The babyish voice that the narrator chose for Maggie Hope was so irritating that I had a hard time getting through the book. Also maybe it was just the performance but Maggie's internal dialog was really bad and it also added to the difficulty in finishing the book. I liked the narrator for the first book and I wish that they would have brought her back.
I adore British literature from the Victorian Age through World war II, primarily, and fantasy, but also enjoy mysteries once in a while.
I was so pleased with this audio recording...I liked the first book in the series but only just enough to try this one...I feel this second in the series far surpasses the first. I was completely engrossed and never drifted away from the recording. Wonderful, clever plot and terrific character development. Fantastic job by both the author and the narrator.
The narrator does a simply lovely job of portraying all the characters, male and female, young and old. She carries off Churchill splendily as well as Princess Elizabeth, the two where it could have gone dreadfully wrong. She completely aces Maggie Hope. Susan Duerden has now become one of my favorite readers, second only to Jim Dale.
I look forward to the third in the series...in fact, will be buying the Audible recording in a few minutes.
Reader. Painter. Newspaper columnist. Nurse. Humane Society. Lake life. Walker. Happily remarried - was a widow.
I liked both the first and second book. Light and fast paced. Good story with enough twists to keep it interesting. I like this series.
I nearly quit listening four times but the story lured me back.
The narrator had such an intensely IRRITATING way of accenting every 3-4 words in the same manner so that if one had been walking it would be like walking down super long stairs where one's same foot kept hitting the step down!!!!
It drove me nuts.
I put the speed on 1.5 and it was a bit better and I did not have to listen to her quite as long. She only did it when narrating the non-speaking parts. When reading speaking, she was fine, and her voice was pleasant.
WHO TALKS LIKE THAT???? I have only heard young teens do that sing song speech. Just read the thing. I don't need the narrator to add drama or interpretation. A regular reading voice is fine. In this case, monotone would have been a gigantic improvement.
The author wrote a good book. The narration darned near ruined it for me. The first book didn't have this sing song or "up-speak" style.
I will get future books from the library or skip them altogether, as I really could not tolerate listening to this narrator again.
I do not read books that I listen to. I want to be able to "read" as many books as possible.
Maggie - a "modern" woman who is pushing back against the box most men want to put her in. In addition to the time-frame I liked that the author's main characters are accepting of relationships that would have been outside the norm at that time.
The narrator insisted on using what felt like an artificially high voice whenever she did the female voices, presumably so that the male voices would be more of a contrast - that was very distracting and Maggie's voice was particularly annoying. It would have been fine had she just stuck with her normal reading voice, at least for Maggie. The narrator from the first book was good and I was expecting the same quality here, but did not get it. If you can get by the voice thing, the story is good.
I really enjoyed the first installment in Susan Elia MacNeal's Maggie Hope series, and found that narrator, Wanda McCaddonm, perfectly suited to the story and the characters. I was really looking forward to listening to this second book in the series, but listening to the sample did give me pause. I did not like the narrator at all, but I told myself that I had so liked the first story, well, perhaps I would get past the new narrator and her annoying rendition of Maggie. Well, that never happened. Why oh why do they change narrators??? Susan Duerden did not read Maggie's character with her own voice, but a voice that was higher and much more shrill. At one point she says, "But I am smart." She does not sound like a mathematical genius or someone capable of being a spy, she sounded like a tween on puppy uppers...big time annoying. Whenever there are shouts of, "Cheers!" in this narration, believe me,they are shouted!
There is a lot of interesting stuff going on in the story, and though you can pretty easily see what is coming, there is enough humor, dread, tension anticipation, and even a teeny bit of romance, to keep it going, and it all would have been just so much more enjoyable with a different narrator I really don't like being so negative about anyone, but I literally found myself grimacing, when Maggie's character was speaking or thinking. I think that wanting to shove a sock in the main character's beak is not the effect the publishers should be striving for!!
I'm only an hour into the book, so I will update this when I actually finish... That being said, I read the reviews complaining about the new narrator but the first book was so good that I thought "how bad can it be?" It's bad. The new narrator makes Maggie Hope sound like an earnest teenager not an accomplished woman who had been accepted to an MIT graduate program.
In my limited opinion, I think a lot of the complaints about the dumbing down of the book are related more to the narrators little girl-like voice and may not be fully attributable to the writer's efforts.
Again, will update when I finish, but if I could go back in time I'd read this book in print than continue to slog through the Audible version.
I loved this story. It is well written and entertaining. I have to say I the print version is better in this case.
I like learning some of the details of Windsor Castle
I love audio books. I adore it when someone reads to me. I have a very long commute daily and this allows me to enjoy reading. But this narrator has a habit of 'whispering' dialog when the character whisper. I am hearing impaired and could not understand her. So I missed a good bit of the story. And some of her accents were difficult to catch. I really prefer when they read the story and dramatize it.
A good compelling, if somewhat unbelievable story.
In some ways this reminds me of Maisie Dobbs books, although I do think that Jacqueline Winspear is a somewhat better writer.
I think the evolving relationship with her father is a compelling part of the story.
I like listening peacemeal
Although it stretches believability a bit, the characters are clearly well formed and described and I would like her to write another.
Susan Elia MacNeal's series about the young spy, Maggie Hope, during World War II are entertaining enough. Maggie Hope is a likeable character and the books are enjoyable, light reads.
Susan Duerden's narration of this book is downright painful. The cadence is monotonous. Please bring back Wanda McCadden for future novels.
I really liked the first book in this series. Maggie is an interesting protagonist, and is pleasantly flawed. I like her mixture of rational assessment and irrational assumption. Even though her mathematical aptitude means that she's used to approaching things logically, it's interesting to see her sometimes make decisions with her heart, rather than her head. As with the first book, I found the interpersonal relationships in this book to be more captivating than the mystery, but this isn't necessarily detrimental, as the mystery is plenty interesting on its own.
I recommend this series for any combination of:
- fans of period pieces
- those obsessed with all things British
- people who root for the underdog
- those who enjoy books with strong female protagonists
- people who loved watching Indiana Jones rout the Nazis
- people who felt like offing themselves after reading Atonement