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Michael J

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  • reviews
  • 22
  • helpful votes
  • 87
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  • The Land: Predators: A LitRPG Saga

  • Chaos Seeds, Book 7
  • By: Aleron Kong
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 46 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12,698
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12,042
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11,985

In The Land: Predators, the Mist Village has harnessed its power. With core buildings, professional fighters, and now their own dungeon, the settlement is primed to grow into a kingdom of true power and magic. The path to power has not been without risk, however. The MistVillage has been noticed. Evil nobles from the Kingdom of Law, bloodthirsty goblins from the Serrated Mountains, an undead lord with a penchant for human sacrifice, and fanatical kobolds from the Depths all plot the village's destruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Leveling up his writing skills

  • By Dallas on 08-15-18

What makes a Good book Good?

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

Reviewed: 08-02-18

I must say this is my opinion and mine alone if you agree great if not great but it is my opinion.

What makes a book good to me is three things: Character Development, Storyline Development, and Emotional reactions.

1. Character development

One of the biggest failings I have seen in the LitRPG realm is that once a character is trapped in the new world or transported they spend most of the book trying to figure out how to get back home. This series has been refreshing because it didn’t do that. It has been almost a formula that has gotten old. In this series Richter has spent zero time wondering how to get home and actually embraced the new world and so far is not worried about getting back he just accepted facts and moved forward.

All fumbling aside he has moved forward and made some very human world mistakes in a world that is not all just human. All the mistakes have moved the character forward and not just been happy to remain the same stupid human in a new world. The refreshing part of this is that it didn’t all just happen in one book and now he is a bad ass. He has moved forward and still makes mistakes based on his humanity view of how things work.

2. Storyline Development

The story in this series so far has moved forward at a snail’s pace but again that is refreshing as well. In some other series you can cover full years in 50 pages vs. this series over 7 books we have moved less than half a year and have had many things happen.(mostly due to dumb luck)

From the stumbling kid moving around a world and almost getting killed to the leader of a village/town/city/whatever he has come a long way in a short time as life has kicked him in the nuts many times to remind him that he knows nothing. The fun part is the pop culture references as well. Some have complained about this but catching the big things like time being all wobbly timey wimey to smaller things that are much more obscure like being Walter Peck’ed it is fun to see things pop out like that as the story is coming along. Seeing Richter get excited when he makes the locals use things like code words Rick response Morty is just priceless. Richter has figured out a way to make his old life meld with his new one is great.

One other thing that is great about this series is that it doesn’t rush fight scene’s book 6 has one fight line that last well over an hour and gives a great amount of detail and takes time to develop each area that is going on not just necessarily just the main character. The author has managed to interweave the lives of all the characters together and not just showing the good feelings but the bad as well. This is not an all feel good story which is a change to a lot of other books in the genre.

3. Emotional reactions
So many times in a LitRPG the person is transported (stuck) to the new land and makes efforts to integrate into the new world. Although most books have loss included but very few times will you see the person with such a visceral reaction to the death of people within the world, and I mean, why would you they are just NPC’s right? This book on the other hand has moved on beyond that and Richter feels the loss of people under him and takes time to recognize as a leader the loss of those people. The woman who has lost a husband who comes to him and he lets her know about how he feels, as well as making a promise to help care for her and the family as long as they remain in the village. You can actually feel the pain of the loss and the hope build as he explains what happens next.
Personal feelings aside this book series brings actual feelings as you feel Richter’s loss and that is the mark of a good book. A good book will also bring out other feelings and this series is has done just that with the laugh out loud moments due to pop culture references or the reactions of the main character due to his naïve way of just not knowing and everyone around him just shaking their head. Richter is lost still but not near what he was in book one, but still lost.

This to me is what makes a good book and Aleron Knog has managed to in a very short time convince me he may actually be one of if not the best in the genre of building a true world that I hope will go on for a very long series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Land: Alliances: A LitRPG Saga

  • Chaos Seeds, Book 3
  • By: Aleron Kong
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13,860
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13,102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,052

Richter and Sion are in a fight for their very lives. Their enemies are circling, and the powers they have awakened are barely under their control. Death and war are on their doorstep, but they have a simple message for the enemies of the Mist Village. "Kiss your loved ones goodbye. The Mist will claim you." A wonderful blend of humor and adventure, The Land: Alliances will transport you to the world of your dreams...and your nightmares.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Does not disappoint.

  • By Nevrynal on 07-22-17

I must say this is awesome

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

This has been one if the best series I have chosen to listen to so far. No spoilers here but wubba lubba dub dub and you will understand if you listen lol

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Absolute Ambition: Memoria

  • By: David L. Van Horne
  • Narrated by: Daniel Greenberg
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

To the people of the planet of Pearl, vim is everything. Vim is an energy resource that exists deep beneath the surface. A life force, it approximates the idea of a human soul. When the people of Pearl die, their vim is returned to the soil. And each new baby takes a little back out. The company of Megacorp wants to change this natural process forever. They’ve found a way to mine the vim and use it to power machines. Cirrus Stark is determined to stop them.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • FF7 is all this is

  • By Michael J on 05-23-18

FF7 is all this is

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

good luck not getting sued over this. I got this book because I was trying to help out Bearing with his advertising but damm if it didn't back fire on me

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Cats on the Run

  • Tuck & Ginger
  • By: Ged Gillmore
  • Narrated by: Deborah Wiseman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Tuck and Ginger are two cats who get on each other's nerves. But they need to pause the claws if they’re to escape from the high-rise apartment where they are trapped. And escape they must, for their kidnappers – Rodney and Janice Burringo – are warty wicked witches who want to use Tuck and Ginger’s body parts to build the best witches’ cat in the world: a black Purrari.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Hilarious and Entertaining!!

  • By Michael J on 09-25-17

Absolutely Hilarious and Entertaining!!

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

Reviewed: 09-25-17

What made the experience of listening to Cats on the Run the most enjoyable?

Oh, man...so many things did but I would have to say that the narrator was absolutely brilliant and the characters, story line as a whole, and most especially the spot-on humor! I look forward to the many times my grandchildren and I will re-listen to this amazing book that I consider this one of my top 5 on my list, and as an AVID listener I have literally thousands of audio books. This one is a WINNER!!

What did you like best about this story?

Every single thing--cover to cover--this book is 100% fun, entertaining, and just a HUGE slice of AWESOME!! If I had to spend 5 credits to purchase this audio book, I would do it in a heartbeat because it is just THAT good!

What about Deborah Wiseman’s performance did you like?

Deborah Wiseman did an amazing job in her portrayal of the characters. I mean, not too many people can pull off that high-pitched, screeching "Rooodneeeeyyyy!!"

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed and laughed along with my two grandchildren (ages 2 and 4) and have re-listened to it several times and have formed our own "inside jokes" together that relate directly to the book. All three of us just love to call each other from the other side of the house going Rooodneeeeyyyy!! all the time and it gets us to laughing together and has been a GREAT bonding experience for us! I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend you spend the credit to purchase this amazing audiobook that is entertaining for readers of all ages. If you are having a bad day, listen to this and it can easily put a smile on your face and laughter in your heart.

Any additional comments?

Ged Gillian has now become one of my top 5 favorite authors, and I can't WAIT for more...

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. I listened to the complete audio book with no persuasion or influence to give either a positive or negative review. The review I have posted is my honest and unbiased opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Foy

  • On the Road to Lost
  • By: Gordon Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Karl Miller
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 9

Foy is a minister who can no longer make sense of the religious world into which he was born. A strange bus journey to the heart of New Orleans marks his exit from a familiar life and a rebirth into a new reality. But the secular world is a strange and lonely place for Foy. His identity as a clergyman is more deeply embedded in his soul than he thought. Foy is determined to chart his own course rather than allowing others to define who he is.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and Different kind of Story

  • By Michael J on 08-05-17

Interesting and Different kind of Story

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

Reviewed: 08-05-17

Where does Foy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have literally listened to THOUSANDS...lol...so, it would definitely not be in my top 100, but somewhere probably within the 600-700 range

What other book might you compare Foy to and why?

This was a new one for me, and I haven't read or listened to another one like it. So, it stands alone as far as I can see so far because it is quite unique.

Which character – as performed by Karl Miller – was your favorite?

Foy

If you could take any character from Foy out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Foy--because I am certain we would have interesting and thought-provoking conversation.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alien Seas

  • Colonial Scouts, Book 3
  • By: Roxanne Smolen
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Fournier
  • Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3

The Colonial Scouts are an elite group of explorers who seek out habitable planets for the Colonial Expansion Board. They travel through space via programmable wormholes. Natica is drowning in siblings. She hopes that if she becomes a Scout, she will rise above her brothers and sisters and shine. But when a man dies because of her mistake, she leaves the program and returns home a failure.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun Sci-fi Adventure

  • By Michael J on 08-05-17

Fun Sci-fi Adventure

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

Reviewed: 08-05-17

What did you love best about Alien Seas?

I appreciated the fact that the author inserted parts in reference to the first 2 books because I hadn't read those.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Alien Seas?

When Natica's twin brother went missing, and Impani had followed Natica home and was set on helping her in searching for him.

What about Jennifer Fournier’s performance did you like?

She gave each character distinct voices and attitudes

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Teen drama and complications...will their friendship survive?

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Iniquitous

  • By: Craig R. Key
  • Narrated by: Diane Lehman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14

Alcoholic Private Investigator, Drew Schweitzer, is hired to aid the police in a Missing Persons case by the parents of a terminally ill little girl, Abby Deirdre, who disappeared from the hospital a month earlier. Unsure if the child is still alive, the Pi finds himself in a race against time to find her before her condition worsens or at least find the people who took her. With every new discovery, it seems that Abby's disappearance may be linked to something worse.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mystery turned Paranormal

  • By Big Cheese on 08-08-17

Entertaining Supernatural Thriller

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

Reviewed: 08-03-17

What made the experience of listening to Iniquitous the most enjoyable?

The fact that it was suspenseful, and had some pretty scary parts.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Drew was my favorite character because I felt so sorry for him for losing his wife and daughter in such a violent way, and he was suffering every day.

What three words best describe Diane Lehman’s performance?

Average, mediocre, lukewarm

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, when Drew actually pulled a gun on his former partner.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl in the Back Seat

  • Horror Story, Volume II
  • By: G.M. Hague
  • Narrated by: G.M. Hague
  • Length: 2 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Giving a ride to a teenage girl hitchhiking in the middle of nowhere can be a bad idea, especially if they slip into the back seat unseen - because they're a lost and troubled spirit condemned to wander the lonely roads forever. Teenagers like Rachael can be obsessive, angry, and unreasonable, and they'll fall in love in a heartbeat. Being dead doesn't make any difference. Darren and Jean Madden should never have opened the car doors that night when their station wagon mysteriously broke down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great little ghost story

  • By Spooky Mike on 07-28-17

Creepy with some bits of humor...

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

Reviewed: 07-31-17

If you could sum up The Girl in the Back Seat in three words, what would they be?

Lost Condemned Spirit

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Girl in the Back Seat?

**SPOILER ALERT**
When Rachael ended up sending the girls to the hospital, when she was intending to kill them instead

What does G.M. Hague bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Oh, he is an AWESOME narrator! I love, love, LOVE his voice and accent! Even though he is the author of this series, I think he should narrate other audiobooks--even ones that are written by someone else. He gave the characters individuality and did an excellent job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Beware of Dead Hitchhikers

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Housekeeper's Proposal

  • Heroes of Hays, Book 4
  • By: Barbara Goss
  • Narrated by: Roberto Scarlato
  • Length: 4 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 27

Jeremy Walker is accused of killing his wife. The sheriff's sister, Kate Hammond, applies for the job as his housekeeper in order to try and find the proof they need to hang Jeremy. However, Kate never suspected she'd fall in love with the man. Her new mission is to find out who really killed Helen Walker to clear Jeremy's name. When the real killer is revealed, it sets Kate in a tailspin of grief and heartbreak.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story!

  • By Jocelyne on 01-04-19

A Nice Christian Mystery/Romance

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

Reviewed: 07-28-17

Would you listen to The Housekeeper's Proposal again? Why?

Sure. It was a nice easy listen, and a decent faith-based (Christian) suspense with some romance that is clean and not all trashy like a lot of those romance novels.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the Marshal...He was a no nonsense guy, and I especially loved when he said he needed to go to headquarters in Ft. Smith, Arkansas--because I live in Arkansas. ;)

What about Roberto Scarlato’s performance did you like?

I think he did a good job portraying each character in a different manner that was suitable to each one.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. I listened to it all at once, It's only 4 1/2 hours so I listened while I worked on other stuff. That's one of the best things about audiobooks, is that you can listen while you are doing other things unlike actually reading where you have to sit and focus your attention on the actual reading material.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Stirrings in the Black House

  • By: Ambrose Ibsen
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 137
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 137

When struggling concert pianist Emil inherits a house from his late uncle, he thinks all of his problems are solved. Absconding to the mysterious Weatherby House in the suburbs of Portland where his famous uncle composed many classical masterpieces, Emil finds the place completely empty, save for one thing: his uncle's grand piano.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Creepy!!!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 07-09-17

The Occult, Torture, and Opiates...!!

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

Reviewed: 07-28-17

If you could sum up Stirrings in the Black House in three words, what would they be?

I guess I would use the same words as in my headline...LOL...The Occult, Torture, and Opiates-- What's not to love? ;0)

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the portrayal of the Occult members to be so truly evil that in the end, the person would actually beg for death. I could see where that could happen if the torture was as horrific as the things they did.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved all of the torture scenarios.

If you could rename Stirrings in the Black House, what would you call it?

Skinned "Tones"

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful