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  • Any Man

  • A Novel
  • By: Amber Tamblyn
  • Narrated by: Glenn Davis, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

In this electric and provocative debut novel, Amber Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture, brilliantly brought to life through a multi-voice performance featuring Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January Lavoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Thérèse Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, and Michael Crouch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting!!!

  • By DeAndrea on 06-28-18

A Must-Read for Everyone. Everyone.

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

Reviewed: 07-05-18

Written in beautiful mixed-media prose, "Any Man" is a mosaic of narratives which together relay the horrors endured by the victims of a female serial rapist. The story is relayed by a collection of TV interviews, radio broadcasts, letters, confessions, Twitter threads, and online chat transcripts. Tamblyn's prose bleeds into poetry as these men purge their anguish. She is masterful in her use of repetition when landing punches and constructs beautiful parallels of language that gave me chills.

Full-cast is incredible and adds yet another layer to an already profound novel.

This book made my heart ache.

This book will start conversations.

This book is about the cycle of abuse and how we deal with the deepest trauma.

This book is a must-read for everyone. Everyone.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Knowing Is Halfling the Battle

  • Epik Fantasy, Book 2
  • By: William Tyler Davis
  • Narrated by: Starla Huchton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

Epik thought he’d found what he was looking for: magic, adventure, and friendship. He’d saved an entire kingdom. But at what cost? Without his mentor, learning magic seems an impossible feat. And becoming a knight is proving...different than he ever expected. A new enemy rises, and the city is under attack once more. The ten years of peace and prosperity promised to Dune All-En was over almost before it began.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Epik is back, Gabby's gone, and the city beseiged

  • By Ray Johnson on 05-10-18

An Exceptional Middle!

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

I love middles.

The cream in an oreo cookie. Siestas. Fall and Spring.

As a reader, I love nothing more than to settle into a familiar world and follow a beloved cast of characters on a new adventure. The second volume in Epik's adventure is an excellent middle. Davis spared no time reuniting me with Epik and his crew and immediately threw new conflict into the mix. Davis' writing is adept and it shows that he honed his craft between the first and second books. The humor in this one is less in-your-face and more situational--perfectly balanced with just the right amount of zest to coax a smile or chuckle.

Huchton's narration is also deserving of praise. We all know how important it is for a narrator to be able to distinguish one character from another--and she nails it. Her range of accents and voices is diverse and distinct and serves each character well. Her talent adds yet another layer of detail to "Knowing is Halfling the Battle."

Epik's second adventure continues to nod to the works of Pratchett and Adams, while also making larger strides towards autonomy. I adored how much attention Davis gave to Gerdy in this installment. He allowed Gerdy to express her insecurities honestly while also allowing her to discover her strengths. I'm eager to see the direction Davis takes the series in the future!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mutant Hunter (Clone Worlds)

  • By: Tobias Roote
  • Narrated by: Edward James Beesley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

AWA Agent Philus Grady is sent on a clandestine investigation of a terraformed planet suspected of being behind growing hostilities between the CORE Navy and the Allied Worlds. Once there, Grady's unique training quickly uncovers the planet's amazing secret of a repressed truth that will alter history, a truth that almost gets him killed. In a race against time and enemy ships, Grady has to expose the CORE's secret, but will the news spark the war they all fear is coming. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mutant Hunter

  • By ZOE R on 12-24-17

interesting plot falls victim of exposition

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

Reviewed: 01-23-18

I was given a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Audio: the narrator did an excellent job. He had a versatile range and adopted character voices proficiently. I wasn't sure if I would be a fan of the ambient background noise that accompanied each chapter but the arrangement actually added depth to the narrative that I didn't expect. The ambiance kind of framed the action and gave it tone and context. I hope to see this technique in more audiobooks in the future.

Overall the prose is competent and the world that the author created had potential. But the action was stalled time and time again by unsurmountable walls of exposition. The author divulged mountains of lore and history in nearly indigestible chunks and it made the progression of the novel slow to a crawl. At times it read more like a textbook detailing the persons and histories of a science fiction world. I'm not sure if this was information I could have gained in the author's previous works or if it was all new information unique to this book. Either way, the plot structure didn't work for me. Some people adore this kind of over-indulgence in the minutiae of a fictional universe, but I much prefer that it is incorporated into the story in hints here and there.

