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Poisontaster

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  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67,476
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 63,318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 63,188

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ignore the Publisher's Summary! This is Amazing!

  • By PW on 04-12-17

Hail the Bobiverse

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

We Are Legion is a different kind of space opera; the cast of characters are, mainly, different clones of the same person, which is a trick for a narrator to take on, but Porter does an excellent job of drawing out the differences so that you pretty much always know who's talking and he reads with such expressiveness that it's easy to get lost in the story.

The story doesn't really follow the normal narrative structure you'd expect and is very clearly a first part of a longer story. That being said, there's enough resolution at the end to make it a very satisfying read and its strength is in how it captures the nerdish joy of space exploration. I definitely plan to rec this one around.

  • Midnight Riot

  • Peter Grant, Book 1
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,798
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,398
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,389

Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I LOVE this Book!

  • By Nancy J on 02-26-13

Like the Rivers of London

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

Reviewed: 01-09-16

Ben Aaronovitch is a smart, funny writer and that's the kind of book he's written in Midnight Riot (also known as Rivers of London, see what I did there?) but the book is fully and entirely brought to live by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration.

The book follows a long tradition of normal people (for a given value) stumbling headlong into a world of magic, in this case, Peter Grant, a biracial London cop. It's not an adult Harry Potter, though. For all Grant's laugh out loud wit and the genuine funniness of the book, there's a darkness and a horror that threads skillfully through the pages and Holdbrook-Smith's acting chops make it feel as if those horrors are no more than a breath away. Like a good movie, I lost track of the fact that I was listening to someone read from a script and fell into the story itself, again aided by Holdbrook-Smith's facility with voices, so I forgot that this was a one man show.

Because Aaronovitch is a native Londoner and given Holdbrook-Smith's skill with different UK accents, there's a real sense of place and persona to the story; London is another member of the cast...sometimes literally.

My only "complaint" about the story--and it's a mild one at that--is that the pacing of the story felt uneven. So many things happened in the course of the story that it didn't feel like it followed an even and tangible arc of dramatic tension and the middle felt a bit flabby. However, Aaronovitch and Holdbrook-Smith work well together to make it a trip that feels, all the while, worth taking. Highly recommended and I'm so excited about reading the rest--also narrated by Holdbrook-Smith.

  • Mummy Dearest

  • The XOXO Files, Book 1
  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 2 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

The truth is out there. Way, way, way out there! Drew Lawson is racing against the clock. He's got a twenty-four-hour window to authenticate the mummy of Princess Merneith. If he's not at his boyfriend's garden party when that window closes, it'll be the final nail in their relationship coffin. The last thing he needs traipsing on the final shred of his patience is brash, handsome reality show host Fraser Fortune, who's scheduled to film a documentary about the mummy's Halloween curse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Short and fun

  • By Heather on 09-19-14

A Voice Can Ruin it All

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

Reviewed: 12-18-15

My appreciation of this book was definitely affected by the fact that it was an audiobook and the narrator made a lot of choices that just flat out didn't work for me.

On the story front, this is actually one of the cases where Lanyon's brevity works very well. This is less a love story than the opening stages of a love story. That's not a criticism. There's a real sweetness to Drew and Fraser's interactions, their adventures around the town, but the fact remains that they've just met and Drew's just getting out of a not-great relationship. For it to go further would be pushing it and, in this case, it feels right for Lanyon to end it where it does, in that sweet possibility of a greater relationship but without crossing the line.

On the other hand, the audio narrator, Sean Crisden... His "regular" voice, when speaking for Drew was fine. It was a little laconic for me, but I could roll with it. However, the voices he did for the other characters had the exaggerated tone and inflection of an old time radio play, and not in a good way. This was most egregious for me in the plummy, douchey tone he chose for Fraser. I know the story's blurb describes Fraser as "brash", but there's a way to do brash that's still charming and I feel that Crisden missed the mark, badly, and I had to dig deep to go with the text, rather than the portrayal.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Among the Living

  • PsyCop, Book 1
  • By: Jordan Castillo Price
  • Narrated by: Gomez Pugh
  • Length: 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 702
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 664
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 663

Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium who's more concerned with flying under the radar than in making waves. He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic (or "Stiff") from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner's retirement party, and it seems like his dubious luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer surfaces who can change his appearance to match any witness' idea of the world's hottest guy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect narrator for one of my favorite books!

  • By Jesi Lea Ryan on 08-17-14

When the Story & Narrator Work Together

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

Reviewed: 12-18-15

Though I've been a JCP fan for a while--and although I own several of the PsyCop series!--this is the first I've gotten around to actually reading any of them. I'm not sure why that is, but I'm really glad that my recent penchant for audiobooks and the recent Audible sale coincided to get me to (re)buy Among the Living as an audiobook.

Somehow I always forget just HOW GOOD JCP is! She has a way of writing screwed up, imperfect characters without woobifying them, without making it a naked and gross play for the readers' attention. Though I wouldn't draw a thick line of comparison between the two, there's a matter-of-factness to her protagonists and their damage that only Gillian Flynn really equals for me, a "this is who I am and suck it if you can't handle it" that's tremendously appealing for me. Victor is not as super-damaged as a Flynn protagonist by any means, but there is a flinching shyness to him that speaks of damage; someone who prefers to stay under the radar because nothing good has ever come from drawing attention.

As well, there's a smoothness here of how JCP integrates plot and relationship. The prose is good, the sex is hot (even read by an audibook artist, more on that in a second), the pacing is page-turning, but feels fleshed out and unhurried. Just right, as the fairy tale says. The side characters--not just Victor's love interest Jacob, but also Jacob's partner, Caroline, and Victor's partner(s)--feel real and fleshed out (aided incredibly by the audiobook narrator, Gomez Pugh). The villain is rightfully creepy and the showdown between him and Victor feels like a natural and earned escalation of the story. The ending is satisfying and, again, feels organic to the story. Though I normally parse my audiobook listening over a few nights as I'm winding down for sleep, I found myself unable to stop listening, and I ended up listening to the entire story in less than 24 hours.

And then kudos must be given to Gomez Pugh. As mentioned, I'm very new to audiobooks. I've had one good experience, one middling and one that I just didn't like at all. Pugh was excellent. Like my other "best" experience, Kevin R Free, Pugh has a way of immersing himself in the voices so that you can forget that it's one person reading the different parts. His voice for the Sergeant, Warwick, is that broad, Southwest Chicago drawl that MOST OF US don't have, but it's definitely Chick-ah-go. His David Bowie voice is a scarily good go. And, most importantly for me, his voice for Jacob is a good one, one that sounds appropriate for the hot, romantic lead that he's supposed to be. Sex scenes on audio can also be a mixed bag. For me, personally, it's been a little weird having a really graphic sex scene read to me, especially since, presumably, there's a line of decorum that has to be maintained by the narrator to remain professional. Pugh did a really excellent job of reading it in a way that was still VERY HOT, but not crossing the line out of professionalism and into porn, if that makes sense. Admittedly, he had great scenes to work with in the first place, but Pugh committed to the reading without making me feel like he felt at all self conscious about reading it OR, alternatively, that he was jerking off in the booth. Professional, but committed, as I said.

With the Kevin R Free book that I read, it was a so-so story with an excellent narrator. Pugh is an excellent narrator who had a much better story to work from, and the combination of the two was an incredibly enjoyable experience. I definitely need to read the rest of the PsyCop series now. Like, now.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Ghost of a Chance

  • By: Josh Lanyon
  • Narrated by: Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

Over a century ago Illusionist David Berkeley committed suicide in his mansion by the sea, thus dooming his restless spirit to wander forever. Or so the local legend goes. Professor Rhys Davies, a part-time parapsychologist, is writing a book on California hauntings and he believes the crumbling ruins of Berkeley House will make a terrific chapter -- if he can gain access to the house and grounds. The only obstacle is brooding cop and self-appointed caretaker, Sam Devlin.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Better the second time

  • By Jennifer on 07-18-14

Free's Voice Gives Life to This Ghost Story

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

Reviewed: 12-10-15

This is only my second audiobook, so I don't have a lot of experience to draw from, but I'm familiar with Kevin R Free's voice from the podcast, Welcome to Night Vale. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to disassociate his voice for the book, but Free made it easy. He's a gifted voice actor and very quickly, I forgot that it was only one person reading the different parts.

The story itself was enjoyable but only okay. I'm a fan of Lanyon's work, but I don't think this is Lanyon's best work. The "ghost story" part of the story and the "romance" part of the story don't feel well blended; it feels like two different stories that have been mashed up together. As well, Lanyon has a habit of rushing endings and this is one of those stories. As I said, it's an enjoyable story, but its potential to be better leaves it slightly disappointing. Free does the best he can--and his reading is, I think, the best part--but overall, it's just okay.