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TW Brown, Author, Editor, and Reviewer

Estacada, Oregon
  • 117
  • reviews
  • 260
  • helpful votes
  • 171
  • ratings
  • The Bees

  • A Novel
  • By: Laline Paull
  • Narrated by: Orlagh Cassidy
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,260
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,144
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,142

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Book of 2014

  • By Emily - Audible on 12-07-14

It made being a new beekeeper even more fun

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

I just started tending bees, so this book popped out to me. Besides being a good fantasy read, Paull obviously had some actual bee knowledge. It was a real treat to imagine hive dynamics as they were presented here. If you handle bees, you have to read/listen to this title. If not, it is still a very enjoyable tale.

Narration was not over the top, it made for a wonderful listen that pulled me into the story.

  • Crusade

  • The Hunt Chronicles, Book 3
  • By: J.D. Demers
  • Narrated by: Joshua Story
  • Length: 14 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99

Christian Hunt and the small band of Camp Holly survivors begin their trek west toward Hoover Dam. There, Doctor Tripp believes she and the refugees that have fortified the dam can develop a cure from Christian's blood. Zombies are an ever-present danger, opportunistic humans threaten their very lives, and scabs are evolving into apex predators, with humans on the menu. As if the near impossibility of making it past all of these obstacles wasn't enough, Christian strives to search for his family. Did his parents or sister survive?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I’m Torn On This One

  • By Wade on 10-28-17

That did not tickle!

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

Okay, no spoilers here, but if you have STILL not jumped on this series, you need to. It is very well thought out and the characters have depth. I will say that Christian annoyed me a bit in this installment. I understood his actions, but that does not mean I agreed or supported him.

This is more than your typical zombie fare. Much like many of the video games in the genre, there are a few of the undead that are more than just normal trudging muncher. And once you meet Tickle...well...I'll let you decide.

The biggest strength of this book for me came in the way Christian's sister was "handled". Again...sorry, no spoilers. But seriously, this is my favorite zombie offering of the year so far (and that includes my own stuff).

If you get the audio version, it is an even bigger treat. Joshua Story is sublime, and he handles women's voices so well you will think it is dual-narrated.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • First Grave on the Right

  • Charley Davidson, Book 1
  • By: Darynda Jones
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,282
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,212
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,194

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great choice for Stephanie, Lorelai or Buffy fans!

  • By Austin gal on 03-07-12

A good start

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

Reviewed: 04-14-18

This was a fun start to a series. It did not initially grab me, but there is enough unique aspects of the story to interest me enough to pursue the second book. Having an electric touch being just one of them.

The audio version is well-narrated and produced.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • City of the Dead: Author's Preferred Edition

  • By: Brian Keene
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

In this sequel to The Rising, cities are overrun with legions of the undead, intent on destroying what's left of the living. Trapped inside a fortified skyscraper, a handful of survivors prepare to make their last stand against an unstoppable, merciless enemy. With every hour their chances diminish and their numbers dwindle, while the ranks of the dead continue to rise. Because sooner or later, everything dies. And then it comes back, ready to kill.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More Than Infinity

  • By Spooky Mike on 01-23-18

Before the craze...there was Keene

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

Reviewed: 02-14-18

I realize that there are those who passed on this title because book one was so insane, but isn't that the beauty of this genre? Keene is one of the people who were in the vangard that brought zombies back to the forefront. Kirkman simply gets the credit because he has a hit TV series, but there was a time when zombies were NOT so prevalent on Amzon in the book section. Keene stood out with this tale because it does not try to make you feel good. It tries to unsettle you and does so very well. And to have the demon aspect so well melded into this genre is a testament. This tale is even more action packed and fingernail destroying than the first installment.

I refuse to dock this selection simply because I (and obviously in the minority here) did not care for the narration. It was just did not do it for me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Splendid and Extraordinary Life of Beautimus Potamus

  • By: Peggy A. Wheeler
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

The mystical green planet of Rendaz is home to devout goddess worshiper and university professor, middle-aged Beautimus Potamus - who also happens to be a hippo plagued by hot flashes and poor self-esteem. Beautimus forms an alliance with Samuel S. Goodwings, a younger womanizing, atheist praying mantis. When these two are together, life morphs from the mundane into the fantastic. Our unlikely duo solve mysteries, bring a murderer to justice, and even help end a war, while experiencing their own trials, triumphs, and tragedies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A BOOK FOR THE FUTURE

  • By M Stein on 11-10-17

Loved the story, but not the narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-14-18

This is one of those stories that made me think of all the great "animals as people" tales ranging from Jungle Book to Animal Farm to Charlotte's Web. Yes, a broad range indeed, but this story has that going on for it. There is such a beautiful poetry to it that you find yourself lost. There are actual "laugh out loud" moments (not to be confused with the overused LOL. I mean you will actually chuckle. This is fantasy with a twist and I think you are missing out if you don't give this beautimus story a shot.

The narration was, for me, the weak point. There was just something about Ms. Hazen's voice that did not work for me. That said, narrators are like singers, one person loves Sinatra, the next Bon Scott, so take that criticism with a grain of salt. I will say she has a vast array of voices and the production is top notch.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Temple of Elemental Evil

  • Dungeons & Dragons: Greyhawk, Book 3
  • By: Thomas M. Reid
  • Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 152

A sinister force, long thought destroyed, stirs in the land. As a she-demon bent on wreaking worldwide havoc struggles to escape her prison and a foul demigod plots to bend her to his will, a band of desperate heroes must infiltrate the very heart of darkness in a daring attempt to stop them both.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing classic.

  • By Crystallania on 03-27-17

Not great...at least the narrator was good

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

As a player who picked this game up in the 70s, I am familiar with this mod. It was never one of my favorite, and now the story proves that idea. It was simply a bit dry as a story. The writing was a bit cliche as it played out. Sort of like a bunch of old fantasy tales pieced into this one story to make the complete tale. There just wasn't anything that made me sink into the story. The saving grace came from Mr. Clark's voice work.

  • Unqualified

  • By: Anna Faris, Chris Pratt - foreword
  • Narrated by: Chris Pratt - foreword, Anna Faris, Fred Sanders
  • Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,507
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,353

Anna Faris has advice for you. And it's great advice, because she's been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she's learned. Her comic memoir and first book, Unqualified, will share Anna's candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir, part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna's unique take on how to navigate the bizarre, chaotic, and worthwhile adventure of finding love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love Anna Faris!!

  • By Erica Mendes on 10-27-17

Mostly a title for the ladies

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

Reviewed: 01-02-18

Hollywood books are not my normal read, but I am enough of a fan of Ms. Faris to want to hear her take (yeah, I did the Audiobook version) on whatever it was she would include. There are perhaps some good stories that her female readers will enjoy. Some relationship advice and the sort. Not much in the way of really covering her career arc. Still, it was an okay bit of lite fare.

  • Monster Hunting 101

  • The Hunters, Book 1
  • By: Richard A Bamberg
  • Narrated by: Ryan Jeanmaire
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21

When Jesse's old girlfriend calls him requesting an immediate meeting late at night, he thinks of a lot of reasons she might have called. None of them are anywhere near the truth. Instead of a late night booty call, Gail brings him into a world he didn't know existed - ghouls, werewolves, and ghosts - and they all seem to be after Jesse's blood. Gail wants Jesse to put a silver bullet in her heart to keep her from becoming the monster she hunts, but there's no way Jesse is going to kill the girl he once loved.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining: monsters and a bit of a love story

  • By Rhonda on 08-24-17

Don't let the narration ruin it for you.

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

Reviewed: 08-28-17

As a fan of Bamberg's "Wanderers" series, I had to give this a shot. I think this was an early attempt. He has gotten better in his story-telling. This is a GOOD story, not amazing, but very enjoyable. I can see elements that seem to fold with his other series and wonder if this might've been his warm-up.

I wasn't a fan of the narrator. I felt the production was lackluster and simply didn't do it for me...but everybody has their own tastes. Others might feel different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Rising

  • By: Brian Keene
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 108

The Rising is the story of Jim Thurmond, a determined father battling his way across a post-apocalyptic zombie landscape, to find his young son. Accompanied by Martin, a preacher still holding to his faith, and Frankie, a recovering heroin addict with an indomitable will to survive, Jim travels from state to state and town to town facing an endless onslaught of undead hordes and the evils perpetrated by his fellow man.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Rising Part I

  • By Spooky Mike on 08-11-17

A different spin worth the listen

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

Reviewed: 08-16-17

I have to start with my biggest criticism...the narration was not what I hoped for. Too often the deep breaths between or during a sentence were distracting and could be easily edited.

However, the important thing here is the story. Keene brought a new wrinkle to the zombie theme before the craze of The Walking Dead. This was a story that must be largely considered to play a role in the resurgence of the rise in popularity in all things zombie.

One of my favorite parts of this story is how Keene takes people from all walks of life and creates fully formed characters that you can love and hate.

His descriptive ability is superb and he creates a mood that is wrought with tension. This is a title that you should not hesitate to grab. You will want to listen to it more than once. But if you have the time, I strongly suggest grabbing the book(s) in this micro-series and enjoy it to the fullest.

This title was furnished by the author/narrator in exchange for an honest review. I don't write fluff pieces, so if I love or hate it...I will not be shy in telling you.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Beer's Folded and the Laundry's Cold

  • Mostly True Adventures in Housewifery
  • By: Paige Kellerman
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Hansen
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

In The Beer's Folded and the Laundry's Cold: Mostly True Adventures in Housewifery, Paige Kellerman follows up her hilarious debut - At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles - with the natural next step-taking on budgeting, babies, and trying to keep the day drinking down to a minimum while staying at home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can see my wife in almost every page

  • By Mary Karowski on 08-10-17

Share it with freinds

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

Reviewed: 08-16-17

Overall, this is an entertaining listen. It could be considered a modern-day Ann Landers with a touch more humor. I'm actually a stay-at-home husband, so I could identify with many of the observations. It is a common theme to hear friends dismiss my job as audiobook narrator/producer and zombie novel writer as not really working.

Some of the bits seemed almost forced at times like the attempt to bring out the humor was more important and it made me forget what she was talking about. I did like how she always referred to her spouse as simply "Husband". I enjoyed it overall and would share the title with friends.

Ms. Hansen fit fine as the narrator, bet there were times when her voice would lull me out of the story and into a daydream. Of course, that could've just been the road as I listened to this as I drove to and from a dog show in my RV.

This title was furnished by the author/narrator in exchange for an honest review. I don't write "fluff" pieces, so if I love or hate it...I will not be shy in telling you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful