AUDIO REVIEWS

The X-Files: Antibodies
By Kevin J. Anderson
Performed by Mitch Pileggi
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

Mulder and Scully go to Oregon to investigate the mysterious death of a security guard, whose body was found in the recently burnt down research laboratory. Though the guard was fine when he reported for duty, his body was ravaged with disease and gooey lumps. The agents race to find the wife and son of the doctor in charge of the main research at the facility, but others are looking for the family as well. This is more a race to uncover a government conspiracy than a mystery, though it was a very enjoyable, X-Filesy story. The characters were the Mulder and Scully of third season, and very well written. The end paints a very gruesome yet exciting picture, that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat (Unless of course you are cleaning your apartment.) The best line was Mulder saying, ďTrust me, I work for the government,Ē as he liberated a manís pick up truck. The only problem Anderson seems to have is the constant reminder of Scullyís cancer, to help paint her motives. This could be necessary for someone new to The X-Files; the seasoned viewer knows exactly what motivates Scully and doesnít need it repeated ad nauseam. Pileggi does a wonderful job on the voices and is a pleasure to listen to.

The X-Files: Skins
By Ben Mezrich
Performed by Bruce Harwood
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

Mulder and Scully learn of a violent reaction of a man recovering from skin replacement surgery. They are determined to find out why the man reacted the way he did, by tracing the source of the transplanted skin. Their investigation takes them to Thailand to the site of a former M.A.S.H. unit. And the truth is horrifying. The story is very linear making it easy to follow. Some of it is predictable, but there are still a few surprises to keep your attention. Mulder and Scully are very much in character, though. It doesnít dwell on their respective pasts. It has everything you would expect to find in a disease of the week X-Files episode, with a government cover up, and Scully playing doctor as they follow a string of clues and bodies leading to Mulderís life being put in jeopardy. The story is performed wonderfully by Bruce Harwood who plays Beyers (one of the Lone Gunmen) on The X-Files. He is pleasant to listen to, and he does male voices well. When Scully and other females speak, though, he uses a high mousy voice that men use when imitating their wives or sisters. It was still very enjoyable.

The X-Files: Ruins
by Kevin J. Anderson
Performed by Mitch Pileggi (AD Walter Skinner)
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

An Archaeological team has disappeared from Mayan ruins in the middle of the jungles of Mexico. Mulder and Scully go with the team leader's father to investigate. Unbeknown to them, a Central American drug lord, revolutionaries and the US Military all have an interest in the site, but there is something else there too. It is a very intriguing story that would have made a great episode, complete with a monster, wicked bad guys, government cover-ups and supernatural happenings. (Certainly better than any John Shiban snoozer.)
The audio book is a wonderful opportunity to free your hands for knitting squares for Project Linus or sewing a banner for Loscon. This is particularly enjoyable with Mitch Pileggi reading you a bedtime story and painting the tale in your ears. He uses some great voices for the characters. Too bad Skinner didn't make an appearance in the book.
The only downside was the constant mentioning of Mulder's sister, Samantha. Too many comparisons can wear on you after a while. Overall it is a very enjoyable tale of my two favorite FBI investigators.

Star Trek: the Next Generation: The Valiant
By Michael Friedman
Performed by Anthony Stewart Head
Reviewed by Suze Campagna

Ever wonder what Picard was like when he had hair? This is a Picard with hair novel. It is the story of the young, somewhat innocent Lieutenant Commander and Second officer of the USS Stargazerís rise up the ranks.
The tale begins long before, when another Starfleet ship, the Valiant, flew through an anomaly known as the galactic barrier. All seemed well until one of the crew members developed super psychic powers and tried to take over the ship. The captain sent the rest of the crew off the ship and blew it up.
When descendants of the survivors arrive at Starbase 201, Starfleet learns that all was not lost and a new community was formed on an M-class planet. They were having problems with a new and powerful enemy known as the Nuyyard, and the Stargazer is sent to help.
Itís an intriguing story, as you never know who to trust and what dangers lay ahead. We also get a little insight into what made Picard the brilliant commander we have come to know and love.
Anthony Stewart Head only adds to the enjoyment. He brings the written characters to life and at times, you almost forget itís not Patrick Stewart speaking.
Thereís not much on the radio worth listening to, so check this out of the Meddler library. Picard Fans wonít be disappointed.

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