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J. Caulfield

  • 40
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 123
  • ratings
  • Prominence

  • By: A.C. Hadfield
  • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 342
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 320

They tried to destroy our planets. Our way of life. They tried to send us into extinction. But we, the Coalition, fought them and won. That was a decade ago. They’re known as the Host: a cabal of aliens seeking to dominate our sector of space. And they’re back - with help from a powerful new enemy. We’re outnumbered and unprepared. But there is hope. An ancient race of long-dead but technologically advanced aliens called the Navigators have a ship called the Blackstar that could potentially turn the tide. That is if I, Kai Locke, a humble ship racer, can find it and learn how to harness its power in time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Newly found love.

  • By L. Rampey on 03-22-19

Should have been a cartoon

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

Reviewed: 04-11-19

Blackstar review

This is definitely a young adult book, clearly aimed at 8-12 year olds. If you are looking for more mature scifi (aka: more than a saturday morning cartoon) or any hard science in your fiction, you are likely to be disappointed. I would not listen again, would not spend a credit (bought it as a daily deal and still paid too much).

Spoilers below. I try to avoid key items but... if you want a pristine experience then dont read this.

Let’s begin with the good: The performance is very strong. Marc Vietor did an excellent job with variety annunciation and pacing. He kept things rolling and added a lot of value.

This book reads like a cartoon from the 80s. Which can be a lot of fun. There is no worrying about physics or explaining things or laws and so forth. Its a fast paced run from one node to the next and perform the required action. Hmmm... maybe more like a video game.

Not so good: The plot is wholly derivative. All the tropes are there and you will not be surprised when reveals happen.

Things that should be challenging aren’t: have 3 spacefaring vessels destroyed on you, bah don’t worry about it. Cause major gravity issues near a planet, that’s no big deal. Steal a spaceship without much effort in the middle of an alien assault. Use technology way beyond you and in a new language... well you get the idea.

The writing is not very strong. Sections are confused, word choice in poor, and the flow is distracting.

And the end isn’t very good. Rushed, not well explained, and set up for the next book. Oh and technically a cliffhanger. If I cared.

2 of 2 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 29,303
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27,861
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,797

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

Snark, Sci-fi, and Story... Well written and told

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

Reviewed: 03-20-19

Let me begin by praising the outstanding performance of R. C. Bray. His rusty vocals are an incredible baseline for any military science fiction, or zombie apocalypse. When I listen to RC do a book I really feel the character. He really gets himself into the language of the book, and the storyline. Even better, he can drop his accent at will and apply alternative accents to create a full cast of characters. Most impressively, he pulls off female characters. Being an Audible performer is challenging, sorry, Being a Good Audible performer is hard. RC does more than read the material, he brings it to life. He is definitely one of my top 3 performers, and I now use his performances as one way of looking for my next read. I could go on, but you get the point. This book will be over before you know it, because RC will bring it to life in your mind.

Now for the book itself:
Wow! Really strong. This is clearly a military sci-fi, and yet you will quickly find it pulls away from the standard tropes to create their own flow and story. This is a fun adventure that periodically reminds you there are traditional military values underneath. Great stuff.

It is also a solid, hard science piece without requiring periodic pauses to google higher math or physics. Things are explained where necessary with a wonderful attention to the desire of the reader to enjoy the tale and not sit for a science lesson. Well done!

There are a well done cast of characters, without it being confusing or useless. Yet there is a core ensemble that you will come to know and love. While some of the characters are not fully developed until later in the series, everyone gets enough treatment to make them feel real, and even the ancillary characters are not lightly done.

This is a fully realized and contained story. It also sets up the rest of the series. Roughly a third of the ways into the series enters a character that changes the entire direction of the series. While this changes the tone of the tale, it is an evolution in a new direction. More fun and playful, yet still serious and real, you are going to love this. Think of a mash up of Dread Pirate Rodgers meets Babylon 5.

Enjoy.

  • The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

  • By: Douglas Adams
  • Narrated by: Douglas Adams
  • Length: 6 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,515
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,969
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,979

Kate Schechter would like to know why everyone she meets knows her name - and why Thor, the Norse god of thunder, keeps showing up on her doorstep. Dirk Gently, detective and refrigerator wrestler, can uncover the mystery, and only the absurdist wit of Douglas Adams can recount them with such relentless humor.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes you miss him even more...

  • By Bruce on 07-02-12

Traditional Douglas Adams

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

This is a very typical Douglas Adams book. If you have enjoyed the Hitchhiker series and his previous Dirk book, then you will most likely enjoy this.

I found the reading pretty good. However, I now compare audible works based not on audiobooks but on the performances of Luke Daniels, Ray Porter and the like. If they are a five then this is a three. Not bad by any means, but not of the same caliber.

As for the story, Adams lost me in the trivia. I find the humorous nature o his writing style pleasant, and the diversions to be entertaining. Yet in this Book Infelt there was too much effort placed on inserting the trivial accent work, and more should have been put into the story. This book has many allusions to American Gods, and could easily have been as strong as that work, with more humor. It feels like Adams got lost in his own work and then rushed it all in at the end. That was A little disappointing. I liked the book, but it could have been great.

  • Harry Clarke

  • With Bonus Performance: Lillian
  • By: David Cale
  • Narrated by: Billy Crudup, David Cale
  • Length: 3 hrs and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,716
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,419
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3,413

A sexually charged and wickedly funny thriller starring Tony Award-winning actor Billy Crudup, Harry Clarke is the story of a shy Midwestern man leading an outrageous double life as the titular cocky Londoner. Moving to New York City and presenting himself as an Englishman, he charms his way into a wealthy family's life as the seductive and precocious Harry, whose increasingly risky and dangerous behavior threatens to undo more than his persona.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Come for Harry, stay for Lillian

  • By Celeste Albers on 12-17-18

It’s not what you think...

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

Reviewed: 02-12-19

Just listen. It’s a wild look into someone’s head when they have houseguests. A great performance. Definitely stay for the afterparty discussions.

  • Sleep Better

  • By: Aaptiv
  • Narrated by: Jade Alexis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 492
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 407
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 389

By now you know that getting enough sleep is one of the fundamental keys to overall health and well-being. But, achieving optimal shuteye and truly winding down at night are skills that few seem to have mastered. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love it .....but

  • By sweetclynbrite on 11-30-18

Going to bed with Jade...

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

Reviewed: 02-07-19

...is great. The performance is excellent. The methodology is light, focused and unstructured. Far less guided than a hypnosis style Glenn Harrold approach, but more than a start and gong breath meditation. While I like both of those styles too this adds a nice mix. If you use sleep guide apps/songs then this is a nice addition to your mix.

  • How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

  • By: Arnold Bennett
  • Narrated by: Eric Brooks
  • Length: 1 hr and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 193

This classic personal time-management book, originally published in 1908, has inspired generations of men and women to live deliberate lives. Not just another collection of timesaving tips, this book is more of a challenge to leave behind mundane everyday concerns, focus on pursuing one's true desires, and live the fullest possible life. Reflection, concentration, and study techniques make it easier to accomplish more truly rewarding undertakings than anyone ever dreamed possible.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written, well read.

  • By Lauren on 02-21-12

Relevant and well played.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

An excellent if slightly dated discussion. The concepts and practices are not only still relevant and echoed in the productivity literature of today.

The narrator is extraordinary and moves this work from literature into the frame of a discussion.

  • How to Have a Tactical Mindset for Everyday Life

  • By: Michael Morton
  • Narrated by: Millian Quinteros
  • Length: 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

Pay attention to what the hell is going on around you! Mike Morton will reveal several tools and tips that are needed in our everyday life to help improve on our situational awareness. Being a self-defense and weapons specialist with over 40 years of self-defense training and police service, he will take you through step-by-step processes on being aware of what is going on around you and how to avoid dangerous and complex situations that we could or have encountered in the past.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Very basic, mostly useful for paranoids

  • By J. Caulfield on 01-05-19

Very basic, mostly useful for paranoids

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

Reviewed: 01-05-19

If you have ever searched online about personal safety or taken a self defense class you have most of the content you will find here. The rest can be found by watching some spy thrillers. In fact if you watch “Burn Notice” you will receive the same content with visual aids.

  • Zero G

  • By: Dan Wells
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller, Margaret Ying Drake, Josh Hurley, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,362
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,322

Twelve-year-old Zero is traveling with 20,000 people for 105 years to colonize a new planet. Everyone is in stasis, so they'll be safe during the trip, but when Zero's pod malfunctions it wakes him early, like 105 years early. At first he's excited to be the only one awake - he has the entire ship to himself, so he can go anywhere and see and do and eat anything he wants - but when a family of space pirates show up, trying to hijack the ship and kidnap the colonizers, Zero has to think fast and find a way to stop them all on his own.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Passengers movie with space pirates

  • By Kingsley on 12-07-18

An excellent performance

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

Reviewed: 01-03-19

What a great short story. While not highly complex, the narrative is satisfying and there is a solid amount of actual science infused into the program.


Possible spoilers...


A home alone style story set in a space tube. Certainly aimed at young adults there is still enough meat in the plot and character development to hold the interest if any fan of hard science fiction. The performance is incredibly strong. Well done.

  • Christmas Eve, 1914

  • By: Charles Olivier
  • Narrated by: Cameron Daddo, Xander Berkeley, Cody Fern, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 13 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,839
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,714
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,665

In 1914, the war which was to have been wrapped up by Christmas had - in reality - only just begun, as all sides entrenched themselves deeper into the Great War. Christmas Eve, 1914 follows one company of British officers as they rotate forward to spend their Christmas on the front lines, a mere 80 yards from the German guns. Upper- and working-class men and boys are thrown together into one trench and struggle to survive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully "illustrated"

  • By anonymous on 12-25-14

Well done dramatization.

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

Reviewed: 01-02-19

This dramatization was well written and performed. The character development was swift and deep. Even knowing the inevitable conclusion this story focuses on a build up to the event that provides a very satisfying sense of place and mindset.

  • Til Morning’s Light: The Private Blog of Erica Page

  • By: Ross Berger
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Sheh
  • Length: 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 117

Erica Page, the protagonist of Amazon and WayForward’s upcoming game Til Morning’s Light, is already sick of the boring New England town that her family now calls home. There’s nothing to do in beige Leisterville except browse the Internet, update her blog, and investigate “supernatural phenomena” with her weird new friend Angie. However, when their research yields more-than-convincing results and tragedy strikes, it’s up to Erica to enter the mysterious mansion on Hamilton Road and discover the truth about her new hometown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good short story

  • By Slim on 09-28-15

An intro to a video game

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

Reviewed: 12-26-18

...and well done at that. This is a great little story. While not complete it grabbed me and drew me in. Fun and easy on the ears.