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Cliff

madison, MS, United States
  • 209
  • reviews
  • 1,202
  • helpful votes
  • 266
  • ratings
  • Wormhole

  • The Rho Agenda, Book 3
  • By: Richard Phillips
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,479
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,237
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,233

When the Rho Project’s lead scientist, Dr. Donald Stephenson, is imprisoned for his crimes against humanity, the world dares to think the threat posed by the Rho Project’s alien technologies is finally over. The world is wrong. In Switzerland, scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider have discovered a new threat, a scientific anomaly capable of destroying the earth - and only Rho Project technology can stop it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • James Bond Meets Witch Mountain

  • By Cliff on 06-05-15

James Bond Meets Witch Mountain

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

Reviewed: 06-05-15

This book is what you' d get if you put James Bond and the Disney Witch Mountain series into a blender. This is a great book and is actually the best of the three in this series in my opinion. This is so action packed and over the top, but it works beautifully. This ends the series well but leaves plenty to explore in the next book (which he is currently working on).

Macleod Andrews is top notch. There are a lot of characters and each sounds different. In fact, none of the myriad of voices even sound similar to characters in other series he reads. How he pulls that off is beyond me. Simply Amazing. This is a great novel and definitely worth a listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Immune

  • The Rho Agenda, Book Two
  • By: Richard Phillips
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,686
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,447
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,451

Anyone who dares challenge the Rho Project is being systematically picked off. At the top of the hit man’s death list: NSA fixer Jack Gregory, and the three teenagers who first exposed the Rho Project’s dark agenda to the world.On the run for their lives, Heather, Mark, and Jennifer know that the Rho Project’s alien nano-technology has been released into the world, disguised as a miracle cure. But what they don’t yet know is that the serum has taken on a life of its own....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A second volume that stands alone - brilliantly

  • By Orson on 12-04-12

Really good Sci-Fi Thriller

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

Reviewed: 06-05-15

This is the second book in the Rho Agenda Series. It works as a stand alone novel but is better if you read the 1st book (Second Ship) prior to this one. Actually, You would be better off reading the entire Rho Agenda Inception series first as it is a prequel and gives you all the background you need on Jack Gregory. You don't have to, but this series would be a lot better if you do.

This book is an improvement over the first as the characters and their skills and tech are pretty well established. The author eats up a lot of the first book explaining how things work, skills, and tech. He does a good job and is interesting but gets a little overdone a parts. It reminded me more of the old-school Asimov style sci-fi where the science gets more emphasis than the fiction.

That is not the case in this book. It is very fun and action oriented. The author still manages to handle some very adult concepts in ways that you know what is happening but could still let a young adult read it.

MacLeod Andrews does an incredible job as narrator. There are so many characters and each is distinct and not cartoony in the least. The one is definitely worth a credit.

6 of 6 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 2,107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,851
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,851

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

Ok. If you are very tech savy

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

Reviewed: 06-05-15

This book is a great concept. Basically, about an IT guy who becomes an agent within a paranormal government agency. The concept of how the world and magic works is very unique and cool. The problem is that it is so tech jargon heavy that it makes it hard to enjoy the book. If you are not really up on IT and physics your going to get to hear long strings on nonsense terminology and miss a lot of jokes. This was compared to Dresden in a few reviews, but I didn't see it.

The narration is fair, but nothing to write home about. He had a pleasant voice but most all the characters sound the same. It's a fair book but probably too focused on IT for the casual reader. It isn't bad, but there are a lot better books you should read first.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Dead Shift

  • The Rho Agenda Inception, Book 3
  • By: Richard Phillips
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 785
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 731
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 727

With the final chapter of the Rho Agenda Inception, all secrets will be revealed. Who is the alien mind haunting Jack "The Ripper" Gregory? What is the purpose of the immensely powerful Sun Staff? And how will the culmination of these events set the stage for the Rho Agenda?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A solid ending to this trilogy

  • By Cliff on 05-29-15

A solid ending to this trilogy

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

Reviewed: 05-29-15

This book is the 3rd in the Rho Agenda Inception series. It is the prequel to the Rho Agenda Series (Second Ship, Immune and Wormhole) which is a bit confusing as the name of the two series are so similar. You definitely should read this series first if you haven't already started the other trilogy as it will fill in quite a few gaps in the story.

Needleless to say this is not really a standalone novel and requires reading the other two books in this series first to get the most out of this novel. The action is fast and furious in this story and while it has some sci-fi elements it is primarily a spy novel. This is much different than the Rho Agenda series which is heavily sci-fi in nature. If you liked the other books in either series then you will enjoy this as well. Be warned if you read the Rho Agenda trilogy first that this one is much more adult in nature.

The novel ties up most of the loose ends for the series but leaves a lot of items open for future exploration (in a 3rd trilogy I'd imagine). MacLeod Andrews does a first rate job on the narrating the story. There are a lot of different characters and each is distinct and has a feel all its own.

This one is definitely worth a credit and I look forward to future novels in this world from the author.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Three Slices

  • By: Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson, Chuck Wendig
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels, Alex Wyndham, Julia Whelan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,624
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,505

Featuring A Prelude to War, an Iron Druid novella. After an old friend is murdered in retaliation for his mercenary strikes against the oldest vampires in the world, Atticus O'Sullivan must solicit the aid of another old friend in Ethiopia if he's going to have a chance of finishing a war he never wanted. Meanwhile Granuaile MacTiernan starts a private war of her own against Loki, the lord of lies, and if it brings Ragnarok early - so be it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good, but with reservations

  • By Cliff on 05-11-15

Pretty good, but with reservations

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

Reviewed: 05-11-15

This is a compilation of 3 stories. Here is my breakdown..

The first story is from the Iron Druid series. If you haven't read the Series do not start with this as you will have no idea what is going on. This story is very good as I would expect from Kevin Hearne but with one major issue. The problem is that this is not really a novella as advertised. It is more like the first few chapters of the next novel. It's still really good but not a complete story by a longshot.

It takes off from the end of the last book and stops abruptly with no closure whatsoever. Unlike Two Ravens and One crow which had a distinct beginning, middle and end this is just a beginning and middle with a brief pause and no closure. That is very frustrating since you really wind up wanting to know what happens next. It is still worth the credit, though.

Good news is Luke Daniels did the narration so the voices are the same we are used to hearing. The last novella (in Carnie punk .. don't bother with) had a different person reading and it messed the whole thing up for me. Also, the author's Granuiale POV is much better than in previous books. I think he is starting to figure out how to write from her point of view. Other than that it is great to hear from Kevin Hearne. I hope he doesn't spend too much time writing Star Wars books and stays with this series.

The second was about a character named Criminy Stain. It seems to be from an ongoing series as well. The story was good and while quite a different world had a writing style that is very reminiscent of Anne Rice. The only real drawback was that if you haven't read the series this is based on there is a lot unexplained. Still I could follow it and it kept my interest. The main character is a bit of a douche which made it less enjoyable but still not too bad. The narrator did a good job and definitely added to the quality of the story.

The third story by Chuck Wendig really did not capture my interest. The narrator did a decent job but the story didn't pull me in me at all. I am glad I heard this story as I almost bought a book in this series a few weeks ago. Hearing this one saved me from wasting a credit.

So, 2 out of 3 stories were good. That's better than what most anthologies manage and if you are an Iron Druid fan you will want this one just to get a head start on the next book. The 3rd story combined with the lack of a strong finish to the Iron Druid story lead to the lower scores for story. All 3 had good narration in my opinion. If you follow any of these series this is worth a credit. If you are new to all 3 I'd pass as you will just be confused.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Redemption Song

  • Daniel Faust, Book 2
  • By: Craig Schaefer
  • Narrated by: Adam Verner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 640
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 596

Daniel Faust, Las Vegas sorcerer and career criminal, has never pulled the trigger on an innocent man. When the infernal Prince Sitri challenges him to do just that, though, he can't walk away. His lover, Caitlin, is Sitri's right hand... and if Daniel refuses the job, he'll never see her again. While Daniel works to unravel Sitri's twisted game, putting his principles and his life on the line, Caitlin has problems of her own.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun and keeps you guessing

  • By Cliff on 04-24-15

Fun and keeps you guessing

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

Reviewed: 04-24-15

This is the second book in this series. If you liked the first book you will like this one as well. I really enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. I only have two minor complaints.

First, more Caitlin would have been nice. I understand the reasoning but the author needs to have more developed supporting characters in his stories and she's about the only major character in the book other than the protagonist.

Second, the series is most definitely low magic in nature. I don't mind that, but I would like to see the main character use his magic more. There were reasons for this as well, but it was the same in the first book so I am sensing a pattern here. It would be nice to see what the guy is really capable of doing. Also, while he is doing a great job of describing infernal issues and politics we really have no good explantaion as to how magic works in this world and what it can do. I am hoping he explores these issues in more detail in future books.

Other than that this is a great series and lots of fun to read. This is very dark, adult story so leave the kiddies at home for this one. This is much closer to a Mike Hammer protagonist than a Harry Dresden and that is good. The main character is more real, flawed and interesting than alot of the more recent batch of heroes in current urban fantasy novels. I like a small number of pop culture references but some series are getting out of hand. Mr Schaefer avoids this and some of the more cutesy items you see in other series. Good for him as it helps the reader focus more on the characters and what is happening.

The best part is this book has a lot of twists and turns to it. I read alot so often the plot of a book is clearly evident and you know where things are going to end up. It is nice to have a book that keeps you a bit more off balance. While this book does stand alone you will definitely benefit from checking out the previous book first if you haven't already done so. This one is worth a credit for certain.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Second Ship

  • The Rho Agenda, Book 1
  • By: Richard Phillips
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,461
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,492

In 1948, an alien starship crash-landed in the New Mexico desert and brought with it the key to mankind’s future. Code-named the Rho Project, the landing was shrouded in secrecy, and only the highest-ranking US government and military personnel knew it existed. Until now....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific story

  • By Mike From Mesa on 01-03-13

Good but read rho inception series first

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

Reviewed: 04-24-15

This is an excellent book but as the title says at least read the first book in the Rho Inception series first before starting this novel. The Jack Gregory character is an enigma in this story and if you read the first rho inception book you will understand a lot more about who he is and why he is so abnormally skilled. I reviewed those books (in short they are good albeit very light on sci-fi aspects) and you can look them up easily. Be warned the Rho inception books are alot more adult oriented than this series. The items he glossess over in this one get full detail in that series.

This is a nice YA science fiction series. The great thing is it has enough adult elements that adults can enjoy it just as much. In fact calling it a YA book is not quite fair. It is more like an adult book with teen characters that writes very adult situations with just a deft enough hand to make it easily accessible to young adults as well. This book has some pretty dark stuff in it like rape and torture. It is inferred but usually not spelled out in enough detail to warrant warning mature young adults away.

All in all a good book. If you read at least the first book of the previous series prior to this one a lot of the mystery of Jack will be solved for you. This book stands alone just fine if you choose not to do so. Let's just say there are some really good reasons why he is so good. This one is definitely worth a listen.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Lifeblood

  • The Vampire Files, Book 2
  • By: P. N. Elrod
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 141
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145

Jack Fleming was an investigative journalist in Prohibition-era Chicago until he got shot by an unknown assassin, bitten by his vampire girlfriend, and then became one of the undead. Now, this nice-guy nosferatu has a bunch of crazy vampire hunters on his trail, armed with crosses, silver bullets, and sharp wooden stakes. He doesn't know how they found out about him or why they are "out for his blood," but it's not a problem for this street-wise gumshoe, until someone starts shooting.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not as good as the first, but still pretty good

  • By Cliff on 04-23-15

Not as good as the first, but still pretty good

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

The title says it all. The novel is good and entertaining but just lacks a bit of the grittiness of the first novel. We do get to learn more about the main character and some of the past of the woman who made him a vampire. This one is a lot less dark and a lot more predictable than the previous book, hence the lower rating .

You could read this one as a stand alone but it will be more enjoyable if read following the first novel. Once again, the main character is pretty much the only supernatural element of the story. That's not a bad thing, just how it is. The main character does come off a bit more sappy and weak than in the first one but still makes a good main character. I hope the author toughens him up a bit in later stories.

Alll in all, it is still a very good book and definitely worth a listen. Just be aware there are about 12 novels in this series so if you get hooked you may be buying a lot of books. ;)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Bloodlist

  • The Vampire Files, Part 1
  • By: P.N. Elrod
  • Narrated by: Barrett Whitener
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 437
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 233

I've always had a weak spot for strange ladies. One very beautiful girl had even warned me that she was, get this, a vampire. But did I listen? No.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A unique perspective on vampire novels.

  • By Joseph on 02-23-06

Kind of Like the Shadow..

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

This is a good read. It is a fast paced action filled series. It is a bit thin on explanations of the vampire world, but hey, it works.

This is basically the novel equivalent of an old radio serial (much like the shadow). The only supernatural element in this book is the fact that the main character is a vamire. Everyone and everything else is plain old vanilla human. Really, you could just have easily removed the vampire element and this would be a very good pulp-style mystery.

Much like in a pulp novel the charchters are a bit on thin thin side, mainly just sterotypes. The thing that makes the books work is the author does a great job of presenting the emotional elements in this book. There is a lot of violence, but none of it is glamorized and is shown in all its brutality. The main character is powerful, but balanced by inexperience and naiveté.

There is a romance element to the novel, but it does not dominate the story. This is a vampire book with a romance involved not a romance novel that happens to contain vampires. That is a major distinction in my book. While a bit stereotypical in places this is a fun read and well worth a listen. It kind of makes me wish someone would write a full-length Shadow novel though.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Half a Prayer

  • The Tome of Bill, Book 6
  • By: Rick Gualtieri
  • Narrated by: Christopher John Fetherolf
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 800
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 799

The end of the world is rapidly approaching, but Bill Ryder - gamer, geek, and legendary vampire - finds himself with more pressing concerns to worry about: the women in his life. Sidelined from action, he's forced to reevaluate his feelings. Sadly for him, it's a luxury he can ill afford.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Another fun outing for Bill and friends

  • By Cliff on 04-22-15

Another fun outing for Bill and friends

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

Reviewed: 04-22-15

If you liked the previous books you will like this one too. In fact, I will say this book was much better than the previous one. This story advances the meta-plot without making it feel incomplete like the last novel did. There are still a lot of loose ends to be dealt with at the end of this one, but you don't feel like you are left hanging.

The characters haven't changed much, and unlike some of the complainers I prefer it that way. The characters have matured a bit but have not lost the charm that made them interesting in the first place. When a lot of people say grow they really mean dark, emo or angry. Bill is maturing but keeps the bright outlook that makes this series work. Change that element and the story won't work as far as I am concerned.

The book is much longer than previous ones and that's a good thing. Despite the change in length the story keeps the same fast pace of the smaller books in the series. This one is definitely worth a listen and I look forward to more books from the author.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful