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Michael

Amsterdam, NY, United States
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 164
  • helpful votes
  • 522
  • ratings
  • Sandman Slim

  • By: Richard Kadrey
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,596
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,109
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,120

When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels. That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Hallie on 04-24-12

Not particularly good

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

Reviewed: 06-05-14

The book was an okay listen, bolstered by a strong (though in places annoying) performance by the narrator. It's what I would classify as a "beach read" if it were a physical book, although not a particularly good one at that.

Ultimately the story, characters, and world are not particularly interesting or original. This book falls into the usual traps of urban fantasy which are including everything but the kitchen sink (angels, devils, vampires, you name it), an anti-Hero Mary Sue main character, and the use of tons of goofy similes and superficial descriptions that confuse cliche with originality. Ultimately, all of the characters are pretty superficially developed, not particularly interesting, or just plain goofy. The dialog in many places is equally goofy, with the main character saying things that are supposed to be "cool" but are just ridiculous (e.g., when he torches a neo-Nazi enclave telling them "Don't $%^ with my doughnut shop."

The same goes for the plot - most of the book has a poorly developed plot that is is just a series of scenes that are strung together, interspersed with pointless filler (e.g., stealing and crashing the motorcycle). While the book does have a healthy dose of action scenes in it, even these are pretty unsatisfying since they generally revolve around the main character "doing something impulsive, getting injured, but still prevailing". If I had to use one word to describe the whole book it would be "juvenile."

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Leviathan

  • By: Scott Westerfeld
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,064
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,072

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. The Leviathan is a living airship, the most formidable airbeast in the skies of Europe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Positively Addictive.

  • By Tracy on 05-05-10

Excellent for adults and kids

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

Reviewed: 11-25-11

My 9-year-old son and I listened to Leviathan on our daily commute. I thoroughly enjoyed it, while he loved it - so much so that he insisted we needed to listen to the second book in the series immediately afterward.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Moon Called

  • Mercy Thompson, Book 1
  • By: Patricia Briggs
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,345
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,507
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,504

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A top notch Urban Fantasy heroine!

  • By Kindle Customer on 04-21-12

Pretty boring

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

Reviewed: 04-10-11

Having read/listened to a number of different urban fantasy novels over the past year, this was definitely amongst the most boring - neither the "mystery" nor action was particularly compelling, and most of the the supernatural elements weren't interesting in the least - either they were predictable (i.e., the werewolves and their aggression problems), cliche (i.e., the "good" vampire amongst the hunters), or gimmicky (i.e., the vampire with the VW microbus).

  • The Blade Itself

  • The First Law: Book One
  • By: Joe Abercrombie
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Length: 22 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,566
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,259

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Violent, Ironic, and Absorbing Epic Fantasy Noir

  • By Jefferson on 01-30-13

Slow start, great finish

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-28-10

This book starts slowly and seems very disjointed (it's like 5 unrelated stories are being told as each of the main characters is introduced over the first 2/3 of the book's length) but it begins to pick up pace about midway and by the end it's clear that there's a far larger tale to be told in upcoming books.

Very minor spoiler: The scene at the end with 9-Fingers is awesome as it finally becomes clear why he's called the "Bloody Nine" throughout the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • White Night

  • The Dresden Files, Book 9
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16,423
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,431
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14,373

In Chicago, someone has been killing practitioners of magic, those incapable of becoming full-fledged wizards. Shockingly, all the evidence points to Harry Dresden's half brother, Thomas, as the murderer. Determined to clear his sibling's name, Harry uncovers a conspiracy within the White Council of Wizards that threatens not only him, but his nearest and dearest, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Intrigue in The White Court

  • By Donna on 09-23-09

Too much exposition, too much plot immunity

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-19-10

I thought this was the weakest of the books I've listened to so far; the case just isn't terribly compelling, the reveal is not particularly exciting, and the action is pretty predictable. It's becoming apparent that all of the major characters have complete plot immunity and thus no one feels like they're at risk irregardless of what's going on in the book. Worse yet, the list of characters with such immunity is growing with each book (we're now up to Harry, Murphy, Thomas, Ramirez, all of the Carpenters, Marcone & his bodyguards, Butters, Mouse, the Alphas....).

I'm also quickly growing tired of the repetitive expositions about Harry's personality and the rules of the world, all of which by this time have been covered ad nauseum in earlier books: At some point either the author or his editors should realize that virtually no one is picking up the book series this far along.

The narrator continues to be quite good although at times he seems to over-exaggerate Harry's dialog.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches

  • By: Robert Stanek
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1,110
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    2.5 out of 5 stars 129

After the Great War that divided the peoples, the kingdoms of men plunged into a Dark Age that lasted 500 years. To heal the lands and restore the light, the great kings decreed that magic and all that is magical, be it creature, man, or device, shall be cleansed to dust. The cleansing raged for so long that no human could recall a time without it and it is in this time that the Dark Lord Sathar returned from the dark beyond.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • No Wonder it Was a Top BookSense 76 Pick!

  • By Patrick Y. on 04-24-05

The auditory equivalent of watching paint dry

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

Reviewed: 04-12-10

Both I and my 7-year-old son found the book almost painfully boring: Very little happens through much of it, the narrator's voice tends to be flat, and the lack of pauses between changing characters makes it very hard to follow at times. Having listened to over two dozen audio books with my son on our morning commute, this is the first one he's not liked at all.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Spark

  • The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain
  • By: John J. Ratey
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,924
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,614
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,588

Did you know you can beat stress, lift your mood, fight memory loss, sharpen your intellect, and function better than ever simply by elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat? The evidence is incontrovertible: Aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spark

  • By Kathleen on 11-02-08

Great book and definitely worth a listen

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

Reviewed: 03-28-10

Fascinating but with practical, useful information as well. As a neuroscience geek, I really enjoyed the book, especially its integrative approach with everything that's known about brain plasticity.

The narrator is excellent as well.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Under the Dome

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Raul Esparza
  • Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,398
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,428

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best Stephen King I've Heard

  • By Scott on 02-10-10

Great audio book

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

Reviewed: 01-05-10

It reminds me quite a bit of the Tommyknockers but is much better written. Overall, the book itself is very enjoyable - the ensemble cast of characters (which is quite large) are all interesting, distinct, and instantly identifiable. I'd give the contents of the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Why is my rating 5 stars then? The narrator. This is the first book I've listened to by Raul Esparza but he's easily one of the best narrators I've ever listened to - he manages to do all kinds of very distinct voices and accents that make the characters (and there are a lot) instantly identifiable. In addition, some of the "voices" he does are perfect (at least for me) for the charcters - Big Jim is absolutely perfect; Junior and Andy Sanders similarly. Great, great stuff.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Darkfever

  • Fever, Book 1
  • By: Karen Marie Moning
  • Narrated by: Joyce Bean
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,139
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,971
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,973

MacKayla Lane's life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she's your perfectly ordinary 21st-century woman. Or so she thinks...until something extraordinary happens.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Stick with it!

  • By Dana on 01-27-11

I'll pass on the rest of the series

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

Reviewed: 03-13-09

I had high hopes for the book based on the description but it was a disappointment. The main character is an annoying caricature of a modern day southern belle which is less believable than the existence of the supernatural faeries in the story. I think I was tired of her by about the 3rd time she described her wardrobe, her underwear, or her make-up... unfortunately those sorts of passages continue throughout the book. I honestly could careless if she was wearing a matching pair of peach panties when she went to bed. To call her personality annoying would be putting it mildly.

The ending is completely unsatisfying - it neither solves the mystery nor ends on a cliffhanger that leaves me wanting to know more.

One positive thing I can say is that the narrator did a good job.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Legend

  • By: Richard Matheson
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,877
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,295
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,313

In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Everyone else has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he stalks the sleeping undead, by night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By Steven Casper on 01-24-08

Worth the listen

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

Reviewed: 09-08-08

Although it's a bit dated at this point (at least in terms of technology), the story is still excellent and well-worth the time.