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  • The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Mark Frost
    • Narrated By Nick Chamian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Readers of I Am Number Four, The Maze Runner, and Legend will love this exciting new adventure series by the co-creator of the groundbreaking television show Twin Peaks, with its unique combination of mystery, heart-pounding action, and the supernatural. Will West is careful to live life under the radar. At his parents' insistence, he's made sure to get mediocre grades and to stay in the middle of the pack on his cross-country team. Then Will slips up, accidentally scoring off the charts on a nationwide exam.

    Now Will is being courted by an exclusive prep school...and followed by men driving black sedans.

    Bruce says: "For Younger Readers"
    "Engrossing, enjoyable, and not too heavy"
    If you could sum up The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1 in three words, what would they be?

    Engrossing, enjoyable, energetic.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1?

    No single moment; the pressure and intrigue ratchets up smoothly for a story that becomes impossible to put down.

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

    A fine variation in characterizations. I knew exactly who I was listening to when he spoke.

    Any additional comments?

    An engrossing story that doesn't drag you down, but isn't too light and fluffy... just the right amount of substance to be an interesting listen. The story is complex without being difficult to follow, and moves at a pace that doesn't drag, and doesn't skip the details you'd want. A high-impact story without being a chore to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seize the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Moonlight Bay: a safe, secluded small town that is at its most picturesque in the gentle nighttimes that inspired its name. But now, somewhere in the night, children are disappearing. Christopher Snow believes that the children are still alive. He is convinced the disappearances have everything to do with the catastrophic effects of secret research conducted deep within Fort Wyvern. To keep those secrets, violent and powerful forces are willing to conceal even the most heinous crimes.

    Kim says: "WOWWWW!!!"
    "Unexpected turns = great story"
    What made the experience of listening to Seize the Night the most enjoyable?

    The characterizations are wonderful, the story is interesting, and there is plenty of levity for what is a somewhat gritty story

    What did you like best about this story?

    The twists and turns... things I didn't see coming made it really engaging

    What about Keith Szarabajka’s performance did you like?

    No holds barred

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It started out fast, hit a lull, then scorched through to the end... hard to put down once the lull was over

    Any additional comments?

    Read the first book first, so you have more background. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Luminaries

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eleanor Catton
    • Narrated By Mark Meadows
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

    Melinda says: "Not So Luminous"
    "Minority opinion: drab and monotonous"
    Would you try another book from Eleanor Catton and/or Mark Meadows?

    Not if I have to put up with the endless litany of unremarkable and unlikable characters

    What could Eleanor Catton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Give me a character or two that I could like.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not applicable

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Luminaries?

    Give it to me as a 10 chapter installment series. Make it lighter, or give at least one of the characters more heart than flaws

    Any additional comments?

    I know, the breadth and depth of this work is supposed to inspire me to find it amazing and brilliant. I found myself wishing that I could like any one of the myriad characters (I never did). I kept wishing that not everything was cast in a sense of doom and foreboding.

    I made myself listen past the two hour mark, and at the ten hour mark, I still wanted to return it, so I have.

    I really found it to be profoundly monotonous, lacking in any humanity or warmth, and while it might be the perfect punishment for an unruly AP English class, I could not find any enjoyable aspect of this work, and finally gave up torturing myself waiting for any character or feature of the plot to shine.

    Clearly, I am deeply in the minority, but I cannot help but feel that "long and winding and obfuscated" have become the hallmarks for "great contemporary works of literature."

    Yes, I know, I missed the magic. I never found it to be wonderful. I was not, sorry, even impressed. I felt like I was grinding out a horrible assignment, and found no pleasure in the work.

    Yes, I know, clearly I'm an uneducated imbecile. My standards are too low (i.e., I'd rather read Mad Magazine than another two paragraphs of this painful exercise). I'm a horrible person with no taste. Fine. I want to like characters, or at least like the story. Or at least find the artifice (astrology? I have to be familiar with astrology to find this brilliant?) clever and approachable.

    In short, despite my love of long and intricate stories, and my desire to be enthralled by depth of character and be enveloped into a world created by the author, I just deplored having to listen to the bulk of this book.


    Back to the drawing board.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Skippy Dies

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Paul Murray
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Fred Berman, Clodagh Bowyer, and others

    This touching and uproarious novel by author Paul Murray made everyone’s best fiction of 2010 lists, including The Washington Post, Financial Times, Village Voice, and others. Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the mystery that links the boys of Dublin’s Seabrook College (Ruprecht Van Doren, the overweight genius obsessed with string theory; Carl, the teenager drug dealer and borderline psychotic; Philip Kilfether, the basketball-playing midget) to their parents and teachers in ways that no one could have imagined.

    Laura says: "Funny, touching, entertaining"
    "Maybe the "uproarious" part is after the 5th hour?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I love long books. The longer, the better. I wanted to return this book after the 3rd hour. I made myself keep listening. Around hour 5, I lost my patience. I get irony. And I get sarcasm. I get absurdism. I like all kinds of humor. I never once thought anything in the first 5 HOURS was funny, much less uproarious.

    I *didn't* like the characters, or the plot, or the numerous voices. Good luck with this one, apparently I'm in the minority.

    What could Paul Murray have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Change the whole plot?

    How could the performance have been better?

    ONE talented narrator, not a dozen

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Er, uh, no.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Tom Robbins
    • Narrated By Keith Szarabajka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, the wise, witty, always gutsy Tom Robbins brings onstage the most complex and compelling character he has ever created. But to describe a Robbins plot does not begin to describe a Robbins novel - you must hear it for yourself! Browse other Tom Robbins at

    Rupa says: "Wildly entertaining-excellent naration!"
    "Not What I Expected... and that's my fault"
    What would have made Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates better?

    While this is an erudite and entertaining work, I was looking for something more light and fluffy, something more fun. OK, something more superficial. I gave it two hours, and gave up. THAT IS ABOUT ME, NOT ABOUT THE BOOK. I'm sure the book is great. I'm even sure I'd enjoy READING it. But I want my listening to be 'story time' and not an education. This piece wants you to dig in and pay attention. I want something I can listen to as I engage in other activities (driving, mowing the lawn, stuffing envelopes). In short, I don't want to give this much attention to my audio books. I'd be happy to give it a try as a paper-in-hand read, at another time...

    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Robbins again?


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Keith Szarabajka?


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    TONS! This is not a negative review about the book, but about what I want in my audio entertainment. This book is engrossing, and I want something superficial.

    Any additional comments?

    Don't blame the book! This is about me!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Earth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
    • Narrated By Michael Fenton-Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone? Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some say mad, others allege dangerous - scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget.

    colleen says: "A Different Pratchett"
    "Not a Frolicking Romp, But Not Totally Dull"
    Would you try another book from Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter and/or Michael Fenton-Stevens?

    I adore Terry Pratchett, and haven't read any other Stephen Baxter, so I'll read any Pratchett, and might give Baxter a shot.

    What was most disappointing about Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter ’s story?

    It didn't really develop into any cohesive "then what happened" kind of plot. They went all over all the alternate earths, and saw a lot of stuff, and found the macguffin... and while it was an interesting exercise in what might be if earth had all of its alternate realities available, it wasn't fun, or engaging. at the end, i really didn't care (and i only cared in the middle to see what happened at the end). In short, they traveled around, and saw alternate reality stuff. And nothing really happened. *sigh*

    Have you listened to any of Michael Fenton-Stevens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to his readings before, but he did a fine job with his characterizations and performance. The material just wasn't that engaging.

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

    I was disappointed. It's like when someone spends 10 minutes telling you about a dream they had, and there's no point, no plot, nothing changes (either for them, or for you). You get to the end and you think, "and? was that it?" There is a very cool concept near the end, but it isn't really explored, and if that's just a build up for book two, they've blown in, because i'm completely disinterested in what happens next.

    Any additional comments?

    If you're looking for the fun, romping narrative in a typical Pratchett book, you'll be incredibly disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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