The Story Blender Podcast: With Special guest Mark Bomback

Story blender image

“The art of the story is all in the blend”

 

 

The Story Blender Podcast

With Bestselling author and host Steven James

 

 

A podcast talk with premier storytellers around the country. Novelists, comedians, film makers, and artists.

 

 

Please welcome Special guest Mark Bomback

 

 Click  //percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=137491&episodeId=10166985

 

See Steven James Books

 

 

Every Deadly Kiss Steven James

 

 

Goodreads

 

 

Did you pick up any gems for storytelling ? Tell me in the comments!

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

Audiobook Review: The Guilty Will Robie Book 4

The Guilty David B

 

 

The Guilty: Will Robie, Book 4

 

 

BOOK BLURB

Will Robie escaped his small Gulf Coast hometown of Cantrell, Mississippi, after high school, severing all personal ties, and never looked back. Not once. Not until the unimaginable occurs. His father, Dan Robie, has been arrested and charged with murder.

Father and son haven’t spoken or seen each other since the day Robie left town. In that time, Dan Robie – a local attorney and pillar of the community – has been elected town judge. Despite this, most of Cantrell is aligned against Dan. His guilt is assumed.

To make matters worse, Dan has refused to do anything to defend himself. When Robie tries to help, his father responds only with anger and defiance. Could Dan really be guilty?

With the equally formidable Jessica Reel at his side, Robie ignores his father’s wishes and begins his own desperate investigation into the case. But Robie is now a stranger to his hometown, an outsider, a man who has forsaken his past and his family. His attempts to save his father are met with distrust and skepticism…and violence.

Unlike the missions Robie undertook in the service of his country, where his target was clearly defined, digging into his father’s case only reveals more questions. Robie is drawn into the hidden underside of Cantrell, where he must face the unexpected and possibly deadly consequences of the long-ago choices made by father and son. And this time there may be no escape for either of them.

©2015 David Baldacci (P)2015 Hachette Audio

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW

 

Each book keeps getting better and better as the series goes on. I thought my favorite in the series was The Innocent. I was convinced it couldn’t better than this, then BAM, The Guilty comes along and shatters my expectations. Amazing. I’m continually amazed how David Baldacci has written this series. He excels at giving you the unexpected. Will Robie is forced to deal with his past demons with his father back in Cantrell, Mississippi. But when he goes back to his home town he finds that his father has been charged with a mysterious murder. Robie is stuck in a dilemna where he has to face his father, or fail at his job in the field. He must go back in order to go forward. Excellent read! Can’t wait for the November release of the End Game.

 

Awesome Word Rubber Stamp 3D Rating Review Feedback

 

 

 

 

NARRATOR PERFORMANCE: 10/10

Kyf Brewer 

Orlagh Cassidy

 

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

The first three books of the series was narrated by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy, however in this one, Kyf Brewer steps in along with Cassidy to perform one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever heard. It’s that good! I associate Brewer’s voice with one of Baldacci’s newest creations, Amos Dekker.

Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy both bring you directly into the story through their narration. They both have rich skilled voices and don’t stick out in any way.

 

 

  • Voice Switch Over:  Brewer 10/10 Cassidy 9/10

Seeing how each narrator switches back and forth between characters with their own unique voices, genders and accents are one of my great pleasures in listening to audiobooks. This is one huge plus you get in audiobooks that you normally wouldn’t appreciate in reading them.

 

Kyf Brewer

  1. Some of the notable accents and characters that he produced were more than excellent. He has a very unique skillset.
  2. Will Robie of course, but his father Dan Robie has a rich southern Mississippi accent that was impeccable.
  3. Other major characters. Pete Clancy, Sheriff Mondoe.

 

Orlagh Cassidy

  1. Orlagh Cassidy has become my favorite female narrator. She has great skills as a narrator.
  2. When I listen to her switch between characters I truly believe it’s a different person speaking. That’s no easy feat to accomplish.
  3. She not only performed a Mississippi accent, but switched seamlessly between a variation of Mississippi accents. They all sounded like totally different people. Amazing.
  4. Significant characters. Jessica Reel. Black Cantrell prosecutor Tony Moses. Police deputy Taggard. The teenage Chism girls, Emma and Sarah. Sherman Clancy’s ex-wife.
  5. It was really hard to give Cassidy a 9 in this category because she really is brilliant. However, I noticed one area that stood out. It didn’t bother me necessarily, but I noted it mentally. Once Jessica Reel is introduced into the story, the switch between Reel and prosecutor Tony Moses got a bit murky. In other words, Tony Moses started to lose her accent and sounded very much like Jessica Reel. It was notable because in the first half of the book Tony Moses has such a rich accent and personality, it practically disappeared once Jessica Reel comes on the scene. I was expecting Moses but I got Reel instead.

 

  • Pacing 10/10

Both Brewer and Cassidy are great in the pacing department. The reason why I include this in my reviews is because some narrators are so slow I couldn’t put up with it for another 10, 12, 16 hours. I’d pull my hair out first.

 

  • Emphasis 10/10

Their emphasis is some of the best I’ve seen from any narrator. They really make the characters come alive. This is strength of both Brewer and Cassidy. Probably their greatest asset.

 

  • Reader-Story Connection 10/10

Perfect. Their drew me right into the story and wouldn’t’ let me go until the end. Kyf Brewer did a better job in this book than the Amos Dekker series in my opinion. I connected very well through them as the medium.

 

Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher: Hachette Audio. This production was absolutely entertaining. It has the subtle dramatic effects of gunfire, music and other effects that build up the suspense, conflict and tension.

 

Overall Performance: 10/10

One of the best audiobook performances I’ve ever heard!

 

Tres bien! 

 

Book five in the Will Robie Series is due Nov. 14, 2017.  Pre-order it today End Game

 

End Game David B

 

 

Are you a Will Robie fan? Tell me in the comments!!!

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

 

 

 

See ya next time!

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Dark Territory the Secret History of Cyber War

Dark Territory

 

 

 

 

Book Blurb

As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

Kaplan probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the “information warfare” squads of the military services, and the national security debates in the White House to tell this never-before-told story of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised this new form of warfare and who have been planning – and, more often than people know, fighting – these wars for decades.

From the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq, and Iran, where cyber warfare played a significant role, Dark Territory chronicles, in fascinating detail, an unknown past that shines an unsettling light on our future.

©2016 Fred Kaplan (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

 

 

Book Review

This was quite an interesting book. The Secret history of cyber war, behind the scenes with the NSA, military officials, and government bigwigs said a lot. The overall undertone I picked up from the author was that the government officials took somewhat of a passive role responding to the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure and realizing the threat of cyber warfare. Then again we did launch the first digital weapon against the Iranians with their nuclear devices. But that’s still different than protecting our countries computer networks, whether military or private sector, and still has proven to be a slippery topic.

They also talked about the difficulties measuring what would be an appropriate response to a cyber attack. Policies that would gauge what constitutes an act of war? Very challenging. Even coming to the new realization of a “cyber war” versus the traditional boots-on-the-ground war, has been slow. Not to mention detecting, tracking, pursuing a new type of enemy who’s​ virtually invisible and impossible to find. 

Fascinating topic and a great book. Hats off to Fred Kaplan.

 

 

 

microphone narrator

 

 

 

 

NARRATOR PERFORMANCE:

 

 Malcolm Hillgartner

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

Hillgartner does an excellent job taking the reins in this one. It’s not easy narrating nonfiction, or making it interesting in a way that doesn’t lose listeners. Hillgartner is a win in this category. 

  • Voice Switch Over: NA. There’s no purpose for voice switching in nonfiction. 

 

  • Pacing 8/10

The pace was even, steady throughout the book, but a tad fast for my taste. The subject matter had a lot do with this. It’s packed with information about the history of Cyber operations, government response, and military jargon. I also forgot you can change the pace digitally through the audible app.

  • Emphasis 10/10

Considering the subject matter, Hillgartner is spot on for emphasis. This was a big reason I enjoyed the audiobook. For me to spend 9 hours listening to dense nonfiction there better be a good reason for it. Hillgartner, here, again fits the bill. Heck, he even makes it seem easy!

 

  • Reader-Story Connection 10/10

This is where I connect to the story, or in this case, subject matter, through the narrator. Hillgartner absolutely knocks this one out of the ballpark. I probably like the book even more because of him. 




Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher Blackstone Audio, Inc. They’re one of my favorite publishers on the planet because they produce quality work. Sound quality was premium. 

Overall Performance: 10/10

The entire production deserves a 10 from me. I’m even considering relistening to the whole thing again. 

 

 

 

Malcolm Hillgartner also narrates Dunkirk

 

Dunkirk Audible

 

 

See you soon!!

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

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