LISTENER

Donald E. Mansell

Paradise, CA
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 138
  • ratings
  • Renegades

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 7
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 7,874
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,533
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,515

The battle-scarred star carrier Flying Dutchman is finally on her way back to Earth, after an exceptionally successful series of missions that have once again saved the world. The ship needs a serious refit, and her exhausted crew just wants a break from constant clandestine warfare against a vicious and superior enemy. Wishes come true, right? Not for the Merry Band of Pirates.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Same Problems as BSG and LOST

  • By Spankybus on 04-03-19

I pre-ordered. I was *not* disappointed!

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

Reviewed: 03-29-19

Great read! Audible hit a home run for all us Audible sci-fi junkies when they had RC Bray narrate Alanson’s Expeditonary Force series. It’s a chips & salsa killer combo. Keep them coming!
Skippy and Joe rightfully enjoy the spotlight as we get further involvement and development of Nagatha and Smythe. Despite derailed soliloquy’s and periodic randomness I thoroughly enjoyed the totality of the book finding myself smiling and laughing a lot.
Alanson presents some new characters in the Delta unit sent to take over the Flying Dutchman and sidelines some of the major characters such as Gunnery Sargeant Margaret Adams and “Count Chocula.” While we are introduced to these special forces guys we don’t get to know them very well. We end the book bowing to Craig Alanson’s “awesomeness!” I’m looking forward to preordering another of Craig Alanson’s books.

  • The Hyperspace Trap

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Jelsema
  • Length: 13 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 228
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 208

A year after the Commonwealth won the war with the Theocracy, the interstellar cruise liner Supreme is on its maiden voyage, carrying a host of aristocrats thrilled to be sharing in a wondrous adventure among the stars. Then a collision with a pirate ship leaves the cruiser powerless and becalmed in hyperspace. And they’re not alone. Now, the mysterious force that’s living on this floating graveyard is coming for Supreme’s crew and passengers. As madness starts to tear at their minds, they must fight to survive in a strange alien realm.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • FILLER JUNK

  • By DH950 on 03-25-18

A far cry

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

Reviewed: 03-26-19

A favorite author has slipped, fallen and lost his luster. It’s as if he had a mediocre inspiration after reading Stephen King and Danielle Steele. Characters are bland. Plots are unimaginative and shaky. The book might qualify to be published with the Harlequin genre, except I don’t think Harlequin fans would enjoy it either.

  • The Threat

  • How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump
  • By: Andrew G. McCabe
  • Narrated by: Andrew G. McCabe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,582
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,296
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,285

On March 16, 2018, just 26 hours before his scheduled retirement from the organization he had served with distinction for more than two decades, Andrew G. McCabe was fired from his position as deputy director of the FBI. President Donald Trump celebrated on Twitter: "Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy." In The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, Andrew G. McCabe offers a dramatic and candid account of his career and an impassioned defense of the FBI.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The FBI & DOJ

  • By Greb on 02-19-19

Speaking Truth to Power

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

Reviewed: 02-25-19

Unfortunately, it(speaking truth to power)didn’t happen by McCabe’s own account. I agree with him that it is unlikely that truth wouldn’t have been/and isn’t appreciated by our current POTUS.

The scary thing for Democracy is that I can see myself making the same decisions he(McCabe) made and reeling under the impact of a powerful, intimidating, executive like our current POTUS to whom truth isn’t essential but rather just another weapon to be used in effectively communicating his agenda to a compliant core of cud-chewing followers. Followers of whom the POTUS-elect referred to saying, “ I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn’t lose any voters. Ok? It’s like incredible.” So SPOILER ALERT, “The Threat” is an unambiguous reference the POTUS.

The book is well-articulated, newsworthy, relevant and worth the cost of the book. He (McCabe)narrates his own story well and credibly. I felt like I not only learned about our current state of affairs but also felt like it went far in helping to re-establish trust in a bureaucratic system that for years has been maligned and Ill thought of. Indeed, these civil servants working at all levels of government are showing at this critical time how crucial it is to our democracy to have conscientious civil servants who treasure democracy and the rule of law.

