing up watching films like “Midway”, “Tora Tora Tora”, “Battleground”, and others, I felt at home in this novel.

And yet gone were unrealistic heroes and with them was the sterile consequence free experience of war for those who fought it.

Mr. Dilouie has captured the essence of what a WW2 action story should be.

The naval action is well paced and the characters are deeply fleshed out. The technical details are there but are integrated without feeling like info dumps. Enemies are real and the dangers are authentic. And yet neither fall into cliches. War has consequences for the men and women who experience it, and each character deals with them in unique and era plausible ways.

In “Crash Dive” the WW2 action adventure has grown up and matured. And it is all the more exciting and entertaining for it!

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,807
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59,873
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,752

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

If only we all could wake up in the Bobiverse!

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

Every once in awhile a book hits a familiar subject from just the right tangent to become something remarkable and original. As an avid reader of Science Fiction there are few uncharted territories in the genre. Mr. Taylor however, has set a course to a fresh universe filled with compelling characters, original conflicts, and thoroughly fleshed out goals and plots. Witty conversation combines with real human growth and complexity to take the reader through the highs and lows of human existence,... even if the narrator(s) are no longer true humans themselves. Pick up all three in the series and get lost in the Bobiverse!

Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Cast Under an Alien Sun

  • Destiny's Crucible, Book 1
  • By: Olan Thorensen
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 15 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,066
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,893
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,895

Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. He would never set foot on Earth again. On planet Anyar, Joe is found unconscious on a beach of a large island inhabited by humans where the level of technology is similar to Earth circa 1700. He awakes amid strangers speaking an unintelligible language and struggles to accept losing his previous life and finding a place in a society with different customs, needing a way to support himself and not knowing a single soul.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slowly we turn, step by step, inch by inch...

  • By Ron on 09-18-17

Engaging Character & Plausible Setup = Entertaining Page Turner

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

Reviewed: 09-07-17

This is a great beginning to a new series. While the story obviously has echoes of the Safehold Series and the John Carter Novels these echoes seem faint and coincidental as opposed to blueprints. The since of freshness and originality never fades and the book builds into a story that is hard to put down. The only issue is the lengthy info-dumps early in the text. These are forgivable in a story that is obviously multi-book and wants to engage you emotionally early on. And should not bother the avid reader used to multi-book series. Overall a better than average book that seems to be setting up a great series!

  • Aye, Robot

  • A Rex Nihilo Adventure - Starship Grifters, Book 2
  • By: Robert Kroese
  • Narrated by: J.D. Ledford
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 334
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 315
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 311

After interstellar con man Rex Nihilo hijacks a cargo freighter on a whim, he decides that he, and his long-suffering robot sidekick Sasha, have found their calling as space pirates. But when the ship's cargo turns out to be a cryogenically frozen religious fanatic who holds the secret to a vast galactic conspiracy, Rex and Sasha find themselves on the run from real pirates - as well as agents of the oppressive Malarchy, crazy space cultists, and the Ursa Minor mafia. If Rex is going to get out of this jam alive, he might just have to save the galaxy - again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story with Bonus Novella, Recording needs review.

  • By Todd Bowman on 08-25-17

Great Story with Bonus Novella, Recording needs review.

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

Reviewed: 08-25-17

Another great story in the Rex Nihilo universe. Funny, fast-paced, and inventive. This audible version includes a bonus novella starring Pepper Melange. The recording does need to be re-edited. The quality is fine but there are several instances of repeated words and repeated sentences. These can be distracting and take you out of the moment.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful