LISTENER

M. Paddon

England
  • 54
  • reviews
  • 55
  • helpful votes
  • 66
  • ratings
  • Enemy Territory

  • The Viral Superhero Series, Book 4
  • By: Bryan Cohen, Casey Lane
  • Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

After passing through the portal to another realm, superhero Ted Finley must put his trust in unlikely allies to survive. The Realm of Souls is a war zone, and Ted and Natalie are behind enemy lines. Badly injured and powerless, a mysterious woman and her village may hold their only hope of making it home. Erica LaPlante is down to her second-to-last option. Only a coordinated effort from Jennifer, Dhiraj, and the rest of the gang will keep Erica from her last resort: death and regeneration. But fugitives at large can’t hide forever.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Ted the superlame.

  • By M. Paddon on 20-12-18

Ted the superlame.

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

Reviewed: 20-12-18

This book is set in two dimensions? I question that as they really don't seem to be different dimensions at all. Different planets, or alternate realities maybe. But for the sake of argument two of the group end up on the planet, in the dimension where the light and dark souled are from. Both groups are then trying to find a way to open a portal, with one obviously trying to get back to earth and the other to try and find a way to rescue them. At the same time the group on earth is dealing with being wanted by the law that has been set against them by the senator once known as Adam. Ted at the same time is trying to deal with the fact he is trapped on the home world of the people that most want him dead.

Overall the book is going to be okay for teens and young adults. The romance is a little bit sickening at times, and more so as the boys seem to act like girls rather than boys, what with their emotions and weepy eyes. My problems with the book though are much as they were with the first three books that I read in the omnibus edition.

The first problem is the fact either of the authors has made Ted so lame and ineffective. He is supposed to be your hero, but spends most of the time being saved by a fully human girl and his protector who at least has super strength as an excuse. In the first two books Ted's powers worked unless directly used as an attack on a dark soul that saw it coming, and they could deflect it with ease. However, all of a sudden from book three and book four if a dark soul is looking at Ted NONE of his powers work, not even his internal ones. Or I assume they don't work, as he hasn't seemed to bother using them since book one to aid his fighting ability. This just makes no sense for a book about a super hero to have his enemies completely take away all his powers if they happen to be looking in his direction. He would survive about five minutes in reality.

THe other annoyance was the direction the book has with dealing with boys and girls. The boys are always the weak ones needing the help, throwing up, getting dizzy or failing in a fight. The girls are like the uber warriors, which is fine in the case of Erica as she is centuries old and trained, but not with our basketball player who has no martial training at all. Seeing her jump into a crowd of twenty soldiers with Erica and beat up just as many is just ridiculous writing. Trained soldiers with a ten to one advantage don't get beat up by a seventeen year old basketball player with no combat training. There is also the rather demeaning and condescending way the girls talk to the boys at times that grates. If it was done in reverse you'd have feminists screaming blue murder about sexism.

  • The Viral Superhero Series Box Set: Books 1-3

  • Viral Superhero Omnibus
  • By: Bryan Cohen, Casey Lane
  • Narrated by: Neil Hellegers
  • Length: 21 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

Ted Finley is your average suburban nerd, but when a group of thugs threaten to kill innocent people, something incredible happens. Gifted superhuman abilities during a seemingly random brunch, Ted quickly transforms from a nobody into a viral video sensation. Forced to navigate school and life with his newfound powers and fame proves to be difficult, but Ted’s biggest challenge lies ahead. He’s not the only one with powers....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Worlds first and lamest superhero?

  • By M. Paddon on 19-12-18

Worlds first and lamest superhero?

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

Reviewed: 19-12-18

Okay, as a teen and YA book, it's not that bad, but it does have real issues that anyone with a brain will struggle with. The basic plot of the first three books is a problem and full of holes. The plot is based around an ongoing war supposedly between dimensions - I'll get back to this - where you have two sides called light souled and dark souled, where apparently the light souled are losing, which I find hardly surprising having read these books

This opening plot gives me my first problem. It's never explained, not in the first three books who they are, what they are fighting for/over, or any detail at all other than that basic information. Fine if someone asked and got stonewalled, but honestly none of them push for any answers, and that doesn't seem at all realistic to human nature.

Nor did I understand the dimensional angle. It's possible he should have just gone with other planets or based on what happens in book three alternate realities. Not sure other dimensions fit with what little information crops up in the books so far.

Next is that the light and dark souled that enter our world into the bodies of dead people, as they are apparently some sort of energy or soul based entities. Here is where it gets odd and why the light based would lose. The light souled send only one soul into a dead person that animates and becomes the protector for a living soul. This is a living human that the light souls have granted powers to in order to fight the battle on a new world that is under threat from the dark souled. However, the dark souled can take over as many as they like as all they do is a ritual and have the person killed by a human hand.

At no point does anyone ask, or does it get explained why only one light souled comes through, or why a human hand has to kill the human they are trying to kill and convert. Nor does it explain how on earth they managed to get anyone on earth if they have to do this ritual in the first place. Nor why the dark souled can't make a living soul as well.

Lastly, our hero, and why I called him lame. Well, imagine Superman and all the amazing things he could do any all the enemies he defeated. Now give all those enemies Krytonite and how good would he look? The dark souls can wave his powers away if he directly attacks them, and he can only get around this using his power to pick things up to hurl at them. I could vaguely accept this as it made a way for him not to win easy, though the authors might have thought of a better plan. The problem is that in book three all of a sudden they can literally stop his powers working if they are looking at him. Never happened in two books and they change the rules with no reason or surprise to it happening.

The list of horrible inconsistences that ruined the book from more than three stars occur too often. Lizard creatures that can flip a car and have bullets bounce off them, but then can be beaten up by a human girl in a fist fight. Which is what bugged me about the girls. They were overdone. It was like feminism turned up to 11. I'm sorry, I can't see a girl no matter how much basketball she plays beating up eight feet tall bulletproof lizards that can flip cars over. Can't see a boy doing either. And the girls are more often the dominate presence in everything including the fights, often doing far more than our supposed hero. Hardly surprising when the protector is a fighter with superhuman strength that doesn't lose it when fighting the dark souled conveniently - unlike the hero.

In short the book is fine for the younger teens maybe that won't ask to many questions as they read, but I question if young adults or adults will enjoy it too much. Average fair if you are in that age group.

  • The King's Blood

  • The Dagger and the Coin, Book 2
  • By: Daniel Abraham
  • Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
  • Length: 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

War casts its shadow over the lands that dragons once ruled. Only the courage of a young woman with the mind of a gambler and loyalty to no-one stands between hope and universal darkness. The high and powerful will fall, the despised and broken shall rise up and everything will be remade. And an old, broken-hearted warrior and an apostate priest will begin a terrible journey with an impossible goal: destroy a Goddess before she eats the world. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • the book ended mid sentence

  • By jamie on 18-12-18

Slow paced but a good read.

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

Reviewed: 29-11-18

I think I would have given this 3.5 stars if I could have. It's not average, but it didn't quite make it good either in my eyes. While I like all the characters in the first two books - I really do - I feel at times like the story is being told by an accountant - and I mean the writer not the narrator. The books feel like a flat ocean where I feel no change in mood regardless of the topics being addressed.


I've tried to think what is the cause of this, and I think some of it is length. He has quite a few characters he is trying to tell the story from their point of view chapter by chapter, and so I think some depth to the scenes is missing trying to fit it in books not much over standard novel length. I'd rather see a 20+ hour book that gave battles the drama, fear, excitement and loss rather than feeling it was rather glossed over. The same can be said for other situations as well, not just battles.

The books are definitely worth reading, and I will read the next one in this series myself, but you may find like I did that something feels like it is missing from a four or five star book.

  • Nightlord

  • Sunset
  • By: Garon Whited
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 36 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 657
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630

Eric didn't ask to be a vampire. In fact he didn't even believe in them. Biting your own tongue with your fangs does a lot of convincing. Even so, being a part-time undead isn't as easy as you might think. It can let you hold down a day job, true, but sometimes the night "life" can be more than a little difficult, what with those bloodthirsty urges and predatory instincts kicking in.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a jaunty listen

  • By Robyn on 13-03-17

Fun opening to a good series, with only one issue

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

Reviewed: 06-11-18

This book begins with your average college professor waking up one morning to a rather surreal set of circumstances that progressively get worse as he becomes a vampire. I thought from there it would become your typical type of vampire novel, but it didn't. Firstly, it introduced magic to the main character, followed not much later by coming into contact with vampire hunters. During one of their attacks they escape through a portal, and our hero tracks them and makes a portal of his own to follow them. Unfortunately what he thought would be a portal to some kind of cult or religious compound somewhere on earth turns out to be something very different than he expected.

I won't tell you anymore of the plot, but it's a tiny part of it and his adventures where he ends up involves magic, swords, monsters, religious orders and a world that utterly hates vampires for good reason. So you follow his desperate attempt to survive, make allies, learn magic, learn his own heritage and much, much more.

The only down side for me is the narrator. Podium books use Sean a lot and I have no idea why. He is average at best. He reads the narrative perfectly finely, with good pacing and rhythm. The problem is he is utterly lousy at character voicing. By lousy I mean he doesn't do any. I can only assume people that gave him 5 stars have never heard a top quality narrator or just give out five stars to everything. And don't get me started on how badly he butchered the English accent. It was so badly I didn't recognize it as English at all, and at one point was more bad Scottish. So again, I have no idea why they use him so much, or why he is rated as a top narrator. Not in my book, and I've listened to about 500 audiobooks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Futanari Greatest Hits 2

  • By: Carl East
  • Narrated by: Scarlett Day, Michelle Jones, Lillie Ways, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

The second Futanari Greatest Hits audiobook is every bit as good as the first and will keep you entertained for some time. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Too repetitive to be good.

  • By M. Paddon on 26-10-18

Too repetitive to be good.

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

Reviewed: 26-10-18

The settings in the stories are okay, and some of the sex scenes are okay as well, but it runs into a problem because the author seems to have a limited vocabulary, and this leads to many sex scenes feel quite cut and paste with the dialogue in particular and quite often the narrative too. First story is flawed too, as it is supposed to be an alternate dimension where men don't exist and humans evolved from hermaphrodite apes. Yet still they call themselves women, girls and use feminine pronouns and female names like, Jane or Jenny etc. Still, I guess as they are erotic stories you are supposed to overlook something this dumb, and I did really. It's the lack of variety at times and an author that seemed to have a lack of knowledge about both men and women at times. One example among many would be how each hermaphrodite would ejaculate three times. There was no difference at all. Every character in every story. Just weird. The more of the stories you read the more it stands out, and hence why I rated it poorly.

  • The Court of Broken Knives

  • Empires of Dust, Book 1
  • By: Anna Smith Spark
  • Narrated by: Colin Mace, Meriel Rosenkranz
  • Length: 16 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38

In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous emperor, decadence has become the true ruler and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion - and only one man can see it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dark. Very, very dark. Yet somehow beautiful.

  • By Joel on 13-01-18

Didn't work for me at all.

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

Reviewed: 14-09-18

I'm not saying this is a bad book that all reading it won't enjoy. It is quite possible it will appeal to some, but I didn't like the style of writing, which I'm hard pressed to put a finger on as to what I found wrong with it. Certainly, I found it dull. Most fantasy fiction you expect peaks and valleys in the pace, action or intrigue. This for me spent too long being bland with the story.

Most importantly what didn't work for me was the characters. In my opinion all good books start with strong well-rounded ccharacters I can care about, understand or empathise with. After about sixteen chapters I wouldn't much care if the whole lot fell into a volcano. Only one character held half of my interest, and only because he was clearly hiding something dark or sinister. Sadly this wasn't enough to keep me interested after reading so far into the book and I gave up, and it's very rare I give up on a book I've started.

  • Age of Assassins

  • The Wounded Kingdom, Book 1
  • By: RJ Barker
  • Narrated by: Joe Jameson
  • Length: 13 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 160
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151

Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince's murder. In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies, Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire land.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great start to what should be a great series

  • By Swords and Spectres on 18-03-18

Top class epic fantasy writing.

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

Reviewed: 25-08-18

I loved this book, and I wasn't sure about reading it till I noticed one of the other authors I raved over his first novel wrote a highly positive endorsement of this one. Glad I was that I saw it and downloaded this book.

The story itself is deep and clever, with two assassins pressed into service to foil a plot to assassinate the heir to the throne. A task made all the harder by the fact that so many people might want to, or had good reason to want the heir dead. The author unwinds this mystery layer by layer leaving me guessing on where it would end right up till the final chapters. He did give away - at least to me - who the murderer of unconnected people was though, but not in any massively obvious way. The rest was well hidden.

The characters are all deep, well-crafted and three dimensional and superbly voiced by the narrator who is also excellent throughout.

Honestly a must read in my humble opinion if you like epic fantasy that involves a little mystery and a magic system that I think will only be expanded on in the second couple of books, but is interesting in this one alone.

  • Transformed into a Woman and Taken by a Group: The Complete Series

  • By: Jessica Nolan
  • Narrated by: Jackson Woolf
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars 1

Transformed into a Woman and Taken by a Group is a 24-book series showcasing the erotic gang-bang encounters of men who’ve suddenly found themselves transformed into beautiful, horny women. Whether by supernatural or scientific means, these guys-turned-girls will do whatever it takes to experience everything that being a beautiful woman has to offer, starting with their deepest, darkest, group sex desires.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Overall it's pretty dire and repetitive.

  • By M. Paddon on 23-08-18

Overall it's pretty dire and repetitive.

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

Reviewed: 23-08-18

If the book was just one story it wouldn't be great, but it wouldn't bore you to tears either. Also, I loathe to say I don't honestly think this was a woman writing this. Feels more like a man writing under a female pen name, but who doesn't want his secret fantasies to be known to all who know him. Could be wrong, but it just feels that way.

The stories aren't what is repetitive, as each place and reason why the man becomes a woman is different and so the build up. What follows the transformation is what kills this as a book. The sex is what is repetitive. Even to the point of repeating phrases, sentence structure and overall word use. Even the sex acts are virtual copies from story to story. Each new girl makes one failed attempt at deep throating before instantly mastering it on the next try for example.

Then there is the fact if this is a new female body shouldn't she be a virgin? Even if we give a pass on the lack of discomfort from straight sex, each girl story to story has exactly the same response to anal sex - highly unlikely.

I got bored after about five stories. Each story starts well enough but the sex lacks imagination totally when moving from story to story. Mix in a narrator that I would consider on the low end of average and I think I did well to manage five stories.

  • Dawn of Wonder

  • The Wakening, Book 1
  • By: Jonathan Renshaw
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 29 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,133
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,996
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,995

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself. But this is only the beginning of his discoveries.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Coming of Age Fantasy

  • By Simon on 15-02-17

High quality epic fantasy.

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

Reviewed: 17-04-18

I'm a huge fan of epic fantasy, and it is the genre I tend to read the most of when it comes to a choice in books. So I do love to read a book by a new author and find that it is a quality read enough that I am sitting hoping the author will write the next book ASAP. And that is the case with Dawn of Wonder.

I love reading books by Brandon Sanderson because he melds great characters into a rich plot and well thought out magic systems, and again I find the same is true here. Aedan is much like you find with a Brandon book's characters, in that he has plenty of powerfully strong character traits and skills, but also flaws and pain filled life that you can really connect with him. The same can be said of nearly every character in the book. I honestly didn't find one I hated having to listen to.

The story focuses on Aedan and the events that happen in his home town that will lead him on a long road of self-discovery and adventure as he ends up training in a military academy in a country that is seeing the signs of being invaded by more than one of it's nearest neighbors - and that is the least of their troubles. Strange power seems to be returning to the world that when last seen wiped out a mighty people, and around the lands strange creatures have been seen, and people have gone missing. All these things will soon have a prominent role in young Aedan's life, and all that before one more revelation will be set to hit him that will change his course once again.

If you love epic fantasy you will love this. Can't recommend it more highly than the five stars i already gave it - though I wish I could, it's that good.

  • The Midnight Dunes

  • The Landkist Saga, Book 3
  • By: Steven Kelliher
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 21 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

For Talmir Caru, the world has left him little choice. With his people balanced on the knife-edge of a war beyond reckoning, the Captain of Hearth must brave the deserts of his ancestors to find the power left buried there - a power that could provide the Emberfolk their only hope should their wayward champions fail.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Worst of the series.

  • By M. Paddon on 03-04-18

Worst of the series.

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

Reviewed: 03-04-18

This book suffers from the same issues as I had with the second one, only in a worse way. And that is that the characters are utterly dumb, usually to suit the plot or delay you learning too much before the author wants to reveal it.

It's not just the stupid dialogue though, but some of the situations that boggle the mind as to the chance of it happening like they do. For example they follow the same pattern as book two where they are happy to walk into an even more obvious trap than book two, and the Sage even says, "Just because an enemy wants you to to be there, doesn't mean it's a reason not to be." Yes, it absolutely is. You may not have read the art of war, but still if an enemy wants you at a location and you have no idea why, or what they have planned then just showing up is moronic. More so when they plan of the enemy is so blatantly obvious a five-year-old child would work it out, and certainly every reader will an age before the characters do. Heck they are still clueless when it is happening and are asking what is going on.

Another example would be what happens to the character Seth, which I won't ruin in case you read it, but for sure you will think he is the dumbest idiot in creation like I did. Nobody would be so idiotic as to do what he does given what they already have glaringly proven. And his surprise is mystifying to me.

The whole first half of the book was the worst though, as the entire cast of characters grated on me horribly. They show up in someone else's domain, get invited in, fed and watered and then act with the worst cases of arrogance, rudeness, condescension and hypocrisy that it is hard to read. As they accuse the Sage of hiding, despite the fact they ran away and hid for a century as a people. They rubbish their reasons for being there even though they don't know what they are, or have any real picture of what is going on in the world themselves. And when they are disagreed with enough they threaten their hosts with violence.

It takes till the end of this book before we get any answers as to what the world apart is, or information about how the Sages got their powers etc. and that is too long. Characters in the books have avoided asking questions even when there have been glaring points they should have and would have asked them in reality. In fact they usually commit to violent action when someone is talking, rather than listen to what they said and ask a question. Happens in this book just like it does with Cole in book two. All in all this could be good, but just has too many flaws for me.