It is incredibly difficult not to kowtow in the presence of intimidating personalities. Our founding fathers recognized the danger, setting up checks and balances after seeing the havoc reigning despots.

We all need to cast aside rhetoric, invest time in seeking truth and act in the best interests of our nation rather than our own parochial interests.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Event

  • By: Nathan Hystad
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,370
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,276
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,274

Cities all around the world reported strange alien vessels descending. Some saw them as the heralds of a new age; others fired everything they had at them. All were taken as the beams lashed down and drew them into the sky. Dean was left behind, seemingly the last man on Earth. A trail of clues left by his dead wife guides Dean on a perilous journey across America and beyond to learn the truth behind the mysterious ships and save humanity from its doom.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the purchase

  • By Amazon Customer on 09-12-18

Horrible Pseudo-science Fiction

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

Reviewed: 01-25-19

Horrendous waste of time. The audiobook is an abuse of a good narrator, Luke Daniels. I’m shocked Audible has promoted this boring, poorly-written, Ill-conceived book.

The book is full of used tropes, recycled ideas like dogs capable of sniffing out aliens. The plot jumps around dropping characters and picking up new and boring traveling companions only to find older travelers and killing them. Impossible to find rhyme or reason in the plot.

The author through the main protagonist finds it unusual that a Swedish mercenary speaks English. Really? So I guess our hero is a stereotypical, clueless American who has been chosen to save the world.Then this accountant hero outruns the same merc up Machu Pichu? This is a high altitude location that commonly causes altitude sickness. The soliloquies are boring.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Discovery

  • By: Ken Lozito
  • Narrated by: Scott Aiello
  • Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 620
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583

Exploring New Earth should be a thrilling undertaking. Instead, the more the colonists learn about the planet, the more alarmed they become. Alien ruins hint at a species who fought great wars among themselves and disappeared centuries ago. When Connor Gates discovers a hidden bunker, he finds something he never expected. Everything the colonists have learned about New Earth’s previous inhabitants is wrong. Connor must race to unravel the mystery. The colonists must face the possibility that they are not alone and that New Earth was never theirs for the taking.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slow unraveling of New Earth mysteries-Disappoints

  • By Donald E. Mansell on 12-06-18

Slow unraveling of New Earth mysteries-Disappoints

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Emphasis on slow. A book so short shouldn't have such a slow start. One of the mysteries in the book involve wondering why the main character, Conner is Mayor as well as principal explorer. We gradually discover(with Conner) mysteries associated with the NEIIS (New Earth Indigenous Intelligent Species) apparently pronounced "Newies" and Ryclar. The archaeological techniques using thermite explosives, shovels and hands seem more akin to Schliemman(who used similar techniques to excavate Troy in 1875) than a space-faring archaeologist. Disappointing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Commune: Book Three

  • By: Joshua Gayou
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,062
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,905
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,895

Having been bolstered with the supplies sufficient to carry them through the winter, the survivors of the Jackson commune must now hunker down and endure the bitter Wyoming snows, while to the south, factions are beginning to form, coalescing from the ashes of the dead world. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best series in sci-fi for great characters.

  • By TK2.0 on 11-19-18

Prepare to look up expressions in Urban Dictionary

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Delighted to hear in the prologue that we have a tetralogy with the finale yet to come. Great read! The author does well in giving Bray credit in bringing this novel to life. Gayou does an amazing job of taking us off into the Commune dystopia breaking all the rules and reveling in making it work. If you are old and crusty like I am you'll love it as more interesting and believable than the undead genre! The characters are unique,yet credible and address the extremes of the human condition. Language and expressions would go right over my head were it not for the Urban Dictionary. On the downside, words incorporating "lith" get overused.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Zero Hour

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 5
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22,898
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,536
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,432

United Nations Special Operations Command sent an elite expeditionary force of soldiers and pilots out on a simple recon mission, and somehow along the way they sparked an alien civil war. Now the not-at-all-merry band of pirates is in desperate trouble, again. Their stolen alien starship is falling apart, thousands of light years from home. The ancient alien AI they nicknamed Skippy is apparently dead, and even if they can by some miracle revive him, he might never be the same.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Monkeys kick A**, but......

  • By Beachcombers on 02-14-18

Grand slam again

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

Reviewed: 02-10-18

The chemistry between Alanson’s writing and Bray’s narration is responsible for me binge listening cover to cover laughing my way through.

The characters have become even more credible. The Count becomes more credible. Joe’s character becomes more mature and Skippy returns in his full glory with a hilarious chapter from his POV written to mess with us monkeys.

To make sense of the above you must read the previous books.

  • Black Ops

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 4
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23,278
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21,830
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,747

The elite crew of the pirate ship UNS Flying Dutchman had a simple mission: determining whether the Thuranin are sending another starship to Earth. Along the way, they became sidetracked by securing a future for the UNEF troops on the planet Paradise. When asked whether Earth was now safe, their ancient alien AI responded "Not so much"...now they have to deal with the consequences.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Slightly better than books two and three.....

  • By Steve on 01-02-18

SciFi with Afterburners Glowing

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

Reviewed: 09-27-17

Black Ops starts, reassuringly, with Skippy. The dialogue moves smoothly and kept me in tears, laughing. The story meshes well with the prior 3 books in the Expeditionary Force Series. After being disappointed in Book 3 I found it reassuring to see another book in line with the first 2 books. A new semi-sentient AI is Introduced, Nagatha Christy. Skippy's "progeny " comes across as a matronly credible AI brought to life by R.C. Bray sounding like Julia Childs. The "Black Op" is born of necessity in fits and starts to again save the world yet all works together for an overall excellent, entertaining read! This is a standing up and clapping review from a fan whose high expectations have been exceeded. Can't wait to see what next awaits the merry band of pirates.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Trouble on Paradise

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 3.5
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,407
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,745
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,713

While the crew of the UN Expeditionary Force's pirate starship Flying Dutchman are enjoying a luxury vacation cruise (not!), UNEF troops are still stranded on an alien-controlled planet. Major Emily Perkins and her team are busy picking up the pieces, and it's not easy, because there is trouble on Paradise....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Should have been part of Book 3

  • By W. Brooks on 07-11-17

Expeditionary Force 3.25 Booklet

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

Reviewed: 08-07-17

Brevity sums up this pamphlet-sized book. The book moved too quickly... except when rambling over the lyrics of a John Denver song. It is quite obviously a teaser for the next book in the series which, had it have been combined with this book, might constitute a book worth $20. The plot is good, the action and characters are familiar to us from previous books in the series. I miss the smart-aleck AI, Skippy who is only referred to tangentially as EmBe. We can only hope the next book isn't so disappointingly short.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Battle of the Void

  • The Ember War, Book 6
  • By: Richard Fox
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,719
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,650
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,644

The Xaros drove humanity to the edge of extinction. Now, an immense alien fleet is on the way to Earth to end the human race. Earth's defenses are in shambles. The planet needs time to ready for the next invasion, time it doesn't have. The Xaros are en route to Earth, and it will take a daring mission to buy Earth the chance it needs to survive the next attack. While a fleet of brave men and women prepare to face down the Xaros, the Breitenfeld travels to an ancient world where the key to ultimate victory lies buried beneath the crimes of the enigmatic Malal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Playing chicken with the devil

  • By Donald E. Mansell on 10-25-16

Playing chicken with the devil

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

Reviewed: 10-25-16

I confess to bias. I preordered the book and downloaded Battle of the Void at the stroke of midnight. Yes, the other books in the series are that good! Fox outdoes himself in Battle of the Void. The plot is fresh and maintains my interest in the series. Luke Daniels has improved his narration and has created new voices for more characters. Yes, I got irritated as he mixed accents in earlier stories The story line is fresh. He does a superb job of unpacking and developing the Xaros. Fox and Daniels kept me on the edge of my seat as mere mortals do battle with "Uberbeings". Fox explores and develops the characters of several of the Procedurally created humans and doughboys. I enjoyed getting to know more about Makarov.(forgive my spelling as I only listen to the Audible versions of books). The book ranks high on my short list of great SciFi.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful