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J. Mathews

San Jose, CA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 65
  • ratings
  • Centauri Bliss: Publisher's Pack

  • By: Skyler Grant
  • Narrated by: David Benjamin Bliss
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212

Centauri Bliss, book 1: Quinn doesn't have much to his name but a broken-down old freighter; even keeping it fueled is a constant struggle on the edges of civilized space where jobs are scarce and honest ones non-existent. With the death of the Emperor civilized space begins to dissolve into squabbling factions fighting for control and beautiful new passengers aboard Quinn's ship all bring their own load of problems and opportunities. Centauri Honor, book 2: An ancient magical threat is unleashed....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The good parts make it worth it.

  • By J. Mathews on 01-26-19

The good parts make it worth it.

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

Reviewed: 01-26-19

The space opera action is good, and the story interesting. I enjoyed the book enough to want to find out what happens next and I will gladly pick up the next chapters when they come out. Be aware that this books contains several fairly graphic sex scenes, something I always find a little awkward to listen to - though the narrator did a good job with them. I had two negatives. The first is the harem male fantasy written into the book - all the female characters are very attractive and want to have sex with the main male character, and each-other - everything gets very Heinlein-esque. However, most of the female characters have at least as much depth as the male character, they are skilled, and they don't need constant rescuing (at least no more than the male character). So overall, the good far outweighed the bad and awkward for me.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Hero

  • By: Perry Moore
  • Narrated by: Michael Urie
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,808
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,820

In the story comic book legend Stan Lee calls "spellbinding" and "totally original," Thom Creed has secrets. For one, like his father, he has super powers. Also, he's been asked to join the League—the very organization of superheroes that spurned his dad. Then there’s the secret Thom can barely face himself: he's gay. But becoming a member of the League opens up a new world to Thom. There, he connects with a misfit group of aspiring heroes, including Scarlett, Typhoid Larry, and Ruth, a wise old broad who can see the future. Like Thom, these heroes have things to hide....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Give it a listen!

  • By Robert on 10-25-10

This is much more a gay coming of age story

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

I am not the target audience of this book. The story is really about a teen growing up gay - and just happens to have super powers, rather than the other way around. If you are gay, you will probably better relate to the protagonist's experiences and you may enjoy this book more than me. Having had a admittedly boring, standard childhood, I didn't directly relate to those experiences, and there wasn't enough build up in the main character to draw me into them.

  • Space Knight

  • By: Michael-Scott Earle
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,208
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,096
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,093

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

Some issues make this just an OK book

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

Being a YA title, I tried to give this book a lot of slack in some areas. I didn't expect it's magic system to be well developed, and I didn't expect the characters too have a lot of depth. But, the book pushed me out when it would suddenly change into video-game mode when gear was described in ways that don't make sense in a non-video-game world. And, worse for me, the main character starts as this street smart kid living the rough life, but then changes into this weird naive hero making naive choices. I don't want to indicate it was a terrible book; I thought it was OK even given the flaws indicated, and I really enjoyed Nick Podehl as the narrator.

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,973
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,977

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hours in, restarted so husband could listen too!

  • By Pikay on 12-13-14

Very Good - Start to Finish

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

I'm going to have to be fairly vague so I won't give away the plot, but just from the description and sample audio, you know the gist of what's going on. But even knowing, I found that it was still quite engaging the whole way through and I went through this audio-book far too fast. I even liked the ending (which is often not the case); it felt right for the story and didn't rely of factors not already given to you in the story. The narrator did a great job of giving the character's distinct voices or speech mannerisms.

  • A Life in Parts

  • By: Bryan Cranston
  • Narrated by: Bryan Cranston
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,359
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,031
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,007

Bryan Cranston landed his first role at seven, when his father, a struggling actor and director, cast him in a United Way commercial. Soon Bryan was haunting the local movie theater, memorizing and reenacting favorite scenes with his older brother. Acting was clearly the boy's destiny - until one day his father disappeared. Suddenly destiny took a backseat to survival. Seeking something more stable, perhaps subconsciously trying to distance himself from his absent father, Cranston decided on a career in law enforcement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • They're all good parts.

  • By kelli mcgourty on 10-23-16

I really wanted to like this more

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

Bryan Cranston has a great voice. He has lead an interesting life. My issue with this book is that the various stories from his life are not grouped into anything overarching. It's just stories from his life, jumping in time, sometimes working together, but often not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Bone Triangle

  • Unspeakable Things Series, Book 2
  • By: B. V. Larson
  • Narrated by: Benjamin L. Darcie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 426
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 398
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 398

Beyond the din and dancing lights of the Las Vegas strip, a young woman has mysteriously gone missing. All the facts point to something sinister - even paranormal. Quentin Draith, supernatural crime investigator, is hired to assist. However, the deeper Draith digs, the more otherworldly his assignment gets. Assassins, human and otherwise, put a target on Draith’s head and a ravenous alien beast starts rampaging through the city. The clues point Draith to Sin City’s infamous “Bone Triangle,” a neighborhood marked for its dark happenings and disappearances.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Reader is nearly intolerable

  • By WK on 05-08-13

Just more of the same

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

Reviewed: 08-08-18

If you liked the first book, you may also like this one. For me, I discovered that the uniqueness of the first book has worn thin, and it failed to make up for the repetitive story line and lack of substance of the book.

  • Forging Hephaestus

  • Villains' Code Series, Book 1
  • By: Drew Hayes
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 26 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,886
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,880

Gifted with meta-human powers, Tori Rivas kept away from the limelight, preferring to work as a thief in the shadows. But when she's captured trying to rob a vault that belongs to a secret guild of villains, she's offered a hard choice: prove she has what it takes to join them or be eliminated. Apprenticed to one of the world's most powerful (and supposedly dead) villains, she is thrust into a strange world where the lines that divide superheroes and criminals are more complex than they seem.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Nice Surprise with some Really Fun Characters

  • By Small Mountain on 09-29-17

Interesting and Creative Characters

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

If you haven't listened to other superhero - villain tales, you'll enjoy the alternate perspective, and if you have listened to the others let me assure you that this is a good one. I went through this listen far faster than I should have. The author has created a number of unique character power sets. The main characters are interesting and intelligent. The action isn't quite non-stop, but the story moves. There were a few moments of hand wringing that went just a little too long, and some of the periphery characters are a little cliche, but not much time is spent with them and the overlong moments were few. I recommend this and look forward to book 2.

  • Children of Time

  • By: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Narrated by: Mel Hudson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,175
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,811
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,773

Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating Premise Within an Excellent Story

  • By Kurt Schwoppe on 07-30-17

Intelligent Sci-Fi

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

Reviewed: 01-09-18

This book made me stop and think about the ideas and results of technology that the author created. I enjoyed that aspect and the entire book a lot... except the climax ending, which was not as good as the rest of the book. I don't want to reveal too much, so I will leave it at that. I also must say that the end of the denouement was very interesting to me and I hope it is a setup for a second book.

  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic

  • Arcane Ascension, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Rowe
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,961
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 17,809
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,769

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess. He never returned. Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good book

  • By Jason N. on 07-20-17

Unusual Fantasy

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

Reviewed: 11-27-17

The author has created an unusual world with an unusual magical system. I really liked the main hero because he uses intelligence and action to achieve his goals. The supporting cast are mostly fleshed out with only one character coming across as flinchingly cliche, but even he gets some development by the end. I will definitely be buying the next in the series when it comes out.

  • Starship's Mage Omnibus

  • Starship's Mage Series #1
  • By: Glynn Stewart
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,866
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,736
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,737

In a galaxy tied together by the magic of the elite Jump Magi, Damien Montgomery is a newly graduated member of their number. With no family or connections to find a ship, he is forced into service on an interstellar freighter known to be hunted by pirates. When he takes drastic action to save the Blue Jay from their pursuers, he sets in motion a sequence of events beyond his control and attracts enemies on both sides of the law.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Fun Spacey Adventure

  • By Matthew on 11-29-16

If you can accept magic in space - it's good

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

Reviewed: 11-27-17

The book is a nice little space opera. I enjoyed it once I got beyond the idea of magic in space. I'm kind of surprised at some of the reviews complaining about the narrator. Personally, I find Jeffrey Kafer's style works for this story, plus it sounds just like the sample.