Member Since 2013
This was my first detective/crime mystery. It had a very good plot with an unusual crime, interesting detective work, a strong heroine, romance, a twist at the end -- it had everything. I'm not sure why I can't give this a five all the way across, perhaps because I'm learning that crime mysteries are not my favorite genre. This is a very good listen, however, with an excellent reader.
Wow, this is the first time I'm totally a dissenting vote. I absolutely loved Correia's Hard Magic and, with the ratings this book got, I was expecting it to be another favorite. I knew it was going to be about fighting with all the inherent blood and guts, but the problem with this book for me is that it just didn't have an interesting story. It seemed to go from preparing to fight an unknown pack of monsters to describing them once they're visutalized and then to the details of the battle and injuries. There was just not enough story line or character development for my brain to wrap around and care about.
On the bright side, the main character, Owen, was very likeable and I loved his sense of humor. The narrator did an outstanding job delivering male and female voices, accents, even a few monster noises. He was the perfect guy for the job.
STORY - Dead Until Dark is a fairly light romantic vampire whodunnit. It starts slowly but pleasantly, then has an exciting ending. It is the perfect type of book to listen to when you don't want to concentrate too hard or have your guts wrenched. Sookie's mind-reading capability provides a unique, interesting twist to this book, and I look forward to that portion of her future escapades!
On the negative side, I think the character development of Sookie's romantic interest, Bill, was somewhat lacking. I just didn't ever care for him and therefore didn't enjoy the romantic portions of the book (which was a large part). Maybe I was just missing something...
NARRATOR - At first I didn't like the narrator's attempt at a Southern accent, but it started to grow on me. It falls short of sounding authentic, but it's a nice change from the accents in most audio books. Otherwise, she did a good job, and I came to enjoy the slower Southern pace.
OVERALL - I enjoyed this book as a relaxing break between more intense books, and I plan to move on to Book 2.
STORY - There is no doubt that Outlander is very long, but it's interesting and exciting the entire time. There is adventure, danger, love and vivid glimpses of life in 1700's Scotland. I usually do not enjoy stories in this primitive and brutal time period, but this one was wonderful.
Possibly due to the length of the book, I became more involved with the characters than usual. This made their pain and emotions more realistic and their story more enjoyable. (And Claire is my new favorite heroine -- she is so smart and brave!)
This is the first book in a very long series and I will absolutely hear all of them, but surprisingly this story can stand alone. Things pretty much come to a conclusion, but you will still probably proceed quickly to the next in the series!
NARRATOR - The narrator is amazing. English and Scottish accents, male voices, female voices - all excellent. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job.
OVERALL - I think everyone will love this book. It is DEFINITELY worth a credit and your time.
STORY - First let me say that for Mr. Pausch to undertake the task of writing this book when he had only a few months to live -- wow, what a great accomplishment by what must have been a wonderful person!
That being said, it's not Mr. Pausch's actual last live lecture, performed in his voice with crowd reactions and applause. It's a book he has written about how to live life which REFERS to his last lecture, and the book is read by a professional narrator. It gives lots of good suggestions about how to succeed, be happy, be a good person, etc., etc. The problem I have is that the suggestions are mostly just good common sense. Then each one is followed up with an example from Mr. Pausch's own life experience. Some examples are better than others, but the bottom line is I didn't really care about his father's medals or how he met his wife or why he took his son to Disney World. Yes, they were good illustrations of the points he was making, but I still found 4 1/2 hours of that to be pretty boring. I put the narrator speed to 1.25 and then to 1.5 to get through the book.
NARRATION - The narrator did a good job, but there was nothing special about his performance.
BOTTOM LINE - This book would be great for young adults just beginning lives and careers on their own, if you can get them to sit down and listen to it. They could learn a great deal from Mr. Pausch's life experiences which would prove invaluable. It would also be a great book for someone diagnosed with a terminal illness, giving them ways to be more positive in those final months. For a healthy adult who is reasonably successful and happy with their life, it could potentially be boring (as it was for me).
STORY - As a rule I don't like sad books or movies, but I decided to take a chance on this one for the sake of variety and also the very high ratings. I was not disappointed. The only reason I didn't rate this book a 5 is because it was -- well, predictably sad. The story is about two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who both have cancer and fall in love. They are both very smart, mature for their years and have healthy attitudes about their illness. The story doesn't dwell on tear-jerking descriptions of their symptoms and suffering. It is more about how they struggle to just be normal teenagers and try to do what other kids their age do. That is what's so sad, the fact that they just accept amputations, tubes and treatments as normal, often joking about their own shortcomings.
Despite the sadness, it is a beautifully written story and I couldn't stop listening. Hazel and Gus are loveable teenaged characters and their story seems very real. The truth that serious illnesses affect children is something we don't like to think about, but sometimes we need to be reminded.
NARRATION - The reading of this story is good, but there is nothing special about the performance.
OVERALL - If you don't mind a good cry, I would definitely recommend this book.
STORY - I really enjoyed this book. The narration jumps back and forth between two timelines which are basically before and after a horrific attack on the main character, Catherine. It is easy to keep track of which timeline you are in because the characters and actions are so different, plus the narrator reads the month and year each time it changes. It's facinating to see party girl Catherine's life before the attack and watch the events unfold that lead to its occurrence, then switch to how her life has changed post-attack and how she fights to live a normal life. The biggest negative to this book is listening to her CONSTANTLY check the doors and locks (due to OCD) in the second timeline. While it's an important part of her personality, it doesn't necessarily make interesting listening time.
This book has romance but also some suspenseful and painful moments. It is an easy book to listen to -- you don't have to worry about hearing every single detail or trying to keep tons of characters straight in your mind. Good book to clean house or run some errands.
NARRATORS - I don't know why they used two narrators the way they did in this book. Most is read by a woman with a very charming Scottish(?) accent. The male voice is only a tiny bit at the beginning and then a little at the end of the book for the trial segments. While it was nice to hear a male voice for the lawyers and the judge, it was strange to hear the voice of Sylvia read by a man when throughout the rest of the book she had been read by a woman. Whatever, the narration was good so not a big deal.
OVERALL - This story has romance, suspense and an interesting perspective of someone who has been through a violent crime. A little tedius for the first few hours but worth it in the end.
STORY - This is the story of a newly-turned-vampire mom, complete with children and minivan, who is also a PI investigating a potential human blood sale operation. This was a good mystery, nothing particularly complicated or stellar. What I enjoyed most was her personal struggle to maintain her human qualities while exploring her new set of powers -- flying, the ability to see spirits and other psychic abilities. Even though this is Book 5 in the series, it stands alone as a story.
NARRATOR - The narrator has a mysterious, husky way of reading which is perfect for a somewhat sinister mystery. She reads somewhat slowly, so I actually turned the narrator speed to 1.25 which was perfect.
BOTTOM LINE: You will probably like this book if you enjoy vampire mysteries.
STORY - This is a light-hearted mystery about a young gay man (Godwin or "Goddy") accused of murdering his ex-boyfriend. Goddy works in a needlework shop called Crewel World, which is owned by Betsy, the main character. Betsy is an ameteur sleuth, and she sets upon proving Goddy's innocence. The story is obviously meant to be a simple small town whodunnit. IMHO, the mystery is not particularly interesting or complicated, there's no humor...the whole story is just "fluff." Also, I just never particularly cared for Goddy. His being gay could have added a clever dimension to the story, but he was just whiney.
NARRATOR - The narrator does a pretty good job with most of the characters; however, I thought Goddy sounded like a matronly older woman rather than a 20-something gay male.
BOTTOM LINE - This book is basically a waste of time, and I won't listen to any more in this series.
STORY - This is your typical cute vampire romance, and it is as predictable as most books are in this genre. The main character is a chef, so there is lots of talk about recipes, kitchen equipment, etc. If you're a fan of Molly Harper, you will find less of her snarky humor in this book than in The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, for example, but it is still clever and entertaining.
NARRATOR - The narrator does a pretty good job of both male and female voices. Her southern accents are overdone, but I suppose they are in line with the characters and the mood of the book.
BOTTOM LINE - This is a free download, and it's definitely worth several hours of your time to listen.
This short mystery has a decent plot, but it just never really "grabbed me." While it may be difficult to fill a short story with enough detail to make a great mystery, it is definitely possible. This one definitely doesn't get there. The best part is the sinister voice at the beginning of each chapter reading from a blog on how to plan a murder. It was chilling!
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