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Charles Grayson

Memphis, TN USA
  • 64
  • reviews
  • 319
  • helpful votes
  • 116
  • ratings
  • Street Rats of Aramoor

  • Street Rats of Aramoor, Book 1
  • By: Michael Wisehart
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155

Ayrion has been training to fight since he was old enough to walk. As far back as he can remember he’s always had one dream - to be the youngest warrior of his clan. Unfortunately, Ayrion learns the hard way that being the best isn't always a good thing. After a tragic accident rips away his dreams and leaves him without a home, Ayrion heads south to the capital city of Aramoor in hopes of starting a new life. That journey will test him in ways he had never expected, forcing him to use every ounce of his training just to stay alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Immensly entertaining throughout

  • By Sailfish on 11-22-18

G-Rated

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

No one that you care about in the story gets hurt and the story even lacks the tragic death that often motivates our hero. The boy's father, an assassin, manages to be successful without ever killing anyone. I generally like stories like this, because I tend to empathize too much with characters and killing them off in the service of a plot line disturbs me.Still, that takes its toll on the plausibility of the story.

Speaking of plausibility, the idea that our hero accomplishes what he does while being only 13 isn't believable by anyone who's ever known a 13-year-old boy.

The narrator has a majestic voice, but not a flexible one; it's without equal when reading as one character, but unbearable when reading another, particularly female characters.

  • Hero Forged

  • Ethereal Earth, Book 1
  • By: Josh Erikson
  • Narrated by: Josh Erikson
  • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,063
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,005
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001

Gabriel Delling might call himself a professional con artist, but when walking superstitions start trying to bite his face off, his charm is shockingly unhelpful. It turns out living nightmares almost never appreciate a good joke. Together with a succubus who insists on constantly saving his life, Gabe desperately tries to survive a new reality that suddenly features demons, legends, and a giant locust named Dale - all of whom pretty much hate his guts. And when an ancient horror comes hunting for a spirit locked in his head, Gabe finds himself faced with the excruciating choice between death...or becoming some kind of freaking hero.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprisingly Good

  • By Steelgator on 07-21-18

Almost stopped listening but...

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

The first few chapters had some very gruesome scenes which I thought were unnecessarily cruel to establish the evil of the main antagonist. I almost stopped listening at that point, but I was driving and couldn't reach the audio controls, so I was forced to continue. I was glad I did, because the author backed off from proving how bad the bad guy was and moved on, glossing over most of the remaining evil deeds. In the end, there was a satisfying payoff to the story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Kingdoms and Chaos

  • King's Dark Tidings, Book 4
  • By: Kel Kade
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,942
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,778
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,772

The future of the Ashaiian haven, the newly founded Kingdom of Cael, is anything but secured. Rezkin must seek recognition from the King of Gendishen if his people are to maintain possession of their island home and the enchanted secret it contains. In an unexpected twist, events overtake Rezkin, and he is thrust into a frustrating adventure to seek a worthless prize. He finds that his carefully constructed reputation as an indomitable foe has consequences as others seek to use his strengths for their own gain. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Better than book 3. Not as good as 1 and 2

  • By Darrin Mahlum on 11-21-18

Best of the series, so far

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

I was surprised by this addition to the series. Up until now, it was brainless entertainment; our protagonist was too perfect to be believable or liked, and everyone else was too stupid and incompetent to be tolerated. Now, cracks start to show. We get a glimpse into what made our protagonist so exceptional and why, at the same time, he's so deficient as a human being. Secondary characters lose a bit of their hero worship and become more independent. For the first time, I actually look forward to the next book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Anomaly

  • Somnia Online, Book 2
  • By: K.T. Hanna
  • Narrated by: Andrea Parsneau
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 149
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

As Murmur reels in the wake of the secret her friends tried to keep, her grip on what is real and what is virtual begins to slip. What's more, she's no longer sure whom she can trust. Stalked across the continent by a rogue with a vendetta, Murmur is forced to dig deep and develop her abilities before she finds a knife in her back. Suspicion surrounds the AIs as well. Their behaviors are too human, their reports too perfect. Shayla and Laria must uncover the truth before the system raises concerns and Murmur is lost forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of my favorite LitRPG series!

  • By TU on 10-16-18

Decent Story, B*tchy Protagonist

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I find that a story starts to grate on my nerves once you see the author use the same pattern over and over again. Here's what makes me want to scream:

1) The protagonist moaning over and over and over again to herself about how much her friends mean to her,
2) and then the constant bitchiness towards those same friends, and finally,
3) the constant marveling at how real the world is

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • War God's Mantle: Ascension

  • The War God Saga, Book 1
  • By: James Hunter, Aaron Crash
  • Narrated by: Armen Taylor
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 961
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 900
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904

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 1,315
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,243
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,238

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 1,950
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,845
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,842

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 259
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241

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 559
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 528
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 526

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 1,143
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,068

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