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Gaele

We read to know, we are not alone ~ C.S. Lewis

Atlanta, GA

ratings
97
REVIEWS
97
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
70

  • Dare the Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Elaine Raco Chase
    • Narrated By Destiny Landon, Lee James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Welcome to Glacier Country! Luthor Devlin and his ranch hands were out tracking 20th-century rustlers when they stepped into a time warp! There on the jagged cliffs was a woolly mammoth, a sabre-toothed tiger, and a tawny, near-naked savage. She was a primal fantasy come true - that left him stunned!

    Brandy C. says: "Different .. in a GREAT WAY!!!"
    "Again - another clever exercise in conversations ."
    Overall
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    Story

    Again, Elaine Raco chase creates dialogue that repeatedly reinforces my belief that hers is some of the best I have read (or heard). With a remastered story that was originally published in 1987, there are some elements that feel dated, but really – what doesn’t in this ever-changing world? People haven’t evolved dramatically, and their need to find love and fulfillment with a partner is a constant, no matter the year. Both of these characters are dimensional people – not all good or all bad, they come with baggage and aren’t afraid to show it.

    The heroine, Cam, is rough and tough, independent and comes from a family of daredevils who hide that trait by becoming masters of their game – stunt performers. Thor is a bit of an old-school cowboy, with a Dudley-Do-Right protecting his Nell at every step. When the two worlds collide, and Thor realizes that Cam is not a damsel in distress needing to be saved, it rankles.

    Finding the two discover a common ground, and realize that they are good together, despite the frequent dust ups about danger is a great listen. There is humor, snark and gorgeous descriptions that place you in the wilds of Montana, with the never fail to amuse stops in the action. There is steam, there is swearing, and most of all – this is a feel good book, that will have you laughing and smiling throughout.

    The narration was really good, although there were several times when it felt as if the two narrators were stepping on each other’s lines. The conversation in Elaine Raco Chase’s books is so well crafted that it’s not necessary to adjust the pacing; there is time to breathe and still not lose the context or emotional impact of the words. A clever story with just enough heat to feel contemporary but not a purely erotic romance, this is one that is a good introduction to this author’s works and a great listen for an afternoon or two.

    I received a copy of the audiobook from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kingdom of Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Gillian Bradshaw
    • Narrated By Nicole Quinn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Armed with his magical sword and otherworldly horse, Gwalchmai proves himself the most feared and faithful warrior of Arthur's noble followers. But while defending the kingdom, he commits a grave offense against the woman he loves, leading her to disappear from his life and haunt his memories.

    With his trusted servant, Rhys, a commonsense peasant, Gwalchmai tries to find her in the Kingdom of Summer, where Arthur has sent him. But an unexpected and most malevolent force of evil and darkness is loose - that of his mother, the witch-queen Morgawse.

    Gaele says: "a wonderful twist on the familiar story."
    "a wonderful twist on the familiar story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AudioBook Review:
    Stars Overall: 4 Narration: 4 Story: 5

    Everyone is somewhat familiar with the Arthurian legends and the story of the King and the Knights of the Round Table. Far from a very familiar feel, although presenting many of the characters in a new and different way, Gillian Bradshaw has retold the familiar story with several new twists, all unique and refreshing, that make for a wonderful story.

    In the start of this story we are told of Gwalchmai’s (Sir Gawain) is starting a quest to find a long lost love that he wronged, Elidan. Used to set up the story Gwalchmai’s distraction and rather dry retelling of the history leave us with only his perspective, and while his regret is evident I most certainly would have appreciated seeing the events in real time, rather than in this retelling.

    Gwalchmai’s travels bring him to stay with Rhys’ family, where dazzled with the knight and the possibility of more, he asks to sign on as his servant. From here, the story starts to gain traction with Rhys gaining in confidence and knowledge as the story unfolds. Particularly apt is Rhys’ ability in narrating the story, presenting information with his own observations, often spot on.

    Unlike any other Arthurian Tale that I have read, this story manages to present a twist to the story that makes it feel very plausible and real. The world of Arthurian Britain is described with great detail and beautiful prose – sure to please history fans. There are two love stories here, that conceivably be stretched to three if the early infatuation and fascination that Rhys had with Arthur’s warband could be counted. A brief love soon cleared of its shine as Rhys is quickly learning the consequences of all actions.

    Narration is provided by Nicole Quinn who aptly manages the often twisted pronunciation of names and places, many carrying the feel of the often-unpronounceable Welsh. Her own accent, and lack of great pretention in presenting the various characters, her smooth transitions and seamless transition from prose to poetic are easy to listen to and present the story with flair.

    Layered with description, imagined history, danger, sorcery and the classic good versus evil conflict that fuels the story of Arthur, this is a wonderful twist on the familiar story. Best read after Hawk of May to have the full understanding, I thoroughly enjoyed this tale.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Three Early Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (39 mins)
    • By J.D. Salinger
    • Narrated By Mike Dennis
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    A young and ambitious writer named Jerome David Salinger set his goals very high very early in his career. He almost desperately wished to publish his early stories in The New Yorker magazine, the pinnacle, he felt, of America’s literary world. But such was not to be for several long years and the length of one long world war. But other magazines were quick to recognize a new talent, a fresh voice at a time when the world verged on madness....

    Susan says: "Brilliant listen and wonderful narration!"
    "For fans of Salinger an excellent collection of sh"
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    One of the best qualities of J.D. Salinger’s writing is his characters: their interactions that are laden with nuanced layers and characterized with conversations that are so realistic and natural in feel that you could overhear any one of them anytime. Not one who lays out the obvious conclusion, Salinger’s work leads you to the conclusions that he wants, or leaves you with enough information to make a decision for yourself: either way you will walk away with a different perspective and the feeling that you have entrée into some secrets you never knew before.

    In this collection, three of his short stories are gathered together and carry a common thread in the interactions between the characters. Salinger is not only proving himself as the consummate observer of human behavior, but his skill in word choice and deft manipulation of the reader’s emotions as the stories all carry very specific starts, climaxes and conclusions.

    Starting with The Young Ones, a group of college aged people are gathered at a party, and the story shows those “small talk” moments between people, gossip, connections and innuendo. With dialogue that clearly shows inattention and disinterest, it is one of those scenes all too familiar to many.

    In the second story, Go See Eddie, the purported simple interaction between a brother and sister gradually increases in malice as the two butt heads over a simple request. But, as with all things Salinger, simple requests are often nothing close to straightforward, and his ability to use his observational skills is highlighted as he sets the scene, describing the room to the smallest detail, including the patterns of sunshine.

    Lastly is also the oldest story, Once a Week Won’t Kill You, a series of reminiscences and emotions that hit with great poignancy, as a young man heading to war is preparing his family for his leaving. Laden with what was and what will come all manage to layer the story with both a temporary and final goodbye, the emotional impact of the ‘possible’ is only revealed in the description of the action moments: deliberately to vaguely, done in such a way that while voices don’t crack, you just know the emotions are just below the surface.

    Narrated by Mike Dennis, the first story started off a touch rough and felt very “read” rather than performed in the early sentences, he quickly managed to remove that slight hesitancy from his delivery and the story started to flow smoothly. His voice is slightly gruff, and that works well for the male characters, clipping or drawing out sounds and words to add the emotion necessary. For the female voices he does not (thankfully) over-reach for a particularly female tone, rather taking a softer sibilance and raising the pace slightly, not particularly ‘female’ in sound, but clearly feminine in pattern and approach. There is no overreach or overly exaggerated delivery here, each choice, like Salinger’s words, is carefully approached and consistently applied.

    If you are a fan of Salinger, or you want a particularly good collection of short stories in written or audio form, this is the collection for you.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the producer for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heroes Wanted

    • UNABRIDGED (56 mins)
    • By Katharina Gerlach
    • Narrated By Linda Joy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This audiobook contains two short stories. "Life - Divisions of Myths and Legends or How to Order a Dragon" Mondays are hard in any office. When Siegfried von Xanthen is calling before opening hours, the day at Life - Divisions of Myths and Legends goes downhill for Rose. "A Different Perspective" Romans attack, and Freyja flees with the women of her clan while the men fight, including her beloved Thordal. Can Allfather Odin help Freyja to save Thordal's life?

    TheJadedKat Addicted to Kindle says: "Totally Entertained!"
    "stories that are accessible to children and adults"
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    Two very clever stories, the first laden with mythological creatures as is wends through the fantastical with a twist of corporate red tape and a touch of science fiction, and the difficulties of maintaining a positive outlook when dealing with the customers of a hero.
    Linda Joy manages to present all of the character switches and emotional impact required, including that punch of dealing with customers and a horrible villian. Her voicing of Rose as the heroine, with her more than slightly stressful task is spot on and enjoyable, even as the story has many elements running in and out.

    The second story combines Germanic mythology with the Roman in an oddly conceived and cleverly plotted combination to build a new heroic creature. Again Linda Joy manages to perform the stories with pointed yet not over the top voices, adding in her clear enunciation and elements of emotional veracity to aid the building tension as the story comes to climax.

    Katharina Gerlach has written two very clever stories that are accessible to children and adults alike. There is action and fantasy to appeal to children, and several nuanced layers of the frustration and stress inherent in corporate or cooperative endeavors. A truly fun listen.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hunka Hunka Nursing Love (Women's Fiction)

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Kathryn Maeglin
    • Narrated By Anne Hancock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Imagine a visiting-nurse service with hot young guys as caregivers. What golden girl wouldn't dig that? Valerie Palka is a savvy businesswoman who is obsessed with keeping her elderly mom, Helen, safe from all the lethal disasters that can befall widows living alone. Helen thinks the workaholic Valerie should focus on having as much luck in the bedroom as she does in the boardroom.

    Gaele says: "Maeglin’s debut offering is layered and clever"
    "Maeglin’s debut offering is layered and clever"
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    Surprisingly layered with deeply realistic characters and situations that many are facing, Maeglin’s debut offering is clever, heartwarming and full of situations that range from laugh out loud funny to tear-inducing.

    Valerie has just celebrated her forty-fourth birthday with a husband who needs a break, an aging mother who is requiring more care and supervision, a thriving business and not enough hours in the day. When her mother’s health requires her to have some additional help around the home, she flatly refuses. But a brainstorm had Valerie thinking that handsome, qualified and referenced male medical care workers would encourage her mother’s cooperation, and perhaps be a viable business, everyone deserves some eye candy.

    This is not a simple story about her struggles and successes with the business though: her relationship with her mother, her best friend Pam, the dissolution of her own marriage, her mother’s new love interest and the blossoming relationship that is now developing for Valerie all combine for laughs, tears and are completely believable and relatable to all readers. Don’t let the cover put you off – the story is far more substance than fluff – and the issues will feel familiar and possible, if not ripped from your life at this moment.

    Narration in this story is provided by Anne Hancock, who manages to completely capture the ‘feel’ of Valerie, while managing to vary her tone and delivery just enough to distinguish between characters, and provide their appropriate emotional feel. She doesn’t overreach in her male voices, a lowering of her normal register and change in pacing and delivery are all more than adequate to distinguish without distracting.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Next Song I Sing: Next Time Around, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Donna McDonald
    • Narrated By Anne Johnstonbrown
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Freshly divorced at 40 yrs old, Chloe Zanders has few illusions left about her ability to make her dreams come true. She is never going to be thin, never going to be a famous singer, and never going to be sexy enough to keep a man like her handsome ex-football player husband from cheating. While the first two dreams might continue to flicker hopefully inside her, Chloe now accepts the last one had been doomed from the start.

    Gaele says: "stories with heroines that are living their 40’s"
    "stories with heroines that are living their 40’s"
    Overall
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    Starting off with a bang, the characters and conflicts are set in rapid fire dialogue and interactions, establishing Chloe and her concerns within a few short minutes. Chloe is newly divorced after a horrible marriage: her ex-husband played on all of her insecurities and nearly wrecked her self-esteem and dreams. But, with the help of a supportive group of friends, she is starting to take back her own life, and working on herself.

    I liked Chloe: we’ve all been in situations where we don’t make the healthiest choices for ourselves or our self-image. And it isn’t helped by the never-ending fascination and obsession with youth: from media to celebrity to fashion magazines. She was trying to make a marriage work, and giving more to the relationship than her husband deserved. Her willingness and determination to move past the hurt feelings and find a new life for herself.

    When she heads out to California to hang out with her college friends and spend time at an upscale spa for the pampering, the connection between Chloe, Emma and Taylor is palpable: these are women who know each other’s secrets and dreams, and are determined that time won’t change the hopes or desires they held from their first meeting. While Chloe is more filled out and less California slim and tanned than her friends, they are all invested in the rebirth of the ‘new’ Chloe and are encouraging her blossoming in every way.

    Jasper is the spa owner, and is instantly captivated by Chloe: her spirit, her joy and her voice. It doesn’t hurt that she is his fantasy woman come to life, with a body made for sin and a heart that he wants to cherish. Chloe is flirting with him, encouraged by her friends: but his reactions, his words, his touch, all speak to something much deeper. Hot and sexy, these two show the potential and possibilities of a second chance, and is a fun listen for romance fans who want something with future hope.

    Narration for this book is provided by Anne Johnstonbrown, and as with earlier works that I have reviewed with her as narrator, her performance starts out quite rough, with character voices varying from little definition to over the top differences that can be quite jarring. Once she starts to relax into the story, however, the character portrayals start to acquire a subtle distinction that is far less distracting. The reliance on a pronunciation style that is over-reaching at best and pretentiously adopted at worst does seem to diminish as the story progresses, most accurately described as what one would ‘think’ a British accented narrator would use for a more American delivery style is the closest I can come. While I wasn’t in love with the narration, the quirkiness of the pronunciation and delivery did become less distracting as the story progressed and the overall effect was a competently performed listening experience.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Take the Monkeys and Run (A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery #1): A Barbara Marr Murder Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Karen Cantwell
    • Narrated By Nan McNamara
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Film lover Barbara Marr is a typical suburban mom living the typical suburban life in her sleepy little town of Rustic Woods, Virginia. Typical, that is until she sets out to find the missing link between a bizarre monkey sighting in her yard and the bone chilling middle-of-the-night fright fest at the strangely vacant house next door. When Barb talks her two friends into some seemingly innocent Charlie's Angels-like sleuthing, they stumble upon way more than they bargained for and uncover a piece of neighborhood history that certain people would kill to keep on the cutting room floor.

    Candy Lyons says: "Take The Monkeys and Run Hits a Home Run!!!"
    "‘nod and a wink’ to the listener is omnipresent"
    Overall
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    AudioBook Review:
    Stars Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story 4

    This is my second encounter with both this author and narrator, and I was utterly delighted with this pairing again.

    Take the Monkeys and Run is the first in the Barbara Marr mystery series, and while it has a clever murder mystery at its heart, the hijinks and humor add to the story and present Barbara as a character with a singular ability to function when all around her is chaos.

    Recently divorced with no real explanation for the dissolution, she is still in love with Howard and can’t quite really move beyond those emotions, even though there is a very willing and interested man in her circle, Colt, a PI who steps in to help her solve the mystery. But, Barbara has much more to deal with – a troop of monkeys have suddenly appeared, and the vacant house next door is suddenly sounding like an episode of Scream. While I was expecting a shrunken head (from the monkey references) that didn’t happen, but the murder and the associated sorting out the whodunit was fun, funny and clever.

    Told in Barbara’s voice, I love her growth in confidence: thinking of herself as ditzy and rather useless, if not dumb she is far more together than her comforting ‘go to’ persona would have you believe. This entire story was an experience, from her growth and increase in self-confidence to the funny mystery that was referenced to and influenced by several films. While far more lighthearted than most murder mysteries, these are more wacky and out of the box, fueled by caffeine and sugar with the associated silly moments that are common in say, I Love Lucy reruns.

    Narration is provided by Nan McNamara and as in my first encounter with her presentation, I loved her approach and style. Her ‘nod and a wink’ to the listener is present throughout the more outrageous moments, and her character presentation is spot on. Slight distinctions between characters presented with pitch and cadence changes work to keep the flow smooth without distracting the listener. I couldn’t imagine, after finishing this listen, another narrator presenting the title.

    Overall, while there were some moments that I found over the top, I was expecting a fun, funny and outrageous story, and that is exactly what I got. Cantwell has a unique sense of humor that shows through in her writing, and made this a perfect introduction to the Barbara Marr mysteries.

    I received an audiobook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shades of Honor: Grayson Brothers, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Wendy Lindstrom
    • Narrated By Julia Motyka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (142)

    Prepare to fall in love with the Grayson brothers in Shades of Honor, the first novel in the best-selling series by award-winning author Wendy Lindstrom. Haunted by a gruesome war and his own dark secrets, former Union soldier Radford Grayson returns home, seeking a loving reunion with his brothers and a place where he and his young daughter can make a home. Desperate for peace, Radford is ambushed by his unexpected and forbidden love for Evelyn - his brother's fiancée.

    Monica E. Blood says: "A touching story"
    "AudioBook Review"
    Overall
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    I was excited to return to the United States for an historic romance, and Wendy Lindstrom brings a Civil War era story into this romance involving two brothers. Post-civil wartime settings and ideals are well defined, and the people are lovely: hard working, hopeful and above all, looking to start anew with the new definition of their country. The story is also not a story of people with money and grand aspirations: it is of the ordinary people with their own humbler hopes and dreams as we follow their lives.

    Evelyn is going to marry her childhood friend Kyle Grayson: she isn’t dreaming of passion and soul mates, the war put end to dreams of that sort. Respect, friendship and a kinship from their long acquaintance is perfectly fine. I liked her attitude of making the best with what you have, and the real regard and friendship between her and Kyle was well defined and nearly palpable.

    But then, in walks Radford after the war and a family estrangement, and the whole story went left for me. I saw the very well developed and defined character, and I believed in the attraction between he and Evelyn, I just couldn’t get past the whole “brother’ thing. I was hoping for some real reason, a real purpose to his returning to patch things up and diving right in to devastate the family all over again, and I couldn’t find it. Sometimes, and most especially in the 1870’s, I couldn’t see the pressure from society allowing it to happen. And, I will say that Evelyn wasn’t particularly indecisive or spineless, but I didn’t see her as a particularly bold woman either.

    It was, other than the disappointment with the twist in the romance, a well-crafted romance that was more compelling for its setting and surrounding characters and world than for the main hero and heroine.

    The narration in this book were from Julia Motyka, and this is not my first encounter with her work. While I find her voice pleasing, she needs to dial it back in her emotional (and often over-emotional) enhancements. This was not a story set at Tara, but I swear she was channeling Scarlett in one of her infamous drama queen moments more often than not. Her over-reach in several passages starkly contrasted with passages that were perfectly balanced and performed, and made for a very uneven listen.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Almost Perfect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Julie Ortolon
    • Narrated By Jane Cramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (67)

    Maddy, Christine, and Amy, friends since college, are thrilled to learn their old suitemate's self-help book, How to Have a Perfect Life, has become a smashing bestseller - until they realize she used them as negative examples of how women let fear mess up their lives. The worst part is…it's sort of true. So, the three friends make a pact: They each have one year to face down their fears - and prove Miss Perfect wrong!

    Amazon Customer says: "Nice Surprise!"
    "I needed a lighter romance with interesting spin"
    Overall
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    AudioBook Review:
    Stars: Overall: 4 Narration:4 Story: 4

    I needed a lighter romance with some interesting spin, and Julie Ortolon’s title managed to create that for me without issue, and it also puts a spin on the”self-help” genre (a particular non-favorite of mine) giving the characters a needed kick in the pants while actually dealing with long-standing issues.

    Maddy, Christine, Amy and Jane were suitemates and friends in university: and now ten years later Jane is published with her new book How to Have a Perfect Life. Maddy, Christine and Amy are still very close, and do the right thing - appear to support a friend who has become more distant since they left school. But, when they open the book and see that they are all used as ‘what not to do’ examples in the book, they decide that they won’t stall - they make a bet that in the next year they all must tackle the fear that Jane had noted, and overcome it.

    This is Maddy’s story: and recently her life has been all about recovery after nursing her husband during a long illness, and managing his business, before liquidating after his death. Maddy had always hoped to be an artist: in fact her now deceased husband had planned for her to create her art while he worked at building his accounting business. But, needs must and her personal dreams were put on hold, and her friends also have found a stalling point in their own lives.

    Highlights include the interactions: the caring friends, the reconnection between Joe and Maddy, and Maddy and Mama Frasier, the owner of the summer camp that will give Maddy the space and place to kickstart her own part of the challenge. As the Arts Director, Maddy will be teaching, supervising and organizing the arts programme at this New Mexico summer camp, while leaving her plenty of inspiration and opportunity to get back into the swing of a productive artist.

    The hesitation from both Maddy and Joe was realistic, and the reasons that they both held anger and fears about their own broken high school love affair led into further revelations from both Maggie and Joe, and forces them to look forward to the “what next’ in their life. Not wanting to let her friends down, and actually being excited by the challenge, Maddy is willing to take those first tentative steps into her new life. Steamy hot - the emotions between the two set off sparks: some angry and hurt, others desiring yet afraid, and make their interactions full of emotion. They are electric together and their connection both physical and emotional fuels their growth.

    Narration in this story is provided by Jane Cramer who uses subtle shifts and changes to define individual character voices, and they all feel natural and not over-emoted. She doesn’t over-act the voice of Joe - using a harder and quicker delivery style to present him, the perfect addition of masculine energy without presenting as a caricature. At the 1x speed, I found her enunciation felt far too ‘careful’, moving the speed up to 1.25 brought a nice conversational speed without damaging the presentation.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sekhmet Bed: The She-King, #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By L.M. Ironside
    • Narrated By Amanda C. Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    The second daughter of the Pharaoh, Ahmose has always dreamed of a quiet life as a priestess, serving Egypt's gods, ministering to the people of the Two Lands. But when the Pharaoh dies without an heir, she is given instead as Great Royal Wife to the new king - a soldier of common birth. For Ahmose is god-chosen, gifted with the ability to read dreams, and it is her connection to the gods which ensures the new Pharaoh his right to rule.

    E. M. says: "Never listened to a story about Egypt before..."
    "tension and action that pulled the story forward"
    Overall
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    AudioBook Review
    Stars: Overall: 5 Narration 4 Story 5

    My first encounter with a historical set in ancient Egypt, this book manages to present a captivating story with compelling characters, mystical insets and a greatly developed sense of place and time in a story that is easy to follow despite the complexity. Ironside has managed to imbue the story with the history and feel of excitement for the time that I have only witnessed in those who have made Egypt and the Pharoahs their life’s work.

    There is a nice mix of humanity in the characters: villains are sufficiently despicable without becoming caricatures or cartoonish, they all have faults and histories that are clearly presented and fuel their actions and characters with a familiar feel: people and human nature hasn’t changed dramatically over the years, even if beliefs and technology has. Captivating and easy to follow, I was initially concerned that the events and names would feel too foreign and cumbersome to follow, but each character is unique and clearly presented in a way that keeps them memorable without feeling overwhelmed or confused.

    Narration is provided by Amanda C. Miller and I found her narrative style to work well for the story, although a few of her choices for individual voices didn’t always line up with my own preferences. Clear and well enunciated, she managed to imbue a sense of urgency, wonderment, curiosity and vehemence where needed, and not overly emphasize in odd places. My first encounter with this narrator, and I am curious to see what else she has presented.

    I was unsure about the story when I started, but it pulled me right in with tension and action that pulled the story forward as it engaged me in needing to know what comes next. As a first in a series, this is a winner that will keep readers happy and encourage many to explore historical fiction in eras other than Regency England.

    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Peacekeeper

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Druga
    • Narrated By David W. Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Raising four boys alone is not an easy task. Widower Joe Slagel tries, he really does. He works hard, provides a stable home with lots of love and just the right amount of discipline. But Joe Slagel also provides his sons with something else: disposable stepmothers. He never intends for them to be disposable, however, the mischievous doings of his four children make it impossible for him to keep a wife, and them a stepmother, for very long. Boys will be boys. But when the final straw is snapped and the fifth stepmother packs up and leaves without notice, Joe realizes it is time to bring in a professional.

    Gaele says: "not free of issues, all of which lead into some of"
    "not free of issues, all of which lead into some of"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    AudioBook Review:
    Stars: Overall: 2 Narration: 2 Story: 3
    This middle-grade geared story had some great potential, and I could clearly see and identify with the 4 brothers, their dislike of the step-mother, the always-manipulated youngest child. And bringing in a Nanny for the summer to keep the peace and perhaps get the boys to work together with less infighting was a clever twist. And the Nanny was the perfect mix of motherly love and attention with the clever insets of lesson learning and adjusting their behavior. In the written form, with a few minor adjustments, I could see this being a story that many 8 - 12 year olds could enjoy. But it was not free of issues, all of which lead into some of my pet peeves.

    Just because you are writing or producing a product for a child - does NOT mean that you can be less than exact or correct in your fact-checking,and you cannot, under any circumstances pander or ‘talk down’ to the kids. BOTH no-no’s were in this audiobook version- much to my dismay.

    Factually: the CIA is not operational in the United States - by charter. Therefore, a father who is a CIA agent on a drugs stakeout is incorrect. Secondly, and more important to the overall story is the character of Sergeant Plecher. Female drill sergeants were NOT used in the army until late 1971: few would have been IN the Vietnam theatre. Yet she uses and refers to being a vet of that era. Neither fact felt right - and in fact weren’t. Authors owe their readers, no matter the age, the assurance that homework and research have been done.

    My third and largest issue with this audiobook was the narration from David W. Deitz. Overreaching and overly effusive, the stretches for “female tone” were achingly discordant and hard to listen to, while the overall tone of the story felt like a Ren and Stimpy cartoon - voicing emphasis replaced and overwhelmed the story action or emotional moments that could have presented an easier listen. However, I am not 8 - 12 years old, nor am I a boy who might appreciate that slapstick feel, but it did not work for me.
    I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the author via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

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