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Marcus

SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States
  • 197
  • reviews
  • 315
  • helpful votes
  • 272
  • ratings
  • Harvest

  • Dark Murmurings, Book 3
  • By: B. Pheasant
  • Narrated by: Gary Leo Smith
  • Length: 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14

What would you do if you won a dream holiday? For newly-weds Laurelyn and Elijah, it was a dream come true. They could finally have the honeymoon they could never have afforded on their own. Their excitement is tangible as they leave for Spain. With their arrival in Spain, they soon realize things aren’t as they should be. Instead of a hotel, they are taken to an isolated Asylum. They will be lucky to leave alive.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Book 3

  • By Zoe on 04-14-18

Not something I could recommend

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for my honest review, so I must be honest and say I did not find this a worthwhile listen. The premise itself was chilling in that way of myths and urban legends usually are. I found the "reveal" to be boring, and though somewhat imaginitive, also unplausible. Perhaps if a bit of background were given instead of having it all narrated by one of the bad guys, it would have flowed better.

The characters were bland, one-dimensional and barely believable. For as much time was spent showing us how loving of a couple the main characters were, they still came across as shallow imaginings of a love-struck pre-teen.

The narration was decent, though Smith seemed to be a bit one-note as well and tended to display odd inflections and pronunciations here and there. The spooky voice he used for Diablo was pretty good though.

It's a short listen, so normally I'd say "what the heck, go for it", but if you're anything like me, you'll come away feeling that 29 minutes could have been much better spent.

  • BOO! A Halloween Story

  • God Complex Universe
  • By: George Saoulidis
  • Narrated by: John York
  • Length: 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

When a young man from a village comes to the big city to study, he finds himself overwhelmed by the urban lifestyle. But will he manage to blend in by going to a Halloween party, when his crush asks him to help decorate the place, when the abandoned villa becomes all too spooky for him and when the illusory masks everyone wears seem to never come off?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a bad trip must be like

  • By Spooky Mike on 02-25-18

Cool little short set in the not-too-distant futur

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

In a very short amount of time, the author manages to immerse us in a future not too dissimilar to the present, but whose technological advances are both amazing and terrifying. One of the most interesting parts for me was how the author made the tech seem normal and commonplace -- which made the horrors of what it could do all the more realistic.

It's a short story, so I don't want to ruin too much, but I found the listen very good (in no small part due to the awesome narration). I do feel like more could be done in this world, and I docked a star because I felt the story needed "more" before it ended, but it's still very enjoyable.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for my honest review.

  • Torrent

  • The Alt Apocalypse, Book 3
  • By: Tom Abrahams
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

In Torrent, Abrahams plunges his characters into an unforgiving flood. College students on vacation, a family trapped and unable to swim, a journalist out of his depth, and a doctor prepared but overwhelmed all face the rising water. The beginnings of a conspiracy begin to surface, possibly connecting strangers and their roles in catastrophes they only vaguely recall. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Book I Won't Soon Forget

  • By Brian on 10-02-18

Series is beginning to pick up steam

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

Reviewed: 10-11-18

I enjoyed the first entry (Ash), but wasn't a huge fan of the second (Lit). The third seems to address some of the issues I had with the series, and begins moving forward.

So, as you probably know, this series is about plopping different folks into apocalyptic situations and seeing how they cope. By the second book, I began to realize that the author's boilerplate intro (about people loving to read about folks surviving the apocalypse) didn't apply to me. After making my way through a book that was more 12-hour natural disaster than apocalypse (Lit), I realized that, personally, I need a bit more meat with my potatoes. I don't really want to hear about life or death situations for hours and end up with a group of survivors reminiscing. I need more. There needs to be a deeper story.

Thankfully, after teasing it a bit in Lit, Torrent finally begins to tie the books together. We begin to see that there may be more linking these stories than an author's desire to repeatedly punish a group of characters. I won't ruin it, but for me, it's what is going to keep me going forward with the series.

Aside from that, the book is very much like the first two: we follow groups of characters as they cope with an apocalyptic event (although, like Lit, this is more localized catastrophe than apocalypse). There are some new characters, and old (so far Dub's crew and Danny have consistently been in all 3 -- as has the trophy wife).Though Tom Abrahams loves the blow-by-blows, I find that I tend to tune out a lot of the hum drum of the "action" scenes. They don't really move me. I just want the story to progress.

Like the previous 2 books, I was disappointed to once again reach the end of the book with characters that had been through, and survived hell, only to have a seemingly random and pointless death. I'm hoping there's a reason for this that Abrahams is working up to with the overall arc. Otherwise, it puts a damper on events that were already sort of hum drum.

That said, there's one character that Abrahams kills off for the third time. I don't know if they remind him of someone he doesn't like, but it's been a highlight for me in all 3 entries. Keep it up :)

As usual, Kevin Pierce did a great job on the narration.

I was provided this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my review. It's certainly worth a listen, and the preview for the 4th entry has me kinda jazzed.

  • Lullaby

  • By: Jonathan Maberry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,037
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,478
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6,474

A young couple buys a beautiful house by a picturesque lake in the Catskills, looking to escape the bustle of the city to raise their newborn baby. It is a perfect place for a fresh start. Except that nothing is ever as perfect as it seems. As autumn nights close in around their home, they learn that darkness takes many forms. And sometimes that darkness is hungry. New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry delivers an unsettling Audible Original that will give listeners the Halloween creeps all year round.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A decent short short story

  • By All for Him on 10-05-18

So-So tale in a crowded genre

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

Reviewed: 10-10-18

I got this as part of Audible's October freebie. I'd honestly mostly given up on Maberry's longer novels sue to what I saw was a shift in his writing style (or perhaps me just noticing things I didn't like more and more). At 40 minutes and narrated by Scott Brick, I figured I'd give it a try.

This short story is about a family that knowingly moves into a haunted house. What follows is what's to be expected. Although Maberry brought his now trademark dramatic repetition to try to convey an overly creepy atmosphere, it mostly felt lackluster. No part of this felt particularly scary, and I listened at night. So if that's what you're here for, you may be disappointed.

As to the actual story, I don't want to ruin it, but it's pretty standard fare for the genre. Nothing earth shattering, nothing clever, nothing really new.

Scott Brick did a decent job narrating, though I think the overly dramatic prose in turn made him overly dramatic.

Overall, not a bad listen, but it's easily forgettable.

  • A Watched Pot

  • By: Mr. Blue
  • Narrated by: David Morley Hale
  • Length: 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

Graham is trying his hardest to save his marriage. When his wife, Cressida, invites two new friends over for dinner he offers to cook even though he has no experience with vegan food. Something troubles Graham about the couple, but he can’t quite put his finger on it. He takes a journey into Facebook to find a terrible truth which creates a sinister consequence.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Secrets in the sauce...

  • By Mandymay💄👠👛 on 10-07-18

Revenge is a dish best served by a chef

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

Reviewed: 10-06-18

It's hard to say much about this tale without giving things away given how short it is. Basically, we have a mild-mannered, yet competent husband that suspects and finally feels he has proof that his dismissive and overbearing wife is cheating. He takes his revenge at a dinner party. How? I'll leave that for you to find out.

This tale was short, but well-written and I found it satisfying. The narration was top-notch. I was provided this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest review, and I'd definitely recommend it. It's perfect for a short commute.

  • Vortex

  • The Harem at the End of the Galaxy, Book 1
  • By: Kyle Kenze
  • Narrated by: Charlie Boswell
  • Length: 1 hr and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30

The last women alive locate the last man alive. Now, a confused 21st-century male must service all these beauties from the other end of spacetime. The survival of humanity depends on it. Clayton Parks is just another low-level civilian contractor at the Pentagon. Then he's snatched through time and space to the opposite ends of the galaxy, where he learns he's humanity's last hope....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hmmm. Not sure what I think of this.

  • By Stew81 on 09-26-18

Basically sci-fi porn

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

From the teen-dream premise of gorgeous women lining up for some action with a single guy, to the (amusing) sexual puns, it's clear that the story is geared to a (juvenile?) male audience. So right off the bat, it's going to be polarizing.

That aside, I did still think it was entertaining. There's some story mixed in between the explicit sex scenes, and while it isn't award-winning, it's clearly going somewhere.

I choose to take this story as light-hearted fun as I assume the author intended it and from that perspective found it acceptable. It's definitely not for all audiences though, as it could easily be the loose script for a straight-to-DVD porn flick, but it was a fun ride.

The narrator did an excellent job keeping a straight face while reading, and managing to make the college humor sound more mature.

I was provided this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

  • The Final Day: The Full 24 Hours

  • By: S. W. Salzman
  • Narrated by: S. W. Salzman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

For Michael Roberts it was an ordinary day until the sirens began to blare. Then the evacuation order came through. The first step outside, he knew his world would never be the same. The city was in ruins. The people were people no more... changed into ravenous walking evil. Michael's true terror was about to begin....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A refreshing perspective on the zombie apocalypse

  • By Chris Miller on 08-22-18

A first-person view of the zombie apocalypse

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

Reviewed: 10-05-18

I haven't read many stories that depict the Zombie Apocalypse from the perspective of someone infected. It's usually survival and close calls with some explanation of the outbreak and a hunt for the cure or safety.

Salzman doesn't bother much with the why, but he does explore the "how to fix" aspect very uniquely here by following someone infected and trying to control their urges and return to humanity.

There's quite a bit of action (and gore) here as is to be expected from the genre, and it was done well-enough. I'm not the best judge of that though as I prefer plot/backstory/development to the gory action and the protagonist's journey to salvation offered plenty of that for me.

I enjoyed the book, but there were a few negatives. First, the children were mostly pointless characters, basically relegated to emotional props for the protagonist. Secondly, I know the guy is infected, but there's a lot of odd decision-making going on here by not only him, but his "best friend" as well. Granted, I couldn't definitively say how I'd act in the same situations, but some of their actions rang untrue.

Lastly, while I appreciated Salzman's writing, I think he should have gotten someone else to narrate. His voice has a distracting mid-western lilt that occassionally pulled me from the tale. Also, though he wrote it, I found he often put (or didn't put) emphasis on the right parts of the reading. I feel the same when Stephen King narrates his own stuff -- stick to what you do best, and hire a pro!

Overall though, I can recommend the read.

*Note: I was provided this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Next World - EXISTENCE - Book 1

  • By: Jeff Olah
  • Narrated by: Andrew Tell
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18

Owen Mercer has battled the voices in his head for far too long. Plagued by debilitating anxiety, he was doing his best just to hold it together for his wife and his children. He wasn’t prepared for what was coming. No one was.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Same old, same old!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 10-09-18

Somewhat interesting take, but poorly executed

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

Reviewed: 09-25-18

Jeff Olah's take on the zombie apocalypse is not totally unique, but could have been interesting enough. The problem though, is that the story-telling is fairly poor. While there are hints here and there of a larger plot, most of the book is comprised of extended inner monologues, odd descriptions of the scenes and fairly boring "action".

Outside of that, the prose is pretty dull and repetitive too. The first half of the book felt like a car commercial with Mercedes this and Tesla that. Let's not forget about the coveted Hummer H1 which Olah felt needed its own backstory. None of this added any real depth to the characters or fleshed out any of the bland scenes they were peppered in. Mix this with slow pacing, overuse of the same phrases (I think everyone in the book had their "head on a swivel" at one point or another), and it all got old fairly quickly.

Around 4 hours and 30 minutes into the book, a plot began to emerge. However, like everything else, the author dragged it out to the point that when it was more fully revealed, not only had you guessed it all, but you were totally uninterested.

The narrator did a fairly decent job, but I felt he read too slow and was a little on the monotone side. Playing back the audiobook at 1.25x was the sweet spot for me, but unfortunately it did nothing to help the odd inflections and overly exasperated/stressed tones most of the book was read in.

Boring, one-dimensional characters, bland action, "meh" plot. Sorry, although I was given this audiobook for free in exchange for my review, I honestly can not recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sticky Fingers 2: Another 12 Twisted Short Stories

  • Sticky Fingers Collection, Book 2
  • By: JT Lawrence
  • Narrated by: Roshina Ratnam
  • Length: 4 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

Diverse, dark-humored, and deliciously bite-sized: JT Lawrence ratchets up the tension with this compelling collection of short stories perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and Roald Dahl. "Gatsby’s Double" - An artist’s Pomeranian has been replaced by an imposter. "Court, Marry, Kill" - Whose body ends up being unzipped by fish on the ocean floor? "Rockabye Baby" - A female-only cult has a very dark side. "He Did It" - A detective relies on his gut (and his hallucinations) to help him solve murder cases.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great short stories

  • By Wanda on 09-22-18

Great Collection

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

Reviewed: 09-25-18

Like all compilations, there are hits and misses, but this collection was overwhelmingly hit. Even the "misses" weren't so bad, just "odd" (like the one with the detective and his invisible friend that sort of went nowhere).

These stories all take place in South Africa, so readers from the rest of the world may find a few things here and there off until they re-calibrate their brains.

The narrator did a great job overall. I'd say the only "negative" would be that it was hard to tell that the protagonist was male during some stories as she read the protagonist's train of thought in a female voice.

I was given this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest review, and I can definitely recommend it.

  • Calamity

  • The Reckoners, Book 3
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,587
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,081

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David's fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy. David knew Prof's secret and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners' leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Climactic Battles Second Chances? as Calamity Ends

  • By Don Gilbert on 02-18-16

What an awesome finale

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

Amazon stopped notifying me when new releases from series I'd previously purchased were out, and so I'm more than 2 years late to the end of Reckoners party. I probably should have re-listened to Firefight first, but I got back up to speed pretty quickly.

Calamity sees our heroes going after Prof in an attempt to return him to his humanity. In the process, they learn more about Regalia's plans and how it ties into the Epic Calamity. Lots of actions, fun uses of powers and great character development. I don't want to ruin anything by saying more, but this is a work of art. Everything ties together perfectly, which is surprising as I'm used to trilogies sort of retconning or forgetting things along the way. It's clear Sanderson had this one mapped out.

I saw some reviews mention that things felt rushed. While listening, I didn't get that feeling at all, but once we got to the end game, things did seem to sum-up pretty quickly. In retrospect, I think the pacing was perfect, and it's the desire for more that made it feel like it ended too soon. It didn't help that the end of the audio has a "preview" for Mitosis and calls it book 4 in this series. In reality, Mitosis is more like book 1.5 as it comes after Steelheart and before Firefight. Tease!

Macleod Andrews once again does an AMAZING job with the narration. His range of voices and perfect cadence brings these characters to life right in front of your... ears.

This entire series is definitely worth your credit, so don't hesitate!