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Howard

Cumberland, MD, United States
  • 75
  • reviews
  • 622
  • helpful votes
  • 119
  • ratings
  • Beartown

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by: Marin Ireland
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,801
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,227
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,201

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semifinals, and they actually have a shot at winning.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Barrel To The Head, A Slug To The Gut--

  • By Gillian on 04-28-17

Five Stars in every conceivable way!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-17

First of all, let me say that this is an exceptional story and certainly worthwhile reading.

There are times you may absolutely hate this book, these characters and the plot. If you have a heart, tears will well up in your eyes and it will be times it is hard to continue on. You will find parts very funny and perhaps even recall having been in a similar situation. In the end, if you appreciate a story well told, the roller coaster ride that is Beartown is an experience you deserve.

Without revealing too much, a certainly not doing the author any justice in my synopsis, Beartown is on the edge of the forest and oblivion. Hockey, ice hockey that is, holds hope for a championship season and an economic infusion for Beartown's salvation. The story involves the returned local hockey celebrity who is the General Manager of the hockey club, his family and their lives both in Beartown and before. Several other locals play prominently in the story, include the GM's old hockey coach and mentor, the arena's cleaning lady and her son, several prominent local business men and, of course, the stars of the town's Junior Hockey Team.

Backman mixes the politics of sports, patronage. and the brutality of teens in high school and hockey (although I imagine any sport could be substituted instead).

Marin Ireland's narration of the audio book is fabulous

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Pilot X

  • By: Tom Merritt
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,463
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,366
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,368

Pilot X is Ambassador of the Alendans, a race with the ability to move through space and time as guardians of the timeline. Locked in ongoing conflict with the Sensaurians, an organic hive mind that can send messages in thought throughout its own history, and the Progons, a machine race who can communicate backwards in time, Pilot X finally manages to create peace among the three races.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing book

  • By Kindle Customer on 03-30-17

Great Story - wish there was more

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

Reviewed: 03-29-17

Great character and universe building without it seeming like it is being forced into your ears. You will likely listen to this several times to get all the nuisance and details packed into this story about a time traveling pilot who is constantly running into people who know more about his future than he does. Sad to say, but I was enjoying the story so much that I was sorry when it was over. It felt complete, but I wasn't ready for it to end.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • The Chemist

  • By: Stephenie Meyer
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,336
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,126

She used to work for the US government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listened all night!

  • By bebe on 06-04-17

Solid science/spy/political thriller!

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

Reviewed: 11-23-16

Great premise! A scientist (let's call her Alex) developing interrogation drugs, techniques and procedures gets burned by her agency and goes on the lamb, only to be recruited for one more job. Things go mostly okay until she realizes the man she is interrogating isn't who they said he was. Mayhem and physical injuries follow cause an unlikely trio seeking justice against their leaders with their own interests above their responsibilities and in furtherance of a secret political agenda. Sign on with an agency with no name and cheer for Alex and her new "partners."

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

  • By: Kelli Estes
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,304
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,003
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,006

Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara's life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core - and force her to make an impossible choice.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very intriguing

  • By Claudine on 12-04-15

Historical(ish) fiction. Learned and Enjoyed

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

Reviewed: 08-24-16

Before listening to 'The Girl Who Wrote in Silk' I was unaware of the expulsion of Chinese immigrants from the United States. This book also includes a couple of accidental romance stories, examples of just how small the world can be and the importance of holding unto our family and cultural heritages. This is a book with plenty to enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Broken Grace

  • By: E. C. Diskin
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith, Scott Merriman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,496
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,493

On an icy winter's day in southwest Michigan, Grace Abbot wakes up as the survivor of a car crash. But she's left with a traumatic brain injury and a terrifying reality: she can't remember anything. Left in the care of her sister, Grace returns to the family's secluded old farmhouse to recover - but within an hour of her return, the police arrive. Grace's boyfriend has been murdered. Without any memory, Grace has no alibi.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • But why? But wait. But What?

  • By green ice cream garden on 04-29-16

Kept me trying to solve it all along.

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

Reviewed: 08-04-16

I thought the premise and approch to 'Broken Grace' was very interesting. Grace suffers amnesia following a collision with a tree. She was driving too fast on a snowy Michigan road and first strikes a deer while she was being chased by someone. Grace doesn't remember much of her life before waking up in a hospital, including her older sister who has now become her quazi guardian / caregiver. Grace's boyfriend was found murdered in his bed and, of course, Grace is a suspect without memories preceeding her collision. A vetern police detective is called in to help the rookie officer assigned to the case and Grace has to investigate herself just to reclaim some memories of her life. The story switches between the investigation and Grace's efforts to reclaim her life and memory. The story takes several marvelous plot turns, has rather good character development and a surprise ending (at least it was for me). I enjoyed it and will probably re-listen to it again, soon!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Wrong Unit

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,123

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me: an Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Futuristic journey without a single misstep

  • By Julie W. Capell on 10-03-16

Rob Dircks knocks another outta the ball park

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

Reviewed: 07-22-16

Its far far into the future and a belovant computer had control over the entire earth, especially easy after reducing the entire human population to fit in New Jersey, of all places. Caring for the human population are mechanized servants all connected the supposedly belovant 'Core' a super- supercomputer designed to protect and care for humans. Of course, because of overpopulation and over industrialization, the only way to say humanity is to eliminate most of it, so billions of humans are eradicated, except for those protected (or is it imprisoned) in New Jersey. An unauthorized infant is born and handed over to a servant droid and sent on mission that they do not understand or have knowledge. Will this infant survive? Will he make the rebellion possible and free the humans from the over controlling Core system? It's a fun journey as HeyU takes care of Wa without ever knowing their purpose or destination. The Wrong Unit is humorous and heartwarming. I found it fun. Rob Dircks may just convince me to consider other author/narrators. He is not only innovative in his storytelling, but also has a great sense of humor that easily translates into his books. Well done, sir; well done.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Last One

  • A Novel
  • By: Alexandra Oliva
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain, Nicol Zanzarella
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 250
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 234
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 235

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far. It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens - but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had to finish it and finish it fast.

  • By Howard on 07-16-16

I had to finish it and finish it fast.

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

Reviewed: 07-16-16

I found The Last One to be a very interesting read. It has been a while since I devoured a book of this size in four days.

This is the story of a woman struggling to compete and survive despite being the best equipped for what lays ahead. I enjoyed reading Zoo's journey, but I have to say I felt that her reason for participating in this television reality contest and other parts of her backstory were glossed over. Maybe I just needed to know more about her past to really know what this contest meant to her.

I also had a hard time believing some of the geography mentioned in the book and how Zoo kept to the forests on her journey home. These are minor quibbles but they took me out of the story as I tried to get a handle on where we were. The story moves along at a very good (and in some cases a very fast) pace even though there are a lot of pages devoted to characters that really just don't matter. There are a couple of other points in the story that, in my estimation, defy logic. However, expanding on those here would give up some spoilers which I expect would ruin your overall enjoyment of The Last One. So, curl up near the air conditioner or slap on some sun screen and take the hike of a lifetime with Zoo!

For those who make a comparison between this book and Station Eleven, I believe this is a tighter story and one with I'd rather read again.

I docked one star from the audio performance because there were times I thought the male narrator was inadequate. I can't really put my finger on why I didn't care for Mr. Chamberlain, but I know that I found his cadence was often annoying or too much in contrast with Ms. Zanzarella.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Stiletto

  • A Novel
  • By: Daniel O'Malley
  • Narrated by: Moira Quirk
  • Length: 23 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,942
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,785
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,785

When secret organizations are forced to merge after years of enmity and bloodshed, only one person has the fearsome powers - and the bureaucratic finesse - to get the job done. Facing her greatest challenge yet, Rook Myfanwy Thomas must broker a deal between two bitter adversaries: the Checquy - the centuries-old covert British organization that protects society from supernatural threats, and the Grafters - a centuries-old supernatural threat.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Grafters take center stage

  • By Larry on 07-10-16

The sequel to The Rook was worth the long wait.

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

Reviewed: 06-24-16

This LONG awaited sequel to The Rook is a fun, intriguing and rich story with strong female characters. Stiletto picks up a short while after the end of The Rook with the bureaucratic nightmare of attempting to merge persons with supernatural abilities, the Checquy, and those who manufacture super humans, the Grafters. The merger is especially difficult because the Grafters invaded England territory centuries earlier and were believed to have been exterminated. The Checquy hate the Grafters for attacking England and their institutional memory has made them into boogeymen. The Graters hate the Checquy for executing them centuries earlier. To further complicate the issue, a splinter group of Grafters are committed to stopping the merger and exposing the secret Checquy and their bizarre abilities. There is some repetitiveness to Stiletto to provide backstory to those who have not read The Rook. Perhaps I would not have found it repetitive had I not just re-read The Rook days before Stiletto arrived. Nonetheless, Stiletto is an enjoyable read with a sense of humor and honor that is missing from many of today's novels.

Looking forward to the next Checquy story, The Rook television series, or anything else O'Malley chooses to write.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain

  • Please Don't Tell My Parents Series #1
  • By: Richard Roberts
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,594
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,470
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,471

Penelope Akk wants to be a superhero. She's got superhero parents. She's got the ultimate mad science power, filling her life with crazy gadgets that even she doesn't understand. She has two superpowered best friends. In middle school the line between good and evil looks clear. In real life nothing is that clear. All it takes is one hero's sidekick picking a fight, and Penny and her friends are labeled supervillains. In the process Penny learns a hard lesson about villainy: She's good at it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun for the whole family

  • By David on 06-02-16

Enjoyed this title!

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

Reviewed: 04-25-16

Great story with an amazing group of characters! Suitable for all ages.

I hope Ms. Woo Zellar gets to narrate the other books in this series - AND SOON!

Another fantastic Audible Daily Deal!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Calamity

  • The Reckoners, Book 3
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,832
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,348
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,313

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David's fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy. David knew Prof's secret and kept it even when Prof struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Once the Reckoners' leader, Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Climactic Battles Second Chances? as Calamity Ends

  • By Don Gilbert on 02-18-16

Sanderson keeps it fresh with new twists

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

Reviewed: 02-24-16

The Reckoners series has a solid third book in Calamity! Back are key players and a smattering of new and interesting characters.

Calamity tells the story of David, Megan and the other surviving Reckoners' quest to being Prof back from the evil side of the Epic's powers. We also learn how the epics and their powers entered this world. New allegiances are formed, but not everyone turns out to be who or what we thought they were.

The story moves along at a great pace (except for a little bit early in the book, at least for me) and has several great battles that Sanderson keeps fresh and challenging for our little band of Reckoners. I actually believe I liked this book more than Fireflight, but I need to listen to them both again to be sure that is a fair comparison.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful