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  • gilwilson 8:56 PM on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , audioboks, , , , , detective story, 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 

    9781611760583B

    “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 8:02 PM on August 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , detective story, , , , John Zakour, Lawrence Ganem, , , , ,   

    “Nuclear Bombshell: Book 1 – The Plutonium Blonde” by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem 

    “Nuclear Bombshell: Book 1 – The Plutonium Blonde”
    by John Zakour and Lawrence Ganem
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by GraphicAudio
    approx. 6 hours

    I am a huge fan of Science-Fiction and Fantasy, and recently I’ve become a fan of the old Pulp-fiction. With that in mind, imagine my surprise and excitement that a recently written piece of science-fiction was written in the old Pulp-fiction style. “The Plutonium Blonde” audiobook sounds just like one of those old dime detective stories, however the year of this story is 2057 and Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last P.I. on Earth.

    Zachary Johnson narrates his own story and sounds like one of the old detectives, not dry like Jack Webb was in those days, but rather the straightforward deliver with some wit, wisdom and even a bit of sarcasm. Being a GraphicAudio production this audiobook is just as advertised from GraphicAudio, “A Movie in your Mind.” With super sound effects, great incidental and background music and talented voice actors, this production will not only bring this book to life, but will also put you, as the listener, right in the middle of the action. Whether it is barroom brawls with killer androids or hired thugs that know how to trash a living room, the superb sound pouring out of this audiobook will get your heart racing. I highly recommend listening to this and any GraphicAudio production on a full stereo surround sound system to get the full theatrical feel of the story.

    So Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last Private Investigator on earth, sort of, and is popular thanks to the mass of robotic paparazzi that seem to show up at just the right moments. He has his own weapons creator, not unlike Ms. Moneypenny in the James Bond stories. The world’s smartest supercomputer in the form of HARV. Of course HARV is too smart for his own good and is often smug, but he’s always there for Zach. In fact the latest invention puts HARV into Zach’s brain via a special contact lens.

    HARV is a fun character, with super-intelligence, a dry wit and biting sarcasm all wrapped up in a super loyal companion to Zach. HARV is always there to make his objections which most of the time are needed, but Zach works it all out somehow. These two partners make this futuristic pulp-fiction a blast.

    So now Zach is ready for his latest case. This case comes in the form of B.B. Star. It seems Ms. Star’s husband was a genius and a cheat. B.B.’s husband created an android version of her and that plutonium powered blonde has gone missing. After hiring some thugs to destroy Zach’s office to see if he is capable of capturing the android, Zach gets the case of a lifetime, it does come at a cost. First the story of B.B. 2 has to be kept hush-hush due to the illegality of creating an android that so closely resembles a human, and B.B. 1 is a wealthy corporate bigwig and cannot afford the story getting out so a story is concocted in which Zach was cavorting with Ms. Star for meaningless sex (thus ruining Zach relationship with the woman he loves.) Second, B.B. 2 doesn’t want to be found so she’ll do everything she can to stop Zach.

    Once Zach begins the hunt the fun begins. This story is full of humor and action and world destroying androids making it a super fun Sci-fi detective story that you don’t want to miss. One of my favorite features in this book is the use of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as references to God and Heaven, the mentions are subtle but will make you smile when you hear them. Or even more fun is the use of DOS as a term for Hell. Those are just small examples of the fun in this book. Check it out and get ready for the next installment of the “Nuclear Bombshell” series which I hope comes out soon.

     
  • gilwilson 10:14 PM on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 60s pop culture, April Singley, , , , , , Brent Askari, Carrington Macduffie, Christopher Price, , , Dennis St. Pierre, detective story, Elizabeth Knowelden, Gary Guzzo, Harlan Baker, honey west, Kristina Balbo, Lance Roger Axt, Michael Howard, , Phil Wells, Tom Pakuski,   

    “Honey West: Murder on Mars” Adapted for audio by Elaine Lee from the Moonstone Comics mini-series by Elaine Lee and Ronn Sutton 

    “Honey West: Murder on Mars”
    Adapted for audio by Elaine Lee from the Moonstone Comics mini-series by Elaine Lee and Ronn Sutton
    Featuring the vocal talents of: Carrington Macduffie, William Dufris, Tom Pakuski, Gary Guzzo, Kristina Balbo, Dennis St. Pierre, Brent Askari, Harlan Baker, Lance Roger Axt, April Singley, Michael Howard, Elizabeth Knowelden, Phil Wells and Christopher Price
    Published by The AudioComics Company
    Total Length: 1:18:56

    Everyday I’m amazed at how synchronicity is at work choosing the audiobooks I’ll be listening to. This time around it was another odd series of events that led me to hearing this really fun audiobook. I was checking out the extra channels my cable provider had added that I never bother with, I rarely watch television and when I do it’s very limited, basically if it’s not sci-fi or horror I’m not interested, I’ll stick to my books. This time though, I found a station called MeTV, they broadcast old programs from the 60s and 70s and I was watching “The Twilight Zone” and the next show up was “Honey West.” I was curious and it turned out to be a fun mystery program featuring one of the first female private detectives in books and television. I was mildly entertained for the half hour.

    Jump ahead a couple of weeks and I’m visiting my local comic books store and see that Moonstone comics are publishing Honey West comics. I’m a huge fan of comics and after being entertained by the TV show I had to check out a couple of issues. These all add up to some really nice comics. Not long after reading the comics, I get the chance to hear and review this audiobook which is based on a storyline in the comics, and with the title “Murder on Mars,” I’m totally intrigued and jumped into it. Besides, synchronicity is pointing me this way.

    The AudioComics Company have released this full-cast audio drama based on the comics and based on this short story, I hope they do more. The case was excellent, giving the story that complete Honey West of the 60s feel. The characters are all perfectly performed and it almost sounds as if you are listening to an old radio show. Great acting, realistic sound effects and the music! The music segues really added an extra oomph! to this performance. They were old jazzy lounge music bits that fit in with the portrayed time and setting of this performance. All of this together makes for a very entertaining production that you should really get for your collection now.

    The story is perfect for the time period as well, as it takes place on the set of a science-fiction “B” movie set where everyone is a suspect, and the only way Honey can solve this crime is by putting herself undercover and in the middle of the performance.

    Honey West is called in by a mysterious source to solve the murder of a famous actress on the set of a sci-fi film called “Amazons on Mars.” The actress died of what appears to be an allergic reaction to insect bites, but the mystery person hiring Honey thinks otherwise and once she arrives on set, so does Honey. An aging teen idol, an understudy who wants to be the star a jealous agent and a down on his luck director all fit perfectly into the suspects list, it’s up to Honey to found out the true killer.

    In what would be the perfect “B” movie itself, with robots, aliens and murder on a Hollywood set, “Honey West; Murder on Mars” is a fun audio drama.

     

     
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