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The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem

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  • 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 4,679
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,420
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,402

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

Nope. This was murder on my gag reflexes.

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

Reviewed: 04-28-18

The first one was gross, but funny gross.
This one is gross, but vomit inducing gross.

The difference between the two was a matter of balance.

The first Critical Failures book leaned towards poop jokes, but still had enough various other elements to keep it from overwelming the story. There was still a plot and other gaming culture jokes to give a break from all the cursing and bodily function issues the characters had. Overall, it was still a fun book.

Now, the second book...well...there is almost no balance at all. In fact, this audiobook leans so far into the fowl stuff that it goes from funny, to monotonous, to flat out uncomfortable. The stop button had to be pushed when this listener reliezed that not only was nothing really happening overall, but the author was getting a little to enthusiastic about  things being shoved up the orc characters' rear end.

This book just isn't worth the trauma to one's imagination and can only be recommended to listeners who are into mentally scarring themselves.

  • Differently Morphous

  • By: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Narrated by: Yahtzee Croshaw
  • Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,980
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,818
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,807

A magical serial killer is on the loose, and gelatinous, otherworldly creatures are infesting the English countryside. Which is making life for the Ministry of Occultism difficult, because magic is supposed to be their best kept secret. After centuries in the shadows, the Ministry is forced to unmask, exposing the country's magical history - and magical citizens - to a brave new world of social media, government scrutiny, and public relations.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not for everybody

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 09-24-18

Full of magical and snarky ridiculousness.

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

Reviewed: 04-28-18

Do you enjoy humorous sarcastic and pessimistic viewpoints on overblown controversial topics in a ridiculous fantasy setting? Then this audiobook might be the time waster for you!

Listen to Yahtzee Croshaw narrate his own wacky story about hidden magical communities, political rights for interdimensional blob creatures, underprivileged possessed people, incompetent monster hunters, really good memories, and a mysterious serial killer. It's goofy and nonsensical satire for those who need something to chuckle at while on a long drive.

Highly recommend to people who enjoy jokes pointing out that the glass is half empty in a sea of irony.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Out of the Soylent Planet: A Rex Nihilo Adventure

  • Starship Grifters, Book 0
  • By: Robert Kroese
  • Narrated by: J.D. Ledford
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 140

Interstellar con man Rex Nihilo has a price tag on his head. Railroaded into smuggling a shipment of contraband corn to a planet short on food, Rex finds himself on the run from an insidious corporation named Ubiqorp, which reaps obscene profits by keeping the planet dependent on shipments of synthetic rations. When Rex and his long-suffering robot companion Sasha are sentenced to work as slave labor on a massive Ubiqorp plantation, they learn the terrible secret behind the corporation's products.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Most I’ve laughed in a long time

  • By Richard on 04-13-18

A perfect recipe for intense laughter.

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

Reviewed: 03-20-18

A prequel to the first two books of the "Space Grifters" series,  "Out of the Soylent Plant" explores the first tangled and out of control encounter of the humorously unlucky robot Sasha and the incredibly reckless hairbrained schemes of Rex Nihilo. The story mostly centers around a plan to get off a planet ruled by an evil company that forces it's citizens to eat horrible food, but there is also a shorter two hour story at the end of the main audiobook that recounts a tale of a simple smuggling run going sideways by Rex making it more complicated than it needed to be. Both are great stories written with a lot of thought and self aware humor.

Simply put, this audiobook is a roaring good time that will have you laughing like a lunatic for hours. The narrator here, J.D. Ledford, just makes the audio experience absolutely perfect here. Her range for all the wacky characters is spot on and she hits every comedic cue in the writing. If she keeps this level of quality up in her narration for all her future audiobooks, she could easily be one of the most sought after on audible in the next few years.

This book is highly recommended to listeners who just want to laugh. There is no required reading from the first two books in order to enjoy it and no need to take in a bunch of new science fiction concepts here. It's straight self aware comedic gold, designed for people who just want to enjoy a ridiculous setting with ridiculous characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Infernal City

  • Elder Scrolls Series #1
  • By: Greg Keyes
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 545
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 507
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 507

Four decades after the Oblivion Crisis, Tamriel is threatened anew by an ancient and all-consuming evil. It is Umbriel, a floating city that casts a terrifying shadow-for wherever it falls, people die and rise again. And it is in Umbriel's shadow that a great adventure begins and a group of unlikely heroes meet. A legendary prince with a secret. A spy on the trail of a vast conspiracy. A mage obsessed with his desire for revenge. And Annaïg, a young girl in whose hands the fate of Tamriel may rest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Umbriel is coming

  • By Brenden Zapp on 02-01-13

A quieter Elder Scrolls experience than imagined.

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

Reviewed: 02-17-18

Anyone who knows of The Elder Scrolls usually is certain of one thing; they will never be able to get enough Elder Scrolls content. It a widely known award winning videogame series focused on immersive fantasy roleplaying in a highly detailed world. This audiobook "The Infernal City" is based within the setting of that videogame series.

As a result most listeners might assume that a series that is all about exploring an epic fantasy world filled with action packed adventure and danger would have an audiobook that reflects that, but only one of the three main characters gets into any actual combat. This book also ends in a bit of a non conclusive whimper that more or less triggers the question of whether or not the story is even planning to continue in a different book.

The narration was excellent, however, and the flavor that makes up the richness of the setting is there. It's only the storyline itself that seems to wonder around.

Three main characters make up the bulk of the story,  a minor Breton (elf) noblewoman who dabbles in adventure and alchemy, her laid back childhood Argonian (lizardman) friend, and a disillusioned prince trying to rescue them from a otherworldly floating city that feeds on souls and contains a strange and ruthless society. As personalities these characters are entertaining, but the events surrounding them tend to wonder. The first two characters spend the book learning to adapt and survive amoung the people that live in the floating city, while the prince avoids assassinations while following a mysterious character around that knows how to get to the city.

This book is an odd example of great thoughts, discriptions and ideas that, dispite being interesting, can't seem to fold together into any great and memorable whole. This audiobook is recommended to listeners who grew up and enjoy the elder scrolls universe, but listeners new to the setting might feel a bit bogged down attempting to learn it for the first time.

  • The Lost World

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Glen McCready
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,917
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,731
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,733

Here is the precursor to Jurassic Park. Victorian explorers have heard there is a remote plateau where dinosaurs still survive, and a group set outs on a dangerous mission to find out more about it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wit and Drama

  • By Simon Fraser on 07-26-09

A creative 1912 classic that shows its age poorly.

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

Reviewed: 01-15-18

This book, written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1912, has some science fiction creativity within it that was ground braking for it's time. A pocket world discovered by explorers filled with strange ape men, tribal wars and dinosaurs? It's wonderous, thrilling and adventureous; the Jurassic Park thought up before Michael Crichton was even born.

Unfortunately, it's also very, VERY dated. No only is the language use very aged, but certain aspects of social perspectives of the otherwise humorously flawed main characters would be considered flat out extremely racist today. It's a terrible shame, really. The setting of exploration would make for a great movie, but the script would have to be heavily modified in order to avoid upsetting everyone in the theater.

This book, even though it is a classic, can only be recommended to those who  relieze that some books have not aged in a way that reflect modern values. It's a product of it's time and it shows, sometimes in some very negative ways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • When

  • By: Victoria Laurie
  • Narrated by: Whitney Dykhouse
  • Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,546
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,416
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,410

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father's premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • When is your death day?

  • By Martina Dalton on 05-07-17

A missed opportunity for a brilliant concept.

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

Reviewed: 01-14-18

"When" is murder mystery book with great ideas for a supernatural twist with a very bland writing and narration style. The quality of the ideas contradicted so harshly with how the author decided write them down, that sometimes it's almost painful to listen to.

This audiobook clocks in at nine hours fourteen minutes, but roughly two hours of that time probably didn't really need to be there. Most of the middle of the book seemed to drag itself out by repeating old information without adding anything new to the actual mystery. It's also written with a juvenile air, which made the whole thing seem like was purposefully but pointlessly excluding an audience that wasn't just entering their teens. It is simply the way this tale is told that makes this narrowing of it's potential audience feel like a well intentioned mistake that becomes the more noticeable the longer it is listened to.

The ideas in this murder mystery could have appealed to almost ANY mystery fan of a wider range of listeners if the grammar use was slightly more mature, the adult characters where made a little more believable in their interactions with the main character, and a bit more research was done on police procedure. Basically, with only a slight bit of input from an editor, this story could have been brilliant for anybody at or above their early teens, but as it stands now more adult listeners might get irritated enough to tune it out at the middle section of the book.

This story focuses on a high school student trying to prevent a series of violent deaths from the hands of a serial killer by using an odd supernatural ability to tell what exact date people she can see up close are going to die on. The characters all had potential; the main character and her friend trying do figure out how to do the right thing without making themselves scapegoats for suspicious FBI agents, the alcoholic mother who is more of a hindrance then a help, the supportive uncle who is frustrated by his inability to help her and her mother more, the interesting relationships the main character has in her community, and towards the end one of the FBI agents attempts to come to some sort of understanding with a supernatural phenomena. A listener will probably grow to want to know about them, but despite that, there is a nagging sensation that most of them could have been developed even more.

This book is recommended as a psychological thriller and murder mystery for early teens. Unfortunately it also feels like a messed opportunity because it limits itself to just this audience. Again, brilliant concept, but something just feels like it's messing.

  • Mercury Rises

  • Mercury, Book 2
  • By: Robert Kroese
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 246
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 248

Fresh off their successful quest to thwart not one, but two diabolical plots to destroy the world, jaded reporter Christine Temetri and rough cherub Mercury find that mysterious powers outranking even the Heavenly bureaucracy seem intent on keeping the Apocalypse on track. Mercury Rises continues author Robert Kroese’s tale of the heroic cherub Mercury, who is generally well-intentioned, rarely well-behaved, and always well-armed with a droll remark. While the world is plagued by natural disasters and nations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A humorous distraction, I enjoyed it very much!

  • By Tatia on 06-19-16

More humor from the heavens.

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18


Step one: Listen to first book and laugh.
Step two: Listen to this book and laugh harder.

The Mercury series is a humorous take on religious themes and viewpoints sprung from a story about a whimsical angel and the kooky other characters he interacts with while trying to delay the end of days. It uses biblical events as a reference to build it's wacky universe filled with funny reimaginings and goofy plot twists that is sure to make a listener smile. This audiobook is a self aware comedy that can't even take itself seriously if it tried.

"Mercury Rising" takes place after a breif recovery period from the first book. There are new characters, new comedic reimaginings of biblical events, and a pleasantly confusing jumble of humor and philosophical reflection that made the successful leap from the first book.
In all fairness, sometimes the plot can seem a bit tangled as the past and present leaps in logic are a bit jumbled sometimes due how many there are, but if a listener knows what took place in the first book and doesn't mind random flashbacks then it shouldn't be much of an issue. The jokes are still there regardless and they are great.

The narrator was simply hilarious. Kevin Stillwell really got into his voicework here, especially his interpritation of Noah singing his crazy "Who built the ark?" song. Great stuff.

This book is recommended to anybody would needs a good clean laugh and appreciates and unconventional setting to laugh at.

  • All These Worlds

  • Bobiverse, Book 3
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 36,822
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 34,480
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,382

Being a sentient spaceship really should be more fun. But after spreading out through space for almost a century, Bob and his clones just can't stay out of trouble. They've created enough colonies so humanity shouldn't go extinct. But political squabbles have a bad habit of dying hard, and the Brazilian probes are still trying to take out the competition. And the Bobs have picked a fight with an older, more powerful species with a large appetite and a short temper.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Satisfying End to a Fun Series

  • By Craig Schorling on 08-20-17

Great conclusion that keeps up a sense of wonder.

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

Reviewed: 01-09-18

The Bobiverse series is great because somehow the main character manages to get involved in almost every science fiction scenario at once. For the first two books we listened to his and the other Bob replicants' various struggles to save the human race and explore the galaxy in a humorous but comprehensive way. Bob, all of him, is a truly unique character that makes him perfect for the sense of wonder and discovery that these books try to bring to listeners.

Ray Porter does an excellent job with the narration and really brings the highlights of the Bobiverse to the ear. The Bobiverse covers a lot of content so keeping the narration engaging for the audiobook version is extremely important. Great job, Ray Porter.

"All These Worlds" is the third book in the Bobiverse series and the writing and pacing of the plot threads are still just as excellent as the first two. It also wraps up it's conclusion fantasticly. Plot points are brought to a satisfying close for most of the key characters yet there is just enough wonder to make a listener still want to see what is over the horizon. Is this the last Bobiverse story? If it is, this book leaves a listener content. If it is not, then there was just enough open ended wonder that the author could continue without much trouble.

This book, and the entire Bobiverse series, is highly recommended to science fiction listeners who love exploration. Bob is a surprisingly relatable character that most scifi fans will appreciate and his adventures are a wonderful nod to space exploration plots of the past that will make people smile.

  • Paradox Bound

  • A Novel
  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,356
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,768
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,747

Nothing ever changes in Sanders. The town's still got a video store, for God's sake. So why doesn't Eli Teague want to leave? Not that he'd ever admit it, but maybe he's been waiting - waiting for the traveler to come back. The one who's roared into his life twice before, pausing just long enough to drop tantalizing clues before disappearing in a cloud of gunfire and a squeal of tires. The one who's a walking anachronism, with her tricorne hat, flintlock rifle, and steampunked Model A Ford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Standard Clines. Fun and forgettable

  • By Debra on 10-07-17

Fun, full of twists, and delightfully crazy.

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

Reviewed: 12-31-17


Time travel is an insane concept to follow in any form of media. The idea itself is always a chain of tangled twists, turns and paradoxical situations. Throw in Peter Clines' chaotic and thrill filled writing style along with Ray Porters' narration talent and listeners get something truly nutty but amazing like "Paradox Bound". It's an entertaining audiobook and one well told.

The main character, Eli Teague, is a guy who slowly became obsessed with a series of odd encounters with a seemingly unaging woman in civil war era clothing driving a strange car that he would randomly encounter a few times while growing up. At age twenty nine he meets her again, but this time someone or something trying to track her down thinks he might be a lead to her location. Before long he is on the run in a strange car across American history, looking for something so abstract that no one alive seems to understand exactly what it is.

The characters are well rounded. The web of events twist and turn in interesting ways. Odd rules of the setting will make a listener sit back and really think about the challenges of the characters face.

This book is highly recommended to listeners who crave the unpredicable mystery in their science fiction thrills. It's as wacky as it is thoughtful, making this story really hard to stop listening to once it starts.

  • Dream Park

  • By: Larry Niven, Steven Barnes
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

A group of pretend adventurers suit up for a campaign called "The South Seas Treasure Game". As in the early role-playing games, there are dungeon masters, warriors, magicians, and thieves. The difference? At Dream Park, a futuristic fantasy theme park full of holographic attractions and the latest in VR technology, they play in an artificial enclosure that has been enhanced with special effects, holograms, actors, and a clever story line. The players get as close as possible to truly living their adventure.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Role-playing to death. What is real? What is fake?

  • By The Super-duper Amazing Silver Golem on 12-27-17

Role-playing to death. What is real? What is fake?

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

Reviewed: 12-27-17

Live action role-playing (or LARPing) is a real thing, believe it or not. As mixture of improve acting and strategy it is an event hard to categorize if you never heard of it before. It's not really acting, not really a sport, not really a convention, nor really a board game...it's a blend of all of these things and people really do participate in these organized events to goof off in a fictional scenario have fun with fellow enthusiasts.

This book was written in 1981, to play with the concept of what such events would be like in a future with advanced technologies used to enhance the immersion of these LARPing games. Ironically, it's spooky how close this book comes to ideas being implemented today. "Dream Park" is basically a murder mystery set in a theme park in a future where virtual reality, reality television, videogames, and special effects have become so advanced and blended together that the gamers discover that this immersion can be potentially harmful  when you can't distinguish between real or fictional threats.

While the murder mystery is the over arcing threat of the story, this audiobook would mostly be recommended to listeners who appreciate ideas and concepts built around the plot rather than the plot itself. Again, written in 1981, it's a tad dated in some respects, yet it has the same imaginative feeling that opening an old journal or time capsule filled with predictions and ideas would inspire.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful