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Marcus

East Coast, USA
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  • 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
    5 out of 5 stars 2,406
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,276
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,272

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
  • Best Yet!!!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 11-06-18

At first I was all 😒, then I was all 😲

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

Reviewed: 12-04-18

Perhaps because there was more time between book 3 and 4 than there was between 1, 2 and 3 for me, I wasn't super excited to jump back into this series. Don't get me wrong, I loved 1-3, and preordered 4 immediately, but I was just.. meh.

That didn't get any better as I started listening. I felt like 3 ended at a good place and 4 was just trying to drum up interest and suspense again. With X back in rotation, there's not much from the first trilogy to follow up on. His dynamic with Magnolia felt a bit weird (which I suppose is apt given he was used to being alone for a decade) and I didn't really find Katrina as captain more interesting than the role she played in book 3.

That said, there's a point where new discoveries and revelations are made and it becomes clear that Smith has a direction in mind for the next few books. It's not just one event in the book I can point to, but a sequence of them as well as information slowly dropped during those events that got me excited and intrigued again. I mean... we begin to get a clearer picture of humanity's past, and possible future here. Exciting stuff.

Like the others, this book ends on a comfy cliffhanger. It's a solid book on its own and most everything feels resolved, but there's definitely potential for more, and I can't wait to experience it.

It goes without saying that RC Bray did a phenomenal job as narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mirrors

  • Curse of Lanval, Book 1
  • By: Rebekah Dodson
  • Narrated by: Matthew DeWolf
  • Length: 2 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

You probably won't like my story. Heck, I'm not sure if I even like it myself. Between getting burned at the stake and being drowned, almost twice, it's quite a lot to swallow. I'm not sure where it all went wrong. Everything was going fine my freshman year of college as a history major. I had a full-time job as a paramedic and any girl I wanted was mine. When tragedy struck our family, I found myself in France with my sister, Jules. And she just had to touch that mirror. She had to get us transported to the middle ages. 1155 A.D., to be exact. What. The. Hell. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fast paced story with cliffhanger

  • By Mandy Buffington on 10-26-18

Feels like an incomplete thought

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

The story opened up pretty exciting and I was eager to see where it went, though we quickly backtracked for some back story After chapters of the life of Gil (written as an intellectual chauvinist who really doesn't even sound like he wants to be), mixed with a bit of his sister I began to lose hope.

I kept waiting for this story to circle back to the opening scene and then take off. While we did eventually get there, there was no taking off, unless you count hanging off a cliff. I felt disappointed. There's so much potential here, but it all felt like lead up with only glimpses of a plot through the mist.

I found the narrator to be fairly monotone, though he did excel at the various accents that came into play.

After the drain of this first entry, I don't think I'll be back for more. Perhaps if we had been given more to go on here, but while you can make some guesses and get intrigued based on your imagination, the author basically gives you nothing of substance to actually go on.

I was given this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I really wanted to like this. If there's a book 2 already written, perhaps it should have been concatenated with book 1 so that there was some real development. As a standalone, I can't recommend it.

  • Elevation

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Stephen King
  • Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,508
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,381
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,374

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis. In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low-grade - but escalating - battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Mailed it in

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-29-18

Two very different short stories

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

Elevation contains 2 stories, the first titular tale is the longest and the more interesting of the two in my opinion. I read a review that called it mellow and boring. I can see the mellow part, as there is no impending doom that has our characters running for their lives, but that doesn't make it boring.

Elevation is indeed a mellow tale. It both takes it time weaving and keeps you engrossed at every turn. It's relatable sci-fi as only King can do it. The characters were great (and well-fleshed for such a short tale) and relatable. I can 100% recommend listening to this one.

Laurie on the other hand has no real sci-fi elements. It doesn't really fit much of a genre at all to be honest, but it's still a good, short listen (about half an hour). There's no big revelation. There's no sci-fi twist -- just a story about an older widow and his new dog. Not what I come to King for, but still enjoyable.

As for the narration, I've never been a fan of King's nasaly voice, but he does a good job as usual and manages to stay out of the way of the story.

This little collection is definitely worth a listen IMO.

6 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • An Elbow, a Flower, a Stairwell or Two

  • By: Dale Stubbart
  • Narrated by: Gareth Johnson
  • Length: 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 8

From across the room, he noticed her elbow. As he traced the curve of her elbow with his eyes, he noticed something stenciled there. At this distance, he should not have been able to tell that that something was a flower. But he could, so he gave up reasoning for reality. His eye started tracing the lines of the flower. He was only vaguely aware that the flower was drawn on a woman's elbow some 20 yards away.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Creative and interesting.

  • By cosmitron on 11-02-18

Short, confusing, intriguing. Worth a listen.

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

This can be a confusing story -- especially since it's told at such a rapid, and sometimes jarring, pace. I think that's somewhat intentional, but it is what it is.

Because I think the author intended this as sort of a long-form poem where you're to figure out and understand what's going on, I don't want to ruin anything. It's short enough at 27 minutes for you to give it a try anyway.

The narration was also a bit jarring at times and a bit hard to follow, but it may be due to my own unfamiliarity with the type of accent.

I bumped it a star up overall since it did leave me thinking for a bit, and I do think it's worth a listen. It's also a bit jarring and forgettable after a bit of pondering IMO.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Classified

  • The Harem at the End of the Galaxy, Book 2
  • By: Kyle Kenze
  • Narrated by: Charlie Boswell
  • Length: 1 hr and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Clayton Parks is just another low-level civilian contractor. Then he's assigned to an all-female time-travel team working in a secret bunker in a sub-sub-sub basement deep beneath the Pentagon. And now every woman in the galaxy wants to get her hands on him.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Space and Time and Sex

  • By cosmitron on 10-05-18

I laughed more than anything

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

The first one took some getting used to, but once I identified and classified it in my mind as erotic sci-fi (with lots of unintentional comedy) it was much easier to enjoy for what it was.

The second book picks right up where the first one left off: our "hero" is amusingly bumbling his way through one erotic encounter after another. There is more plot in this book, which is a good thing, and we even narrow in on a tangible enemy. It's hard to tell if the job promotion from the first book is going to be more important in the future, but it does seem to be an afterthought here.

These stories so far have been rather short. That's a plus and minus. On the negative side, at this length, it's hard to justify a purchase. On the positive side, I think the length is just right for some enjoyment without feeling overwhelmed with the content.

Charlie Boswell's narration is spot on. He perfectly captures the amused disbelief that I think just about any guy would have in these scenarios and his delivery turns potentially cringe-worthy jokes into something that had me laughing out loud more than once.

I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for my honest review. If you can handle the genre, by all means, give it a whirl.

  • Summer Winter Salvage

  • By: C. A. Gleason
  • Narrated by: Chip McCullough
  • Length: 1 hr and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

While on an excavation site, a crew is tasked with repairing an inoperable vehicle when one of them mysteriously turns homicidal, and after a deadly storm hits, the survivors find themselves isolated at a warehouse without any communication and far from base. A desperate plan is set in motion, and not just because their oxygen will run out soon. They uncover something that makes them realize a storm is the least of their problems.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent short story

  • By Shanna Tidwell on 10-27-18

This had a lot of promise...

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

I'm not really sure what the author was going for here, but it certainly seems like he had either ideas in mind. Let me back up: the story takes place on some distant planet in the future. We follow one of those workers (promoted to supervisor) as he leads a team of salvagers. Something goes wrong with another team, and our protagonist's is sent out to assist.

This has all the makings of good scifi: futuristic setting, alien worlds, genetically-modified beasts. The problem though, is that the author seems to be far more focused on the internal angst of our protagonist who seems hell bent on whining about how his men didn't respect him and he's a supervisor. Seriously, he has a girlfriend here and her whole purpose in the story is for him to complain to and for her to be an object of desire, which causes more angst.

The ending makes no sense -- I mean, it could provide some food for thought as to what actually happened and why, but it's hard to even think of the plot when all that's left on my mind is the woe-is-me babble of the main character -- even up to the end!

The narrator did a fine job. There were some odd pauses here and there, but that's likely more down to editing/production than anything else.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for my honest review. I think if the author had stripped out all the pointless moaning, we could've had something far more interesting here.

  • Harvest

  • Dark Murmurings, Book 3
  • By: B. Pheasant
  • Narrated by: Gary Leo Smith
  • Length: 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 18

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 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

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 66
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

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
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15,052
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,795
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13,803

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.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • I guess there’s a reason it’s free

  • By Katie Washington 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.