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Matthew

Fortson, GA, United States
  • 10
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 88
  • ratings
  • With Blood upon the Sand

  • By: Bradley P. Beaulieu
  • Narrated by: Sarah Coomes
  • Length: 30 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim - that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will - but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful addition to the story!

  • By superstardrifter on 10-09-17

I never give five stars, but...

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

Reviewed: 09-19-17

Would you listen to With Blood upon the Sand again? Why?

I would absolutely read this book/series again, and look forward to doing just that when the next book comes out.

What was one of the most memorable moments of With Blood upon the Sand?

The climax at the end was a real show-stopper. I literally couldn't stop listening for the last few hours. There was just the right amount of action, tension, and the coming together of multiple threads.

Have you listened to any of Sarah Coomes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have only heard one other performance by Sarah Coome, but I am in love with her voice. She's quickly becoming my favorite voice actor. She's great with accents, and capturing emotion. My -only- critique is that, her shouts are more like loud whispers. But otherwise, she's nearly flawless. I could listen to her voice all day. If had to choose someone to perform my own writing, she'd be at the top of my list. And I mean that with all sincerity.

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

I felt excitement, but nothing extreme.

Any additional comments?

I've heard this series compared to Arabian Nights, which is a disservice to both stories, because they really are vastly different. The setting is similar, but this story is far more dynamic than the collection of tales that is Arabian Nights. Here, we have multiple story threads that are equally alluring to read, which is rare for a story of this scope. Usually I have a favorite character to follow, and just suffer through the other story lines until that character comes back around, but I was invested across the board. The characters are unique, as they are and compared to one another. Their motivations feel natural, as do their actions and reactions. The political machinations are intriguing to follow. And, on the whole, this series, and this second book in particular, is a fantastic and addictive read. It left me positively craving more, but not feeling like I was sold short in the least. With as well-crafted and told a story as this is, I feel it stands out enough over even some of the best stories I've read, which is why I gave it a very rare (for me) five star rating. Between the story itself and the performance, it more than earned it.

  • The Light of Life

  • The Cycle of Galand, Book 4
  • By: Edward W. Robertson
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 21 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5,594
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,257
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,227

After a year of fighting across three different lands, Dante and Blays have finally brought Gladdic to justice - and in the process, they've unleashed a horror beyond all reckoning. The enemy is known as the White Lich. He is ancient. He is immensely powerful. And Gladdic believes he will soon enslave all of Tanar Atain. Their only chance to defeat him is to strike fast, before the lich has regained his power. But attacking him directly would be suicide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant! More Please!!

  • By Jeremy on 07-16-17

The best in the series (so far)

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

This series keeps getting better and better. This book introduces a fully, richer history of its world, full of questions and intrigue, depth and allure. It also flawlessly pulls off one of the most difficult elements of story telling: it redeems an unredeemable character organically, without once feeling forced-something I typically -have- to see am author flounder in attempting, but which not only felt natural in this case, but engaging. It's been awhile since I've been so eager for the next release in a series. Kudos, Mr. Robertson.

  • The Godling Chronicles Omnibus

  • Books 1-3
  • By: Brian D. Anderson
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 35 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,004
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,849
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,859

Darkness comes as a new power rises in Angrääl. The Dark Knight has betrayed the gods and stolen The Sword of Truth, trapping them in heaven. With the power of the Sword, he can reshape the world and bring death to all who oppose him. Only one thing stands between the darkness and the light - Gewey Stedding. Only he has the power to stand against the oncoming storm. Only he can mend the world. But only if he can discover his power.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meandering Tale, weak characters

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-20-15

Lower your standards if you plan to read this.

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

Reviewed: 10-19-16

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Apologies in advance to the author; I am loathe to give a negative review, but it's needed--if only to counter the absurd number of undeserved 5-star reviews on here.

The writing itself was fine for the most part; the author certainly has the talent to make something great in the future. The problem is that there's nothing new or compelling in the story. The characters are lackluster and rather cliché; the wizened guide, the godlike hero who you are never really concerned with because, hey, he's a god(ling), the somewhat forced love-interest, etc. And the "omnibus" itself feels like one, meandering book, with unnatural divisions in it to force three books out of it. That might have made sense to have smaller physical books on the shelves in a big box book store, but as it is, it feels completely unnecessary and, if anything, a distracting interruption in the reading.

It desperately needs a better editor to give a harsh critique, to push the author to reconsider his choices for the story as a whole, and guide him to seek more creative elements. Instead, it feels like he just went with whatever his first idea happened to be from scene to scene. It's nothing a good author won't learn from over time, which is why I don't recommend you give up on him just yet; this book is just not quite "there."

What was most disappointing about Brian D. Anderson’s story?

I found myself not caring what happened to the characters.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Godling Chronicles Omnibus?

It needs a better ending. Granted, it's just ond part of a bigger story, but as it is, it doesnt feel self-contained.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Golden Son

  • Book II of the Red Rising Trilogy
  • By: Pierce Brown
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 19 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 25,403
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 23,493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,424

Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • i love this story

  • By Gus on 05-28-17

A fantastic follow-up to Red Rising

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

Reviewed: 08-30-16

Sequels are so often the downfall of stories, either because they're capitalizing on the success of the original story and hastily thrown together, or their clumsily edited material that was cut from the original but not substantial enough to stand on its own. But every once in awhile, you come across a book like Golden Son, that feels well-planned, and structured as a solid piece of an ongoing story, but one that can also stand on its own two feet. -AND- it's wonderfully written to boot.
I rarely ever give 5 star reviews, but Pierce Brown has earned it! This series has carved a solid place in my all-time top 10 favorite stories list, and I don't particularly care for sci-fi, so that's quite a feat. I will absolutely be following Pierce Brown as a lifelong reader.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Warrior's Path

  • The Castes and the OutCastes Book 1
  • By: Davis Ashura
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 17 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,530
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,244
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,228

Sweeping from the majestic city of Ashoka to the perilous Wildness beyond her borders, enter a world where Caste determines mystical Talents, the purity of Jivatma expresses worth, and dharma may be based on a lie.Rukh Shektan has always understood duty. As a member of Caste Kumma, the warrior Caste, nothing else is acceptable. He is expected to take part in the deadly Trials, to journey the Wildness and protect the caravans linking Humanity's far-flung cities. Though the mission is dangerous, Rukh's hope and optimism are undaunted. Karma, however, is a fickle fiend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • pleasantly surprised

  • By Cory on 10-06-15

Well-written, but not engaging

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

Reviewed: 08-22-16

The stars of the rating aren't a fair review on their own, but it's honest. Fans of Terry Goodkind will probably -love- these books, but I am not a fan. These three books are not three, but one, and do not function as independent books. Taken as one, they're more palatable, but not apart. They're very well-written, but lack direction. They're full of the most unapologetic of cliches, which can be fun, but left me rolling my eyes more often than not. And while I love some of the tropes of fantasy, and usually don't mind if I've seen it a dozen times before, here, they felt... Well, lazy. This could have been something new, and refreshing, but instead it comes off as lacking depth, or direction. I think the author has a chance to really shine as they hone their story-telling skill, but they'll have to put more thought into how they execute the stories. For this book, it needed a strict editor to challenge the author further. So, in the end, I can't recommend this book (with the exception of die-hard Goodkind or Brooks fans), but I can say that it might be worth giving this author a shot again down the line. They've got the talent, they just need the direction that comes with good alpha-readers and experience.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Desert God

  • A Novel of Ancient Egypt
  • By: Wilbur Smith
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady
  • Length: 15 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 298

Game of Thrones meets Ancient Egypt in this magnificent, action-packed epic. On the gleaming banks of the Nile, the brilliant Taita - slave and advisor to the Pharaoh - finds himself at the center of a vortex of passion, intrigue, and danger. His quest to destroy the Hyksos army and form an alliance with Crete takes him on an epic journey up the Nile, through Arabia and the magical city of Babylon, and across the open seas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The wily Taita returns again

  • By Blue Dragonfly on 10-24-14

An excellent sequel

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

Reviewed: 07-11-16

After the exceedingly beautiful story that is River God (which I just read for the sixth time, because it's just that good) and the comparatively abysmal Warlock (which some people loved, but I like to pretend doesn't exist), Desert God recaptures the magic that made River God so mesmorizing. While no sequel could ever supersede River God, which was nothing less than perfection, Desert God really does feel like a natural, and gratifying continuation of the story. It's not forced in any way, as so many sequels often are, and feels more like a continuation of the same story rather than a self-contained add-on (although I believe it's just self-contained enough to function as a standalone). It's was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I look forward to re-reading it again in the near future.

  • A Thief of Nightshade

  • By: J. S. Chancellor
  • Narrated by: Romy Nordlinger
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

alar isn't real. At least, it wasn't supposed to be. Aubrey never expected to fall in love with and marry her graduate writing professor Jullian. His life's work, a grim fantasy titled A Thief of Nightshade encompassed everything Aubrey hated about fairy tales and make-believe. After Jullian goes missing and is eventually presumed dead, Aubrey discovers just how make-believe the world of Nightshade is.…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful journey!

  • By Adam on 01-16-13

A fairy (faerie) tale for adults

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

Reviewed: 09-17-15

This is one of my favorite books. It's an unusual, but refreshingly realistic fairy tale in the vein of Grimm's and Pan's Labyrinth that's a twist between romance and fantasy. It's surprisingly deep, and the story is creatively told by alternating chapters so the reader is right in the action but also getting the depth of character development that usually only comes from a long book series. I'm a guy who likes guy fantasy and unique fiction, so this story definitely fits for both a male or a female readers. It's charming, witty, and endearing, and most of all, WELL-WRITTEN, so I count it as a must read.

  • River God

  • A Novel of Ancient Egypt
  • By: Wilbur Smith
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 24 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 870
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 874

Ancient Egypt. Land of the Pharaohs. A kingdom built on gold. A legend shattered by greed. Now the Valley of Kings lies ravaged by war, drained of its lifeblood, as weak men inherit the cherished crown. On the eve of the festival of Osiris, the loyal subjects of the Pharaoh gather in Thebes to pay tribute to their leader.

Exploding with all the passion and rage of a bygone time, River God is a masterpiece of historical writing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Highly recommended

  • By Jillian on 02-19-09

Favorite book ever.

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

Reviewed: 05-28-15

I've read this book 5 times now over the last decade and it is just as good every time. I'm not a huge Wilbur Smith fan, but this book is just amazing. It's so intriguing, and exciting, and moving. I can't praise it enough. Even more than ten years after my first reading (listening really, because the audiobook performance is fantastic) I still don't have the words to express just how perfectly told this story is.

  • Royal Airs

  • Elemental Blessings, Book 2
  • By: Sharon Shinn
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 297

Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city. Rafe Adova, an outcast since he was born, lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no ambition other than cheating at the card tables - until the night he decides to help a girl named Corene, who looks like she's stumbled into the wrong bar.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nice contiune of Troubled Waters

  • By Coral on 12-30-13

An enjoyable sequal

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

Reviewed: 05-07-15

I don't have anything negative to say about this book or the audio performance. It was a worth reading all the way through.

  • Icarus

  • The Kindred
  • By: J. S. Chancellor
  • Narrated by: Rachel Anslover
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20

Don't get me wrong; immortality does have its perks. Take dieting for example-kind of hard to do when you've only got two choices: fresh blood and slightly less fresh blood. The media makes it all out to be glamorous. Romantic, even. But the books, movies and witty television shows have it wrong. Especially the ones that make a big to-do about not being wrong (you know, the ones that spell vampire Vampyr, like it's original).And don't think for a second that I was turned in some amazing, soul-binding, body-meshing way either.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The opposite of everything in its genre

  • By Matthew on 11-21-12

The opposite of everything in its genre

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

Reviewed: 11-21-12

For those of you who prefer your vampires to be sparky, sarcastic, cliché-repellant, and kick-a**, look no further than Jessica Slate. She also has a pretty good love life, which helps her be anything but a woeful damsel torn between lovers, or chaste until she can decide. Yeah, that's definitely not this book. This book turns vampire novels on their heads and pokes them with a stick. It's like a fantasy/adventure/romance story, but somehow still a vampire novel despite defying everything else that drags down the genre. It really is like JS Chancellor read hundreds of vamp books, watched a ton of bad sci-fi flicks, then decided to write a book that succeeds in avoiding, and frequently poking fun at (and sometimes outright mocking) everything that makes your eyes roll at the cheesiness, all without taking itself too seriously. It still has its fair share of weighty moments, but the natural tension of a good story, regardless of genre, is present, but hand in hand with what can only be described as good fun.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful