LISTENER

JulieM

Louisiana, United States
  • 87
  • reviews
  • 118
  • helpful votes
  • 277
  • ratings
  • Space Force

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer, Emily Woo Zeller, Machelle Williams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

 

Five years ago, the US Space Force became a reality. And while those writing the checks took things very seriously, the other military branches did not. As a result, Space Force was populated by undesirables: men and women who made too many mistakes, didn't follow the rules, or...slept with the wrong general's daughter. Three times. On camera. It was a mistake, okay? My name is Captain Ethan Stone, a decorated member of SEAL Team Six turned Space Force "recruit". 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • It's Like The Army or Navy But For Space

  • By Cyphers Fallen on 02-27-19

Fun gamer-inspired romp

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

Reviewed: 03-03-19

Star Force is my first Jeremy Robinson book, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s well-written, and things that I think of are throw-aways at the beginning, like the gaming or Stone’s love of a well-written letter, come back into play later in the novel.

Just when Star Force is disbanded and the team is sent home, earth is invaded. Everything becomes a Battle Royale style game, and the team is separated. One part of the team is led by Stone, and the other part is led by Hale (Hawaiian pronunciation, thank you) with their civilian tag-along Loretta.

If you know gamer culture, it makes it easy to follow along the story and gives insider genre savvy. The action is plentiful, with appearances from evil Canadians, Chinese and Russians. The humor is sophomoric at best, and for some that’s appealing enough on its own. The penis-shaped invading aliens are called the Choat, so it’s not making any pretenses.

I enjoyed the book and thought it was fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and nods to the audience at the right places. There are even a few elements that are deliberately supposed to remind the reader/listener of an end credits scene on a big superhero movie. It definitely sets up a possible sequel if the readers demand it and the author is so inclined.

If you think this book will (or will not) appeal to you, go with your instinct. This is the kind of popcorn fun I like to have in my entertainment, but pretentious it is not. If you need something a little more highbrow, then do yourself a favor and pass this one up.

Since I did listen to this as an audiobook, I can tell you that all the narrators brought their A-game. Special props to Emily Woo Zeller who handles more of the accents (at least six at casual count, maybe more), including a short passage in Chinese. It’s immersive and works very well.

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Shadow Magic

  • Darkling Mage, Book 1
  • By: Nazri Noor
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

The gods are dying. But for one man, death is only the beginning. Murdered as a ritual sacrifice, amateur thief and professional charmer Dustin Graves mysteriously survives, finding himself gifted with strange, dark magic. Then more dead bodies turn up. Some are human, but one is a god of the old world, slain at his own doorstep.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A new fantasy world and series to fall into

  • By Tyler Mitchell on 03-03-19

New UF with lots of potential

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

Reviewed: 03-03-19

This urban fantasy from Nazri Noor has all the elements of a rollicking story. We begin in the middle of the action with a main character who is relatively new to his magical world, so we can learn as he does. The world building is excellent and the pace is steady with no flabby middle. While this is an indie release, I could just as easily imagine it being released from Tor, Daw or one of the other major houses.

I was hesitant to read/listen to this at first because in full honesty here, I was put off by the MC’s name. Dustin Graves. Graves? Really? It seemed so on the nose that I passed it up. But when he got Luke Daniels to narrate, I gave it a second a second try. Luke is one of my favorite narrators, and he can make even the most mundane thing sound great.

I’m glad I gave it a second try because this is a genuinely good book, not just a good Daniels performance. If other readers have doubts like I did, reconsider reading or listening to this one. We’ve got a nice bit of magic and lore in the classic everything goes kind of story. There is enough world in here to keep going for a while, and Noor already does have several books published.

One of the things I like about this is that Dustin isn’t one of those UF leads who is too snarky for his own good that he becomes all joke and no personality. I love a good sense of humor and character voice, but over the years with so many authors doing it, it starts to ring hollow. Dustin is more restrained than that, and I like this book better for it.

Bottom line: Recommended. Sure, you might guess some of the turns and double-crosses before they happen, but it’s part and parcel with the genre. A fun story well told and well performed.

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Hidden One

  • The Chosen One, Book 2
  • By: T.B. Markinson
  • Narrated by: Lori Prince
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 22

Mock election. Real world danger. Ainsley's relationship and reputation may not survive the campaign trail. Still reeling from the targeted attack on her family, Ainsley is determined to keep a low profile during senior year. But a mandatory class project pulls her back into the political fray as the mock Democratic presidential candidate. With the entire campus watching, Ainsley knows it's only a matter of time before her rival turns the spotlight on her and her secretive girlfriend. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "People can be kind, supportive, and loving"

  • By Kara on 02-27-19

The further adventures of Ainsley Carmichael

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

Reviewed: 02-26-19

After listening to an audio of the first book in this series, I got to listen to this one, which meets our characters 3 years later. Ainsley and Maya have been dating for three years and are seniors, and the effect of Ainsley's senior project is the big action piece of this novel. Ainsley is living with Fiona, Pat, and their dog Grover. Meanwhile, Suzie Q is still out there fulfilling her life's mission of making Ainsley's life hard.

I almost didn't listen to this one, but I had to remind myself about what I liked in the first one. I liked the side characters. Give me Fi and Pat. As much as I dislike the Southie accent, narrator Lori Prince brings it to life so well and makes Pat someone fleshed out. I want more of him.

As a character, Ainsley started to get on my nerves. I think she was accurately written in some respects. She's freshly 21 in this story, and her brain is practically all sex all the time. She can be a bit of a whiner, too. The "I'm so adorable because I'm clumsy" act was also something I didn't enjoy, but at least it was only used once in this book.

So all that out of the way, this book was interesting enough that the longer length didn't bother. I just wanted to know what was happening and to unpack the layers of political machinations. A new loveable side character was introduced in Hildy, Ainsley's mock campaign manager. The character chemistry was so good I thought something more might happen between her and Fi.

Prince's performance was as good as ever. I sometimes think the reason I wanted to slap Ainsley was because of the whining tone she used as the character's literal voice. That doesn't mean high-pitched. Ainsley just sounds often like she's complaining when she's not horny and flirting with her girlfriend.

This is a good read/listen for those who like mysteries (political or not) where there are layers of duplicity involved, readers of lesfic who like stories that aren't all about the coming out (Ainsley was never "in"), or people who read the first book and enjoyed it. I do not recommend starting with this book, though. Go back to the first one (The Chosen One).

Expect a 3rd book in the series since the author is clearly not done with these characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Most Beautiful

  • My Life with Prince
  • By: Mayte Garcia
  • Narrated by: Mayte Garcia
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,131
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,947

In The Most Beautiful, a title inspired by the hit song Prince wrote about their legendary love story, Mayte Garcia for the first time shares the deeply personal story of their relationship and offers a singular perspective on the music icon and their world together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can see why Prince fell in love with her.

  • By S. Winchester on 04-07-17

Like listening to stories from an old friend

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

Reviewed: 02-14-19

This audiobook was written and performed with such incredible warmth that it was like sitting beside a good friend as she told stories about her life. We learn about Mayte herself, which was wonderful. As a casual fan, I didn't know how hardworking and talented she was on her own. I do remember how glorious the love symbol album was with so many songs for her.

The thing that I appreciate about this is that Mayte sounds kind. She's not backbiting or full of bile. She speaks kindly of people and makes it so easy to understand how she could have made that connection with Prince.

Really, it's a great book. I'm glad I bought it (money well spent), and I was moved in some places but on the whole feel better for it. A good purchase for Prince fans, sure, but now I think I might be a Mayte fan because her nature comes out of every word of this book.

  • Conversational French Dialogues: Over 100 French Conversations and Short Stories

  • Conversational French Dual Language Books
  • By: Lingo Mastery
  • Narrated by: Noelia Gouty, Craig Levin, Dominic Lorange
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

We have compiled more than 100 French stories for beginners along with their translations, allowing new French speakers to have the necessary tools to begin studying how to set a meeting, rent a car, or tell a doctor they don’t feel well! We’re not wasting time here with conversations that don’t go anywhere: If you want to know how to solve problems (while learning a ton of French along the way, obviously), this audiobook is for you! 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great tool to improve your French

  • By JulieM on 02-10-19

Great tool to improve your French

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

Reviewed: 02-10-19

I am an avid language learner and audiobook listener. I have used audiobooks to improve many of the different languages I study. I know they work, and I wanted to get my ears on this since I've recently visited France and want to improve my language skills.

This audio moves at a fast pace. There are explanations and suggestions for use at the beginning and end. Each chapter has the dialogue spoken by native French speakers and then spoken in (American) English translation.

The positives: The native accents are accurate and clear. The topics and associated vocabulary are on a very nice variety of topics that aren't often covered in other language audios. They are timely and sometimes very funny. If you learned these conversations to mastery level, you would be well prepared with French.

The negatives: The English translations aren't always in natural spoken language. You can guess what they actually mean from context, but a little more care could have been done with that. The performances can sound very stilted. The female performer sometimes mispronounces her English (usually a problem with which syllables are stressed).

I don't think any of the negatives are deal breakers, but they are there. I recommend this to any French learner without reservation, and I'm happy to have gotten a review copy. I would offer a few further pieces of advice to interested listeners.

You have to do the work. This means studying the accompanying PDF and practicing speaking out loud. New learners would benefit by changing the playback speeds to slow down to really hear everything.

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Agent G: Saboteur

  • By: C. T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

Agent G has left the service of the International Refugee Society, the world's biggest provider of murder for hire, in order to work for the US government. Unfortunately, they are sending him after his former employers, and they know him as well as he knows them. The clock is ticking, though, until the Society's remaining leadership starts eliminating their opponents and attempts to seize control of the presidency. A traitor is also providing them with all the information they need to survive until their puppet is in power. Will G and his allies survive the purge? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Professional Hitmen Never Retire!

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 11-28-18

Listen in order to get best effect

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

Reviewed: 02-05-19

Agent G: Saboteur is the second in a series, and I jumped at the opportunity to review it. I had been introduced to the character of G in Phipps's Supervillainy series where he did a crossover to book 5, The Tournament of Supervillainy. So full disclaimers here: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I haven't read or heard book 1.

We start right in the middle of the action with G and Marissa, who is G's love interest through most of the book. We continue with non-stop action to the very end, and perhaps because I didn't read the first book, I felt I was missing a lot. This definitely leans into cyberpunk but continues the general pop culture references that Phipps does so well. Other reviewers have called this James Bond cyberpunk, and there is a certain truth in that because the listener is never sure who is friend or foe or where the next double-cross will be coming from.

Narrator Jeffrey Kafer brings the vocal swagger that makes the character believable. Because I have listened to him with the other Phipps series, it's hard not to hear those other characters, but as a listener, the familiarity is comforting.

Definitely recommended for those who love cyberpunk and espionage tales. Do yourself a favor, though, and start with book one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Frame-Up

  • The Golden Arrow Mysteries Series, Book 1
  • By: Meghan Scott Molin
  • Narrated by: Andrea Emmes
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 132

MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page. But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best - and only - lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they? When Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I Was Hoping It Would Be So Much More

  • By L. G. on 12-06-18

Start of a great new mystery series

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

Reviewed: 02-03-19

This mystery series did what it was supposed to do. It kept me guessing until the end. I thought I knew who the bad guy was, but I didn't! So congrats on keeping me engaged and guessing.

The setting for this is the world of comics and geek culture in Los Angeles. Main character MG has a pretty big chip on her shoulder because she's misunderstood by non-geeks, and the geeks she's regularly around haven't respected her very much, either. She meets Detective Kildaire while in line for coffee, and thus begins her working as a consultant for the LAPD. She and Kildaire also have a mutual brewing attraction between them.

One of the things that sets this story apart from all the other "amateur sleuth solves the crimes the police can't" stories is that she makes mistakes and owns up to it. She doesn't get to ignore the problems she's caused by making faulty decisions that caused lots of damage and tied a case up in bureaucratic red tape. So many other stories act like this isn't something that could happen, and it's nice to see that reality acknowledged.

MG's two best friends help make up an interesting cast of characters that make her world richer. First is the Lawrence, a black drag queen with the stage name Latifah Nile. At one of the pivotal points of the story, the extended drag family is involved to help catch the bad guy. The other best friend is MG's roommate Ryan who is a video game developer and Lawrence's former roommate. The three are like peas in a pod, except Ryan is suspiciously missing through some parts of the story. (If my hunch is right, this might be revealed in future books.)

As for the performance, it did what it was supposed to do. I was engrossed and entertained in the story. The performer filled the role and got out of the way. That works for me.

I don't know who the Golden Arrow is. That's not a mystery that's solved, but considering this is supposed to be the start of a series, we may have other books to think about who it could be. I plan on sticking around for more.

Recommended for those who love cozies, comic books, geek culture and drag queens.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Exhale: An MM Shifter Romance

  • Flesh and Bone Series, Book 1
  • By: Joel Abernathy
  • Narrated by: Kirt Graves
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 225

Two men haunted by the same ghost...Falling for "the other man" in my marriage was never part of the plan. Then again, according to Nicolae Ursache, I am the other man, and human wedding vows don't apply. Not to werewolves. Nicolae is a smug, arrogant alpha male stereotype - and I do mean alpha in the literal sense - but when the same people who killed my wife kidnap my teenage daughter, he's my only chance at getting her back. The fact that Nicolae was my wife's rightful mate means that we share a mutual interest in bringing Ellie home.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Take a deep breath

  • By Annika on 10-23-18

An Improbable Relationship Feels Probable

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

Somewhat predictable, but still enjoyable story.

Predictable bits: The MC's surprising change at the end was telegraphed early on, especially with his declaration that he'd never want to be that. It also did what a lot of MM romances do in that the person who normally bottoms tops after some triumphal moment in which the couple celebrates. I've read enough MM to see the pattern and find that one boring.

Those criticisms out of the way, I dug this. Jack is a sympathetic lead. One thing he loves more than anything else in the world is his daughter, and that incites the plot and everything that comes after. Werewolves are used well here, and this feels very "lived in" as far as a society.

The best part was Kirt Graves as a narrator. He's the reason I gave this one a chance. If you've liked his other performances, he's up to the same standard of excellence here. He was so good, I stayed up after I'd intended on going to sleep because I didn't want to stop listening.

  • Antibody

  • Love and War, Book 3
  • By: R. A. Steffan
  • Narrated by: Gwendolyn Druyor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

No, cyborgs are only good at three things: following orders, destroying whatever target you point them at, and walking calmly into the vaporization chamber when it’s time for them to be decommissioned. PX-12, better known to his friends as Pax, adequately performed two of those functions during his stint in the Ilarian military. D-8, his unit-sibling, performed all three exceptionally well. For that reason, when D-8’s unique distress beacon activates some seven years after Pax saw him destroyed, it would doubtless be quite surprising if Pax were still capable of being surprised.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You just got to love this series

  • By Julie on 03-08-19

Cyborgs and Telepaths

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

It's been a while since I read the other books in this series, so it's good for me that these can be read as stand-alones. This is firmly scifi romance in that there's a main scifi theme and mission while a couple falls in love. So far the couples have been mixed species. In this story, we get cyborg Pax and Naline, who had a big role in book 2.

For those going for the romance, this was a great couple. It was one of those that shouldn't work, but it totally does. Each of the two leads have parallels with each other so it just makes sense that they fit together in the best possible ways.

The specific scifi arc in this story involves shutting down a dangerous cyborg program. All the characters have to use their different talents (hacking, espionage, medicine, telepathy) to get the desired result. The band of rebels that might have started the story has growing ranks as we get closer to the desired end of toppling the regime.

I did listen to this via audiobook, and while I normally have nothing but praise for Gwendolyn Druyor, there were three small things that bugged me.
*One, she was inconsistent with Pax's voice. Sometimes he sounded like a female character speaking. It was only context that made it clear who it was supposed to be.
*Two, her vocal choice for Cade was uncomfortable for me. He constantly sounded like he was growling. I realize it was likely a specific acting choice since he's an addict and regularly in a lot of pain. As a listener, though, it was was hard to experience so much of this character, and he has significant page time in the first half of the book.
*Third, there isn't a lot of vocal difference between Cade and Draven.
Druyor is normally very great at what she does, and this isn't necessarily a deal breaker.

So who's this book for? Steffan fans. Those who like scifi romance. People who like a story where a band of rebels sticks it to the man (shades of Star Wars and Firefly). Those who just want to have a good time for a few hours to read or listen to a fun book.

As for me, I'm ready for Ash's story... which should be book 4.

  • The Tournament of Supervillainy

  • The Supervillainy Saga, Book 5
  • By: C.T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 336
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 317
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316

Gary Karkofsky, aka Merciless the supervillain without mercy, is presently the most disliked supervillain in the world. Superheroes don't want to just throw him in jail, they want to deliver an epic beat down for ending their golden age by killing Merciful, the superhero with mercy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary is back! Woo-hoo!

  • By JulieM on 01-29-19

Gary is back! Woo-hoo!

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

Reviewed: 01-29-19

I've been eating up this series from the first book, so I jumped at an opportunity to review the audiobook. Here's the disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I didn't expect to see a book 5 because I thought book 4 had wrapped up Gary's tales. Nice to see I was wrong.

Here's the deal about this story: Gary and crew (Cindy, Mandy, Diabloman, Gabrielle and others) from the previous books are back. This is almost a reboot of the series, or it's the place where the author finds his mojo again. As fun as superhero/supervillain tales can be, they can be a drain on creativity. So Phipps spins it in a new direction with this salute to Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and games of that sort.

We get the same intelligence, irreverence and cleverness that we've known in the previous books of the series, but here it's an everything goes in the multi-verse type thing. Basically, Phipps brings in characters from other book series he's written that are completely unrelated to this story and lets them play here. It works so well that now I want to get my ears on the Agent G and Jane Doe series. (A were-deer. Seriously? Turns out she's cool!)

Jeffrey Kafer's performance was as great as ever. He's a hard-working narrator with lots of titles I've enjoyed. Some of my favorite voices of his are Cindy's and Diabloman's. Even though he's got a vast audiography, he excels with scifi/fantasy titles.

Bottom line: A good story to start fresh with Gary/Merciless, but I do recommend going back to the beginning. The other books are just fun. For those who love their leads witty and snarky and who don't mind their bad guys doing good. This is why Gary is the best anti-villain.

Looking forward to book 6.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful