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David

Edmonton, AB, Canada
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  • Saturn Run

  • By: John Sandford Ctein
  • Narrated by: Eric Conger
  • Length: 16 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,765
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,570
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,562

The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope - something is approaching Saturn and decelerating. Space objects don't decelerate. Spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best Sci-Fi Book in a While!

  • By Ted on 05-29-17

The first boring Sandford Ever...**sigh**

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

Reviewed: 11-07-15

The thing I like about Sandford's books is that they COOK. They never get weighed down with endless explanations and lengthy passages of "who cares" accounts of the science. They have been character and action driven...and they create a chain of steady information.

At least they did until this turkey.

If you're a science fiend who absolutely has to know the mechanics of interstellar travel, this is the book for you. If you, like me, are content with a narrative that says "the ship went really fast" -- this is audiobook hell. Why? In a printed novel I would just shrug and skim down to where the story gets started again.

With an audiobook you're trapped with the "Blah blah blah" of what makes the ship go "really fast" when you (ie "me") could not possibly care less.

The story comes up flat -- think of Virgil Flowers in space and many of the things SHOULD make it interesting like encounters with an alien presence, races through cold space, come up inspiring one long "ho hum" instead of that wonderful "I'll just sit here in the driveway for a few minutes to find out what happened.

I actually quit listening to this book several times and came back to it in the faint hope that it would get better. But...nope. This one shuffled through utterly predictable "no surprises here, fella" plot twists to a completely "saw that coming" ending.

I expect you, like me, are a Sandford fan. And that means that if you are like me, there's no way you're going to be talked out of purchasing this book. I completely understand. But you've been warned.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • As You Wish

  • Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
  • By: Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword)
  • Narrated by: Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,700
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,066
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,019

From actor Cary Elwes, who played the iconic role of Westley in The Princess Bride, comes a first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Warm-hearted retelling

  • By Thomas Allen on 10-19-14

I Would Have Wished...

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

Reviewed: 05-01-15

First: The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorites.
Second: I was really looking forward to this book because...well...see "First"
Third: I was looking for insight...tidbits...trivia.
Fourth: The book had stellar reviews from people who appreciated the movie like I do. What could possibly go wrong?

Lots.

What did I get? Hmmm. Have you ever seen actors interviewed about other actors? They say "He is a fine human being. Knowing him was one of the great moments of my life. Blah blah blah."

I appreciate that in public forums there's a certain etiquette that needs to be observed. But in books written by insiders, I'm really looking for meatier stuff. Not "dirt" -- but the kind of stories that take me inside the subject.

Hearing Elwes drone on and on about how wonderful (fill in the blank) was to work with and how unworthy he felt to be part of the project and how HAPPY he is that the movie finally took off really turns into blah blah blah after a while.

The clips from the cast are mildly interesting although they are very short and often reduced to "Actor Blah" as well.

Let's be fair: much of the ACTUAL information that manages to leak through the "Actor Speak" filter had to do with Andre the Giant and I was interested in it. I appreciated it. It would have been a much more interesting read if Elwes had realized that his audiences KNOW he was with a great cast and tried to turn them into people instead of icons.

The overall effect? Tedious with vague glimmers of interesting stuff meshed among all the stuff we already knew.

I'm so sorry to tell you, so VERY sorry to tell you that this book manages only one impossible thing: to turn a vibrant and delightful movie into something beige and completely uninteresting.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Beginning of the End

  • Apocalypse Z
  • By: Manel Loureiro
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,921
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,748
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,751

A mysterious incident in Russia, a blip buried in the news - it’s the only warning humanity receives that civilization will soon be destroyed by a single, voracious virus that creates monsters of men. A lawyer, still grieving over the death of his young wife, begins to write as a form of therapy. But he never expected that his anonymous blog and journal would ultimately record humanity’s last days. Governments scramble to stop the zombie virus, people panic, so-called Safe Havens are established, the world erupts into chaos; soon it’s every man, woman, and child for themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Meanwhile, in Spain...

  • By Lesley on 05-10-14

How can an apocalypse be this boring???

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

Take all the cliches you've ever read in any zombie books and dumb them down.

Add a "meh" writer and "blah" characters and, if you're like me, you'll wind up rooting for the zombies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Atrocity Archives

  • A Laundry Files Novel
  • By: Charles Stross
  • Narrated by: Gideon Emery
  • Length: 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,848
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,847

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Listen for IT People

  • By Raymond on 06-16-13

It's No Dresden...

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

And it's not Felix Castor either.

But it's listenable. The plot plods only a couple of times and the narrator is lively enough. It's lacking depth and truly interesting characters...but if you want a book you can follow while you're doing something else and don't REALLY need to give it your full attention, this is as good an option as anything else.

  • The Golem and the Jinni

  • A Novel
  • By: Helene Wecker
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 19 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,091
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,156

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!

  • By Tango on 04-26-13

Outstanding...Innovative...Delightful

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

I have pretty high standards for audio books. I want great narration...lively and interesting characters and a plot that moves along at a solid pace.

You get all of that and much more in this outstanding story.

19 plus hours and I wasn't bored once.

This one is a keeper.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Faces of the Gone

  • Carter Ross, Book 1
  • By: Brad Parks
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 293
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 255

Four bodies, each with a single bullet wound in the back of the head, stacked like cordwood in a weed-choked vacant lot: That's the front-page news facing Carter Ross, investigative reporter with the Newark Eagle-Examiner. Immediately dispatched to the scene, Carter learns that the four victims - an exotic dancer, a drug dealer, a hustler, and a mama's boy - came from different parts of the city and didn't seem to know one another.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wish Brad Parks were more prolific!!!!

  • By shelley on 02-16-18

Yawn

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

If you're looking for a book where the serial killer is brilliant and the newspaper reporter is dogged and the plot rockets along at a blistering pace...look somewhere else. This yawner reeks of "first novel BLAH" with an unevenly written completely uninteresting lead character that isn't even good enough to be considered a copy of a good character.

We forget about the killer for hours at a time as the intrepid -- or should that be 'insipid' character plods about a life just slightly more interesting than watching grass grow.

A horrid waste of time.

If, however, you are one of those people who listens to audio books because you have trouble sleeping........

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Revival

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: David Morse
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,166
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,523
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,528

In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs - including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sinister and Classic King

  • By David Shear on 11-12-14

The King is Dead...

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

Reviewed: 11-19-14

This book is billed as King's triumphant return to the horror novel. This is an exciting statement and makes me think of his awesome work on The Shining, The Stand, Salem's Lot...

Revival is one big character rich/plot poor sigh with echos of what made King a household word to fans of the strange years ago.

Revival is certainly listenable. It gets off to a merry start that grips you. Great characters and truly outstanding narration.

It's when King has to deliver on the things that he's foreshadowed that it all starts to come apart. Sloppy plotting...and an ending not QUITE as dumb as "Cell" (his other blech effort) conspire to suck any real joy out of what this book could have been.

The plot's creaky and the logic -- which oddly enough is a critical ingredient in creating good horror -- is as flawed as any tomato surprise story before it.

It gets two stars for the way it starts. If I were to grade it on the utterly sloppy, tired flat last third of the book? It would get one.

David M.'s narration is outstanding. But ultimately it's a losing effort...because it's tied in to a book that cannot be saved.

I know if you're a hopeful King fan (like me) you're going to ignore this review and pony up the credit and hope for the best. I did. But you've been warned.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Taker

  • By: Alma Katsu
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 337
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 338

On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting another quiet evening of frostbite and the occasional domestic dispute. But the minute Lanore McIlvrae—Lanny—walks into his ER, she changes his life forever. A mysterious woman with a past and plenty of dark secrets, Lanny is unlike anyone Luke has ever met. He is inexplicably drawn to her...despite the fact that she is a murder suspect with a police escort.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Left wanting something more...

  • By Jodie on 10-25-11

Starts Well...rapidly goes downhill

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

Reviewed: 04-09-14

The opening scenes are riveting. A mysterious woman arrives at an emergency room. Has she killed someone? A sad hearted doctor...secrets. I was starting to look for a few more books by this author.

Then it turns into 50 Shades of Stupid. A flat and uninteresting foray into what the author, no doubt considers a masterwork of erotica -- but in reality is as interesting as listening to grass grow.

There's very little of the paranormal here -- unless you consider endless trite bodice ripping style paranormal.

Yuck. No,,,yuck squared.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Fallen

  • By: Karin Slaughter
  • Narrated by: Shannon Cochran
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,717
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,159

There's no police training stronger than a cop's instinct. Faith Mitchell's mother isn't answering her phone. Her front door is open. There's a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother's house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn't see is her mother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping Story, Revelations of the Past

  • By Nancy J on 07-02-13

Starts stong and loses steam...

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

Reviewed: 03-20-13

There's much that's good in this book. The characters are interesting and beautifully drawn. The plot chugs along at a steady pace.

Why didn't I like it more?

I'm not sure. I found that midway through this story that my interest was flagging. With police procedurals I often find this is where my interest is keenest.

The story seems to lose its way a little, buried under flashbacks and subplots that serve to create just enough confusion to make me a little bored. What I'm saying is that the focus doesn't sharpen as the story continues. On the contrary.

There are many better crime novels...but this one isn't BAD. It's just...meh.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • The Way of Shadows

  • Night Angel Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Brent Weeks
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 21 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,004
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,736
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,752

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art---and he is the city's most accomplished artist, his talents required from alleyway to courtly boudoir. For Azoth, survival is precarious, something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums and learned to judge people quickly---and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint. But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shockingly good.

  • By Jake on 08-25-09

Exactly What You Think It Is...

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

Reviewed: 03-20-13

...this book delivers exactly what you think it will: a street urchin slowly transforms into an assassin under the leadership of the Most Feared Killer Ever.

It's listenable enough. The writing is lively and in many cases beautifully done. The villains are drawn perfectly and the story chugs along with maybe just a touch too much personal agonizing.

This is the first of a series. I found that at the end of the first book, I'd had enough...and don't much care what happens to the hero.

It is, however, a fine book for a road trip where you don't need to concentrate entirely on the story. Not inspired...but remarkably average in every way.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful