LISTENER

Valdis

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 484
  • ratings
  • Bill the Vampire, Scary Dead Things, The Mourning Woods, and Holier Than Thou

  • The Tome of Bill Series: Books 1-4
  • By: Rick Gualtieri
  • Narrated by: Christopher John Fetherolf
  • Length: 33 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,093
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,084

There are reasons we fear the dark. Bill Ryder...isn't one of them. Gamer, geek, and legendary vampire - The Tome of Bill is the tale of an unlikely hero trying to survive in a world of undead horrors. Despite awesome supernatural powers, loyal allies, and an attitude the size of Brooklyn, the odds are still stacked heavily against him. Bill Ryder must fulfill his destiny and save the world from the ancient terrors that threaten it - all while trying to work up the nerve to ask out the girl of his dreams.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How the books are divided inside:

  • By Peter Pail on 11-18-15

I both love and hate this omnibus

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

Reviewed: 06-23-19

I loved the story, these characters, and their snarky, nearly continuous sarcasm. I also enjoyed the occasional pop-culture references.

I disliked how, despite being a geek and game programmer, the MC keeps making really stupid choices.

I hated the fat-shaming the author kept throwing into the story, for no other reason than to make the MC seem like the shallow, a-hole that he says he hates so much.

Also, the narrator is abhorrent at pronunciations, as noted in other reviews. It is so bad that if you made a drinking game of it, you would be hard pressed to stay sober in some chapters. If it was just one or two words, I could forgive him, but I lost count at six.

And finally, in the last book, there are several instances where the narrator straight up repeats the previous sentence in several chapters.

  • Critical Failures II: Fail Harder

  • Caverns and Creatures Book 2
  • By: Robert Bevan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Sleep
  • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,973
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,955

Finding themselves permanently stuck in this strange new world, the gang tries to make the best of it by finding the nearest tavern and getting shitfaced. The plan goes just fine until they lose Katherine and Chaz.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Low-brow nerd humor that I can't get enough of!

  • By Jarboguts on 08-31-15

Good sequel, crappy ending

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

Reviewed: 05-09-19

Just a quick review:
Lots of crude humor, not much plot. One more adventure while our protagonists search for a way home. And, of course, a big cliff hanger for the next mediocre book.

  • Advent

  • Red Mage, Book 1
  • By: Xander Boyce
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,940
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,849

Drew Michalik was working in a top-secret facility in Washington, DC, when the Advent began. As all electronics in the world simply ceased to work, blue screens filled with information appeared before him. Drew was given access to a mana interface and a limited number of reality-altering crystals called Xatherite. Following the instructions on his vision-impairing screens, he "slotted" his Xatherite and changed his fate: He gained the ability to cast spells. Now alone in the dark, he must battle through the government bunker turned dungeon in a desperate bid for survival.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Kona Blend

  • By Randy on 01-10-19

Been there, done that

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

Wow! A near copy in theme as “Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG”. Except that here we have no genie explaining how the system works, so our main character relents numerous times about how he wished he knew how to play the game.
I admit, there are some interesting scenes. But those are quickly overtaken by the repetitive skill increases that each start, “Congratulations citizen, you have been awarded…”, followed by the upgrade. Once or twice in a row wouldn’t bother me so much, but when Drew receives six to ten achievements, each starting with the above mentioned phrase, I started zoning out and then missing details of the story.
Don’t even get me started on the Xantherite mechanics, which are so overly complicated and never fully explained… I was as frustrated as Drew was with trying to figure out how this “game” played.

However, as always, Luke Daniels did a spectacular job of narrating this story and provided a full cast of voices so I was never confused as to who was speaking.

Bottom line, if you’ve not read the Life in the North series, and don’t mind a hot mess of game mechanics, then this is worth a listen.

  • The Collapsing Empire

  • The Interdependency, Book 1
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,364

Our universe is ruled by physics, and faster-than-light travel is not possible - until the discovery of The Flow, an extradimensional field we can access at certain points in space-time that transports us to other worlds, around other stars. Humanity flows away from Earth, into space, and in time forgets our home world and creates a new empire, the Interdependency, whose ethos requires that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war - and a system of control for the rulers of the empire.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely not my favorite scalzi

  • By pat on 03-25-17

Reply wanted to like this, but…

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

Reviewed: 11-20-18

I am a huge fan of both Mr. Scalzi and Mr. Wheaton. However, Wheaton is not that good of a narrator. His gravely voice is not the problem though. The real problem is that nearly all the characters sound exactly the same. And sadly, there is no attempt to even differentiate male or female characters by the narration alone.
Unfortunately this makes the story very difficult to follow, and often confusing as to who is speaking at any given point.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Heart of Evil

  • Krewe of Hunters Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Heather Graham
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 751
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 674
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 674

Emerging from the bayou like an apparition, Donegal Plantation is known for its unsurpassed dining, captivating atmosphere, haunting legends... and now a corpse swinging from the marble angel that marks its cemetery’s most majestic vault. A corpse discovered in nearly the same situation as that of Marshall Donegal, the patriarch killed in a skirmish just before the Civil War. Desperate for help traditional criminologists could never provide, plantation heiress Ashley Donegal turns to an elite team of paranormal investigators who blend hard forensics with rare intuition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Storytelling at its best!

  • By J. Olivas on 04-13-12

Good up until the end

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

Reviewed: 11-05-18

I got this title primarily due to Luke Daniels narration, and also for the Halloween sale.

I was hoping for a good and spooky tale with the title being Heart of Evil. Unfortunately, it was more of a romantic thriller, where the only evil was that of the common man. (No spoilers, it’s obvious almost from the beginning).

It was pretty good, until the killer was revealed, caught in one chapter, then we are rushed straight into the epilogue.

I was planning to continue the series, but now I’m completely turned off from the even getting the next book.

Click-Clack the Rattlebag, a free short story written and performed by Neil Gaiman audiobook cover art
  • Click-Clack the Rattlebag, a free short story written and performed by Neil Gaiman

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 515

A few words from Neil: A few years ago, I blogged about an idea I had for a new Halloween tradition…. I proposed that, on Hallowe'en or during the week of Hallowe'en, we give each other scary books. And so All Hallows’ Read was born. This year, I decided to make the tradition Audible. Literally. We have been telling each other tales of otherness, of life beyond the grave, for a long time; stories that prickle the flesh and make the shadows deeper and, most important, remind us that we live, and that there is something special, something unique and remarkable about the state of being alive. Happy Halloween!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantasticly Original and creepy

  • By Melaina Lara on 04-25-18
  • Click-Clack the Rattlebag, a free short story written and performed by Neil Gaiman
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman

A quick spooky tale

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

I am a huge fan of Mr. Gaiman' fiction and his contributions to free speech and libraries, as well as encouraging new readers and writers.

This short story was an effort to begin a trend of short stories to be written especially for Halloween.

It's a fun little tale that surprises you at the end, in a scary but good way. Enjoy.

  • Dog on It

  • A Chet and Bernie Mystery
  • By: Spencer Quinn
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,703
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,107
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,104

In this, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of Madison, a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who has definitely gotten mixed up with some very unsavory characters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful

  • By Deborah on 01-20-10

Doggone it, it could have been better!

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

Reviewed: 09-15-17

The good: I enjoyed the overall story and the bits of original humor.

The bad: The excessive use of the phrase, "did I mention (tell) you that before?" Sure a few times would've been fine, but it was used throughout the book for tidbits Chet had not ever mentioned before or after.
Also, the near constant -I don't know what my body is doing- became annoying too.
Finally, Mr. Frangione's narration for Chet was good, but did little (some but not much) to differentiate the other voices.
Perhaps the most damning of all were the 10-15 second pauses at inconsistent times. That with the "chapters" breaks, which actually break at any of the chapters, made it hard to find good places to stop, without needlessly needing to rewind to find the end/start of a chapter.

  • The Delphi Effect

  • The Delphi Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Rysa Walker
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 972
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 879
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 873

It's never wise to talk to strangers...and that goes double when they're dead. Unfortunately, seventeen-year-old Anna Morgan has no choice. Resting on a park bench, touching the turnstile at the Metro station - she never knows where she'll encounter a ghost. These mental hitchhikers are the reason Anna has been tossed from one foster home and psychiatric institution to the next for most of her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ghosts, and other paranormal gifts

  • By Montzalee Wittmann on 10-11-17

Audible needs better genre clarification

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

Reviewed: 09-10-17

When reading the description and listening to the preview, I really expected I would like this title. However, within the first chapter it was clearly a YA title.
The plot was okay, but I just am not young enough to relate to any of the main characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Old Man

  • By: Thomas Perry
  • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,773
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,316
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,299

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most 60-year-old widowers don't have multiple driver's licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and a bugout kit with two Beretta Nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. Most have not spent decades on the run.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The 'old man' is not old!

  • By Wayne on 08-15-17

Depth of a movie, breadth of a book

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

Reviewed: 07-26-17

I really liked how this book began, the lead character seemed interesting and felt like a guy imperiled by his past.

Then he goes on the run, and changes his name, and the narrative uses his new name, then we have viewpoints of other protagonists; then the main character changes his name again, and again, and again.

By the end I cared not for the characters. The "solution" seemed rushed, and felt like the author was trying to wrap it all up quickly with a trite conclusion.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Hard Day's Knight

  • Black Knight Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: John G. Hartness
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 737
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 675
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 677

This is not your ordinary fall weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina. Vampire private detectives Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood have been hired to save a client from being cursed for all eternity, but end up in a bigger mess than they ever imagined. Suddenly trapped in the middle of a serial kidnapping case, Jimmy and Greg uncover a plot to bring forth an ancient evil. Soon, they've enlisted the help of a police detective, a priest, a witch, a fallen angel, and a strip club proprietor to save the world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hard row to hoe, but well done!

  • By Author Tonia Brown on 03-17-15

Main character should not be.

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

Reviewed: 08-30-15

This book, while having a pretty good tale, the like of which Butcher fans may appreciate, had one glaring flaw. The main character (of whose perspective the story is from) does nothing to further the plot. Worse, he actually hinders it; and is not even a worthy comic relief.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful