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JJ

LAUREL, MD, United States
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  • 26
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  • 50
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  • Zero Hour

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 5
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 18,028
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,991
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,913

United Nations Special Operations Command sent an elite expeditionary force of soldiers and pilots out on a simple recon mission, and somehow along the way they sparked an alien civil war. Now the not-at-all-merry band of pirates is in desperate trouble, again. Their stolen alien starship is falling apart, thousands of light years from home. The ancient alien AI they nicknamed Skippy is apparently dead, and even if they can by some miracle revive him, he might never be the same.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Monkeys kick A**, but......

  • By Beachcombers on 02-14-18

Transition Book for the Series

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

As others have mentioned in their reviews, this book is a difficult one to review. Although I thoroughly enjoyed it and how Alanson has developed these characters, it did seem like a bridge or transition book towards whatever's coming next.

The good thing about this series is that it's always had a sense of driving towards some sort of epic finish, where all the streams are brought together and all the major questions are answered. The type of series where, when you finish the last sentence and close the last book, you sit back with a satisfied smile on your face and a "yes!" in your heart.

I feel like, even though this book seemed to wallow a bit, it will seem more significant in the long run as a key pivot in the series that shoots Skippy, Joe and the rest of the merry band of pirates right straight to the salvation of the earth, the restructuring of the universe, and the answer to all the riddles of forgotten past.

I really hope this is the case.

As usual, RC Bray is simply brilliant.

Bottom line, you're in book five and - who are we kidding - you're sold on the series. It's worth the credit and each subsequent book. Enjoy the ride!

  • Fata Morgana

  • By: Steven R. Boyett, Ken Mitchroney
  • Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,793
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,689
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,678

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best one I have heard in some time!

  • By The Zombie Specialist on 10-10-17

Like taking a step back and forward in time

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

Reviewed: 08-17-18

This book is one of the more unique sci-fi adventures I've ever been on. It's literally taking a step back and forward in time at the same time. You go from WWII to dystopian future to disjointed past to... well, depends on where you want it to go. You've got war, baseball, 1930s culture, future technology, robots, Nazis, Yanks, love, betrayal, and camaraderie. I quite honestly don't think I've ever listened to a book quiet like this. Just on that basis alone, I would recommend this book.

Macleod Andrews did a tremendous job with the voices on all the characters, expertly capturing early 20th century manners, while seamlessly establishing a variety of voices for each of the main characters.

I always just a book on whether I forget that I'm listening to a story and this book definitely did it. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was it gets a little difficult to follow exactly what's happening in the most critical scene of the book. Maybe it would be clearer if I re-listened (and there's a good chance I'll do that).

Bottom line, a wonderful journey and a credit well spent. Believe the hype, this is book to remember.

  • All These Worlds

  • Bobiverse, Book 3
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 35,961
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33,677
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,582

Being a sentient spaceship really should be more fun. But after spreading out through space for almost a century, Bob and his clones just can't stay out of trouble. They've created enough colonies so humanity shouldn't go extinct. But political squabbles have a bad habit of dying hard, and the Brazilian probes are still trying to take out the competition. And the Bobs have picked a fight with an older, more powerful species with a large appetite and a short temper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Satisfying End to a Fun Series

  • By Craig Schorling on 08-20-17

I wonder what could have been

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

Reviewed: 07-26-18

I'm not a write and don't pretend to be a critic. It's easy to see what occurs in multi-sequel books and movies, that it's just not easy to tie a grand scheme together time after time. This is sort of how I felt with the wrap up of this series. The first part was excellent, interesting and novel... a new twist to AI and space exploration. But as the story progressed, it got bogged down in personal politics and rushed storytelling. It's like the author came to a crossroad in book 2... to the left lead a path that would bring this series to epic proportions and galactic grandeur, while the right path lead to a quick and convenient end. You can sense the greatness of what could have been and, in finishing the story, I felt a sense of loss that it could have been more.

That is not to say it was not enjoyable. It was just too conveniently and quickly ended.

The narrator was good throughout the books and finished well here in book three.

It was worth the credit and I don't regret it, although I'll continue to wonder what could have bbeen.

  • Hell Divers III: Deliverance

  • The Hell Divers series, Book 3
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,478
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,167

Left for dead on the nightmarish surface of the planet, Commander Michael Everhart and his team of Hell Divers barely escape with their lives aboard a new airship called Deliverance. After learning that Xavier "X" Rodriguez may still be alive, they mount a rescue mission for the long-lost hero. In the skies, the Hive is falling apart, but Captain Jordan is more determined than ever to keep humanity in their outdated lifeboat. He will do whatever it takes to keep the ship in the air - even murder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another awesome entry in a great series!

  • By Lisa L on 05-15-18

Smith and Bray Deliver!

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

Reviewed: 07-26-18

Another solid offering by Smith to the series. Honestly, I had some impression that this was the last book in the series... well, it is NOT! That being said, you get everything you would expect from the Hell Divers experience with some twists and turns thrown in.

Let's be honest, if you're listening to book three that means you've listened to book one and two already. You're either sold on the series or not. The good thing about this book is that it keeps the upward trend of good story-telling and character development, and sets the stage for a larger conflict to come. I tore through this book as quickly as I could.

As always, Bray delivers. He's a perfect voice of the lead character and does a great job with the rest of the voices.

I'm definitely in for the next book... and the next.. and the next.

(I only wish Bray could go back and re-do the Extinction cycle books... they'd be so much better to listen to!)

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Killers of the Flower Moon

  • The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
  • By: David Grann
  • Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, Danny Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,951
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,384
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,366

In the 1920s the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An outstanding story, highly recommended

  • By S. Blakely on 06-22-17

Captivating story of a troubling time

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

Reviewed: 07-26-18

Delving into the crimes affecting the Osage in the early part of the 20th century, this book provides three separate perspectives of individuals involved in the events surrounding Osage murders.The story itself is divided into three parts from three different perspectives in order to tell the span of the story; first from the perspective of an Osage woman caught in the middle of the crisis, second from the BI investigator tracking down the murderers, and finally from a reporter later on in the century looking deeper into the societal sub-currents lurking beneath the murders.

All in all, I found the story to be captivating and eye-opening at the same time. Having grown up in southern Kansas, you hear some of these stories but not to the depth or detail provided here. The story itself challenges the sub-human treatment of the Native Americans that permeated early 19th Century America and, to some degree, continues today. While the story is presented from an Osage-leaning point-of-view, it remains fairly neutral and attempts to stay to the facts of the investigation and what was revealed in subsequent court cases.

Some reviewers stated that the change in narrators was jarring, but I did not find this to be the case. It was actually helpful in that you are hearing from three different people in the telling of the story so it helps with making that distinction. Furthermore, the narrators themselves were well-selected to match the personality and tenor of the person they were representing.

Bottom line, this story will grip you and open your eyes to a grittier and less admirable past of the US.

  • Infinite

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,364
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,347

The Galahad, a faster-than-light spacecraft, carries 50 scientists and engineers on a mission to prepare Kepler 452b, Earth's nearest habitable neighbor at 1400 light years away. With Earth no longer habitable and the Mars colony slowly failing, they are humanity's best hope. After 10 years in a failed cryogenic bed - body asleep, mind awake - William Chanokh's torture comes to an end as the fog clears, the hatch opens, and his friend and fellow hacker, Tom, greets him...by stabbing a screwdriver into his heart. This is the first time William dies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a rather complex science fiction story

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 12-26-17

Keep it real

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

So this type of book is normally right up my alley... some sci fi, some mystery, some action, and RC Bray. BUT, I just felt a bit empty at the end, which has sort of a twist... even if it's not really unexpected. The story is pretty well-told and Robinson takes you on the journey with the main character. So why, you might ask, did I only give it 3 stars overall?

First, the ending disappointed me. Contrary to other reviewers who sort of ruined the story for me (you know who you are!), it really came down to the main character's choices which I didn't agree with. You might so it may not be disappointing for you. The story is interesting just not how I would end it. And, for your own good, don't read the other reviews until you're done. They get you thinking in ways about the story that just make it frustrating.

Second... and I can't believe I'm going to say this because I'm such a HUGE Bray fan... RC was not the right person to perform this book. His voice is awesome and he always does a great job. The problem here is that Bray's voice is too manly for this character. The two just don't sync up and I kept thinking, "There's no way this guy sounds like this." But Bray is AWESOME and helped me make it through the book.

Bottom line, this book is an existential debate about what is real and what is love. And how far are you willing to get lost in love. For me, the real thing is always better.

  • 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 2,225
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,094
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,089

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

Good down-to-earth military sci-fi

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

What Kloos gets - and why I love this series so much - is the military part of story telling. It's not just talking up the futuristic military tech or "how many calibre" this or "megaton" that that bogs down most military fiction, it's the psychological impact that he's able to express so well that keeps me coming back. You fight but you carry the weight of the fight with you always, yet you always find a way to keep in the fight no matter what.

As you walk through this series, you are seeing the maturization of a writer as well as his characters, and it's an enjoyable journey to be on. Plus, there's always plenty of action! Losses aren't always losses, and wins aren't always clean victories... and that's what makes it so good.

Luke Daniels nails it again (but when doesn't he really?). Will definitely get the next one in the series (again).

  • 2001

  • A Space Odyssey
  • By: Arthur C. Clarke
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,552
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,836
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,850

It has been 40 years since the publication of this classic science-fiction novel that changed the way we look at the stars and ourselves. From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man adventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Narration - Great Book

  • By Venu on 07-04-09

2000 and meh

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

So, maybe it was the hype around the movie (which I've never seen)... or maybe the aura around the book, but I went into this listening with high hopes and hearing "I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave." Well, it turns out that I was the one who couldn't do it. I mean, I made it through but reality did NOT live up to expectations.

I expected a tense space drama between man and machine, but it turned into an existential mess with abstract aliens and an odd form of enlightenment. And in that moment, disappointment ruled the day. 50 years later, this story didn't hold up for me... and the only regret I have is that now I'm just here writing a negative review. The Odyssey was just odd and I found myself being the one saying, "I'm afraid I can't do it, Dave".

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mountain Man: Prequel

  • By: Keith C. Blackmore
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,368
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,232

After a long day of prepping a house for painting, all Gus Berry wanted was the night off to spend some time with his girlfriend and relax before having to return to work the next morning. But that isn’t going to happen. Because Gus’s co-worker Benny has found a one-night job at the local Mollymart East, a job that has to be done by morning. If Gus and his paint crew can complete the work by then, it could mean huge business with a respected, established grocery store chain.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thank you!!!

  • By Brian on 04-20-18

Pre-Mountain Man Gus

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

Bottom line, if you like the Mountain Man series you will like this book.

You get the pre-story we fans have always wanted of how Gus goes from overweight painter to hard-bitten survivor. Keith Blackmore does a great job tying the originals back into this prequel and he's thankfully not sloppy about it. After listening to this one, I restarted the series and it was every bit as satisfying with round number 5 or 6.

I think I'd almost be interested to hear how someone would process the whole arc with this as a starting point rather than a flash back.

And, of course, you can't go wrong with RC Bray. He nails it once again, bringing a softer, gentler and scared-er Gus to us. Although this is probably the end of the line with this story, fans can always hope and against hope that Blackmore will be back with more Gus in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,964
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,527
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,534

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FLEETWOOD MAC

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 09-04-15

It was very good, not great

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

Reviewed: 04-17-18

I got this book based upon the reviews as well as the fact that I enjoy a good zombie story. It's like and not like other zombie stories in many ways. It takes a moral twist at the end that, while not unexpected, it sort of punctuated the entire journey.

I was good with the story most of the way but things got a bit murky at the end with some of the atmospherics. I found myself feeling obligated to finish it rather than really desiring to get to the end. That being said, I still gave it 4 stars just because it had an interesting take on the genre and a somewhat expected twist at the end.

The narration was good with Finty being a perfect choice. Not much variation in the voices but, the girl with the gifts is the focal point, and she captures that effectively.

I'm definitely glad I read the book before watching the movie. Not sure why the movie deviated from the characters in the way it did, but that was a bit disappointing. As usual, the book wins.