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Russell David Phillips

  • 9
  • reviews
  • 28
  • helpful votes
  • 175
  • ratings
  • Rapture

  • Apocalypse Gates Author's Cut, Book 1
  • By: Daniel Schinhofen
  • Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 810
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 779

Alvin woke in a room that was not his, to discover that he had died and his brain had been bargained off cheaply to pay off someone else’s debt. It did not sit well with him. It didn’t surprise him that even in death, people were still using him for their own purposes. He had never exactly been a good guy, but everyone had their breaking point, and he had found his. The bastards in charge had uploaded his mind into a virtual death game. The whole world could now pay to see him play it and probably die. Regardless, he was not about to wait for death to come for him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great twist to the game genre. I highly recommend!

  • By Nicole C. on 03-24-18

Kind of torn

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Actually the book started out pretty well. I liked the world building and at first the character building seemed off to a good start. And the narrator does a good job. In fact I think the narrator's different voices and way of talking is what tricked me at first about how well the characters were being fleshed out.

But that stopped pretty quickly. The characters were frozen as fairly 2 dimensional. A single sentence can describes any of them. IE: He's a hard ass whose protective of his daughter and hates seeing kids hurt. END that's it. They are pretty meh until one of the 2 or 3 bullet points in their bio happen and then they act in crazy extreme ways. Until of course it's time for characters to start doing it. Then they will pretty quickly abandon stuff because "hey people need to be like doing it and stuff"

As others have mentioned the story goes out the window about halfway into the book. The last third is pretty much repeated unrealistic sex scenes (with light BDSM vibe). Literally not kidding. It's like pound pound (oh yeah more monsters are showing) yeah back to pounding away. I love good sex scenes when they fit but these were just dumb. The people had just met and they were like instantly in love cuz you know doing it and stuff. They read like a 12 year old boys idea of what having a girl friend would be like (even though they have never talked to a girl). See she is all like awesome like would shoot things and stuff and totally crawl all over you constantly with sex and stuff and like love it when you call them dirty slut and think you are like a super hero and (well you get the idea). Really really stupid.

I'm giving it 3 stars for the story because I like the premise and it started out okay but I won't be getting the next book.

  • The Karmadont Chess Set

  • Way of the Shaman, Book 5
  • By: Vasily Mahanenko
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,856
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,748
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,744

Mahan's ready for new adventures - just as the gaming world of Barliona thought it was about to reenter its old comfortable rut. The winds of the Dark Forest have finally died down; Altameda has recognized its new owner while Geranika is nursing new schemes of global destruction. Would Mahan be happy with this predictable old life? We think not!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pissed Off!!! (5 stars)

  • By Parker on 05-22-17

hmmmmm

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

Reviewed: 11-10-17

I dont want to spoil anything but the ending? There were hints and what not but the hints could easily have been read another way. So its not like it was obvious. But neither was it a surprise. It didn't match the feel of the other books. The things i liked about the series is pretty much gone. Wont listen to the next one.

  • Gamer for Life

  • Alpha World, Book 1
  • By: Daniel Schinhofen
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,066
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,961
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,963

Seamus is facing life in prison without parole. While doing his time, he's given an option by the Department of Justice and the biggest virtual game maker around, Mindblown Entertainment. If he will help them test long-term immersion, he will get the chance to play the latest game from Mindblown - Alpha World. All he has to do is sign away his legal rights and sign an NDA.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • one foot in LitRPG the other in erotica

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 12-27-17

Nerd loser is "master" to hot chicks

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

Reviewed: 09-04-17

The hero is supposed to be experienced, tough, etc.... taking on a tough mmorpg and winning with innovative and unusual choices (or something) but really the whole thing comes off as a creepy nerd living out creepy fantasies.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Delvers LLC

  • Welcome to Ludus
  • By: Blaise Corvin
  • Narrated by: Jeff Hays
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,009
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,005

Henry and Jason led normal lives in Seattle before they were abducted to another world. Their kidnapper, the vain, self-styled god Dolos, refuses to send them back unless they can accomplish an impossible task. Oddly, Dolos doesn't seem to care if they succeed or not. Luckily, Henry and Jason studied Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) on Earth. Unfortunately, a Japanese American EMT and a geeky IT programmer don't have many other useful skills on a sword-and-sorcery world like Ludus.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like an R-rated Dungeons and Dragons cartoon

  • By C.T. on 02-25-17

Really good!

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

Reviewed: 08-20-17

Good stuff. I like the characters inventiveness and Dolos is a hoot. looking forward to the next book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Monster of Florence

  • By: Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 821
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 421
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 422

In 2000, Douglas Preston and his family moved to Florence, Italy, fulfilling a long-held dream. They put their children in Italian schools and settled into a 14th century farmhouse in the green hills of Florence, where they devoted themselves to living la dolce vita while Preston wrote his best-selling suspense novels. All that changed when he discovered that the lovely olive grove in front of their house had been the scene of a double-murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable true-crime novel

  • By SFort on 07-04-08

The second half is worth the wait

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

Reviewed: 04-28-17

The first part of this book is interesting, but when the author steps into the story in the second half, it gets really good.

  • The Sword and the Dragon, Revised

  • The Wardstone Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: M. R. Mathias
  • Narrated by: Chris Dorman
  • Length: 24 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    2.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 112

When the Royal Wizard of Westland poisons the king so that his puppet prince can take the throne and start a continental war, a young squire is forced to run for his life carrying the powerful sword that his dying monarch burdened him with from the death bed. Two brothers find a magic ring and start on paths to becoming the most powerful sort of enemies, while an evil young sorceress unwillingly falls in love with one of them when he agrees to help her steal a dragon's egg for her father.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Why can you not give a rating of zero?

  • By Thomas on 04-12-14

I seriously thought about deafening myself.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The narrator. I honestly want a feature so I can flag this narrator so I get a big flashing warning in case I accidentally try and buy a book he narrates.

If you’ve listened to books by M. R. Mathias before, how does this one compare?

I have no experience with M.R. Mathias but the Kindle book had great reviews and from what I heard of the beginning the story and characters sounded interesting but I was literally climbing the wall because of the narrator. I plan on reading the Kindle version directly.

Would you be willing to try another one of Chris Dorman’s performances?

No. Never. It's like he's just reading each sentence without knowing what the sentence means. Every sentence ends with the last word being drawn out and spoken with a strange inflection. EVERY....SINGLE... SENTENCE!

Did The Sword and the Dragon, Revised inspire you to do anything?

?

Any additional comments?

no

  • Schooled in Magic

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,888
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,749
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,750

Emily is a teenage girl pulled from our world into a world of magic and mystery by a necromancer who intends to sacrifice her to the dark gods. Rescued in the nick of time by an enigmatic sorcerer, she discovers that she possesses magical powers and must go to Whitehall School to learn how to master them. There, she learns that the locals believe she is a "Child of Destiny" - someone whose choices might save or damn their world, a title that earns her both friends and enemies.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Neurotic Heroine

  • By Charles Grayson on 11-26-16

KEEP GOING! The last 2/3 is MUCH better.

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

Reviewed: 10-11-16

Any additional comments?

When I first started this book the beginning seemed rushed and unpolished. Then as I get a little further it seemed WAY too similar to harry potter. BUT I['m glad I kept going. That was just the beginning setting the stage part of the book. After that the author seemed to find his stride and their own voice. The last half was way better then the first. And the 2nd book was even better. I have to give it only 3 stars for the Story but in reality it's like 2 stars for the first third and 4 stars for the last 2/3.

So get the book. Get past the beginning and you will be happy. I'd recommend to the author rewriting the beginning some. I'd imagine many of the bad reviews are from people who got ticked off at the beginning and didn't want to keep going. But I've finished the 2nd book now and I'm so glad I kept going.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • The Rook

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel O'Malley
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 17 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,269
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,907
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,909

Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator killed it for me.

  • By Azita Saed on 08-04-15

Pleasantly surprised.

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

Reviewed: 08-20-12

Any additional comments?

The description sounded interesting but I have to confess I was a little hesitant. The amnesia aspect worried me as I could easily see how badly that could be mishandled and either made meaningless, annoying, ridiculous,etc...

BUT instead I thought it was done really well. In fact the mystery of self discovery (of who she "IS" vs who she "WAS") intertwining with the main plot events, etc.... all worked to make a really good listen.

  • Existence

  • By: David Brin
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins, Robin Miles, L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 32 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 930
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 842
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 833

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an "alien artifact".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Will its universe envelop you?

  • By Andreas Henriksson on 07-20-13

Uplifting (heheh)

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

Reviewed: 07-30-12

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

optimistic hard scifi

What was one of the most memorable moments of Existence?

Reporter in the blimp.

Which scene was your favorite?

The description of walking down the street and the vr overlay early in the book.

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

No extreme reactions.

Any additional comments?

This is a really interesting book. The story is based on lots of recent trends happening in the world in science and other wise and extrapolating some really interesting permutations of where it could all lead and how the world responds to events. Transparency, the prevalence of cheap and good recording, climate, over population, direct and instant access to information, real time VR overlays, etc...

David Brin goes a different direction than many other books that take one trend or new technology and then postulates some future taking it to some ridiculous extreme. Creating some bizarre future that bears no resemblance to our own history or present. Where everyone is grown in a vat and controlled by the state or everyone lives in isolation never seeing each other, etc...

Instead he (much more realistically) presents a world with literally massive amounts of people all with their own ideas, prejudices and goals all working against and with each other. Many things like improving VR technology, cheap and easy camera technology, social networking and instant access to vast amounts of information, climate change, genetic tinkering, etc... All advance, become part of the world and blend in different ways. Causing problems, solving problems, etc... A very rich world with lots of layers and very believable. You could easily recognize the world he presents evolving from our world.

I also enjoy how he presents different peoples viewpoints. Never mocking the ideas of others but instead embracing them and respectfully presenting the validity of varied positions and the arguments they present. Very mature.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful