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  • gilwilson 6:08 PM on August 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, air punk,   

    “Airborn” By Kenneth Oppel 

    By Kenneth Oppel
    Narrated by: David Kelly with a full cast
    Series: Matt Cruse, Book 1
    Length: 10 hrs and 46 mins
    Release date: 08-09-07
    Publisher: Full Cast Audio

    Kenneth Oppel has created an alternative to the Steam Punk genre, for now, I’m gonna call it Air Punk.  This book launches the reader/listener into an alternate universe where Airships (Zeppelins) rule the skies.

    In this story we meet Matt Cruse, a cabin boy on the airship “Aurora.”  Matt serves on the same ship as his father and was actually born on an airship.  The skies are his life.  The story opens with the Aurora, a passenger cruise ship, going off heading to answer a distress call. What they find is a hot air balloon losing altitude and in it a dying man who asks his rescuer, Matt Cruse, if he saw the beautiful creatures.  The man dies leaving these creatures a mystery.

    On the next journey of the Aurora, one of the passengers is Kate DeVries who we soon find out is the granddaughter of the man Matt attempted to rescue.  Kate is determined to find the strange and wondrous discoveries that have been scoffed at by the Academia Elite.

    Meanwhile Matt is up for a promotion to Sailmaker, but the owner of the company places his son in what would have been Matt’s earned position.  While still carrying out his duties as cabin boy with the same fervor, Matt still has some ill feelings toward the rich kid.

    The Aurora is soon boarded by pirates who steal all things of value from the rich passengers and kill one of the crew members.  Once the pirates disembark they damage the Aurora causing it to make an emergency landing on a deserted Island.  Matt and Kate soon discover that the island is the same island her grandfather discovered the strange animals later dubbed as “cloud cats.”  The island not only has plenty of food to keep the passengers and crew fed, but also has a great source of Hydrium, the gas needed to put the Aurora back in the air.

    Matt and Kate explore the island further only to discover that it is the haven for the pirates who attacked.  They get captured and the adventure really gets rolling as they fight off pirates and attempt to rescue all those aboard the Aurora.

    This young adult novel is full of adventure and is written from the point of view of Matt Cruse.  Each chapter ends with the reader/listener not able to stop but only to keep reading/listening.

    Being a full cast production the audiobook becomes an audio adventure that keeps the excitement rolling.


    Publisher’s Summary
    Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean, ferrying wealthy passengers from city to city. It is the life Matt’s always wanted; convinced he’s lighter than air, he imagines himself as buoyant as the hydrium gas that powers his ship. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.
    In a swashbuckling adventure reminiscent of Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson, Kenneth Oppel, author of the best-selling Silverwing trilogy, creates an imagined world in which the air is populated by transcontinental voyagers, pirates, and beings never before dreamed of by the humans who sail the skies.

    Listen to the next book: Skybreaker.
    ©2003 Kenneth Oppelale (P)2007 Full Cast Audio

  • gilwilson 4:19 PM on December 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, anne manx, , , babylon 5, larry weiner, patricia tallman, radio repertory company of america, ,   

    “Richmond Smokes a Joint” By Larry Weiner 


    “Richmond Smokes a Joint”
    By Larry Weiner
    Starring: Patricia Tallman as Jean Richmond, Kris Holden-Ried as Sid, Jerry Robbins as Herm
    Produced 2014, The Radio Repertory Company of America
    Also Starring:
    Shells: Michael Burkett, Cap: Jerry Robbins, Sears:D J Vogel, McCarthy: Bob Hunt, Maitre’d: Tom Dheere, Bartender: Bob Arsena, Goin’ North: Kevin Crawley, Robot 365: Tom Dheere, Man: Jon Duclos, Sous: D J Vogel, Man in Stall: Angelo Panetta, Gunner: D J Vogel, Marangian Scout: Tom Dheere, Doplar: Bob Hunt
    Length: 37 minutes.

    If you are looking for about a half an hours worth of some quick entertainment this may be your book or audio production whichever you prefer. I of course preferred the audio version, since I am a big fan of audiobooks. This one attracted my attention because of my love of the TV series, “Babylon 5.” The lead actress in this production is Patricia Tallman who portrayed Lyta Alexander, the telepath assigned to Babylon 5 by the Psi corps. I see that this is a short space adventure and that seconds my decision to give this production a listen.

    With the title “Richmond Smokes a Joint,” I really wasn’t sure what I was in for. Sid “Bum” Knee knows the secret location of the mythical Sacred Plate of Marange. He approaches Richmond’s Boyfriend, Herm, about grabbing the priceless item they are all set on an adventure across space to find the plate and untold riches. The problem is the journey is filled with double crosses on double crosses and by the end of the story you still don’t really know who the good guys are. The ship’s crew is full of colorful characters that keep the story rolling along until the final double cross.

    Take a large helping of “Barbarella,” mix in a few dashes of “Airplane” (actually “Airplane 3,” the one that wasn’t quite as funny but tried really hard) and you have this space adventure. Some definite plays on words insert humor throughout, but, to be honest, they may be trying too hard at times. Still, though, it is a nice short mystery space adventure that will entertain most folks.  I know I had fun, even while groaning.

    The acting is what really brings out this story, Patricia Tallman pretty much steals the show, but everyone is carrying their weight in the voice talent department. This keeps the story running smooth and helps when some of the “forced” humor actually stings a little.


    If you’d like to find out more about Radio Repertory, visit their Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/RadioRepertory

  • gilwilson 12:01 PM on December 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, alaska gold rush, audiobook audio, , , gold rush, jack london, klondike, naxos audiobooks, william roberts   

    Audiobook review: “The Call of the Wild” By Jack London 

    call of the wild

    Audiobook review: “The Call of the Wild”

    By Jack London

    Read by William Roberts

    Published by Naxos Audiobooks

    Approx 3.5 hours


    Once again it was time to visit a classic.  So, why not listen to a book that takes you on an adventure from the point of view of a dog.  This is one of those books that is assigned in school and is a classic story.  From high school to college, student’s through the years have analyzed the book into submission.   I’m not here to analyze, I may bring up some aspects I found interesting to me, but I don’t expect this to be graded by any literature professor, so I’ll will mainly be talking about just the fun I had listening to the audiobook version of this classic.


    So right off the bat, I’ll talk about the narrator, William Roberts.  His voice was crisp and clear and he did a perfect job of reading this classic.  Roberts was able to convey through his voice the entire story and keep my attention.  Sometimes when I dive into a classic novel the reader has a dry matter of fact voice, much like some of my old literature professors.  Roberts was able to vocally demonstrate the many emotions and surprises in the story.  So from the beginning of the story all the to the last word William Roberts delivered this story with passion and authority with a little touch of a backwoods mountain man.


    What makes this story most interesting is that, for the most part, it is told from the point of view of a dog.  The main character in this story is Buck, a St. Bernard / Scotch Collie mix.  His breed is important because of what his life becomes.  The setting of the story is the time of the late 1800’s Alaska Gold Rush.   Buck is stolen from the luxurious life in the Santa Clara Valley as the pet of a Judge and his family.  He is soon shipped to Seattle where he learns the law of the club and becomes submissive enough to be trained as a sled dog in the Klondike.


    The story follows Buck as he learns how to survive in the frozen north.  Buck is then sold to a pair of French-Canadian dispatchers from the Canadian government, François and Perrault, who take him with them to the Klondike region of Canada. There they train him as a sled dog.  Buck first learns by watching then becomes the leader of the pack in a fight to the death with Spitz the lead dog on the team.  Buck then develops a reputation with man and dog as a force to be reckoned with.  As Buck learns the new skills, he learns more and more on how to rely on the primitive skills required.  The more skills he requires the more primitive Buck becomes constantly being called to let loose the domestication and become a wild dog.


    After Buck’s fight with Spitz the team is sold  to a “Scottish half breed” man working the mail service. The dogs must carry a heavy load to the mining areas, and the journey they make is tiresome and long. One of the team, a Husky named Dave, becomes sick and eventually has to be shot.


    Buck’s next owners are a trio of  inexperienced city folk (Hal, Charles, and a woman named Mercedes).  Inexperienced at surviving in the Northern wilderness, they struggle to control the sled and ignore warnings that the spring melt poses dangers. They overfeed the dogs and starve them when the food runs out and argue constantly amongst themselves on various issues.  On their journey they meet John Thornton, an experienced outdoorsman, who notices that the dogs have been poorly treated and are in a weakened condition. He warns the trio against crossing the river, but they refuse his advice and order Buck to move on. Exhausted, starving, and sensing the danger ahead, Buck refuses and stays down lying in the snow. After Buck is beaten by Hal, Thornton sees the power and uniquenesss in Buck.  Thornton cuts Buck free from his straps and tells the trio he is keeping him. After some argument, the trio leaves and tries to cross the river, but as Thornton warned, the ice gives way and the three fall into the river and drown, along with the sled and neglected dogs.


    Buck and Thornton become best of friends as Thornton nurses Buck back to the full capacity of the powerful dog he is.  Buck returns the favor when Thornton falls into the river and Buck saves his life.  Soon the two are making frequent trips to pan for gold.  On one of those trips Thornton gets caught up in a boasting match during which he has stated that Buck could break loose a sled loaded down with a half ton of cargo and pull it 100 yards.  This wins $1,600 in gold dust for Thornton but the opposing bettor wants to buy Buck from Thornton, but the bond between Buck and Thornton goes beyond any monetary value.


    The call of the wild continues to beckon Buck as he makes regular solo trips into the forest while Thornton continues his hunt for gold.  Returning from one trip Buck finds the camp raided and many dead.  The Yeehat natives are celebrating the conquest when Buck arrives and Buck seeks revenge.


    After the loss of the last true friend he had Buck finally answers the call and joins a pack of wolves to become a source of legend for many years to come.  While his adventures may sound simple, the feeling of survival and return to mother Earth becomes the underlying theme and can be related to humans or animals.  The idea that Buck is affected by having to kill one of his own to take power and then refusing to be violent until he seeks revenge for Thornton’s slaughter shows a lot about the character behind Buck.


    Treat your self to a revisit to a classic through this very well presented audio version.


  • gilwilson 4:07 PM on August 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , adventure, , , australia, , graham brown, nikolai tesla, , , ,   

    Audiobook Review “Zero Hour” (a novel from the NUMA files) By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown 


    Audiobook Review “Zero Hour” (a novel from the NUMA files)

    By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

    Read by Scott Brick

    Published by Penguin Audio

    Approx. 10.5 hours


    I still can’t believe it took me this long to get hooked on Clive Cussler’s novels.  His novels are so much fun, great escape from reality, full on action and adventure, and great characters.  This is what books are all about, and with Scott Brick bringing the characters to life in this audiobook it makes it that much more enjoyable.


    First allow me to praise the reader, Scott Brick.  I’ve been a fan of his for many years now, back when I listened to “In Cold Blood” with him doing the narration.  He is able to capture voices and emotions in his presentation that is extremely rare in a single reader audiobook.  His inflection is always just right for the subject, whether it is a dark murder mystery, a science-fiction novel or in this instance an action/adventure novel.   His voice is unmistakable, yet each book he reads he creates a completely different audio aura.


    As for Clive Cussler, well the best way to sum up his novels is pure fun and adventure.  This book, “Zero Hour,” is from “The NUMA Files” series of novels.  This series  focuses on Kurt Austin, Team Leader of NUMA’s Special Assignments division and his adventures. Some characters from the Dirk Pitt novels appear such as Sandecker, Rudi Gunn, Hiram Yaeger and St. Julien Perlmutter. Even Dirk Pitt makes brief appearances in some of the books.  NUMA is The National Underwater and Marine Agency, which was originally an organization within the fiction of author Clive Cussler.  Now it is a private non-profit organization in the United States. Cussler created and leads the actual organization which is dedicated to “preserving maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.”


    As is true with most of the “NUMA files” books there is some fact that the fiction is based on.  This time that fact is a form of energy that surrounds us all the time, it is called zero point energy and is pretty much unlimited.   Nikolai Tesla had theories about it but nobody has ever found a way to tap into it, until one scientist discovers a way, but the energy is relatively untamable, the problem is, his machines also cause great earthquakes, even fissures in tectonic plates. One machine is buried deep underground; the other is submerged in a vast ocean trench. If Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala and the rest of the NUMA team aren’t able to find and destroy them, and soon, the world will be on the threshold of a new era of earth tremors and unchecked volcanism.


    Soon the NUMA team, led by Kurt Austin, goes on a race against time to find the machine and save the world.  Through Austin’s quick action and even quicker thinking he leads the team in their effort to save the world.  All told in non-stop action through this thrilling book.

  • gilwilson 3:52 PM on July 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, brendan craddock, , faerie, , , , legends, , , new author, peter schmit, quadrivium books, sir lancelot, summerhawk   

    “Summerhawk” By Peter Schmit 



    By Peter Schmit

    Published by Quadrivium Books

    312 pages

    I love reading books that are a part of a series.  Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series, Jim Butcher’s “Dresden Files,” are a couple of my favorites.  With a series you have a good stable cast of characters that create a whole new world that provide a collection of readings that will last several installations.  There are some books that introduce characters and you just have to know what happened next.  These series’ provide that answer.  This book, “Summerhawk,” is one that I hope and am pretty sure will be a series providing the further adventures of Brendan Craddock.

    This book introduces Brendan Craddock a mild mannered former school teacher who has a secret.  That secret is soon revealed and it sends Brendan into a tailspin into a world of myth, magic and mayhem.  Brendan is the reincarnation of Sir Lancelot Du Lac, The Summerhawk, and with that brings eternal powers, a really cool sword and a bunch of people that want him to serve them.

    Brendan is recently divorced and his ex-wife is about to get married to the perfect man. He is so perfect that, no matter how hard he tries, Brendan can’t bring himself to even dislike the guy.  He’s even invited to their wedding, probably just for his daughter’s sake.  All Brendan wants is to find a nice quiet bar and get good and drunk.  When a barfly and her mate decide to start a fight with Brendan, he finds himself battling with supernatural powers that he has never experienced before.  As the battle ensues the other parties involved also develop a bit of the supernatural and become half human and half animal.

    Brendan soon goes to his aunt for questions, which only lead to other questions and mysteries.  When Brendan’s daughter, Genevieve, is taken away on a dark, stormy night, Brendan picks up his sword and goes through hell to the world of Faerie and Fae to recover the only stable part of his life.

    Peter Schmit has created a glimpse into another world and a cast of characters that will leave you wanting more.  I have it on good authority that this will be a series that I will be enjoying for a while.  Schmit has written such depth to these characters that as the reader I felt I already knew who they were and was ready to jump in to the adventure knowing I was in safe hands.   The world of legends borrows from the Arthurian legends but Schmit has added in his flair to make this world even more magical and full of surprises.

    Trust me on this one, this freshman work from new author Peter Schmit is worth jumping into.  Make this your next new author read.

  • gilwilson 4:20 PM on June 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, , , , climate change, , , indian ocean, kurt austin, , , ,   

    Audiobook Review: “The Storm” By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown 


    Audiobook Review:

    “The Storm”

    By Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

    Read by Scott Brick

    Published by Penguin Audio

    Approx. 11 hours


    Whenever you are looking for a good suspenseful action/adventure novel go out and grab one of my newly found guilty pleasures, Clive Cussler.  I have only recently started on the novels by Cussler but I have been having fun listening to them in audiobook form.


    So far all the ones I have heard have been read by Scott Brick, and if any of you are familiar with audiobooks you have probably ran into something read by Brick.  Scott Brick has a style of reading audiobooks that is unmatched.  His voice is perfect in every way, from simply relaying the books text to applying subtle vocal changes that never leave a doubt as to when the dialogue changes between characters.  He is also able to relay the emotions and drama experienced by all the characters as needed throughout all the books he reads.  He is the reason I started listening to Clive Cussler books, because I knew with Scott Brick reading, it would stay interesting.  I’m pretty sure I would listen to Scott Brick read the dictionary.


    As for this book, it is a novel from the NUMA files by Clive Cussler.  NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency), originally an organization within the fiction of author Clive Cussler, is a private non-profit organization in the United States. Cussler created and leads the actual organization which is dedicated to “preserving maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.


    The NUMA adventures started with the novels featuring the lead character, Dirk Pitt, but the author has branched out to where the employees of NUMA now have their own adventures.  They still contact Dirk for important matters, but for the most part, they are able to have their own adventures and if this book is any sort of reflection of the other 10 books in the series, they are some fun adventures that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


    Cussler is able to create not only a great plotline but the characters are all very unique and make for a great combination to push the plot along.  The plot of this story is introduced as a NUMA ship is doing routine testing in the Indian Ocean and discovers water temperature anomalies.  Just as the crew of the ship sends their information and settle down for a meal, the ship is attacked by what appears to be an oil slick, but that oil slick then sort of resembles an attacking swarm of insects.


    The fire-scorched ship is soon discovered drifting without a crew.  When the folks at NUMA hear this they are dispatched to find what has happened to the crew.  They soon discover a plot to change the climate of the great desert area of Northern Africa by a “terrorist” using micro-bots.  The crew is then split and some are held captive on an artificial island, some arrive in Egypt trying to save the Aswan Dam and some are marooned on island with a tribe of Cargo Cult natives loyal to President Roosevelt.  The race is on to save the world from micro-bots built to attack and change the climate.

  • gilwilson 3:39 PM on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Audiobook Review: “The Red Dragon” By L. Ron Hubbard 


    “The Red Dragon”

    By L. Ron Hubbard

    A multi-cast performance

    Produced by GalaxyAudio

    Approx 2 hours


    With the exception of a few stories here and there I have nearly listened to all of GalaxyAudio’s productions of stories from the master story-teller, L. Ron Hubbard, up to those released until the end of this year.  There are a couple I have missed but don’t worry I will be getting those soon, one way or another.  The have almost become an addiction.


    The reason I love hearing these audiobooks is the superb production quality that goes into these books.  The voice actors used in each book are all top caliber and are able to bring to life the over the top characters created by Hubbard, from the lowly sidekick to the larger than life hero.  Each actor creates a full characterization in his/her vocal performance that paints a mental picture of each character that brings back the cover pictures from the old pulp fiction magazines where these stories were originally published.


    Add to the perfect vocal performances the subtle yet effective sound effects.  In each story the sound effects are subtle enough to not distract from the story, yet so perfectly produced that, as the listener, you will be dodging bullets, flying in old-timey aircraft with wind whipping your scarf, or dusting off dirt from the trails.    Then the addition of an original musical score that keeps the listener in the mood of each adventure.  All these tie in together to create a two hour performance that can easily compete with any movie for some great entertainment.


    This time around GalaxyAudio releases, “The Red Dragon,” which was originally released in the February, 1935 issue of “Five Novels” magazine.  This time around Hubbard tells the story of Michael Stuart, a red haired officer in the Marines whose career came to a halt after a failed attempt to return the Chinese Imperial Dynasty to power in the ‘30s.  Stuart has been abandoned by his country and is unable to get out of China, so, he spends his time to help others.


    Stuart’s latest adventure brings him to help a young woman who is on the search for a mysterious black chest hidden by her father before his murder.  Drawing on his many life’s adventures, Hubbard brings the hero and the woman all across the scenic countryside of China, including The Great Wall, to caves in Manchuria where the black chest must be recovered before it falls into the wrong hands.


    Two hours of pure excitement and adventure make this audiobook one two hear while doing house work or working on a major project; as long as you don’t stop working to listen solely to the performance you will find yourself working faster trying to keep pace with the hero.

  • gilwilson 8:56 PM on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, , audioboks, , , , , , early 20th century, germans, hollywood, isaac bell, justin scott, , , , van dorn, world war I   

    Audiobook Review: “The Thief” (An Isaac Bell Adventure) by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott 


    “The Thief” (An Isaac Bell Adventure)
    by Clive Cussler & Justin Scott
    read by Scott Brick
    published by Penguin Audio
    Approx. 10 hours

    I have only recently discovered the adventure novels from Clive Cussler and am sampling each of the different lead characters. Cussler writes a few different adventure types revolving around different lead characters. While most of these take place in the present, the stories with Isaac Bell take place in the early 20th century.

    This story, “The Thief,” takes place in 1910, as the world is moving toward war. Several Van Dorn detectives, lead by Isaac Bell, are on the ocean liner Mauretania escorting a prisoner from Europe to New York. By accident Bell interrupts the attempted kidnapping of two scientists, who, it turns out, has invented a completely functional talking picture machine. A group of Germans desperately want this machine for use in their propaganda efforts, and their leader will stop at nothing to seize it, including killing one of the scientists while aboard the Mauretania.

    The only working machine is destroyed in a fire aboard the Mauretania. Bell’s new wife (they marry onboard the Mauritania) sees the potential for this invention and with Isaac’s help manages to convince the Van Dorn detective to invest in the invention and the surviving scientist. The rest of the book covers the Bell and the scientist trying to break the Edison trust and create a talking pictures machine as an independent. The problem is the Germans follow and the murder and mayhem ensue. Bell spends his time uncovering the plot to steal the machine.

    Through the many twists and turns in the plot and discovering who the real spies this book will keep you involved in this book. At times I would think I wasn’t interested too much in the story and was going to stop listening, but then something would happen and I just had to keep listening to find out what happens. While at first the subject matter didn’t interest me the writing would be enough to keep me hooked.

    What also helped was the outstanding performance by Scott Brick. Brick’s ability to narrate an audiobook goes beyond description. His vocal gymnastics are enough to give each character a voice that would reflect all the goings on in the story and their psyche. Brick is an award winning audiobook reader and every time I hear his voice I can hear why. His voice alone was a reason to listen to this audiobook, but teamed up the Cussler’s skills at writing a story that keeps you hooked makes the audiobook of “The Thief” worth putting on your to-read list and soon.

  • gilwilson 8:32 PM on March 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, attila the hun, , , , , globe trekking, , , thomas perry, treasure hunting   

    “The Tombs” by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry 


    “The Tombs”
    by Clive Cussler and Thomas Perry
    read by Scott Brick
    published by Penguin Audio
    11 hours and 21 minutes

    When it comes to global trekking adventures I have found a new favorite author in Clive Clussler. This is the second book by him I’ve heard, and it will definitely not be my last. If you are a fan of the world-travelling, clue-solving, treasure-hunting adventure novels (which made Dan Brown famous) then check out this thrilling author and especially this novel.

    Clive Cussler has several adventure novels and from the two I’ve read they are a thrill a minute ride into mystery. The one I read before this was in the world of Dirk Pitt and the NUMA (National Underwater and Marine Agency) personnel. The Dirk Pitt novels run more along the line of a detective stories where as this novel, “The Tombs,” is the fourth in the adventures of Sam and Remy Fargo.

    The Fargos are world renowned treasure hunters who spend their time not hunting treasure for profit, rather, they hunt the treasure for the thrill. They also have a penchant for running into egomaniacal evil men seeking the same treasures. This time around they run into not one but two evil egomaniacs all while hunting for the treasures of Attila the Hun.

    Legend has it that Attila was buried in a gold coffin which was surrounded by jewels then placed in a coffin of silver surrounded by the treasures of many kings conquered by the Huns and then that coffin was placed in a coffin of iron. The final resting place of Attila is a mystery and lost to the ages, until a German Archaeologist discovers a massive burial site with a thousand Hun warriors that may contain a clue to the final resting place of Attila the Hun.

    Along the way Sam and Remy Fargo must battle a group of thieves wanting to jump any treasure claims, a Hungarian crime lord who believes himself to be a direct descendant of Attila, and a Russian mob boss bent on kidnapping Remy for the treasure. This adventure takes the reader/listener on a clue-solving treasure-hunting trip through Eastern Europe. Along the way they will be riddles and digging up tombs while dodging bullets and bad guys.

    The book is read by Scott Brick, who is one of the best audiobook voices available. Brick’s talent for bringing out all the emotion and portrayal of various characters makes this book come alive. This performance from Brick combined with the writing from Cussler creates a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and hammering out clues until the very end.

    As a bit of a side note, I’ve discovered that Clive Cussler writes himself as a character into each novel. Each time the Clive Cussler character is a bit of a Deus-ex-Machina character providing help for the hero when the reader/listener thinks there is no hope. This time around he just happens to be at the right place when all chips are down and is able to help Sam and Remy escape. This makes for a fun piece in the books that also is a bit of comic relief in the form of an inside joke.

  • gilwilson 10:39 PM on December 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adventure, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    “The Black Sultan” by L. Ron Hubbard 


    “The Black Sultan”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    multi-cast performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx. 2 hours

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and I mean a lot. I’ve come to the point where I can pretty much determine whether a book is worth listening to within a few minutes of listening. This is based only on the quality of the recording and presentation of the cast of readers or single reader, when it comes to determining whether a book is any good based on the words put together by the author, sometimes that takes me longer. I have gone through up to eight hours of an audiobook before realizing it wasn’t worth my while, and yeah that gets me angry. So I’ve come to know some of my favorites in regards to readers. I really like to hear a book by Scott Brick, Ray Porter, Johanna Parker and Susan Ericksen, so when they are reading I know I’m going to at least get a good performance.

    Another favorite I have are the multicast recordings produced by Galaxy Audio. In fact when I get frustrated with not finding a good book after a few tries, I immediately reach for an audiobook from Galaxy Audio. Even if it is one I’ve heard before, I know it will be a complete entertainment production. Galaxy Audio is the audiobook side of Galaxy Press and the two have been releasing all of the Pulp-Fiction writings of L. Ron Hubbard from the middle of the 20th Century.

    These stories all feature over the top characters placed in adventures that will keep the reader or listener on the edge of their seat. Hubbard wrote short stories during this time and covered all the genres represented by the Pulp Magazines of the time. Westerns, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Adventures and more were all written about by the master story-teller. Every one of the stories has great characters and to make things more interesting each story has several twists and turns that will constantly keep the reader guessing what could possibly happen next.

    Galaxy Audio produces these stories in a format very similar to the old radio shows of the same time period as the pulps. The voice actors are all superb and are able to bring the over the top characters to life in each and every audio release. Combined with the subtle yet superb sound effects and original music, these audio books will sweep the listener away on a two-hour adventure that will have them begging for more.

    Those are all the reasons I turn to these stories when I can’t find a good book to fill my time. I can get swept away and I know every time the writing and production will be top-notch and won’t let me down.

    This time around I listened to the audio release, “The Black Sultan.” This release features two stories, the first being the Novella of “The Black Sultan” and the short story “Escape for Three.” Both of these stories feature adventures with the French Foreign Legion and heroism. The adventure is brought to life through the unlimited voice talent and made even more realistic through the excellent sound effects. I was so swept away by these productions that I found myself trying to dump the sand from the Moroccan desert out of my shoes.

    “The Black Sultan” was originally published in the November, 1935 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” and tells the story of American, Eddie Moran, who is about to be captured in Morocco by the French Foreign Legion. When bullets start flying at two gentlemen walking right towards him thinking fast Eddie saves the two men and learns that one is the US vice-consul, but the other is the recently deposed Berber leader, El Zidan. When a friendship forms between them, Eddie escapes the French with Zidan’s help. Eddie is then sent to try to find more info and try to defeat the Black Sultan, the cruel usurper of El Zidan’s throne. Eddie is captured by the Black Sultan and must find a way out, he’s also bent on saving a beautiful American woman kidnapped to join a harem as one of the Sultan’s many brides. The possible escape could lead to several outcomes, capture by the French, death from the Black Sultan or maybe a few other surprises. The actual outcome is even more fantastical and only makes for a great surprise ending of a great adventure.

    The second story is “Escape for Three,” which was originally published in the June 1936 issue of “Thrilling Adventures” magazine. With Berber tribesmen on a rampaging killing spree, a hard-boiled trio of French Legionnaires raid the Berber camp and rescue a captive. This story was a bit of a humorous adventure which had some elements which could be compared to the Clint Eastwood classic, “The Good the Bad and the Ugly.” You’ll have to pick this one up for yourself to see what I mean.

    If you are not yet listening to these great stories produced by Galaxy Audio, do yourself a favor and grab one and allow yourself some great adventures.

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