  • Iron Gold

  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds, John Curless, Julian Elfer, and others
  • Length: 23 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,168
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,628
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,609

Ten years after the events of Morning Star, Darrow and the Rising are battling the remaining Gold loyalist forces and are closer than ever to abolishing the color-coded caste system of Society for good. But new foes will emerge from the shadows to threaten the imperfect victory Darrow and his friends have earned. Pierce Brown expands the size and scope of his impressive Red Rising universe with new characters, enemies, and conflicts among the stars.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Meh

  • By Stephani Ann on 02-03-18

War Eats the Victors Last

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

Reviewed: 01-23-18

Pierce laid the foundations for an epic in "Red Rising." He built the conflict to a crescendo in "Morning Star." In "Iron Gold," he surrenders everything to the chaos of a post-governmental collapse and the reader must watch as old characters and new try to survive the unforgiving conditions of all-out war.

Pierce continues to hone his craft and it shines in his prose. He is proficient at both maintaining momentum during action sequences and slowing things down for somber reflection. Scenes are charged with emotional energy and the 4 different character perspectives maintain their own unique tones and themes. The narrators are perfectly suited for each perspective. The female narrator, Moloney, especially did a phenomenal job bringing the new red character to life. Her narration was raw and agonized and unrestrained.

This is no story where an uprising is followed by peace. This is a story about how people scoured for faults in the aftermath of Darrow's government upheaval, and how those people exploited the population to stoke longstanding conflicts of color and class. This is a story about how the protagonist may actually be the villain despite the purest of intentions. This is a story about how--in the absence of a lifetime of oppressive authority--classes face civil war as several factions struggle for a position of power in their newfound freedom. This is a story about how war is a bloated, gluttonous monster that does not discriminate between the good guys and the bad.

One of my absolute favorite things to do as a reader is to join an author in the navigation of a highly controversial and deeply human topic. This experience becomes exponentially richer when an author does this with a cast of characters that the reader is already attached to. "Iron Gold" is unforgiving in its honest exploration of humanity's darkest tendencies. The trajectory of the series after the final pages of this book is unclear and Pierce has crafted a reality of limitless potential. I cannot wait to discover what lies in the pages of "Dark Age."

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Harrowing of Hell

  • The Jack Elliot Series, Book 2
  • By: Dean Kutzler
  • Narrated by: Tom Lennon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Would you destroy humanity’s only hope in order to kill its biggest injustice? Deep in the heart of the Congo, a dangerous secret has been hidden from humanity for its protection. If discovered, the veil of hope humanity holds so dear will be torn down and thrown away. There is also a dangerous artifact hidden along with the secret, one that claims to hold the power of resurrection. If this power falls into the wrong hands, there will be no stopping whoever wields the ancient item.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A different form of Indiana Jones.

  • By cosmitron on 06-08-18

Tomb Raider/Uncharted video games In Book Form

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

Reviewed: 01-13-18

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

This is a book about a band of adventurers who begin to unravel a conspiracy related to Christianity and other world religions. The team obtains knowledge of an ancient story of power and jealousy that began the deep-rooted tension between races. There is a big reveal about the truth of the basis of religion that will leave readers conflicted on a spiritual and social level. It is an ambitious move by Kutzler and I respect his willingness to challenge the reader in an internal and intellectual way.

The plot is fast paced with appropriate lulls and I particularly liked the new characters introduced in this one—one being a strong independent woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper tongue, quick to call the protagonist out on his shenanigans.

The narrator stepped up his game in this installment—which was a complaint of mine about the first book. I have to admit that the narrator is shaping my mental image of the protagonist into someone quirkier than the author likely intended, though this isn’t a complaint by any means. It’s adding more depth to the bold and sassy Jack by giving him a professor-like quality.

The quality of the prose is sound in all areas except for when it begins to describe large-scale chamber oriented “puzzles.” This was reminiscent of puzzles encountered in the video games “Uncharted” and “Tomb Raider.” While these work on screen, they are not entirely suited to be described in great detail with the written word.

Overall I recommend this read—especially to those that enjoy “Indiana Jones,” “Uncharted,” and “Tomb-raider.” Walk in to this prepared for an interesting alternate history that may challenge you on a few levels—religion and spirituality and social constructs being at the forefront.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Mass Hysteria

  • By: Michael Patrick Hicks
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 22

Carried to Earth in a freak meteor shower, an alien virus has infected the animals. Pets and wildlife have turned rabid, attacking without warning. Dogs and cats terrorize their owners, while deer and wolves from the neighboring woods hunt in packs, stalking and killing their human prey without mercy. As the town comes under siege, Lauren searches for her boyfriend, while her policeman father fights to restore some semblance of order. The natural order has been upended completely, and nowhere is it safe - and it is spreading.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • True Horror

  • By Big Cheese on 11-06-17

WARNING: Illicit Content Undisclosed by Author

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

Reviewed: 01-12-18

First off — Hicks is a proficient writer. He is undeniably skilled at stringing together words that paint vivid mental images.

The scene Hicks creates in the first couple of hours of the book sets the stage for society to unravel. It was all gristle, bone, and blood as these crazed animals gored master and stranger alike. It was gritty and riveting and rivaled Stephen King’s works in quality of prose and plot. Other reviewers are correct that this is like “Zoo” (now a TV Series) but taken up a few notches in terms of hyper-realism. Hicks was upfront about the violence in the blurb and when he handed out promo copies. If he’s stuck to blood and guts and terror this would’ve been a 5/5 read for me.

But he didn’t stop there. He progresses on to bestiality—which turned my stomach and truly nauseated me—but when the story started turning toward pedophilia I had to stop reading.

When giving out review copies, be sure to disclose if there is graphic and insensitive contents in your book. If I’d known of these things in advance, I would never have volunteered to read this book.

Should Hicks write horror in the future—especially Zombie horror, which is what this book was trending towards before crossing a point of no return—I would definitely read it. His skill is undeniable. But be upfront about the contents of your book. There are some lines that people are uncomfortable crossing.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Brownstone

  • The Jack Elliot Series, Book 1
  • By: Dean Kutzler
  • Narrated by: Tom Lennon
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Jack Elliot - a journalist, living in Montréal - returns to his hometown of New York City to pay respects to his dying uncle. Jack soon learns foul play is at hand when he finally gets to visit dear Uncle Terry. The poor man has had a severe stroke, and, is struggling to talk to his favorite nephew. Or, at least, that, is what Jack thinks. Uncle Terry wasn't struggling to talk to Jack, and, what happens next, sends Jack spiraling down a web of mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Jack and the Bene Elohim

  • By Spooky Mike on 03-13-17

Scratches that “DaVinci Code” itch

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

Reviewed: 01-12-18

I received a promo code of this book in exchange for a review.

The “Religious Conspiracy” genre isn’t one that I typically read, but I enjoyed “Brownstone.” The plot takes a few notes from conspiracy stories like “The DaVinci Code” but has it’s own tone overall.

The protagonist is quippy and sarcastic and easy for the reader to like.

I recommend this to anyone who likes discovery-thrillers with conspiracy intrigue—similar to the “Assassin’s Creed” And “Uncharted” video games and their general vibes but with substantially less parkour.

I do have to dock points off for the narration. It’s nothing that hinders the story, but it doesn’t really lend itself to prop the narrative up, either. The narrator is rather nasally and airy and it didn’t really suit the themes, tones, or characters. Again, the narration didn’t stop me from listening, it was just a bit out of tune.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hero in a Halfling

  • Epik Fantasy, Book 1
  • By: William Tyler Davis
  • Narrated by: Elijah DiViesti
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 31

Not many halflings dream of magic. But Epik isn’t like the rest. Adventure. Excitement. He craves those things. He would rather learn magic, not follow a wizard on some fool's adventure... or so he thinks. The problem: magic is outlawed. After setting out for the city, what Epik finds in Dune All-En isn’t at all what he’d hoped. No magic. And few wizards. Luck, or something more sinister, is on the halfling's side.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful light fantasy

  • By Rebecca on 12-27-17

Lighthearted Romp through a Tolkien-Inspired World

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

The author, William Tyler Davis, gave me a promotional audible copy of "Hero in a Halfling: Epik Fantasy Book 1" in exchange for a fair review.

It was such a pleasure to be able to read this book. In the Halfing Epik's first adventure, Davis lays the foundations for a whimsical fantasy series that delightfully parodies the tropes we've come to know and love (or hate) in the great fantasy epics. The tone is innocent and aloof--much like Prachett in his beloved Discworld Series--and is distinct enough to strike out on its own and stand unique amongst the rest of comedy-fantasy genre.

The plot itself is not unprecedented. Davis cobbles together a band of unlikely characters similar to Tolkien's party in "Fellowship of the Ring." A halfling, a wizard, dwarves, elves, and orcs get dropped into a sandbox to play. Where "Hero in a Halfling" shines is in likable characters and playful humor-- sprinkled with geek-culture references that aren't too heavy-handed.

The book is not without its faults, many of which a lot of new authors struggle with. The action sometimes stutters and setting needs to be made more clear at times. Davis relies a bit too much on dialogue and sometimes forgets to note visuals, audio, and sensation. However, these complaints are minor and do not detract from what the book sets out to achieve.

"Hero in a Halfling" is whimsical tale not to be taken too seriously. Go into this book willing to poke a bit of fun at the fantasy genre and you'll be sure to finish with a smile. I will be following Epik--and William and Elijah--to the conclusion of the Halfling Epik's adventuring, and I am incredibly excited to see them find their strides in storytelling and narrating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Artemis

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: Rosario Dawson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59,260
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55,295
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 55,149

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A ferrari with no motor

  • By will on 11-18-17

Jazz needs to give someone “lessons on women” ...

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

Reviewed: 11-16-17

And it isn’t Svoboda.

Andy Weirs “The Martian” took reading culture by storm. Readers craved someone to fill the Hard-science-meets-fiction niche, and Weir stepped in gladly. It is clear that Weir has a robust understanding of chemistry and physics. With that understanding he created a unique experience in “The Martian” — a compelling narrative about a botanist stranded on Mars, speaking about science in a way both a microbiologist or a hair stylist can appreciate.

I had expectations for similar quality storytelling in "Artemis" in regards to hard science that flowed with the narrative and believable characters that invested me in the story. I was let down in both areas.

"The Martian" wanted to be told. Mark Watney had an excuse to tell us--in detail--why he did everything he did. He was dictating what may be the last days of his life to a recording system, in hopes of someone discovering it. With "Artemis," the science was intrusive blocks of unwarranted exposition. EVERY character relayed an exhausting monologue about a mechanism or a chemical reaction. These interludes slowed momentum and distracted the reader from the action. I found myself forcibly dragged from the immersion all too often, thinking "Why in the world would any human being give a lecture on this subject (internally or in conversation) in this situation."

Mark Watney convinced me that he could be an actual human alive today. He had sass, and his motivations were dynamic and relatable. Jazz Bashara pales in comparison, her false bravado and south-park sense of humor reveal her to be a one-of-the-boys kind of gal, and she screams "male-fantasy!" with nearly every line of dialogue. She references breasts--her own and in general--more times than any woman ever would. At one point Jazz describes the architecture of the city Artemis (not verbatim here) as "metallic boobs on the horizon" and then breaks the 4th wall, exclaiming to the reader "what?! I'm not a poet." Agh. I cringe recalling it. Were any of your beta readers women, Andy? Boob fixation is not Jazz's only flaw--to mention one more, she has major cliche daddy issues and, despite having grown up under the care of the best welder on the moon, she forgets that things get hot when you weld them. Not even the incredible Rosario Dawson's narration can salvage the protagonist of "Artemis."

What makes this all the more painful is that "Artemis" had SO MUCH POTENTIAL. The first colony on the moon? A young woman, abandoned by her mother as a child, growing into herself and pursuing her desires in life instead of being a devoted Muslim daughter? A LUNAR NATIVE, who has never taken a breath in earth's atmosphere? I'd read that story ALL DAY. Instead, clumsy storytelling, exposition, and a gross misunderstanding of the female mind suffocates "Artemis" during its earliest moments.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • The Hero of Ages

  • Mistborn, Book 3
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 27 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 33,211
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 29,269
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 29,256

The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave listeners shaking their heads in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well concluded!

  • By Julio on 01-12-09

Few novels conclude with such mastery

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

Brandon Sanderson is a master in the craft of storytelling. He creates dynamic and believable characters and he allows them to be relatable in profound ways. A woman who suffers a childhood of abuse and manages to survive the streets through sheer instinct alone and, despite all odds, manages to trust and love; A young man, by no choice of his own, becomes part of a secret society that plots to overthrow the government, and no one takes him seriously due to his accent; a wizened scholar, knowledgeable of every religion that has ever existed, experiences a debilitating crisis of faith; an aloof young aristocrat is forced to harden himself when the lives of thousands of soldiers reside under his command.

Sanderson strips these beautiful characters of plot armor, so that when they are thrust into dangerous situations, the reader fears for the lives of the characters they’ve grown to love. Like GRRM, Sanderson makes it clear that every character is mortal. Ulike GRRM, Sanderson shies from bleak endings and concludes the series with a message that will resonate me for many years to come.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful