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Mel Aclaro

ANAHEIM, CA, United States
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  • 130
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  • 211
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  • Ascendant: Book 1

  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 17 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,232
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,887
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,869

The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard. They were supposed to tell everyone that he is not a jinx, that all the bad things that happen around him are because he can't control the power inside him, power he doesn't know about. The people of his village, even his parents, are afraid of him, afraid he is cursed. That he is a dangerous, evil jinx.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A skeptic entertained

  • By David M on 11-22-17

I just couldn't get into this

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

Reviewed: 04-28-18

I picked this one up because I've been a fan of the author's other works with the Expeditionary Force series. But, for me, I just couldn't get into this one. After 5 chapters and about 5-1/2 hours of "day in the life" scenes with little real action or conflict that moved the plot sequences along, I decided it was time to hang it up and move on.

  • Devil’s Due

  • Destroyermen, Book 12
  • By: Taylor Anderson
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 19 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 875
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 873

Captain Matt Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker have been fighting for their lives ever since their ship was swept from the Pacific to another world and they became embroiled in a deadly conflict between their Lemurian allies and the ravening Grik. But things are about to get worse. With Reddy's family and allies held prisoner by the mad General Kurokawa, the mysterious League and evil Dominion plotting schemes of their own, and the Grik trying to build their swarm and concentrate power, Reddy faces danger on all sides.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a great continuation of a wonderful series

  • By Holdt Garver on 06-28-17

Good but same chorus, different verse

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

After 12 books, I think I'm probably done with the series for now. Still great narration and otherwise a good yarn but I fear each new book in the series has started to slip into a repeat of the last book for me. I've been hoping for some kind of backstory that helps to answer a lingering question about the nature of the "straka" that got them to this world to begin with... and why it prevents them from going back. Also, why are characters from World War II pretty much the most advanced species to be brought to this world from the straka space-time? For example, why not someone from the first centry? Or, why not someone from the 21st century for that matter?

  • Hell Divers

  • The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,777
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,747
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,702

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by diving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I usually don't read my SciFi however....!!

  • By Michalena on 10-06-17

Promising premise, but meager backstory

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

Reviewed: 03-11-17

Great narrator. But, as far as the story itself...well, I stuck it out to the end. But to tell ya the truth, I couldn't really get into this.

The story stays pretty much in a dystopian future -- but pretty much all the action and drama stays in that period. The thing is, with stories set in a dystopian world, there's interest for me in knowing the "what happened" backstory -- how did we get from "what was" to "what is"? This wasn't really addressed by the author. Consequently, the story ended up feeling like a cliche'd action/adventure about 2D characters going out to hunt for things they needed for the ship, while fighting made up monsters and dealing with peasant unrest back at home.

Then, wash. Rinse. Repeat... for scene after scene.

My judgment: Save the credit unless you really gotta have something while you wait for your 'go to' authors to publish their next piece.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,280
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27,841
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,777

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted

  • By Gary Glenn on 06-27-17

Great mix of sci-fi action and wry humor

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

Reviewed: 03-11-17

This started with a good "what if" premise but with a slow start. I almost dropped it back in the 'return' box b/c of that start. Only the "what if" kept me me balancing on the edge. Then, about 1-1/2 hours into the audiobook there was that introduction of a new character. Initially I thought "...'wtf'...?" But stick with it, he grows on you.

If you like the kind of sci-fi / action / wry humor from, say, Guardians of the Galaxy, then you'll probably like this story.

Recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fear the Survivors

  • The Fear Saga, Book 2
  • By: Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,017
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,534

The Earth lies shaken in the aftermath of a conspiracy. Some of the smartest minds on the planet have striven for and died in an effort to scour the skies of four vast alien satellites, but their success has brought a terrible vengeance down upon us. While alien agents stalk the Earth, a team of exhausted scientists and military outcasts struggle to fight them among a planet on the brink - the brink of plague, the brink of war, and the brink of an invasion larger than they can possibly imagine. But they have allies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent scifi series, look forward to anything else this author does!

  • By Thomas Gingery on 02-26-16

Great follow up to the first book, but now torn...

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

Reviewed: 12-11-16

There was a little bit of "Terminator," a little "Manchurian Candidate," a little "WWW," and a little "Ender's Game" in this series so far.

What I absolutely enjoyed was finding myself become so invested in the characters. We basically "grew up" together from our start together in book 1; the character development left me realizing that I cared about them -- and what happens to them.

The plot was a great build from book 1, with great promise for book 3. But...

...I'm now torn. I was looking forward to Book 3 but many/most of the reviews there (except, of course, for those that seemed to be from paid reviewers or 'bots' offering single-sentence 5-star reviews from first-name-only reviewers) suggest that the author may have just "called in" the third book. I did indeed read some of the "spoilers" and feel that the common theme across those reviews suggests that book 3 will have done a grave injustice to my friends from book 2. Sad.

So, with that, I think I'll stop here and choose to enjoy the characters as they were at the end of book 2 and then simply imagine the wonderful story that book 3 could have been... :(

  • The Stand

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 47 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,259
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,253

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My First Completed Stephen King Novel

  • By Meaghan Bynum on 02-20-12

Great narrator. Good ride. Chinsy ending.

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

Reviewed: 12-03-16

The best part of this book? The performer. Great pacing, voice inflection, character differentiation. Mr. Gardner did a great job here.

The story, however, was... meh. Oh, don't get me wrong. Mr. King is a great story teller, which made for a great ride. But his endings? His endings tend to (my opinion)... They tend to... (y'know).

I hung with it for the entire 47 hours and 52 minutes. At the end of it all, I ended up where I usually do every time I think of giving Stephen King "another try." That is, I find myself wondering, "what was the point of THAT ending?" and "WHY did I invest in yet ANOTHER Stephen King story?" and "This happens. Every. Time."

This was no different. Great enough ride. But that ending was... I dunno. Kinda chinsy.

No spoilers here, but, dude, that "hand of god" thing... Really??

  • The Name of the Wind

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1)
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 68,418
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,393
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,487

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Starts off slow but once it gets going...<br />

  • By Dallas on 04-10-18

Slow start... I ran out of gas.

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

Reviewed: 12-03-16

I stuck with it for the first 8 hours... ultimately, I decided this just didn't have enough juice for me to stick with it. I ran out of gas. For some reason I expected battles with demons, angels and fantasy creatures. I also expected a lot more dialog. Maybe that's all coming yet down the line. But, after 8 hours without much of that, I figured it was time for me to move on. :(

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Reign of Madness

  • King's Dark Tidings, Book 2
  • By: Kel Kade
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 19 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16,914
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15,869
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15,827

Equipped with skills far beyond those of the outworlders, Rezkin has been suddenly thrust into a foreign world. The young warrior clings to his only known purpose as he continues his search for any information about his identity and the reason for his existence. While the hardened warrior scorns both dueling and tournaments, he believes some of the answers he seeks may be found at the King's Tournament, the greatest dueling championship in all of the kingdoms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh, very WELL DONE!

  • By Who? Me? on 10-05-16

Jason Bourne x Batman x Medieval Times = Awesome

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

Reviewed: 11-29-16

I love the characters and how their relationships change and grow over time. The story arc is brilliant with interesting back stories that keeps you totally engaged. I started book 1 just 5 days ago. And then wrapped up book 2 this afternoon. Couldn't put it down.

A bit of Jason Bourne and a bit of batman -- set in an alternate medieval earth and sprinkled with a bit of political intrigue and mage (as in magicians!)-based legalese that all come together to either work exceedingly well or crumble in an illogical heap. (Hint: It works exceedingly well.)

I thoroughly enjoyed both books. Totally brilliant. Now waiting for book 3.

  • The Kraken Project

  • Wyman Ford, Book 4
  • By: Douglas Preston
  • Narrated by: Scott Sowers
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 600
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 551
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 551

NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not his best outing..but hey, we all mess up!

  • By Matthew on 05-28-14

The AI persona here just didn't work.

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

Reviewed: 06-08-15

Much as I tried to like this audiobook, the AI persona just didn't work for me. The author attributed waaay too much colloquial trash talkin' in the Dorothy character.

Also, the "science" through which the AI becomes conscious just seemed way too convenient. I mean, when the catalyst for a new form of consciousness is hand-waved into existence by simply stating "one little trick" in the programming, and adverbs such as "somehow," describing the method of creation, then I have to feel more time could've been spent in the "science" part of the fiction.

I'm out.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Strangers

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 29 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,191
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,202

A handful of people. From different backgrounds, living in different towns and cities across America, they had nothing in common - except fear. Deep in the heart of a sprawling desert, a dark memory called out to them, drawing them to the Tranquility Motel - where the terrifying truth was waiting.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story!

  • By Wesley on 08-21-08

Long, plodding and contrived with little payoff.

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

Reviewed: 04-19-15

Gah! I stuck this one out for its 40+ -hour duration. Unfortunately, the payoff just wasn't worth the investment.

This felt like a long-winded, plodding, contrived storyline. It struck me as a mystery / conspiracy genre trying to have a respectable sci-fi back story. Unfortunately, the science part was never properly justified and simply replaced with supernatural hand-waving. What you're left with is a long-build with a plodding arc that ends in a humdrum soft-landing.

The big "reveal" doesn't even happen until about the last 5 hours. And, what a predictable cliche it was at that.

No spoilers here, but if you're as tired of the sinister government conspiracy with paranoid military personalities, then you might want to rethink this one.

Summary: Disappointed.