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Matthew

LOUISVILLE, KY, United States
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  • The Dark Tower I

  • The Gunslinger
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22,769
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,714
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20,684

In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces listeners to one of his most powerful creations: Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A long prologue

  • By Becky on 07-29-17

George Guidall, accept no imitations

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I first read this book many years ago in print, but listening to it with George Guidall's narration really made it pop. Guidall really brings out the dreamy, otherwordly essence of the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Way Down

  • Daniel Faust, Book 1
  • By: Craig Schaefer
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,251
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,169
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,169

Nobody knows the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas like Daniel Faust, a sorcerer for hire and ex-gangster who uses black magic and bullets to solve his clients' problems. When an old man comes seeking vengeance for his murdered granddaughter, what looks like a simple job quickly spirals out of control. Soon Daniel stands in the crossfire between a murderous porn director; a corrupt cop with a quick trigger finger; and his own former employer, a racket boss who isn't entirely human.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Overall pretty good

  • By Brian Allen on 02-04-15

Didn't scratch that Dresden Files itch

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I don't do much urban fantasy. Dresden Files is my main exposure there. I found this on sale and decided to experiment outside the Dresden box. The writing was very competent and the pacing was decent, but I felt like I lacked that consistent, rule-based universe that unfolds in Dresden files or books like Mistborn. I didn't feel like I knew the rules the protagonist has to play by in this magical universe that well, which made it less interesting to see the magic unfold.

Also, the protagonist didn't really interest me as much as I had hoped. It's dark and edgy and I can see others who really dig urban fantasy enjoying this book a great deal, but it wasn't quite my cup of tea.

Back to waiting for Dresden Files #16, again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alien: Out of the Shadows

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,001
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,329
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,311

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man. When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a work that I highly recommend

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 05-02-16

Better than Prometheus and Covenant (Combined)

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I listened to this pretty much all in one go on the drive home for the holidays, and I was entranced the whole way. Typically, I'm leery of extended universe stories like this because I've seen enough of them that feel too hackneyed to me: they don't add anything to the existing universe and are mainly there to squeeze more money out of the franchise.

This story, however, was surprisingly engaging. The audio drama uses a great cast (Laurel Lefkow really should get top billing for her portrayal as Ripley) integrated with effects and ambient noises that feel just right. 70's and 80's spaceships seemed to have a different feel than those today: they were oppressive, crammed to the gills with pipes and heavy doors and bulky computers with CRT monitors. This audio drama catches that perfectly for me and made this universe--with what we could consider "dated" technology--feel like it was consistent and believable.

The story is a nice extension of the Ripley story between Alien and Aliens. The ending--where Ripley is back on her way towards Earth (she thinks) in the Nostromo's escape shuttle--is a bit contrived, but it had to be to fit the canon of the films.

Overall this was a fun dip in to the Alien universe. I liked it better than Prometheus or Covenant (combined).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • I Am Legend

  • By: Richard Matheson
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,882
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,899

In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Everyone else has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he stalks the sleeping undead, by night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Superb!

  • By Steven Casper on 01-24-08

The definitive recording of a horror classic

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

Don't trust the film adaptations. You haven't experienced this story until you have read the original. The book is a little dated, but it still feels fresh and exciting, especially with Robertson Dean's narration.

As far as Robert Neville knows, he's the last normal human in a world overrun by vampires. The pressure of that, the responsibility of that, weighs on him in very believable ways. By day he hunts them where they sleep, and by night he struggles to block out the sounds of the ones that try to get him to come out of his fortified house. It's a classic story of a man trying to find hope and purpose in a world full of monsters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Angles of Attack

  • Frontlines, Book 3
  • By: Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,934
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,575
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,560

The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system's edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard, cut off from the rest of the galaxy by the Lanky blockade, teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story! Preformance was well done!

  • By Mike Morrow on 04-22-15

Exciting continuation of Lines of Departure

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

This installment continues where Lines of Departure left off. Kloos does a good job of raising the stakes for humanity in these two volumes. Grayson is a little less active than in the first two novels because a lot of the action happens on ships where he is a passenger. This is not to say that he isn't integral to the plot still. Rather, I mean to say despite this the book still maintains excellent pacing and development.

I devoured this book quickly last year and I'm on my second listen-through of the series. For someone who doesn't gravitate towards military science fiction much, that's no small feat!

  • Terms of Enlistment

  • Frontlines, Book 1
  • By: Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,564
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,964
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,951

The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you’re restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid military sci-fi.

  • By DAVE on 02-11-14

Much More Enjoyable than I Expected

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I don't always like military science fiction. I like a healthy dose of action, but the tone some works can strike is a bit much for me. I'm more than a little put off by just how pompous Heinlen's narrator in Starship Troopers comes off, for example. I was hesitant about this book, but I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised by it and I'm listening through the entire series for the second time now.

The protagonist, Andrew Grayson, grew up in the overpopulated urban sprawl that is Public Residence Cluster (PRC) Boston 7. He joins the North American Commonwealth military so that he can have a chance at a better life (or at least a life where he has some kind of power over his own fate). This initial volume covers his training, his first experiences as a soldier, and his involvement in a struggle that will define his life for years to come.

Grayson isn't a one-dimensional, remorseless, kill-happy grunt.He's sympathetic to a reader/listener like me because he's introspective without sounding like a cynical burnout. He comes across as someone trying to make the best of a limited set of options in life.

The world Kloos has put together feels very vibrant and real without being too overbearing with the world building. I catch more nuances of it as I listen through the series for a second time.

The action scenes are well put together and they drive the character story well.

Luke Daniels does an excellent job of narration. I don't think I can disassociate his voice from the character of Andrew Grayson at this point, and I mean that in a good way.

  • Waterloo

  • The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Bernard Cornwell, Dugald Bruce Lockhart
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,124
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,937
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,930

From the New York Times best-selling author comes the definitive history of one of the greatest battles ever fought - a riveting nonfiction chronicle published to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of Napoleon's last stand.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not a close run thing!

  • By carl801 on 05-13-15

Strong telling with great narration.

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

Reviewed: 06-08-17

As a layman in military matters, I find it easy to get lost when the description of a battle becomes a dense bramble of jargon. Cornwell does a great job of balancing the larger perspectice with close details where appropriate, and he offers clear and insightful explanations of the ins and outs of 19th century warfare. If you came to this because of Cornwell's historical novels--the Sharpe series in particular--then you are in for a treat.

  • Lines of Departure

  • Frontlines, Book 2
  • By: Marko Kloos
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,783
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,346
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,331

Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos. Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the solar system. Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is Commonwealth Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than the first book

  • By David on 03-14-15

Well-Paced and Deeper than Book 1

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

Reviewed: 03-02-17

I bought the first book in this series on sale, and I was looking for something light yet action-packed (I'm a teacher and it's mid-terms, so I don't have the brain power for complex lit at the moment). This book certainly filled that need!

Kloos writes battles in an accessible but exciting way. He knows when to move fast and when to slow down and explain things a bit more.

There are a lot of technological conveniences that aren't explained much (gravity plates, FTL travel, etc) but the book overall was enjoyable enough that I could turn off my Hard SF critic and appreciate the ride.

The first book felt like a set up for this one. Yes, many important things happened to the protagonist, but I didn't feel like Andrew Greyson gained real depth until this book. He seems more distraught by the troubles in his past, even more-so than he was when they were happening in Book 1. This made him more human to me and thus more relatable.

I started Book 1 about a week ago and I am in the middle of book 3 now. Normally I don't devour audiobooks this quickly, but the stories are paced very well and never lull.

Luke Daniels' narration is enjoyable. I do notice some characters start sounding alike after a while, but in general these are good performances.

  • The Rhesus Chart

  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 854
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 779
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781

As a newly appointed junior manager within the Laundry - the clandestine organization responsible for protecting Britain against supernatural threats - Bob Howard is expected to show some initiative to help the agency battle the forces of darkness. But shining a light on things best left in the shadows is the last thing Bob wants to do - especially when those shadows hide an occult parasite spreading a deadly virus. Traders employed by a merchant bank in London are showing signs of infection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I just plain loved this book

  • By Angus on 07-23-14

Flabby

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

Reviewed: 07-23-16

Unlike many other reviewers, I enjoyed the previous installment (the Apocalypse Codex) much more than this one. This book stalls on the action, repeats exposition like its on a loop, overloads on soliloquy, and has a few disorienting jumps that break the flow. Gideon Emry's narration is spot on as always, but it couldnt save this one for me.

I like the Laundry books for their mix of Lovecraftian horror, detective and spy tropes, wry humor, and office politics. I have listened to each installment several times each. The Rhesus Chart disappoints me, though. If you were hoping for 90% office politics, then this book is for you. I would have a hard time recommending this one to anyone but committed Laundry fans.

This book srtuck me as flabby; it would have been twice as good if it was half as long.

  • NOS4A2

  • A Novel
  • By: Joe Hill
  • Narrated by: Kate Mulgrew
  • Length: 19 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,345
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,640
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,631

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping performance by Kate Mulgrew....

  • By Leslie on 05-06-13

Not as tight as Heart Shaped Box

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

Reviewed: 07-13-16

Despite Kate Mulgrew's excellent narration, I struggled through this book. I came to it after listening to Heart Shaped Box, but I found that this book did not share the tight focus and plotting of that book. It is imaginative and disturbing in all the right places, but I found myself really wanting a shorter novel (or maybe evem two novels, considering the scope of this book) that had a more even pace.