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Sammy

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 29
  • helpful votes
  • 41
  • ratings
  • A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe

  • By: Alex White
  • Narrated by: Charlotte Blacklock
  • Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 61

A washed-up treasure hunter, a hotshot racer, and a deadly secret society. They're all on a race against time to hunt down the greatest warship ever built. Some think the ship is lost forever, some think it's been destroyed, and some think it's only a legend, but one thing's for certain: whoever finds it will hold the fate of the universe in their hands. And treasure that valuable can never stay hidden for long....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Creative, fun, breathless. Seamless meld of sci-fi and magic.

  • By Sammy on 12-19-18

Creative, fun, breathless. Seamless meld of sci-fi and magic.

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

Reviewed: 12-19-18

That was delightful! High adventure spanning the galaxy, set in a reality where magic and tech flow onto one another. The landscape is vivid, the cast complex and snarky, and the stakes high. The narration is great, too! This is my kind of book. Can’t wait for the next one!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Clan

  • Play to Live, Book 2
  • By: D. Rus
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom
  • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,045
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,043

Once a seasoned gamer, Max has cheated fate, swapping his dying body for an immortal avatar in the world of sword and sorcery MMORPGs. He joins the ranks of a new race of people: perma players, forever stuck in the virtual castles and cities of AlterWorld. Now they have to obey the ever-changing rules of their new home while learning to live together in peace, love, and justice. But freedom and immortality are a poisoned chalice. Some of Max's new friends crave power; others become traitors and spies.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not really a series, just one huge book broken up.

  • By Joshua on 06-08-16

"Enough of your feminsit trash!" actual hero quote

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

What did you like best about The Clan? What did you like least?

Great premise for people who like MMORPGs. And, I guess, cigarettes. Fun AI as God stuff. The misogyny is getting exhausting. The book ends in another cliffhanger, because it isn't really a series so much as a single book broken into pieces.

What was most disappointing about D. Rus’s story?

The protagonist actually says "Enough of your feminist trash!" to an all female mercenary group he wants to hire. And they took it, and then became friendly. Because apparently women just need a firm male hand to settle them down. Please imagine smoke coming out of my ears.

Also, literally the only person who does not seem to like cigarettes is Tali. I assume this is so that she can act indignantly domestic for comedic effect. Author seems to have no problems with playing into lazy and toxic stereotypes, much to the detriment of his writing. This series could have been really good. It has potential. Too bad the writer seems to have all the emotional and mental depth of a 12 year old boy raised by a hyper-conservative patriarch with a fetish for military fascism.

Any additional comments?

I went on to book 3 because of the cliff hanger at the end. Don't bother. It's not worth it. The sexism just gets worse, and it's joined by a heavy dose of racism. The author throws in ableism from time to time as well. The gaming world becoming real premise is still cool, but...well, I suppose if you've gotten this far without tripping over the super problematic parts of this series then you'll enjoy the next bit, too. For my part, I can't support this author by giving him any more money. I find the worldview he presents toxic and his messaging vile. This is where the gaming nostalgia runs out for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Duty

  • Play to Live, Book 3
  • By: D. Rus
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,839
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,721
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,721

The perma players' new reality gains depth and color. The virtual world has seen its first birth - and its first death. The invisible umbilical cord connecting AlterWorld to Earth grows thinner, and even the Fallen One cannot prevent the looming catastrophe. Could Max have ignored the Russian girl who'd just escaped slavery in a virtual China? Could he have turned a deaf ear to her pleas as the desperate fugitive clutched at straws on hearing her native tongue?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Oh what a beating...

  • By Jeff Dheere on 05-04-16

That's it, I'm done. Bulls**t level too high.

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

What did you like best about The Duty? What did you like least?

Gaming premise is still fun, and the idea that AlterWorld has developed its own reality enough that it's not only playing by its own rules but starting to affect the real world is pretty neat. The game mechanics stuff is still nostalgic and wonderful, and I wish we could give terminally ill kids the chance to live forever in a fantasy world. I'm all for that idea. But the writing has not improved even a little, and the misogyny has reached new levels of ick, joined by heightened levels of racism. Our protagonist beats an adolescent girl with a stick out of ire. Apparently the Chinese are evil. Clearly the best way to run thing is as a fascist dictator. And SPOILER ALERT:

After finally getting her revenge, Tali gets stuffed firmly in the refrigerator. Apparently for dramatic effect. Except that it has little to no impact on the protagonist beyond the moment. It just serves as another way to lend him the gravitas the author seems to think he needs. After all, what is a hero without at least one lost love, right? Except that the protagonist feels little to nothing after the moment. Basically I think the author kept realizing the initial girlfriend had been set up to be "jealous" so he couldn't comfortably give the protagonist a harem until she was out of the way. Or maybe the author didn't like his protagonist being too domestically tied down. I can't tell you the end result because I've only heard the preview of book 4. I can't support this author anymore than I already have.

What was most disappointing about D. Rus’s story?

I don't even know where to begin. Racism is a major driving force. Women who aren't under male control are malevolent. it just keeps getting worse and I can't fight through the thickening layers of social sludge to find the gaming goodness anymore.

Was The Duty worth the listening time?

No. The first one was, if you didn't have too much else to do or needed some mental candy. The second one made me feel like I'd about broken even. This book isn't really worth listening to unless you're one of those people who HAS to keep going with a series.

Any additional comments?

Many of the attitudes expressed in here are toxic. The addition of Lloth, however much I might like her as a D&D villain and goddess, felt SUPER lazy and juvenile. The women-as-plot-devices thing has gotten VERY old. The protagonist is steadily moving towards being the thing he's been complaining about, except of course since it's HIM everything is right and proper. He's condescending, bigoted, selfish, and generally a jerk, but because he occasionally does nice things everyone assumes that this is right and proper. The author's inclusion of himself as an AI writer would be a cute little Easter Egg if his arrogance were not so cloying. Oh yeah, and all glory to military everything.

I have had enough. I am done. The writing is not improving, the story arch is ridiculous wish fulfillment, and the character growth is nonexistent except where it's absurd. The only reason I didn't give this a lower rating is that I still like the world premise and the narrator isn't terrible.

  • AlterWorld

  • Play to Live, Book 1
  • By: D. Rus
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,472
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,271

A new pandemic - the perma effect - has taken over Earth of the near future. Whenever you play your favorite online game, beware: your mind might merge with the virtual world and dump its comatose host. Woe be to those stuck forever in Tetris! But some unfortunates - the handicapped and the terminally ill, shell-shocked army vets, wronged crime victims and other society misfits - choose to flee real life willingly, escaping to the limitless world of online sword and sorcery MMORPGs.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not for people who are expecting a 4.5 star book

  • By Liz on 06-06-16

Fun premise, but the nice-guy misogyny galls

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

What did you like best about AlterWorld? What did you like least?

My vision has deteriorated to the point where I can no longer play the MMORPGs that I used to love. So the whole premise behind this book, that someone like me might be able to leave behind certain limitations and really live in a fantasy world like I used to play in was pure nostalgia gold. It kept me going through some really ugly nice-guy misogyny. The protagonist is put forward as a good guy who often does nice things for other people even when it's not immediately good for him, too. Which is great! But he also can't help making "Women!" type comments. I don't normally attribute the attitudes of a single character to the author, but ALL of the characters mirror this behavior, female and male both.

What was most disappointing about D. Rus’s story?

The general "Nice Guy" + Gamer Bro mentality threading the book poisons an otherwise interesting premise. Also, there's a cliff hanger at the end. Also, apparently nothing really bad can happen to the protagonist. It looks like it might...and then he gets super lucky, or makes a friend, or something. It's basically young adult geek male wish fulfillment all the way down. Also, there are hints of racism in addition to the misogyny, and the protagonist utterly lacks any ability to self-reflect. For instance, he gets ticked off at other people for being greedy, but he lovingly refers to his own selfishness as his "Inner Greedy Pig". While he doesn't always let that instinct win, he doesn't seem to have any problem with the fact that he often does exactly the same things he criticizes other people for. I woudln't mind so much if there was any acknowledgement at all that this was hypocritical, but there isn't.

Of the first three books, this one is the best and easiest to read.

What about Michael Goldstrom’s performance did you like?

This narrator has done everything he possibly can with the material he's been given. His vocal range doesn't seem to be super broad, but that might be due to what he's reading. He's a good fit, tone wise, to the narrative.

Could you see AlterWorld being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I'd love to see this premise brought to film. That would be cool and rather meta. I think this is one of the times that I'd prefer an adaptation though, rather than an attempt to stay close to the original story. I have no idea about actors--I'm not good with names and faces.

Any additional comments?

If you love fantasy MMORPGs, you'll probably enjoy the premise of this series. It hits all the nostalgia buttons for me. The writing itself, from word choice to plot and character development, is mediocre at best. If you're triggered by pervasive, low-grade, unconscious misogyny, then you probably do not want to read this book or this series. Also, the protagonist steadily moves from the position of every-man equality with libertarian spice to the idea that a dictatorship is actually a good idea...as long as he's the one running it. Basically, the more power he gets and the more people who join him, the more he feels like he should be the one in charge and everyone else should be taking orders. There's a lot of mental hypocrisy in here, too, and there's a fair amount of shaming directed at more socialist ideals. Also some ableism.

Basically, if you think I'm whining about nothing and fantasy games are cool, read this book. If the stuff I've described makes you cringe or feel murderous, I advise you to take a pass. Watch some Westworld instead. There the women forced into stereotypes actually get a chance to grow and self-actualize.

  • Incubus Caged

  • The Incubus Series, Volume 1
  • By: A. H. Lee
  • Narrated by: Lauren Harris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 45

When Jessica volunteered as tribute to a sorcerer's court, she knew that sex would be part of her job. However, she did not expect Lord Azrael to “feed” her to his pet incubus on her first day at work. She’s shocked that the incubus - a shape-shifting panther - can take the form of a man. She’s shocked that they have an audience. She’s even more shocked that she likes it. When the show is over, Jessica is sent off to new adventures, but she can’t stop thinking about him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sensual, erotic, sex, fantasy and magic! OMG! WOW!

  • By Dana Pearson on 11-28-17

Raised my standards for erotica and romance

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

Would you consider the audio edition of Incubus Caged to be better than the print version?

I can't answer this, because I am legally blind and do not read the print editions anymore. But I can tell you that the narrator is outstanding. She infuses every sensual, playful, dramatic word with emotion and life. I can't think about any of the characters without hearing her version of their voices in my head.

What other book might you compare Incubus Caged to and why?

Honestly, this book is different than my usual fare. But I might direct you to some of Gail Carriger's more adult-oriented books. One of the things I really love about this book is the way it frames consent, and you get some of that from Gail Carriger and G. L. Carriger. You also get that from erotica author Nobilis Reed, and at least some from S. A. Huchton, Starla Hutchton, Chris Lester, and Lauren Harris's own writing. Compare this to authors like Kresley Cole, whose writing is dramatic and interesting, but whose use of consent is...problematic at times.

Which scene was your favorite?

In my honest opinion it is not possible to pick a favorite scene, though I did especially enjoy Jessica with her first conquest before things went...awry. And I love her interactions with Todd in general. Also, this author knows how to end books on a giggle-squee note.

Any additional comments?

I like dominance games in my erotica, but a lot of the time authors neglect the concept of consent and negotiation in those scenes. Sure, no one wants to sit there and read five pages of painstaking negotiations. But assumed consent isn't great either. Lee does a really great job of keeping up the seductive pressure and making the concept of asking for consent extraordinarily sexy. There's a lovely place where our incubus asks his lover/prey if she would mind terribly if he tore off her clothes, for instance. Too often we have torn clothes without that request, and while that can be hot, it can also be like "Um, those were my ONLY clothes here...." or "Do you have any idea HOW MUCH that bra cost?" Things like that can pull me out of a hot scene. Lee's treatment held my attention MUCH better. Hey, look! You can have a hero who is sexy AND likeable as a person!

  • The Sumage Solution

  • San Andreas Shifters, Book 1
  • By: G. L. Carriger
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage? New York Times best-seller Gail Carriger, writing as GL Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad-boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a joy to listen to

  • By Kelly on 08-01-17

Delightfully poetic and profane by turns

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

Reviewed: 02-10-18

What made the experience of listening to The Sumage Solution the most enjoyable?

I love how the story is both gritty and sweet at the same time. The characters are modern, with lots of emotional baggage. Being this or that kind of supernatural is basically like coming from any other kind of specific cultural background. Also, I feel a bit like I've had some real world insight into social customs that are outside of my experience. That was very cool.

What about Kirt Graves’s performance did you like?

Good, distinct voices. His narration does the characters, their emotions, and their experiences justice.

Any additional comments?

I do not read a lot of m/m romance. This book made me rethink that. I sincerely hope there is more where this came from! Also, nice world building! The depictions of bureaucracy are simultaneously hilarious and teeth grinding.

  • Poison or Protect

  • A Delightfully Deadly Novella
  • By: Gail Carriger
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Lavington
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199

Lady Preshea Villentia has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. What society doesn't know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea's employer. And Preshea has one final assignment. It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn't anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven - massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and...working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart - a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 "Black Widow" Stars!

  • By Jaime Oikle on 08-25-17

Perfect as always

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

Reviewed: 07-25-17

Where does Poison or Protect rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Perfect as always, Gail Carriger's work is always high on my list of recommendations. I love all her books, but I'd swear this one is even better than the last.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Usually I find sex scenes a bit boring after a while -- I much prefer the lead up. But Carriger managed just the right balance of poise and breathy excitement, eroticism without stepping into unnecessary details. She made a dominatrix scene touching, entertaining, sexy, and generally delightful.

Any additional comments?

BDSM in books is so often represented by some guy growling into his lover's ear as he pins her against something. There's crude language and a lot of stuff I would generally cause me to slap someone and walk away. This is different. Carriger has taken someone I regarded as the shallowest of villains and turned her into a deep, interesting badass assassin. And rather than undercutting her by giving her some secret submissive streak as so many other authors would have, she allowed our heroine to attain what she most wanted in the world -- control -- and then surprised her with what she never thought she needed -- love. Our heroine is allowed to be clever, decisive, classy, and powerful even in her most vulnerable moments. It's a rare and precious point of view. Seriously I cannot recommend this enough. The plot is superb, the writing excellent, the characters delightful, and the narration flawless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Things Unseen

  • Metamor City
  • By: Chris Lester
  • Narrated by: Chris Lester
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12

Lt. Kathryn Kitaen, a detective of Magic Affairs for the Metamor City Police Department, is not having her best day. An unidentified man in her precinct has been burned to death by unknown magic. A powerful wizard has erased the evidence from the crime scene. The commander of a powerful paramilitary organization wants to pick a fight over jurisdiction. And to top it all off, the Empire's top spymaster wants her to find his missing daughter: a spoiled and decadent heiress who's infamous for sparking scandal and controversy wherever she goes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Supernatural, Law and Order, and D&D in one

  • By Laura on 05-04-17

Intricate storytelling in a fabulous new world

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

Reviewed: 05-03-17

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

Yes, absolutely. Good quality sound, particularly for an independent production. The author reads his own work and each of his character voices is distinct and vivid. The world of Metamor is distinctive, well fleshed, and fascinating. Strong characters, solid plot, and some interesting story hooks that left me satisfied with this book but definitely looking forward to more.

What other book might you compare Things Unseen to and why?

Nothing quite leaps to mind. Things Unseen can be considered Urban fantasy, but it takes place in a world that is like Earth but with a radically different timeline. Magic isn't just in the open - it's never been hidden. In spite of this, technology is just as important a force in the world. It's not quite like anything I can call to mind having read.

Have you listened to any of Chris Lester’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I listened to Chris Lester's Making the Cut, which was a free full-cast audiobook released through The Metamor City Podcast. He has several other shorter works which can also be found through this source, some in the same world and some not. He has always been a good writer, but I think he has improved quite a lot. If you like this book, I recommend looking up his podcast or buying anything else by him on audible.

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

There are a couple of pretty intense and violent scenes in this book. The main character starts out humorous, but she has some growing to do throughout the book and most of it isn't pleasant for her. It's got a fair amount of emotional punch, with some light horror elements.

Any additional comments?

Definitely listen to this book if you like gritty, detailed urban fantasy with a dash of humor and a dollop of light horror, with just a dash of philosophy. There's plenty of action, but it takes a little time to get there. There are a couple of kinky bits too, but nothing terribly graphic. A murder mystery wrapped up in guns and magic and possibly the end of the world. Can't wait to see where it goes from here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Forging Hephaestus

  • Villains' Code Series, Book 1
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 26 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,983
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,668
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,662

Gifted with meta-human powers, Tori Rivas kept away from the limelight, preferring to work as a thief in the shadows. But when she's captured trying to rob a vault that belongs to a secret guild of villains, she's offered a hard choice: prove she has what it takes to join them or be eliminated. Apprenticed to one of the world's most powerful (and supposedly dead) villains, she is thrust into a strange world where the lines that divide superheroes and criminals are more complex than they seem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Nice Surprise with some Really Fun Characters

  • By Small Mountain on 09-29-17

Delightful as always

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

Reviewed: 03-19-17

New world. New series. Same awesomeness. Drew Hayes never disappoints! Fun characters and an interesting premise. Can't wait for the next one!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Going Rogue

  • Spells, Swords, & Stealth Series, Book 3
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 15 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,131
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,921
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3,911

Adventuring is a costly affair, and while the tolls are often paid in blood, gold can drain away just as quickly. The party's trek out of Solium and across the lands of Alcatham has left them with only a handful of gold between them. Fortunately, they have drawn near Camnarael, Alcatham's capital, where all manner of quests - and rewards - await. But all is not as expected in the capital.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of the series

  • By david on 03-17-17

Outstanding as always!

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

Reviewed: 02-01-17

If you liked the last two books in this series, you'll almost certainly enjoy this one. As a role player whose characters prefer to offer courtesy to NPCs, this book in particular appeals to me. Though I have to admit, if my dice ever start glowing I might react rather more like Bert than the others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful