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Craig

Seattle, WA, United States
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  • The Silver Ships

  • The Silver Ships, Book 1
  • By: S.H. Jucha
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,460
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,359
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,361

An explorer tug captain, Alex Racine detects a damaged alien craft drifting into the system. Recognizing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make first contact, Alex pulls off a daring maneuver to latch on to the derelict. Alex discovers the ship was attacked by an unknown craft, the first of its kind ever encountered. The mysterious silver ship's attack was both instant and deadly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smart protagonists!

  • By William R. Brown on 05-28-16

Good Series Turns Tedious

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

I have now completed every book in this series (11) and there is as yet a resolution to the initial problem faced by its main character. While the first several books were good, even enthralling occasionally, I heard nothing so compelling that I can definitively say, "Wow, these novels are worth 11 credits. They are not. Midway through this series, you will find that the storyline becomes mundane and repetitive hero worship, with little sci-fi, and a great deal of soppy drama.

This series is one of those made for audio serials that keep listeners on the hook, desperately seeking resolution, but never quite satisfied. In all honesty, I was hoping the series would end with Number 11. It did not, but that's the way it goes, so I quit.

Do not start this series unless you are willing to invest a year's worth of Platinum Credits to reach an end to the story.

I rate this series two credits down for the author's and editor's greed. Six books could have done what eleven have failed to do...that is, finish this turkey already.

Don't start this series...it's a waste of your time and credits.

  • Gods of Howl Mountain

  • By: Taylor Brown
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 9 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

In Gods of Howl Mountain, award-winning author Taylor Brown explores a world of folk healers, whiskey-runners, and dark family secrets in the high country of 1950s North Carolina. Bootlegger Rory Docherty has returned home to the fabled mountain of his childhood - a misty wilderness that holds its secrets close and keeps the outside world at gunpoint. Slowed by a wooden leg and haunted by memories of the Korean War, Rory runs bootleg whiskey for a powerful mountain clan in a retro-fitted 1940 Ford coupe. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brrrr... amazing tale, masterfully told

  • By Laurie A. Bobskill on 06-09-18

Important Historical Fiction

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

Reviewed: 08-25-18

There are eras in which the American ethos and pathos reveals more honestly than others. This novel reminds us of from whence we came. It is profound and honest.

This novel gets two stills up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • By the Mast Divided

  • By: David Donachie
  • Narrated by: Peter Wickham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

London: 1793. Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on her way to war. In the first few days, Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. And he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Might not be what you think

  • By Jeffrey on 08-07-13

Series Devolves into Repetitive Pageant

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

My decision is to abandon ship at Book 10 in the series. The opening novels have some merit, introducing several of the injustices and hypocrisies promulgated by the British Navy during the Age of Sail. However, the story runs out of material about halfway through the series and begins to rely on ever-expanding, but quite impossible, historical fiction scenarios to carry the main character (and his minions) through to the next novel. The main character, John Pearce, rather than developing a sense of purpose (and self) as he navigates the troubled waters of his impressment and sudden rise to fame, becomes increasingly indecisive, petulant, and selfish. Midway through the series his heroics are notable, but without the experiential precursors to make them believable. And, therein lies the problem with this entire saga. The author attributes (through John Pearce's loyal shipmates) most of his great deeds to luck and serendipity. Occasionally he is clever. Once, or even twice, naval-battle fortune might be acceptable as a literary device (after all, who hasn't listened to tales of lucky sea captains), but every novel contains some happenstance that allows John Pearce to sail away (or run away) again (if not victorious, alive long enough for another installment).

I liked the first few novels. Nevertheless, I am not recommending that my fellow listeners start this series intending to enjoy a long yarn about a great sea going character. John Pearce is quite droll and obnoxious towards the end of this series. Not to mention that he sails around with his be-sainted (to his shipmates) mistress...feh! This series occasionally repeats (verbatim) while dragging on and on and on...as do its tired characters and storyline.

I give these novels (as a series) two cannonades down for their repetitive fire, lucky shots, and angry emotional salvos.

In closing...if you like the word "concomitant," you'll love these novels. The author uses it so many times, I began counting. That's always a bad sign when you are trying to be open-minded about a series.

  • Fata Morgana

  • By: Steven R. Boyett, Ken Mitchroney
  • Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,767
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,758

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book had it all

  • By Magnus on 10-14-17

Mispronounced the Title for Umpteen Hours

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

Reviewed: 01-06-18

I knew I had made a mistake with this download when the narrator mispronounced Fata Morgana in the first chapter. He did it again (and again) ad nauseum, and again even, to my horror. Fata Morgana is pronounced, Fah-tah Morgana, not Fay-tah Morgana.

This is a Sophomoric endeavor with few new insights or ideas. Extremely disappointing time travel adventure. Actually...it is a rip-off of several films and B-grade novels.

Do not purchase this book. It is a WWII, cliche packed, disjointed ramble, not worthy of your credit or time. BTW...it is not a love story as some reviewers have suggested. The love interest is a fantasy (dream-breakthrough) side show.

I give this novel two thousand-pounders down.

  • The Adventures of the Brothers Dent

  • The Mountain Men, Book 3
  • By: Terry Grosz
  • Narrated by: Clay Lomakayu
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10

The year is 1807. Josh and Gabe Dent are two brothers living on the far frontier of a young America. Their lives are jolted when their parents are brutally murdered by a gang of thieves. The two frontiersmen ride to hunt down the killers. The trail of vengeance is not an easy one. In the years that follow, Josh and Gabe find themselves answering the call of the West. But as bountiful as it is, the land is fraught with danger and bloodshed.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Artless Western Fiction - Celtic Fantasy Ending

  • By Craig on 12-25-17

Artless Western Fiction - Celtic Fantasy Ending

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

Reviewed: 12-25-17

First, let me say that I have over 2000 audiobooks in my library, purchased from Audible. Yes, I know my counter says, 1054...it has been stuck there for years. Of all the novels I have heard since Audible's inception....The Adventures of the Brother's Dent is the worst.

This novel was so incredibly naive, so brutally embarrassing, that I finished it just to write this review. (If you return a book, you may not write a review!) The story is about two perfect boys whose parents are murdered by bad men. They spend years seeking revenge with a road trip to become mountain men thrown in as filler. Most characters in this novel are illusions to historical fiction and non-fiction. It's like a bad 60's Disney movie rip-off...Mike Fink!?! You gotta be kidding.

I cannot believe that Audible is actually placing such low-quality pulp fiction on its roster. Without going into a lot of boring details, this book is part of a series, each of which appears to be written in the wrong publishing date order. I believe these books are repackaged, stand-alone, novels to sell as a series. The publisher, Wolfpack, also appears to sell primarily pulp. In one chapter the author uses the word *continuously* four times in one paragraph. (I assume it was one paragraph...I wasn't reading it after all.)

But the weirdest thing about this entire audio tale is last chapter. It is a random (45 minute) screed from some Celtic novel about a place called the Hall of Tutorigus. At first, I thought that this was just an editing error. Then, after restarting the chapter, I noticed that the narrator says - *chapter four...teen* - the *teen* is dubbed onto *four.* Very intentional dubbing. This was not an accident...it is definitely filler to get the book close to the magic eight hour number. Very unscrupulous, if in fact, this is what happened.

What is going on with quality control at Audible?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Western Star

  • By: Craig Johnson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,832
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,636
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,616

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of 25 armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff's Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Warning! This ends in a cliffhanger.

  • By TyrannosaurusRix on 09-21-17

Leftover TV Script

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

Reviewed: 09-17-17

I can just imagine the conversation between Johnson and his publisher:

"You better get something out there Craig, your TV series bit the dust and your losing readers," says the publisher.

"No problem," Johnson replies, "I've got this script leftover from the TV season that they just cancelled, I'll just rewrap it and call it a book. It's not long enough for a novel, but I can throw in some Hollywood filler and cheesy metaphors. I'll flashback to a great steam engine train ride in the 70's and have Longmire carry around a copy of Murder on the Orient Express."

The publisher checks his iPhone calendar, punches some numbers into an ancient desk calculator, and gives Johnson his marching orders. "Give me something that forces your readers to buy a sequel. We've got to get your sales back on the map by September."

Craig Johnson, like most talented writers that become screenwriters, has gone the way of the buffalo...rubbed out.

I give this novel one Rainier up (for George Guidall) and one down for a Hollywood script passed off as Western Genre Fiction.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Heavier Than a Mountain

  • Destiny's Crucible, Book 3
  • By: Olan Thorensen
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 21 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,868
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,654
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,647

A freak accident casts Joe Colsco naked onto another planet inhabited by humans with technology circa 1700. In time, Joe, now known as Yozef Kolsko, makes the difficult acceptance of a new life. But he has become embroiled in a struggle beyond any dream he could have had. The Narthani are a militant society intent on subjugating the Caedelli, the people he's come to identify with. Unwittingly, the Narthani themselves are creating an opponent unlike any they have ever faced, an enemy beyond their conceptions.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • And Even Heavier to Read

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 10-15-17

Irrelevant Details to Stretch Number of Volumes

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

Reviewed: 09-06-17

I forgave the author in the first novel for ripping-off Mark Twain's, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," because the premise for "21st Century man meets Napoleonic War" was explained through some interesting sci-fi machinations. Then, the sci-fi fizzled out.

In the 2nd and 3rd novel, we take a painful slog through ever deepening details. Unfortunately, the details that would otherwise make this novel interesting, like seminal battles where 21st Century technology meets the 19th Century battle field, rarely occur. Instead, we see skirmish lines at the end of long (interminable) chapters about home building, baby-births, personal triumphs and losses, and gimme-a-break revelations. These novels are less about adventure and more about drama. Great Court intrigue...terrible adventure.

This novel is not science fiction, it is not historical fiction, it can't crossover to fantasy in the absence of magic...it's just daytime drama (General Hospital or All My Children). It is soap opera masquerading as soft sci-fi. Don't get involved in book number 3. It is a total let down.

7 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • What's Left of My World

  • A Story of a Family's Survival
  • By: C. A. Rudolph
  • Narrated by: Kevin Pierce
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,272
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,194
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,186

Lauren Russell often wondered why her father had been so adamant about teaching her skills that most other fathers wouldn't even consider teaching their daughters. Ever since she was little, she had been taught how to live and survive outdoors, and how to use firearms to protect herself and those around her. Some of the training had been a bit extreme. Or had it been? Many of her questions were answered the day the world as she knew it ended.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read

  • By Tish on 06-08-17

Paranoid Survivalist Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 08-31-17

I'll be brief...this is not a dystopian tale with excellent scientific or economic explanations for the state of affairs that afflict the story's main characters (and the U.S.). This book is gun porn, survivalist fantasy, and right-wing (militia) pulp fiction.

The premise is ridiculous (EMP destroys the Eastern U.S. infrastructure), though no motivations for this eventuality are forthcoming. Instead, plot and back-story are replaced with people shooting, stealing, torturing and raping around a slow, plodding, plot. The most prominent line in the story is, "We can talk about that later." (Feh) Nothing ever gets resolved. The characters are acted upon, rather than acting. No character is actually smart or interesting...they are all merely gun-totting dim-wits with lots of MRE's and ammo in the basement.

Do not bother with this paranoid "prepper" fiction. A "prepper" is a citizen ready for the apocalypse. This novel is definitely not Peter Heller's, The Dog Stars. In fact...it is nothing but the stuff of bad dreams.

Run from this title and read, The Dog Stars...that book will get you ready for anything.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Prisoner

  • A John Wells Novel, Book 11
  • By: Alex Berenson
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,289
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,190
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,182

Evidence is mounting that someone high up in the CIA is doing the unthinkable - passing messages to ISIS, alerting them to planned operations. Finding out the mole's identity without alerting him, however, will be very hard, and to accomplish it Wells will have to do something he thought he'd left behind forever. He will have to reassume his former identity as an al Qaeda jihadi, get captured, and go undercover to befriend an ISIS prisoner in a secret Bulgarian prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Winner from Berenson

  • By Snoodely on 02-04-17

Heavy-handed Editing - TV Series Coming?

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

Reviewed: 02-07-17

All of the John Wells novels are high entertainment, as is this one. However, the end of this story (no spoilers) took took the path of least resistance, which is quite unlike the previous Wells novels that leave the listener at the edge of their earbuds to the last paragraph. Stuff was just too easy for Wells in the end, even to the point of finding the bad guys in a city of millions by chance...feh!

I smell a rat! This is what happened to Craig Johnson novels before his books went into television syndication. Johnson either got lazy or his TV editors starting working him over in a back alley. Berenson is starting to show signs of heavy-handed editing, as if his creative juice sputters out when the publisher says, "Hey, Alex, your year is up!...where's my script!!"

Prediction...expect a TV Series or Film in the next year.

I give this novel one Makarov up and one down.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Shop Class as Soulcraft audiobook cover art
  • Shop Class as Soulcraft

  • An Inquiry into the Value of Work
  • By: Matthew B. Crawford
  • Narrated by: Max Bloomquist
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 723
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 493
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 487

Shop Class as Soulcraft brings alive an experience that was once quite common but now seems to be receding from society - the experience of making and fixing things with our hands. For those who felt hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, Shop Class as Soulcraft seeks to restore the honor of the manual trades as a life worth choosing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mercedes Have No Dipstick

  • By Ray on 06-16-11

Shop Class Missing from Dogmatic Polemic

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

Reviewed: 01-14-17

I teach "shop class." This book was a purchase intended to enrich my life with meaningful wisdom about the virtues of reintroducing hand-work in schools as a pathway to an enriched life.

Waiting...waiting...waiting...zzzzzzz.

This book straddles two worlds, both of which exist in the mind of the author. This guy likes old motorcycles (who doesn't?). But, he expects that gives him the street-cred necessary to wax poetically (Greek poetry usually) about our crumbling state of personal self-reliance as a species. He wants us to feel that, if we just use our hands, we will be saved by some unseen and virtuous Dead-American-Crafters-Creed. However, he cannot get far enough past his stupid motorcycles to address any real issues about American Education. He uses so much mush-mouthed hyperbole that he misses his own point...college and career readiness programs are mere classist drivel taught and managed by incompetent troglodytes.

I got so lost in Crawford's Marxist revisionism, and his faux universal philosophical handiman-codex, that I began fast forwarding to find some micro-nugget worthy of my time before I had to begin teaching my thirty 7th graders how to build inductor magnetos from scratch.

Do not waste a credit on this drivel. The author does not need the money or his ego inflated anymore than its current astronomical proportions.

I give this book two shifting spanners down...way down!

2 of 4 people found this review helpful