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michael martins

New Bedford, Ma United States
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  • 33
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  • 87
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  • Rebirth

  • Birds of Change, Volume 1
  • By: A. J. Wharton
  • Narrated by: Melody Muzljakovich
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

In a world divided between those who are talented and those who aren't, Vici is a city governed by an egotistical Praetor driven by his hatred for the gifted individuals - the Tallents - who he considers a plague. An explosion rocks the city to its very foundation; the sole survivor a young woman with no memories of her past. Harbored by a mysterious group called Revival, she must rally against the Praetor's tyranny, racing to free the city in hopes that she isn't too late to bring peace to this world in turmoil.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great mix of mythology and mystery

  • By eris on 07-10-19

Magic Powers, Fantasy and Greek Myths

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

Reviewed: 07-12-19

Rebirth was an interesting book and I really wanted to like it more than I did but as it is I only sort of enjoyed it. I like the overall theme and premise but didn't really feel the execution too well, it felt a bit disjointed and some of the dialogue wasn't that great. The story follows Asylia who is the only survivor of a mysterious explosion, the only problem is she has no memory of who she is or what happened to her. She soon falls in with a group named Revival which is made up of "Tallents" which are people with magical abilities/powers. They are all trying to find and protect other "Tallents" like themselves as the leader of the city the Praetor has somewhat of a vendetta against them and has been rounding them up. This leads to some interesting actions and revelations eventually about Asylia and her true past.

The book can be a bit confusing at times, trying to figure out what is actually going on and what everyones motives are. The narration isn't bad and Melody Muze has quite a lot of different voices but the voice of Nix to me is much too high pitched and saccharin sweet which really makes perfect sense for the character since she is a Pixie but I really couldn't take much of it and there is a lot of it, it reminded me of the annoying Fairy voice of Navi in the Legend of Zelda games. The editing could of also been better as quite a few times the same sentence was repeated over again but that was just a minor issue.

Overall it isn't a bad book I was just hoping for more.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Raven's Cry

  • Broken Gears
  • By: Dana Fraedrich
  • Narrated by: Katherine Billings
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Calandra looks back on her old life with envy. What she wouldn't give to be back with her fellow courtiers and their exasperating need to make small talk. That was before the war, before captivity, before the curse that now pursues her through the centuries. The land of Invarnis is on the brink of destruction. How can Calandra help save it if she can't even save herself? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Raven's Cry A Broken Gears Tale

  • By michael martins on 07-07-19

Raven's Cry A Broken Gears Tale

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

Reviewed: 07-07-19

Raven's cry was an interesting and surprising story. The story seems to change a few different times and is somewhat expected. It begins as a normal fantasy novel with the young countess Calandra Allen meeting the young Magi Nicodemus and them forming a relationship and deciding on a marriage. From there things change quite a bit and in an unexpected way. I won't go into specifics as to not ruin anything. Calandra does become cursed though and for half a day each day she transforms into a Raven. She is imprisoned, she is tortured, brutally and she most find a way to escape or die, and dying does not seem to be an option for her as she now seems immortal.

The story takes place in Invarnis which is a magical steampunk world where magic and technology are intertwined with each other and those that are Magical have become the oppressors of those who are not which sets up a rebellion and a war. The character of Calandra is quite interesting and sympathetic and goes through many changes, her story and the book itself could have ended at the conclusion of the war but actually goes on quite a bit more with almost a completely different story which is quite interesting. With a character that is immortal I guess the story never really ends so the book changes as the times change.

I would recommend the book as it was pretty interesting take on fairy tale, fantasies with some steampunk aspects. The narration by Katherine Billings is quite good and really fits the story and characters.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Catalyst Downward Cycle

  • By: J K Franks
  • Narrated by: Steven Varnum
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 365
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366

The super solar storm wasn’t supposed to hit Earth - the odds were against it. And yet it did, and everything changed. The storm causes a global blackout. Society begins to come apart as the planes begin falling from the sky and all traces of normal vanish. Scott Montgomery watches helplessly as pandemonium consumes the world around him. But the loss of electrical power is just the first of the problems facing the survivors in the chaos that follows.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • On to book two

  • By TinkerMel on 08-10-17

Character driven post apocalyptic story

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

Reviewed: 07-05-19

Catalyst Downward Cycle was a very good Post Apocalyptic story with a bit of a different take. The beginning of the end is brought about by Solar Flares or Coronal Mass Ejections(CME's) which throws the world into chaos by decimating the power grid and many electronics in general. The story takes place mostly in a small town in Mississippi and follows the character of Scott a 30 something recently divorced computer consultant for homeland security. He is a bicycle enthusiast which plays a fairly large role in the book. After the CME when the power goes out, things don't appear to be too bad and most people just think this is going to be a temporary thing, though Scott doesn't really think so and begins to make plans and prepare, he comes across some other towns folk of like mind, Todd, Bartos and Jack a preacher. They help each other out a bit and start to form a friendship. Scott learns some things from a friend with higher security clearance than him just how bad things really are and how they are likely to get much worse and he decides to inform his new friends.

Scott is a pretty cool character who seems fairly smart and practical and willing to do what needs to be done but one of my major complaints is how much respect other characters give him and almost defer to him when they barely know him and may not even seem the most capable or prepared out of the group but that is a minor quibble.

The story is pretty interesting and very character driven with the interactions of various characters, friend and foe. Their is a mission to travel to Florida to rescue/find Scotts niece who was away at college when the CME hit and has not been heard from, then there is the tasks of surviving and trying to keep the community together through all the pressures and hardships and of course there is a power struggle. There is also another storyline which is fully explored in this novel but probably will be in future installments more in depth of a secret government group which is now working to essentially cull some of the population so they can save the overall country and of course still be in control, and towards the end in the prologue gets very conspiracy theory-ish, which could be interesting if done correctly but how it will intersect with are small group of characters is yet to be seen.

The narration by Steve Varnum was very good and lent itself well to the story. His voice for female characters isn't the best but it really isn't much of an issue. He did pronounce 'Pwned' wrong, which for the character of a computer nerd isn't likely(he pronounced it Pawned instead of Powned). I am very interested in reading future installments to see where this story goes.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Three of Swords

  • Empire Asunder, Book 1
  • By: Michael Jason Brandt
  • Narrated by: Matthew Jackson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12

With one fateful decision, the Empire of Twelve Kingdoms drifts from tenuous peace to limitless conflict. Emperor Eberhart's unexpected abdication creates an absence of power just as the land most needs leadership. Kinship, unity, and hope give way to ambition, conspiracy, and tragedy. Royal families, once allied, now fight for the throne, heedless of a rising threat from abroad. All the while, an ancient, sinister presence looms in forgotten corners, awaiting the opportunity to reclaim a world it once enslaved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Audiobook version

  • By Robert on 05-19-19

Solid start to a fantasy series.

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

Reviewed: 07-04-19

Three of Swords is a great start to a fantasy series. There are tons of characters to follow from different kingdoms and they are all pretty interesting, I think it will be very interesting in future installments to see how they all come together. With all the characters I can see it being difficult to follow and keep track for some people. My only real problem with it myself I couldn't really picture where all the kingdoms are in relation to each other, I don't know if the physical copy of the book includes a map of the world but I think it would be really helpful to have and possibly supply a pdf version with the audiobook so you can better visualize things, I mean there are twelve kingdoms so I think it would be very helpful. The story begins with the Emperor of the Twelve Kingdoms suddenly abdicates his position which then leads to intrigue and civil wars within the empire as a power struggle begins. There is also a deeper danger that is eluded too and seems to be the reason the emperor has abdicated in the first place and seems to come to play near the end of this novel. There are so many 'main' characters that I won't really get into them in depth but there are a lot and they are all very interesting in their own ways and can't wait to see how things progress with them.

I would say this is somewhat Game of Thrones esque as there are tons of characters, power struggles, politics, intrigue, betrayal etc. I don't know if it is as grand but we will see how future installments progress. The narration by Matthew Jackson was great and fits the story and style very well. I would definitely recommend this book and I can't wait to read the next book to see how the story progresses and how the characters will evolve.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dragon Ascending

  • Vanir Dragon Series, Book 1
  • By: Amy Beatty
  • Narrated by: Christopher Dukes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

Edrik, son of the murdered Drake regent, never gained his dragon magic and cannot shapeshift into his dragon form. Unfit to marry his love, the Princess Lissara, Edrik embarks on a dangerous mission to prove himself worthy. He seeks Lissara's missing father, the dragon king, before an enemy usurps the throne. Unfortunately, the search for the king brings Edrik to a dungeon located in human territory. Inside the prison, Edrik discovers the missing king, whose captors are unaware of his true identity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A different dragon story.

  • By michael martins on 07-04-19

A different dragon story.

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

Reviewed: 07-04-19

Dragon Ascending was a very entertaining book. It is a different dragon story, the dragons in this book can take human form or more accurately they can change from human form to dragon form which I have not seen very often in most other stories. The characters are very interesting especially Mudge. The story mainly follows the characters or Mudge and Edrick(Rolf). Mudge is a young dungeon keeper who is much different than you would expect. Edrick is a drake which is a dragon in their human form he is on a quest and has been imprisoned in Mudge's dungeon. They develop an interesting relationship along with the other prisoners of Grubbarch(Styg) and Finn(Other Dragon). An interesting journey soon ensues and their is quite a bit of action, romance, humor and danger. There is much more to it and quite a few surprise twists along the way but I don't want to give anything away.

I would definitely recommend the book it was very fun and entertaining. There is a bit more romance than some people might like but my main complaint with it is how oblivious some of the characters are to each others feelings but that is often the case in these types of stories. The narration of Christopher Duke was excellent and I really enjoyed his voice and accent, my only minor complaint is he takes a lot of deep breaths between sentences which if you actually notice and focus on can be distracting, but it really is minor and if you aren't OCD and don't zone in on it is almost not even noticeable.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Knights of the Dead God

  • Broken Redemption, Book 1
  • By: James Jakins
  • Narrated by: Senn Annis
  • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

The half-orc girl, Mikaia Goretusk, has been torn from her home. Her world. Her family. Her only allies are the holy knight, Arthur Shield, once sworn to kill everyone she has ever cared for, and the witch, Hazel Midd. Arthur struggles with the guilt of being unable to save his god. Hazel seeks desperately for something taken from her. They distrust each other, but both are compelled to protect the young girl.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Action Packed Story

  • By Brian on 06-25-19

Good Story with cool characters!

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

Reviewed: 07-02-19

Knights of the Dead God is a cool story that takes place in an interesting world. This is a standalone novel but there is a previous book that takes place in this world with some of these characters, I never read that one and think it would of added some backstory to this but it isn't needed to enjoy this book. It has a good amount of action and cool fight scenes and the character of Arthur shield is a bit of a badass.

The narration by Senn Annis was very good. I would recommend the book and am interested in listening to the previous book which appears to have taken place more in the modern world then in this 'medieval' world.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Allies and Enemies: Fallen

  • Allies and Enemies Series, Book 1
  • By: Amy J. Murphy
  • Narrated by: Erin Bateman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Born into service of the Regime, Commander Sela Tyron is about as subtle as a hammer. To hammers, any problem can look like a nail, but things aren't always that easy. When Sela is abandoned with her team on a planet full of insurrectionists, things get complicated. A daredevil rescue by her commanding officer reaps deadly consequences, forcing Sela to choose between the only life she's ever known and the fate of the man she's duty-bound to protect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci-Fi Action with a great story

  • By michael martins on 06-29-19

Sci-Fi Action with a great story

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

Reviewed: 06-29-19

Allies and Enemies: Fallen is a great sci-fi story with compelling take on what is right and wrong, who is friend and foe and what to believe when everything you have ever been taught doesn't seem to make sense anymore.

The story follows Commander Sela Tyron who is a 'Breeder' which is a genetically engineered soldier that has been raised from birth to fight and not question there orders. They are not necessarily slaves but definitely a lower caste with really only one purpose. Her and her team at the beginning of the story are essentially stranded on a planet behind enemy lines and seemingly abandoned to their fate by the fleet in orbit. Sela's commanding officer Captain Jon Varadin a "Crester" or high born in this world defies his orders and refuses to abandon them and makes a daring rescue.

This sets up much of the rest of the story as will Sela stand by her Captain or by watch she has been taught her entire life. The story then interweaves with Jon's sister Erelah Varadin who has been working as a scientist on a secret military project to perfect easier space travel by making lightspeed jumps without the use of current fixed point nodes that are needed currently. She runs into the evil Defenser Tristik a genetically engineered half-breed with special powers and plans of her own who wants to use Erelah for her own purposes.

The story is quite good, mixed with great action, cool science, a love story and some philosophical dilemmas to go along with it. The narration by Erin Bateman was quite good and lends itself well to the story. You can definitely tell she is Canadian though by the way she says Sorry(more like Sorey) and it is used often in the book. She also pronounces the word insidious a bit strangely but besides that she was great and has a very pleasant voice. The book leaves you wanting more and to see where the story is going to go from here. I would definitely recommend it.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Unlikely: A Kingdoms Gone Story (Volume 1)

  • By: Frances Pauli
  • Narrated by: Lisa L Wiley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13

Satina knows better than anyone that gangs are bad news. As a Granter, she uses her magic to help people escape them. So far, her sole reward has been a life on the run, dodging from pocket to pocket and only landing in the ordinary world long enough to put her special skills to use. When the goodmother arrives in Westwood, however, a magic-hungry gang is just one step behind her, and their leader wants more than just the town. He wants Satina, and he'll do anything, use anyone, to get her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magical pockets!

  • By DabOfDarkness on 06-09-14

An Unlikely Tale

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

Reviewed: 06-26-19

Unlikely was a pretty interesting take on a fairy tale. The story follows Satina who is a "Goodmother" or granter which means she has part Gentry blood which are magical beings and this gives her powers. She tries to help people and grant their wishes. The current world consist of two warring factions, the Shades and the Starlights which are essentially gangs who take what they want when they want it. Satina is able to travel and teleport by finding 'pockets' that she can enter and travel between, these pockets are holdovers from a time when magic was more prevalent and the entire world was essentially a pocket but now it is just these small areas that are still filled with magic. Satina travels through a pocket while she is fleeing some Shades and arrives in the town of Westwood and meets up with a 'Skinner' who is part imp named Marten and the strike up a 'friendship'. Soon after Satina arrives a gang of Starlights enters the town and things soon get interesting/dangerous.

This is an interesting story but is a bit vague on details and backstory but that might be filled in in future installments. The narration by Lisa Wiley was quite good and especially fit the main character.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Zed's World Book Three: No Way Out

  • By: Rich Baker
  • Narrated by: Andrew B. Wehrlen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

For Kyle Puckett, Earth has become a savage place. As the world continues to decay, the survivors of the viral plague have started choosing sides. With each encounter the stakes - and the body count - continue to rise. With the skies growing darker and the dead pressing in, both sides may soon find out that there is No Way Out. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More action and twists before volume four!

  • By RJ on 09-08-18

The Journey continues

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

Reviewed: 06-25-19

Zed's World Book 3 No way out is a great continuation to the series, and really amps up some of the action and tension and introduces new players and brings together all our separate groups. The beginning really focuses on D-Day and Carmen mostly and goes through their trials but then transitions back to the Puckett's and think that is done very well especially when they intersect. The Pucketts have been settling in but their encounter early on, on their travel through DJ's family farm will come back to haunt them. New characters and groups are also introduced including the Monteiro's and their associates which definitely make things interesting. Danielle continues to be a troublemaker, more than ever in fact and she is definitely a catalyst for much of the chaos.

I really enjoyed the continuation of this story and the progression of the characters and their skills. The new characters and group also add a very interesting element.

The new narrator Andrew Wehrlen did a great job as well, I don't usually like when narrators are changed in a series but he did a really good job so it was not a problem.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Zed's World

  • Books One and Two
  • By: Rich Baker
  • Narrated by: S.W. Salzman
  • Length: 6 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

A terrible plague has been loosed upon the earth. In the course of one night, mankind teeters on the brink of extinction. Fighting through gathering hordes of undead, a group of friends brave military checkpoints, armed civilians, and forced allegiances in an attempt to reach loved ones. Thwarted at every turn, they press forward. But taking roads less traveled could cost them everything.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 👍🏻

  • By Nomi on 12-22-17

Post Apocalyptic Zombie Jihad

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

Reviewed: 06-25-19

Zed's World is a good post apocalyptic zombie story with an interesting twist. The zombie virus is actually a terrorist attack perpetrated by the 'Undying Jihad' and turns out to be highly effective. The book begins with the terrorists working on and testing the virus and then releasing it, once it is released which is fairly early in the book very little is heard about the terrorist aspect and just switches to groups of people trying to survive what has been unleashed. It follows Ben Puckett a college student and his friends as they learn of the zombie or Zed's and try to flee Fort Collins, Colorado and get to his parents house which is in the suburbs and seems to be a safer place to be especially since their neighbor is a Prepper/Survivalist.

The story is full of action and tense moments and the danger is not only from Zombies but also other survivors. The zombies in this book generally very fast unless their bodies are damaged which is somewhat different than many other zombie stories.

The narration by S.W. Salzman was very good, it takes a little while to get used to his voice as it can be a bit rough but it is actually quite enjoyable once you get into it. These 2 books are both short but add up to a nice entry into the series and setup a cliffhanger that makes you want to get into Book 3.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."