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John

  • 15
  • reviews
  • 44
  • helpful votes
  • 69
  • ratings
  • New Year Island

  • By: Paul Draker
  • Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
  • Length: 23 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 19

Ten strangers, recruited by an edgy new reality show and marooned on an abandoned island overrun by wildlife. One dies in a horrible accident. Nine realize they are all past survivors, alive only because they've beaten incredible odds once before. One by one, their hidden secrets are revealed. Eight discover they are trapped. Caught in a game so deadly that the most terrifying experiences of their lives were only its qualifying round, they must now face the greatest danger on the island... each other.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Possibly the worst audiobook I've ever bought...

  • By John on 22-03-15

Possibly the worst audiobook I've ever bought...

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

Reviewed: 22-03-15

Where to start, annoying implausible characters with their utterly average "extraordinary" back stories? (she's a survivor because she once broke her thumb - "totz omg!" as I believe the youth say today) Or the plot holes and continuity errors? Or the annoying, implausible characters?

I know, I'll start with the eyes. And the bluffs. Dear god, before this book I suspect I'd heard the word "bluffs" about 5 times in my life. I'm pretty sure I'm currently running at a couple of dozen times per chapter. Per character. Of which there are about 13.

To get an accurate idea of the content please use the following basic paragraph planner:

(Character A) stands (geographic reference ie; above the, below the, next to the, in the shadow of the) bluffs, their (inset adjective and colour ie tungsten grey) eyes (insert authorial verb ie flashing, glowering, sparking) at (insert character B) as they stand (insert geographic reference) the bluffs with their (insert adjective and colour) eyes (insert verb and direction ie "cast downwards". Character A, who has no prior knowledge of character B will then voice why this hitherto stranger has (angered, disappointed, betrayed etc) them despite the fact they owe each other nothing.


For example:

"Camilla stood on the edge of the bluffs, her emerald eyes flashing in anger as she stared at JT who stood in the shadow of the bluffs gazing towards the horizon visible above with his languid caramel eyes. Camilla was furious that JT, who she had met 30 seconds earlier whilst walking along the bluffs, hadn't realised the depth of the trauma she had been caused after receiving a parking ticket 9 years earlier."

Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
And so on

It's a book so terribly written it drives me to incoherence, the basic plot of a Survivor snuff series being interesting enough to keep you sucked in but everything else conspiring to make you launch the cd out of the window.

On the plus side the narrator does a great job!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Luminaries

  • By: Eleanor Catton
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 29 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,423
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,295
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,292

It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written, but slower than a snail

  • By Avril Sawers on 02-11-13

I can't decide if I enjoyed this or not...

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

Reviewed: 19-12-13

This is a difficult book to review for some reason, as per the headline I can't decide whether I enjoyed it or not. I listen to audiobooks whilst driving and this is one which had me realising I'd not been paying attention to the story for miles at a time. It's not that the narrator is bad, the accents etc are well done but it's more like the general tone is flat.

There are a couple of bugbears with the story, firstly it starts with a fairly hefty hint at the supernatural. However this isn't followed up until halfway through the novel when there's another dose of ghostly goings on. And then you never hear anything else about it. It's almost as if the author started to write a horror story, forgot what she was doing and then realised halfway through before giving it up as a bad lot.

I suspect I've missed some sort of literary genius with the horror element so if anyone can point it out that'd be great.

Secondly, the final chapter is basically a list of the answers to the unanswered (and often unasked) questions throughout the story. You could probably listen to the first and last chapter and ignore the rest.

Finally, as per the narration there was an element of "meh" about the plot. It was well done and interesting but it had no hook or spark that made me want to continue over and above the fact I'd spent a credit on it and still had several hundred miles to drive. I suspect this is due to the large cast of characters, some of the more interesting of which are distinctly secondary.

  • The Bat

  • A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1
  • By: Jo Nesbo
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,347
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,881
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,871

Harry is out of his depth. Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can. He's not supposed to get too involved. When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry. He might just be the next victim.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great introduction to Harry Hole.

  • By Richard on 04-12-12

And this is by a best selling author?

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

Reviewed: 09-10-13

In a nutshell...

Hero Norwegian detective solves crimes the bumbling amateurs of the Australian police can't. When he's drunk.

It's too predictable, you know he'll solve whatever comes up whilst everyone else is scratching their heads and grunting.



  • The Twelve

  • Book Two of The Passage Trilogy
  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 26 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,244
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 998
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 995

Death-row prisoners with nightmare pasts and no future…. Until they were selected for a secret experiment….to create something more than human.

Now they are the future and humanity's worst nightmare has begun. The Twelve is the epic sequel to The Passage. Read by Scott Brick.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • even better the second time

  • By TSUK79 on 17-07-16

Good sequel let down by a few niggles...

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

Reviewed: 29-09-13

If you bought the first book you'll no doubt buy this as well and to be fair it's worth a listen, however it's not without it's annoyances.

Firstly, the lead characters (one in particular) become over-powered to the extent that hearing their exploits just leads to rolled eyes and a "here we go again" feeling. This extends to their interactions with other communities etc.

Secondly, the characters make increasingly stupid decisions in what seems to be an attempt to move the plot to it's next set piece.

Third - a lot of time is devoted to some historical "day zero" back stories which have only the very flimsiest connection to the actual story. Although they're interesting in their own right they don't add anything, they would have been more suitable at the start of book one.

Finally - the ending is poor. The final confrontation is almost ridiculously easy and it's scenario implausible even by the standards of the genre.

In summary, expect to get to the end and feel annoyed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Cold Hand in Mine

  • By: Robert Aickman
  • Narrated by: Reece Shearsmith
  • Length: 8 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 74

Cold Hand in Mine stands as one of Aickman's best collections and contains eight stories that show off his powers as a 'strange story' writer to the full. The listener is introduced to a variety of characters, from a man who spends the night in a Hospice to a German aristocrat and a woman who sees an image of her own soul. There is also a nod to the conventional vampire story ("Pages from a Young Girl's Journal") but all the stories remain unconventional and inconclusive, which perhaps makes them all the more startling and intriguing.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good listen

  • By Pip on 24-10-18

2 outa 3 ain't bad...

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

Reviewed: 31-08-13

Brilliantly narrated, the style of the writing is perfect in it's precision but the stories are just not creepy enough. There's subtle horror and there's dull horror, this is the 2nd sadly.

Well worth buying just to hear what a perfectly narrated, perfectly composed text sounds like.

  • The Lighthouse Keeper

  • By: Alan K. Baker
  • Narrated by: Steven Cree
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 79
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 80

A terrifying mystery of the sea. In December 1900, three lighthouse keepers vanished without trace from the remote Scottish island of Eilean Mòr. An emergency relief crew was sent to man the lighthouse. At the end of their month-long duty, they resigned from their posts, and never spoke of what they had experienced on the island. The mystery of Eilean Mòr has never been solved. Until now. In the present, a group of environmental researchers arrives on the island to observe the wildlife.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The Lighthouse Keeper

  • By Amanda on 02-09-12

Interesting despite the author's best efforts.

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

Reviewed: 31-08-13

The dialog is terrible, the narrator gives the timid characters confident voices and the confident, assertive characters are given timid voices. There are a couple of gaping plot holes you could drive a bus through and there's too much religious/scientific/gibberish spoke during periods of stress.

Despite all the above it's oddly compelling, probably because it's based on a true story. (sort of)

The Devil and the River
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        R. J. Ellory
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Eric Meyers,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Laurence Bouvard
    
    


    
    Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
    55 ratings
    Overall 4.0
  • The Devil and the River

  • By: R. J. Ellory
  • Narrated by: Eric Meyers, Laurence Bouvard
  • Length: 17 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 49

‘When the rains came they found the girl's face. Just her face. At least that was how it appeared...’. Sheriff John Gaines is called down to the riverside when the body of a teenage girl is found. It is that of Nancy Denton - a girl missing for over two decades. Now she's been found her mother can finally put her memory to rest, but Nancy's body bears horrific mutilations that suggest she was subjected to a terrifying voodoo ritual. As Gaines digs ever deeper into the dark secrets of the town he is forced to confront his own demons…

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Worth the time invested.

  • By Becky on 08-04-16

If you like R.J Ellory... you'll still hate this!

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

Reviewed: 13-08-13

Synopsis...

Small town cop tries to "solve" crime by thinking about his time in Vietnam instead of asking questions and gathering evidence.

At least one glaring plot inconsistency and dozens of examples of the authorities jumping through hoops to avoid doing the obvious tasks which would probably have wrapped the case up within a few chapters.

Good narration though.

  • 'Til Death Do Us Part

  • Zombie Fallout, Book 6
  • By: Mark Tufo
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 14 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210

BT, Gary, and Mrs. Deneaux race to the Talbot compound in a desperate bid to turn the tides of a lost war. Is Michael dead? This is the question plaguing the Talbots as they prepare for the final showdown with a merciless enemy hell-bent on their absolute destruction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb finale to a brilliant series

  • By Christopher on 05-04-13

A poor series finale...

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

Reviewed: 27-06-13

This is the final book in this particular saga and it's by far the worst. Whilst this particular genre is never going to be considered great literature the previous novels have all been enjoyable, consistent and reasonably well written.

Without giving anything away the main problems include:

The ludicrous "showdown" scenario.

The constant inability of the main character to remember how he had been changed in a previous novel and what benefits this granted him.

The transformation of one of the most interesting and morally ambiguous characters into a cartoon villain.

The overly long epilogue.

Anyone who is considering buying this has presumably bought the previous novels and will inevitably buy this to complete the saga. However I've found this to be irritating enough to ensure I won't be buying any other Mark Tufo audiobooks.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • CompTIA Network+ (N10-004) Lecture Series

  • By: PrepLogic
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 2 hrs and 40 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 6

Network+ (N10-004) Lecture Series audio training gives IT professionals a fresh, effective new way to train for the CompTIA Network+ certification. Network+ Lecture Series provides authentic, instructor-led lessons on the most essential topics covered in the CompTIA Network+ (N10-004) exam. A passing score on the (N10-004) exam is required for the Network+ certification, and this Lecture Series audio training helps you pass the exam quickly and easily.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not an audiobook!

  • By John on 24-05-13

Not an audiobook!

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

Reviewed: 24-05-13

Although this is probably a perfectly fine CompTIA text book it is in no way a suitable candidate for conversion to audiobook. I bought it expecting it to be a revision aid but it just hasn't been written with an audio conversion in mind and so it's almost useless.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Spies for Hire

  • The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing
  • By: Tim Shorrock
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 1

Running spy networks overseas. Tracking down terrorists in the Middle East. Interrogating enemy prisoners. Analyzing data from spy satellites and intercepted phone calls. All of these are vital intelligence tasks that have traditionally been performed by government officials accountable to Congress and the American people.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Hammers the point home...

  • By John on 13-04-13

Hammers the point home...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-04-13

Basically, a lot of the US intelligence community is privatised. The book spends a long time telling you that Company X, which provides so many staff to a particular agency is worth so much and Company Y bought it in 2008. At no point does it really say why this actually matters or what the implications might be.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful