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Christopher

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 72
  • ratings
  • Battlefield Ukraine

  • Red Storm Series, Book 1
  • By: James Rosone, Miranda Watson
  • Narrated by: Joel Richards
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 69
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 69

In Battlefield Ukraine, all the usual suspects are hard at work: battles over resources, money, and miscommunication. This predictive novel explores a potential war between NATO and Russia over the fate of the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Lines have been drawn in the sand, but how firm are they? Will the massive disinformation campaign by the Russians trick the new American administration to do their bidding? Will the new American president back down, or will the world creep one step closer toward global war?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Story!

  • By Ronnie Hill on 02-05-19

Decently written Trumpian World View

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

At the risk of a spoiler, President Gates is very clearly Donald Trump. The book takes a favorable view of his style (firing everyone and locking up members of the opposition party). But if you can handle the politics, it’s not a bad thriller. I would give the story 2.5 stars if I could.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Invasion: A Military Thriller

  • Invasion Series, Book 1
  • By: DC Alden
  • Narrated by: Alan Medcroft
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 23

A massive truck bomb detonates outside the gates of Downing Street. Passenger jets are blasted out of the sky. Jihadi terror attacks kill thousands. In a fortified bunker beneath Whitehall, British Prime Minister Harry Beecham can barely catch his breath. Family and friends are dead. All he can do now is run, escape the city before it falls. As the invasion gathers pace and England buckles before the military onslaught, Harry and his team are forced to abandon their HQ and head far to the north.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cliff hanger, I cant wait for

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-15-19

Right wing conspiracy fiction poorly executed.

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

Do Muslims scare you? Do you think that thier religion prevents them from being loyal citizens of a western democracy? And do you believe that political correctness, diversity, and immigration pose existential threats to western culture? If you answered yes to any of those questions then you will like this book.

Invasion has it all: a caliphate bent on world domination, a Muslim fifth column large to take out a national army and every single police force in the country, misguided liberals whose tolerance and political correctness makes them pawns of terrorists or actual collaborators, and a few clear eyed conservatives who alone see the danger to their society but of course aren’t listened too.

I bought this audiobook because I am a sucker for a good military thriller and the premise seems like it could support a good yarn. While there is some attempt at character development, the setup for the invasion is not well fleshed out. The authors goes from bemoaning political correctness, to describing a few terrorist attacks, a sudden military invasion that takes over Europe almost overnight, and a few valiant rear guard actions of a broken military. Oh, and apparently Muslim communities took out every single police force and Military base in England and Wales almost overnight—although the details of how they did this aren’t well fleshed out.

I like military thrillers that focus on strategy and tactical details. When done well, these details help me suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride. But this book felt like listening to my uncle after his fourth glass of wine at Thanksgiving expound on why we need a wall to keep bad hombres out. Pork rinds and “lock her up” poster not included.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Ice Station Nautilus

  • A Novel
  • By: Rick Campbell
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 266

Russia's new ballistic missile submarine, Yuriy Dolgorukiy, is being deployed on its first patrol while America's newest fast-attack submarine, North Dakota, is assigned to trail it and collect intel. As the Russian submarine heads under the polar ice cap, its sonar readings reveal the trailing American sub and cause the Russians to begin a radical evasive maneuver. This, however, fails, and the submarines collide, resulting in damage that sends both to the bottom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book.

  • By Barbara & Russ Spaulding on 07-04-16

A good story rushed.

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

This could have been a much better book if it spent more time on details outside of action scenes and provided some character development. As it stands, it was enjoyable but not great.

  • The Fall of Heaven

  • The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
  • By: Andrew Scott Cooper
  • Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
  • Length: 22 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

In this remarkably human portrait of one of the 20th century's most complicated personalities, author Andrew Scott Cooper traces Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He highlights the turbulence of the postwar era, during which the shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent account of a pivotal and sad time

  • By Guerin Shea on 09-05-16

Author Bias Dilutes Argument

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

This is a difficult read. If you empathize with the primary actors (the Shah and family), this is a frustrating book—that is the fault of the subject matter, not the author. There are no happy endings here. If you do not empathize with the characters, the book will drag because it is so focused on the dynasty-rather than a broader history of the times. My primary complaint against this book is the author’s overwhelming bias in favor of the Shah. The bias itself is less the problem than how it gets in the way of the author’s own thesis. The author believes that the Shah has been maligned by history, and abuses I’m under his reign either invented or exaggerated. In fact, the author does a good job of assembling facts and explanations in support of his argument and I came away agreeing that the Shah’s crimes were overstated and some of the criticism against him unfair. The problem is that the author goes too far and presents a portrait of the Shah as a man who could not hurt a fly and who could have stayed on the throne but refused to see a single Iranian with so much as a bloody nose (actual language from the book). The author does this by focusing on the Shahs statements of regret or pacific desires such that when the book hastily recites some facts a that could not be avoided in telling the story, it comes as a jarring cognitive dissonance. The book would have been more persuasive if the argument was not so overplayed. But the author relates it so much that it almost becomes laughable t the 35rh retelling.

The entire book can be summarized in one short dialogue that the author repeats at least 50 times with only minimal variation:
-Loyal General/Governor/Minister: Sire, the enemy is organizing. Thousands will die of you don’t order the army to put down the mob
-Shah: no don’t do that. Everything will be fine and I don’t want to see anyone hurt.
-Loyal General/Governor/Minister: But sire, many more will die if you don’t send in the army. The people WANT a firm ruler.
Shah: I don’t have it in me to give the order. Give them more freedom instead
-Loyal General/Governor/Minister: But sire, we will surely die if you don’t take firm measures and the Iranian people will be so much worse off if you don’t
-Shah/ I cannot. My souls is gentle come what may. I’m just a shy guy who only looks stern on TV.
*wash, rinse, repeat* (with a few diversions relating to the Shah’s marriages and carousing)

If you found the foregoing dialogue compelling then you are in for a treat with this book. If you think that dialogue would get tiresome after a dozen telling, this may not be the book for you. But if you skip it, you will miss out on the author wistfully reciting Saddam Hussein’s “prescient advice” that “better a few thousand die now then tens of thousands later” (exhorting the Shah to, you guessed it, send in the army).

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Second Korean War

  • By: Ted Halstead
  • Narrated by: Cody Banning
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 45
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 44

Two Russian agents discover a missing nuclear weapon was hidden in an American city by North Korea. Another nuclear weapon nears Seoul in a tunnel built by North Koreans. And North Korea's new military dictator launches an all-out invasion. Will Seoul or Pyongyang be the new capital of a united Korea? 

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Narration Failure

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-08-19

Predictable and uninspired with terrible production quality

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

I do not expect much from this type of action book— just some mild entertainment on my commute . As a consequence I am rarely disappointed . This book disappointed me.

The story: the story was an uninspired linear thriller with no twists or character development to engage the reader. It is hard to point to anything that the author did wrong; the book has the usual elements of the genre, story arc, and wooden characters. It’s just that the author did not do much that was particularly right. It feels like he meant to write a much longer book and was told halfway through to start wrapping it up. The end builds on storylines that were never properly developed and the story crashes more than it ends. I have read many books in this genre and I never write reviews. This one was that bad

Narration: the narrators voice was acceptable, although he spoke a little too quickly. Slowing the speed down to 75% was too much but just barely. Where’s the narration really failed was in the production quality. There are countless times during the story where the narrator picks up halfway through a sentence in a different tone of voice, skips words, or misreads something. I don’t know how to rate this because I don’t see these kinds of issues much in other audiobooks. Basic editing and production should be a given. This was slovenly.

  • An Echo of Things to Come

  • The Licanius Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: James Islington
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 26 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,645
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,178
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,146

In the wake of a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs - finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra. As the Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, however, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late. His ally in the Capital, the new Northwarden, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous political secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Footnotes, please!

  • By Joe B. on 09-10-17

Good story that trips over itself at times.

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

Reviewed: 09-24-17

This is a well-written book but can be a bit dense because there are so many twists and foreshadowing events (perhaps a few more than are consistent with good storytelling and some that seem out of order). I would recommend this to anyone who read the first book in the series but I would not try to pick this up cold. While the personal relationships are interesting the characters could be more compelling, with personalities more clearly defined apart from their roles in the book. Only Davian and Wirr's mother present much in the way of character development. For anyone not familiar with the first book, I recommend keeping track of when characters first meet because time does not follow a linear path and keeping track of those first meetings will help you get more out of the story.

The narration is very good with differentiated voices for the different characters and a pace that is neither too fast nor slow.

  • Ararat

  • By: Christopher Golden
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 647
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 593
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 591

Christopher Golden's Ararat is the heart-pounding tale of an adventure that goes wrong - on a biblical scale. When an earthquake reveals a secret cave hidden inside Mount Ararat in Turkey, a daring, newly engaged couple are determined to be the first ones inside...and what they discover will change everything. The cave is actually a buried ancient ship that many quickly come to believe is Noah's Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good story

  • By Shaymus on 10-19-17

Decent story and narrator

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

Reviewed: 05-04-17

It is a decent story although I would have wished for some more historical context or tie ins. The narrator was quite good EXCEPT that his voice acting of female characters was beyond atrocious.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The 14th Colony

  • A Novel
  • By: Steve Berry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,021
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,827
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,822

What happens if both the president and vice-president-elect die before taking the oath of office? The answer is far from certain - in fact, what follows would be nothing short of total political chaos. Shot down over Siberia, ex-Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is forced into a fight for survival against Aleksandr Zorin, a man whose loyalty to the former Soviet Union has festered for decades into an intense hatred of the United States.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 stars after I overcame my doubts!

  • By Wayne on 04-06-16

Decent book to pay half attention to.

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

Reviewed: 01-19-17

Good subject matter but predictable storyline with a few interesting twists. But a reader's horizon (how far ahead in the book you can accurately predict what will happen) is quite long. The writing is competent but far from inspired. The narrator has a great voice and reads at a good pace. He does however make a few mistakes ("Benjamin Washington" was not our first president) that alert editors should have caught. Overall, I would recommend this book for a commute where you can tune in and out, but this is not a book worthy of curling up with.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Larry Bond's Red Dragon Rising

  • Shock of War
  • By: Larry Bond, Jim DeFelice
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 68

Under secret orders from the president, U.S. Army Major Zeus Murphy sabotages a Chinese invasion fleet on the eve of its assault against Vietnam. But Murphy and fellow officer Win Christian are trapped behind enemy lines after Christian’s erratic behavior gives them away. Back in America, President Chester Greene fails to convince Congress or the Pentagon that the Chinese invasion of Vietnam is the first step in a plan to rule Asia – and eventually go to war with the United States.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By Robert on 05-17-12

Decent Military Thriller with Great Narration

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

Reviewed: 12-28-16

The narration was great and the overarching plot good but there were some holes in the story and areas that should have been expanded on.

  • Red Phoenix

  • By: Larry Bond
  • Narrated by: J. Charles
  • Length: 23 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 548
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550

This is the book that dares to show us the military hardware, global upheavals, and raw combat a second Korean War would unleash. How F-16s would blast across the 38th Parallel. How ultra-modern submarines would vie for the seas. And how two armies would turn the snowfields of Asia red with blood. A thundering geopolitical thriller of vast scope, this is Red Phoenix - and a new standard for military/political suspense fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Second Korean War, as Fought in 1989

  • By Aser Tolentino on 04-13-12

Ok military thriller with uneven narration.

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

Reviewed: 11-30-16

This is a good, standard issue military thriller. It is not exceptionally well written but it does not purport to be more than what its cover art shows. My only objection to the writing is there seem to be some events that were cut from the final draft (this is not abridged) and the author forgot to go back and remove references from later in the book. This could have been a brilliant book with excellent tactical narration, etc but it did not try to be and it wasn't.

The narrator's voice acting is quite good for the Caucasian characters. Unfortunately, he makes Kim Jong Il sound exactly like an angry Kermit the Frog. You will see what I mean when you read it but it is hard to suspend disbelief when you keep thinking that the main antagonist is only angry because it is not easy being green. This nitpicking aside I do recommend the book as satisfying for commutes, etc. it is "high carb" low nutritional value reading.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful