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Michael

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Surprisingly good

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

Reviewed: 13-02-19

As an Irishman born in Belfast I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. It gave me a new perspective on the Royal family, especially the Queen.

Well worth a listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Listen to This One First

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19

This is probably the "worst" of Yahtzee Croshaw's books. Now, that is not to say that it is bad; the others are just better.

The book is well worth a listen but I suggest you listen to it before the others.

Innovative & Enjoyable But Could Have Been More

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

Reviewed: 13-10-17

I really enjoyed this story as it was an innovative and well written piece of fiction. The performance was also first class. However, I felt that it was somewhat rushed.

Without wanting to give away the plot or any spoilers I really think the author could have shown more of the main protagonist's character development throughout the "process" and even afterwards.

There were so many potential interesting situations the main character could have been put in and so many more choices that could have been presented to him – leading to some great potential sub-plots - that I believe the author failed to explore.

The rushed feeling I got of seeming to get to the end decision without much of a build-up to that point (the reader/listener could easily have been lead to feel that the final decision was almost enviable or at least the lesser of two evils had I been able to see the reasoning processes that lead him to this decision).

The excuse that “you can’t judge my choices unless you were in that position and because you aren’t me” may work well in real life but in a work of fiction the reader/listener needs to know the characters and their motivations in order to connect to the story.

This lack of knowledge about the internal workings of the protagonist’s thought process; the limited attempts to complete the process and the rushed feeling of getting to the decision of who was the best candidate to kill made it difficult for me to connect to the protagonist which was real shame.

Don’t get me wrong this was a great book and a very enjoyable listen. If you are in doubt as to whether to get it or not don’t be as it is very enjoyable, I just think it could have been much more than it was.

I look forward to seeing the development of this author as he hones his craft and expect he will create more innovative and enjoyable work in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Too Short

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

Reviewed: 04-08-17

What made the experience of listening to The Undead: Part 1 the most enjoyable?

The characters are very well developed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Undead: Part 1?

The stripper club.

What about Dan Morgan’s performance did you like?

Performance was excellent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and I did.

Any additional comments?

The book was to short. I really think the author could do readers a favor and put 2 books into 1 recording as there are a lot of books in this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not a Stand-Alone As Advertised But Still Good

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

Reviewed: 21-05-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes but I would advise they read Turbo's other books that center on the protagonist, Michael Talbot. I was frustrated by the numerous references to things that happened in other books about the same character even though this is suppose to be a stand-alone book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Michael Talbot. He is a very complex character yet somehow very human and feels like he has a lot of life lived with secrets untold in both a good way (3-dimensional character) and a bad way (i.e. references to events I knew nothing about from other books).

Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I listen to Runnette's work on Breeds and he was just as good here. Funny enough this book reminds me of the work by the author of Breeds, Keith C. Blackmore. The writing style is similar as is the story development strategies.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it was engaging and suspenseful throughout and very well written.

Any additional comments?

This is marketed as a stand-alone novel. However, all through the book, there are references to things that happened in the author's 'zombie fallout' books. At one point the protagonist even mentions his encounter with aliens which is another complete book series entirely again!

The first time such a reference was made I thought that was ok as the character is obviously well developed across a range of books. However, after several more times I was starting to get slightly miffed and then I was downright annoyed when Michael Talbot in one of his 'journal notes' actually refers to something that happened in the zombie apocalypse and says something along the lines of "you will have to read my other zombie journals to learn more about that story."

I honestly feel like a missed a lot of, not very cleverly masked, "insider references" and was left with the impression I would have enjoyed the story far more if I had started on a book in the earlier series (Zombie Fallout) which was the start of Michael Talbot's journey.

Basically, my point is - don't market a book as a stand-alone work if it has numerous references to things that have happened in previous books - they are obviously tied in. Just be honest and tell people to start with the other series instead of being worried about losing a sale!

I now do not know whether to continue with this series, which is very good and would have been 5-stars but for the mismarketing, or to start at the beginning of Michael Talbot's journey as I don't want to come across lots of other references to events I know nothing about in the next Lycan book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Fairly Dated But A Good Listen

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

Reviewed: 21-05-17

What made the experience of listening to Dry Bones the most enjoyable?

The storyline was engaging throughout and the characters were well developed. This was also helped with an excellent narrative by Simon Vance.

There is a seriously outdated aspect to the book however regarding the "new science" being used to solve an old crime. One reviewer believes this new science was "getting blood out of a stone" but this was far from new at the time of writing and is certainly not what the author had in mind when writing the book.

I can understand how the reviewer came to this conclusion though as he was probably pushed to find something that fit the "new science" label ...because this "new science" is now so commonplace that there are people old enough to read this book who were not yet born before it existed.

The new science is, of course, the Internet (more on this later).

Who was your favorite character and why?

Enzo. I can tell why the author has written numerous books with this character as the protagonist.

Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favourite?

I've read some reviewers scoff at Vance's attempt at accents and I really don't know why. I thought he did a very good job and I am one of the most critical people who could meet when t comes to such things. I have an auditory memory and can usually identify a speaker within a few short words even if I have only met that person once or twice. I say this merely to reinforce my statement that Vance did a good job with his accents.

Any additional comments?

I think the book is somewhat dated in the fact that the hook - Enzo was "applying new science to a cold case" in order to solve it - now no longer applies. The new science is the Internet. And, of course, the internet is no longer new. The fascination with how certain websites work and having to actually hire an assistant just to use the world wide web are seriously outdated concepts in a decade where we have instant access to the "net" on our mobile phones.

However, the story has such a strong pull and such a firm foundation that the internet doesn't even have to be a major player in it at all. It would be quite easy to relegate it to a mere investigative tool within the story.

I feel a quick rewrite could easily solve this problem; just make the protagonist computer-phobic and remove any references to the internet being new - at the end of the book, it is actually mentioned by a pivotal character that the crime was committed at a time when the "new" internet didn't exist and it could never have been solved without it - a completely unnecessary admission in this day and age which could easily be removed or it could just as easily be left in with a slightly different spin on it.

All-in-all this is a very worthwhile listen, with excellent narration and a very descriptive style of writing that is so good it overcomes the outdated nature of key aspects of the storyline.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Nothing Short of Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 17-05-17

If you could sum up Mogworld in three words, what would they be?

Funny, engaging and original.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mogworld?

There were no real memorable moments but I really liked the character, Meryl, as we all know someone like this in real life (even if she was more a caricature of those people).

I can't speak highly enough of this book. It takes a lot to make me laugh aloud and I've only experienced it a few time with books - even Terry Pratchett only made me laugh once - yet I laughed aloud several times and snickered inwardly a lot while listening to this book. It is well worth a listen.

Have you listened to any of Yahtzee Croshaw’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I had never heard of Yahtzee Croshaw before and to look him up on Google. I am not a big fan of an author narrating his/her own work as narration and writing are completely different skills but Yahtzee did an excellent job throughout.

Any additional comments?

The mixture of humor, adventure, MMORPG themes and funny (yet believable in the context of the book) characters was very enjoyable. I'm new to the whole MMORPG theme in literature so don't know if this is truly an original book or not but it was original for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely listen to the 2 other books on audible by this author.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

Too Damn Short

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

Reviewed: 29-04-17

What did you like most about For We Are Many?

Unlike many other book series by other authors, Taylor was able to make his second book just as good as the first (something becoming less and less common).

The only problem I have with the Bob books is their length. Please make them longer Dennis!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bob, but I'm not sure which one. ;)

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Porter does a great job overall but I couldn't help but feel that it was a rushed job - probably something beyond his control.

There were "dropouts", where it is very clear editing and splicing had occurred. Though it's a small price to pay to get the long-awaited sequel quicker, later listeners may have bigger problems with it when more books in the series are available.

Porter also sometimes seems to stumble over his words probably for the same reason given above.

Apart from these minor annoyances (and they are minor), Porter rendered yet another excellent narration, helping to bring the story and characters to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and unfortunately it was short enough to do that.

Any additional comments?

This is a small minor point, (as an Irishman I am used to this from both American and English movies and audios), but the Irish character has a strange accent that sounds a cross between Belfast, Donegal, and Galway; not at all authentic. It is a difficult accent to master though so the narrator is given a "pass" on that (it's better than most Hollywood A-listers can do).

If I may now get downright petty: the plural of the Irish/Gaelic word for chair "cathaoireacha" is said to be uttered by a Wicklow barman. Wicklow is in the province of Leinster but "cathaoireacha" is pronounced in a Munster Irish dialect and not a Leinster dialect - yes it's petty I know but as a Gaelic speaker, I'm very protective of my native tongue.

Although I mentioned that I do give full kudos and applause to the narrator, Ray Porter, though, as he obviously researched the proper pronunciation and did an excellent job in his Munster pronunciation. Well done sir!

I realize that anyone reading this review may get the impression that I have nothing but criticisms for this work but, because the book has such a good story and was narrated so well I thought it was only fair to highlight the problems I had with it as well.

Rest assured that if you listened to the first book and enjoyed it then you will love this second one. If you haven't heard the first book, you should!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 27-04-17

Would you consider the audio edition of The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three to be better than the print version?

The audio version of this book adds so much more to the story that, I for one, would miss in the printed version. The narration is so good I was actually disappointed to see that King himself narrates one book in the series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three?

Roland entering and interacting in the world of "The Prisoner"; this whole sequence was gripping and caused me to have my headphones stuck to my head when I really should have been doing other things.

Any additional comments?

I won't be surprised if this ends up being the best book in entire series - though I'll be more than delighted if it's not. A great tale, well told and a great way to move the story of last gunslinger closer to the dark tower.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Refreshingly Original

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

Reviewed: 27-04-17

What did you like most about Syncing Forward?

The originality of the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The protagonist's eldest daughter. She is a very believable yet complex character.

What does Will Damron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I don't usually like narration that has a slow tempo but Damron's slowish style was never sluggish. It seemed perfectly paced and in a strange way was a perfect match for the fast paced environment of the book. He did an excellent job and though I have a few favourite narrators on Audible I really don't think anyone would have done a better job. Damion was a perfect choice for this book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Definitely. I actually listened to it in 2 sittings.

Any additional comments?

I may be wrong but after reading and listening to many hundreds of books (probably closer to thousands) over the years I've never came across one quite like this. It retains its originality throughout while still using the tried-and-tested formulas for character building, interpersonal relationships and drama that you'd expect from a good book. The book was brilliantly written and excellently narrated. It has made me want to hear more from both the author and the narrator. Well done Audible for bringing this book to your listeners.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful