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Trudy Owens

Orem, UT, US
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-19-18

interesting but dry and unexciting

I read about 10 pages an hour, so I figure this book is about that long. It reads like a fairly good high school or freshman college short paper for some introductory or required English course.

This is a short book recounting the search for the Apollo moon rocks President Nixon gave out to many countries and all the US states as a good will demonstration. Due to political upheavals, corruption, and even museum fires, many of these tiny bits of moon rock are now unaccounted for. Joseph Gutheinz is a former NASA investigator searching for the lost rocks. He was first most interested in bagging charlatans palming fake rocks off on innocent putzes. Then he found a real one, and had to discover how it came to no longer be in the possession of a country! He discovers that some of the rocks are probably genuinely lost while others may be in the hands of secret collectors who obtained them by unofficial means.

This is yet another example of why authors should not read their own books. Mr. Kloc's delivery is monotone and boring.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-19-18

It is noir afterall

London police struggle to solve current Ripper murders of prostitutes in the midst of the 1940-1941 German air raids. A father and 2 brothers on the force must confront their own personal issues with each other, then work together. Turns out there was huge corruption involving bent cops, politicians, prostitution, pornography, murder and graft. Well-written but very seamy.

It can get hard to remember who is who, but by the end you've got it. And one of the brothers has serious, shocking burn scars on his face, but this hardly is mentioned in the story, so why it is included is unknown as it doesn't seem to play into the plot.

The narration is pretty good, kind of gravelly, befitting the tale.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-18-18

interesting and exciting in places but not nice

The mysteries mentioned in the publisher's preview of the story are interesting enough, but the people are ALL dysfunctional and loaded with baggage. In the end the bad guys lose and the good guys are free so that is something. The ending isn't really happy or satisfying.

The narration is good though.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-18-18

interesting enough but untimatly not satisfying

A man in his 80s with nothing to live for and a plan to end it when he gets home is met by an alien time traveler. He has many regrets in his life and ends up sent back to his youth to set one of them right. So he has a old man's experiences and learning in a 10-year-old's body. He fails a different way this time around, but tries to salvage something good from the new time line.

The story is interesting enough, and some of the time-travel conundrums are interesting, but there is one they mention at the end that makes it all seem pointless. He discovers that when you go back in time, the time you left still continues, so all you really do is set up an alternate timeline, which means that all the wrongs you committed are still committed, and the people are still affected in THAT timeline. Sort of depressing.

There are several wonderful personalities that are fully developed. This is well done. Our hero does out-logic the aliens who have this time travel means, so that is a little satisfying. You might also be able to wring some allegorical meaning from the man's name. And he realizes in the end, that rather than the events he hopes to change, it is he himself who must change.

The narration is fantastic for all the voices and accents.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-18

Dawson can't write fast enough

Poor John Milton can't even go on vacation without finding trouble. Drug lords, kidnapping, political corruption, inside traitors, and a poor young man so desperate to save his daughter dying of cancer that he gets himself caught up in it all.

This time John has to do some really dirty work, and he shows his skills. You may end up questioning his techniques--his idea of "I won't hurt him" might differ from yours. This leads to some contemplation as John is trying to atone for his past life and actions, yet he is still after justice. Can he ever be redeemed after all he has done, and continuously finds himself having to do?

Paolo's decisions are predictable, but the rest is still full of good Milton action. David Thorpe is still great at voicing personalities even if he doesn't speak Portuguese!

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-18

RC Bray brings this exciting book to life!

This book continues to build the inhabitants of Billy's Wyoming stronghold. It focuses mostly on Gibbs, a Marine Staff Sargent, who finds himself, well not quite voluntold, but at least unwillingly volunteered, to lead a group of unlikely survivors to find safety somewhere. In the group are old women, infirm men, youths and children, and general tactically-untrained civvies.

Intermittently, we hear more of what Jake and Amanda experience in The Bowl.

In the Foreword to the book, we learn how hard the author worked to make Gibbs' character authentically Marine. He succeeds brilliantly, and you find yourself with another character to admire and love. However, Gibbs swears creatively as a Marine, so be forewarned that there are a lot of F-bombs. They actually come so thick and fast that they end up more like a hailstorm. Not all the other characters are quite as well-fleshed-out, but several will steal your heart, and you will start thinking of what survival skills you might want to be learning.

