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Sandra Mazliah

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 96
  • helpful votes
  • 78
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  • The Second Life of Nick Mason

  • By: Steve Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 947
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 857

Nick Mason has already spent five years inside a maximum security prison when an offer comes that will grant his release 20 years early. He accepts - but the deal comes with a terrible price. Now, back on the streets, Nick Mason has a new house, a new car, money to burn, and a beautiful roommate. He's returned to society, but he's still a prisoner. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, Nick must answer it and follow whatever order he is given.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rock and hard place plot

  • By Lesia on 06-01-16

Pilot for wannabe Series. Don't bother.

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

Reviewed: 05-23-16

Spoilers...
But really, you won't care.

This book is clearly written with the hopes of turning Nick (and his cohorts) into Spenser, Kinsey, Alex Deleware, or Lucas Davenport (and their respective possees). No thank you.

The story is told much as the pilot episode of a new series - give the basic premise, introduce the characters, and hope it's interesting enough that people will tune in for the next episode to find out more about these people act and what happens to them. Yeah, don't care. Nick is supposed to be that "good guy forced to do bad things with a heart of gold". Instead he's an idiot, who puts his friends and lovers in jeopardy, for a reason that just doesn't make sense. If we are supposed to believe that nick took cole's deal to see his daughter, then man-up, cause what do you THInK you were going to be asked to do?
The underpinning of the plot is completely unrealistic; that a man in jail for life, can have his conviction overturned without anybody knowing; that this man would discover he's basically okay with being a hitman, and when he briefly tries to "get out" he does it in the most unrealistic way, and gets to live, for some reason; that his family is constantly under threat, but hey, let's start a new relationship, how could that be a bad idea?
And as a final note, maybe it's worse "hearing" vs "reading", but if I heard the phrase "said to himself" one more time....i

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Fireman

  • A Novel
  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 22 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,370
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,967
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,951

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it's Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies - before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • THIS BOOK IS HORRIBLE!!!

  • By Brent Nelson on 04-04-18

Read Steven king's the Stand instead

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

Reviewed: 05-22-16

Would you try another book from Joe Hill and/or Kate Mulgrew?

Maybe if available at the library.

Any additional comments?

Maybe it's better to read then listen to this audio book?

I loved the author's previous book. While it was clear he was inspired by Steven King in his earlier work, it didn't jar you out of the story as much as this book. So if you loved The Stand, you'll like this book (maybe). As long as the blatant rip off of plot devices or characters doesn't bother you. It's not plagerism, it's not homage, it's just obnoxious. For examples, see the bottom of this review.

Aside from this, the absence of consistent world building was jarring. I was intrigued at the concept (the infection itself was pretty original). But that's where it ends. The post-infection world was 2-dimensional. For example, a year after the world fell apart, an important scene was premised on both the "911" system still functioning normally, and that the system would send an ambulances on the word of someone saying, "I'm not infected." Also there aren't any people unless directly related to the action. It reminded me of the scene in Truman where action is only where Truman is, and everything outside of that scene doesn't exist. Several times the plot relied on cell phones still functioning when there was no electricity for months. In addition there was a jarring lack of character motivation. I kept waiting for an explanation of why several characters personalities changed radically. (This might be worse in the audible version). My final example is the complete "blind faith" that the island is a haven, not one character voices hesitation in going there (until they are already there.) . Have they ever read a book or seen a movie about governments rounding up infecteds? In a world where "cremation" teams exist, it is unbelievable that they could travel hundreds of miles without major interruptions.

Okay- similarities with the Stand
Both books are post apocalyptic after an infection spreads across the world.
Both books have a deaf mute character named nick;
Both books have a pregnant heroine, and there is a question whether the baby will be infection free
Both pregnant heroines find a love interest that is not the baby's father;
Both books rely on survivors making their way to a semi-godlike safe haven.
Both books have the safe-haven leader being in a coma, waking briefly and passing on vital information and then dying
Both books have a "long walk" portion where our heroes have to walk hundreds of miles
Both treks include a domesticated animal;
Both books have 1 of the group getting seriously hurt on the way;
Both books use the phrase "my life for you"
Both books have characters who are originally in a jail and the "locked up and how they got free" story;
Both books (as do many King books) have a human character gone "crazy" and trying to kill our Heroes (There is NO explanation for Jacob going homicidal psychopath).
I could go on

74 of 111 people found this review helpful

  • X

  • Kinsey Millhone, Book 24
  • By: Sue Grafton
  • Narrated by: Judy Kaye
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,880
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,510
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,513

Sue Grafton's X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • My X-pectations were too high

  • By Simone on 09-02-15

No mystery - no action

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

Reviewed: 09-07-15

Half way through and the 3 separate "plots" are still rambling along without any interest. Done and they never picked up. The next door neighbors appear to be there so that we can get a lecture on water conservation. The original client - never mattered or generated any real interest. And the seriel killer? I won't even get into how scattered, boring and unresolved that was. Perhaps concentrating on one plot and actually developing it instead of jumping around would have helped. Very disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Skin Collector

  • Lincoln Rhyme, Book 11
  • By: Jeffery Deaver
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 897
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 799
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 806

The killer's methods are terrifying. He stalks the basements and underground passageways of New York City. He tattoos his victims' flesh with cryptic messages, using a tattoo gun loaded with poison, resulting in an agonizing, painful death. When a connection is made to the Bone Collector - the serial killer who terrorized New York more than a decade ago - Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are immediately drawn into the case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent! 2 Old Nemesis plus 1 and a Cliffhanger

  • By shelley on 05-20-14

Unimpressive

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

Reviewed: 08-28-15

The Scooby gang without Lincoln. I wish I could go back and count how many lines Lincoln had in the whole book which didn't include a surly snarky remark to his team
The motive within a motive within a motive could have been excellent but you never really got into the science of catching the bad guy as in previous books. It was either pure coincidence or someone else leading them or a magical figuring out at the last moment.
I was overall unimpressed

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Armada

  • A Novel
  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36,214
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,988
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33,928

It's just another day of high school for Zack Lightman. He's daydreaming through another boring math class, with just one more month to go until graduation and freedom - if he can make it that long without getting suspended again. Then he glances out his classroom window and spots the flying saucer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great unless you are expecting Ready Player One

  • By Tyler J. on 02-11-18

A romp through the history of syfy

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

Reviewed: 07-28-15

Another fun romp through the authors favorite things. Can it be plagerism if it is such an obvious homage and you know where all the quotes and story lines come from? The story within the story within the story (sort of)! draws you in as you finally forget the similarities to every alien invasion story ever told (as the main character points out the similarities to every story) as you notice additional similarities the character doesn't point out and you just enjoy what's going on. How can you mind obvious solutions to problems when the char achy

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Pilgrim

  • A Thriller
  • By: Terry Hayes
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 22 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,520
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,528

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please let this all be fiction.

  • By B.J. on 08-08-14

Predictable but really enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 07-21-15

I liked this more then j should have. The thing that brings the story together is way too "coincidental", the ending telegraphed during the early chapters, etc. but for some reason I couldn't stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Fold

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,261

The folks in Mike Erikson's small New England town would say he's just your average, everyday guy. And that's exactly how Mike likes it. Sure, the life he's chosen isn't much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but he's content with his quiet and peaceful existence. That is, until an old friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Had so much promise

  • By Brian G on 09-01-17

Good listen, not great

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

Reviewed: 07-10-15

Fun listen that I kept going. Liked the character of mike a lot. Could have explored the main complication (switching) better
Annoying beginning as I felt the situation was very unrealistic. Not the syfy aspects but the scientists reactions and the actions taken - eg an accident happens after 150 times, if we successfully go 1 x after that, everything is fine. Or someone goes insane right after, can't possibly be because he went thru a dimensional hole Also, there was no real explanation as to why they kept testing when they thought it worked etc. well written sy fy is realistic. People react the way they would if it were really happening. Scientists don't suddenly stop acting like scientists. I totally did not buy the whole dog sub plot. They would never have sent a dog though first vs a mouse or rat.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rogues

  • By: Neil Gaiman (contributor), George R. R. Martin (editor), Gillian Flynn (contributor), and others
  • Narrated by: Janis Ian, Gwendoline Christie, Roy Dotrice, and others
  • Length: 31 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,971
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,790
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,787

If you’re a fan of fiction that is more than just black and white, this latest story collection from number-one New York Times best-selling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois is filled with subtle shades of gray. Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand-new A Game of Thrones tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire history of Ice and Fire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A fun way to sample Authors- More Rothfuss Please!

  • By gerry on 08-31-14

Mixed bag- most a good listen

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

Reviewed: 06-08-15

Enjoyed most of the stories although wasn't overwhelmed easy to turn off and then on.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Death on the Nile

  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: John Moffatt
  • Length: 2 hrs and 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,240
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,078
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,078

John Moffatt stars as the famous Belgian detective in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of one of Christie's most popular novels. Linnet Ridgeway has led a charmed life. Blessed with beauty, enormous wealth, and a devoted husband, she has everything anyone could wish for. But as the happy couple set out on an idyllic honeymoon cruise on the Nile, storm clouds are gathering. Linnet's former friend, Jacqueline de Bellefort, follows her and Simon wherever they go and Linnet senses she is in danger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot

  • By Lady M on 04-07-15

Good rendition of classic story.

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

Reviewed: 05-29-15

Really like the performance and the way the book segues from group to group of people. I like mysteries where solution is not based upon some magic fact that the readers did not know but in this case it's a tiny bit fuzzy that "we could have solved it"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fifty Shades of Grey

  • Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
  • By: E. L. James
  • Narrated by: Becca Battoe
  • Length: 19 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32,399
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27,484
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 28,116

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I can't believe I bought ths

  • By Jayson on 06-03-12

Don't. Just Don't. Really. Please. Don't.

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

Reviewed: 05-16-15

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Women with low self esteem

Has Fifty Shades of Grey turned you off from other books in this genre?

If the genera is badly written prose about emotionally abusive relationships.

Would you be willing to try another one of Becca Battoe’s performances?

Yes

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger. Horror. Amazement (at its sales and good reviews)

Any additional comments?

I could go on and on an on but many people have done it in the Internet. I used a credit to see what all the fuss was about. First and foremost this is sooo badly written. I mean really. Badly. Written. Then it has no respect for the real s/m world it deports to depict. Third and most important ... Christians is NOT a "dominant" - he is an abused boy with many emotional problems that has grown into a controlling obsessive abusive piece if sh*t. I didn't want to fall in love, I wanted to take many showers and yell "ruuuuunnnn".

1 of 2 people found this review helpful