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Todd

Orange, Australia
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 24
  • ratings
  • Pet Sematary

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Michael C. Hall
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 100
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 95

The house looked right, felt right to Dr Louis Creed. Rambling, old, unsmart and comfortable. A place where the family could settle, the children grow and play and explore. The rolling hills and meadows of Maine seemed a world away from the fume-choked dangers of Chicago. Only the occasional big truck out on the two-lane highway, grinding up through the gears, hammering down the long gradients, growled out an intrusive threat. But behind the house and far away from the road: that was safe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • As a parent, a horrifying story

  • By Todd on 20-09-2018

As a parent, a horrifying story

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

Reviewed: 20-09-2018

I read this book years ago when I was in school. But as a father to a 2-year-old boy now, I found it particularly terrifying this time around. King has an Author’s Note at the beginning. In it, he says that whenever someone asks him the scariest story he has written, he always responds with “Pet Sematary” without any hesitation. The reason isn’t a typical one, and I think you need to be a parent to fully grasp the horror of what happens in the book.

The story is solid, even though it drags a little in some spots. But it contains all the classic King elements of mystery and supernatural horror. And it’s the narration by TV’s Dexter, Michael C. Hall that makes this audiobook stand out. His steady voice oozes character, especially with the character of Jud Crandall. He does a great job of nailing the old man’s Maine accent and makes it seem effortless.

  • Vengeful Spirit

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 29
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 15 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8

Once the brightest star in the Imperium and always first among his primarch brothers, Horus has dragged the Space Marine Legions into the bloodiest conflict that the galaxy has ever seen. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight world of Molech - home to the ruling House Devine, and a principle stronghold of the Imperial Army.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An awesome story and a return of fan favourites

  • By Todd on 28-06-2018

An awesome story and a return of fan favourites

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

Reviewed: 28-06-2018

The XVI legion is back and in prime focus for this story that centres on Horus and his Sons attacking Molech; a Knight World that guards a secret so powerful that the Emperor erased the memory of it from his Primarchs. It is this gap in his memory that motivates Horus to descend upon Molech. He believes that the Emperor gained his godly powers from the planet and plans to reap the same power for himself. At the same time, Malcador dispatches an elite squad of Knights-Errant to infiltrate the Vengeful Spirit in a potentially suicidal attempt to subvert Horus' march towards Terra.

Anyone who loved the first three books in the Heresy series because of the focus on Horus and his legion will love this book. Old characters return: Abaddon, Aximand, Loken, Qruze. And more, including a Death Guard warrior thought to be dead. There is plenty of dialogue between Horus and Mortarion, who has joined Horus' attack on the planet. But the best part is that we see the inner workings of the Sons of Horus now that a number of years have passed since the Heresy began. They have changed, but still retain similar personalities to what we remember, although they're far more uncaged. The interaction between Horus and his Mournival is also a welcome return.

  • Scars

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 28
  • By: Chris Wraight
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Of all the Legiones Astartes, the White Scars of Jaghatai Khan remain the most enigmatic and elusive. Born of a civilisation that prizes honour, speed and fearsome loyalty, their allegiance has yet remained unclear even as the galaxy is torn apart by Horus's treachery, and both sides have apparently counted them among their potential allies in the war to come.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The White Scars have arrived

  • By Todd on 07-06-2018

The White Scars have arrived

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

Reviewed: 07-06-2018

Fans who have been wanting to see a whole book dedicated to the Vth legion will find it here. The White Scars are on full display here, as is the Warhawk himself, their Primarch, Jaghatai Khan. As well as showing the culture of the legion, the book also has a lot of self reflection by the Primarch himself, giving us a great look into his mindset and personality. Other Primarchs make appearances as well. These short interactions between the Emperor’s sons flesh out their characters even more and are a welcome addition.

The main story follows the Scars as they wrap up their conquest of worlds in the Chondax system and seek to establish communication with the other legions. They know nothing of the Heresy due to being blinded by warp storms. When they begin to receive conflicting communiques from both loyalists and traitors, the Khan must figure out who is telling the truth, and ultimately choose a side.

  • Sycamore Row

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 20 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116

Fight them, Mr Brigance. To the bitter end. We must prevail. In the long-awaited successor to the novel that launched his phenomenal career, John Grisham brings us the powerful sequel to A Time to Kill. As filled with twists as it is with legal mastery, Sycamore Row proves beyond doubt that John Grisham is in a league of his own. Jake Brigance has never met Seth Hubbard, or even heard of him, until the old man's suicide note names him attorney for his estate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sycamore Row - Books 1,2 & 3 enthralling reading

  • By Diane on 26-03-2018

Another great case for Brigance

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

Reviewed: 02-06-2017

This is a great follow-up to "A Time to Kill". It feels comfortable stepping back into the shoes of Jake Brigance as he tackles a new case. The book also sees the return of a few oher colourful characters, namely Harry Rex and Lucian.

The story takes a few unexpected turns and moves along at a good pace. Beck's narration is as good as it was the first time. Definitely one of Grisham's better books recently.

  • Across the Nightingale Floor

  • Tales of the Otori, Book 1
  • By: Lian Hearn
  • Narrated by: Tamblyn Lord, Anna Steen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

An international best seller, Across the Nightingale Floor is the first book in the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn. In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the warlord Iida Sadamu surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard. The youth Takeo has been brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people who have taught him only the ways of peace.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, but somewhat let down by the ending

  • By Todd on 19-05-2017

Great story, but somewhat let down by the ending

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

Reviewed: 19-05-2017

I enjoyed this book. It was well on its way to being great, but is let down by both one of its main characters and the ending. Spoilers follow.

If the author had focused on Takeo only, instead of Kaede too, the book would have been way better. The pacing set by Takeo's story is halted whenever the perspective changes to Kaede. Her story is simply not as intriguing as Takeo's. Plus she has personality traits that defy logic. For example, she is abused and is the subject of unwanted male attention for over half her life. She even states multiple times that she "hates men" and that "men are monsters". Yet she instantly falls in love at first sight with Takeo just by looking at him. She also is almost raped for the second time near the end of the novel. And although disgusted and traumatized by this, proceeds to have sex with Takeo IMMEDIATELY afterwards (like minutes afterwards). I mean, come on.

The ending is also a letdown. We have a massive buildup to Iida's assassination and how Takeo trains himself to move silently across the Nightingale floor. But in the end it's all for nothing, because Takeo isn't even the one to kill Iida.

Despite all this, the story is good and the Takeo's journey is intriguing. It's worth a listen.The narration is ok, but being an Aussie, I found the Aussie narrators distracting. Especially Anna Steen. Her accent is jarring at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Helter Skelter

  • The True Story of the Manson Murders
  • By: Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 26 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88

Prosecuting attorney in the Manson trial Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the 20th century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Now available for the first time in unabridged audio, the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime is brought to life by acclaimed narrator Scott Brick.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • gripping

  • By Marg Pelenyi on 13-12-2017

A horrifically detailed account

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

Reviewed: 02-05-2017

Having known only that Manson was a cult leader who was involved in various murders, this book was a goldmine of detailed information that explained the whole case. It not only goes into the horrific details of the murders and investigations, but also every part of the trial to convict Manson and his followers. At times, it's easy to get lost in all the names that get thrown around, but the end result is as detailed a story as you could ask for.

Scott Brick's narration is engaging and well-paced. His rich voice makes it hard to turn off the audio.

  • The Associate

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Erik Singer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

He's their lawyer. He's their insider. He's their spy. Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of The Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want - even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A simple review made difficult

  • By jordan on 05-08-2017

A trudging slog with a copout ending

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

Reviewed: 05-04-2017

The premise is good, but the story never takes off. It starts slow, stays slow, and then ends rather suddenly with no satisfaction for the reader at all. The only redeeming quality is the narrator, who puts in a good performance.

  • The Whistler

  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 211
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 200
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 198

Lacy Stoltz never expected to be in the firing line. Investigating judicial misconduct by Florida's 1,000 judges, her cases so far have been relatively unexciting. That's until she meets Greg Myers, an indicted lawyer with an assumed name who has an extraordinary tale to tell. Myers is representing a whistle-blower who knows of a judge involved in organised crime. Along with her gangster associates, this judge has facilitated the building of a casino on an Indian reservation. At least two people who opposed the scheme are dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping

  • By Linda on 09-11-2016

A good story, but feels disjointed at times

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

Reviewed: 23-03-2017

Whilst I mostly enjoyed the premise of the story, I felt that the pace of the book was clumsy. It just didn't flow right. Jumping from one plot point to the next, and back again. Also by the end of the book, some very minor story elements were just kind of left unexplained. For example, one character was being monitored by the villains, and supposedly was killed. But he later shows up alive and well without any explanation as to why they didn't kill him when they had the opportunity.

The narrator does a reasonable job. Nothing too exciting, but not boring either.

  • Elon Musk

  • By: Ashlee Vance
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,020
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,019

South African-born Elon Musk is the renowned entrepreneur and innovator behind PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, and SolarCity. Musk wants to save our planet; he wants to send citizens into space, to form a colony on Mars; he wants to make money while doing these things; and he wants us all to know about it. He is the real-life inspiration for the Iron Man series of films starring Robert Downey, Jr. The personal tale of Musk's life comes with all the trappings one associates with a great, drama-filled story.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • An underwhelming narrative of a really cool guy

  • By Michael on 17-06-2016

The man who is changing the world

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

Reviewed: 09-03-2017

I couldn't stop listening to this book. Musk truly is an all-or-nothing innovator. Yes, it's obvious that he can be a controlling tyrant, but such is the nature of someone who has put everything on the line for a grand vision. Even former employees who left his companies due to his seemingly impossible demands and temperamental nature are still strangely loyal to his ideals.

Not content to swim in his piles of cash, he put every cent of his millions into making enormous leaps in engineering and trying to better the course of mankind. Hearing about how close SpaceX and Tesla came to ruin was awe-inspiring. Even moreso is the way they came out of it stronger and having become major players in both the aerospace and automotive industries.

Whilst the narrator is good, I found his attempts at accents horrible and unnecessary. But this book is an absolute must-have. I now dream of owning a Tesla car one day, and if Musk has his way, just about everyone will.

  • The Four Legendary Kingdoms

  • Jack West Jr, Book 4
  • By: Matthew Reilly
  • Narrated by: Sean Mangan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 436
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 404
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 405

Jack West Jr and his family are living happily on their remote farm when Jack is brutally kidnapped and awakes in an underground cell to find a masked attacker with a knife charging at him. Jack, it seems, has been chosen - along with a dozen other elite soldiers - to compete in a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual. With the fate of the Earth at stake, he will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight cruel assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him like he has never been tested before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jack West does it again...

  • By Lorraine on 04-11-2016

An action-packed ride

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

Reviewed: 01-03-2017

The Four Legendary Kingdoms continues the adventures of Jack West Jr as he is unwittingly thrust into an ancient contest that yet again puts the fate of the world in his hands. Matthew Reilly has developed a knack for over-the-top action and cheesy dialogue. The comic-style sound effects (BLAM!, THWOP etc.) and the the cringe-worthy "His name is West...Jack West Jnr, callsign Hunstman" prose are still present, but they seem a little more toned down in this book, which is a good thing.

This is perhaps one of the best books in the series. The story is solid, the pace is fast and the characters interesting. There is also a lot of backstory and lore that is introduced that sets up the inevitable yet-to-be-written final trilogy. The narrator is average. His insistence on half-arsed attempts at British accents is stupid though, considering West is Australian and the narrator seems to not even bother trying to use an accent for him. But none of this detracts from the story. The future of the series looks great.