The second half of the story has so much excitement, you will be on the edge of your seat. There are nail-biting worries, and several big sighs of relief. Oh, we love our friends!

But there is more here than just the prepper/scavenger tale to be told. You must decide what human values are absolutely necessary for survival, not just the animal survival traits, but the virtues that make us human. What behaviors can be tolerated, and which cannot be allowed by any means? Where do vengeance and justice meet and which will dominate?

And again, you will want to start the next book as soon as you finish this one. The fourth is still being written, so listen slowly! But RC Bray does such a great job making each person live and breathe, you won't want to stop listening.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-18

this is so good, you will want to join them!

This is perhaps the best post-apocalyptic book I've read. A coronal mass ejection (CME) has taken down most, but not all, of the electronic infrastructure in the US. We could have survived that, but the plague that followed wiped out the majority of the population and left survivors starving and wandering, subject to the inevitable Mad Max gangs of armed hooligans.

This is the story of the good guys. Chapters and sections are told in each first person voice. The first two books are actually a flashback starting from the first chapter in this first book. It tells each person's back story, and how they found each other. It tells the horrors they experienced at the hands of less-friendly survivors, and the horrors they had to commit to survive. However, one character is left quite mysterious. Jake seems skilled in shooting and tactics, yet surprisingly somehow ignorant of some guns. His backstory is not told, and he remains physically still, with no emotions showing on his face or in his body.

There is a lot of lecturing about the properties of various firearms which may get tedious for some readers, but I found it interesting enough. The characters are completely distinct and well-rounded. These people become your friends, and you wish you could join them. As our friends travel from California to Wyoming, there is a lecture on the preparedness ethic of Mormons, but the author seemingly lacked the knowledge of just how much food and supplies could be scavenged from merely one dense Mormon community along the Wasatch Front. They probably could have supplied 20 people for 5 years from a 4-square-block neighborhood, but they didn't spend enough time going door to door.

Despite being foretold, there was one death that had me sobbing as if I had truly known the person. I started the second book immediately upon finishing the first, it was that good. There are currently 3 volumes and the author is working on a fourth. He needs to write faster!

Any book narrated by RC Bray is going to be amazing. He lives each character, and golly gee if he can't differentiate a Native American voice from a Black and a Latina. You will be completely sucked into this book.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-30-18

Plenty of action!

There are some really powerful women in this volume (we already knew Stella was strong)! Mysteries and several questions answered. It's good enough for me to keep going with the series. It must be me, but I still (from book 1) have a hard time keeping all the people straight. That's what lost the one star for me. The narrator is fine for reading, but his accents aren't there. The Nigerian guy supposedly had a sort-of French accent according to the witnesses, but there was no accent in the narration. The only one he managed was the SAS guy from Scotland, but he didn't sound Scottish--he sounded South African to me, but what do I know.

The fine action and good-guy team are enough to keep reading for. Although one mystery has been cleared up, some more have arisen. So let's keep it up!

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-30-18

Great for kids, a tad tedious for adults

I'm enjoying the series so far, although they are for kids. So long as I listen to some adult books in between, I am good. Kids will like these--enough mystery, history, danger, and excitement for everyone. I just don't understand how the other competitors find out the clues even though they don't have as much info as Dan and Amy. And I hope they don't have to join the Skull and Crossbones in order to be the most important and powerful influencers of civilization!

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-28-18

Loved every minute of it!

I do love Edoardo Ballerini's voice for Rhyme-- the right amount of sarcastic bite and expert's demands.

In every Rhyme book, there is some esoteric craft or knowledge used in the crimes, or as the cause of the crimes. At times it bogs down into dry lectures, but in this book it delves just deeply enough to get the expertise without spoiling the story's flow. This time it is diamonds, and to a lesser degree, art sculpture. The story starts with gruesome violence, and races on through the investigation and conclusion. All our friends are here, and their voices and personalities shine. There are surprises in several places which just go to show Deaver's ability, and Rhyme's great intellect. And then a teaser for a sequel! Awesome book.

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