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Alan Venable

  • 20
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 24
  • ratings
  • The End of All Things

  • Old Man's War, Book 6
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert, William Dufris, John Scalzi
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,008
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,771

Humans expanded into space...only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. It was a good arrangement...for the Colonial Union. Then the Earth said: no more.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • why a lower rating on performance?

  • By D. Kassiday on 09-06-15

I wish the narrator knew how to speak

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

Reviewed: 07-07-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

There are several narrators within the Audible collection that don't know how to pronounce words in English. This is one of them and it was very irritating. The only contraction that he pronounced correctly was "wasn't". The rest had double consonant sounds: diddent, woulddent, coulddent. Pretty bad. Spoiled the flow of the book for me.

  • Grass Roots

  • A Will Lee Novel
  • By: Stuart Woods
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

Will Lee has returned to his roots to kick off his campaign for the Senate. A prominent lawyer, he has come back to his hometown of Delano, Georgia, to plan his strategies...and to argue an explosively controversial case that could seriously damage his political career. For Delano is a town with a dark secret - a smoldering hotbed of racial hatred and moral outrage, held in the thrall of a sinister white-supremacist group called The Elect... a breeding ground for violent, evil forces that will stop at nothing to keep the candidate out of office.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Plot: Dems vs. "Evil" Republicans

  • By Paula on 01-15-15

don't waste your time or money

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

Reviewed: 05-20-16

What disappointed you about Grass Roots?

So predictable and improbable. Was going fine but when the second story line was introduced I felt sure we were headed downhill and I was right. Too many improbable parts were introduced, one right after the other in a very short time that you could see where this was going. dumb.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

the narrator, George Guidall, is excellent but the poor quality of the plot overwhelms even him.

Any additional comments?

The author constructs the story fine to begin with but then bludgeons the book with a sudden stupidity in the multiple plot turns that are predictable after the first one.

  • Starhawk

  • Priscilla Hutchins, Book 1
  • By: Jack McDevitt
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 163

Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins has finally realized her lifelong dream: She’s completed a nerve-bending qualification flight for a pilot’s license. Her timing is far from optimal, however. Faster-than-light travel has only recently become a reality, and the World Space Authority is still learning how to manage long-range missions safely. To make matters worse, efforts to prepare two planets for colonization are killing off native life-forms, outraging people on Earth.So there’s not a lot of demand for space pilots.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • lacking attention to detail

  • By shirley on 11-10-13

I don't normally write reviews but this is bad

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

Reviewed: 03-15-16

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

I have read many Jack McDevitt books and most are not bad - not great but not bad. This one is bad. I listened to quite a few chapters and finally gave up as it was a terrible set of stories that had no real point or plot. It has nothing to offer - just boring chatter between characters.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jack McDevitt again?

Probably not- think I'm done.

What three words best describe Tavia Gilbert’s performance?

adequate but working with very poor material

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Starhawk?

I would ditch the book - it is pathetic.

  • Hidden River

  • By: Adrian McKinty
  • Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,958
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,516
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,499

Alexander Lawson is a former detective for Northern Ireland's police force. After a disastrous six-month stint in the drug squad, he became addicted to heroin and resigned in disgrace. Now 24, sickly, and on the dole, Alex learns that his high-school love, Victoria Patawasti, has been murdered in America. Victoria's wealthy family sends Alex to Colorado to investigate the case, and he seizes the opportunity for a chance at redemption.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite McKinty novel

  • By Dave on 04-04-11

What a waste of time, don't bother

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

Reviewed: 08-13-14

What would have made Hidden River better?

Needs a different narrrator and sorry the book was boring and depressing

What do you think your next listen will be?

something more interesting and definetly not boring

What didn’t you like about Gerard Doyle’s performance?

Too Irish. Really sounded like he was trying to be more Irish and than Irish. Way too much emphasis on the Irish accent

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Some humor but way too little to overcome the depressing wanderings of the author.

Any additional comments?

Complete waste of time and money. These are minutes that you will definitely wish you had sqaundered elsewhere.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Destiny's Road

  • By: Larry Niven
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 170
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 155

Wide and smooth, the Road was seared into planet Destiny’s rocky surface by the fusion drive of the powered landing craft, Cavorite. The Cavorite deserted the original interstellar colonists, stranding them without hope of contacting Earth. Now, descendants of those pioneers have many questions about the Road, but no settler who has gone down it has ever returned. For Jemmy Bloocher, a young farm boy, the questions burn too hot - and he sets out to uncover the many mysteries of Destiny’s Road.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • This is no Lucifer's Hammer

  • By The Zombie Specialist on 07-21-14

Boring from the start

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

Reviewed: 05-21-14

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Something interesting might have been nice

Has Destiny's Road turned you off from other books in this genre?

Boring narrator

How could the performance have been better?

Someone else would have made this book better

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Destiny's Road?

Not possible to make this anything but boring the way it is written. Sorry I wasted the time and money.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Origin

  • A Technothriller
  • By: J. A. Konrath
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,406
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,297

When linguist Andrew Dennison is yanked from his bed by the Secret Service and taken to a top secret facility in the desert, he has no idea he's been brought there to translate the words of an ancient demon. He joins pretty but cold veterinarian Sun Jones, eccentric molecular biologist Dr. Frank Belgium, and a hodge-podge of religious, military, and science personnel to try and figure out if the creature is, indeed, Satan. But things quickly go bad, and very soon Andy isn't just fighting for his life, but the lives of everyone on earth…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • what a trip

  • By Christopher on 03-16-12

Terrible Story

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

Reviewed: 05-16-14

What would have made Origin better?

Dark with no redeeming characteristics. Normally, when reading a Steven King or other such dark author,there are some redeeming features or characteristics, even characters. This book is about a bunch of screwups meeting 'the devil' who is omnipotent and all they can do against this unbeatable creature is screwup even more.

What could J. A. Konrath have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

He could have made the characters seem a little smarter. I mean they were all stupid. I know this is normally the way authors make their books seem exciting but this was just dumb.They should have been smarter once in a while even acidentally. Story line was not the least convincing or credable.

What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

The narrator did a good job and that is the only reason I kept listening. Finally had to quit when the book nose dived even fiurther with the sutpidity of the characters and the story line.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No redeeming qualities at all. Real waste of time listening to the dark ramblings of each of the characters. Depressing.

Any additional comments?

I normally don't write many reviews because most of the books are mediocre but this one is oustandingly bad so I wanted to warn others. Don't waste your time or money.

  • Diamondhead

  • By: Patrick Robinson
  • Narrated by: Charles Leggett
  • Length: 15 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 324
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 230

When Navy SEAL Mack Bedford's fellow officers are brutally killed by Iraqi insurgents using a cruel, new anti-tank Diamondhead missile, Mack avenges their murders by gunning down the then-unarmed attackers, ultimately getting himself court-martialed and kicked out of the Navy. To make matters worse, Mack then learns that the Diamondhead missiles were sold illegally by French industrialist and infamous politician Henri Foche.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • A Disastrous Departure of Style and Genre

  • By GH on 01-09-13

Contrived by an ignorant author

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

Reviewed: 03-06-14

What disappointed you about Diamondhead?

Author has no technical knowledge worth noting. The premise is faulty. The author speaks authoritatively about guns but obviously knows almost nothing. For example, he speaks of a revolver having a 'saftey' and then talks about the additional magazines for the revolver.Also, sighting a rifle in at 40 feet and then using the same cross hair setting with no adjustments at 600 yards to hit a target dead on. I have no respect for someone who doesn't at least do a little research.

What was most disappointing about Patrick Robinson’s story?

Too contrived not believable

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

no

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The only redeeming quality was the narrator. The book itself is irritating in all the little things that the author gets wrong.

Any additional comments?

Just too stupid and can't believe I listened to it as long as I did. I don't normally write reviews but this one absolutely deserved this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • In Session: Dr. Morgan Snow with Steve Berry's Cotton Malone, Lee Child's Jack Reacher & Barry Eisler's John Rain

  • By: M. J. Rose
  • Narrated by: Natalie Ross, Phil Gigante, Scott Brick, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1,205
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 980
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1,006

As a therapist specializing in sexual issues, psychiatrist Dr. Morgan Snow isn't easily shocked, or shaken, as readers of the popular "Butterfield Institute" novels know. There are times, however, when the need for her services leads her out of the office... and into unfamiliar worlds. In these stories, the therapist matches her wits -and her training - against three men of mystery: Jack Reacher, John Rain, and Cotton Malone.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you for the free story, however........

  • By Rose on 07-26-12

Pretentious

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

Reviewed: 03-07-13

Couldn't finish it. Every opportunity was taken to be snobbish in the writing. Not the characters, the writing style. Some of the snobbery didn't even make sense because the authors put pretentious words together that contradicted each other. And the basic plot/theme was really stupid.

Don't waste your time and money.

  • The Black Cloud

  • By: Fred Hoyle
  • Narrated by: Jack Klaff, Richard Dawkins (Introduction)
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 254
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 252

As an immense cloud of gas enters the solar system, it blocks the sun, threatening to wipe out most of life on Earth. In Britain, a team of scientists gathers at a secret location to deal with the crisis. But as the months pass, what they learn will challenge everything they believe about the nature of life and the universe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • EXCELLENT - despite it's age

  • By Alexa on 03-28-10

Dated and a little childish

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

Reviewed: 05-18-12

I think I probably read this when I was younger. I was surprised at how out dated the setting was and I guess I didn't remember it being so juvenile in the repartee. Kind of a dumb premis now that I listen to it. Not really logical that a phenomena would do what this one did. Also a pretty boring book all toghether.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mind Game

  • Ghost Walkers, Book 2
  • By: Christine Feehan
  • Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
  • Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 795
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 793

Possessed of an extraordinary telekinetic gift - she can make objects burst into flames - Dahlia Le Blanc has spent her life isolated from other people. But just when she thinks she's finally achieved some peace, her world comes crashing down. For a reason she cannot guess, she has become the target of deadly assassins. Suddenly, no place is safe - not even the secret refuge she established long ago. Now she must rely on Nicolas Trevane, a dangerous warrior sent to track her down and protect her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nicolas and Dahlia - Blend perfectly together !

  • By karen on 10-13-13

Terrible

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

Reviewed: 11-21-11

I f you are expecting an interesting listening, forget it. I listened through Chapter 8 and couldn't take any more.90% about sex and 10% story. This is the second time I have bought a book by a woman who seems sexually frustrated and works her problem out by writing about it and fantasizing.

What a waste of time listening to it. Kept hoping but everyt chapter same thing.

Please don't waste your money or time.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful