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  • 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 1,720
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,639

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 1,485
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,405
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,395

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 803
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 763
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 761

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
  • Great deal on this amazing series!

  • By Lisa L on 10-17-18

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 18,634
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,613
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,637

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.

  • Hell Divers IV: Wolves

  • The Hell Divers Series, Book 4
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,508
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,315
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,303

The Sea Wolf sets out to search for the Metal Islands. Leading the expedition is legendary Hell Diver Xavier Rodriguez. After enduring a decade on the poisoned surface, his survival skills will be put to the test on the dangerous open seas. But storms, sea monsters, and the cannibalistic Cazadores aren't the only threat to X and his small crew. Their mission will uncover hard truths about the history of the war that left humankind stranded in the air for centuries. The fate of those still living on the airships might very well rest on this perilous journey to find a new home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great day for Hell Divers fans!

  • By Ripcord on 11-06-18

More post-apocalyptic action

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

This book picks up shortly after the end of Deliverance with X and Magnolia aboard the Sea Wolf looking for the Metal Islands as a potential home on the surface. Of course finding that new home is really just an excuse that X used to justify this mission and his real agenda is to kill the leader of the cannibalistic Cazadores who live in the Metal Islands. X quickly finds out that the sea is just as dangerous as the land and the mission goes south quickly as all manner of unexpected obstacles need to be overcome. The action sequences come one after another and let up just long enough for the story arc to move forward as the true cause of the war that devastated the planet is finally discovered.

While things remain dangerous for X and Magnolia on the sea, up in the sky circumstances have gotten much better. Captain DaVita has two airships at her disposal and the quality of life for the inhabitants has greatly improved, although a settled life in the air isn't for everyone. X may have an ulterior motive for seeking the Metal Islands but Captain DaVita actually wants that new home down on the surface and she will do whatever it takes to make that happen, even risking that new found stability.

This book jumps from one action sequence to another and just when it was starting to feel like it might be mostly filler the story arc progresses just enough and the ending leaves you wanting more. I have grown to care about the characters and I can't wait for the next installment to see how it plays out. R. C. Bray has established himself as one of the best narrators around and he delivers another excellent performance here. His performance as X is spot on.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,195
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,929

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Premise Within an Excellent Story

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 07-30-17

A unique story of accelerated evolution

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

Children of Time won the 2016 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel and it is easy to see why. The story is rather unique despite the fact that the sci-fi concepts within are familiar ones: accelerated evolution, humanity seeking a new home after destroying Earth, cryostasis for long space journeys, and uploading one's persona into a computer, to name just a few. The story takes place in two main locales - a planet that has been terraformed by humanity for the sole purpose of running an accelerated evolution experiment and an ark ship that contains 500,000 humans in cryostasis looking for a new home. It is the evolutionary side of the story that is very unique and that makes things all the more interesting when the two threads finally converge.

The very beginning of the story sets the stage as we learn about the experiment to be conducted by Dr. Kurn and her engineered nanovirus that causes accelerated evolution to take place. Dr Kurn and her like-minded associates view this as a step forward for humanity as life from Earth is spread to other worlds and evolution is initiated in the manner of gods. Of course humanity is not united in this perspective and there are those among the population who oppose such arrogance and are willing to fight to the death to stop it from happening. These two points of view clash in a somewhat contrived start to the story that results in the unplanned outcome which is what makes this story so unique.

Suffice it to say that I quickly got over the contrived start and became very interested in how things progressed on Kurn's world. The manner in which Tchaikovsky reveals the evolution taking place is very well done. Although this book is far from perfect it was refreshing to experience such a unique story with an ending that did not disappoint. I definitely recommend it and understand why it won the award it did.

Mel Hudson also does an excellent job on the narration and makes it easy to keep track of all the different characters.

  • The Raven Boys

  • By: Maggie Stiefvater
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,786
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,790

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them - not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can't entirely explain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stiefvater does it again!

  • By C. ALLINGER on 09-20-12

An interesting modern day fantasy

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

The Raven Boys is a modern fantasy targeted at young adults, which leaves me way out of the target demographic, and yet it still managed to keep me interested from beginning to end. Set in the fictitious town of Henrietta, Virginia the story quickly introduces us to Blue Sargent, a young girl who lives with her psychic mother and her mother's psychic friends. Blue is the only non-seer in her house but she has an innate ability to make psychic phenomena louder so her presence is often coveted by her housemates. For each of the last ten years on St Mark's Eve Blue has accompanied her mother to an abandoned churchyard believed to be located on a ley line where the soon-to-be-dead will walk past. This year Blue accompanies her half-aunt Neeve to the churchyard instead thus allowing her gift of amplification to make it easier for Neeve to see which locals are going to die within the next year. Blue expects it to be just another evening spent out in the cold, as she never sees anything when she goes, but this year turns out to be different...

Living in a house full of psychics has many drawbacks and of course one of them is that you are told things that you might not want to know. In Blue's case she has always been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her one true love he will die. So when Blue sees a teenage boy on St. Mark'e Eve she has to wonder why and things get more complicated when her half aunt Neeve explains: 'There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, either you're his true love . . . or you killed him.' This is the event that sets things in motion for Blue and the three raven boys, who will all be brought together by fate in the near future.

Maggie Stiefvater craftily mixes Welch folklore, the paranormal, and life in the southeastern United States to kick off the series in an interesting way. So if you are in the mood for something a little different in the fantasy genre you might consider giving this a try. WIll Patton does a fine job as the narrator and he creates the right mood for the material.

  • Points of Impact

  • Frontlines, Book 6
  • By: Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,558
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,394

Earth's armed forces have stopped the Lanky advance and chased their ships out of the solar system, but for CDC officer Andrew Grayson, the war feels anything but won. On Mars, the grinding duty of flushing out the twenty-meter-tall alien invaders from their burrows underground is wearing down troops and equipment at an alarming rate. And for the remaining extrasolar colonies, the threat of a Lanky attack is ever present.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Meeting up with old friends that you actually miss

  • By Mgarneau on 01-10-18

Mostly filler but I still enjoyed it.

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

Reviewed: 10-20-18

This book starts a few years after the last one and despite the jump forward in time the planet Mars remains a stalemate between the human and Lanky forces. Humanity has established control of the skies above Mars but no matter how many Lankies are killed there always seems to be more of them. The human forces on Mars are wearing down every day as both ships and personnel are succumbing to battle fatigue and Andrew Grayson knows that humanity will not win this war of attrition. We continually rush new recruits into service aboard ships that are well past their prime but eventually the Lankies will get reinforcements and the house of cards will come tumbling down. This is unless we find a way to change the game...

So far we have been fighting the Lankies in ships designed to fight other human ships and killing them with weapons designed to kill other humans but that is finally going to change. A new class of ship designed specifically for taking out Lanky siege ships is on the horizon and it may finally be time for us to go on the offensive. Of course the lack of veteran soldiers to man any new ship is still an issue but beggars can't be choosers. Andrew and Haley have both earned the right to be at the forefront of this new endeavor but they are also both carrying a lot of mental baggage that threatens to push them over the edge.

I think if I was binge reading this series I would be disappointed in what Marko Kloos is offering up here but since it has been a while for me since I read the last book I enjoyed getting to spend more time with the main characters. Even so I will admit it just doesn't advance the main storyline enough to be considered one of the better books in the series. So if you are a fan of the series and it has been a while for you as well then pick this one up; however, if you just finished the prior book then I would hold off on this one. Just wait until the next book comes out and then start back up with this one and I bet you will be happier that you did. According to Marko there will be three more books in the series after this and I am still excited to see how it all ends.

Luke Daniels is back at the mic and his excellent narration instantly pulls you right back into the battle just like you never left.

  • Fallen Dragon

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 26 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,485
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,380
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,378

In the distant future, corporations have become sustainable communities with their own militaries, and corporate goals have essentially replaced political ideology. On a youthful, rebellious impulse, Lawrence joined the military of a corporation that he now recognizes to be ruthless and exploitative. His only hope for escape is to earn enough money to buy his place in a better corporation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another awesome book.

  • By Brian M. Jeffries on 11-13-16

A unique take on human expansion to other planets.

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

Peter F. Hamilton offers up a different perspective on human colonization of space this time around and instead of unbridled success humanity quickly finds the concept to be financially non-viable after the first wave of colony planets are established. With the companies behind the initial expansion going heavily into debt a new form of corporate terrorism begins to arise. Financially failing colonies are purchased by investors on Earth who then send military forces there to conduct "asset realization" missions where they take by force anything that will have value back on Earth. This is a completely legal thing to do from an Earth based perspective but the colony inhabitants don't take too kindly to these "invading" forces and it is one such asset realization mission that acts as the main backdrop for the story of Fallen Dragon.

The story is told from 3 main point of view characters all with very different backgrounds and perspectives. One being a teenage boy growing up on a colony world who dreams of space exploration in an era where the concept is dying quickly, a second being a clone that hold a key role in one of the asset realization military forces, and the third being a colony inhabitant that is part of a resistance cell fighting back against the asset realization forces. Eventually circumstances lead all 3 of these individuals to the crux of the story when it builds to a resolution in typical Hamilton fashion. I don't want to spoil the plot but the real story doesn't actually surface until you understand why the book is titled Fallen Dragon and by that point it is quickly driving to a conclusion.

This is a typical Hamilton novel with a story that explores what it means to be human as the story traverses multiple detailed worlds with lots of interesting future technologies. If you are a fan of his work then you should not hesitate to pick this one up. As is typical for Hamilton's sci-fi audiobooks, John Lee is the narrator and he does his usual excellent job bringing all the characters to life, making this a worthy listen all around.

  • The Diamond Age

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Wiltsie
  • Length: 18 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,844
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,664
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,686

Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The rock could use a bit more polishing

  • By Tango on 05-19-13

A weird sci-fi fairy tale

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

Reviewed: 10-11-18

As he did in Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson once again constructs a bizarre dystopian world composed of an eclectic combination of future technologies and ancient traditions and uses it as the backdrop to tell a unique story. At its core this is a coming of age tale about a young girl named Nell who comes to possess a very special book known as the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer. This book is an engineering marvel that is fully interactive and capable of customizing itself to match its reader in order to prepare them for the challenges they will face on their journey to adulthood. In Nell's case the book ultimately winds up raising her in place of her parents and it enables her to survive amid the chaos that eventually comes her way from the unpredictable society around her.

Despite the wondrous technologies present in this future, like matter compilers capable of creating almost anything and cities with their own nanite based immune systems in the air, it is the Primer that takes center stage in the story.  Stephenson uses it to explore the role that technology could play in raising children in the future and the potential impact that would have on society.  You should know going in that this book ends abruptly and one is left to draw their own conclusions as to the ultimate impact on society caused by the Primer. if you want a nice ending where all the loose ends are tied up then this book is not for you. However, if you like the weird technological societies that come from the mind of Neal Stephenson then I would suggest you pick this one up and draw your own conclusions about the meaning of the ending.

Jennifer Wiltsie does a decent job as the narrator and her voice is an excellent fit for the young female protagonist Nell.