LISTENER

Andrew

  • 14
  • reviews
  • 1
  • helpful vote
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Genome

  • The Extinction Files, Book 2
  • Written by: A. G. Riddle
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

The thrilling conclusion to The Extinction Files is finally here! In 2003, the first human genome was sequenced. But the secrets it held were never revealed. The truth was discovered 30 years ago, almost by accident. Dr. Paul Kraus had spent his entire career searching for what he called humanity's lost tribes - human ancestors who had gone extinct. When Kraus compared the DNA samples of the lost tribes with our own, he found a pattern of changes: a code. At the time, the technology didn't exist to unravel what it meant. Kraus hid his work and disappeared.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book!

  • By Jesica Messom on 2018-08-01

As infuriating as it is dull... the worst of Audible

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

Reviewed: 2019-06-15

This is part two but I’m really talking about both parts, since they are one story that was likely split in two by the publisher, if we give the benefit of the doubt to the author.

Never before have I been so angry and frustrated with a story I bothered to finish. And Audible Originals has some ghastly quality control. This thing should be exciting. It blends a global conspiracy, a global pandemic, a global scavenger hunt, science fiction and a commentary on humanity’s destiny and the dangers we face as a species.

But the storytelling is truly horrendous. Just awful. A few decent characters and a great idea do not a good story make. You can’t, or shouldn’t promise a big reveal of a single idea that most every character knows already, and stretch that out over two books. It’s one thing if the big reveal is a mystery the listener discovers bit by bit with the character, but towards the mid-way point of the second part, everyone knows the truth except the listener.

The decision to keep the truth from the audience, or at least leave the truth unspoken and unverified, is purely superficial. It’s manipulation and dishonest writing in the worst way. Padding one simple story needlessly to make it two books and sell more copies.

What makes the asides and science and backstories so terrible and the storytelling that much weaker is the fact that it’s all very stupid and patronizing. The characters and author speak about common philosophy and basic scientific principals as if they are insightful or groundbreaking.

It’s Michael Crichton if a high schooler was writing fan fiction. There’s no research into how something like Rendition or Rook could work, or fascinating insight into real science that people working in VR, nano tech or biotech are really doing. It’s lazy, repetitive and it’s boring.

The resolution isn’t quite as bad as I’d feared, but it’s morally dubious at best, and again, overly simple and mindless, while framing itself as enlightened and clever. It’s offensive to the senses.

This might be the worst book on tape I’ve ever finished.

The narration isn’t great either, because 3 of 6 main characters are women, and the voices for these characters are grating.

Seriously, do yourself a massive favour and skip this series completely.

  • Private

  • Written by: James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
  • Narrated by: Peter Hermann
  • Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 183

Former Marine helicopter pilot Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. The secrets of the most influential men and women on the planet come to Jack daily - and his staff of investigators uses the world's most advanced forensic tools to make and break their cases.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Dreadfully pompous pulp

  • By Andrew on 2019-05-31

Dreadfully pompous pulp

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-31

This book feels like a poor imitation of a novel by a student. Maybe it is, in which case well done on a good first step. If this is a meant to be more than an exercise it’s a bitter disappointment. The characters are two dimensional, the dialogue feels like someone in their sixties trying to be hip and the plot lines are unconnected and the mystery is thin. It’s not solved, then it is. The one interesting plot is the best friend and his dead wife, but it doesn’t go anywhere interesting or deep. There’s no relationship to unpack or anything tying the characters together. It feels like it was written as a cash grab for a Lifetime movie of the week. There’s nothing worse than picking up a mystery novel, looking for a good story and being sold something that was clearly written in bad faith, without care or heart. That’s what this feels like. Thankfully the voiceover is okay and it’s mercifully short.

  • 30 Days of Night

  • Written by: Steve Niles, Ben Templesmith, R. S. Belcher (adaptation)
  • Narrated by: Chris Andrew Ciulla, Mark Boyett, Kevin T. Collins, and others
  • Length: 1 hr and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

An all-new, full-cast dramatization of the classic graphic novel. The isolated town of Barrow, Alaska, is plunged into darkness for a month each year when the sun sinks below the horizon. As the last rays of light fade, the town is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires bent on an uninterrupted orgy of destruction. Only Barrow's husband-and-wife sheriff team stand between the survivors and certain destruction. . By the time the sun rises, will they pay the ultimate price - or worse?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Unnecessary But Decent

  • By Andrew on 2019-05-20

Unnecessary But Decent

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-20

This story is far better experienced in graphic novel form, or through the under appreciated movie. It’s just too visual, and the radio play format doesn’t improve anything or do the material justice. But it’s a breeze to get through at one hour and the sound design is solid.

  • Rick Mercer Final Report

  • Written by: Rick Mercer
  • Narrated by: Rick Mercer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 146
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135

Rick Mercer can always be relied on to provoke a strong reaction - but what he said one fall day in 2017 truly shocked Canada. In a rant posted on social media, the great Canadian satirist announced loud and clear that the 15th season of the Rick Mercer Report - the nation's best-watched and best-loved comedy show - would be the last. This volume brings together never-before-published rants from the last five seasons of the show, plus a selection of the very best rants from earlier years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A newer, truly Canadian satirist.

  • By GDokk on 2018-11-13

Shows Why Mercer Is A Canadian Icon

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-20

The rants are great, and perfect for short listening bursts, and it’s surprising how many of the older ones are still relevant or fascinating given our current politics. Some of the stories mixed in are good too, but it’s Merced’s editorial on political engagement that is really the highlight.

In fairness, I was hoping for a bit more drama behind the scenes, a bit more wit and more about the state of the country post-Mercer Report. Like, what about some closing words on where we are headed, and the state of the CBC? I guess I feel like, as much of a delight this book was, it’s missing something.

Maybe I wanted and did not get the insight and new information I wanted. This book is more like an extended episode of the show than a real deep dive into Mercer, his process or the show.

  • Jurassic Park

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Michael Crichton
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 414
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 389

Audie Award, Science Fiction, 2016. An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind's most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them - for a price.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • You will love it

  • By Cameron Britton on 2018-07-14

A classic and a masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-01

What else is there to say? Any character or thematic issues that the movie version highlights are outweighed by the brilliance of the concept and the thrilling execution. This is a top ten American novel and changed the genre of science fiction thrillers forever.

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Audiobook)

  • A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction
  • Written by: The Writers of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart
  • Narrated by: Jon Stewart
  • Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Jon Stewart, host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning The Daily Show, and his coterie of patriots deliver a hilarious look at American government.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Funny, all star cast, fast read

  • By Andrew on 2019-04-18

Funny, all star cast, fast read

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-18

Funny, obviously, smart and fast paced, the cast really is the selling point here. It’s like a trip back into the Daily Show golden age. Unfortunately the format is a bit disjointed compared to the graphics heavy textbook version, and the subject matter is a bit dated now. The themes hold up.

  • Paradise

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 3
  • Written by: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 472
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 430
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 427

While the crew of the starship Flying Dutchman have been trying to assure people that hostile aliens do not have access to Earth, the UN Expeditionary Force has been stranded on the planet they nicknamed "Paradise". The Flying Dutchman is headed back out on another mission, and the UN wants the ship to find out the status of the humans on Paradise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • really good!

  • By Matt on 2018-01-15

More repetitive than anything I’ve ever read or listened to

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-15

Look, there’s a certain amount of fun to be had with the premise and Skippy’s personality, but my God these are poorly written schlock. And there’s nothing wrong with poorly written schlock if it’s fun and satisfies an itch for science fiction serials. This BARELY satisfies, but it has to feature the most repetitive interactions of characters I’ve ever seen in a novel. It reads like a high school novella expanded (so far) over three books. There’s only a handful of memorable characters, and the promise of interesting story developments keep getting delayed so you have to buy the next book to figure out what happens. It’s like the author pitched a trilogy and audible was like “we like it, can we stretch it out needlessly so listeners have to use more credits to finish it?!” Honestly, I’m starting to feel ripped off and I think I’ll have to give up and read a recap somewhere.

  • We Are Legion (We Are Bob)

  • Bobiverse, Book 1
  • Written by: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,180
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,098
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,097

Bob Johansson has just sold his software company and is looking forward to a life of leisure. There are places to go, books to read, and movies to watch. So it's a little unfair when he gets himself killed crossing the street. Bob wakes up a century later to find that corpsicles have been declared to be without rights, and he is now the property of the state. He has been uploaded into computer hardware and is slated to be the controlling AI in an interstellar probe looking for habitable planets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Didn't think I'd like it, but I loved it

  • By Eli on 2018-01-11

Unique and fun, but missing something

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-03

The thing that makes this story unique and fun, the century spanning timeline, the nerdy references and the cool logic that propels Bob to his place(s) in the stars also makes for the story’s biggest flaw. There’s just something missing, a grounded, human urgency, a connection to the stakes, real emotional engagement with any of the characters, it’s all a bit dry and hollow. I liked it enough to give book 2 a shot, because again, it’s very unique and imaginative, but it’s also missing the heartache and drama that would come with this scenario. I guess if Bob let himself feel and worry as much as I would, he wouldn’t have survived, but it still makes it hard to love.

  • SpecOps

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 2
  • Written by: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 15 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 319
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302

Colonel Joe Bishop made a promise, and he's going to keep it: taking the captured alien starship Flying Dutchman back out. He doesn't agree when the UN decides to send almost 70 elite Special Operations troops, hotshot pilots, and scientists with him; the mission is a fool's errand he doesn't expect to ever return from. At least this time, the Earth is safe, right? Not so much.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Repetitive and dull

  • By Andrew on 2019-03-25

Repetitive and dull

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-25

Compared to the first book, this one almost lost me. I’ll give the third one a shot, but if it doesn’t improve I’ll abandon the series. I’ve never read a novel where so many interactions and scenarios repeat themselves without irony or purpose. The same conflict, solution, banter and resolution repeat verbatim like they were written by a far less advanced AI than Skippy. And while there are still moments of excitement or interest, like the backstory of Newark and the Elders, there is almost no plot. The stakes are low and the writing is just bad. Where the first book started off poor and improved by giving us an interesting, high stakes scenario, this one feels like it accomplished nothing and ends right where it started. Just... bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • Written by: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 443
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 422
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 421

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Easily one of the better books I've read..

  • By jesse cornelious on 2018-10-31

Rocky start but it becomes a lot of fun

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

Reviewed: 2019-03-11

The first part of this book, up until the arrival on Paradise, was bland and predictable. Even the big ‘reveal’ is obvious from the second chapter, since the alien species act as they look. Mild spoiler ahead, fair warning, but I want to be clear, if you write one species as similar to Hamsters and another as similar to Lizards, we know that the ‘real’ bad guys are the lizards. It’s like casting Ben Mendelssohn in any movie. He’s obviously the villain, so you see his betrayal coming. The writer should have flipped the script and had the revolting spiders turn out to be less bad, but I also get why he didn’t. The AI reveal is a bit too Ex Machina and isn’t set up (seeded) early enough, but once he does, things change course and become a lot more fun. Man, Skippy is a lot of fun, so once you get past the jarring change in tone, things really pick up. There’s a lot of great detail in the writing that makes it real, but I gotta say, for and audible exclusive, having the lead character be from Maine and the writing in the first person is a bad call. I can only listen to so much of that accent, let alone take it seriously. Though it’s clear the actor has talent, I wish the character had been literally from anywhere else. Will give the next book a shot.