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JJ

LAUREL, MD, United States
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  • 36
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  • 52
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  • The Luddites

  • The History and Legacy of the English Rebels Who Protested Against Advanced Machinery During the Industrial Revolution
  • By: Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
  • Length: 1 hr and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

Meet the Luddites, a 19th-century brotherhood of rebels who vowed to annihilate every last one of the newfangled spinning machines that cost thousands their jobs. The Luddites' riots are indefensible, at least from the standpoint of violence, but they beg the question of whether the protests were nonsensical acts of rage carried out by thugs who sought to exploit imagined fears or desperate measures taken by those who felt neglected by the government. The Luddites chronicles the revolution and the negative reaction to it.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good brief look at the Luddites

  • By JJ on 01-31-19

Good brief look at the Luddites

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

Like me, you've probably heard the term "Luddites" being associated to people (aka. relatives) who are anti-technology. In my case, it's people who are afraid of the internet and Alexa "listening" to you at home. Maybe it's real, maybe not. But I personally wanted to understand where the term came from so I'm not just spouting buzz phrases without any knowledge.

This short overview of the Luddites is basically a research paper set to narration which does just that... it gives you a look into the history of the term and how the Luddites because known as a force in early industrial-age England.

What was interesting is how modern zeitgeist tends to white-wash real people's struggles into quippy buzz words. The Luddites were a real group of people fighting for real problems and, after listening, I have a better understanding of who they were and will be wiser in how I use the term from here on out.

I only rated it average because it was just that, average. But that's not to say it isn't worthwhile, but it's just not a gripping story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It was certainly worth the price.

  • Galaxy's Edge, Part III

  • By: Jason Anspach, Nick Cole
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 15 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 3,049
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,871
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,856

Daring heroics, sacrifice, and courage come together as the Legion attempts to contain the fire sparked at the Battle of Tarrago. But the galaxy is spiraling into all-out war. Captain Chhun's Dark Ops squad is reunited with Wraith. When their mission to deny Goth Sulluss the shipyards he so eagerly desires goes awry, Chhun and Wraith must find a way to stop the Black Fleet's advance - even if it costs them their lives. Meanwhile, an old friend from Nether Ops executes a covert operation that will turn the focus of the Last War of the Republic in a terrible new direction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • only problem I had

  • By kagan w on 08-18-18

Keeps getting better

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

Whenever I listen to Galaxy's Edge, I have to remind myself that these are novellas added together. That being said, the story just gets better and better. Part 3 is essentially two books joined together in one purchase, and it's well-worth the credit. It consists of "Sword of the Legion" (book 5) and "Prisoners of Darkness" (book 6), which mainly circulate around Chunn and the Kill Team, with Wraith back in the mix. This series has fast become one of my favorites and you can see the authors growing in the collaboration as the series continues.

As for the critique that the story are is a Star Wars knock-off... well, maybe. But it's exciting military sci-fi and thoroughly enjoyable. There's enough difference with a Star Wars universe and GE isn't getting dragged into political correctness like Disney is doing with Star Wars. GE is a quality space opera with more of a military sci-fi bent, and I would love to see it made into a TV series.

I only hope they get the next books in the series turned into audio (with RC Bray please!) as soon as possible. I'm probably just going to dust off my kindle and read them for real in the meantime.

Keep them coming!

  • 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 21,787
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,511
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,412

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 2,179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,049
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,038

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
  • This book had it all

  • By Magnus on 10-14-17

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 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 40,787
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 38,184
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38,076

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
  • Clean ending to a fantastic series

  • By Lily on 08-08-17

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 writer 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • 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 7,522
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,087
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,073

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 7,424
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,721
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,695

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not put off by narration

  • By jaspersu on 11-13-17

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 10,447
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,838
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,823

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 2,640
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,473

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 4,853
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,112
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,124

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