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Tim Ward

Des Moines, IA
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  • 88
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  • Finally Free

  • Fighting for Purity With the Power of Grace
  • By: Heath Lambert
  • Narrated by: Bob Souer
  • Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 83

If you have struggled personally against the powerful draw of pornography, or if you have ever tried to help someone fighting this battle, you know how hard it is to break free. But real freedom isn't found by trying harder to change. Nor is it found in a particular method or program. Only Jesus Christ has the power to free people from the enslaving power of pornography. In Finally Free, Dr. Heath Lambert, a leader in the biblical counseling movement, lays out eight gospel-centered strategies for overcoming the deceitful lure of pornography.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great book

  • By Chris Wandor on 04-26-17

We need books like this

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I’m very thankful to God for delivering me from my chains to pornography. A book like this when I was in middle school may have saved me years of struggle in sin. The gospel is the power of God, and through it we most certainly can receive forgiveness of sins and freedom from temptation.

  • 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 37,833
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 35,414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,309

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

Ran out of steam

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

Reviewed: 10-12-17

The first two books in this series will contend for my top books read this year. I'm not sure what happened in this conclusion, but the humor faded significantly and the plot left me not caring. I didn't like the subplot about the children of the woman holding a grudge against one of the Bobs. The book was decent, but nowhere near as entertaining as the first two.

Audio production was top notch as usual for the series. Unfortunately the story did not give it much room to shine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mine

  • By: Brett Battles
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,130
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,056
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,053

Something happened that night in the woods at Camp Red Hawk. But all Joel and Leah can recall is sneaking out for a late hike with five camp friends and that only the two of them and their friend Mike returned. They have no memory of what happened to the others. No memory of anything after leaving the camp. In the years that follow, they realize something has changed inside of them. They are different from others in ways they never should be. In ways that send their lives down disturbing and terrifying paths.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A thrilling sci-fi adventure

  • By Victor @ theAudiobookBlog on 11-10-16

disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-04-17

I liked the premise and the cover, but as the story moved on, I kept thinking how little I enjoyed the character interactions. The idea of a strange power spiriting away a group of kids and then giving them (spoiler) was cool, but on a scene by scene level, I did not enjoy the story. The narrator might not be bad, but he didn't help my takeaway as finding the character engagement too commonplace, and not entertaining enough to keep me wanting to read more.

  • Earth Alone

  • Earthrise, Book 1
  • By: Daniel Arenson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,085
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 990
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 989

They came from deep space. They came to destroy us. Fifty years ago bloodthirsty aliens devastated the Earth. Most of humanity perished. We fell into darkness. But now we rise from the ashes. Now we fight back. Marco Emery was born into the war. After his mother is killed, he joins the Human Defense Force, Earth's ragtag army. Emery must survive basic training, become a soldier, and finally face the aliens in battle. Against the alien onslaught, Earth stands alone. But we will fight. We will rise. We will win.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 50 years of war, death, destruction and despair

  • By Mike Keller on 11-26-16

solid character and war build up for excellent SF

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

Reviewed: 07-04-17

This was my first experience reading Arenson. I'm solidly impressed with what he's done here, both with the story premise and how I felt in the end about wanting to read on in the series.

The blurb says this is an ideal fit for fans of Ender's Game and Starship Troopers. I agree. Earth Alone delivers on the sense of camaraderie that builds in a boot camp setting, while empathizing with the difficult scenarios that brought each member. The main character has a strong love triangle situation going, and while Earth Alone is not a romance, you feel for the young man being a bit of a romantic, and getting his heart broken once or twice along the way. We have plenty going for it as the series builds off book two in this regard, but more so in the aspect of him learning to be a soldier. I don't want to spoil the transformation, so I'll just say Arenson did a great job with this character and making me want to root for him in subsequent books.

The premise is a good one for fans of alien invasion and military science fiction. The aliens that invaded fifty years ago pushed Earth's buttons, and got nuked pretty bad because of it. The strategy shifted to more of a death by a thousand cuts approach, where they send advance troops that land like meteors, can infect people with hideous and sterilizing diseases, and can certainly kill hundreds at a time before they're taken down. This takes our main character, who would rather read and write his life away in the comfort of peace, and forces him into war. I really empathized with him in this. I have so much admiration for our service members for doing what I don't and can't. Well, our main character doesn't have that freedom to avoid the sacrifices and struggle to come in the war he'll be thrown into, and I admired seeing not only how he reacted, but also how Arenson crafted his story.

There's a sense looking back on books like Starship Troopers, Ender's Game, and more modern examples like Germline and Quarter Share that books this good, and the authors who write them, are hard to find. I believe Earth Share is one of those books, and seeing how prolific Arenson is encourages me of the many more stories I'll have to enjoy.

The narration by Jeffrey Kafer is as always a rock solid contribution to audiobook loving military science fiction. This guy keeps getting gigs for a good reason, and I'm glad to see him joining this project.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Good Behavior

  • By: Blake Crouch
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Blake Crouch
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,886
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,721
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,715

Fresh out of prison and fighting to keep afloat, Letty Dobesh returns to her old tricks burglarizing suites at a luxury hotel. While on the job, she overhears a man hiring a hit man to kill his wife. Letty may not be winning any morality awards, but even she has limits. Unable to go to the police, Letty sets out to derail the job, putting herself on a collision course with the killer that entangles the two of them in a dangerous, seductive relationship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW!! Three must read novellas!

  • By Wayne on 02-05-17

Even in straight thrillers, Blake is outstanding

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

Reviewed: 05-20-17

Blake Crouch has toped my best book of the year list two years running, from his second book in the Wayward Pines trilogy, Wayward, in 2015 to Dark Matter in 2016. Good Behavior shows once again how talented Blake is and why every new release of his will skip the line to the top of my to read list.

Good Behavior is a different story than I'm used to from Blake, since it isn't science fiction or horror, but kind of a noir thriller that has a phenomenal central character. She's an addict who was robbing a hotel room when while hiding in the closet, here's the plot of a man hiring a hitman to kill his wife. Our heroine sees this as an opportunity to cross back over the moral line and help the woman before she is killed. That's the story of the first of three novellas in this collection, but every one was fantastic.

I enjoyed the narratives in between the story where Blake tells us about his inspirations, how his main character was born, and the story behind the television show based on these stories. I am excited that these stories are not the same as the show and that I heard Blake's reason behind it, so that I could enjoy the show with that insight.

If I had to pick a favorite of the three novellas, I'd pick the last one. They are mostly chronological, though I did wonder whether they used everything that prior stories had happen. I won't spoil anything, so I can't really expand on that. The last one gave us the most conclusive wrap up of Letty's character arc, so that's why I'd pick that one, though really each story had powerful twists and emotional involvement. She's an addict who replaces drugs with thievery, but also has goals of entering her young child's life again after drugs and jail forced her to revoke her guardianship. You root for her being the mother she wants to be, but also suffer with her as she's pulled between her addictions and helping those she meets along the way.

The audiobook narration is top notch. Julia Whelan is a new voice to me, but she executed Letty's character perfectly. At no point did I think, oh, this is just a narrator. That's how real her portrayal of Letty was for me. Cheers on the outstanding job to all. Keep them coming.

  • For We Are Many

  • Bobiverse, Book 2
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 42,462
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 39,764
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39,652

Bob Johansson didn't believe in an afterlife, so waking up after being killed in a car accident was a shock. To add to the surprise, he is now a sentient computer and the controlling intelligence for a Von Neumann probe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Denis E.Taylor Sets A New Standard For Sci-Fi

  • By Devin on 04-18-17

strong mystery set in a space opera, even better

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

Reviewed: 05-20-17

As I wrote in my review of the first book in this series, We are Legion, this series took me by surprise with the clean story, light hearted humor and challenging conflicts, while exploring intelligently how an unsuspecting human turned A.I. might discover the secrets of the galaxy. To elaborate on what I mean by "clean" in the story, I mean this isn't a tough read to grasp. It is very intelligent, but written in a way that allows the reader to sit back and enjoy the story instead of feeling behind and like one has to slow down to catch all the plot points and character information. So far this year, this is easiest escape in reading.

The sequel continues to challenge our hero-A.I. with new threats and upstarts from ones he met in the first book. As I write this, I'm faced with every part I want to get excited about being a spoiler for those who haven't read this, so I'll just say that after loving the first book, For We Are Many exceeded my lofty expectations for how the story could expand and face greater conflict that we predicted in the first book. I love seeing how many reviews this book has because it and all who took part in its production deserve every bit of its success.

I listened to the audiobook produced by Audible Studios and narrated by Ray Porter, one of my top 3 narrators across any genre. Overall, I loved the production and experience of the audio format. The humor is delivered well; characters stand out even among the growing number of A.I.'s ; and the tension hits just as it should. My one complaint is that there are not a few places where new lines were inserted from separate reading environments that I wish would have been replicated in however they filter/edit so that it was more seamless. With a production as high quality as this, the bumps are forgiven, but I'd still like to see that fixed in future books.

In conclusion, my highest recommendation to the Bobiverse for readers interested in a fun space exploration by an every day computer coder resurrected into an A.I. space commander... with multiple personalities mimicking characters ranging from Star Trek to The Simpsons.

  • Alien: River of Pain

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Christopher Golden, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Anna Friel, Philip Glenister, Colin Salmon, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,189
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,180

Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, only to discover that LV-426 — where the crew of the Nostromo first came into contact with the deadly xenomorphs — has been renamed Acheron. Protected by Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet against all the odds. But in the face of brutal living conditions and the daily struggles of a new world, there is humanity and hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please make more of these! These are excellent!

  • By Brian on 04-28-17

great filler book for Alien fans

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

Reviewed: 05-05-17

For fans of Alien and space horror in general, this will be a great experience. The audio production by Audible studios and the narrator cast is top notch, from the sound of the face huggers breaking loose and whipping about to the pulse of machine gun fire--the audiobook feels just like the movie in high def. The voice acting is expertly done and once again you really can't tell Sigourney Weaver isn't playing Ripley. This is legit Alien, and I haven't even started on the story.

I was a little unsure about the placement of this book after having listened to the last Alien audiobook, Out of the Shadows. Is this a direct sequel or just another story? I don't want to spoil why I say that, but I feel one of the emotional moments for Ripley is repeated, and I couldn't tell if that meant it these two are unrelated Alien side stories or maybe if I missed something and it was just a dream. (Hint it has to do with her daughter).

I enjoyed meeting Newt and seeing her life and family prior to meeting Ripley. Nice emotional investment in the parents and their relationship struggles affecting the kids. There was a question lingering after the end about the survival of a character which the audio presentation did not clear up. For the most part, you can follow along as well as if you were watching, and for that the crew did a great job.

Overall, the story was very good, but lacked a real climax to make this a five star. It will scratch the itch for Alien fans waiting for the next satisfying movie to enter the canon, but as a self contained story, it felt lacking in the end.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62,698
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 58,838
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58,727

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you're on the fence about whether to read this, get off and read it!

  • By I Don’t Need No Stinkin Name on 09-15-17

outstanding

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

I heard great things about this funny scifi book. Not knowing any more than that and the assumption from the title that it would have some kind of A.I. named Bob, I was greatly surprised to see exactly why this book has such strong reviews. It is hilarious and increasingly clever as we see how the A.I. is born and how he'll spread across the galaxy. I won't spoil any more. The narrator is one of my favorites and really fit the fun, explorative scifi tone. Loved it, team Audible Studios!!

  • Agent G

  • Infiltrator
  • By: C. T. Phipps
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 142

In a world where virtually any death can be bought for the right price, follow the path of a high-tech assassin searching for answers to questions he shouldn't be asking along with his next target. Agent G is a Letter, one of the Society's 26 weapons for hire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Borrowed ideas but a good read.

  • By cosmitron on 04-26-18

strong scifi assassin story with plenty of twists

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

Reviewed: 04-17-17

Scifi espionage with a feel that is part Narcos and another part Bruce Willis. C.T. has a knack for keeping nearly every scene with a possible turn in a completely different direction than you expected. Sometimes I feel like I missed something important, but by the end I got it. Strong action and character conflict with the payoff surprise hinged on an assassin trained Chuck style with no memories of his life before he became an Agent. I liked the surprise and really felt for Agent G and what he would do. As with many of C.T.’s books we have a main character given a choice between bad and very bad, and while I would like to see a book that doesn’t have such a grim situation, the outcome in this one was a surprise right to the end. For those who read his book, Esoterrorism, this felt very similar in terms of an agent who can’t trust the company who’s employed him and taught him to kill, but replacing monsters with cybrogs. If a scifi espionage thriller sounds like a story you’d enjoy, I highly recommend this as your next read. The audiobook narration by Jeffrey Kafer is outstanding as usual.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Winter Haunting

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,036
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 958
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 959

A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage - and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween, he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptionally Well Done

  • By Jan on 01-05-16

great twist ending

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

Reviewed: 04-17-17

One of my favorite horror books was Summer of Night by Dan Simmons. This one didn't quite reach that level because what I loved about Summer of Night was the lost innocence of the kids and their neighborhood bike gang unraveling the mystery of the ghosts in town, and this book, while using some of the same characters (was it only one?), did not elicit the same feel. Our one remaining character is in his forties, is depressed following a divorce and end of the affair that caused it, and is struggling to work on his book.

The character work is very good, I just didn't love the characters as much as I did in Summer of Night. The mystery is just as strong, though a little less extended as SoN, but the ending had one of the best creative turns that I've seen in a horror novel. I certainly didn't see that coming. The narration is high quality, though it does have many portions where the narrator obviously inserted recordings from separate sessions, which was odd, and felt like they were mailing it in to not make those additions seamless.

4.5/5 stars