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Simon Matthews

Dorking UK
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 26
  • ratings
  • Extinct

  • Extracted, Book 3
  • By: R. R. Haywood
  • Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,410
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,337
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,336

The end of the world has been avoided - for now. With Miri and her team of extracted heroes still on the run, Mother, the disgraced former head of the British Secret Service, has other ideas.... While Mother retreats to her bunker to plot her next move, Miri, Ben, Safa and Harry travel far into the future to ensure that they have prevented the apocalypse. But what they find just doesn't make sense. London in 2111 is on the brink of annihilation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing sequel, read by phenomenally talented CP!!

  • By Lauren on 21-05-18

The final part, or is it?

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

Reviewed: 02-04-19

The final part of the trilogy (or is it), it has been a long slog, only made bearable by a interesting story premise and brilliant reading by Carl Prekopp. What this series needed was a really good editor, far too long, far too much story duplication and a really clunky writing style. The love scenes are cringeworthy, please don't write any more Mr Haywood. Saying that would make an excellent glossy Netflix series, good ideas, good characters and story premise, just far too long and really did not like the ending which I won't spoiler but unsatisfying after wading through three books. Hopefully Mr Haywood's publishers will invest in a decent editor for his next series, he has good ideas but needs help in getting them on the page.

  • Mortal Engines

  • Mortal Engines, Book 1
  • By: Philip Reeve
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,710
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,582
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,579

Welcome to the astounding world of Predator Cities! Emerging from its hiding place in the hills, the great Traction City is chasing a terrified little town across the wastelands. Soon, London will feed. In the attack, Tom Natsworthy is flung from the speeding city with a murderous scar-faced girl. They must run for their lives through the wreckage - and face a terrifying new weapon that threatens the future of the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazingly narrated story

  • By connor on 28-12-17

Much better than the film

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

Reviewed: 02-04-19

Peter Jackson's love of Mortal Engines books drew me to listening to them, after what was best described as a ambitious but disappointing film. The book is just so much better than the film, better characterisations, better narrative and a more nuanced story. I wanted to listen for two reasons, one purely for enjoyment and another to check whether suitable for my 10yr voracious reader who is rapidly running out of good fiction. Certainly enjoyed it enough to buy the second book and buy the paperback for my daughter, who hasn't yet fallen to the idle pleasure of audible recordings.

  • Survivors Series 01

  • By: Matt Fitton, Andrew Smith, John Dorney, and others
  • Narrated by: Lucy Fleming, Ian McCulloch, Louise Jameson, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

It begins with just a few people falling ill. Another flu virus that spreads around the globe. And then the reports begin that people are dying.... When most of the world's population is wiped out, a handful of survivors are left to pick up the pieces. Cities become graveyards. Technology becomes largely obsolete. Mankind must start again....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A eye opener!

  • By W. Beckett on 12-12-16

Good addition to Terry Nation's Survivors canon

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

Reviewed: 06-01-19

Big Finish is normally a guarantee of a quality production, yet again they have successfully resurrected a 70's iconic series (Their Prisoner series is excellent). Firstly I did not feel this was four stories but one longer arc with intertwining elements, but a small criticism of description rather than content. The cast and production were excellent, the story was certainly a launch point to later instalments and as a stand alone felt very much like Part 1. I didn't agree with other comments on technical issues, i listened on headphones and didn't have any problem with the technical quality. I do agree on value, for a audible credit was good value, for £40 CD or download less so. I'll be downloading the next instalment to see what happens. Full marks for use of what sounded like a very close adaptation of the original score, something they seemed unable to do with the Prisoner.

  • Grave Peril

  • The Dresden Files, Book 3
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,493
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,316
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,310

Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden has had a rough couple of weeks. As the only openly practicing professional wizard in the Chicago area, he has squared off against a multitude of supernatural bad guys. Harry has won the day against demons, poltergeists, sorcerers, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and even an evil faerie godmother. You might think nothing could spook him. You would be wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Never a dull moment!

  • By M on 02-01-15

Dresden series getting into its stride

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

Books 1 & 2 were highly enjoyable but patchy, book 3 feels as if Jim Butcher had got into his stride, cracked along at a good pace, aided by the ever wonderful James Marsters narration. Not as good as Rivers of London but a good substitute during hiatuses between books. Shame it seems the series hasn't been added to for years?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: H. G. Wells, Jeff Wayne
  • Narrated by: Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Theo James, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,749
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,572
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,557

One of the world’s most recognisable sci-fi stories, H. G. Wells’ The War of The Worlds established numerous conventions for the genre, including the threat of an invasive extraterrestrial species, space travel and intergalactic conflict, inspiring directors, gamers, producers and writers alike with its sobering story of struggle and survival. Marrying the suspense, drama and urgency of Wells’ original novel with Jeff Wayne’s rousing and flamboyant score, Audible’s new and exclusive dramatisation uses action, narration, original music and evocative sound design to immerse listeners in a world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning Interpretation of Jeff Wayne's Classic!

  • By Simon on 29-11-18

Acceptable addition to the Jeff Wayne WotW canon

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

Reviewed: 05-01-19

Having been a long-term fan of Jeff Wayne's WotW album and subsequent stadium tours, seeing all of the various versions, I was keen to download and enjoy the musical drama version. Yes it is certainly part of the Jeff Wayne family with the familiar WotW instrumentals but feels strangely empty without the accompanying songs. The musical dramatisation is overall very good, Michael Sheen is excellent, but sadly not Richard Burton (although was brilliant reading Philip Pullman's Book of Dust) the rest of cast are good but some really sloppy editing and production slips (quite noticeable on headphones) let down the side, plus a dreadful chapter number reader of someone dragged out of the office to do the voice. Certainly worth a credit on Audible but wouldn't have bought it as a CD or full price download. Good addition to the Wayne WotW canon but not quite worthy of a 5-star for everything.

  • Rivers of London

  • Rivers of London, Book 1
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,935
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,585
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,573

My name is Peter Grant, and until January, I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (and as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluble....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • brilliant original story great narrator

  • By valb on 05-08-11

Brilliant series, but start here with book 1

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

From acclaimed SF writer Ben Aaronovitch (Doctor Who), the Rivers of London series, starts here introducing Peter Grant and the future characters you are bound to love as the series develops. If you fancy a mash-up of detailed police procedural, supernatural, magic and a dusting of SF, plus endless sneaky cine/tv references and nods, this series is for you. Read superbly by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith the Rivers of London 'world' soon becomes an addictive place to visit. Waiting with baited breath for next instalment. Crying out for a TV adaptation, read it first before someone ruins it. Runs parallel with some excellent graphic novels which fill in some of the timeline gaps in the novels.

  • Storm Front

  • The Dresden Files, Book 1
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,135
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,782
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,781

A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great story & brilliantly narrated

  • By Tom on 14-08-09

Promising opening book to a good series

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

I came to Harry Dresden in the hiatus waiting for the next Rivers of London book, other Lord Grant's Irregulars had recommended Harry Dresden. It was a good recommendation, some similarities with the storyline and narrative but certainly over the pond in style and content. James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) reads really well, capturing the worn-down gumshoe yet magical prowess of Wizard for hire Harry Dresden. Now on book 3 but if push came to shove prefer Rivers of London but certainly a good substitute in between these.

  • Salvation

  • By: Peter F. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 718
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 714

AD 2204. An alien shipwreck is discovered on a planet at the very limits of human expansion - so Security Director Feriton Kayne selects a team to investigate. The ship’s sinister cargo not only raises bewildering questions but could also foreshadow humanity’s extinction. It will be up to the team to bring back answers, and the consequences of this voyage will change everything. Back on Earth, we can now make deserts bloom and extend lifespans indefinitely, so humanity seems invulnerable. We therefore welcomed the Olyix to Earth when they contacted us. But were the Olyix a blessing or a curse?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, just a little slow getting going.

  • By Mr. B. Hirst on 01-10-18

Strong yet frustrating start to a new trilogy

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

Reviewed: 20-10-18

This was my first Peter F Hamilton novel, not knowing the author's style I think put me at a disadvantage, The narrative thread across three distinct timelines was at times confusing. When Hamilton is on an action 'roll' the book clips along nicely, when he goes into overlong meandering then it really drags. The narrator although very experienced, seems to have a tendency to make too many characters sound oriental, especially female characters. The distinctly American voices seem to be overbearing and shouted. I enjoyed the overall premise and did struggle to the end, whether I will embark on books 2 and 3 remains to be seen. I'm tempted to try an earlier Hamilton to see whether this is a common trait of his books or just a shaky start to a new trilogy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful