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Charles Grayson

Memphis, TN USA
  • 60
  • reviews
  • 313
  • helpful votes
  • 110
  • ratings
  • War God's Mantle: Ascension

  • The War God Saga, Book 1
  • By: James Hunter, Aaron Crash
  • Narrated by: Armen Taylor
  • Length: 13 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 813

When Marine Corps pilot Jacob Merely crashes during a routine mission off the coast of Cyprus, he was sure it was game over. After surviving the crash and pulling himself onto the sandy shores of a long-abandoned island, however, Jacob unwittingly stumbles headfirst into the ancient ruins of a dead city. Unfortunately, he also stumbles into an age-old battle between good and evil - and he is now its newest recruit. The island once belonged to the Amazons, but Jacob’s arrival has awakened the old gods and disturbed the seal holding the ravaging darkness at bay.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When you absolutely MUST LEVEL UP!

  • By Ray Johnson on 03-08-18

Tries too hard

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

Reviewed: 08-23-18

I liked the author's Viridian Gate series, but this one didn't do it for me. Issues: 1) The harem situation is tedious, a 15-year-old's fantasy. 2) Too much trying to use "cool" language, like "dude", "yo", and "bitchin".

  • Planetside

  • By: Michael Mammay
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 872
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 822

War heroes aren't usually called out of semi-retirement and sent to the far reaches of the galaxy for a routine investigation. So when Colonel Carl Butler answers the call from an old and powerful friend, he knows it's something big - and he's not being told the whole story. A high councilor's son has gone MIA out of Cappa Base, the space station orbiting a battle-ravaged planet. The young lieutenant had been wounded and evacuated - but there's no record of him having ever arrived at hospital command. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refreshing Sci-Fi

  • By Chris Duemig on 08-01-18

Pretty good thriller, so-so detective story

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

Reviewed: 08-14-18

I liked the idea behind the detective story in this book, but the main character wasn't actually very good at it. He got frustrated and angry at the lack of success in the first day or two, he constantly interrupted people as they were trying to tell him important information, and he berated people who confided their secrets to him. What he ended up discovering had little to do with his efforts but just sort of happened to him as he stumbled about.

The ultimate *bad thing* that he had to work to prevent actually didn't seem that bad to me...the catastrophic results he envisioned were very implausible, so the book failed to create the heightened sense of urgency needed for true suspense. And his solution to the *bad thing* seemed extreme and unwarranted.

Still, it was entertaining and RC Bray is always worth listening to.

  • Space Knight

  • By: Michael-Scott Earle
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,400
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,326
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,323

In a universe where technology and magic co-exist, Nicholas Lyons desires one thing: to serve his queen as a Space Knight in the Royal Trident Forces. But when his final mission as an Academy cadet goes horribly wrong, Nicholas discovers he possesses illegal magical abilities that grant him power far beyond that of a normal man, knight, or mage. When a clandestine assignment lands Nicholas on the worst starship in the kingdom’s fleet, he finds a motley crew of warriors hiding their own terrible secret. Death and betrayal lurk around every corner.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • MSE writes another almost, pretty good book.

  • By Christopher on 08-21-18

Inventive Universe

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

The author creates a universe much like you see in LitRPG, with character stats, experience points, looting, dungeon crawling, etc, but the universe is portrayed as a real one, not a game. The characters who inhabit this universe, sadly, have cartoonish motives and their interactions are bit like how a child imagines adults behaving, making it hard to care about them. I found myself counting down the minutes until the story was over.

I'm generally not a Nick Podehl pan, because his narration strikes only a single note, one that works in frantic actions scenes, but is overwrought in less dramatic situations. In this story, however, his excesses aren't totally inappropriate because most of the story involves some drama.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A Power Renewed

  • Sentinels of Creation, Volume 1
  • By: Robert W. Ross
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 247
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229

Out of the smoldering ruins of the war in heaven, the Archangels Raphael and Michael cannot believe the agreement made between God and his Morning Star, Lucifer. Unwilling to either destroy the fallen angel or leave him with a free hand upon the world, God sets in motion a struggle that will span the millennia from creation to present day. Two Sentinels are invested with the ability to bend the laws of creation to their will and each represents the primal forces of Order and Chaos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 STARS WELL EARNED

  • By alex on 04-24-17

Exposition ad nauseum

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

I could stand only the first two hours before quitting. The characters talk on and on and on trying to lay out the groundwork for the story and it was boring. And not funny.

I think I'm not generally a Nick Podehl fan. He tries to imbue the most innocuous sentence with drama, which is a bit too much. Drama should be reserved for dramatic situations.



0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Graduation Day

  • Schooled in Magic, Book 14
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 492
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 490

Frieda is one of Emily’s closest friends, a young girl she saved from Mountaintop and brought back to Whitehall. But Frieda found herself the victim of a deadly soul-destroying plot - and the true target may well be Emily herself. Now, after Emily saved Frieda from a magician who was slowly driving her mad, Frieda stands accused of attempted murder - and worse. She must now stand trial for her crimes. Worse, Fulvia - Matriarch of House Ashworth - has returned. Humiliated by Emily years ago, Fulvia burns for revenge - and the chance to regain her lost power.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • love the author, and the story, but

  • By Jack on 05-25-18

Improvement over Gordian Knot

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

Emily either lets people run all over her or she explodes at those who get in her way...she doesn't seem to have a medium setting where she's confident and assertive. For about 3/4 of this book, she's feckless and indecisive. Then she gets pissed off and goes on a rampage. I would have expected more character growth by now. I am glad that she's gotten a new boyfriend with a bit of personality.



0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lusam

  • The Dragon Mage Wars, Book 5
  • By: Dean Cadman
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 16 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,040
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 978
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 974

After failing to completely close The Rift, Lusam and Neala travel south in search of the illusive Pearl Isle, where they hope to discover the fourth Guardian book, and return in time to try again. Time, however, is not on their side, as the dark God, Aamon, sets in motion a plan to restore his own power, and once again tear open The Rift to unleash the horrors of the Netherworld upon their world. Aysha's new inability to see his destiny, along with her prophetic warnings about a hidden realm and Neala's certain death if she enters it, all weigh heavily on Lusam's mind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great read. great book. fantastic narrator.

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-13-18

Good story, annoying narrator

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

Reviewed: 05-29-18

The narrator's odd cadence distracted me from the story. Every sentence has the same rhythm, without any suitable alteration for what the meaning of the sentence. And his speaking voice makes it sound like he's talking through clenched teeth. This...idiosyncratic...speaking style carried across into the dialog of every character, making it difficult to imagine they were separate individuals. In particular, this made it hard to like the character of Neela (sp?), who comes across as depressed and clingy.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Blockade Runner

  • Privateer Tales, Book 11
  • By: Jamie McFarlane
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 234
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220

Trapped in a far-off galaxy, Liam Hoffen receives news that a massive Kroerak fleet has found its way to Earth. Knowing an invasion is imminent stuns our explorers, but there's nothing they can do when they discover the interplanetary Trans Loc system has been shut down to stem the tide of invading bugs. When a chance discovery that could end Earth's desperate war comes to light, our heroes find they will stop at nothing to return home. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Once Great Young Adult Series That's Out Of Ideas

  • By DangFineGuy on 03-23-18

Billions die and this is victory?

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

Reviewed: 05-20-18

This has been a 5-star series so far, but this book displays a trend that I see in a number of series'; the author isn't content to create danger for a group of people you care about. Instead, he escalates the danger to the apocalyptic level, necessitating mass slaughter to impress upon the reader the seriousness of the situation. In this case, that means the death of a significant fraction of the population of the Moon and Earth. It's hard to view our heroes as being successful when even victory is catastrophe. None of this was really necessary; you can build as much tension with small dangers as you can with big ones.

And the motivation of the aliens is pretty silly. Why would an advanced, space-faring species not be able to feed itself without needing to cross interstellar distances to eat humans?

This book has dimmed my enthusiasm for the series; I'm going to try to pretend it didn't happen and hope the author returns to the previous formula.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Smuggler's Dilemma

  • Privateer Tales, Book 5
  • By: Jamie McFarlane
  • Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 524
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 523

There's guerrilla warfare in the main asteroid belt. The Red Houzi pirates have launched a deadly campaign, sacking defenseless mining colonies and then vanishing into the deep dark of space. No one can predict where or when they will show up next, not even the great Mars Protectorate Navy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Too good to miss!!!

  • By daniel l. newell on 05-14-18

Roger that

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

Reviewed: 05-08-18

Good old-fashioned space opera with all the right payoffs.

Two complaints, though: 1) the author needs to learn what the word "roger" means in the piloting arena. It doesn't mean what he thinks it means. and 2) HUD. It's not aitch-you-dee, it's hud, rhyming with "mud".

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Gordian Knot

  • Schooled in Magic, Book 13
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 465
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 443
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441

The post of Head Girl of Whitehall looks fantastic on anyone's resume. It places the lucky winner on equal terms to the staff, granting them authority, power, and responsibility that no other student can even dream of possessing. Naturally, Emily doesn't want it. But when she returns to Whitehall for her sixth and final year, she discovers that the staff has elected her to the post - and refusal isn't an option. Reluctantly, she starts to carry out her new duties, unaware that deadly enemies are waiting in the shadows, preparing themselves to strike at her when her back is turned.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Gratuitous cussing

  • By Sana Quijada on 05-04-18

Little action and a cliffhanger

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

Reviewed: 04-29-18

Disappointed with this one....not much conflict, no satisfactory conclusion and it ends in a cliffhanger, unlike any previous book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Gunfight

  • The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America
  • By: Adam Winkler
  • Narrated by: John McLain
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108

A provocative history that reveals how guns - not abortion, race, or religion - are at the heart of America's cultural divide. Gunfight promises to be a seminal work in its examination of America's four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. Adam Winkler uses the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation's capital, as a springboard for a groundbreaking historical narrative.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, well researched and thought provoking.

  • By wesley felice on 04-02-18

Ridiculing Gun Control

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

Reviewed: 04-01-18

Finding unbiased information about guns in the US is hard, because it seems like everyone has an ideological agenda. The description of this book made it sound like the author, a constitutional law professor, would be conducting an objective look at the history of the law and 2nd Amendment in the US. This is actually a tiny portion of the first two hours of the book; most of the time is dedicated towards ridiculing gun control and gun control activists. He seems to hold the latter in contempt, claiming rampant dishonesty in the way they use violence statistics to support gun control. An honest man would admit that both sides do the same thing.

I wasn't actually interested in arguments for or against gun control, but that's what the author seems to focus on. I'm returning the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful