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  • The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson: Legendary Viking Warrior

  • By: Morgan Hobbes
  • Narrated by: Basil Sands
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34

Experience the awesomeness of my unexpected voyage to an undiscovered land where I survive shipwrecks, arena death match spectacles, rampaging rhinoceraptors, naked and rather surly giants, and even dragons! Well, a dragon.... All in my pursuit of fame and glory. Every word of it is true. Totally true. How do I know? Because it's all about me. Gustav Gustavson, Legendary Viking Warrior.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal Performance!

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 03-02-18

Captivating, Interesting

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson: Legendary Viking Warrior was written by Morgan Hobbes. The narration is provided by Basil Sands. The audiobook is produced by Morgan Hobbs with a running time of 5 hours and 46 minutes. During that time you will get to hear the Amazing True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson. For me, this was a laugh out loud good time.

Gustav gives nods in the opening to other Great Viking Warriors that the listeners would be familiar with including Ragnar Lothbrook from History Channels Viking’s. Yet he insists his deeds are still the greatest. Losing his ship he ends up in a strange land where he is unknown. This is a shock for poor Gustav as he is sure his deeds are known far and wide. Things turn crazy and the fun really starts for the listener as the story really begins.

This audiobook held my attention thru the entire production. This is one of those rare productions that will have an effect on the audience where they either love or loathe the audiobook. For me, I was hooked. This book just grabbed me and I was thinking of the greatest elements of Monty Python and Mel Brooks in their prime. Politically correctness was not a valve to censor humor. Gustav is just one of those rare characters that is some much fun to follow on his adventures as he travels with this friends on their quest.

The narration by Basil Sands was interesting. Some people have really seemed to dislike his performance of Gustav. I really enjoyed. I think many people expect the Nordic Accent to be what is seen on television and movies. As someone who grew up in Minnesota and stayed until I was 30, the people with the last name of Gustavson sounded like the character. So that is my normalcy bias showing thru. The narrator did an excellent job with all the characters in the story. Each was given a unique voice. This was the first performance that I have heard from Mr. Sands but I truly enjoyed the work he did throughout the entire production. The publisher for this audiobook is Morgan Hobbs. The production value of this audiobook is excellent. The production value is of the highest quality. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance. I did not hear any loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Ray vs the Meaning of Life

  • By: Michael F Stewart
  • Narrated by: Kevin Clay
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Grandma's last will and testament names Ray to inherit the trailer park. It's a million-dollar estate with one hitch: To prove he's not as aimless as he seems, Ray must discover the meaning of life by the end of the month. (She left the answer in an envelope.) If he fails, the camp goes to his estranged family.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THIS is what a YA book is meant to be!

  • By Hall Ways on 10-01-18

Inspiring quirky satire that sucks you in

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

This story pulled me in right from the start when Ray recounts the unfortunate events that led to grandma’s death. Much to the chagrin of the rest of his dysfunctional family, Grandma has stipulated in her last will that Ray will be the sole beneficiary of her substantial inheritance provided he discovers the meaning of life within 30 days. No easy task for a teenager who spends most of his time in the world of online gaming. Fortunately, Ray is aided in his quest by self-help/life coach Dalen Anders. What a character he was!

At the beginning, Ray’s spiteful family made me angry and sad, so much so that I was hesitant whether I wanted to continue. I’m glad I did because it was fantastic how Michael F Stewart allowed each character to evolve and change slowly throughout the story. Although told from the first-person perspective of 17-year-old Ray and written in a teenage style, this young adult coming-of-age story should appeal to a wide audience. During his journey to find the meaning of life Ray comes across some insightful advice and universal truths. I actually added the eBook once I had listened to this because there were several quotes I wanted to highlight. However, you don’t need to be into self-help books or similar to enjoy this story.

I have had the pleasure of listening to several books narrated by Kevin Clay recently. With this one, he has turned me into a huge fan. Voicing the range of characters in this story, from the persistent little girl to teenagers, to rough rednecks, to upright Dalen and wise, old grandma can’t have been an easy feat, but Kevin Clay made each character sound credible and memorable. His timing was spot on. There were no problems with the production of the audio.

Great for teenagers and adults alike. Recommended if you are looking for an engaging, quirky satire that will make you laugh out loud but will also inspire you to reflect on the important things in your life.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Mythborn I: Rise of the Adepts

  • Fate of the Sovereign, Book 1
  • By: V. Lakshman
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 20 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

Apprentice assassin Arek Winterthorn has a power even he himself doesn't understand. Unable to cast even the simplest of spells, he can still disrupt the magic of others with a single touch. Arek's master, Silbane, is ordered to use that power to close a gate between their world and one inhabited by demons. This will save their people, but potentially at the cost of Arek's life. Thus begins an epic quest brimming with betrayals, plot twists, violence, and intrigue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastic Start of an Epic Story

  • By Sailfish on 11-19-18

Angst Teenager, Magic, Battle and a Quest!

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

Reviewed: 12-19-18

Mythborn: Rise of the Adepts is the first audiobook in the Fate of the Sovereign Series. The author V. Lakshman’s has created a high fantasy world that’s so engrossing until the end, it will leave you wanting to immediately start the second book. I think this is an epic series you’ll want to keep your eye on. Lakshman’s writing is very well done.

The story begins at the end of a devastating battle and the listener is quickly drawn in by Michael Kramer’s narration and Lakshman’s writing. This historic battle shapes the entire world the listener is introduced to. The world building is a bit complicated so I’d recommend sticking with it even if you’re confused a bit at first. It’s definitely worth it.

This fantasy revolves around apprentice Arek Winterthorn who has a very different kind of … power? He could be described as being anti-magical. He has the ability to nullify other people’s magic. Being young he also is dealing with the anxiety and low self-esteem that can plague someone who is very different from his peers and who’s skills are contradictory to the norm. Right before he is to take a test and hopefully become an Adept, Arek is taken on a quest by his teacher. A quest that will make use of Arek’s special ability to nullify magic. Lakshman’s writing lets you see how the complicated journey of growing up can affect the choices people make later on in their lives. He crafts his story carefully and slowly but never does it drag.

I’m not a big fan of Michael Kramer’s voice but I also realize I’m probably in the minority in that opinion. However, I wanted to give him another try and I easily finished this audiobook without any problems. I recognize that Kramer is most certainly a skilled voice actor. His voice just isn’t my cup of tea. However, if you like Michael Kramer’s voice then you will definitely love the combination that is Lakshman and Kramer. At the time of this writing only the first audiobook is available but here’s hoping the skilled Kramer can narrate the rest. Lakshman’s writing definitely deserves the professional skills of a great narrator.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Villains Pride

  • The Shadow Master, Book 2
  • By: M. K. Gibson
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 715
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 679
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 677

Jackson Blackwell, The Shadowmaster, is in over his head this time. After his last adventure, where he tore fantasy novels a new one, Jackson has to deal with the repercussions of angry gods, angrier conspirators, and the wrath of his pregnant girlfriend! Thanks to a godly decree and a crafty clause, Jackson has been banished from his home. And the only universe kindly enough to take him in is one infested with comic-book-style superheroes and supervillains.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Book 2

  • By MEDY L on 01-02-18

Snark and so much more! Prepare to enjoy!

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

Reviewed: 12-19-18

Jackson Blackwell, better known as The Shadowmaster is in trouble. He is facing the consequences of the wrath of gods, his pregnant girlfriend and practically anyone who breathes! He takes up residence in a new universe, the only place permitted at this time, dominated by superheroes and supervillains in comic-book-style. Shadowmaster is invited into the universe provided he can do something “unique” to entertain King Stanley (who’s really a god). Faced with clearing his name, impending fatherhood, and staying one step ahead of the other villains and superheroes, Blackwell has his plate full.

The story is full of snark, witty comebacks, and well, what some might classify as rambling off on tangents that are a mile long. It’s a fun book as long as you realize the offensive comments are meant to be obnoxious as Blackwell is an obnoxious type guy, he lives for it! And it’s something he excels at beautifully!

Well written, fun and entertaining. You do have to be mindful of language – not really suitable for young penguins … listen to the book!

Jeffrey Kafer is MAGNIFICENT in this book. His narration is captivating, he truly transports the listener into the story – the penguin thingy – I laughed until I almost peed my pants! It was obvious that Kafer was into the story. Awesome duo!

If you enjoy superheroes, villains and obnoxious people this is perfect! Well done, characters were developed well … loved the 1930’s period where Myst becomes independent. OMG!

There were no issues with the production or quality of the audiobook (well, at least as far as I could tell – I was laughing a lot, loudly).

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Imp

  • By: Kevin Candela
  • Narrated by: Gary Bennett
  • Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

From the writer of Ghost Hunter, Little Women with Big Guns, and Krakenstein vs. Koalatron comes an unforgettable excursion into the depths of the unknown. Loaded end to end with chills, this terrifying narrative is loosely based on accounts of encounters with the legendary Pukwudgie, a cryptozoological "myth" originating in Massachusetts' mysterious Bridgewater Triangle.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A puck-what-ie? Wedgie? I'm already freaking out

  • By Ray Johnson on 04-15-18

Liquid Courage vs Mythical Monster

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Imp is authored by Kevin Candela. This audiobook is narrated by Gary Bennett. This audiobook has a running time of 1 hour and 57 minutes so it is a bit of a short story. The main character sees what he believes is a mythical cryptozoological creature in the frozen marsh near his home. So like any red-blooded Midwesterner with enough liquid courage, he plans a way to catch the creature to solve all his problems. But as with any plan, the devil is in the details. What to do with the creature if and or when he manages to catch the creature. There is a really good ending to the story that I do not want to spoil in this part of the review. It does help to redeem the middle of the story where it drags on.

The story did initially hold my attention but as the story progressed I only managed to keep listening due to my enjoyment of the narrator Gary Bennett. I was actually hoping the monster would kill the human after the first third of the audiobook as the main character lacked any empathy for the creature and failed to display any redeeming characteristics. The sad fact is he made so little impression on me I can not remember his name a few days after listening to the audiobook. The story is told from the main characters point of view and his name is not mentioned often either though. He was just a really unlikeable person and that had an effect on the story. I can see the overall payoff of creating a character like this for the story. But Imp is not going to be on any of my top ten lists for short stories this year.

The narration was done by Gary Bennett. Mr. Bennett once again delivered an excellent performance in the production. There were limited characters for the narrator to voice but he did an excellent job with the material in the production. The production value of this audiobook was Excellent. The publisher for this audiobook is Video Software Lab. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance. I did not hear any loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Blackwater

  • Two Stories
  • By: Christian Galacar
  • Narrated by: J. M. Needham
  • Length: 1 hr and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

Blackwater is a collection of two tales of horror and dark fantasy. In "Mercury Rain", a soldier fighting a new enemy learns the importance of holding on to his memories. "Blackwater", the title story of the collection, is an homage to Stephen King's short story, "Graveyard Shift", and it tells the tale of Paul Hawkins, a mine worker who disturbs something terrifying in the Blackwater Hills of Durham, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1976.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Two decent stories

  • By Spooky Mike on 02-08-18

two terrifying tales that will leave you sleepless

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Blackwater is a collection of two short stories written by Christian Galacar. The narration is provided by J.M. Needham. The audiobook is self-published by Christian Galacar with a short running time of 1 hour and 26 minutes. Within the shorter runtime, you will get to enter two distinct worlds from the author. The first is Mercury Rain. This is the shorter of the two stories. The second offering is Blackwater.

Short stories are a challenge for any writer. They have to establish a hook and get the reader or listener invested quickly into the story. Mr. Galacar does that with Mercury Rain. This is a dark tale of the future of the human race. Many things have gone wrong. Soldiers are on the front lines daily fighting two separate but nearly equal enemies. The machines that have gain consciousness while the environment is raining mercury in a toxic form on them. This story reminds me of scenes from the Terminator Movies.

The second story; Blackwater the longer of the two stories is in a mine. This story held my attention as well; it told the story of Paul Hawkins. He is a Miner in 1976 in Pennsylvania. He is working an extra shift to string new wiring for the mine lights. The Lights that all blew out at the same time for no real apparent reason. While in the mine Paul finds something horrifying. The author wrote the short story Blackwater is as an homage to Stephen King’s short story, “Graveyard Shift”. The author did an excellent job doing that, as that was my first thought as the story developed as it held my attention.

J. M. Needham provided the narration on the short audio performance. I found Mr. Needham’s performance in both stories to be enjoyable. The narrator set the right tone as needed for the required setting of the story. In the first story, it was needed to be bleak, dark, and convey the sense of loss in the world. Mr. Needham did that well. In the second story where Mr. Needham had more characters to work with, I found his performance truly enjoyable as there were more characters to give voices too. Later in the story, the internal monologue was really enjoying how the narrator voiced the characters growing fear. The publisher for this audiobook is Christian Galacar. The production value is of the highest quality. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance. I did not hear any loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Journal of an Outlaw: Book 2

  • By: Mick McArt
  • Narrated by: Tom Adams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

The Journal of an Outlaw series is a comedic take on the fantasy genre. Audiobook two has 100 journal entries that tell you more adventures of an unnamed rogue in the Unremembered Realms.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very fun book

  • By DBNB on 09-16-18

Light-hearted and fun

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

If you are one who loves books consisting of short chapters containing numerous quips, puns, farce, and plenty of satire around our modern world and a fictional fantasy land, “Journal of an Outlaw: Book 2” may be just what you are looking for. The audiobook comprises the second set of journal entries detailing the activities of an unnamed rogue coming from an unknown fantasy realm. The book is authored by Mick McArt and the audiobook edition is performed by Tom Adams. Note, this is a different narrator from the first book. Like its predecessor, the second book contains a set of one hundred new journal entries; the previous book had one hundred and twenty entries. If this sounds like something of interest, I recommend you pick up the first book and give it a listen as there are some tie-ins to it in this book.

For me, I found the book needs to be digested in small bite-sized pieces. I can only take so many one-liners, puns or crude humor in a single setting. Much like those mints you receive after a meal after eating out. They taste great if you eat only one, but if you eat the entire box it makes you sick. I’m glad the author used rather short chapters allowing a person to consume as many entries in one sitting they feel comfortable doing. Because each entry in the journal covers a stand-alone event, even though there are a few details that intersect, each can be listened too and enjoyed without much difficulty if you have a minute, or five minutes, to spare. The pokes and humor are very similar to that found in the first book, so if you liked that one, you will enjoy this one just as much. I will say that some of the humor is quite clever and witty, while other bits made me want to perform a facepalm. Comedy can be a difficult bit to pull off, and that is no exception with this book. There were some references I did not “get”, but I’m sure others would. I enjoyed the fantasy and gaming references, yet some not involved or in the know might not. So, I will say there are definite ups and downs while listening to this book.

In this book, we are given a glimpse of bugbears, fairies, and even a dragon. We are welcomed into a deeper view of the thieves guild along with much more. The world and interactions of our rogue are expanded and more defined than what I found from the first book. Even though there are fewer entries, book two is slightly longer and contains more detail than the first. I can see why some would say the series is a bit of Monty Python blended with Lord of the Rings. There is the fantasy along with the slapstick and outlandish humor, but this really is not a story in the story sense. It does begin to build aspects of a story as you go through the entries, yet I felt that things never fully congealed into an adventure.

The audiobook’s narration was performed quite well by Tom Adams. Even though he does not have a large number of titles narrated on Audible, many are decent books, the recording and audio quality were done professionally. I do not recall any issues with volume or background artifacts. The characters felt distinct as most had their own voices and personalities provided by the narrator. The narration itself was well paced, if not read slightly faster than others I have listened too.

For parents and younger readers, I would suggest the book is more targeted towards mature audiences. Mostly due to the adult references and cultural tie-ins. I do not recall any use of vulgar language as I listened.

In summary, if you are a fan of fantasy with plenty of tongue in cheek humor, you may want to have a listen to Journal of an Outlaw Book 2. Again, I suggest you pick up the first book and give that a listen before diving into the second. There were times I laughed out loud and other times I wanted to cry; due to the puns. The book is fun, light-hearted, and best when consumed in small bites.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Limitless Lands: The Commander's Tale, a LitRPG adventure

  • Limitless Lands Series, Book 1
  • By: Dean Henegar
  • Narrated by: Jack Voraces
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309

Colonel James Raytak is about to die. The 93-year-old combat veteran is living his last days in a nursing home; his only hope for survival is an experimental Medpod life support system controlled by an artificial intelligence. Co-developed by the world’s largest gaming company, Qualitranos the AI will also control the soon to be released game Limitless Lands. Without its creator’s knowledge, the AI decides the best course of treatment is to import its patient’s consciousness directly into the game.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique take on LitRPG

  • By thompson on 11-21-18

Fresh ideas for LitRPG, real-time and fantasy

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

“Limitless Lands” is a blending of a LitRPG, real-time strategy, and a fantasy world containing some unique and fresh ideas. Who would have imagined and army of Roman soldiers in a fantasy-like setting? It is the first book in the Limitless Lands series and a premiere work from author Dean Henegar. The audiobook edition is narrated by Jack Voraces, who appears to be a newcomer to the narration scene having three audiobooks listed on Audible at the time of this review. I found the author’s closing chapter impactful even though it was short, detailing his reasons and perspectives driving him to write the book; in many ways I which it had been the first chapter listened too. Overall, I liked the story and found enough fresh ideas to make it interesting and entertaining even though there were a few potholes along the way. I felt the author attempted to blend too many elements and genres which at times made the story more muddled, faded and disconnected from the core reasons people often listen to this genre. Additionally, I had issues with the overly used sound effects, character voicing, and production quality in the audiobook edition. Some of these audio problems may have taken away from the story itself instead of enhancing it. In such a crowded and rather hot LitRPG space, it can be hard to stand out. For me, the book was not bad, but it also was not to the standards that many now expect from the genre. If you are more a fan of military tactics and movements, this might be the book you are looking for. I thought the story diverged from many of the basic RPG fundamentals (stats, experience, etc.) for me to recommend it to people interested solely in LitRPG type books. There was some stats usage, but this was not the focus nor did one feel it was necessary nor impactful to the story’s outcome. I felt more like I was watching a real-time strategy game being played then an RPG, and I was never a fan of that type of game.

I enjoyed both the physical and virtual worlds the author created in the book. In the physical world we have a very utopian futuristic place where drones and robots are now the way wars are fought. Physical human military personnel are no longer required and many of those who remember wars involving humans are few and far between. Like many of our remaining World War II veterans today, the story’s main character is aged and finds himself in a rather different world. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and game immersion are the things that some use for both escape and entertainment. The new system being brought online may have the ability to not only entertain, but help in slowing the aging process of our ninety-three-year-old veteran. A way to keep him alive is by having the all-knowing AI, running the game, import the patient’s conscience directly into the game. Here the main character leverages his skills and knowledge of war to win the many battles he faces all the while his body and mind are sustained and even enhanced in the physical world. There were some good transitional periods where the story shifts between the physical and virtual worlds. As with many other books in the genre, we have nanobots, medical reasons, and a few other standard tropes, but again it felt well-thought out and planned.

I liked some of the extra detail the author included such as the time compression of those in the game from those outside. A language translation system being included to make conversations with others around the world much easier, and there is the concept of one earning and converting virtual currencies to physical real-world ones. The world consisted of goblins, dryads, wolfs, spiders, and halflings along with quite a few others one meets along the way. The writing style was detailed and descriptive allowing the listener to be dropped in to the story having a good visual understanding of both worlds. What felt somewhat different for me was the additional RTS components around town building and resource management. It simply did not seem to fit the mold of a fantasy-based LitRPG, and in some ways it worked, but in others it just seems like an odd fit. A town requiring one building to be constructed before another could be built just did not feel right. I felt there was a good balance of action, adventure, strategy, and even emotion throughout the story. As I said earlier, it was entertaining but at time too different for my comfort level.

I think one of the main issues I had keeping me from enjoying the book was its audio quality and narration. No offense to Jack Voraces, the narrator, as such quality production takes time and honing and I’m sure will improve as he performs more books. But it was a bit too much for me and I can say that it was more a distraction than help. Many of the notes I took while listening to the book related in one way or another to the audio. During very quiet times or silence, I could hear audio compression artifacts. These were not excessive, but quite noticeable. Some of the character differences and voicing felt forced and a few times confused with another during conversation. As with many male narrators, voicing of female characters was not fluid, nor did it feel natural. In situations like these, I would rather a narrator just read the portion of text and not attempt to voice it as a character. I understand this is not easy for most narrators to get right when dealing with the opposite gender. Lastly, I think the sound effects often overpowered the narration and I would have liked to have had them more in the background.

For parents and younger readers, the book had some graphic scenes of war and violence which is expected in a book of this genre. I do not recall any mature subject matter or vulgar language used by the author which is quite unusual and in my opinion a welcomed change. I believe the book could be enjoyed by both younger and older audiences.

In summary, the premise, story and world are solid. A few of the components I felt did not belong in a LitRPG and I would have liked to have had more integration and impact of the main character’s stats as I watched him grow. I just felt this was a bit lacking. My biggest concern was with the narration of the different characters, the overpowering sound effects, and the annoying background compression noise. The story is detailed, yet it seems to lack continuity. I hope future books in the series are more RPG focused. A good listen if you can get past the issues I found while listening.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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  • Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space

  • The Henry Gallant Saga, Book 1
  • By: H. Peter Alesso
  • Narrated by: Rich Miller
  • Length: 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

As the last star fighter in squadron 111, Midshipman Henry Gallant is on his way from Jupiter to Mars. With the United Planets' fleet on the verge of annihilation, he can expect no help as he passes through the asteroid belt and threatening aliens. In an era of genetic engineering, he is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. His classmates and superior officers have all expressed their concern that he will not be up to the demands of the space service.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story but could be improved.

  • By cosmitron on 09-05-18

When the weakest perceived link isn't

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space: The Henry Gallant Saga Book 1. The book was written by H. Peter Alessio. The narration is provided by Rich Miller. The length of the audiobook is 5 hours and 42 minutes and was released on August 28th, 2018 by Video Software Lab.

This is the story of Henry Gallant a non-genetically engineered (Natural) Midshipman in the early 22nd century who has completed his cadet training and is now on his way from Mars to the Jupiter fleet to begin his training as a Star Fighter pilot with the Jupiter fleet. He faces discrimination from his genetically enhanced crewmates and fellow junior officers. He’s a freak due to the fact that he is not genetically enhanced or what is termed as a natural. He is a rare person because he can interface with the neural interface and pilot his Star Fighter. While on is Ship he is continually harassed and given the worst duty and other forms of discrimination by other fellow officers of his same rank. Until one day when things change for Henry and the Fleet.

The story does hold your attention but during the first act, there are several events that are referenced as happening during the midshipmen’s academy days that seem to be missing and are never explained. The story seems familiar and was released in 2013. I checked for my own curiosity on Amazon and there is no version of a Cadet Henry Gallant on Mars. This is something that would fit as part of the Henry Gallant story. There are several instances referenced with a character from his academy days a former roommate in this story. I do seem to remember having read that at one time but I cannot find it in the author’s collection of works. I mention this and go off on a tangent about it because this little fact bugged me enough to stop listening and look it up. When I came back off me hunt for the back-story. I was able to finish the audiobook. This is a story similar to such as the Horatio Hornblower series and Honor Harrington stories. Some things are really never expanded too deeply and the character of Henry Gallant is a reluctant hero. The story never gets too deep into the character development but it is the first in the series.

The narration for this audiobook is provided by Rich Miller. Mr. Miller does an average job with the material he is provided he has a nice deep rich voice which is easy to listen to but his performance felt somewhat detached. Mr. Miller performed the same throughout the entire audiobook he only really changed his tempo and his intensity during the action sequences. Mr. Miller did limited variations between characters. This was the first performance that I have heard from Mr. Miller I don’t know if I will be listening again but I may give him another try depending on the audiobook. The production value of this audiobook was Excellent. The publisher for this audiobook is Video Software Lab. I heard no problems during the entire performance. There were not any detectable flaws that I was able to hear during the entire performance. I did not hear any loops, breaks, or buzzing. The production was crisp and clear

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
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  • The Crimson Claymore

  • Claymore of Calthoria, Volume 1
  • By: Craig A Price Jr.
  • Narrated by: Ian McEuen
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20

When Searon loses everything he once held dear, he begins a quest for revenge, leaving behind everything except his crimson claymore. He runs into something he doesn’t expect - an arrogant wizard, who won’t leave him alone unless he forms an army - an army that could fulfill his revenge - and save all of humanity in Calthoria.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A caustic cavalier and his quest for revenge

  • By Ray Johnson on 05-16-18

Humorous quips with lots of action

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

“The Crimson Claymore” is the first book in the “Claymore of Calthoria” series written by USA Today’s bestselling author Craig A. Price Jr.; known for his “Dragonia Empire” book series. The audiobook edition is quite well narrated and performed by Ian McEuen who receives rather high ratings for this other works. The story is set in a fantasy world and it centers around a man who is out for revenge. He will do almost anything to see those who hurt his family either come to justice through the hands of the law or by his own hands; or blade. In some ways the story felt more like a LitRPG than a standard fantasy tale and is not a bad thing. It is more about the progression of the character and not the experience and leveling parts. We have the classic man vs. man (revenge style) tale, but this one also takes a few surprise twists and turns along the way. There is plenty of mystery, suspense, and wit making it a well-rounded adventure. If you are one who enjoys a well-written and narrated fantasy exploration piece, I recommend you pick up this book and give it a listen.

I like that the author included a prologue chapter giving the listener some insight and background before dropping you right in the world. What is not to like about a revenge story? As you listen to the story, you can feel that the main character oozes with hatred and the desire to seek revenge no matter the cost. There is almost a heightened level of despair throughout the story and one wonders if he will ever be satisfied. The author includes flashbacks giving the listener more details on who our main character is and why he is what he is. I like the addition of the characters having familiars. The main character had his trusty steed while another character a jaguar. The story flowed in a very vibrant and colorful way. It is as if one started with a black canvas and as the story unfolds, we begin to see the splashes of color building a scene. Not only the setting, but the characters were multidimensional, and each had a personality and skills that complemented one another; except for that annoying wizard. One is able to see that the main character needed to depend on his companions for help in achieving his goals. For me, the story felt well planned and executed from both the writing and narration. Good job.

Although the story was quite complex, at times it felt more Young Adult (YA) than I would have expected from our characters. I think some of it feels this way due to some of the character interactions and conversations. The story has a more traditional fantasy world along with the expected classes and creatures; many our party discovers along their travels. We are presented with mages, wizards, warlocks, magic, and plenty of fighting. I even liked how the author wrapped in some humor with the subtle events like the discovery of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. There are a number of other humorous quips and pokes that pop-up and surprise you while listening. I found the game within a game an interesting component and brought me back to my childhood some. Our main character plays a strategy game, like Stratego, which they played as youths growing up. If he wins, he gets to control an army. If he loses, revenge may have to wait for another time.

The audiobook’s narration was solid and performed professionally. Each of the characters voices felt unique and distinct. There is even a point where the narrator sings, and he does a decent job here as well. Although I was not a fan of the Wizards voice, I think that was both the author’s and narrator’s intentions. He was intended to be an annoying character, and this was done well. I do not recall any issues with audio artifacts (swallows, background noise, etc.). The pace of reading and audio volumes remained consistent throughout the book.

For parents or younger readers, there is some light romance between characters and I do not recall any vulgar language being used. I feel it would be a good story for a pre-teen and up. The writing style was not overly complex and the narration clear and well-paced. However, younger readers may not fully grasp some of the sarcasm and snarky comments thrown around in this book.

In summary, the book had a fair amount of mystery and suspense while wanting to find out what happens with our main character. Revenge is a powerful motivator, but one has to be reminded that actions have consequences. Sometimes, these consequences can be deadly. If you are looking for a new fantasy series to listen too, I can say that I think you will enjoy this one; apart from the wizard that is. I look forward to listening to “The Obsidian Arrow” which is the title of book two in the series when it is released.