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  • Cherry Blossom Girls

  • By: Harmon Cooper
  • Narrated by: Justin Thomas James, Annie Ellicott, Laurie Catherine Winkel, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 504
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 479
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 480

I was a just normal guy until the night the cherry blossoms bloomed, the night that Grace appeared on my doorstep. A failed sci-fi writer, a gamer, but a normal guy nonetheless. Grace was everything I was not - a psychic shifter, beautiful beyond my wildest imagination, a government conspiracy waiting to be unraveled. And that was before the second superpowered woman showed up to kill us both.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cherry Blossom Gals can'tcha come out tonight

  • By Ray Johnson on 04-08-18

A good performance but an awkward story

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

Please note I received this book free from the audiobook producers for review purposes.

What can I say? I finished listening to this so the "Cherry Blossom Girls" did entertain me. A large part of that entertainment came from the full cast narration but the story it self felt very quite awkward. It read like part embarrassing wish fulfillment or self insert erotica and part solid fun action.

The plot, in a nutshell, is that an unsuccessful self published author finds at his doorstep a naked girl with superpowers. Action and government conspiracies ensue. A second superpowered girl gets involved and some very awkward, detailed, and out of place sex scenes happen.

The motivations of the girls are not clear. Why do they like this guy? Why are they pretty much doing whatever he says? Why are they attracted to him? The answer seems to be just for this to be wish fulfillment fantasy for the reader. I don't have a problem with that as a concept but even in this kind of power fantasy you need to give some actual reasons for the characters to act the way they do. Some personality. That's really lacking in this story.

There are also some detailed descriptions of the self publishing world of Amazon and the life of a selfpublished author. These were actually pretty cool and I really enjoyed the minutia. Write what you know, I guess?

But still the story did entertain me and keep my attention. Trashy, but fun trashy. The uh... Fact that a self published author is writing a sex fantasy about a self published author does make it a bit of an embarrassing read. Think "Twilight" or "Fifty Shades of Gray" embarrassing...

The audiobook version has solid performances. Nothing really stand-out but also nothing grating. On a purely technical side the audio quality was fine but sometimes the relative volume between the different narrators was off. There were also like... Two places where they used sound effects which felt odd because those were the only places where that happened. When after an hour or two of pure narration get a voice effect for a shower, that really stands out. But overall good work that added to the book instead of subtracting from it.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Dominion of Blades

  • A LitRPG Adventure
  • By: Matt Dinniman
  • Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461

For over 30 years, Dominion of Blades has been the hottest online role-playing game in the world. But the game is too real for some, and after an epidemic of real-life fatalities, public use of the immersion technology has been banned. Jonah wakes to find himself in-game, level one, with no memory of how he arrived and no way to eject. With only two companions, trapped in a world that once hosted millions, Jonah must battle his way across a treacherous landscape, fighting virtual monsters, all too real pain, and a very human enemy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great LitRPG, ignore the negative reviews...

  • By Christopher on 02-22-18

Carried by it's mystery

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

Reviewed: 07-19-17

I received this audiobook for free for review purposes.

Dominion of Blades is a scifi story in the growing LitRPG genre of books. LitRPG is often long lists of numbers and descriptions of characters stats and while Dominion of Blades has parts of that it's more concerned with characters and it's central mystery.

Jonathan finds himself a fisherman in a little medieval village in a virtual reality game called Dominion of Blades. He goes about the same tasks day to day until a glitch in the game sends him out on an adventure to discover who he is, what is happening with the game.

The plot is pretty good. It's an interesting mystery on what is happening in the real world and how that relates to the virtual world. The book does not have portions happening in the real world but what happens relates to it. There's a satisfying payoff to the mystery and you aren't left hanging.

The narrator does a great job giving each character a distinct voice and personality. Her performance added to the enjoyment of the book though I could see the voice she gives to certain child or childlike characters annoying some listeners. The choice of narrators also kind of worked as a spoiler on an aspect of the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Finding Ultra

  • Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
  • By: Rich Roll
  • Narrated by: Rich Roll
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,057
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,758
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,763

An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Two Different Books

  • By Roger on 02-11-14

An insipirational story steeped in pseudoscience

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

Reviewed: 06-16-16

I loved Rich's story of becoming an endurance athlete and it certainly gave me inspiration to keep going with my own endurance athlete dreams. I see myself in him a bit as I too "go all in" but can only hope for his staying power.

Unfortunately his views on nutrition are somewhat questionable. Some of what he says is good - veganism and how to get there (little by little) but a lot of it is not supported by science or our best understanding in nutrition. I also hoped he would've touched upon the possible mistakes new vegans might make and how to avoid them.

Still I enjoyed my time with Rich on my long bike rides.

  • The Book of Lokk

  • Death's Keep, Book 1
  • By: Sommer Nectarhoff
  • Narrated by: James Scofield MacKenzie
  • Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

The city of Kartos is a dark, cruel place. Its winding streets lie within the Black Temple's great shadow. The Devout, the priests of the temple, rarely leave its towering walls, but when they do it is only to collect the dead or to lead the city's condemned back to the dungeons. And those who enter do not return. It is common knowledge among the Kartosi that the temple is to be avoided at all costs. Lokk, a young thief oblivious to the machinations of the temple and its puppets, is about to enter a world where evil knows no bounds.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't want to stop Listening (reading)

  • By Jason on 07-07-15

Rushed yet enjoyable action-adventure with gods

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

Reviewed: 06-14-15

Disclosure: I was provided a code for review purposed by the author.

Book of Lokk: Death's Keep was an enjoyable experience, if a bit rushed.

The narration and audio production was competent, clear and enjoyable. No complaints but nothing really to write home about either. The narrator had a very smooth voice that suited the story well and he did a good job of separating between the different characters, making dialogue easy to follow.

On the actual story side the book flowed well and held my interest throughout. The plot was not overtly complex and most importantly served the book.

Dark for sure, but not overtly reveling, the book feels in a lot of ways inspired by the Gentleman Bastards series, only more epic in it's events, if smaller in it's scope.

I did feel that for an introductory novel into a new fantasy world the it did not make enough of an effort to actually introduce the reader to this new world. Had I not read the blurb on Audible, I would have had a very hard time settling into it as characters of varying importance appeared out of nowhere into the story with very little context. That said the cast of characters was limited enough that it did not become an issue. That said it is hard to feel much dread towards the adversary in the book, as his characterization is close to non-existant.

The ending also came abruptly. Almost as if the author had decided that he had reached a set number of words and didn't take enough care to let the reader settle following the books climax. It did leave me wanting more and if the quality of the series remains then I'll definitely want to see where Nectarhoff takes his story next.