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SAN JOSE, CA, United States
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  • The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set, Books 4–6

  • Extinction Evolution, Extinction End, and Extinction Aftermath
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 32 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,803
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,696
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,693

Central Command is gone, the military is fractured, and the surviving members of Team Ghost, led by Master Sergeant Reed Beckham, have been pushed to the breaking point. While the strong return to the battlefield, the wounded are forced to stay behind on Plum Island and fight their inner demons. Betrayed by the country they swore to defend and surrounded by enemies on all sides, Team Ghost has one mission left: protect Dr. Kate Lovato and Dr. Pat Ellis while they develop a weapon to defeat the Variants once and for all.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • this entire 6 book series is off the chain

  • By Nathan on 06-15-17

The struggle for survival continues

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

Reviewed: 03-02-19

The number of humans left alive continues to drop at an alarming rate and there isn't much time left. It has only been a few weeks since the apocalypse began and so far all efforts to slow it down have failed. All major cities have been lost and Central Command is being moved to the last remaining Naval strike group as no place on the mainland remains safe. Does that even matter now that it is obvious that the military leadership can't be trusted? At least things can't actually get any worse at this point can they? Actually, yes they can...

Books 4 and 5 continue the story at a breakneck pace until the original ending of the series is reached with things at a decent stopping point.. Book 6 then fires up a bunch of new story lines that are left unresolved by the time it ends as a total cliffhanger. Book 7 is not a part of this boxed set so if you don't stop at book 5, which works just fine as a series finale, then know you will need to pick up a stand alone book to reach a new resolution to the story. Does this extension actually make the series better? I am not so sure that it does.

I recommend picking up this boxed set to reach the original ending of the series in book 5 and then you can make your own decision about continuing or not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Extinction Cycle Boxed Set

  • Extinction Horizon, Extinction Edge, and Extinction Age (The Extinction Cycle, Books 1 - 3)
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 25 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,928
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,681
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,671

The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction. Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force team, code named Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top secret medical corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great twist on the zombie genre - Well worth it!

  • By Melissa and Josh on 04-11-17

All it takes is all you've got.

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

Reviewed: 03-02-19

Ebola is one of the scariest threats to humanity that nature has to offer, and we live in fear of nature itself morphing the disease into something that can't be contained. Of course this means that a military project to weaponize the disease can't possibly have a good outcome so when a facility working on such a project goes dark, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham leads his Delta Force team to investigate what happened. What follows is a series of events that could very will mean extinction for the human race.

The Extinction Cycle offers up a healthy dose of standard end of the world story telling as it builds up the main characters beyond their stereotypical roots. I am glad I started with the boxed set because while book one lays a solid foundation it never really sets itself apart in this crowded genre. Book two is where the real threat is finally revealed and when the series establishes itself as unique. As things continue to go from bad to worse, book three ends with some shocking events that really make you want to get to the next book as quickly as possible.

This series kept me entertained despite my doubts at the beginning and it has slowly but surely tightened its grip on me as the books have gone by. Due to the ending of book three I am heading right into the second boxed set to see where it all goes. Bronson Pinchot delivers a solid job on the narration and it is excellent that he is the consistent narrator for all books in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Circuit

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno
  • Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
  • Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 698
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 665
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 660

Earth is a dying planet. To survive, humanity founds the Circuit, a string of colonies across the solar system, dedicated to mining resources vital to preserving what remains of mankind. Here there are no heroes or villains, only those willing to do what's necessary to survive. The New Earth Tribunal, a powerful religious faction, has risen to rule the Circuit. They believe a Spirit within the Earth will one day appear and welcome humanity back home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Epic Trilogy

  • By Christopher on 07-21-18

Sci-Fi that is heavy on the fiction but still good

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

Reviewed: 03-02-19

I remember when I first started reading The Expanse series and how I was surprised that I found it compelling even though human space travel was limited to our own solar system. No warp drives or hyperspace conduits seemed pretty boring at first, but I eventually came around because limiting the scope of the story to our own solar system made it that much more real. Although this series is similarly limited to our solar system, The Circuit puts aside realism and instead offers up something much farther out there in concept. The Earth is no longer a habitable planet and mankind instead has The Circuit, which is an interdependent ecosystem that uses Solar Arks to transport needed materials between human colonies that are spread across the solar system. This new ecosystem is just as fragile as the Earth was and it comes under assault for various reasons.

None of the factions can be classified as the good guys in this story so I did not find myself emotionally invested in any particular outcome, or character. Normally that is an issue for me, but in this case I found myself eager to know how it turns out anyway. Somehow the whole became greater than the sum of its parts and it is nice to have all 3 books packaged together. Is this series on par with The Expanse? No, not even close. However, if you are willing to roll with with less "science" and more "fiction" in your Sci-Fi then this series does have some interesting moments. Being narrated by Jefferson Mays, who also narrates the Expanse, is never a bad thing.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • A Novel
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,665
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,369
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,350

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece

  • By Talia on 08-07-13

Contemporary fantasy worth experiencing

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

Reviewed: 03-02-19

Neil Gaiman has made a name for himself as a contemporary fantasy author, but unfortunately for me that is a genre that rarely grabs my attention. It seems like it should be right up my alley but very few of my forays into this realm result in an engaging experience. Because this book is a stand alone novel, and also pretty short in length, it seemed like a decent way for me to dip my toe in the water and experience Neil Gaiman with little commitment. Was it worth it?

This is a story about a middle aged man who returns to his childhood home and explores his memory of a girl named Lettie Hemstock, whom he first encountered when he was 7 years old. Forty years ago a suicide occurred in a stolen car that was found at the end of the lane where this man lived as a little boy and he was overwhelmed by the darkness that was unleashed around him by this event. Luckily for him he was also exposed to the Hemstock family that lived on the farm at the end of the lane and he met the remarkable girl named Lettie, who promised to protect him from the darkness. Wise beyond her years, and comfortable in the realm of the magical, Lettie became his friend and protector during those dark times, and now upon his return, he finds himself drawn back to the location where he last encountered her. This short story is best described as a modern day fairy tale that uses the fantastic to explore what it really means to be human. Not really my thing but it held my attention anyway so I am glad I gave it a chance.

Neil Gaiman does his own narration and his passion for the story and the characters really comes through in his performance. An author doing their own narration is usually a warning sign for me when it comes to listening to an audiobook, but in this case it worked out just fine. While Gaiman might not be the best narrator I have ever heard, he makes up for it with a flair for telling a story and it is obvious that the characters are his own. Ultimately I think it felt right to experience Neil's work through his own reading of it so he could guarantee it was delivered the way that he intended it to be. It is also intrigued me enough to consider picking up some of his other works.

  • Flowers for Algernon

  • By: Daniel Keyes
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,609
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,604

Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal Classic

  • By FanB14 on 03-22-13

A classic that holds up rather well

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

Reviewed: 03-02-19

Originally published as a Hugo Award winning short story in 1958, and later published in a longer form as a Nebula Award winning book in 1966, Flowers for Algernon is considered classic Sci-Fi at this point. It is a story about Charly Gordon, who has an IQ of 70, and the impact of potentially life-altering surgery that hopes to increase his intelligence. Charly's life is limited, but happy, prior to the surgery, and this book explores the ethical and moral dilemmas that come along with changing someone's life for the "better." In this case intellect comes at the cost of happiness, and this book explores the impact of the change on Charly's relationships and his own mental well being.

I feel like the story holds up well, although it is now considered to be a bit controversial because of the way in which it depicts the mentally disabled. Being a product of its time it doesn't seem controversial to me at all. Interestingly enough, all of the characters in the book are based on real people from the author's life and even the idea for the story comes from some of his actual experiences. The book was turned into a movie in 1968 (Charly) and the actor who played Charly Gordon won the Academy Award for Best Actor with his performance.

I often hesitate to revisit the classics for fear of ruining my impression of them, but in this case I am glad I did. Jeff Woodman does an excellent job as the narrator and handles playing the role of Charly very well as he is able to properly convey the changes in Charly's intellect with his performance. If you haven't read this one in a while, or have never read it, I would definitely recommend you pick it up in one form or another.

  • Bird Box

  • A Novel
  • By: Josh Malerman
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,806
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,347
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,339

Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, Malorie has long dreamed of fleeing to a place where her family might be safe. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: 20 miles downriver in a rowboat blindfolded with nothing to rely on but Malorie's wits and the children's trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Don't look!

  • By Lesley on 05-22-14

A different kind of apocalyptic tale

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

Reviewed: 01-25-19

Don't open your eyes. Nobody knows what started it, or why it started, and nobody even knows what the threat actually is. That is because anyone who actually sees it does not survive long enough to tell anyone else. The only guaranteed way to survive outside in Josh Malerman's apocalyptic setting is to be sure that you can't see a single thing. Needless to say, that makes things a little difficult for everyone.

It is the challenge of finding a way to survive in a world where you can't open your eyes when you go outside that makes Bird Box so compelling.  It is easy to start wondering how you would get by in such a world, so much so that the Netflix movie based on this book has cause many people to attempt a "Bird Box Challenge" in real life. Wearing blindfolds people have been trying to recreate parts of the book/movie even to the point of putting themselves and others at risk. Netflix has even issued a warning to viewers to not try this at home, but that hasn't stopped lots of videos from being posted of people doing just that. 

Poor judgment aside, this is an excellent horror story in an apocalyptic setting with a fresh concept that is worth listening to. Know that Cassandra Campbell does an excellent job on the narration, and helps keep the setting both spooky and mysterious. This book is a nice addition to the genre and has certainly made me interested in seeing the Netflix movie. If a sequel ever comes out, I would be sure to pick that up as well.

  • Deep Silence

  • A Joe Ledger Novel
  • By: Jonathan Maberry
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,149
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,049
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,047

Terrorists-for-hire have created a weapon that can induce earthquakes and cause dormant volcanoes to erupt. One terrifying side effect of the weapon is that prior to the devastation, the vibrations drive ordinary people to suicide and violence. A wave of madness begins sweeping the country beginning with a mass shooting in Congress. Joe Ledger and his team go on a wild hunt to stop the terrorists and uncover the global superpower secretly funding them. At every step the stakes increase as it becomes clear that the endgame of this campaign of terror is igniting the Yellowstone caldera.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deep Silence Shines Loudly!

  • By Tracy P. on 11-13-18

Once again the fate of the world is on the line

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Earlier in the series Jonathan Maberry did an excellent job of coming up with unique threats for each book and finding a way to explain the existence of mythical creatures with "scientific" reasons. This allowed Joe Ledger to exist in a world grounded in modern science and yet battle all kinds of fictional creatures to keep us safe. However, the last book, Dogs of War, re-used a lot of threats from earlier in the series and when this book started with pretty much the exact scene from the start of a prior book I instantly knew I was in for more of the same.

I quickly grew dissatisfied when the book started with agents trying to arrest Joe Ledger as he visits the grave of Helen, his ex-girlfriend who committed suicide after being gang raped.  When it was also revealed that the President was thinking about revoking the DMS charter and that the main threat was related to the God Machines I couldn't help but feel that this book was once again a bunch of re-used concepts from earlier in the series. Luckily by the end I was eventually won over and the main story arch and character advances felt significant enough to elevate this book above the last one. It ultimately left me wanting more.

At this point there is no difference between Ray Porter and Joe Ledger and Ray does his usual excellent job of bringing all of the characters to life. If Porter ever stops being the narrator of this series then I am certain I will not continue listening as that just won't work.

  • New Frontiers

  • The Expansion Wars Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Joshua Dalzelle
  • Narrated by: Mark Boyett
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,518
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,435
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,426

The Phage War had been a devastating conflict for the Terran Confederacy. Even with the destruction of their terrifying, implacable foe, humanity is still reeling. Political alliances are crumbling, and their mighty fleet is in tatters. There is nothing to celebrate, even after such a complete victory. They soon learn that there are other stellar neighbors - and they've been watching the conflict with great interest. One species comes with an offer of friendship and alliance, but humanity is weary and distrustful.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An auspcious start to a new trilogy

  • By Sailfish on 04-13-17

No rest for the weary

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

Humanity may have survived the Phage War that occurred in the Black Fleet Trilogy but the impact of that conflict is just now starting to be revealed. The factions within the Terran Confederacy no longer desire an overarching government (or unified defense fleet) and just as things start to splinter apart two new alien races arrive on our doorstep. One race offers friendship while the other wants war, yet it isn't obvious which of them is the bigger threat...

Joshua Dalzelle starts this new series not long after the end of the last one and all the main characters return even if they are a bit older and certainly more fatigued with conflict. Our technology might be better at the start of this war but the fact that humanity is so splintered puts us at a major disadvantage that is easily exploited by our new enemies. It is often hard to figure out if the aliens, or our own human nature, is the bigger threat to our continued survival.

Since this is the start of a new series little is resolved in this book but it does a good job of establishing the new story lines and it certainly left me wanting more. Mark Boyett is also back at the mic so fans of the first series will instantly feel at home. If the first series left you wanting more then don't hesitate to pick this one up and continue to fight.

  • The Trackers Series Box Set

  • The Trackers Series, Books 1-4
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 33 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,481
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,398
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,398

Ripped from the headlines, the explosive Trackers saga is a realistic depiction of what an EMP attack and the aftermath might look like from one of the genre's leading voices, USA Today best-selling author and former Homeland Security Disaster Mitigation Officer, Nicholas Sansbury Smith. This box set includes the entire four-book Trackers series with over 30 hours of postapocalyptic survival fiction and action. Box set includes Trackers, Trackers 2: The Hunted, Trackers 3: The Storm, and Trackers 4: The Damned.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Honorable, brave, and selfless!

  • By RJ on 11-10-18

Getting real about the apocalypse

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

This is my third post-apocalyptic series from Nicholas Sansbury Smith and unlike Hell Divers or the Extinction Cycle this one offers up a much more realistic, and therefore possible, scenario as a backdrop. Similar to One Second After this book shows us the impact of an EMP attack on a small community, which happens to be one of the author's favorite places to visit, Estes Park, Colorado. Trackers also broadens the canvas beyond the small community by detailing the impact the attack has on the US government back in DC by following one of the Senators with some ties back to the Estes Park area.

To set this series apart from the competition Smith starts it off with a murder mystery and adds a good dose of American Indian folklore throughout to give it a unique flavor within a crowded genre. The macro story line comes from following the government while the micro focuses on Estes Park, but both are rooted in relationships and what the individuals involved are willing to do to protect those that they love. Unfortunately for all involved this new world is not for the meek and even good people will need to do bad things if they hope to survive and protect their families.

My only gripe about this series is the short time frame it covers from EMP attack to series end which just isn't long enough. It wouldn't surprise me to see this series extended at some point but for now this box set wraps itself up nicely and provides some closure for the main characters. The series ends on a high note and I would say the same of the narrator Bronson Pinchot who definitely found his stride as the series went on.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • One Second After

  • By: William R. Forstchen
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,367
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,323

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Realistic Worst Nightmare

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 03-02-17

America goes back to Dark Ages

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

Reviewed: 11-30-18

One Second After acts as a warning to America about what our future could be. As a country our 'just in time' distribution of goods and resources makes us particularly vulnerable to any type of disruption and when an EMP instantly disables all of our electronic devices it shows how completely unprepared we are for what happens next. This terrifying look at life in a small North Carolina town after the United States suffers an EMP attack has been cited in Congress and discussed in the Pentagon and it makes for an interesting read. I for one found the realism of the scenario far scarier to consider than the more typical approach to the end of the world that is usually filled with zombies or aliens.

The book follows John Matherson, a retired Army Colonel, as he tries to protect himself, his family, and his community in a nightmare scenario. Like everyone in the story, John must weigh doing what is right for the community verses doing what he needs to do to ensure the survival of his own family. One of his daughters is diabetic and when he finally realizes that the power will be out for the foreseeable future he knows that without a constant supply of insulin, and the required refrigeration, she will die.

And that is just scratching the surface of the magnitude of the problems everyone will face. Modern vehicles don't work which means no sanitation, no new medical supplies, and of course, no new food arriving for this small community. The local government finds itself unprepared for the hard choices it now needs to make about the rationing of food, controlling the spread of disease, and even forming a militia to provide protection against those who would take what little they have.

I found this to be a good read and it certainly makes one think about how prepared you actually are for your way of life to be disrupted. It is one of the more realistic apocalypse genre books and has you considering what you would do if you ever found yourself in this scenario.

Joe Barrett does a decent job on the narration and his performance brings an appropriate sense of urgency to what is happening.