LISTENER

mike

  • 31
  • reviews
  • 137
  • helpful votes
  • 193
  • ratings
  • Wizard Defiant

  • Intergalactic Wizard Scout Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Rodney Hartman
  • Narrated by: Guy Williams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,207

Wizard scouts are the elite, deep-recon forces of the Intergalactic Empire. They are a mix of technology and magic-like abilities. Richard has been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become one of these legendary soldiers. All he has to do is make it through the Wizard Scout Academy. But with a TAC officer who hates his guts, will he even be allowed to graduate. To make matters worse, the Empire has been attacked and soon finds itself in a major war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story.

  • By Michael Brown on 06-08-16

Unfulfilled potential

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

Reviewed: 09-09-16

I found the premise interesting and the beginning of the book, about the basic training, similar to many other novels. No problem, the differences could have made the book fun. Unfortunately, too dumb to live, is what I though of the hero. He doesn't seem to learn that quickly, especially when on his first mission.
Characters are pretty undeveloped, though that's common for military fiction. The narrator made the book listenable .The snarky AI in the combat armor helmet was just plain juvenile. I won't follow the series.

  • American Craftsmen: A Novel

  • By: Tom Doyle
  • Narrated by: Conan McCarty
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

In modern America, two soldiers will fight their way through the magical legacies of Poe and Hawthorne to destroy an undying evil - if they don't kill each other first. US Army Captain Dale Morton is a magician soldier - a "craftsman." After a black-ops mission gone wrong, Dale is cursed by a Persian sorcerer and haunted by his good and evil ancestors. Major Michael Endicott, a Puritan craftsman, finds gruesome evidence that the evil Mortons, formerly led by the twins Roderick and Madeline, have returned, and that Dale might be one of them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome story!

  • By Lisa on 12-08-16

okay supernatural thriller

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

Reviewed: 09-08-16

This is probably a better book than the narrator makes it. The story is decent. There is lots of action and plenty of plot twists. The narration is frankly amateur and detracts from the story. I will keep reading the series, but as text, not as an audio book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unbreakable

  • A Novel
  • By: W.C. Bauers
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

The colonists of the planet Montana are accustomed to being ignored. Situated in the buffer zone between two rival human empires, their world is a backwater: remote, provincial, independently minded. Even as a provisional member of the Republic of Aligned Worlds, Montana merits little consideration - until it becomes the flashpoint in an impending interstellar war. When pirate raids threaten to destabilize the region, the RAW deploys its mechanized armored infantry to deal with the situation.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not the SciFi I hoped

  • By Terry on 02-06-15

Solid military SF

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

Reviewed: 09-05-16

While this will never be a classic, it is a solid, if predictable entry into the field. After not finishing a number of well reviewed self-published novels it is a relief to finally find a book that wasn't just silly, that played fair with physics, that didn't have crazy packed asteroid fields.

The plot played fair. No miracles saving everyone when all seemed hopeless. Characters we're decently fleshed out for this type of novel.

The narrator did an excellent job. Recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Eye of the Moonrat

  • The Bowl of Souls, Book 1
  • By: Trevor H. Cooley
  • Narrated by: James Foster
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,398
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,300

Justan was raised on the outskirts of the Dremaldrian Battle Academy. He watched his father ascend the ranks within the academy to become one of the most respected warriors in the kingdom. The only thing he has ever wanted is to become an academy student and follow the path of his father. Unfortunately, only the best can enter the academy and Justan is a horrible fighter. Everyone tells him that he is more suited to scholarly work than swordplay.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Welcome Addition to the Genre

  • By Matthew on 06-17-15

fun

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

This is basically a young adult novel. The main character is young and not particularly mature for his age. None of the characters is complex. This is not why I give the story 3 stars. The author throws in every known fairy tale creature known to the western world, then makes up a few more. This makes the story read more like a video game than a novel. I subtract the second star because this novel could seriously use a line edit. The awkward phrasing sometimes intruded on the story.

On the plus side the story moved at a good pace and did have some interesting, if not particularly deep ones.

I enjoyed the narrator, who did a great job with voices. He carried through the occasional point where the immaturity of Justin, the main character annoyed me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Son of the Black Sword

  • Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, Book 1
  • By: Larry Correia
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,121

After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since, the land has belonged to man, and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Great Beginning to a new Epic Series

  • By Don Gilbert on 10-31-15

Amazing

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

Reviewed: 11-15-15

It's seldom that we get a unique hero like Ashok Vadal. Most are variations of the traditional hero. Not here. Not only is the hero different from any I've encountered, ever. The world in which he lives is also special and different. Excellent world building is the least of what this book offers. Plot, characters are well fleshed out and the plot devious. BTW, the narration is near perfect.

As I first started listening I thought that I couldn't relate to an emotionless super powered killer with a magical sword. However, Larry Correia is a good enough writer that he kept me in the story. I'm glad I stayed. As Ashok's history is revealed and his situation changes we are met with tragedy and betrayal that is exquisite in its portrayal. Wow!

Of course, with a Larry Correia book there is plenty of action and blood. This may be the best fantasy I've come across in years. It's certainly the most original.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dragon in Exile

  • Liaden Universe: Arc of the Covenants, Book 1
  • By: Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 184
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 173

Star-trading Clan Korval - known to Terrans as the Tree-and-Dragon Family and to the locals simply as the Dragon - has been convicted of crimes against the homeworld. No matter that one of the "crimes" consisted of saving the elitist planet of Liad from very real internal threats, the Council of Clans wanted Korval heads to roll. Unfortunately for the council, the Dragon's allies conspired to impose a milder punishment for saving the world: banishment rather than execution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Korval on Surebleak, many story lines progress

  • By Kindle Customer on 06-03-15

Is there a plot?

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

Reviewed: 06-11-15

I'm a huge fan of Lee and Miller. I've even bought Audible editions of books that I've read. This is the first book of theirs that I've been disappointed in. There doesn't seem to be any plot arc. Problems pop up but are quickly dealt with. There doesn't seem to be a main character in the book. It pops back and forth between too many people to offer any continuity.

I'm totally disappointed in Mr. Collins as a reader, which is a shame because, with the right book, I think he could be very good. The problem is with his handling of the Liaden characters. Since Liaden speech is quite formal, I can understand his choice of using an upper class British accent for those characters. The idea is fine. The execution falls way short.

First, the accent isn't that good. It might be good enough to carry one character but not the numbers involved here. He has only one accent pattern. He does manage to distinguish the voices by tone and speed, but the inflection stays the same between characters. And, that's not the worse part.

He seems unable to both maintain the accent and carry the delicious subtlety of speach that I've come to love from most members of Clan Korval. The biggest shame comes when rendering Val Con. The exquisite, self-deprecating humor and irony I expect from Val Con has been brutally smothered. He comes across as a tedious stuffed shirt, but not as much as does Pat Rin, who sounds like the most pompous bore imaginable. Come on, this is Boss Conrad, who clawed his way up through the cesspool of humorless. Mannered is one thing. Snooty beyond bearing is another.

If you need a Liaden fix, this is just sufficient. If you are new to Lee and Miller's work, please don't start here

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Flesh and Spirit

  • Lighthouse, Book 1
  • By: Carol Berg
  • Narrated by: Allen O'Reilly
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67

The rebellious son of a long line of pureblood cartographers and diviners, Valen has spent most of his life trying to escape what society - and his family - have ordained for him. His own mother has predicted that he will meet his doom in water, blood, and ice. Her divination seems fulfilled when a comrade abandons Valen in a rainy wilderness half-dead, addicted to an enchantment that converts pain to pleasure, and possessing only a stolen book of maps.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Almost unlistenable

  • By mike on 12-10-14

Almost unlistenable

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

Reviewed: 12-10-14

I'm a big Carol Berg fan. I deeply enjoyed Dust and Light and was excited to learn that there were a couple of other books written in the same world at about the same time period.

In over ten years of subscribing to Audible I haven't heard a more poorly narrated novel. Berg's elegant prose is battered by having been read at too fast a pace and with with zero sense of the rhythm of the phrasing. What should be elegant is stilted and rushed. Character voices are poorly differentiated and I've noticed that several words are mispronounced. An audiobook that I had eagerly anticipated has been rendered too painful to finish. I should have previewed the book sample instead of expecting that it would equal Dust and Light.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Sailing to Sarantium

  • Book One of the Sarantine Mosaic
  • By: Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Narrated by: Berny Clark
  • Length: 18 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 355
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333

Crispin is a mosaicist, a layer of bright tiles. Still grieving for the family he lost to the plaque, he lives only for his arcane craft. But an imperial summons from Valerius the Trakesian to Sarantium, the most magnificent place in the world, is difficult to resist. In a world half-wild and tangled with magic, a journey to Sarantium means a walk into destiny. Bearing with him a deadly secret and a Queen's seductive promise, guarded only by his own wits and a talisman from an alchemist's treasury, Crispin sets out for the fabled city. Along the way he will encounter a great beast.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • drama!

  • By Kat Hooper on 10-12-12

Echos or Byzantium

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

Reviewed: 10-20-14

The book starts out slowly. Actually, it never moves quickly and that's okay with me. It offers a wonderful character study in a fully realized fictionalized Byzantine Empire. I'm a bit thrown by Berny Clark as reader. Simon Vance is the reader I've heard before for Kay. Vance handles the poetry of Kay's prose and captures the slightly melancholy tone of the book, which is about power, responsibility how an outsider can get sucked into the dangerous games of the mighty. Clark does a fine job. I'm just used to Vance.

Kay writes fictionalized novels reflecting real historical times and places. As there are few and trivial fantasy elements this could have as easily been set in historical Constantinople. It doesn't matter as I loved the book. Just saying.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mindfulness Meditation

  • Nine Guided Practices to Awaken Presence and Open Your Heart
  • By: Tara Brach
  • Narrated by: Tara Brach
  • Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231

A profound transformation can occur just by training your attention in awareness - a practice sweeping schools, workplaces, and institutions across the country with its capacity to decrease stress, cultivate inner calm, and expand wisdom and creativity. Clinical psychologist and meditation teacher Tara Brach has been at the forefront of mindfulness-based therapy since its inception, successfully bringing principles of mindfulness to alleviate depression, chronic pain, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful meditations

  • By mike on 06-27-14

Wonderful meditations

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

Reviewed: 06-27-14

If you could sum up Mindfulness Meditation in three words, what would they be?

Compassionate, wise, heartful

What did you like best about this story?

Tara Brach has obviously dealt with both meditation and with people who have need of her counseling. The meditations are heartfull as well as mindfull.

What does the narrator bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This is a bit silly, as this is not a story but a set of guided meditations, which need someone to read them, which Ms. Brach does well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The meditations are a comfort and a reminder that mindfulness can change most experiences.

Any additional comments?

For those who found that they couldn't chose a specific meditation, they weren't using the Audible app. The music app on Apple iOS devices is pretty crappy because it doesn't show chapters. The iPod Nano is fine as is iTunes on a computer, but iPhones/Pods/Pads/Touches are lousy that way.

The Audible app not only lets you navigate to specific chapters but place "bookmarks" at any location. As the audiobook separates the different meditations into chapters, this works well. Get the app. I also use the app on my Nexus 5 phone and it works well for that, too.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • The Weapon

  • Freehold, Book 2
  • By: Michael Z. Williamson
  • Narrated by: Stephen Bowlby
  • Length: 17 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 393
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 359

Kenneth Chinran was a disaffected youth who joined the military and was recruited for an elite deep cover unit, completing training and exercises so tough that several of the recruits did not survive. At the peak of his career, he was sent by his star nation to infiltrate a fascistic, militaristic planet: Earth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I liked it.

  • By Earl on 09-17-15

A bit different for Williamson

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

Reviewed: 05-21-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I'd recommend the book. Characterization was well handled and I could identify with the two main characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Weapon?

Dressing up as a submissive sex slave was humorous.

Which character – as performed by Stephen Bowlby – was your favorite?

Chinran, the main character is well handled and has a bit more depth than I normally expect for military SF.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing extreme. It is a good read, but not enough of one to create a memorable experience.

Any additional comments?

This is more of a detective procedural than Williamson's normal work. Much of the story is focused on step by step investigation than on lots of bullets and bodies, though there are some of those, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful