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PretzelCoatl

California
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 90
  • helpful votes
  • 185
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  • 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 16,534
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,518
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,472

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 Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago.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

Nothing Happens.

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

Reviewed: 08-23-18

Got this on a recent sale. It might have been free, or maybe it was just a few dollars, either way, I won't be finishing it (I'm halfway in and just got to the start of the big conflict). The story is OK, but just that. The author spends literally hours on mopey, brooding internal monologues for every character, and Nothing Happens in the story. The entire series of actual events after 6 hours can be summed up in a paragraph of about 5 lines or so. The story could really use a solid winnowing down to remove all the unnecessary brooding and add something more interesting. Brooding really isn't a good replacement for character development.

As for the narrator, I enjoy his voice, but it's not one that's well-suited for multiple characters. Good for a story, but not good for characters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stone Raiders' Return

  • Emerilia, Volume 6
  • By: Michael Chatfield
  • Narrated by: Tristan Morris
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 805
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 763
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 763

As the Stone Raiders have grown in power, they have started to attract the eyes of established powers. Gudalo has become a viper's nest of schemers as the Gudalo Kingdom’s situation turns dire. They might have fled the Selhi Capitol, but as Selhi is learning, one doesn’t simply get away with acting out against the Stone Raiders. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Hit.

  • By RukiaBlackBlazer on 07-01-18

Same story as the last few books.

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

Reviewed: 08-05-18

Enjoyable to have on. Exact same story as the last few books. The entire series would be much better if it was condensed from 15 books (or whatever) into about three or four.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dreadnought

  • By: April Daniels
  • Narrated by: Natasha Soudek
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292

Danny Tozer has a problem: She just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world's greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she's transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny's body into what she's always thought it should be. Now there's no hiding that she's a girl.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beating super villains? Easy. Self-acceptance...?

  • By randomsai on 10-29-17

Not a superhero story.

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

Reviewed: 09-13-17

********
TLDR:
Transgender coming of age story set in a superhero world.
Main character whines and complains way too much.
Main character is a Mary Sue.
Pointless characters and character-based drama.
Story is repetitive and eventually I lost interest.
********

I'm always excited for a new superhero series, because it my favorite type of world to escape into, and there just aren't enough out there. This, however, is not a superhero story. It's a coming-of-age story with a strong transgender theme that happens to be in a superhero world. That's actually fine, because that's pretty interesting to me, too, but it was very poorly executed. I zone out while listening, so I can't tell you the number of times or pages the main character spent whining and WHINING about her life, but it was excessive, repetitive, and boring, and it really turned me off to the whole book.

The characters were very real, but they were that kind of "I wish this impossibly stupid person didn't exist" real that you see in overly dramatic shows like The Walking Dead, where their sole purpose is to make the audience angry, create unnecessary drama, and never add anything of value to the show. That said, if you DO like pointless drama, most of the characters here will interest you.

The Mary-Sue-ness of the character wasn't an issue for me, because, again, the point of the story is not about superheroes and superpowers; it's a coming of age story, but if you don't like Mary Sues, you should avoid this.

I stopped listening towards the end of the story, when the "twist" was revealed and it just annoyed me so much I switched to a silent commute, instead, but the plot is very generic. As far as coming of age stories go, it makes very little progress, consisting of nothing more than repetitive motions back and forth along the same railroad tracks of thought.

Anyway, it wasn't for me, but it might be for you. Depends on what you like. Give it a go if you enjoy the primary themes I mentioned and aren't turned off by the negatives I described.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Dirty Streets of Heaven

  • Bobby Dollar, Book 1
  • By: Tad Williams
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 831
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 758
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 766

Bobby Dollar is an angel - a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own - pride, anger, even lust. But his problems aren’t all his fault. Bobby can’t entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he’s not too sure about any of his fellow earthbound angels either, especially the new kid that Heaven has dropped into their midst, a trainee angel who asks too many questions.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A heavenly slice of urban fantasy.

  • By Lore on 09-05-15

A Very Human Heaven

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

Reviewed: 03-20-17

Not a bad story, but not a great one. The ending was both a bit predictable and not terribly fulfilling. Characters were generally interesting, but, again, their agendas were somewhat predictable. I bought this without knowing it was a detective mystery, and books in this genre have to be fantastic for me to like them, so if you just like detective mysteries you'll probably like this. If you like supernatural stories, not so much. This heaven was, as mentioned, very human, the supernatural very natural, and so on.

  • Clean Sweep

  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Renee Raudman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,803
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,799

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A MUST LISTEN. Promising start for a new series.

  • By Deree on 03-21-14

Could not stand the narrator.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

Just didn't seem to fit the story. The incongruity was grating and I ended up returning the book. I might get this on Kindle.

  • Forging Hephaestus

  • Villains' Code Series, Book 1
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 26 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,116
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,795
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,790

Gifted with meta-human powers, Tori Rivas kept away from the limelight, preferring to work as a thief in the shadows. But when she's captured trying to rob a vault that belongs to a secret guild of villains, she's offered a hard choice: prove she has what it takes to join them or be eliminated. Apprenticed to one of the world's most powerful (and supposedly dead) villains, she is thrust into a strange world where the lines that divide superheroes and criminals are more complex than they seem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Nice Surprise with some Really Fun Characters

  • By Small Mountain on 09-29-17

Superlative. An excellent origin story.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

I'm literally basing an upcoming RPG campaign off of many aspects of this world. Such a fantastic and interesting design.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Land: Founding audiobook cover art
  • The Land: Founding

  • Chaos Seeds, Book 1
  • By: Aleron Kong
  • Narrated by: Guy Williams
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 972
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 911

Getting eaten alive is the worst! Stabbings, maimings, and corrosive black magic are not that great either, but you really don't want to be a wolf treat! That is the kind of hands on, "teeth on", education you get when you are summoned to the Land.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent LitRPG! Eagerly awaiting book 2!

  • By Ohtochooseaname on 12-03-16

I'm astounded that people love this.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-17

Seriously. Who gave him the title of "The Father of American LitRPG?" Was he really just the first American author in the genre? He's pumped out 6 books in what looks like a year and four months, and it shows. I've read all six books now because they're free, I have insomnia, and they help me fall asleep, and they very much read like rush jobs. Poor grammar happens a lot with books of this type, and it's largely forgiveable, but the characters are so one-dimensional it's frustrating. If not for the narrator, I'd never have any idea who is speaking, because all characters are the same person (the author), have no distinguishing differences, AND are boring, to boot.

Anyway, annoyed rant over. Here's a quick summary:
Characters: One dimensional and boring.
Plot: Good potential. Later books see it peter out and become predictable and repetitive.
Main Character: Annoyingly stupid.
Game System: Horribly ill-conceived. I would not play this game. Yuck.
Spell Physics: Laughable. Cooldown lengths of multiple minutes on even basic spells.
Physics: Author has a poor sense of physics and also of time. Combats with just a few traded blows last five or ten minutes, generally.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • From Out of Oblivion

  • World of Heroes, Book 1 - Superhero Action/Adventure Fantasy Serial
  • By: Marc Allan Moore
  • Narrated by: Marc Allan Moore
  • Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

It's been years since Jack Quick mothballed his superhero costume. But when he receives a desperate call from a troubled teammate, Jack has no choice but to don his running suit and dash to his old friend's side. But what he finds when he gets there may send Jack back into retirement... or to his demise!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SUPER FUN LISTEN!!!

  • By Annie The Audible Addict!!! on 07-14-15

Good for the money.

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

This book is largely satirical. It's not great, but it's moderately interesting, and worth the cheap price. There are several other, similarly-priced novellas in the series that continue the story, and they aren't quite as good, but they're still cheap. Good superhero fiction is uncommon enough that even something of midling quality is sometimes worth listening to.

The author narrating was an up and down experience. I felt that I really got a good idea of how the characters were meant to be, but he really, really rushed things. Bad pausing, poor sense of timing, and really only two character voices. Plus it was hard to determine when the main character was speaking versus the narrator narrating.

  • The Dungeoneers

  • By: Jeffery Russell
  • Narrated by: Faust Kells
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 473
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 472

After five years as a city guard, Durham's horizontal career trajectory adds a corkscrew when a mis-delivered order assigns him to caravan duty for an eclectic group of dwarves who hire themselves out as professional dungeoneers. No ruler wants to leave a powerful magical weapon lying about in a dungeon where just any prophesied upstart can stumble across it and use it to overthrow the kingdom. That's where the dungeoneers come in.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Get past the narrator and the story is great

  • By Peter Pail on 12-05-15

If you like incompetent characters...

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

What disappointed you about The Dungeoneers?

...then this book is for you. That probably sounds sarcastic, but I mean it honestly. I know that the "bumbling, worthless main character that comes into his own" archetype is popular for some reason, but I can't stand it. The main character in this story may as well be a cardboard box for all the use he is. A literal monkey could have performed his tasks just as well. I took solace in the fact that the main villain was astoundingly competent and interesting, until he, too, became astoundingly incompetent towards the end.

What was most disappointing about Jeffery Russell’s story?

Again, the incompetence of the characters. The primary supporting cast was competent within their own element, but once outside it, they didn't really do anything. At all. Some of the characters were *stated* as being competent, but their overall actions didn't really support that, and it was annoying watching them blunder through things in the kind of luck-based fugue that indicates poor character writing.

What didn’t you like about Faust Kells’s performance?

I didn't feel that the narrator really did a good job of distinguishing the characters. To be fair, they were all pretty similar, and the author even stated they all had nonsensical accents, so I feel bad for the narrator, as this had to be a hard assignment, but it just didn't pull me in.

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

It had some amusing moments. I can't recall any offhand, but perhaps a half dozen times I found myself smiling or noting that a line was particularly well-delivered.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The First

  • First Series #1
  • By: Kipjo K. Ewers
  • Narrated by: Carla Mercer-Meyer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 665
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 633
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 630

After spending four years on death row for the brutal murder of her husband, Sophia Dennison takes her final walk in the Mountain View Facility in Gatesville and is put to death by lethal injection at 12:00 a.m. Several hours after Sophia's execution, FBI agent Mark Armitage is called to investigate a serious disturbance at the prison. Upon arriving he finds the place a war zone. After being debriefed by his friend and partner, Dustin Mercer, he views the videotapes and learns that the source of the destruction is Sophia.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The First...of a Series I will Surely Continue!

  • By Chris on 03-31-16

Boring. Nothing happened.

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

Reviewed: 05-06-16

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

Got about two hours in, and nothing had happened yet. Stopped listening and I'm returning it now.

Have you listened to any of Carla Mercer-Meyer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but she's pretty good. Good inflection, good tone, did the characters well. It wasn't her fault the characters were somewhat two-dimensional.

What character would you cut from The First?

The Sister Something or other character that seemed like a footnote but took up 30-45 minutes of background character exposition probably never to be seen again.

Any additional comments?

Again, it's possible the book got way better later on, but 20% of my way through the book and *nothing* interesting had happened, yet? Wouldn't bet on it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful