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Janiene

Member Since 2009

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 80 ratings
  • 214 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Through the Door: The Thin Veil, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jodi McIsaac
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (111)

    Single mom Cedar McLeod leads an ordinary but lonely life, balancing the demands of her career and her six-year-old daughter, Eden. One day, a fight between the two leads to the stunning discovery that Eden can open portals to anywhere she imagines. But before they can learn more about Eden’s extraordinary gift, the young girl mysteriously disappears. Desperate to find answers and her daughter, Cedar seeks out Eden’s father, who left before Eden was born.

    Adam Shields says: "Modern fantasy using Celtic lore as a basis"
    "Weak story and character development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was actually quite glad to quickly finish this book. It had no depth and was rather uninteresting to me. I listen to my books while running. It makes the run go by in no time but this morning my 2.5 hour run took FOREVER listening to this book. The story was just not fresh and you wanted to understand more of the mysteries that seemed to be everywhere but went quickly flat. More of the history of these people, but nothing other than a typical bad guy that ruins paradise. Actually, that is really as much as you get... there is this really bad guy and we don't want him to hurt us worse. The magic wasn't magical, the Gods, weren't very godly. I wanted to fall in love with even one character but just wasn't able to. The main character screams at the lover that left her years before who just explained he had to do it to save her life - but you left me and made me feel really bad!!! Then goes on to scream (yep lots of screaming) - why wont anyone tell me the truth? With all that I have seen I haven't gone nuts. Doesn't anyone realize I can take it... even though the entire book, all she is doing is going nuts, and screaming at people... The mother gets mad because the daughter goes to others for help, yet she offers her daughter no information, no explanation, no help, no support.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jodi McIsaac again?

    No


    What does Kate Rudd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Some emotion.


    Do you think Through the Door needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It likely could be a series, but it is not one I would read. I think the whole lot of them should go back to fairy land...good riddance.


    Any additional comments?

    Just not my cup of tea.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Spell: Book Two of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Alan Smyth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1049)
    Performance
    (975)
    Story
    (968)

    With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken. A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape - by a long-awaited kiss. Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside.

    Margaret-Ann says: "Narration is terrible"
    "Lacked depth and breadth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book lacked depth and breadth in character and sounded like a cheesy romance novel. The story got caught up in the next couple's romance where the interplay was annoying at best and the one big conflict at the end, predictable. There is a lot of room for this story to run, many more interesting revelations that could have been found or speculations to prove, but instead, it sounded like an episode of "Friends".


    Would you recommend Shadow Spell to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, I would not recommend this one to friends, or buy it as a gift unless the recipient loved all things Nora Roberts. I had a hard time caring about the main characters emotionally. It was too cookie cutter... first couple taken care of in book one. Next couple hooks up in this book - check... geez wonder when the third couple will be reconciled? There could have been so much more development in the characters and story that I kept anticipating, but did not happen.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Alan Smyth?

    NO! REALLY BAD narration that impacted the story quite a bit. POOR accents, a voice that did not match the characters or what was happening in the story, and sounded like it was just being read aloud. It brought a blandness to the story, that may or may not be there.


    Could you see Shadow Spell being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I think about current stories that could be similar like "Once upon a Time", "Grimm" or "Game of Thrones". With those story lines, they are not predictable. This series is and would be disinteresting. The potential of the story is there, it is just not fully developed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2677)
    Performance
    (2404)
    Story
    (2403)

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "And they lived happily ever after!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was surprised to see this story described as funny or fun. A depressed mother who has become a shut in because of her own anger, immaturity, and inability to deal with loss and perceived failure in her life. A husband completely absorbed in work life, avoiding his home life, who ultimately betrays his wife in a number of ways, even if he could plead ignorance. Arrogant, nasty, manipulative characters that bully her due to their own immaturity and self-serving purposes. I really struggled to find any characters I liked. Maybe I just know too many people like the ones portrayed in this story, but it was a disappointment to me. The mother, daughter relationship is highlighted. They love each other so much and Mom makes life so interesting and fun, and everyone that doesn't get mom is stupid, 'cause she is really great. Bee keeps 100% of the faith in her mother, but really being a little girl, that is all she ultimately is able to do. Prove to her mom that she would go to the moon and back for her. The ending tied up many loose ends, but it was unrealistic to the point I rolled my eyes. The book was concluded much like a little girl would. None of the deeper issues were really addressed "We will just live a normal life now" and "I will just forgive my husband for impregnating another person, an enemy who had been one of those bullies, because I cant imagine being with out him"... and they all lived happily ever after! Really!?!?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13193)
    Performance
    (10793)
    Story
    (10917)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Very Slow Journey, not much Character Development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Name of the Wind? What did you like least?

    The book reviews sounded promising and even the storyline where this very bright and clever boy appears to be able master many things, including mystical powers. It is obvious he is gifted and he is shown what can be harnessed with will and knowledge. He knows he must go to the university... so through all his trials and tribulations there is virtually no signs of his knowledge blossoming, no increased awareness, adolescent and retaliatory thinking, and basically a story about a young boy's first crush on this now you see me now you don't young female who has secrets of her own. The university, which is suppose to be teaching this mystical powers to young minds appears to have forgotten about the teaching part. And in the background there is this major subplot out there about an ancient race of powerful people some evil, some not, that appear to still be fighting it out and going around killing people. There was very little depth of story here for me. I tend to like stories where everyone gets smarter about life. At least the main characters.


    Has The Name of the Wind turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What aspect of Nick Podehl’s performance would you have changed?

    Too much of the performance was just flat reading the book and at some points it was hard to tell which character he was reading because he would go back in to just reading mode with the same voice and tone.


    Could you see The Name of the Wind being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I am sure it could be. Almost anything could be.


    Any additional comments?

    I am sure the book would be fun to read for those who enjoy watching what happens next, no matter where the journey goes. it was obvious that this was setting up a series, but this was a very slow journey and just did not develop enough to be interesting for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17103)
    Performance
    (13517)
    Story
    (13592)

    As opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

    Troy says: "Chapter and part breaks are incorrect"
    "Not enough depth of character or story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about A Storm of Swords?

    No depth to the characters and the story in general. Huge amount of detail that is meanlingless. The characters are generally unlikeable, and none emerge as leaders or possessing great character. Characters are killed off left and right, and the ones that remain just do not seem to evolve much. It is just about people who think they should be or have a right to rule the kingdom, the people that are fighting them or defending them and they all go around bashing people over the head to get what they want. There are so many details and people in the book that turn out to be of no revelance to the story and so many missed opportunities for sub plots that never evolve. For example, Aria appeared to have true integrity and a Xena warrior princess type mentality, but her character never mentally evolves into anything but someone with experience to kill and the standard quips of a child. The dire wolves seemed so mystical...but zero help to the story. Bran appears to be a seerer... but this plays out in no way. The "Others", ripe for being way more is never explored. This winter is coming, why? Do your actions change this outcome? Are the "Others" redeemers, an army for the righteous, judgement for those that are not? Are all those that have died ready to come back and make right in the world. Nothing! John Snow, who looked poised to come out on top. Nothing. Tierien, with great wit and intelligence. Nothing. I stuck it out for the first 3 stories, but need to get off the bus at this point.


    What could George R. R. Martin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    For me, I tend to need a Big Picture story that if there is great battle, sacrifice or similar, there is a meaningful resolution. I wish to see the world move forward with some type of character growth or realization, some exciting and meaningful twists and turns, and yes, I like to see a few good guys win, not just be fauder for the next explicit head spliting brain splatter scene. I do not care for soap operas that just have perpetual "action" but little in the way of interesting story line. As mentioned previously, there is a ridiculous amount of detail of food, smells, explicit sexual comments, slaughter, people relaying historical information or stories, none of which has any baring on the story at all.


    What three words best describe Roy Dotrice’s voice?

    He had alot of characters to cover and did a good job, but after so many hours they all started sounding like an old english skit and got quite irratating, specially the raspy laughing voices and the singing. And dont forget a minute of saying Hodor a hundred times.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration and disappointment. I listened to the book during my morning runs and really could not wait to finish it. After listening to the first 3 parts, I knew the story was going to disappoint me and was going nowhere, althought I still held out hope that the surprises were coming. They didnt.


    Any additional comments?

    For those that like action or soap opera type stories, I am sure this book is colorful and enjoyable. For those looking for a little more meaning in their entertainment, this series may disappoint

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6473)
    Performance
    (5824)
    Story
    (5826)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Shallow Romance Novel, lacks depth of character"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Deborah Harkness and/or Jennifer Ikeda?

    Not Likely. The main character was introduced as a fiercely independent intelligent scholar who had muscled her way through a difficult life, which totally conflicts with the woman protrayed in this and the first book. There is alot of detail about clothes and food and name dropping, but uninteresting historical points. There is a little life only around the romance scenes but this supposed intelligent woman, never puts any thought in to herself, her magic, her boundaries or what she has in her as a person. When confronted with danger, she has to think of words spoken from her Vampire Father - "Think, stay alive". Really, someone needed to remind you of that? This was prevalent through the entire book. Difficulties came up, and either the Diana became a shrinking violet to be taken care of and protected or became defensive... but this scholar, never reasoned out a good path to take. Very little happened in this book and the I did feel it was nothing more than a cheesy romance novel.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Deborah Harkness again?

    Unless some growth in her characters happened, no.


    What three words best describe Jennifer Ikeda’s voice?

    Although she was smooth when speaking for the characters, when she lapsed back into Diane narration, she sounded strangely robotic


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Shadow of Night?

    The first chapters where simply awful and the banter painful to follow. They would either go, or be rewritten. Much of the historical details regarding people or places would go, and more time would have been spent in characters considering and thinking about their situations, conditions, or feelings.


    Any additional comments?

    Since so much of the story was really focused around Diana, it was disappointing that the author forgot to give her thoughts and feelings versus just reactions.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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